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!