Don’t Be Sorry, Be Ready.

Posted: June 1, 2010 in Right to Bear Arms, Uncategorized

Imagine that it is Sunday, your only real day off each week and you’re working around the house with your family.  You realize you need some line for the weed eater.    No problem, there is a huge hardware store just a mile away.  You hop in the car and off you go.  You find the line and begin down the aisle when you hear screams.  As you round the end cap you see a man walking towards you with a handgun….he’s shooting at everything that moves.  Instinctively you crouch behind a display. Just behind you is a woman with several children, including an infant.  She is struggling to un-strap the baby from the cart as the shots and screams get closer and closer.  You know he’ll be upon you all in seconds.  You can leave the woman and children behind and run, hopeful you won’t get shot in the back.  You can try to hide or play dead and hope he simply spares you.  You think of your wife or husband, awaiting your return and planting flowers….and you think of your pistol, which you didn’t bother to bring because you were “Just going right up the street.” 

I agree that what I have just described is less likely to happen than an uneventful trip to the hardware store.  But many things that we either plan for or take precautions against are out of the ordinary.   It’s also unlikely that you will get in an automobile accident, but we wear seat belts and buy cars with air bags.  It’s really unlikely that we’ll win the lottery but many wouldn’t think of going a week without investing their hard earned money into the chance, no matter how slight.

 The reason we do these things is that we know that even though these things are unlikely, they can happen.  And, either we don’t want to take or miss the chance no matter how slight that they will happen.  So we measure the ‘if’ for ourselves and our families and we decide if we believe the likelihood and the consequences tied to it happening are enough to make us act.  I’ve decided that the ‘if’ for getting in an accident and the potential consequences for that are enough for me to wear a seatbelt even though I don’t like doing it.  I’ve also decided that the ‘if’ for some nut deciding he’s going down in a blaze of glory at the local hardware store because his mother didn’t hug him enough or his boss was unkind and the consequences of that for me and my family if I happen to be in the hardware store at the time are enough for me to carry my gun any time I can legally carry it.

 In order for wearing my seatbelt to help me beat the odds, no matter how small, I still have to wear it all the time.  Most of us don’t have a working crystal ball; we must rely upon preparedness instead of prediction. So, if you can legally carry a firearm, and you walk out without it, then you’ve decided to take the chance and place yourself at the mercy of every potential homicidal and/or suicidal crazy walking the streets and or aisles of the hardware store.

Now I can hear the anti gunners crying out “But guns are the problem.  It’s this kind of thinking that leads to crazy people being able to go into hardware stores and gun down mothers and children.”  And they could not be more wrong.  Crazies in hardware stores, restaurants, schools, post offices and business places are NOT the product of this kind of thinking.  Crazies bent on destroying themselves and others don’t obey gun laws, or gun signs.  They find weapons any time they need them regardless of what legislators say and when they can’t find guns they use swords or build bombs out of things like fertilizer.  You see, crazy finds a way to create havoc while the rest of us sit back and try to survive following the law.

It’s really all about weighing the risks.  I’ve talked about my experiences as a paramedic before and I remember lecturing people about wearing a seatbelt.  If you ever talk with someone who doesn’t want to wear a seatbelt he’ll tell you that he had an uncle who either died because he was strapped in a burning car by a seatbelt or would have died if he had been strapped in  and hadn’t been thrown from a car that hit a tree after he flew out of the windshield.  I have helped remove a lot of people living and dead from wrecked cars, but I never unbuckled a dead person. People who stay in their seats tend to be able to steer cars away from trees and they tend to be able to survive crashes well enough to unbuckle themselves and get out before cars burst into flames.

Yes, there are thousands of people killed by guns every year, but they are not killed by law abiding citizens carrying guns for their own protection.  Guns in the hands of law abiding trained individuals can and do save lives; that’s why we arm our police force.   Get trained, stay practiced, follow the laws and carry your firearm at all times it is legal to do so.  The police are here to protect you, but they rarely if ever face a threat that you don’t face first and most likely face alone.  Don’t be sorry, be ready!

  1. David Eaton says:

    You bring up an issue that I had made up my mind about before I even had my concealed carry license. I carry my gun EVERYWHERE. Even to the hardware store that you use as an example. Funny enough, the reason I do so is because I remember a quote spoken by Christian Slater’s character in the movie “True Romance”: “One thing I’ve learned is that it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it”. That line probably prompted me to buy a gun in the first place.

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