Gunslinger Priests: qualification. More on the local CIA, Army, Airforce…

Glock 19 gen 4 with 3 clips + 1

Just full metal jacket for now. Cheap for practice. Self-defense rounds are pretty expensive.

I’m a priest, that’s remains true. I’ve never carried up to this point. I don’t even have a holster, concealed or otherwise. I’m a peace loving guy. Really. My main prayer these weeks is mentioned in the Apocalypse (3:20) by Jesus:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

This prayer is not at all disturbed by my new Glock 19 Gen 4. Why should it be? Was Jesus offended that Peter carried a sword as a matter of course? No, He wasn’t.

I think I should write about what’s happening in my prayer life, but it’s one of those things where I would be at a loss for words (yes, even me, speechless). I can only say that our Lord is very good, very kind, and that our very bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, the house, if you will, where the Holy Trinity then resides. How pure of heart and agile of soul we must be for the presence of the Great King, the Most High God, who delights to walk with us simply as one Friend with another! It is all His work. We can and should and must be in humble thanksgiving in all reverence. Just because we live in a vale of tears, are we not to walk humbly with our God? We are commanded to do this. This is not a special or unique thing, out of the ordinary. This is to be the case for all of us.

Is such a prayer contradictory to this series of posts about guns and priests? No, this series is meant to clarify some issues in these days of self-indulgent pacifism that is so aggressive it puts even our Law Enforcement in danger. See, for instance, the shameless anti-Cop statement of the the bishops of these U.S.A. (US Catholic Bishops: Law Enforcement Officers are guilty always & everywhere of racist violence because they are LEOs). Having cleared that up, let’s continue with the saga!

The Glock 19 comes with three clips (15[+1 for carry] then 15 and 15). Most instances you never need bullets if you know how to diffuse situations. When all disintegrates you most often need only a few bullets. But with increasing frequency, more complex instances are making their way into these back ridges of the mountains and elsewhere. With deference to Sheriff Clarke, we’ve already had two terrorist attacks stopped in the area, one involving a bomb at a local school and one involving guns. And then… Anyway…

I loaded the clips up and discharged them against some targets at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards. This is the first time I emptied out full clips in any pistol. I’m a total neophyte. But I did O.K., enough to qualify, at least according to my own timing in my own circumstances,  but knew I needed some more pointers, and didn’t want a shooting qualification hanging over my head. I need the qualification to do the CCW course and, with that code of completion, sign up for an appointment for fingerprinting toward the completion of the continued checks. So, off I went to a shooting range where a friend is mentoring me a bit.

He said I needed 28 out of 40 to pass. I got 40 out of 40 first time. Of course, he said that’s nothing to be proud of, that I had to keep up the practice to improve speed and accuracy in increasingly difficult circumstances. Afterward, he gave me a few more pointers showing me what happens when shooting with but one hand, with the right and left, why it is that the out-of-date advice about “isometrics” is out-of-date, why I should let gravity do its work without further intervention, etc. He said that taking all that into consideration, I should be able to put in a bullet in back of a bullet in a target in quick succession. He had me fire off the last five rounds of my ammo in this way and… wow… One in back of the other as fast as I could pull the trigger, the ol’ splitting the arrow in the target with another arrow trick.

I saw two good friends at the range, renewing their concealed carry. I guess I’m a good influence on them! And then a third wanted to get his…

In going to get more ammo afterward, I met an Airforce/CIA guy who knows my Army/CIA friend. What a great group of people in this area. Both these guys took care of our Embassies and Consulates right around the world. They all know each other of course. They all retire here. They would all know my FBI friend who issued me a false passport for my own protection years ago, you know, the once in charge of the investigation of the sites of the Nairobi and other embassy bombings at the time.

Just to say, I find dealing with guns so entirely second nature however much a neophyte I am, having been a bit of natural at being a sharpshooter as a kid and now, I think, pretty handy with a pistol, that I have to thank our Lord for protecting my vocation by keeping me away from guns during my teenage years. My dad was pretty close friends with the FBI, inviting them over for conferences for instance, that I would surely have been sorely, sorely, sorely tempted to join up with the FBI instead of the seminary had I been a gun fanatic. What did I know of the CIA in those days? I would get to be friends with them (or vice versa, as they hunted me down) after I was ordained a deacon and started winding up in difficult circumstances with rather interesting people. Again, I’m very thankful to our Lord that I’m a priest and I’m happy to be a priest.

Anyway, the second I started to write this post (before publishing it!) the CIA paid a visit. I think the CIA crowd are great. They can a bit Kryptos. Anyway, I’d like to give them a retreat fit for their circumstances in life. It would be something along the lines of that post: Solving Kryptos – Part 4 – Coriolis effect – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.

BTW: One of my mentors is Jewish (like me). He lives on a road where the locals pretty continuously take pot shots at passing cars that “don’t belong there,” and that, of course, would include the usual targets of the KKK, that is, Catholics, Jews and black people (with me being two of the three). He said they don’t shoot at him because his reputation with a gun is well known. He would shoot twice: the first bullet would knock down the bullet coming at him, and the second would hit its target. I told him that this is a frequent occurrence in my parish (I won’t say quite where), as I have now been told by quite a number of parishioners who are pretty disgusted with the situation.

Anyway, I really do realize I still have to dedicate a post to why priests can and even should carry. Patience!

8 Comments

Filed under Dogs, Guns, Priesthood, Rectory, Vocations

8 responses to “Gunslinger Priests: qualification. More on the local CIA, Army, Airforce…

  1. sanfelipe007

    You are making progress, Father. Anything new with the other Missionaries of Mercy?

  2. Father George David Byers

    It’s the kind of thing that priests can’t do much about on their own. I preach and offer confessions and do quite a bit of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, but those are all things all priests can do all the time. It might have been better to encourage all priests to reinvigorate the Sacrament of Mercy. Perhaps that’s what Amoris laetitia had in mind, but, since it was soooooooooooooooooo ambiguous, there is effectively no way to implement anything. The Church is the Church, as Jesus remains Jesus and a just mercy remains a just mercy: ever ancient, ever new. It’s all about Jesus.

    As far as me making progress. No. I don’t look at it that way. My guardian angel has just been smacking me down a lot, with goodness and kindness of course. Jesus has got me by both shoulders, trying to get my attention. I do hear Him knocking, however, and I do invite Him in. It’s all Him.

  3. Father…WOW!

    Also, please forgive my ignorance..but I can’t find, anywhere, the meaning for LEOs. When looking it up, I’m getting horoscopes!!
    Please explain?

    God bless and thank You.

    Helen

  4. Father George David Byers

    LEO = Law Enforcement Officer

  5. Minty

    When were you ordained, Father Byers, may I ask?

  6. Father George David Byers

    33 anno incarnationis Domini nostri Iesu Christi, because all the sacraments come from the Last Supper and Calvary, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at which the Apostles were ordained.

  7. Minty

    Dear Fr. Byers, Please, may I ask the year you were ordained?

  8. Father George David Byers

    Why that, Minty? It is Jesus’ priesthood which is important. As Cardinal Siri explained in Gethsemane, put out by Angelus Press (which I recommend frequently), the Holy Ghost can draw us into Sacred Tradition at any time and is not powerless in the face of time.

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