I often quiz new employees at the USCCA, asking them, “Where is your gun right now?”

At first I got lots of quizzical looks because there is a segment of the population that still feels uneasy about firearms in the workplace. That segment of the population is not well represented at the USCCA. I mean, really, if we are going to advocate for our members to carry every day, I think we should be advocating for our employees to be carrying every day as well.

So, I put the same question to you: Where is your gun right now?

If you are more than three seconds away from your firearm, I would encourage you to fix that situation immediately. Yes. I know. Some businesses have policies against carrying firearms into the building. I worked at a gun publisher that did not allow it. There are some gun makers that do not allow it. That is unfortunate and I think it is bad policy. But it is something we, as law-abiding gun owners, have to live with. I will not use this column to encourage anyone to carry a concealed firearm anywhere he or she is not legally allowed to do so.

But I will tell you to avoid those places that don’t allow you to carry your gun. It is not always easy, but it can be done. It took me about six years to find a new place to work when my previous employer banned firearms on premises. During that entire time I worked tirelessly to get that policy changed, but sadly it remains in effect today.

This column is to remind you to carry everywhere you can and to actively avoid places where you cannot carry. If you have time during your busy day, I would suggest going into any business that is posted as a gun-free zone and, just before you make a purchase, asking if they allow people with legal firearms to shop there. When they say “no,” politely walk out without spending any money. If you are one of the few remaining people who still uses cash, I would suggest you get your money stamp, stamp your cash, and prove to the business owners that legal gun owners really do have lots of buying power. If you don’t remember about the gun owner cash stamp, watch this video. I know, people have told me it is illegal to stamp currency, but the law says it is only illegal if the intent is to take it out of circulation. That is not our intent. We want it to continue circulating.

But, I digress; the topic was carrying everywhere, all the time, every day. The reason we carry is because we never know where or where the next violent crime will happen. If you can tell where and when the next armed robbery, rape, or murder will happen, I will happily avoid that location at that time in order to stay out of harm’s way. But no one can tell us when. No one can tell us where. That is why we prepare.

I was asked recently during an interview if I really thought I could “handle” a situation with an active shooter. My answer was yes, but more importantly than that I believe anyone caught in such a situation should have the right to be able to fight back. Even if I didn’t “handle” the situation, I would feel much better if I was killed while fighting back, instead of cowering on the floor hoping to be left alone.

So I ask you again: Where is your gun right now? If you can’t reach it, go get it.