Why getting (& carrying) your Concealed Weapon Permit is a MUST:
There are 5 reasons why a law abiding American Citizen should get their concealed carry permit. Not only that but also carry their firearm on a daily basis! As firearm instructors, my husband and I have heard it all. From people who take a CCW course, but don’t carry on their person; to people who only carry in their car. To people who only have firearms at home, but don’t keep them loaded and the ammo is who-knows-where on the other side of the house.
1. Because open carrying is stupid…and dangerous:
Please don’t get offended by my terminology here; hear me out. Here in Colorado, along with many other states, open carry of a firearm is completely 100% legal. I could walk down the street with my handgun or even a .338 Lapua strapped to my back and be completely within my rights as a law-abiding American citizen. HOWEVER! And this is a huge “however”; it’s a really dangerous idea.
It’s dangerous because it takes away your tactical advantage. If you’re in line at the local gas station and some bonehead comes in to rob the place and he sees that you have a Glock on your hip; who do you think is going to be his first target? YOU! You have now put a bull’s eye right on your chest (and your kiddos!) and he will attempt to “take you out” before doing anything else. By carrying concealed you have the advantage of being able to choose to get involved in the situation or not, by being a good witness rather than part of the story. Granted, this is my professional OPINION, but with years of training behind this opinion, it’s worth looking into.
As normal citizens, we do NOT have a responsibility to get involved and “save the day”. Our responsibility is to our family and going home after an event like this one. Obviously, for Law Enforcement Officers it’s different, but the average citizen is not required to neutralize the threat. My only responsibility is to go home to my husband and children. That’s it. By whatever means necessary. If that means that I have to get involved and use my firearm then so be it. If that means that I sit there and play the dumb hostage, then so be it. This is where proper training and situational awareness comes in. You have to learn to read the situation and know what the best course of action is for YOU to take.
I Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.”
Just because you can does NOT mean that you have too or should. PLEASE let that sink in.
2. To protect innocent life:
As a legal and responsible concealed carrier we have the moral responsibility to protect innocent life. I realize this sounds like I am contradicting point 1, but let me elaborate. We, as normal non-law enforcement citizens we do not have a LEGAL responsibility. What we do have is a MORAL responsibility to protect our family. At the end of the day, after a critical stress/traumatic situation are you going to feel guilty that you COULD have stopped the bad guy from hurting your family but you DIDN’T? Are you going to have guilt from knowing that you could have stopped a bad guy from hurting someone else’s family but didn’t? Ultimately we have one responsibility; to go home to our families. You have to make that educated decision to get involved or not. Believe me, it must be thought through, discussed, mulled over and taken extremely seriously.
3. Because the only way to stop a bad guy (with or without a gun) is a good guy with a gun:
You can’t reason with crazy. You can’t put logic into an illogical situation. Just like you can’t fight a knife wielding bad guy with a paper clip, it just won’t work. You are not evenly matched! My husband and I always tell our students that there is NO SUCH THING as a fair fight. Both parties are not going to walk away. Fair, to us, means that we go home to our family by any means necessary. Does that mean taking a life? Not necessarily, but that is a possibility. Now, being a follower of Christ we are very familiar with the Ten Commandments. So where do these come into play with self-defense? The Ten Commandments say “thou shalt not kill”. When you look at the original text of Exodus it actually says “Thou shalt not murder”. Is killing in self-defense the same as killing in cold blood? Absolutely not! Does this mean that I need to let the bad guy hurt my family just so I won’t have to pull that trigger? I don’t think so. The Lord commands us to take care of our family. The Lord says not to kill in cold-blood. We don’t believe that this applies to self-defense. This is why we train often and hard. This is why we push having the proper mindset so we and our students can identify potential threats and exit that situation before it escalates to having to make that choice to take another human’s life. One way to think about this important decision is this: the bad guy has already chosen his path in life. He has already made up his mind to commit a crime and possibly kill innocent people. That’s his decision. My decision, however, is to protect my family, even if that means that he doesn’t go home to his. This is why it’s so vital to be aware of what’s going on around you.
4. Because you become a more well-rounded person with proper training and proper mindset:
As we stated above, having the proper mindset and situation awareness is more important than any other aspect of training that we do. When you can identify a potential threat (whether it is one or not) you can make the best decision for you and your family’s safety.
You’ll let more things slide because if someone goes to start a fight, now you have an instance to be forced to use your firearm. We are more willing to get cut off in traffic without causing a scene. We are more willing to go across town to a different grocery store if there are shady people out front of our favorite. We are willing to be polite, courteous and forgiving to those around us. But let’s face it, we should be acting this way anyway.
Robert A. Heinlein said, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
Really dwell on that quote. It may mean the difference between life and death in your future.
5. Because all home invasions happen at home:
There’s not a simpler way to say this. Do a simple search on Youtube or check out the Facebook Page “Active Self Protection”. The gentleman that runs this page posts videos of attacks, home invasions etc. all caught on video. He narrates each video to point out what is going on, what’s going wrong and what’s going right. Frankly, I don’t like watching these videos. Some of them are extremely graphic and some are just scary. I don’t want to watch these. However, it’s necessary for me to see these and see where I’m lacking in my situational awareness. It’s prompted me to make sure that we have firearms staged (securely and safely of course) in several locations throughout our home in case of a home invasion. On that same note, we keep our doors locked. AT. ALL. TIMES! Whether we’re home or not, whether we’re expecting the company or not. We maintain a secure household. We also keep an eye our neighborhood and make notes of anything weird. By anything weird we mean parked cars on our street that we don’t recognize, random people walking by looking weird, and cars that drive by our house multiple times. We don’t keep a log and we don’t write it down, we just take a mental note of what’s going on in our neighborhood so we can be more aware of when something is amiss.
The main point of this post is that a firearm is just a life-saving tool. To save your life or the life of your family you must have the proper tool to implement. Just as my husband needs a wrench to tighten our son’s training wheels, to neutralize a threat we might need a firearm. A firearm is the type of tool that has no substitute. Just like a fire extinguisher or a spare tire, you can’t substitute those two items if you really need them. If a person is intent on harming others they will find a way with or without a firearm. By carrying one on your person at all times, you have the upper hand and the decision-making ability to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Check out these examples of legal CCW carriers stopping potential mass shootings:
Dec. 11, 2012
Two people were killed and a third was seriously wounded in Clackamas County, Oregon when Jacob Roberts opened fire in a local shopping mall. Nick Meli, a shopper in the mall, drew a personally owned firearm on Roberts, who then retreated. Meli did not fire his weapon, for fear of striking bystanders.