You’re the guy or girl who says there’s no reason for anyone but a cop to have a gun. You want to ban firearms, or at least make them so difficult for anyone to lawfully obtain as to be impossible, because you say “something has to be done”. You’re upset because certain establishments allow firearms to be carried on the premises in accordance with existing laws. You claim this is somehow inherently unsafe, even though the persons doing so are acting in a law abiding manner and have harmed no one. The mere presence of a weapon somehow makes the situation “dangerous”. You can’t stand me, and you don’t even know me.
I’m the shopper with the full cart of groceries who smiled and offered to let you jump the line with three items so you could get home to your family faster. I’m the PTA member you called to pick your kids up at school when you got stuck in traffic. I’m the neighbor who brought a couple extra dozen cupcakes to the bake sale at your church. I’m the spectator you high-fived at the soccer game when your youngest scored his first goal. I’m the lady who held a door open for you when your hands were full of packages. I’m the fellow mother who complimented your infant’s beautiful eyes. I sat down next to you on the bus. I shared an elevator with you this morning. I shopped at your yard sale. I wave when I see you on the same jogging path. I bought candy bars from your kids when they went door to door for a school fund raiser even though my hips sure didn’t need the calories.
I’m not alone. Across America, every day, there are hundreds of thousands of people just like me. Your neighbors. You see us every day and never blinked an eye. And every single time you saw me- saw us- I was carrying a firearm. You walk right past us every day and don’t even know it.
I don’t carry a firearm to feel tough or be mean. I’m not “compensating for something” and find the suggestion distasteful. I personally hope that I never, ever have to use it on another human being. But the truth is that I value my life and the life of my family, and the lives of my friends (people like YOU) more than the life of the person who seeks to take mine away from me. Please don’t try to tell me that the chances of being in a dangerous situation are so slim as to be nonexistent; I have been in a life-or-death situation and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I personally know that when the police leave you with nothing more than a piece of paper it isn’t going to stop the guy determined to kill you from coming back. I personally know that when he is in the house, breaking in the door you are hiding behind while the dispatcher assures you that help is coming that the Good Guys With A Gun are too far away. In my own case, if it hadn’t been for the heroic actions of a very brave dog, they would have been there just in time to string up crime tape and write me up as another domestic violence homicide. I was lucky. Sadly, so many others are not. I am a survivor, and they are statistics.
I practice for accuracy and comfort of movement. I researched models of weapons and spent time with several to learn what I would feel best having by my side every day. I don’t leave home without it. I got educated and informed and responsible for my own safety, because I know from experience that I cannot rely on someone else to save me.
You have the right to disarm yourself if it makes you feel better but I cannot and will not allow you to do the same to me. Knee jerk reactions to senseless tragedies executed by people with no regard for the value of human life, whether by their mental status or other factors, do nothing to protect me. Or you. There is no background check for evil, and you can’t save your flock from hungry wolves by firing the sheepdogs and posting “no biting!” signs.
Celebrities and politicians vehemently calling for ever more restrictive regulations have the resources to hire professional bodyguards,-often armed- for their personal safety. They haven’t dismissed them before making their tear filled pleas. They didn’t swap their guns for slingshots and whistles. Why should I or my family or others in my station in life be considered expendable for their cause? Why should we not have the same protection available, especially when we are wiling to learn and provide it for ourselves?
Individuals need to remain in charge of their own safety, to receive appropriate training in the use and handling of firearms and to confidently assert their birthright to self defense in the best means possible. We need to teach our children that these rights are ours, and that they comes with responsibilities. We need to instill in them empathy, compassion, and courtesy to others so that we can confront and defeat the underlying causes of the wrongs that plague our society.
If you’d like some range time, let me know, I’ll be happy to help you, or to put you in touch with a qualified instructor who can.