The ” Right to Keep and Bear Arms “ is not a valid enough reason for me to carry a lethal weapon. I have many rights that I do not exercise. If I choose to exercise one of those rights then so be it but having that right guaranteed by the Constitution is not enough to make me want to carry a gun in public. I’ll need more reasons. What are some of those reasons and is it worth the risk is the real question for me. Let me me explain how I got to this point about carrying a gun. I decided to buy a small semi-automatic pistol so that I could carry it if I felt the need to but mostly just to use it for sport. It was not because I am afraid though we will discuss this later. It was simply because I wanted to relive the times in my past when I owned firearms and had a lot of fun shooting and hunting. I just wanted to have a pistol so I could go with my friends to the range, set up some targets and have a great afternoon putting a bunch of holes in them. There is something about firing a large caliber handgun or rifle that is super exciting. Now let’s get something out of the way now and forever. Awareness of the power and consequences of handling a gun and being trained in the safe and responsible use of that weapon is paramount. Everyone should have to be trained before they could carry a gun around for any reason. As a child of eight or nine I was carrying a twelve gauge shotgun besides my Grandfather and Dad as we hunted for rabbits and squirrels on our farm in Kentucky. My Father had been a Kentucky State Trooper and knew how to handle a sidearm. Plinking cans and bottles on Sunday afternoon was a common pastime. I understand the fascination with guns but I also understand that these are different times and gun laws need to change.
Self Protection and Fear
The effectiveness and safety of the use of handguns to protect yourself is highly debated. Real data is not only hard to find but it is easily manipulated to suit the agenda of the source. The fact is that most woman who want to carry a firearm for personal safety do it because they are afraid of not being able to protect themselves by any other means. This is probably a false assumption. Most men do it due to the macho factor which is also a symptom of fear. I’m no expert on self defense for sure. So I have tried to read and study this as much as possible. I’m sixty six years old and not in the best shape. I can’t fight off a crazed and younger attacker. I can no longer run away. So I have to find other means to protect myself and there are several available to all of us if we want to spend the time to look. Most people do not want to spend that time. Commonsense , listening to your gut and situational awareness are some of our best tools. However, most of the people I have come in contact with have very little of any of these left. People ignore commonsense everyday. We all know not to step out in front of a moving car yet many of us still do it. There are many things that we do that we know we should not do yet we still do them on a regular basis. We have all but lost touch with our guts and we let our brains decide on where we go. There are way too many times that we see something out of place or odd about someone or the way they are behaving and we ignore it. Carrying a weapon will not protect us from being stupid. Whether or not one should carry a gun should not be taken lightly. It is an important decision that should only be decided after much thought and research.
Fear is a double edged sword. It can heighten your awareness and alert you to a possible dangerous situation or it can freeze you and keep you from doing the things you want to do. I guess the trick is to not allow your fears to make you lose your wit. Imagined fear is what most of us experience thank goodness but that is not to say that it doesn’t affect our decisions. Real fear of losing your life is a whole new ballgame for anyone who has experienced it. This imagined fear is usually formed by that which we see or hear on media. It sells newspapers. It is used by people like the NRA to get us to buy things like more guns. Imagined fear is a great motivator and advertisers know this. Religions know this. Governments know this. If you shoot someone because of an imagined fear you probably will end up in prison. One thing is certain, if you pull out that gun and shoot someone it will change your life forever.