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Letter to the editor: Guns and competency 

Just because a person has a concealed license to carry a firearm does not automatically make that person competent to handle a gun in challenging personal circumstances. There are individuals with guns that do not need a firearm because they lack self-control. The worst extent of their moral character can be displayed with an available gun, especially when their anger gets out of control because of a hostile situation.

According to Texas law, a person can be justified in using deadly force, and generally, it is not prosecuted because of the following events:  home defense against an intruder who enters without permission, attempted armed robbery, or attempted murder in a particular private or public place. In addition, if you did not provoke the situation to become violent, you cannot retreat to safety and your life is in imminent danger, and you acknowledge that you had to utilize deadly force, then the legal criteria for using lethal force can be warranted.

According to THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, the definition of competent is: a) a qualified person, a competent worker; b) adequate for the purpose, sufficient; c) legally fit or legally qualified.

Compare that previous definition with two real life stories. A person witnesses a domestic disturbance in a parking lot. That person wants to help in de-escalating the tense situation and his intervention may be interpreted as compassionate. But reaching for his firearm on his person or going to his car to retrieve his gun is not considered a wise move. The appropriate response is to call 911 for an immediate notification to the police department.

Another example: A woman is on the hood of her vehicle in a mall parking lot, and is screaming loudly, “Get out of my car! It is my car! Someone, please call the police!” A person licensed to carry a gun witnesses the event unfolding. Then he orders the suspicious person in the car to stop, but the suspected driver refuses to listen to the armed man, and is shot dead by the person who has a license to carry a gun.

Ladies and gentlemen, carrying a gun for individual self-defense is a very serious matter.  Hollywood loves to glamorize firearms, but in the end, a firearm is a tool for self-defense. A firearm can be compared to a fire extinguisher, it is used for emergency purposes only. Moreover, if you use a firearm (pistol, shotgun, or rifle) or a machete, or even a club for home self-defense, it is imperative that you consult with a legal insurance defense team. Pulling the trigger is easy, the real challenges begin with the legal threat from the state and the family members of the deceased. Take some time understanding the consequences for the right to protect yourself with a weapon, learn to be proficient using your weapon, and consult with a lawyer. Before closing, there is a clear distinction between murdering and killing someone. Murder is intentionally ending the life of another person and is premeditated with hostile intent. While killing someone can be unintentional, in self-defense or based upon unnecessary deadly force with an unarmed individual, can lead to a charge of manslaughter.

As Christians, we are called to be responsible stewards of our tools and skills. Our prayer is that we never have to use a firearm to kill someone in our life time. If you have vehicle insurance, home insurance, life insurance, also purchase a gun life policy that will protect you and your family. Remember, the police cannot be there to protect you in every moment. But there is still the legal right to defend your family and property. The right to own a gun is warranted and guaranteed by the Constitution of the USA. Make an honest and legal concern to live right before the law and the LORD, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17)

George L. Arroyo