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"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

for your consideration

naseachtdteampaillThe concept of "sanctuary" has been around for about as long as there has been a Christian church to support it, and it was even acknowledged by various country’s laws over the years, but it has always been something of a polite delusion, born mostly out of the once-strong power of the Roman Catholic Church. The concept was simple – churches were considered to be inviolate (again, thanks to the tremendous sociopolitical power of the mother Church), and thus the people contained within them were considered to be "safe". Being pursued by thieves and brigands? Duck into your closest nave. Being chased by the police? Likewise – the Church was fairly non-discriminatory when it came to giving people sanctuary.

But what held the concept in place? What could the priests do to stop those thieves and brigands from simply burning down the church and calling it a day? In reality, not much. Oh, sure, whatever sect owned that particular chapel could excommunicate the offenders, and that was considered to be harsh punishment indeed at the time, but what if the transgressors simply did not care about their immortal souls? Individual churches did not maintain their own security forces, and while the churches and Churches could employ legal force against the offenders, if the criminals were actually concerned about such things, they probably would not be running around, burning churches.

So, as I said, the concept of "sanctuary" remained a nice tradition and quaint communal fantasy for over a millennium, backed by nothing more than arbitrary lines and the shared faith that Bad Guys would care about the Something Really Bad (TM) that would happen when they dared disobey them.

Rolling the clock forward a few years, I contend that "Gun Free Zones" consist of nothing more than the modern adaptation of the "sanctuary" delusion, complete with the same kind of imaginary lines and ardent belief that Bad Guys will care about the repercussions.

If a person is intent on causing harm to another person, do you really think an invisible line on the ground will cause him to turn around, go back to his car, put his guns up, and then go continue to cause harm to another person? If a person is intent on causing harm to another person, do you really think they will care about the punishments for stepping over that arbitrary line with their firearm? If a person is intent on causing harm to another person, do you really think disarming those intended victims is the best way to go about seeing to their safety?

If you answered any of those questions in the affirmative, you are doing wonders for substantiating my "anti-rights cultist" meme; after all, you are buying into the same blind, baseless faith that caused medieval Christians to believe the barbarians at their church’s doors would not just burn the building down with them in it. You are, of course, more than welcome to believe however and whatever your little heart desires, but try not to be surprised when I take some degree of offense at you attempting to limit my life on the basis of your delusions.

"Sanctuary" did not save the Irish monasteries and chapels from Viking raids; why do we continue to unnecessarily hamper our society by religiously relying upon arbitrary, invisible, and wholly ineffective lines to keep evil out?

8 comments to for your consideration

  • As always, putting your faith in your conquerors sense of shared values/common decency is one strategy for dealing with potential violence. But can you really be called a martyr if you’re murdered at the hands of a common street thug?

  • divemedic

    This brings to mind two famous quotes from Stalin:
    -How many divisions does the Pope have?
    – Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

  • @ bluesun: Never rely on a man’s better nature. He may not have one.

    And according to the anti-rights cultists, such people are always martyrs… and so are their families, and friends, and acquaintances, and…

    @ divemedic: Unfortunately, raw, naked force will always overwhelm good intentions, and, typically, will only be stopped by people who defend themselves. Bullies are never satisfied, as Stalin himself showed.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion these people have a lot of the same “It’s the Process that really matters” mindset as Jimmy Carter: it didn’t matter that the Norks were breaking the agreement while it was being signed, that the Soviets broke it right after it was signed, none of that really seemed to matter because it was, in their minds, the process of getting something signed that really mattered.

    So here, an awful lot of them know, even if won’t admit, that the signs are useless against actual bad guys; but the process of putting up a sign and saying “This place is Safe” is what really counts to them.

  • Unfortunately, I fear you are 100% correct… While we concern ourselves with what actually works and what has a concrete history of being successful, “gun control” extremists, by their very nature, focus only on what looks good. They are the modern Potemkin Village constructors, and their fabrications have all of the depth and believability of those Soviet lies.

  • A Critic

    I thought my house was a sanctuary for the unarmed. Though they may be defenseless, if they beg me for sanctuary I would grant it, and they would be defended.

  • The difference, of course, is that you are actually willing to take steps to forcibly defend those people, should you need to.

    The Roman Catholic Church exclusively relied on public opinion, shame, and religious castigation. Guess which works better? :)

  • […] say that, once again, Virginia Tech is a prime example of the failure of “gun control” and the pointless nature of “gun free zones”, and that “common sense” is, at best, a lousy reason to abridge the rights of law-abiding […]