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If It Is To Be,
It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the United States Concealed Carry Association

If It Is To Be, It's Up To Me:

The Little-Known Backstory of the
United States Concealed Carry Association

Chapter 15:

'Where There is No Vision, The People Perish.'


Tim: There’s a verse in the Bible, the 29th chapter of Proverbs I think, that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but happy is he that keeps the law.”

Roy: And you think that has something to do with concealed carry?

Tim: Not directly, no. But another translation says, “Where there is no divine guidance, people cast off restraint; but happy is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”

Roy: And your interpretation of that verse is?

Tim: I believe it’s contrasting two groups of people. One group accepts guidance and embraces discipline and exercises self-restraint, while the other group “casts off restraint.”

In other words, the unrestrained are not willing to inconvenience themselves or accept responsibility for anything other than their own pleasure and comfort. But the people who plan ahead and prepare are the ones who are called “happy.”

Roy: Sort of like the Grasshopper and the Ant.

Tim: Exactly. The grasshopper laughs the summer away while the ants prepare for the winter. And, in the end, it is the ant who is the happiest. Accept guidance. Embrace discipline. Exercise self-restraint. That’s what it takes to carry a concealed firearm.

Roy: You’re saying that no one should carry unless they have self-restraint?

Tim: The self-restraint comes from understanding the gravity of your decision and the seriousness of the responsibility you have accepted. It’s a mindset of personal responsibility, not just for who you’re protecting but for all of your actions. And when you truly understand that, the last thing you want to do is pull that trigger.

The USCCA provides training courses that give you many, many tools other than the firearm. Your firearm is always the tool of last resort.

Roy: Give me an example.

Tim: An example of the other tools?

Roy: Yeah.

Tim: Do you remember when I said earlier that my dad used to take one-on-one trips with each of his kids? Well, my son, Tim Jr., and I have this annual tradition of going on spring break together, so earlier this year (spring 2020) we went down to Florida.

Roy: How old is he?

Tim: He’s 22. He goes to Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He’s almost done. He’s studying mechanical engineering, just like his old man!

This year, we did this low-light flashlight and vocal training course.

There’s a large room in a dark warehouse with a vehicle in it. Each of the participants waited outside in the daylight while the instructors set everything up. There were actors in there and camera crews filming the whole thing, and when you walk into that pitch-dark warehouse, your only job is to get to your car, and the only things you have are a flashlight and your voice. And you also have a Simunition gun, of course, but that is your absolute last resort.

The first couple of times, I didn’t do a very good job, but you quickly learn just how valuable and how powerful your voice can be when you are giving direct commands and have a tactical flashlight.

I remember thinking, “God, when people understand this, when they know what to say, when to say it, and when and how to use the light … because essentially what you’re doing is communicating to the aggressor, who starts to think, ‘Oh crap. I picked the wrong target.’”

Roy: Sounds like some valuable training.

Tim: Yes, it was amazing!

Roy: So let me get this straight. You’ve got more than 4,000 trainers teaching over 500,000 members and you’re still traveling across the country to learn new things?

Tim: It’s precisely because we have over 500,000 members that I’m traveling across the country to learn new things.

Roy: How long does it take until you’ve learned enough?

Tim: For me? Never. I’ll never stop learning.

For USCCA members? Well, that’s entirely up to them. First you go through Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals, and maybe a light training course. The next thing you know, you’re walking into a restaurant with your family and friends, and without even thinking about it, you’re picking the safest table in the restaurant.

Not only that, but you’ve subconsciously identified multiple exits. It just becomes part of who you are.

Roy: Sounds paranoid to me.

Tim: You’re not paranoid. You’re prepared.

Do you remember that guy who walked into that church in Texas with a sawed-off shotgun under his coat?

Roy: While the church service was being live-streamed?

Tim: Yeah. The shooter got off two shots in six seconds before a 71-year-old man named Jack Wilson took him out with a single shot. If you watch the video, you’ll see that he was sitting in the best spot in that church because that’s what he had been taught. Like I said, either you’re a guardian or you need one.

Roy: What, exactly, does the United States Concealed Carry Association teach its members? What do you stand for? What do you believe? Is it all just about the Second Amendment?

Tim: What do we believe? That’s easy…

We believe in something bigger than the right to bear arms.

We believe in the right to protect our loved ones.

We believe in the right to be strong in a world where criminals prey on weakness.

We believe in the right to stand up to any danger that approaches us.

We believe, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

We believe in the right to be confident and optimistic about the future while being prepared for the worst.

We believe in avoiding danger, saving lives and keeping our families safe.

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