It seems as if the debate over the Second Amendment in the U.S. will rage on indefinitely. There are those, most of which who have armed bodyguards, who feel that by disarming you and me, society will somehow be a safer place. Those people forget that guns are illegal in the most dangerous parts of the world. Mexico being one example, where the drug cartels have fully automatic machine guns that theoretically only the military can acquire. Even here in the U.S., every city with high rates of violent crime also has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Let’s face it, just like the founders understood, an armed society that is able to defend itself is a polite society. You wouldn’t last very long as a home invader in a part of the country where virtually every home has arms and is proficient in their use, which again explains the relation to gun control and violent crime.
Many people who would look at my decision to concealed carry nearly everywhere I go as fear or paranoia, just don’t understand a few simple things about the real world. The police generally don’t stop crime, they clean up the mess and investigate afterward. Also, as we’ve seen in all too many cases lately, it can happen anywhere and everywhere. If legislation stopped crime, then no one would ever be murdered, as it is already illegal. Our population seems to continue down a violent path of economic, religious, and racial unrest, all while those who fan the flames of hate also want to disarm us and leave us vulnerable to the resulting violence.
In my case, concealed carry isn’t based on paranoia or fear, it is based on a clear understanding of reality, and preparedness. I’ll give an example:
A few years ago when my youngest daughter was only two years old, we were out on what had become one of her favorite activities—a bike ride. I installed a child seat on my Trek mountain bike and we would spend an hour or so nearly every day out for a ride around our neighborhood.
At the time, we lived in the city limits in a friendly little neighborhood with great neighbors. As in any city, though, if you go a few blocks that can all change quickly. As we rode down the sidewalk to avoid the busy traffic of one particular street, an SUV with five young adult males came toward us on our side of the road. As they passed by, what appeared to be a super-sized McDonald’s soft drink cup full of fluid was thrown out the window, narrowly missing my little girl’s face. The container came so close to us that I could feel the mist from its contents as if flew by. The young men laughed as they sped away, obviously proud of themselves for picking on a two-year-old and her seriously outnumbered middle-aged father. I immediately came to a stop to make sure she was okay. Luckily, she never even realized it had happened.
As I watched the SUV drive away, I felt a mix of emotions from confusion to rage. I wanted to chase them down and beat the hell out of them, even though I was outnumbered five to one. That’s when it hit me—there I was, with this innocent, defenseless little girl that looks to her daddy for her security, and if they would have stopped and attempted to confront me for my anger, I would have been completely unable to protect her while fighting off five assailants. As is usually the case with the wanna-be-gang-banger-thug types, you’ll generally always be outnumbered. That sort of violent behavior is based on a pack mentality. Just look at the ‘knockout game.’ The whole point of that was to have others present when you committed a violent act on a smaller, weaker, defenseless person. Even in the less-likely case where you face a lone assailant, a child would still be in great danger on the side of a busy road during a violent altercation.
All too often, news pundits and politicians will second guess the actions of a police officer, or a private citizen, when their actions to defend themselves or others escalate to a deadly force situation. As stated earlier, those same pundits and politicians often having armed bodyguards and security details for themselves. They pick apart every action that was taken during the heat of the struggle and try to come up with excuses for why the attacker could still be alive if not for the use of a firearm, urging non-lethal methods of defense. However, even experienced and highly trained police officers can be killed by an unarmed assailant. It happens over and over again, where a police officer attempts to subdue a suspect, only to be killed during the struggle. Whereas if they had the luxury of hindsight and knew the suspect’s full intentions, they could still be alive today.
That to me is simply unacceptable. I vowed from that point forward to never leave my house unarmed. Having a weapon is not an end all be all, but it is a great force multiplier. With that Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Shield hidden discretely in an inside the waistband holster, I can better defend against an individual, or group of individuals, that would otherwise be able to overpower me.
So you see, it’s not about being afraid, it’s about being prepared. When I am with my family, I can’t wait to see what a potential attackers plan fully entails. By then, it may be too late, and my wife and children’s well-being is my number one priority. If someone tries to do us harm, I must assume, for the safety of my family, that they will succeed if I do not fight back to the best of my ability. And as a father, I can’t risk a physical struggle while my children are present. It would simply be too dangerous for them. For their safety, I will do whatever it takes to make sure no perpetrator puts their hands on any of us, at least not for long.
In the end, I would rather be forced to explain my reasons and my actions to a jury of my peers and face whatever consequences that may come, than to look back on a tragedy that could have been avoided, if I had only acted aggressively enough, soon enough.