On the heels of the “Zimmerman destroys wife’s iPad in a fit of rage,” story I got this letter from the founder of the United States Concealed Carry Association. What I really love about this letter is the way the author correlates what his son did with the SYG concept. He also uses the whole father/son pride/disappointment and bully/victim construct to pluck at the heart strings and open the wallets.
The formatting and bolding are his own.
I’m a proud parent…
When my son was in 4th grade, the 5th grade bully started picking
on him at recess.
So he took matters into his own hands…
Now, most parents these days would hear that my son defended himself rather than “telling the teacher,” and they would likely
But THIS is why I’m proud:
Since the boy didn’t tell the teachers the whole story comes from the 4th grader. I wonder what the school had to say about this “bully” and his son? How do we know that the 5th grader was the bully and not his son? We can’t verify any of this. But we do know what Dad’s first positive message was to his son, “I’m glad you didn’t tell your teacher.” Unsaid is a dislike of talking vs. hitting.
He evaded the bully. He told the bully to stop.
He went so far as to swallow his pride and try to run away.
Note how he starts with the “retreating/evading” part and then the “I asked him to stop” part. He dismisses as ineffective the “duty to retreat” and/or discussing the issue rationally–like the teachers would probably make him do. But the critical line here is, “He swallowed his pride.” Tim Schmitz Sr.’s message to his readers is, “If you are armed, you won’t ever have to “swallow your pride” especially in the face of bullies.”
For people who feel like they are under siege all the time, or who think they are the victim or who believe that the world is a dangerous place (both in reality and in their imagination) this concept, “Don’t swallow your pride” resonates. It’s all about “honor” and “manhood” because winning by talking doesn’t count. He follows up with the perfunctory, “Hey, my son even did the wimpy “run away” thing and tried to retreat, but he just couldn’t…”
But when the bully pushed him to his limit, and Tim Jr. couldn’t
escape, he struck back as ferociously as necessary to ensure the
bully would never mess with him again.
Hulk smash! Note his emphasis, he struck back as ferociously as necessary. Now who decides how much force is necessary to ensure the bully would never mess with him again? What level of damage would it take? A black eye? Broken nose? Unconsciousness? Death? Heck, if the bully is living he could mess with him again. But as an adult you don’t have to guess what it will take. Do you want someone to stop messing with you? Shoot ‘em! Take ‘em out! Let ‘em take a dirt nap. It’s legal! Here’s the wording from Florida’s SYG law. Emphasis mine: