Call me anything you want!
Like most of you, I’m an “ordinary guy.” I have a nice little house in the suburbs, own my small business, have a wife and two beautiful children, get up and go to work every day…and don’t want some scumbag(s) taking anything I work for. Like you, I’m smart enough to know what goes on “out there” every day and have taken what I believe to be the necessary steps to protect who and what are mine.
In the previous issue, I wrote about a personal experience that changed my life forever. An experience that required my drawing a gun on a criminal hell-bent on violently taking something or someone that didn’t belong to him. It was that experience that mandated I carry my sidearm, or be within a split seconds reach of it 24 hours of every day 365 days of every year. I have not deviated from that mandate and never will. My decision obligated me to change the way I dress, the way I carry myself in public, my “situational awareness,” and made me rethink who I really am and what I may be capable of. It shook me to the very core of what I am as a human being.
None of us wants to feel that a simple task such as a trip to the neighborhood Home Depot or the local grocery store should require us to carry a loaded 40 caliber (45 for you 1911 fans) strapped to our waist.
Interestingly enough, I had been licensed to carry for a few years prior to being threatened but did so only sporadically. I didn’t want to feel like a paranoid whacko simply going to the grocery store. So that begs the question…Am I a paranoid freak because I feel it necessary to arm myself when “out and about?” Do “ordinary” people really carry concealed guns or am I just another one of those “gun nuts?”
Let’s be real here…None of us wants to feel that a simple task such as a trip to the neighborhood Home Depot or the local grocery store should require us to carry a loaded 40 caliber (45 for you 1911 fans) strapped to our waist. I mean, have we become so paranoid that we won’t walk out to get our mail without toting a loaded sidearm?
The fact is that most people who live in “shall issue” states are not licensed and do not carry and I wonder why, for example, don’t most “ordinary” folks take their own personal safety and that of their family, more seriously? For me, it is unconscionable and incredibly irresponsible for a man or woman to have no means of protection in his/her home, car or on their person. I can’t imagine being anywhere with my wife and/or kids with absolutely NO means of protecting them and I’m sure you feel the same, hence why you’re reading this publication…and like you, I personally know many folks who think the very idea of carrying a gun outside of the nightstand drawer is repulsive and reeks of paranoia. In fact, a large majority of those folks think the mere fact that you even have a gun in the nightstand drawer is repulsive.
I’ll be very honest, it wasn’t easy strapping up and walking into a bank, grocery store, crowded theater, etc. for the first time. I felt…well, kind of weird, like I was doing something wrong. I felt…Paranoid. I felt VERY self-conscience. Was it really legal to walk into this crowded bank with a loaded handgun under my shirt? Can anybody tell? Am I going to get into trouble? Am I really so overly suspicious of those around me that I need to be carrying this thing?
Am I paranoid? My office sits right next door to the local probation and parole office in the same building. I have every convicted felon in this county coming through the main office doors every day. They bang on my door asking to use the phone or if we have a key to the bathrooms. Losers, and lots of them every single day. I see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears. I’ve listened to these people talk about violating their parole and how it doesn’t bother them going back to jail. Jail doesn’t bother some of these folks. Think about that. I see the deputies outside my first floor window EVERY day handcuffing and shackling these criminals who have violated the terms of their probation. I take the occasional smoke break with some of the probation officers and listen to their stories EVERY day.
Does it mean in some way that I don’t trust my fellow human beings, my neighbors and strangers I may come in contact with?
Am I Paranoid? These people walk around amongst us all day while we perform our daily activities and you would never know it. Some of these folks don’t care if they go back to jail and don’t care who they harm be it you, your child, your wife/husband, mother, it simply doesn’t matter to them. As law-abiding citizens it is sometimes very hard for us to fathom the hideous fact that there are predators out there willing to kill you for the watch you’re wearing.
So, does my carrying a gun insinuate in some way that I’m a paranoid citizen, scared of my own shadow, afraid of all the people I come in contact with during the normal course of my daily activities? Does it mean in some way that I don’t trust my fellow human beings, my neighbors and strangers I may come in contact with? Am I some kind of introvert that needs therapy simply because I have chosen to carry a firearm for my own protection? Am I really, truly a paranoid person? I don’t know, I’ll let you choose the word to describe me but whatever word you favor, I’ll gladly wear it with honor and so should YOU as the opposite word is VICTIM and I’ll let the anti-gun crowd wear that badge.