Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Weight Of Concealed Carry

Have you ever been humbled? Have you ever had to swallow your pride? Most people can remember a time when they knew they were wrong, admitted it, and maybe you were embarrassed.
Do you carry a gun? Are you considering carrying a gun? Then if you are thinking about or already are carrying a gun I hope you are a calm person. I hope you are not easily angered and can forgive. I hope you have some people skills in that you can de-escalate a situation where someone else is angry or upset because of something you did or said.
Road rage is a pretty common thing. It rates from calling other drivers names to honking to following someone and confronting them. You must be different. You must be more kind and understanding. Every person who drives eventually will make a minor mistake that will make another driver upset. Every driver. We all try to drive the best we can. But if you want to carry a weapon you must be more understanding and calm than the average person. My wife is pretty calm and mild mannered. When she gets behind the wheel I see a different person! She’s not horrible, but she is not herself. This is something you must control to be a concealed carry participant.
Consuming alcohol is every adult’s choice. The name of this blog is LDS Gunsite. Most members of the Mormon faith choose to not consume alcohol. Whether you are LDS or not, you must control your alcoholic consumption. First of all, alcohol and firearms DO NOT MIX! Second, I don’t care whether someone is below the legal limit, alcohol impairs your judgement. You may be able to legally drive but you should not be under alcohols influence, to any degree, and carry a gun. Conflict and anger are difficult enough to deal with without adding less control to the mix. If you carry, do not consume alcohol. I know that some people out there think they can handle their alcohol use but in my opinion, you cannot mix alcohol and a firearm, ever.
Stress is something we all must deal with to a certain degree. Being in a stressful situation is another unavoidable thing that we must mitigate well if we want to carry a gun. Stress can often influence us to do or say things we would not under normal conditions. Avoiding stress is not only healthy, it is imperative if you want to carry a gun.
I have two strikes against me concerning anger. I’m Irish and I have red hair. I’ve had to work long and hard to control my temper. I’ve carried a gun for years and know that anger is a little like alcohol; it takes away your control. If you have a hot head, be smart enough and adult enough to know this about yourself and don’t carry a gun. If you’re not sure, ask someone who knows you well and tell them to be honest. Ask them if they think you’re a hothead.
Maturity is such a subjective thing. I’ve known 40 year olds who were immature. Age has little to do with it. This is another self-evaluation you must honestly do on yourself. With this too, ask someone who knows you well if they think you’re mature. I don’t mean if you act a little silly or crazy at times. Maturity and humor don’t have much to do with each other. If someone is funny or likes to play around that is fine, as long as they can be serious too. Carrying a gun is serious business and should be regarded as serious. If you can be serious concerning your carrying a gun then I don’t care how many jokes you crack.
Part of maturity is swallowing your pride, admitting when you’re wrong, and being humble. This is another trait that should be exercised in a gun carrier. Depending on your wits and where your head is at, when you’re armed every fight is a potential gun fight. You can’t afford to pick a fight. You can’t afford to be in a fight. Pulling your gun should be only, and I repeat, only because you or another is in grave danger. Your gun is not punctuation for the point you want to make. Your gun is not the solution and contrary to the name, your gun is not a “peacemaker.” It is a tool for defense. Your definition of defense should be focused and narrow. You should not pull your gun unless you intend to actually use it. That does not mean that IF you draw it you MUST shoot it. Your gun should not be a brandishing tool.
As a responsible gun carrier you should develop and use all your powers of control and persuasiveness to control your emotions, and de-escalate your situation. You must be diplomatic and if it means giving a big mouthed idiot a feeling of grandeur and superiority, then so be it!
If you must draw your weapon because your, or others, are in grave danger, the situation must be worthy of that action. If it is not, you will be responsible for anything unfortunate that happens. If you do have a real reason to have your gun aimed at a target, you are still responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. You will have moral and legal consequences. Even if you are cleared of any wrong doing legally, you will have to live with the fact that you shot or killed another human being.
If you can live with all of the above gun carrying “rules”, then by all means, carry a gun. If you have any misgivings about ANYTHING I’ve described here, do not carry a gun.
Only you know the answer to the question of whether you can do this. You must be brutally honest with yourself and search your soul for this answer. Then be responsible in in your action or inaction.
You should think on this decision. You should get all the information you can on this subject. You should ask those who have made this decision for advice. I also feel you should pray about this decision.
Never take the privilege and right to self-defense for granted. Never take it lightly.
If you decide to carry, great! Now get trained, be safe, and practice.
Decide and act.

Semper Paratus
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