According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: How to Defeat An Enemy

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Defeat An Enemy

I used to be a cop. I have become convinced since that time that we don’t need the right to bear arms as much as we need the right to enforce stringent gun control laws. Actually though, what we really need is self control. Gun control, no matter how well enforced, won’t totally keep killers out of our schools, shopping malls and movie theaters. Only a change in personal attitude will do that.

How do we learn self-control? Sam and I don’t want to go all religious on you, but we believe in the biblical assertion that we can best achieve self-control through praying for our enemies. Whoo boy! That’s a toughie! But it’s so important.

Observing young men and talking with older men convinces Sam and me that anger in young guys isn’t a recent phenomenon; it’s always been around. If you’re about my age and you weren’t bullied in school at least once while you were growing up you must have hidden in a corner under a white flag or something. Young men have these raging hormones that are banging around in their bodies like berserk Pachinko balls and they don’t always act responsibly. It used to be that we fought back against bullies with our fists or some other method (I did consider a 2x4 once) and even though we often lost the fight, we gained the respect of our bullies by standing up to them.

If we could just teach young men how to pray for their enemies they would be calmer and less afraid. I’ll never forget the first time I prayed for an enemy. A guy did something to me and I hated him for it. Fortunately, a wise preacher friend rightly pointed out that my hatred hurt only me, not the other guy. My anger and hatred would eat at me until I got rid of it, and killing the other guy was not the solution.

When I protested that I couldn’t see myself praying for my enemy, my preacher friend rightly told me I didn’t have to. He said if I would just get down on my knees and tell God my problem he would help me. And my friend was right. I was able finally, not only to forgive, but to pray willingly for the other guy. My anger went away. Learning to pray for my enemies has made me a calmer, less afraid individual.

One key to giving up our anger against someone else, of course, is to first give up the anger we feel toward ourselves. Our lives are seldom without guilt and self-loathing and when someone does something despicable to us, we often fantasize wrongly that we probably contributed to the problem.

No matter what laws we pass, the only truly successful gun control is a process of each individual person making the conscious decision to give up his or her anger and especially the desire to use a gun to get even. America still suffers from too much of that old Wild West testosterone that makes us see ourselves as the lone wolf against the rest of the world. We still have this mentality that, “You hit me with a stick I’ll clobber you with a log or you hit me with your fist I’ll shoot you with my assault rifle.”

Three bags of poop on shooting up the world - no apologies to Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone or the NRA.

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