- “Oh, I only carry in bad neighborhoods.”
- “If I felt I had to carry at home, I’d move!”
- “I just carry at night or when I’m alone.”
- “Why would I carry to the grocery store? Or to the hairdressers, for crying out loud!?”
- “Nothing bad ever happens around here.”
If I had a dime in my savings account for every time I’ve heard people say something like the above, I could probably retire and live off the interest.
Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of trying to talk people into stuff they don’t feel comfortable doing. If you don’t think owning a gun is right for you, I’m not the person you want to ask about it — because I’ll just agree with you. Guns don’t belong in the hands of people who don’t want them. If you aren’t interested in learning more about self defense, I’m sure not going to argue with you about that. It’s your life and you’re a grownup. Go live the life you want to live, and enjoy it.
But these comments don’t come from non-gun owners. Or from people who don’t care about their personal safety. They come from people who do intend to protect themselves in the face of violence, but who also honestly, truly believe that bad things literally cannot happen in places where they personally feel safe.
“Is this true? And is it okay that I feel that way?”
Sometimes, people ask me what I think about what they just said: “Is this true? And is it okay that I feel this way about not carrying my gun all the time?”
Let me get the second question out of the way first: Yes. It is okay that you feel however you feel. Although it mystifies me that anyone would need my permission to live their own life, of course you can choose your own actions! Go ahead, do what you want to do, based on whichever of your feelings you choose to embrace. It’s your firearm and your life and you get to live with the consequences of whatever you choose to do with those things. I’m certainly not going to judge you for making your own decisions about your own life. Live however you want, and be happy. 🙂
But the first question… that bugs me. It bugs me a lot. Because I’m not going to lie to you, and I don’t like it that you asked me to do so. Bad things do happen in good neighborhoods. They do happen in places where we don’t really expect them to happen. Violent crime absolutely can — and does — hit good people when and where they least expect it.
There’s no way around this paradox:
The only possible way we can be prepared to deal with an unexpected threat is to be prepared even when we don’t expect a threat.
Here’s the news story that got me thinking about this. It was (apparently) an attempted mass murder in — of all places! — a craft store. Police say a man started shooting inside the store and then officers shot him. The witnesses were reportedly “terrified after what should’ve been a normal shopping day.” Well, yes. Because who really expects trouble while they’re just buying a hot glue gun and some ribbon?
Bad things can happen in a craft store, though, as the story shows. They can also happen in a beauty salon. (And how many of us would feel ridiculous carrying a gun to get our hair done?) They can happen at home, even in broad daylight, even in good neighborhoods. They can happen at the grocery store and at the pharmacy. You know, we might run into any one of these places while running normal errands on a normal day during a normal everyday life.
In fact: last week, one of our sons asked for a ride to the drug store to fill a prescription. As we pulled into the store’s parking lot, we spotted a dozen police cars parked haphazardly at odd angles all around the front of the building. Think something bad might have been happening, inside? So did we, and thus went elsewhere.
So to sum up:
- Bad things do happen even to good people, even in good neighborhoods, even during broad daylight and even on otherwise normal days.
Do whatever you like with this truth, except deny it.