Now that I have lived past my teens, well past the age when the Selective Service Commission will hunt me down for induction into the military during some national crisis, I can’t seem to find my old draft card. I used to carry it regularly.
The draft card now probably resides in an old shoebox in the closet, along with yearbook pictures of the high school girlfriend, a band medal, a Canadian loonie from the family vacation to Niagara Falls and a letter my grandma wrote when “her favorite” went off to college.
My wallet contains today’s everyday necessities instead: a driver’s license and auto insurance card, a library card and a picture of my wife and children, perhaps even a few dollars just in case.
But now the wallet also includes a Medicare card — Parts A and B, my Department of Veteran’s Affairs eligibility card and a union membership card. Good God, where does the time go?
When I was a kid, we hunted squirrels or rabbits on the way to school, stashed the BB gun in the teacher’s closet and then hunted again on the way home. People rode around with rifles in racks in the back of pickup trucks. Nobody had, or needed, a concealed carry permit. But unfortunately, violence has now become customary, even routine.
And so today, besides grabbing my wallet, I have to stop and think. Can I carry in this restaurant if I don’t drink? Is this hardware store a “gun-free zone?” Do I carry my pistol or trust my luck?
When I finally make it out the door, these are the four things I have on my person to ensure my family’s safety:
Albuquerque ranks high in homicides, gang violence, auto theft and any number of other categories of misery. With these things, though, I can keep my family safe — the pistol, the cellphone, my concealed carry permit and the protection of the USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD.
Times change. We have to change too … or die.
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