I legally carry a concealed handgun on a daily basis. I don’t take my decision to carry lightly.
I’m not a police officer, a private investigator, a bail bondsman or a bounty hunter. I don’t deal with criminals on a daily or professional basis. I’m just an ordinary guy.
I don’t carry merely because it’s my right, although I’m within my rights to do so and I believe that any right not exercised is a right soon lost. I don’t carry just because I enjoy firearms and shooting sports, although I do.
I don’t carry because I frequent “bad” areas of town, although in this day and age, any area of town can be “bad” at times. Crime can and does happen when you least expect it.
So why do I choose to carry? I carry because ultimately the responsibility for my personal safety and that of my loved ones falls upon me. Not the police, not the government, but solely upon me. I don’t go out looking for trouble, in fact, I do my best to avoid trouble. I remain alert and vigilant when in public situations, head upright and scanning my surroundings and aware of what’s going on around me.
If you want the wolf to pounce, act like a sheep, blissfully unaware.
When a family member once asked me why I carry a handgun, I replied, “Because I can’t carry a policeman”. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the police are there to protect you. They exist to investigate crime after it happens. Look into average 911 response times in your town and tell me the police can get there in time to “protect” you in any immediately life-threatening situation…assuming you have the luxury of enough time to dial the phone.
We all saw how the police “protected” the students at Virginia Tech. That’s only one tragic, recent example.
Interviews of hardened violent offenders in prison show a complete lack of fear of the police. But one thing they do fear is coming up against an armed citizen. That’s why burglars prefer to target homes and businesses when no one is around.
Statistics show that in every jurisdiction where concealed carry has become legal, violent crime has decreased. Our nation’s most violent cities all share a common theme: restrictive gun laws and a population that is not permitted to carry concealed weapons, or in many cases to even own a weapon. An armed society is, indeed, a polite society.
Here’s a few simple facts about the average concealed carry permit holder. No felony convictions, ever. No misdemeanor convictions within the past five years. No record of domestic violence. No history of drug or alcohol abuse. No history of mental illness. They pay their taxes, child support and other obligations on time.
They don’t just carry their weapon, but they train with it to become proficient with its use. In fact, many have more training and practice with their weapon than the average police officer. They are well aware of the laws regarding use of lethal force. They hope they are never presented with a situation where they will have to draw, much less fire their weapon. And for the vast majority of them, they never will.
And still, every day in this nation a violent crime is thwarted by a legally armed citizen. Every day, a life is saved because a citizen had the tools with which to protect himself. Placing restrictions on law-abiding citizens that make it impossible for them to defend themselves is wrong.