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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 4:

A Baby Is Born


Tim: My first child, Tim Jr., was born on July 15, 1998. This was about two years after I started the “overnight” engineering business.

I remember this moment in the hospital when they put him in my arms. I have a photograph of it. I was overwhelmed by this thought that I had to protect this little guy in the same way my dad had protected me.

I’m looking at my brand-new baby boy and thinking about the kinds of things that happen to people when they’re least expecting it. My only thought was that I needed to be able to protect my baby boy and my wife.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” I was 27 years old and did not own a gun, but I wasn’t afraid of guns either.

In 1966, Truman Capote wrote a famous book about how Richard Hickock and Perry Smith murdered the Herbert Clutter family in the basement of their home because they had heard a false rumor about how Mr. Clutter had a lot of cash hidden away there. Capote’s book was titled In Cold Blood.

And then, in 1974, there was another famous book called Helter Skelter, which described the equally random and brutal murders of five people, including a young woman who was eight months pregnant.

Those books were big bestsellers because weird, random murders were unusual in those days. But by 1998, when Tim Jr. was born, we were hearing about those kinds of murders all the time. They had become so common that no one was writing books about them anymore.

Holding Tim Jr. in my arms, it hit me all at once, “I need to buy a gun that I can always carry with me.” So being an engineer, I took the deep dive into massive research about concealed carry. I was determined to learn everything I could, but I became deeply distressed when I saw there wasn’t a lot of good information out there. How was I going to protect my wife and son?

I already told you that my Dad gave me some Zig Ziglar tapes to listen to while I was on my paper route, right?

Roy: Yeah. Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie.

Tim: My favorite thing Zig ever said was, “If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” That’s where my head was at when a friend recommended an article by Robert Boatman called “The Constitutional Right and Social Obligation to Carry a Gun.” Boatman’s language was inflammatory and accusatory because he wrote passionately and with great conviction about things that were happening to regular people in America — people like you and me.

Roy: Tell me more about when you read this article by Robert Boatman.

Tim: Well, it was shortly after Tim Jr. was born. I was sitting on an airplane waiting to take off.

I couldn’t believe some of the things this Boatman guy had written … inspiring words that were going straight to what matters to me.

He wrote, “Carrying a gun is a social responsibility.”

A social responsibility? Come on. I always thought only cops were supposed to carry guns. Heck, I grew up around guns. Like I told you before, my dad had me shooting his .357 Magnum when I was 11. But carrying one everyday? Now that seemed a little over the top.

The next powerful quote that hit home was this: “A citizen who shirks his duty to contribute to the security of his community is little better than the criminal who threatens it.”

This really blew my mind. I had never really thought that carrying a gun was really that important.

And now this guy was telling me that I am “shirking my duty” if I’m not willing to arm myself?

Roy: So this Robert Boatman really opened your eyes.

Tim: Yeah, he sure did.

Boatman described the very things that I too saw happening and was worried about.*

Boatman was saying in his direct, unfiltered way, “If you’re not willing to defend your own family, if you’re depending on other people to do that for you, what kind of person are you?” I felt Robert Boatman was saying that to me, and it was really hitting home.

I came to the obvious conclusion: I needed to do whatever it took to protect my loved ones. And if that meant carrying a gun, well then I had better start learning how to do just that.

It was like hearing my dad say, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

As I’ve said, my engineering brain required me to gather facts and verify them, so it shouldn’t surprise you that it took me nearly two and a half years to buy my first gun.

Roy: Why did it take so long?

Tim: Let’s just say I ran into a few roadblocks.

 

* The Boatman family has given me permission to reprint the important parts of that chapter in the back of this book. Perhaps it will speak to you in the same way it spoke to me. — Tim

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