Sunday, March 10, 2013

Defending the Castle

I came across a news article the other day about a town in America that intended to pass a law that required every household to own a gun.  There have been other towns that have passed similar laws.  One such town boasts a drop in the crime rate since they implemented the law.  They admit that the crime rate wasn’t very high to start with. 

Taken to the extreme one could imagine people ending up in jail for not having a weapon in the house.  One could also imagine a gun-less homeowner being sued by the criminal.  If the gun had been there, and been known to be there, the criminal would have been deterred from entering the property.  The lack of a gun could be construed almost as an invitation to rob the house!

The “required to” part of it has its exemptions.  If you are a felon, mentally disturbed or object on religious or moral grounds you are not forced to have one.

I would choose not to own a gun.  I am not a felon or mentally disturbed (often) but I would object on religious grounds.  Jesus lived in a violent world where life under Roman rule was fragile but he didn’t carry a gun, or its equivalent for those days, and neither did his followers.   

I’m sure the issue is more complicated than that.

I stirred myself to write a poetic response.  It touches on gun ownership, but also about where you draw the line when it comes to how far you can go to protect yourself.  When does the force you use to defend yourself become excessive?

Defending the Castle

A letter most official sat
A landmine on the doorstep mat
MacLean and Sons, the letterhead
I read their missive filled with dread

It seemed that I was being sued
By M. J Grant and his evil brood
M J Grant?  His face I sought
A witness at the justice court

Some months ago, his eldest child
Drank too much and then went wild
He broke into my house one day
To take my treasures far away

A baseball bat beside the door
I wielded and he hit the floor
And as he fell he broke his nose
And well deserved one might suppose

He claims I used excessive force
I will plead innocent of course
My home’s my castle I’ll defend
Intruders I will apprehend

How fortunate I had no gun
And shot to death that father’s son
A broken nose will one day mend
A bullet won’t your life extend

It seems to me a sorry case
That I, the victim, must embrace
A lawyer now to plead my cause
And fight against such irksome laws

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