Ascent 105 – A Farewell to Arms

I’m not referring to the classic by Ernest Hemingway. I felt the urge to share about the day I relinquished my gun.

I have nothing against firearms, enjoy shooting them at targets and am grateful I live in a country where they’re available to sane, responsible people. I grew up in the Royal Air Force, spending time on strategic air bases around some of the most substantial firepower on the planet. I’m very comfortable with the concept of armed capability – and it’s appropriate focus.

When I lived in Indiana, I acquired my first handguns. A .22 target pistol first, then a 9mm semi-automatic Ruger. I quickly developed a love for shooting and started to reload my own cartridges. Shortly afterward, I applied for a permit for concealed carry. My reason at the time was that I had a family and often traveled with them, and I felt I would be better able to protect them if I were armed.

Thankfully, the whole time I carried a firearm, I never had to present it. The only time I did ever draw my pistol out was when I had a property with acreage in the country and, one night as I went back in the darkness, something growled at me. Whatever it was went it’s own way and no critters were harmed.

I acquired a cowboy style Ruger pistol with target sights. It was chambered for .357 magnum and, with custom rubber grips, was a phenomenally accurate shooter. I spent many happy hours with my boys reloading and making holes in targets.

A day came where I didn’t feel comfortable with guns in the home, so I sold them and went without for a couple of years. Eventually, I did acquire another pistol, primarily for recreational shooting and the occasional protection.

One summer day, I was sitting outside in the sun, meditating on a book I had just finished reading. Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson. I then heard a clear voice inside me say that owning a gun may not be compatible with the peaceful spiritual path I seek. I opened my eyes, looked around and confirmed I was alone. The change had begun. I thought about it over the next couple of days and, the more I did, the more I knew that was a truth for me. I had the instant “What if I need it and don’t have it?” thoughts. Which, of course, was fear attempting to crash the party.

I was committed to my path of peace and it was evident that I needed to release my gun in order to continue making progress upon it. I released my 9mm to a trusted friend and have walked in peace since.

I don’t feel like I gave anything up – more that I allowed myself to receive massively.

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