Article — From the August 2010 issue

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

My concealed weapon and me

( 2 of 9 )

The classes I took taught me almost nothing about how to defend myself with a gun. One, taught by a man who said he refuses to get a carry permit because “I don’t think I have to get the government’s permission to exercise my right to bear arms,” packed about twenty minutes of useful instruction into four long evenings of platitudes, Obama jokes, and belligerent posturing. “The way crime is simply out of control, you can’t afford not to wear a gun all the time,” he told us on several occasions. We shot fifty rounds apiece at man-shaped targets fifteen feet away. The legal-implications segment was taught by a cop who, after warming us up with fart jokes, encouraged us to lie to policemen if stopped while wearing our guns and suggested that nobody in his right mind would let a burglar run off with a big-screen TV. It’s illegal to shoot a fleeing criminal, he said, “but if your aim is good enough, you have time to get your story straight before I [the police] get there.” Thank you for coming; here’s your certificate of instruction. The other class, a three-hour quickie at the Tanner Gun Show in Denver, was built around a fifteen-minute recruiting pitch for the NRA and a long-winded, paranoid fantasy about “home invasion.” “They’re watching what time you come home, what time do you get up to go to the bathroom, when you’re there, when you’re not,” said the instructor, Rob Shewmake, of the Florida company Equip 2 Conceal. “They know who lives in the house. They know where your bedroom is, and they’re there to kill you.” (Eighty-seven Americans were murdered during burglaries in 2008; statistically, you had a better chance of being killed by bees.)

Both classes were less about self-defense than about recruiting us into a culture animated by fear of violent crime. In the Boulder class, we watched lurid films of men in ski masks breaking into homes occupied by terrified women. We studied color police photos of a man slashed open with a knife. Teachers in both classes directed us to websites dedicated to concealed carry, among them, an online gathering place where the gun-carrying community warns, over and over, that crime is “out of control.”

In fact, violent crime has fallen by a third since 1989—one piece of unambiguous good news out of the past two decades. Murder, rape, robbery, assault: all of them are much less common now than they were then. At class, it was hard to discern the line between preparing for something awful to happen and praying for something awful to happen. A desire to carry a gun seemed to precede the fear of crime, the fear serving to justify the carrying. I asked one of the instructors whether carrying a gun didn’t bespeak a needlessly dark view of mankind. “I’m an optimist,” he said, “but we live in a world of assholes.”

At the conclusion of both classes, we students were welcomed into the gun-carrying fraternity as though dripping from the baptismal font. “Thank you for being a part of this, man. You’re doing the right thing,” one of the Boulder teachers said, taking my hand in both of his and looking into my eyes. “You should all be proud of yourselves just for being here,” said the police officer who helped with the class. “All of us thank you.” As we stood shaking hands, with our guns in our gym bags and holding our certificates, we felt proud, included, even loved. We had been admitted to a league of especially useful gentlemen and ladies.

Partly, gun carriers are looking for political safety in numbers. Alongside a belief in rising crime lies a certainty that gun confiscation is nigh. I had a hard time finding cartridges for my hunting rifle the past two seasons because shooters began hoarding when Barack Obama was elected president. Since then, the gun industry has had its best sales on record. At the Tanner show, posters of Obama’s stern face over the words firearms salesman of the year were as common as those of him in Joker makeup over the word socialism. Looking for a holster for the .38 I planned to?carry, I stopped at the table of a big man wearing a cargo vest and a SIGARMS cap and idly picked?up one of his Yugoslav AK-47s. “Buy it now!” he barked. “Tomorrow they may not let you!” I must have looked skeptical; he reached across the table, snatched the rifle from my hands, and slammed it down. “You don’t think he’s waiting for his second term?to come and get them?” he said. “You’re dreaming.”

Shooters see their guns as emblems of a whole spectrum of virtuous lifestyle choices—rural over urban, self-reliance over dependence on the collective, vigorous outdoorsiness over pallid intellectualism, patriotism over internationalism, action over inaction—and they hear attacks on guns as attacks on them, personally. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sound like groups even the NRA could support: who wouldn’t want to prevent violence? But the former was called, until 1989, the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, and the latter wants to prohibit the “military-style semi-automatic assault weapons” popular among shooters. From the point of view of gun enthusiasts, it’s not gun violence these groups want to end, but gun ownership. Another gun-show vendor—wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed alcohol, tobacco, and firearms should be a convenience store, not a federal agency—was yelling to potential customers that they’d better buy guns now because the “liberals want to take away your gun and your McDonald’s both.” As I headed for a table heaped with old holsters, I picked up a free copy of the NRA’s America’s 1st Freedom magazine. Its editorial captured perfectly the class-based resentment that permeates modern gun culture, characterizing the opposition as “those who sip tea and nibble biscuits while musing about how to restrict the rest of us.”

is the author, most recently, of <em>Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans</em> (Spiegel & Grau).

More from Dan Baum:

Commentary July 20, 2012, 7:30 pm

The Price of Gun Control

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

  • RJ

    A very enlightening perspective. As a young person living in a pretty liberal town, I have little to know experience of guns or their carriers and I’m attempting to educate myself about the gun user / carrier sentiment. This article was a great help

  • Leander Kahney

    Guns have no place in any society. I’ve lived in San Francisco 20 years and haven’t encountered any crime. If I did, I’d feel much safer handing over my wallet or talking my way out of a situation than escalating it with a firearm. Shooting someone to protect your possessions is utterly immoral and wicked. It’s corrosive to the soul. Ask soldiers who’ve shot people. It harms them psychologically.

    • dutchs

      “Shooting someone to protect your possessions is utterly immoral and wicked”
      Prove it. Do you really have a coherent proof? Or is this merely your own personal sentiment?

      • Wesley Long

        dutchs, “Immoral” and “Wicked” are, by definition, subjective interpretations of events or positions, and therefore personal to Mr. Kahney. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mr. Kahney holding those views. The only thing that would be wrong is if he were to try to impose his morality on anyone else through force, either implicitly (legislation) or explicitly (police action).

      • Joe Cosby

        Any morality I can imagine is based on the value of life. To hold any material thing superior to the value of human life would therefore violate any moral standard.

    • shnar

      Tell that to the Chinese, Russians, Serbians, etc…

    • Delton Slusher

      And getting shot by a criminal because you couldn’t defend yourself harms you physically and psychologically. So you’ve lived 20 years in that shithole and haven’t encountered any crime. Congratulations. And you think your miraculous luck should decide the issue for the rest of the country? You are a very stupid and self-centered man.

    • BishopC

      Would shooting someone to protect yourself be ‘wicked’ or ‘immoral’? How about a member of your family?

      If handing over your wallet would end it, hey, awesome. what if the mugger wants more? So you hand over your watch, your wife’s purse, your car keys to your car… But wait. they now have your address and keys to your door. What’s to keep them from making you a victim again and again?

      You can move or change your locks, get a security system, call the police… Sure that works. Security systems might work but are not always fool proof. Police might take 10-20 minutes to respond. Yelling out that you called the police might give them pause or incentive to find you and cause you greater harm.

      But it’s your freedom to put your faith in strangers to not harm you and if you go your entire life without being harmed in some way, awesome. Very awesome. If you get stabbed to death next week, it will be tragic and could have been prevented.

      • Matt Cramp

        “Would shooting someone to protect yourself be ‘wicked’ or ‘immoral’? How about a member of your family?”

        Yes and yes. It is still a life and you can’t stuff it back into the body and be on your way, and trading it for a loved one’s doesn’t mitigate that enough. This is why I try not to get into situations where someone wants to inflict violence on me or my family by living in a country where that’s considered highly, highly unusual.

        I don’t know how this helps the argument America is having, other than suggesting two things: the argument that you have to protect your family from violent people is making a false assumption, that you can’t be sure where violent people are not; and that the issue with guns is, when you get right down to it, an issue with the consequences of America’s values. So basically you guys are proper screwed.

        • BishopC

          You say, “This is why I try not to get into situations where someone wants to inflict violence on me or my family…” As if those that carry open or concealed actively go out looking for trouble just so we’ll have an excuse to shoot someone. If such were true, then I think there is something wrong with that person to the point everyone would be better served by having such an individual checked out.

          As far as I’m concerned. There’s more than enough trouble in the world, that if it’s going to confront me, it’ll have to come to me first. Not me to it. I think the same sentiment is true for other legal carriers, concealed and otherwise.

          At that time, my first option won’t be draw and start blazing away with bullets flying, instead it will be to think. ‘Which way can I go to get away? Is there a fire-door I can go through near by? Is the trouble coming my way? Can I stay here and watch, call the police unnoticed? Will my hand be forced into violence?”

          If and ONLY IF the last question comes up as ‘yes, be ready.’ That’s the point to draw, not before. Otherwise if the other questions get answered with ‘Yes, there’s an exit over there, run now.’ or something similar, then those will be what I do. But since I don’t go to rough parts of town to hang out, I don’t foresee any situation that might be there.

          Although at the same time, I think it better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

          So I’ll say it again: Any day where I don’t have to do anything that involves me in certain violence, then that is an AWESOME day. There isn’t a greater day except the next awesome day where I’m not involved in violence.

    • johnomd

      And you should have the right to believe that, and act accordingly within your personal sphere. You do not, however, have a right to impose your belief on me or infringe on my constitutionally guaranteed rights. Whether you believe the right to bear arms should be constitutionally guaranteed or not is as immaterial as the anti-abortionist that does not think a just society should live under Roe v. Wade–both are, and have been affirmed by the Supreme Court of the land. As an aside, the anti-abortionists also argue that those that receive an abortion are harmed psychologically, and often use that as a pretext to curtail their right “for their own good”, don’t fall into the same trap.

  • Shaun

    Well written and thought out article. As a carrier myself, I appreciate the time you have taken to analyze the mindset whether you continue to carry or not. I wish others were as open minded as you are.

  • dutchs

    The gun debate is not about guns. It’s about who bears the responsibility for social problems. Gun enthusiasts believe the burden lies on people who cause the problems. They should learn to behave. If they can’t learn, intimidate them, incarcerate them, or eliminate them. Their opponents believe the burden lies on society. Restructure society so people no longer have the incentive to commit crime, mentally unbalanced people get therapy, and the rights of all are restricted to prevent a few from abusing them. I don’t own a gun and the last time I fired one was in the Army over ten years ago. But I’m with the put responsibility on the problem-makers school.

  • Wesley Long

    Mr. Baum, I commend you. You have discovered the true intent of our Founding Fathers: The Freedom to decide for yourself what you want to do and the Freedom to implement that choice.

    Your open-mindedness about concealed carry is rare coming from the left, and your sincere efforts to understand all sides (not both, but all) of the issue are admirable. Most only know two sides: Theirs and the “enemy’s.”

    As a Libertarian (member, candidate, and former state officer), I salute you. As a fellow human being, I respect you.

    I, too, have been as shocked by the “gun nut” crowd who see us as being under constant threat as I am by the “gun grabber” crowd who refuse to look at any empirical data or participate in an actual debate.

    Knowing that you are actually living in a condition of Freedom to live your life in the manner you wish to is much more important to me than if you are in “White” or “Yellow.”

  • BishopC

    While I don’t oppose Open carry (I carry concealed), I believe that if a person checks out as having been back ground checked, finger printed, etc. Then they can, but at the same time, they shouldn’t get upset when other people take notice.

    As for why I carry concealed? I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had knives pulled on me while delivering pizza and passing out store coupons. I’ve been in a mall where I just didn’t feel it was safe due to a lurking presence of possible gang members and lingering odor of something vaguely drug like in the air mixed with alcohol. It scared me, but it made me fear for my, at the time, step sister who was only 6 or my mom who was pushing 70 and moved at a snail’s pace. She still refuses to be rushed for anything, including getting in the car from the grocery store; despite knowing that five people were mugged in that parking lot the previous week and fifteen more were followed home, beaten and robbed.

    Do I hope to shoot someone when I go out? No. Far from it, I count it as an awesome end of the day when I can lock my door after not having drawn my gun in any way. Will I look for a way to avoid having to shoot anyone? You bet your sweet butt I will. Will I take the shot if I have to? If there is no other way, yes. Will I run like a jackrabbit instead? I’m not paid to take down criminals, there are better folks for that.

  • GRMM

    well… that was awful.

  • Nathan Harvey

    A simple statistic: if you buy a gun, that gun is more likely to be involved in an accidental child death than in stopping a crime. Backed up by numerous agencies tracking those numbers. Another well validated statistic: the greater gun ownership, the greater number of homicides. Across states around the country, across first world countries around the world.

    • Manse

      Well, Just don’t have kids and that’s not a problem.

    • BishopC

      Having a child has been linked directly to more sick days, sleepless nights and a less healthy eating lifestyle. It has also been proven as giving a couple less discretionary funds to which to spend on other items of pleasure or necessity.

      If you have a car, you’re also more likely to be involved in a wreck in which someone will be injured or killed. If you take a shower you’re at a higher risk for slipping and falling, thus injuring yourself. If you eat grapes whole then you have a higher chance of choking to death. If you walk across a street without looking you have a higher chance of being hit by a car.

      Flinging numbers and such around sounds scary but what are the actual individual situation. The statistic you quoted in some direction, has grounding in fact but doesn’t take into account those that actually care about their children and teach them or act responsibly.

      If you have a child and own a gun but choose not to go the extra step to teach the child how to be a responsible person around a firearm. In that you teach NOT TO TOUCH IT without you there if it is left in the open, loaded and ready to go. Then why should everyone else who did teach such have to suffer for your ignorance and pure laziness?

      Maybe as the child matures, you teach then how to handle a firearm with a responsible manner. Get training for yourself and them. Take the time to show them that a gun is loud and, if you’re not accustom to them, quite frightening.

      I suggest you watch, also a warning about the language used, it’s profane in many extents:

      For the argument about violent video games (and my more favorite one to watch):

      • cryptical

        Your comment misses 2 points.

        1. Children, cars, showers, grapes, and walking across the street are not specifically designed to kill people. Guns are.

        2. All the education in the world is not foolproof in preventing an accident with a child. It’s also useless when the child is a young toddler, as some who have been killed accidentally are.

        • BishopC

          You failed to realize what I was reply to was the quote:

          “A simple statistic: if you buy a gun, that gun is more likely to be
          involved in an accidental child death than in stopping a crime.”

          This ‘statistic’ is often cited in a vacuum as if it is the end all answer when using the same ‘logic’ that that ‘statistic’ is put under. ANYTHING a person does raises the statistical chance of a bad outcome. So yes, eating grapes raises your statistic chances of choking to death on a grape. Even more so for children.

          Walking raises your chances of tripping, falling and harming yourself.

          Falling, period is lethal. (About 13 people a DAY according to OSHA) – 4,609 workers were killed on the job in 2011 [BLS revised 2011 workplace fatality data*] (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers)

          • Lou Costello

            As the author of the article stated, 245 lives saved through use of a personal weapon. Annually about 32,000 die by use of a firearm. The majority of these deaths are suicides (60%). The reason for the choice of the weapon is ease of access and effectiveness. The NIMH places the number of suicides who are mentally ill at 90%. 90% of 60% of 32,000 means 17,280 people who would be determined to be mentally ill have access to firearms.

            You may look at having a weapon in your home as empowering, or as a method for protecting you and yours. I grant you may be one of many who treat weapons with respect, but the typical person, weapon owner or none weapon owner, is a typical person. And by the numbers if you own a weapon at home it is far more likely to harm you and yours than protect. But, I support your right to make that choice.

            However, if 17000+ mentally ill can access firearms, legal firearms which in the worst cases are turned on others, if you followed Fast and Furious and the story of how Arizona is fast becoming the weapon supplier to Mexican drug lords through initially legal purchases of firearms, and simply look at the amount of crime committed with a weapon where most weapons used in crimes are obtained through straw sales, then there is definitely a problem. A problem which needs to be discussed and corrected.

            The second amendment is second because it is important. And the opening words to the second amendment are “A well regulated…” I will always oppose any attempt to repeal this amendment, but it is time for us to find a way federally to enforce its complete meaning.

          • BishopC

            “As the author of the article stated, 245 lives saved through use of a
            personal weapon. Annually about 32,000 die by use of a firearm.”

            Those are just what became news worthy enough to report. No one reports something that didn’t happen from the very start. In the instances cited and not from the very place I cited. Pretty much all of them were as a result of a crime happening at the time.
            So, it got reported.

            If for instance, someone was eying, I’ll call him Armed, for a mugging but before Armed could be mugged. the person, I’ll call… Criminal, found that Armed was, well.. Armed with a weapon that by all realistic instances, is lethal. Criminal being reasonable enough to value his or her own skin and life it contains. Criminal decides to leave Armed alone and go for someone else. Since there was no crime, it never got reported, so no one knows about what didn’t happen.

            Criminal decides to look for an easier target, someone that gets named on the nightly news after being put in the hospital or is declared dead at the scene. We’ll call them, statistic.

            Why was statistic put in the hospital or murdered by criminal? Statistic didn’t desire self protection and announced loudly to Armed that they were proud not to carry a weapon, and that Armed was not welcome anywhere near them because they would call the police on Armed and say that armed threatened them. So statistic fell prey to criminal. Criminal repeats this action again until meeting another person that we’ll call, bang. Bang complies with criminal’s demands for money at first because Bang doesn’t actually want to kill anyone. Only dissuade them. Anyway, when Criminal presses his or her power further, bang acts and leaves criminal severely injured or dead. Bang feels terrible about it for the rest of their life, likely does have many nights of restless sleep. Bang is not really comforted by knowing the criminal killed statistic and left other other victims either injured and scared for life or dead.

            Does this make Bang a bad person? Some will say yes because bang should not have killed Criminal no matter what, because it’s in the bible. Or that Bang should have let the police take care of it, others will ignore that Bang was complying until Bang’s life was threatened, and say that no one should die over material possessions.

            I dislike the counting of Suicides with gun deaths because to be realistic. Anyone with the intention of kill themselves will do so by any means available whether or not they have a firearm in hand. Hanging, Poisoning, Jumping in front of a train, suicide by cop, jumping off a bridge, poisoning themselves, smothering themselves, high-speed wrong way driving, etc. All means that suicides occur daily in the US. This is because the person has utterly convinced themselves that they have nothing to lose and nothing to hope for any more. Some have a depression so painful that it seems like a reasonable way to escape the pain.Some have medical pain that can’t be treated and just want to not hurt anymore. Others believe that it is the only way to be rescued (hale-bopp Comet).

            It is these people that need help, even if it’s just to see tomorrow for those that are depressed or think there is no other way. For those in pain, find something that takes the pain away and give it to them, legal or illegal drugs, if it stops their pain. GIVE IT TO THEM. For those that are terminal, give them a way to die with calmness free of aches. I’m not an uncaring bastard. I want for people to live and be happy, to not be scared or in pain. I want for everyone to have what they desire in life.

            As for mental illness, if you believe any psychologist or other such doctors that study the field. Everyone has a mental illness to some degree. Everyone has a compulsion in one form or another. More than three quarters of all those in the US are addicted to some drug, stimulant or depressant of some type. drink Coffee? You’ve developed a caffeine addiction. Smoke? Nicotine addition. Eat sugary things? You’ve found the sweet taste to be a safety crutch, therefore, you are dependent upon it. It is these people that get included in such studies of ‘mental illness’. Lumped in with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders, dyslexia, and other chemical imbalances within the brain.

            Some people are far worse than others and need a very stable environment, some need only meds that they know they must take daily no matter how bad or off it makes them feel. Others just live with their issues and have learned to work around them as a counter.

            If, for instance, someone has mild depression and mild dyslexia and happens to be a firearms owner. They may feel a build up of depression coming and decide that what makes them feel better is go out and shoot clay targets for a few hours. After that, they buy a burger and go home to listen to music and clean their rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Would this person be a danger if this is how they’ve been self treating for years and not once considered going out and killing folks without also thinking about the repercussions?

            In the end. Yes, I agree that those in need of help should get it. Those that think they might need help should be able to ask for it without a stigma being attached to them or fearing that someone will take away one of the few things in life they know reliably helps them to feel good.

            Strawman sales: Always a problem with any product that someone wants by can’t purchase themselves for legal reasons, (those under 18 barred from buying cigarettes just find someone older to buy for them. Under 21 do the same for alcohol. Games rated 17+ are purchased by parents for kids well under the age restriction. This is also a straw purchase.) This will always be a problem since the only true way to make sure the person buying a firearm is the one who will have it forever, would be to surgically attach it to the person.

            Another wold be all firearms are to be housed in a central location only accessible by the person that bought it and the firearm can only be used on those premises. But this leaves another area open. Those that need protection in the home or at odd hours, Sunday during hunting season before dawn to allow for transit to hunting location for full advantage of the time during the hunting day. What about insurance, who would work there? Would the owners of their property be allowed any time, day or night to see, handle their property? Would all the owners be reimbursed for their items being destroyed in a fire for the value of what the owner said their gun was worth? What about emergencies when the police is stretched well beyond capacity to be effective (Katrina – Looters and the forced confiscation of firearms people were using to protect themselves). If we go that route, would it then be ok to be able to purchase machine guns again since it wouldn’t be housed in my home, inside a expensive and very durable safe that is bolted to a cement floor and a cement wall?

            As for the part of ‘A well regulated..’ I’m not a historian but in the context of when that was written and bearing in mind the reason for the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution. A nation was being forged upon the the backs of free men and women that wished to break away from what was seen as an oppressive government to which they had no say within. To do this they knew that the people, citizens, of the new country would need to be as well armed as any standing military if not more well armed as a populace that could come together as a free people to fight against their own government should the people feel that the government was encroaching too far.

            Today we think of the word regulate as control, rule.

            In the time when it was written in that document, the word was to organize, maintain. standardize, bring into proper function. ( On point of definition:

            Wanting to debate the meaning of words of that era, 200+ years ago, with the words of today in which term use has changed and with it meaning. Is a farcical argument. 200+ years ago, the word ‘cool’ likely would mean just that. The temperature is cool. As in the pie has cooled enough to eat without burning your tongue.

            Now the word cool, means neat, ok, I have no problem with that, nice, awesome, temperature, I don’t have an opinion of the choices given (either choice is cool with me), etc, etc.

            I know i run long winded in my answers. I answer long like this to cover my point with as much clarity as I can get so there isn’t as much ambiguity for the explanation. In doing this it makes the reply hard to read in the fullest extent. That and sentence structure, but now I’m just picking on myself. Anyway. I wold like to talk with you more about what measures could be taken to prevent all straw sales, including imprisoning the offenders of the straw purchase for no less than 15 years per offense (buy four guns in straw purchase, 60 years before parole). No pleading down, no concurrent sentencing, and no parole. Buy for the other guy, you do time, period.

          • think

            complete meaning also includes “shall not be infringed”

    • Rick Lincroft

      “Another well validated statistic: the greater gun ownership, the greater number of homicides”
      That is simply not true. And as you read in this article, increased gun ownership, has not lead to increased homicides. In fact, homicide rates are dropping nationwide. There is no correlation, simply between gun ownership, and murder rates. Neither in the United States, nor abroad. Texas has a higher per capita rate of gun ownership, yet a lower homicide rate than New Jersey. Likewise, citizens of Switzerland are the most heavily armed in the Western world, yet that nation has one of the lowest levels of gun violence.
      Learn the facts before making foolish statements

      • Fang1944

        Switzerland is 17th from the worst in gun murders. Not exactly one of the lowest. And people in Switzerland are not heavily armed unless they’re in the military; otherwise, they’re probably not armed at all. Guns are wonderfully restricted in Switzerland.

        According to the FBI, Texas had 5.0 homicides per 100,000 in 2010; New Jersey had 4.2.

        As the article says, we haven’t had increased gun ownership. We have fewer people owning guns, not more. The number of guns owned has increased because some people just can’t stop buying them.

  • Edgeworld

    A couple of observations:
    1. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    2. The fearful dog is the one most likely to bite without provocation
    3. With everyone carrying guns, what will the predator escalate to?

    • Chris Wheeler

      Nuclear bombs, duh. Anyways, the guy mugging you “lives by the sword”. So, no surprise if a “fearful dog” bites him, right?

      • Edgeworld

        Not to be too snarky about it, but perhaps you missed the rather crucial phrase “without provocation”?

        Somehow it seems counterproductive to the whole point to drive school shooters to “nuclear bombs, duh” or other lethal means. But maybe defending the weak isn’t really the whole point behind your need to be strapped.

  • Delton Slusher

    Thank you. I hope every anti-gun nut reads your article and finally realizes what I’ve been trying to get them to understand for years – there is a difference between awareness and readiness on the one hand, and paranoia and Rambo fantasies on the other.

  • Chris Wheeler

    Nice article, although I have to disagree with several sentiments. Firstly, when I’m carrying a weapon, the last feeling I have is that of a secret agent or player in a movie. :-P Nowhere do you imply that you think your feelings may be typical, but considering the emotion concerning this issue, I’m afraid some people may latch onto that as a motivation for people carrying. Secondly, I don’t look at “condition yellow” in the civilian world necessarily as being constantly on the look out for danger. I look at it as just being aware of your surroundings. That includes noticing the homeless guy with a knife lurking in the shadows (hopefully) but it also might let you see the blue jay land in a tree next to you, or the hot chick walking down the street opposite you. :-P Self defense, IMO, is good decision making combined with environmental awareness. If you practice those two, you’ll probably never need your weapon. So if you’re deciding to go unarmed from now on, it might be prudent to leave “condition white” at home.

    • Chris Wheeler

      BTW, your CCW instructors sound nuts. I’ve only met one, but I hope that attitude isn’t typical. We don’t need people that “look for a reason” teaching CCW courses. :-

  • poxpopuli

    Muscular Citizenship? Lord.

  • Pricearizona

    The article did neither enlighten nor result in anything other than what I knew it would. If your core beliefs lie in one direction “then you’ll find the supporting evidence to substantiate that belief”. The goal should be how we get weapons, of any kind, out of the hands of criminals, not the innocent and law abidding citizen. And the focus of effort should be directed, on a state or city centered aspect. The same strict guns laws that Detroit might employ should not be that for a farmer in North Dakota. If the effort to tighten gun laws were localized where the greatest problems are there would certainly be more support for them.


October 2015

Lives by Omission

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Lifting as We Climb

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Cattle Calls

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Getting Jobbed

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content