‘I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons Are a Part of My Religion.’

Anyone who has been binge-watching (and re-watching) The Mandalorian series on the subscription streaming service Disney+ likely knows this quote from Din Djarin. It was the Mandalorian’s quick quip to his companion Kuiil after being asked to leave all his weapons behind when confronting a pack of jittery, scavenging Jawas. It was definitely both a funny and a fitting statement from the well-equipped, beskar-clad warrior, who is part of a legendary clan bound by a common culture, creed and code.

Pondering Firearms

Mando’s quote certainly rang true with many folks — from Star Wars fans to gun enthusiasts alike. I have not only repeated it countless times over the last year but also have a T-shirt that boldly displays this memorable line across the back! But the statement also got me thinking: How significant are guns to my life?

If you’d asked me 15 years ago if I ever thought I’d be this deeply involved in the firearms industry, I would have laughed. Back then, I was teaching about conjunctions, tenses and modifiers. Guns were merely an afterthought. Now I teach about malfunctions, defenses and qualifiers. And guns are at the forefront of my personal life and my professional life! I train with guns, write about guns, talk about guns and advocate for guns just about every single day of my life. My husband and I teach classes, shoot matches and train whenever we can. We discuss responsible and safe gun ownership in our household, at work, to our family, within our circles and all around our communities. And most importantly, we carry guns to protect our loved ones and ourselves.

For me, a day does not go by when the word “firearm” is not used.

Clarifying Religion

But when it all boils down to it, I personally would never say that firearms are part of my religion, not in the truest sense of the word. That would be a great way for the anti-gun crowd to dump me into the hated basket of deplorables, patriots and zealots. After all, countless politicians and public figures have made snide remarks about folks “clinging to their guns and their religion.” But I don’t worship guns or elevate them higher than friendships or relationships. Weapons are not a supernatural god or a superhuman controlling power. I don’t praise firearms or put my faith in them or trust that they are the be-all and end-all for self-protection and self-preservation. I don’t believe the item used for defense is in any way greater than the life it defends.

Resolving Religion and Firearms

But I have determined that firearms are extremely significant to my life and my lifestyle. “This is the way” … for me and for my family! And while the Mandalorian’s quote is amusing and clever (and I’ll likely still use it now and again), weapons are not part of my religion. But they are part of my conviction. Firearms play a significant role in my core beliefs and in my ethical and ideological values because I believe that life is wonderful and valuable and meaningful … and undeniably worth protecting.