Saturday, October 6, 2012

Interview with a Gun Carrier

Tim Schmidt of U. S. Concealed Carry Association publishes an email with helpful articles about carrying concealed on a daily basis. One, that I thought ought to be highlighted was this: Mindset Interviews: Interview One-JS. JS has the sound of someone who authentically carries on a daily basis. The interview discusses his early work in law enforcement, and his subsequent carry experience as a civilian.

He expresses frustration at the way a civilian can be entrapped by violating one of the many invisible lines that one may cross during the day.  He talks about the passivity that the relative safety we experience causes some people to assume. He discusses the criminal element, and the criminal mindset, and the mindset that the average person needs to avoid becoming a victim. One of the things he said during the interview struck me as being particularly true:
CA – As a civilian, since you got your permit at 21. Have you ever went around, even for a moment, with a vigilante attitude? You know, an attitude that you will take steps to enforce the laws.

JS – Not in the slightest. In fact, carrying a gun has me avoiding places I might have gone to before carrying a gun. The simple fact of being armed in public makes a person more self-aware. That self-awareness helps out with making good decisions to avoid trouble. I had the choice when driving home to either take a shortcut through a bad section of town or drive around. I used to take the shortcut. After I was trained to use a gun, it just made more sense to drive around.

It really is not complicated. People who do not carry a gun should learn this part. They need to understand that I am used to carrying a gun every day. It is part of my mindset in that I refuse to be a victim. I do not go to places being paranoid. I just go places with a tool that could save my life one day. I actually choose to avoid the very hint of trouble. I walk away, drive around or do not go. If there are reports of trouble brewing for a public event I might like to attend, I stay home. The goal is to never have to use the gun. The goal is to not ever be harmed, which is why I carry a gun. It is a last resort type of thing.
I remember shortly after getting my concealed carry permit, I was in a Borders store. A young man was listening to music through earphones, and singing along to the tunes he was hearing. It was loud, and disruptive to the others in the store, myself included. My first instinct was to suggest that he not sing along in the middle of the store. Then I remembered that I was carrying a gun, and that by confronting the young man, I would be creating a situation that could escalate out of hand. I turned and walked out of the store. I have lived by the notion ever since that in any possible confrontation, I know there is at least one gun, mine, and I try to avoid such situations.

The interview sounds to me like the truth. The attitudes of JS toward criminals, and his determiniation that he won't be victimized ring true to me, as well as his attitude about avoiding trouble whenever he can. But in choosing to see the world as it is, rather than as he might want it to be, he has made the overt decision to go armed throughout life. I understand. Go read the whole article. It is a very good interview with a level headed guy.

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