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Fake Guns & Self Defense

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I had a question about self defense that I can't find the answer to in the WOL. I'm probably searching the wrong keywords again, forgive me for asking.


I know Jehovah does not approve of violence or the use of guns. I realize it's best to cause the least harm possible when we are under attack. But what about so-called scare tactics?


A friend of mine carries pepper spray, and at an acquaintance's home the house holding brother told me he did as well. When he showed it to us, it was in the shape of a handgun. He says he has it just in case someone tries to break in, to scare them away. It didn't really bother me much as it looked fake/plastic (maybe it should have?), but my friend thought it was questionable.


He centered back to when we were kids when a brother gave a talk about children using fake guns, water pistols, not because they were dangerous, but the principle of non-violence behind it. Was this a regional thinking or did the society ever talk about it? I wanted to research the matter but I've come up short, I would love to hear an experienced one's thoughts.





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Also, why have the image of something that can take a life and it's used to kill primarily, I totally understand the need to protect yourself but why not take up a self defense class or get a dog or pepper spray, the last thing you want is to be bloodguilty.

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Hi Sister Skyler,


Good questions about this issue of "scare tactics" in order to defend oneself. I am not sure if there are any specific articles that speak directly about this, however there are some principles and statements made in our articles that, although not specifically talking about scare tactics, could be considered when reasoning on whether scare tactics should be used.


First, let's use the situation you mentioned about the brother who had a "fake gun". So what if 1 night a thief breaks into this brother's home and as this thief grabs some valuables, the brother goes for his "fake gun" as he thinks to himself, "I am going to scare this thief and he will run away and he will not steal any of my things!". So the brother comes out of hiding and confronts the thief and scares him. But the thief, who was about to run off with the items he was stealing, now is scared for his life and instead of running off, he instead jumps at our brother to stop him from shooting at him. The 2 fight and suddenly 1 of them hits their head on the corner of the table and dies. 


If the brother would have just stayed hidden and let the thief take what he wanted, this brother would have only lost a few items which can be replaced. But because he used a "scare tactic", this escalated the situation and now someone died. And if the brother was the one who didn't die, he sadly now has to live with the fact that he was involved in the killing of another human. And how would Jehovah view his actions?


So with this example in mind, there are some statements in this article that, although not specifically talking about scare tactics, could be considered when reasoning on whether scare tactics,fake guns or even pepper spray should be owned or used. I put these statements in red in order for them to stand out and be thought of as principles concerning "scare tactics".




*** g95 9/22 p. 13 Should I Learn Self-Defense? ***
Use of Weapons
What, though, about packing a gun or a knife? Doing so may indeed make you feel confident. But that confidence could prove fatal if you started taking unnecessary risks or courting trouble. Warns the Bible: “As for the one searching for bad, it will come upon him.” (Proverbs 11:27) And if uninvited trouble comes your way, pulling out a weapon is sure to escalate the conflict. You could get killed—or end up killing someone else. How would God, the Source of life, view your actions if you could have avoided using violence?—Psalm 11:5; 36:9.

True, some do not really intend to use lethal force. They may say they carry a weapon just to scare off harassers. But says Health magazine: “Firearms instructors agree: Don’t get a gun if you aren’t prepared to use it. Waving a firearm around as a bluff can scare off some assailants, but will only enrage others.”

What about “safer” weapons, such as chemical sprays?

Besides the fact that they are illegal in some places, these weapons have serious drawbacks. Instead of immobilizing a drug-crazed attacker, they may only succeed in infuriating him. It is even possible that the wind might blow the chemical into your face rather than the attacker’s—assuming you get the spray out in the first place. Seeing you rummaging through your pockets or purse, the assailant may assume you are reaching for a gun and decide to take some aggressive action of his own. One police detective thus comments: “There is no guarantee that mace [a chemical spray], or any other weapon, will work. Or that you will have it out in time. Weapons never help a situation. People put too much faith in them.”



Edited by Beggar for the Spirit
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First, let's use the situation you mentioned about the brother who had a "fake gun". So what if 1 night a thief breaks into this brother's home and as this thief grabs some valuables, the brother goes for his "fake gun" as he thinks to himself, "I am going to scare this thief and he will run away and he will not steal any of my things!"


It would be a worry if a brother thought he needed to use scare tactics to protect material things. We should all "Remember the wife of Lot"

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Edited by Musky
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I have a very protective male pitbull and keep a baseball bat by my bed. If the dog doesn't get you, I will (and most likely he will) I would at least try to knock a person unconscious if they break in so I can hold them until police arrives. It doesn't bother my conscience one bit :uhhuh:




Edited by Brother Jack
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Sister Skyler, I found another article you will appreciate. Again, like the other articles, this focuses on literally having weapons for self-defense, but we can see principles that apply to "fake guns" and "scare tactics". I hope this is helpful to you. :)




*** w83 7/15 pp. 23-24 “Seek Peace and Pursue It” ***
Where Is Our Protection?
 The Christian will find protection, not in possessing firearms, but in ‘seeking peace and pursuing it.’ (1 Peter 3:11) Trust in Jehovah. If you are confronted by a criminal, make it known that you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Do not resist the one who threatens violence; give him the material belongings that he demands. Your life is more valuable than these. When cornered and threatened, call on Jehovah for help. Remember: “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.”—Proverbs 18:10.

 The Scriptures, backed up by the modern-day experience of Jehovah’s Witnesses, make it plain that it is inadvisable for individual Christians to carry, or have in their possession at home or in other locations, a firearm or other lethal weapon for use against human attackers or intruders. (Isaiah 2:4; 1 Peter 3:11) One who prepares for violence invites violence. Rather, the Christian’s main trust should be in Jehovah, his God.—Psalm 18:48; 140:1, 4; Proverbs 3:5-7.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Guns should never be used as a scare tactic or a ways to defend yourself against another human. At least a mature Christian would not consider that ... we would take measures within the bible's guidelines to protect ourselves, but weaponry should not be a considered option ... especially something that has the intention to maim or kill another human.


Even in the Great Tribulation we would not react with violence, but rather rely on Jehovah for our salvation.


read End article "Questions from Readers" - of this week's study WT. July 2017.

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