The person that said it is a good friend, and very, very smart. What struck me was that it was kind of an off the cuff remark, not intended as a compliment. It gave me some moments of introspection.
Overall, I think it is a good reputation to have. I have worked even harder at being careful of what I say. I will stand up for what I believe is right, but I try not to make unnecessary enemies. I would rather convince someone to be an ally, and it is harder to do if you have offended them.
I just read a book, an extremely quick read - “Heaven is a Real Place” by Todd Burpo.
His son nearly died of a burst appendix which was misdiagnosed as the stomach flu.
The author is a pastor.
Long story short, this boy of his died for three minutes, and in so doing went to Heaven, saw, Jesus, Satan, John the Baptist, and Mary. He was met there by his great grandfather.
That he had been to Heaven, and seen all of these things - the boy was 4 when he nearly died - was something that revealed itself over a period of a few years.
Everything that this boy claimed he witnessed is completely consistent with Scripture, in the most arcane and minute detail extremely improbable for someone four years old to know.
So, why am I telling you all of this?
One day, when the boy was six, the author came upon his son, who was always playing with toy swords, and using superhero action figures to beat up on Star Wars aliens from that weird bar scene in the first movie.
His father joked that for as much as the boy couldn’t wait to go back to Heaven, he wouldn’t be able to take his swords with him.
The boy replied, “Their are swords in heaven.”
“Where did you see swords in Heaven?”
“The angels carried them.”
“The angels had swords? Why were they carrying swords?”
“Satan, Daddy. The angels use the swords to keep the demons out of Heaven. You had a sword too.”
“You saw me, in Heaven, with a sword?”
“Fighting demons. There’s going to be a war, and you have to go.”
“I fight demons in a war with swords?”
“Some had bows and arrows. You get to choose between swords or bow and arrows.”
So, my point to all of this is that even the angels in Heaven are packing.
I recommend the book highly. There is one other child that has claimed to go to Heaven and returned, and she’s mentioned in the book. I found it very credible.
Most interestingly, this pastor gets questions from Catholics as well as protestants about the nature of Heaven, and his boy says that Mary still loves Jesus, who still bears his wounds and has no wings (only person there without them) like a mother would.
Anyway, the point is, according to this boy, even the angels in Heaven carry swords for their protection and to keep demons from Heaven. In case some idiot asks, “Would Jesus carry a gun and shoot intruders?”
You can now reply, “Actually, no, but Gabriel (who apparently sits to the left of God the Father) would be dispatched to draw the sword he carries with him around the house to run that intruder through. I personally find wearing a pistol holster less restrictive, and my house is tighter than Heaven is, so drawing down on an intruder with my Taurus loaded with .410 shells is what I generally prefer.”
There’s a ‘castle doctrine’ in Heaven, I guess.
I have to deal with both everywhere I go, even at my church... The real friends ask me for advise, ask me to help them locate a specific type of gun, or schedule private lessons. The others walk uneasily around me as if I am a case of sweating dynamite that, if not handled properly, will explode. These are the same people that have never had any sort of physical confrontation with anyone in their life, and for some reason they often deem themselves stationed at a level "above" those that would resort to violence. Now... Of course, if on some Sunday morning some islamofacist decided that he would come into our church and take out a bunch of Christians, these same people would be looking to me and a few of my students to solve the problem for all of us... There are "sheepdogs" among the flock (pun intended.) If it ever comes down to it, we will take care of the problem should it occur. When someone gets the nerve up to question me as to how I can teach others to kill with such efficiency (as in my "Tactical Anatomy" class) I just tell them to go look up Psalm 144:1.
It's like the old saying goes: "An armed society is a polite society." I treat everyone nice... I smile and say "Hello!"... I play with the kids and complement the babies... But nothing changes the parameters of how I am treated by the "friendlies."
I agree with you that it is a good reputation to have. In regard to your "moments of introspection" I would just say that we are who we are... We can't "unlearn" what we know or change how we react to a threat. But the good thing is that we don't have to. I've been through some "very stressful" situations in my time where firearms were involved (let's leave it at that) and have mornings that I get up and ask "Am I a good person?" and I know the answer is "yes."
I teach law enforcement agencies and military units in large classes, and civilians in private instruction... I know that what I am teaching them, based upon years of everyday experience and my combat experiences, will help them get home to their families. I am doing a good thing in my work - that I know for sure.
And those people that "just don't get us"? Well, they are the ones with the problem - not us... They are the ones that will be found with the phone in their hands by the homocide detective there to work the latest case of (choose one) home invasion; car jacking; street mugging; rape; or "he looked at me disrespectfully" that turned into a murder.