Why I Carry A Gun

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a normal, average guy. I am very much an introvert, of average height and build, middle-aged and generally pretty mellow. I am pretty confident that no one in the coffee shop where I’m writing this has taken much notice of me. I’m just a regular guy working on a computer. I’m also carrying a gun.

That might come as a shock to some of the people in this room, especially if I stood up and announced it. But, that’s the point of concealed carry—no one around me has even noticed. Some people might wonder why I would bother, or want to, or feel the need to carry a gun in the rather nice neighborhood coffee shop I’m sitting in. And that’s the point of this post; to explain why I carry a gun to the coffee shop, and pretty much everywhere I go.

I Live a Normal Life

I am a white collar worker, a project manager/system engineer by trade. I work from home. I live in a good neighborhood in a decent part of town. I make it a point to avoid the four S’s; I don’t do stupid things with stupid people in stupid places at stupid times. That choice right there lowers the probability I’ll ever be involved in a deadly force incident by several orders of magnitude. I don’t go looking for fights; in fact, the last fight I was in was in the fourth grade, 40 years ago—and I didn’t start that one.

However, I made the decision a long time ago—around the time I started having kids—that if I was ever assaulted with deadly force, I would respond in kind. And I would win, if not for me, for my family. A lot of people who know me might be surprised to learn that I would have no problem shooting and potentially killing someone who attacks me or my family. But here’s the deal; if someone comes at me or my family with deadly force, they have defined the relationship, not me. If someone were to bust into this coffee shop with a gun and start ordering people to the ground, I will draw, and I will engage.

Now, this is not machismo; I’m not a “tough guy.” I have made the decision that I will do whatever it takes to get home to my family tonight. Over the next few posts, I’m going to go into more detail about my decision process and how and I plan to defend myself. But for today, I am going to give you four primary reasons why I carry a gun.

No One Is Coming To Save You

It may seem morbid, but I study mass killer incidents. I have also had many conversations with law enforcement about their role in keeping us safe. My conclusion—supported by the facts of many, many cases—is that no one is coming to save you. There is an old saying that is very true, “When seconds count, police are minutes away.” The role of law enforcement is to catch the baddie after he has committed the crime, not to prevent it.

In a personal assault, calling 911 will not help you. You can either fight back or be killed or injured. I have made the decision that I will fight back. In an active killer situation, we’ve seen over and over  that the police are not going to rush in and protect the innocent. They will wait for backup, plan an response, then enter. That could take anywhere between 15-60 minutes. A lot of bad can happen in that time. I refuse to be the victim of a madman or terrorist.

And, as a side note, you’ll notice that I keep saying “mass killer.” This is a deliberate choice of words. The media always wants to portray these deranged individuals as mass shooters, with an emphasis on shooting. They want to blame the gun and not the bad guy. I’ve been shooting my entire life. I got my first gun when I was 11, and have shot tens of thousands of rounds over the years. Never once have I shot anyone else, and never once has one of my guns attacked me. It’s not the tool, it’s the bad guy using the tool that is the problem.

Now, I know that it is extremely unlikely that I’ll be involved in a mass killer incident. But that doesn’t stop me from preparing.

It’s Not the Probability—It’s the Stakes

The last serious car accident I was in was almost 30 years ago. And yet, every single time I get in my car, I put on my seatbelt. Why do I do this? From a probability standpoint, it makes no sense. I drive between 10-15 thousand miles per year. At that rate, I’ve driven roughly 375,000 miles without a serious accident. On a per-mile basis, the chances of me being involved in an accident are extremely low.

However, I spent 5 years in the fire service as an EMT. I’ve been to dozens of accident scenes, many of which involved people not wearing seat belts. The high incidence of death or serious injury when not wearing a seat belt has convinced me. I buckle up every single time.

The likelihood I’ll ever find myself in an active killer or violent attack is smaller still. And, just like it’s too late to buckle up after you’re in a wreck, one of the worst things I can think of is to find myself in a gunfight without a gun. The gun is not a magic talisman that wards off evil. Rather it is a tool that I will use if necessary to keep me and my family safe. The stakes are too high for me to go unarmed.

I Have a Family To Get Home To

I have a wife, two daughters and a dog. They depend on me for support. Even though my girls are grown, and one lives on her own, they still need—and deserve—to have their dad in her lives. As the primary breadwinner in the household, I provide for my family. I also provide companionship, advice and comfort. My family needs me.

It Is my Moral and Christian Duty to Provide For My Family

As a Christian, I do my best to live by the life guidelines set forth in the Bible. That same Bible tells me that, “If anyone does not provide for his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) “Provide” encompasses more than merely “brining home the bacon,” though I am a huge fan of bacon. To me, it is also providing security for my family. As I read that verse, if my family does not feel safe, I have denied the faith, and have failed at my role as provider.

There are some Christians who take a pacifist view of life, believing we should turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute us. I happen to believe that all those things are true. But we are talking about a violent assault. We have to look at the totality of Scripture when deciding how to live.

If someone attacks me or my family in a violent, deadly force manner, I do not believe there is any need to turn the other cheek. Far too many Christian men have become politically correct and emasculated. If confronted with violence, they might do what Lot did; hand over their virgin daughters to make the bad guys go away. I cannot find a single reference in Scripture where God sanctions that.

I cannot imagine anything but fighting with every last ounce of strength I have to protect my wife and daughters from attack. And because I’m old and a bit out of shape, I’m leveling the playing field by carrying a gun.

As I said before, I make it a general rule to avoid fights. In my view, any fight I can avoid is one I’ve already won. However, if someone attacks me or my family with deadly, nefarious intent, that attack will trigger a deadly force response. My family deserves at least that.

This is Personal

Now, as I write this, I want to acknowledge that this is a very personal decision. I do not expect that everyone else will come to the same conclusion. And that’s OK. One of the great things about living in America is that we have the choice to defend ourselves as we see fit. At least that’s the case in the free states. It’s also why I moved from the very un-free state of California to Tennessee.

If you’re reading this and can’t imagine defending yourself, well, that’s your right. You don’t have to protect yourself. You can hope for the best and take life as it comes. And that’s cool. I have seen enough evil in the world that I have prepared for it. I honestly hope I never have to draw my gun in self-defense. But if I ever have to, I will. I made that decision a long time ago.

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