By Ken LaRive, TLB Contributor.
Last summer I took my Polaris RZR on a 31 mile trail through a national park here in Louisiana. I was told not to bring firearms into the area, so I brought my camera too. I don’t listen very well… a survival technique I have learned I suppose. It was a hot and dry day, as I remember, but quality time with nature, my camera, and a day off…
I pulled from the trail to change my lens about ten miles into the trip, and at the same time noticed three four-wheelers coming in the opposite direction. They quickly spanned the distance kicking up a bit of dust… and I scrambled to put my camera back in it’s zip-lock.
A mother and young child was in front, a teen-aged girl in the middle, and the father and his infant son came from behind, and I smiled and waved hello as they filed by. But when the father passed, holding his three year old on his lap, I saw something I will never forget, a mask of unbridled fear was frozen on his face.
He saw, I think, that everything he held dear was at the mercy of a man rummaging for something out of his sight, and in the middle of nowhere. Most likely he was a man of honor, a man with abidance of the law, but he did not know if I held those same beliefs, and in that isolation considered himself, and his family, vulnerable. He thought himself at my mercy, and he was right. I remember his eyes searching for what I had in my hand…
I felt so much empathy for that man, and it reminded me how terrible this world can be for good and trusting souls. Souls at the mercy of an evil influence without conscious. Souls who do what they are told. And yes, I was armed, and so too should he have been. If he had had a gun, fear would have been replaced with concern only… He would have been able to defend himself if need be.
That sir, is the law of the jungle, and it is the world we live in, like it or not.
“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
— George Washington
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
”The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals.” -James Monroe