Thursday, February 2, 2017

Should YOU Carry?

Someone asked me the other day “Why should I carry a gun?” I happened to know the person pretty well and I knew their politics. They are conservative. That helped with my answer. Had they been coming from a liberal point of view I would have thought it to be more of a challenge or someone looking for an argument rather than some really wanting to know.
I have my reasons to carry and I’ll explore a few of them.
One is, I really know what I’m doing with a gun. I’m not just tooting my own horn, I have been around guns, been shooting guns, have competed with guns, and have been a gun instructor for many years. I’m not all knowledgeable, and of course there is always something more to learn, but I feel I have a good grasp on how to use a weapon.
Two is, I’ve gone through some extensive training.
Three is, I feel the need.
I have a friend who told me a story. He knew a law enforcement officer who talked about not carrying his gun in church. He said that he could not live with himself if a crazed gunman came into his church and started to shoot and he was unarmed. He knew that would be something that he could not get over. I have been down the same road. Actually, a few Sunday’s ago I experienced a horrible anxiety at church. I had left my gun at home and it almost did me in. A few times I would have drove back home and retrieved it but I was apart from my wife (she was in Relief Society and I in Priesthood meeting) and she had the only set of keys to our vehicle.
Nothing happened and I survived, but I prayed one of the several law enforcement guys that we have in our ward was armed. I really must have a private conversation with a few of them and breach the question of being armed in church. I may feel better if I ever forget again. Because of that incident I am more aware of what’s going on and remembering my weapon.
Should You Carry?
That’s a fair question to ask. Let’s assume, first off, that you CAN carry a gun with you on a regular basis. There are lots of people (my wife included) who, because of their work environment, can’t carry a concealed firearm around with them on a regular basis. If that’s the case, this discussion is moot.
But if you can carry, should you carry? Consider this post on
“I live in a small town in Iowa. A couple years ago I applied for and received my concealed carry permit. I have a G26 with a crossbreed supertuck to go with it, and I have a Ruger LCP. I would carry one of these every day, everywhere I went, religiously, for quite a while.
This past summer, I decided to stop carrying. I decided it’s just not worth it for me. It’s not worth the pain in the butt to put it on, it’s not worth the weight and discomfort, it’s not worth introducing a firearm into every single encounter in my daily life. It’s not worth it to me, for the one in a million chance that I might ever maybe possibly need to use it.”
Is that person right? Is carrying a firearm not worth the trouble, given the “one-in-a-million” chance you’ll need to use it?
Depends. I carry a first aid kit in my car: Am I expecting to be first on the scene at a major traffic accident? No. Have I needed it to patch up the scrapes and cuts of my teen kids? Oh yeah.
The knowledge and assurance that you are ready and able to deal with what life throws at you can be a powerful, powerful thing, and when you need a gun, there aren’t a whole lot of things you can use as a substitute.
Should you carry a gun? Can you think of something in your life worth dying for? Would you rather die for it or live for it?
If you have not weighed this and thought it out ahead of time, then be sure before you carry. It’s an investment in responsibility, time, money, and a mind set. I’ve grown up being taught that you should always have a plan in whatever you do. And have a plan “B” and “C” too. I didn’t always follow this wise counsel but when I grew older I adopted that same policy. Be prepared. We have car, life, and homeowners insurance, why would being prepared in other things be so difficult to understand? Defense is one of those other things. I have a friend who will probably never carry a gun. But he is very prepared to defend himself! I’ve tried to teach my family that being prepared is important in this life. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Maybe this thinking is a little aggressive, but I had it pounded into me: “Close and engage!”
Consider the following if you decide to carry:
You may have to change the way you dress to conceal.
You may have the extra expense of different clothing, a holster or purse to conceal, a concealable weapon.
If you haven’t practiced presenting your weapon, that too must be practiced.
1. If You Carry, Always Carry - You never know when something might happen. It could as easily be in your local supermarket parking lot instead of late at night in an urban area. Make sure you establish practices so that you always pick up the gun on the way out.
2. Don’t Carry If You Aren’t Prepared To Use It – Deadly force means deadly force. Don’t think you are going to be able to threaten someone out of a situation. If you pull it, be prepared to use it.
3. Don’t Let The Gun Make You Reckless – There is always someone badder, tougher, and smarter. Use situational awareness to avoid a situation
4. Get The License! – I know, I know, the 2nd Amendment gives you the right. At the same time, do you want the hassle and legal expense to fight this? If you are convicted and become a felon, your life has changed dramatically.
5. Know What You’re Doing – You need to understand your weapon(s) – what the capabilities are and limitations. Understand and follow the Four Rules of Gun Safety.
6. Concealed Means Concealed – When you flaunt the weapon you have just given the bad guy the edge. By letting others know you conceal carry you give them power over you and they may lead you into situations you should not be in. This means friends and co-workers too. Practice good OPSEC (operations security).

7. Maximize Your Firearms Familiarity – Practice, practice, practice. Dry fire, live fire, simulations. You can never be smooth or fast enough. Think ahead about what could happen, plan out what you will do and practice for these situations.
8. Understand The Fine Points – Know the laws of your city, county, state. Know what to do at a traffic stop, know what to say when someone accidentally sees your piece.
9. Carry An Adequate Firearm – Carry a gun you can handle. A single shot derringer is not going to do you much good. On the other hand, a Desert Eagle in the hands of a 110 pound woman without adequate training is a danger to her and others around her.
10. Use Common Sense – Always look to deescalate the situation and for situation avoidance. Be deadly serious.
Concealed Carry is a big responsibility. It affects you, your family, and those you work with, and those you are around. Make sure it affects all in a good, positive, and safe way. Like any other tool, a weapon can do a lot of negative things. Be ready for that and your weapon won’t be a “hassle” and a “burden” to you and your loved ones but a blessing.
Semper Paratus
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