Let’s be fair, most people are of kind heart and good spirits, and do the right thing as a matter of course, regardless of what the law says. The vast majority of conduct ourselves peaceably and with good intent. We don’t run around murdering people because we find murder to be abhorrent – we’re not set up for that. The fact that there’s a law against murder doesn’t really factor into that line of thought. However, in a vast world of possible outcomes, there exists evil people who do bad things regardless of the existence of a law. In other words – shit happens. As much as we have a fire extinguisher since the fire department takes time to respond, we should always carry a gun since we don’t live in a perfect world…
I was reading a blog post by Miguel over at gunfreezone.net which inspired me to take this semi-deep dive. His post was in reference to a thankfully-minor notorious shooting incident in Collierville, Tennessee. One of the witnesses, as Miguel noted, said:
You don’t expect these kinds of things to happen in Collierville…
Um, no, but it did…
The worst kind of thinking in this regard is along the lines of “It can’t happen here…”. Whether it’s a violent attack, a natural disaster, or incipient rising totalitarianism, the evil forces in the world pay scant attention to this thin veneer of peace we call civilization. While a country-wide shit-hits-the-fan scenario is (hopefully) unlikely, the SHTF at a local and neighborhood level almost daily, if you think about it. Compared to nearly 8 billion people, there aren’t that many evil people, but there’s enough that preparing for a problem is something we should all do. Whether it’s packing up some emergency supplies for civil unrest, or keeping a well-maintained 9mm pistol on your hip, being prepared is something we all need to work on and maintain our edge with.
Anyway, to be blunt, violent attacks can happen anywhere, especially in a free society. The price of freedom is that indeed, sometimes bad things happen. Again, it’s thankfully minimal in our nation, but nonetheless it’s something we should be prepared for. Whether it’s Colliersville, Miami, or Chicago, free people, Second Amendment Radicals, and armed citizens should be ready and trained to take decisive action quickly. A good thing to do, of course, is to always carry a gun.
Again, whether it’s an 9mm pistol on your hip, or an AR-style weapon ready to rock, being armed gives you that decisive leg up in a violent incident.
Whether you’re a new-jack Second Amendment Radical or a dyed-in-the-wool Walt Kowalski type who was there when the deep magic was written, it’s a central theme to our lives in that “It it better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it…” in terms of owning a firearm. Yes, it’s straight from the NRA talking points, but it is so true.
If you’re one of the recent converts who picked up say a GLOCK pistol or an AR-15 during the late unpleasantness, you’ve already made a tacit admission, whether you know it or not, that bad things can happen anywhere. A killer can show up in the sleepiest suburb with about equal likelihood as a destitute city block, once everything is really averaged out. Again, it’s not likely in the grand scheme of things, but neither is a house fire. But yet, just like house fires, violent attacks happen, and the government has zero power, or really an obligation, to stop it.
It’s all up to you.
It’s a great thing that us here in the United States are heavily armed. Some out there consider it a point of scorn, but those of us who respect and practice individual rights and freedoms should see it as a mark of pride. If some mouthy harridan in California or useless scold in Boston stars foaming about “the guns”, our response should be – “Yeah, and?”
That being said, while over 100 million of us own firearms of some sort, less than that number actually carry them on a regular basis. We need to change that.
By the numbers, the most common weapon purchased these days is a defensive handgun of some sort. Whether it’s a H&K, a GLOCK, or a Smith & Wesson, your modern firearms purchaser is out there buying a weapon for defense – again realizing the government cannot and isn’t obligated to come to their aid. 911 returns a fast-busy signal? Tough shit. Better have a gun.
Be that as it may, attacks don’t exclusively happen in the home or on your property. A violent incident can happen on the street. Crime isn’t selective or convenient.
So yes, you decided to take responsibility for your own life, and that includes the entire universe outside your own home. It’s your right. It’s your life. Defend it. That new pistol your purchased should be on your hip as much as possible. Topped off with quality ammunition of course.
And definitely learn how to use it. Get out of the square range. Take some defensive firearms courses from reputable trainers like good guy Rob Pincus or Miami’s Condition One Group. Threats do move about in space and time, and hitting center mass becomes more difficult in those scenarios, after all.
In a more ideal world, carrying a gun would be super-easy. Order gun online, a Brownell’s drone flies said gun and some ammo to your home, you seek out a good trainer, strap on gun with a quality holster, and go about your day, armed and feeling a little more secure.
Unfortunately we live in a world where there’s systemic, racist, and situational barriers to always carrying a gun.
In most of the nation, the legal barriers are set to the federal minimum and maybe require a shall-issue carry permit. Constitutional carry is a thing, and the baseline for the country is shall-issue, whether the opposition likes it or not. Unfortunately some of the more violent areas of the country are in may-issue regimes, where a local bureaucrat holds sway over the permit process, and you can be denied your rights just because you’re poor, not of the same skin color as the bureaucrat, or not of the same political party. Hopefully things will change in the next few months, but for now, that’s the hand those people have been dealt.
If that’s the case, do what you need to do in order to ensure your own safety and survival. Laws or no laws, no one’s going to be able to help you in time if the cards are down. Get the ball rolling on the process or do what you have to do.
Racial And Political Barriers
If you feel there’s racial or political factors at play? Raise hell. We’re supposed to be in a post-racist society, let’s hold their feet to the fire about that, especially if “they” were on TV or something screaming about equality or something. Equality does mean being armed to the same level as the government, after all.
Cultural barriers? Don’t let petty bullshit stop you from carrying a gun. If those around you are against it, you don’t need that kind of drama in your life. If someone truly cares about you, they still will if you have a good blaster at your side.
Situational barriers are a little more difficult. I get it, some employers have an enforced gun prohibition, especially if you work for the government. Metal detectors, etc. In that case, you’ll need to choose your battles wisely, and perhaps start looking for another line of work.
Also, remember in a lot of cases where there’s only a boilerplate gun-free-zone statement with no enforcement, or no stated policy at all – “concealed is concealed”. You do you, and accept the risk of discovery, which should be nil if you’re smart.
Disclaimer: I’m not telling you to do anything in this case, just what options exist.
On a more mundane level are situational barriers, of course. The most common complaint is having to “dress around the gun” and that sort of thing. Sure, it’s a nuisance, but with practice, one can dress around the gun and be somewhat stylish at the same time. You don’t have to look like a mall ninja or off-duty cop to carry a gun. A good holster and the right pistol (don’t forget the spare magazines!) and you can dress for success, and be armed.
Having Many Guns Is A Good Thing
Also, another option is utilizing different guns for different situations. As much as you have a pistol, an AR-style rifle, or a shotgun, it may be wise to have multiples, especially in the pistol department.
While some instructors recommend sticking to one specific firearm and learning the hell out of it for defensive purposes, others will concede that, on occasion, it’s not practical to dress around a firearm 100 percent of the time. In that case, it’s worth it to achieve basic competency in multiple types of firearms. A way to lessen the learning curve is to stick to the same brand across the board, if budget permits. Not gonna lie, I don’t do that, but it does make things easier. For example, if your primary carry gun is an H&K VP9 9mm pistol, it may be worth getting the VP9SK compact 9mm as your “secondary” pistol, for occasions when a full-size pistol may prove not to be ideal. GLOCK fans have it easier, with a whole range of 9mm pistols in all major sizes and configurations. If a GLOCK 17 is your carry pistol of choice, getting a GLOCK 19 or 26 would be a great choice for a secondary.
Practical considerations aside, it’s also a good thing to have multiple choices for defensive firearms anyways. Though robust, guns can exhibit mechanical issues and require service. If your primary gun is offline, you should have something else as a substitute anyway.
In most of the nation, it’s not exceedingly difficult to always carry a gun. Despite legal and other barriers which we should actively work to dismantle, it’s easier to do so within the law than every other nation on the planet. It’s our right as free people, and we should exercise and promote it.
However, when the rubber does meet the road, it’s not always possible to be armed with a gun in a given situation. Hard gun-free zones, i.e. active security measures like metal detectors and maybe crazy millimeter wave systems, do exist on both private and government property. And sometimes we have to go to these places.
In that case, learn how to improvise. Anything blunt and heavy can become a weapon in a pinch. Those stanchions that hold up velvet ropes are pretty heavy. Also things that don’t qualify as weapons per se are often given the green light to enter hard GFZs. Flashlights, pens and pencils, that sort of thing. And yes, some basic hand-to-hand skills are a godsend.
People bent on mayhem and destruction often seek out soft targets. Outside of full-on civil unrest, you don’t see attacks on things like police stations, gun ranges, and the like. Mainly because attackers know they’ll get dropped in about five seconds of starting their assault. So, they focus on the soft targets. Supermarkets, educational facilities (at least the ones that aren’t protected), and the like. It’s an old trope, but the length of a shooting incident is determined by the arrival of a second gun on the scene. Just ask Jack Wilson.
To be fair, it’s not our job to seek out violent offenders and attackers. But, it is our job to be ready in case those people show up to where we may be at a given moment. With good situational awareness, training, and quality armaments, us Second Amendment Radicals and armed citizens can be ready and able.
Quick Disclaimer: I’m not an instructor, what I presented here was a common and agreed-upon mindset and assessment of the potential for violence in our world. For the specifics on how to do these things, seek out a quality instructor. I can point you to plenty of top-notch people.
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