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Why Carry a Gun

Well, if you think that law-abiding citizens shouldnít be allowed to carry guns for self-defense, youíre essentially in favor of pushing all those folks into that ring with the heavyweight, because thatís the power balance on the street.  There are no weight classes, no referees, and no fair fights. 



Carry a Gun?  - by John Farnum

"Police Protection" is a contradiction of terms!   Police rarely stop crimes from taking place.  Rather, we spend most of our time investigating offences, after the damage has been done, and after innocent victims have been permanently disabled/deformed or murdered.

Accordingly, I carry a gun, because I'm too young to be murdered, and too old to suffer crippling injury at the hands of violent criminals.


I don't go armed, because I harbor a secret desire to kill people, any more than I wear a seat belt while driving, because I have some compulsive desire to become involved in traffic accidents! 

I don't carry a gun, so that I can scare people.  I carry a gun, because the world is a scary place!

I don't carry a gun as a delusional response to imaginary threats.  I carry a gun, so that I can deal effectively with real threats!

I don't carry a gun, because I'm evil.  I carry a gun, because I've already seen more evil than I ever wanted to!

I don't carry a gun, because I hate government.  I carry a gun, because I've seen how  woefully limited and impotent all governments are!

I don't carry a gun, because I'm angry.  I carry a gun, so that I won't have to spend the  rest of my shortened life being angry with myself for being naively  unprepared.

I don't carry a gun, because I want to become involved in a lethal confrontation.  I carry a gun, because I want to die of old age, surrounded by family, in my own bed, not alone and hemorrhaging on a dirty street.

I don't carry a gun, because I'm a Cowboy.  I carry a gun because, when I die (of old age) and go to Heaven, I want to be a Cowboy!

I don't carry a gun, because it makes me feel like a man.  I carry a gun because real men know how to take care of themselves, and the ones they love, and do so without apology!

I don't carry a gun because I'm  "inadequate."  I carry a gun, because, when unarmed and facing three brutish thugs, I am inadequate!

I don't carry a gun, because I love doing it.  I carry a gun, because I love life!

At some point, all of us will have to wager our lives on the outcome of a single event.  There are some things worth risking everything to save; some things, without which, there will no longer be anything to live for!  At that moment, you either step up to the plate, or slink away.  Either way, you'll never have another chance!


Police are charged with a "general duty" to investigate suspicions circumstances and identify, apprehend, and charge criminals, once a crime has been committed.  We also  have a "general duty" to answer calls in a timely manner and patrol the  community in a good-faith effort to deter crime.  Of course, all this must be done within the constraints of our resources.

In some cases, courts are empowered to issue "restraining orders," but, as we know, the "restraint" is not physical.  The court-order is merely a piece of paper.  Who ompulsively commit violent crimes are seldom deterred.

So, "citizen protection" is, and must remain, a general term.  Police do the best they can, but we are never tasked with a specific duty to provide absolute protection to any particular individual at any particular time nor place, nor are we required to respond to calls within a specific amount of time.

And, we get paid the same, regardless of outcome!


Logical conclusion: You're on your own!


There is a critical difference between being injured as a result of an accident, as opposed to an act of criminal violence.

When I fall off a ladder and break my leg, although in pain, I'm laughing at my clumsiness the next day.  Conversely, when I suffer the same injury as the result of some two-bit thug who first pistol-whipped me, and then shot me before departing with my wallet, I will forever curse myself for allowing a  scumbag to terrorize me and my family.

The critical difference is the 'Voluntary Submission to Criminal Violence' factor.

That is the part that scars victims for life, the realization that they, for whatever reason, willfully allowed themselves to be vulnerable, and that someone would be evil enough to perpetrate such a malignant act.

Victims of violent crime experience genuine terror, and it never ends!  They don't laugh at themselves the next day, nor any day!  They forever blame themselves for being weak, naive, self-righteously stupid, and intentionally unprepared.  No amount of rationalization eases the pain!  They vainly long for the opportunity to 'do it over,' but it is forever denied them!

And, past-tense 'justice,' at long-last meted-out by the criminal-justice system, is ever of scant consolation!

The exception is the select few of us who regularly go armed and are trained and prepared to use deadly force when necessary.  When confronting violent criminals, we may be inconvenienced, even hurt physically, but we are not psychologically ruined.

The next day, we are apprehensive and anxious, but we have a deeply-satisfying sense of personal pride for being able and willing to boldly, and successfully, stand up to depraved felons.

We are more apt to feel like wounded warriors, than raped sheep.

Violent death is one thing you can't "do over!"


Taken from a post by a veteran officer:

Officer "R" mentioned that he never carries a gun off duty. He said he'd, "rather be a good witness." 

I too believed it important to be a good witness.
I believed firmly I must live long enough to be a good witness.
In 18 years behind the badge I never had to resort to the defensive sidearm while in uniform and on duty. It was only off duty, in civilian attire, that I ever needed that persuasive friend who can argue loudly and powerfully on my behalf.

Three times, had I not been carrying a concealed handgun, I would not have lived.  I breathe air today because I was armed.



ďThe Gun Is CivilizationĒ by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)


Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and

force.  If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either

convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat

of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two

categories, without exception. Reason or force, thatís it.


In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact

through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social

interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the

personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.


When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use

reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your

threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that

puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a

75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and

a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball

bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or

numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.


There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad

force equations. These are the people who think that weíd be more

civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes

it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only

true if the muggerís potential victims are mostly disarmed either by

choice or by legislative fiatĖit has no validity when most of a

muggerís potential marks are armed.


People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the

young, the strong, and the many, and thatís the exact opposite of a

civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a

successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force



Then thereís the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that

otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in

several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the

physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones donít constitute

lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out

of it with a bloody lip at worst.


The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of

the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the

field is level. The gun is the only weapon thatís as lethal in the hands

of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply

wouldnít work as well as a force equalizer if it wasnít both lethal and

easily employable.


When I carry a gun, I donít do so because I am looking for a fight,

but because Iím looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that

I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I donít carry it because Iím afraid,

but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesnít limit the actions

of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of

those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equationÖ

and thatís why carrying a gun is a civilized act.



"Why I Carry a Gun"  By Kathy Jackson

Carrying a gun can be uncomfortable. The gun literally and figuratively gets in the way of some activities. There is a constant and slightly uncomfortable awareness that the folks around me would be unhappy with me if they knew I had a gun under my outer clothing. Nevertheless, I continue to carry almost all day, almost every day.

Last week, I went to pick up two of my children from summer camp, and drop another two off at the same camp for the next session. The camp is about 3 hours from my house, in a rural area. The road we travel to get there is a two-lane highway, scenic and beautiful. And we were traveling in broad daylight.

Before I left the house, I put my gun on.

Did I expect any trouble? Nope. I just wear it as a matter of course. It's what I ordinarily do and so that's what I did on this ordinary day.

After dropping one set of kids off and picking up the next set, the kids and I wandered down to the beach. We walked along a nearly empty boardwalk and enjoyed the sun and the crisp breeze. Yes, I still had my gun on. I didn't leave it in the car simply because I expected no trouble. I carried it, because that's what I always do.

Because we were enjoying ourselves, we stayed at the beach a bit longer than I had originally intended, and so it was nearly sunset before we got back in the car for the ride home. We got back in the car and I noticed the car needed fuel, so we stopped at the gas station. There were other people fueling up, and I did my standard observant glance around the station before I stepped out of the car and filled the tank. Got back in the car ... and the car didn't want to start.


My sons and I push-started the cruddy little car and I mumbled a few choice comments under my breath. The car was going, and sounded all right, but the ride home was going to take about 3 hours. We'd piddled around at the beach so that it would be full dark before we arrived home. This particular stretch of road is notorious for its lack of cell service. Was the car reliable enough to drive down the deserted stretch of road? Should I risk it? If I didn't risk it, what would I do instead? There were no service shops open in this almost nonexistent town on a Saturday night, nor were there likely to be the next day.

I know nothing about engines (hey, that's what God made mechanics for!) and had no idea what was wrong. Maybe I'd left the headlights on while we were walking the boardwalk? If so, driving for awhile would take care of the problem. The car really did sound okay once it started up, and I couldn't think of any really great alternative plans.

So we started back on that empty deserted stretch of road. And of course, a few miles down the road, the car died (fiddlesticks and other comments). So there I was, a woman alone with two young boys, with no cell phone, on a deserted stretch of two lane highway just before dark.

Was I worried? About the car, yes. But I wasn't worried about our physical safety. I knew I had both the training and the tools to protect myself and my children even in the unlikely event that a human predator came along.

Shortly after the car died, another car pulled over and the man driving it asked if we needed help. Was I worried about his intentions? Nope, I was relieved to see him. I didn't have to worry about him or what he might do, because I knew I could protect myself if he turned out not to be the good Samaritan he appeared to be. Having the means to defend myself allowed me to be friendly and confident in talking to a stranger in what could have been dangerous circumstances. So I gave him the phone number for AAA and asked him to call them for me. He said, "All right, I'll do that -- and I'll come back and let you know what they said so you'll know if I got ahold of them okay." Nice guy.

Fifteen minutes later, the man returned, handed us three cold Cokes, and told me AAA was on the way. The kids and I thanked him profusely.

An hour after that, I was still sitting on the side of the road, waiting for my tow truck. The boys and I had run out of things to talk about. I was bored, a little worried that AAA had forgotten us, and we were all getting hungry and sleepy. Finally, the tow truck showed up -- a greasy driver who talked a mile a minute. Of course he was greasy, that's his job. But a woman alone on a deserted country road knows in her bones that the tow truck guy could be a rapist of opportunity. Did I worry about that? Not a bit. I knew I had the means to take care of myself and my kids if I needed to. Because I had that confidence, I was able to be friendly and forthright.

Eventually, the whole situation worked itself out, as these things do. Nobody offered me the slightest violence and because I was calmly confident of my ability to take care of it if they did, I was able to be outgoing and friendly rather than frightened or churlishly suspicious in dealing with other people, even in what I considered to be risky circumstances.

Although the stereotype is that gun owners are after some sort of a "power rush," I never have felt super-powerful or invincible when carrying a gun, nor anything remotely like that. Instead, in a low-key sort of way, I simply feel confident that I am equipped to handle an unpleasant or even deadly situation if I really need to do so. Because I know I could cope with the worst that could happen, I am free to go about my regular business without a lot of that low-level, back-of-the-mind feeling of vulnerability that most women experience on some level in their daily lives (especially when traveling though big cities, or in deserted areas after dark). When I first began carrying, I really liked having that feeling of calm confidence which came from being prepared to cope with the worst life could possibly throw at me, and I wanted to keep feeling it.

And that is why I carry a gun all the time.


Kathy Jackson is a freelance writer with an avid interest in self-protection, self-defense, and the outdoors. You can find tons of information about her, and more awesome articles like this at her site, www.corneredcat.com



"Why I carry"  Written by Isaiah Kellogg

       I carry a gun. I suppose itís probably no surprise to those who have read my other articles, but even then a lot of people donít think about it. I get a lot of questions about concealed carry, from people who do and people who do not know that I carry. Iíll respond to some of the more common questions and comments that Iíve gotten in the past three years.

    Is that legal? Yes. I wouldnít do it if it was illegal. Currently, two states have no restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun, 46 states have some sort of permit system by which citizens can carry a concealed weapon with a permit, and two states outlaw it completely. Missouriís law allowing citizens to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) went into effect three years ago, and yes, I do have permits which are recognized by Missouri. I have permits which allow me to carry in 30 states.     In order to remain legal, I have to memorize Missouriís law on the subject. I have to know the places where a gun is prohibited Ė including campus, bars, government buildings, etc. Also, I have to know when I would be legally justified to shoot someone Ė when they have the ability, the opportunity, and the intent to cause me severe personal injury or death. I also have to memorize the laws of every state I visit Ė for instance, New Mexico forbids carry in any location which sells alcohol (which includes most grocery stores). The smallest infraction could land me in prison.

    Why carry a gun? Because if I ever need it, I will need it RIGHT NOW. Iíve said before that the police are good hard working professionals, but they canít be everywhere at once. Iíd much rather have the police shoot someone who is threatening violence Ė thatís one of the things theyíre paid for, and they get professional immunity from most lawsuits as well as counseling to deal with the emotional aftermath.

    Carrying a gun is for the last resort, if everything else has failed. My mind is my only weapon Ė a gun is just a tool, and the very last tool in the bottom of my tool box. If I avoid dangerous places, stay aware of my surroundings, donít look like an attractive target, and try to run away firstÖ if all those things fail, I have one tool left to protect my life. Like a seat belt. I donít want to get in a car wreck and I make it habit to avoid wrecks, but if one happens, the seat belt may be the only thing that could save my life.

    You just want to shoot somebody, donít you? No. I understand that there is a huge emotional trauma that is attached to any lethal incident. Not to mention the likely criminal charges, and even if Iím acquitted the tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Far better is to run away and call the police. Shooting a person comes right above dying on my ďto doĒ list.

    Is it some sort of macho thing? No. When Iím carrying a gun, I have to work to defuse any potentially violent situation. If I participate in any way in an event which escalates to a shooting, I would be hung out to dry. I canít be macho, I canít be proud, and I have to walk away. Carrying a gun forces me to be as un-macho as possible.

    Wonít a bad guy just take away your gun and use it against you? If itís that easy to take it away, Iíll just take it right back! Seriously though, thatís very rare. Most of those cases are police, and thatís only because the officer and the gun are both highly visible. For the rest of us, the gun is concealed. By the time the criminal sees my gun, Iíll be pulling the trigger before he can get his hands on it. There are techniques that keep the gun close to your body when shooting at someone close enough to grab your gun. But even with concealment and the best techniques, if Iím not willing to use the gun, it could be taken away from me. And that leads to the next question:

    Would/could you shoot someone? I donít know. I never have. I hope I never find out. One time when I was working at a grocery store, two guys said theyíd come kill me when I got off work. The police came when I called, but there would have been plenty of time for violence before they arrived, and they were gone well before I got off work. And one time at home, someone broke in at night but left when I told the 911 operator I had a gun. Again, the police showed up after the violence would have been over. In both instances, Iím glad that nobody got shot, but I think that if things had been slightly different (guys at the grocery store actually did come back, or whoever broke into my house hadnít run off) I could have shot that person. Again, not the best option, but better than my own death.

    Are you living out some Rambo fantasy? This one always makes me laugh. I donít imagine myself in the middle of a well-planned terrorist attack, acting out scenes from a video game. While I understand that a multiple-shooter orchestrated attack is unlikely, I also realize itís possible. If I am caught in that type of situation, Iím not a SWAT team. Iím not going to take on a passel of well-armed terrorists with a snub nosed .38 special, but God help any terrorist who gets between my family and the nearest exit. A single whacko shooting up a mall, same story Ė Iím grabbing my family and heading for the nearest exit, but if my family is threatened before we can get to safety, Iíll do what I have to do. Thatís how the February 12th shooting at Trolley Mall in Salt Lake City was stopped Ė the shooter got between an armed man with his pregnant wife and the exit.

    I follow the law. I avoid dangerous locations. I try to see trouble in time to avoid it. Iíll run away rather than fight. I believe in nonviolence, and I expect the same from others. If every nonviolent solution has failed, I will react to end violence. I carry a gun.


"Why I carry"  by an Anonymous USCCA Member

We've all got our daily carry gear. Mine includes my wallet, work keys, vehicle keys, cell phone, ink pen, pocket knife, and an aluminum LED flashlight.

I've been trying to think of a great example lately, as to why the most recent addition- a GLOCK 9mm pistol and extra magazine- has made me more of a civilized person.

Every day since September 21st, which is when I received my permit, not one day has passed- not one trip down the driveway has taken place- that has saw me not carrying my pistol. I have been convinced from day one that this made me a better person. The best explanation I could come up with was "it finally allows me to relax", or "it allows me to interact normally with people, instead of having to be weary of them". Still, my best explanation was kind of unclear, and most people wouldn't get it. Until yesterday, on my way home from work...

That's when I saw a hitchhiker up ahead. Normally, (assuming they weren't standing by a broken down car- which even THAT can be a set up) my mind would jump to 'condition orange' and I'd think, "Yeah, nice try". At the very least, I'd think, "Man, I WANT to pick them up and help them out, but it's not worth getting killed over..."

Still, it would always feel like it was my duty as not only a Christian, but as a human being who lives within a hundred miles of another human being, to pick up someone less fortunate, and give them a ride.

This time though, I had a little 1.2lb hunk of steel and polymer tucked in between my pants and underwear, accessible from a sitting position in less than two seconds (I've practiced), with twenty-one 115gr. slugs at my disposal, the idea that this person would try to do me hard was not quite as 'loud' as it had been before. As soon as I saw the guy, my instinct was, "Sweet, I get to do humanity a favor for once".

I gave him a ride to his house, which was only a mile or so out of my way. Though he obviously had some problems of his own, he expressed nothing but gratitude for the ride, and I never felt a bit uncomfortable. I then realized that there was really nowhere I would feel uncomfortable going, and no person I would fear interacting with. Especially given that, with my hands placed lazily at my hips, my GLOCK is never more than a second from deployment. :)

Now I know that not everyone needs a gun to be able to interact with 'shady' characters, but I do, and I've accepted that.

That's why carrying a gun makes me a more civilized person.


Inmates reported that a handgun was their preferred firearm; of those carrying a firearm, 83% of State inmates and 87% of Federal inmates said that they carried a handgun during the offense for which they were serving their longest sentence. About 8% of State inmates who had carried a firearm during the commission of their crime reported having a military-style semiautomatic (7%) or fully automatic (2%) firearm, with some carrying both...In 1997, 14% of State inmates who had used or possessed a firearm during their current offense bought or traded for it from a retail store, pawnshop, flea market, or gun show (table 8). Nearly 40% of State inmates carrying a firearm obtained the weapon from family or friends. About 3 in 10 received the weapon from drug dealers, off the street, or through the black market. Another 1 in 10 obtained their gun during a robbery, burglary, or other type of theftÖ




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