If you were attacked, and your only two options were to fight back with your bare hands or to defend your life with a firearm, which would you choose? Seriously. What would you choose to protect yourself? Two hands…or a gun?
I ask this question because I am certain of my answer. I am a concealed carry gun owner. Wherever I go—from a local restaurant to the mall or from a friend’s house to my own home—I have my firearm. I have that extra layer of protection. I have that tool that could quite possibly even the odds if someone decided to attack me. So, if I were ever threatened, I know I would have options to protect myself. And if I were ever violently assaulted, I know I would choose my firearm over my hands.
Of course, there are times when I travel to locations where my CCW permit does not have reciprocity or where it is not legal for me to carry my gun. That makes for an interesting predicament. And this exact scenario happened to me very recently.
While out of town, I stopped one evening to pick up a quick dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant. But I noticed a car drive slowly around the same loop several times. I noticed a man watching me walk through the parking lot. I noticed a woman walking too quickly in my direction. I noticed a couple edging closer and getting into my personal space. Even though I had visited this area many times and have gotten pretty familiar with the hotel and with the surrounding area, I was uncomfortable. And maybe it’s because I’m so used to having a gun on my hip, but when I’m without it, you better believe I notice. I notice a lot. I almost notice too much. Of course, these are all things I would normally observe, but they wouldn’t have affected me as profoundly as they did if I’d experienced them under more “normal” circumstances—while carrying my gun.
In those moments, I felt vulnerable. And even though these people meant me no harm (and may not have even noticed me, really), it made me wonder what I’d do if someone tried to hurt me and I didn’t have my firearm. (It also made me seek out additional concealed carry permits from other states, so I can legally carry when I travel!)
Talk about being paranoid. I’m not paranoid because I own a gun. I’m not paranoid because I carry a gun. I’m not paranoid because I encourage others to do the same and to get firearms training. I don’t feel paranoid for any of those reasons. I feel proactive. I feel prepared. I feel more capable, and I feel a bit more secure. The only time I feel paranoid is when I know I could better protect myself…but I am not able to do so. And that’s a terrible feeling. And to think…so many politicians, activists, Hollywood names, and anti-gun folks want to limit or even take away our Second Amendment right!
So, again, I have to ask: If you were attacked, and your only two options were to fight back with your bare hands or to defend your life with a firearm, which would you choose? Can you honestly answer that you would choose vulnerability…that you would willingly choose to fall prey to evil? And what if that perpetrator turned on your friend who was with you? Or your spouse? Or your child?
I know my answer. In all of those cases, I choose a gun. I choose preparedness. Every time. And I strongly encourage everyone to do the same.