A libertarian mindset and compassion aren’t, at least by definition, mutually exclusive. However, there are occasions in life where one has to plant a stake in the ground and choose one or the other.

Most every range outing, I spot a new(er) shooting cautiously aiming a pistol downrange, arms quivering, anticipation coming off their body in near-visible waves. As I peruse the stance and grip, I see it. The dreaded “thumbs crossed” over the butt end of a semi-auto pistol.

The mini-libertarian elf break dancing on my left shoulder says, “So what? If they choose to come to the range to torch off a lethal weapon without even considering the instruction manual, then they have to live with the consequences. It’s not our role in life to save people from themselves.”

But there’s another gnome on my right shoulder. He’s playing Kenny G. remakes on a harp, and his counsel is different. “You have an opportunity to save someone from slicing their thumb clean off and bloodying up the range. Don’t you love your fellow humans? What, do you watch reruns of Halloween XVIII in your spare time? What’s wrong with you? Go help them!”

He’s got a point, because empathy comes into play in this particular situation.

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