My friend came to me earlier today. He’s 31. He’s got a wife who was laid off from work back in October and hasn’t been able to find a job (despite considerable effort), and two kids under the age of ten. He has a modest home in an OK neighborhood that is mortgaged. Their full-size sedan is in the 40th of a 60-month financing plan. He has a job that pays $35K/year. Apparently, he is in financial straits.
He came to me today, rather despondent, telling me how tough things have been lately. The country is in a recession, his wife can’t find a job, the kids have medical and educational needs, his paycheck just isn’t cutting it and he’s afraid of defaulting on his mortgage and/or having his car repossessed. He asked me for help.
I looked at him for a moment, saying nothing. Then, I got up, went into my room, opened my safe, and picked up an item. Returning to my living room, I handed it to him.
He looked at it in surprise, not knowing what to do or say at that particular moment.
In his hands was my Beretta 92.
I told him flatly, “If you and your family are in need, take this and go find someone who has more than they need, and take it from them by force. Point this at them and demand that which you need to survive.”
He looked shocked, and handed the gun back to me. ”Are you crazy? I can’t do that!” He said, “It’s wrong! I’m asking you for help, and you’re telling me to go rob someone at gunpoint?”
"You’re not going to do it?" I asked. "Why not? Aren’t you concerned about your family’s welfare?"
"Because it’s insane! It’s wrong!" he cried.
"Would you prefer that I send the gun to the guy you voted in as President? He’ll do it for you," I replied. "But," I continued, "does that make it any less insane, or any less wrong? Is the taking of another’s rightful property by force, for the benefit of your need, OK so long as it’s someone in a position of elected authority doing the taking?"
He stared at me, blankly, his jaw open in disbelief.
I stared back, waiting for a rebuttal.