(Courtesy of The Armed Lutheran)
Last week I responded to a fan who wrote me asking for advice on how to convince his anti-gun wife to allow him to buy and carry a handgun. This week I got similar questions from a fan who is debating whether to carry concealed: is anywhere safe?
I find it difficult to justify carrying around a weapon at all times. True, I understand that crime can happen anywhere, but to be honest, it would be difficult to justify carrying around a gun to a place where no crime has happened, ever. Do you honestly think that you’re going to need your firearm to protect your family if you’re out in ‘safe‘ areas?”
The blanket assertion that no crime has happened, ever, is far fetched. But, lets accept the hypothetical. Let’s assume that no crimes have ever occurred in your house. Fine. Do you intend to ever leave your house? If your neighborhood is crime-free, that’s wonderful. Mine is too. Do you every leave the neighborhood to get gas for your car or to get groceries or to go shopping? Unless you are completely self-sufficient, home-schooling your kids, growing your own food, sewing your own clothing, you probably need to leave the house and your neighborhood from time to time. And I guarantee that the places you go are not “safe.”
Do you then limit your excursions outside the home to places where crimes have never been committed. I’m not sure how you determine that, unless you scour through police reports for every place you go, before you go there. Crimes happen everywhere, every day. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t.
Let’s look at this another way. I’ve never had a house fire, my home has never burned. Yet I keep a fire extinguisher in my house. How can I justify the expense of having multiple fire extinguishers in a place where no fire has happened, ever? My kids have never drowned in my swimming pool. Neither have I. Nor has my wife. Yet I paid for swimming lessons for my kids. How could I justify the expense of private swimming lessons? My car has never broken down in a snow storm like the one that hit Atlanta recently, leaving thousands of people stranded. Yet I keep a “get home bag” in both of my cars. How can I justify the expense of those supplies when I have never been stranded, ever.
Nobody had ever driven a truck into the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, before George Hennard did it on October 16, 1991. He then proceeded to shoot 50 people, killing 23. Ask Suzanna Hupp how it felt to watch her parents shot to death, while her pistol was locked away in her car. If only she had been allowed to carry it, maybe something could have been done to stop the slaughter. That event sparked the passage of Texas’ shall-issue concealed carry law in 1995.
Ask Amanda Collins, about how it felt to be unable to defend herself at the University of Nevada when she was raped at gunpoint on campus, in a so-called “gun free zone.”
Ask Holly Adams, whose daughter died in the Virginia Tech massacre, how she feels.
How many people — lying in pools of their own blood, suffering through the indignity of rape or torture, hiding in a closet from an active shooter, breathing their final breaths — thought to themselves “I can’t believe this is happening to me?” How many people do you see at night on TV, interviewed after some horrific crime, telling reporters that they just can’t believe it happened in their neighborhood.
When asked why people decide to buy or carry a gun, they give a variety of answers. Some decide to do it in response to a crime. They’ve been attacked or had an incident which left them feeling vulnerable, like the incidents I recounted in my previous post. Some do it because they live or work in a crime-ridden area. Most do it to be prepared, so that IF something happens, they won’t be defenseless. It’s not paranoid to want to be prepared for the worst.
You are ultimately responsible for your own protection. The Supreme Court has ruled that police have no duty to protect you. So, when something bad happens, would you rather have the means to defend yourself and your family or would you leave it to the police? If you choose the latter, that’s fine. Just realize that calling 9-1-1 means someone else with a gun will come to your rescue, but will most likely show up in time to question witnesses, gather evidence, and draw a chalk line around your carcass.
The bottom line, though, is that nowhere is safe. Deranged lunatics have proven time and time again, that everywhere is safe until it’s not. Luby’s Cafeteria. Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Aurora theater. Columbine High School. Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois University. Santana High School. Bath Township. Dunblane. University of Texas. University of Nevada. Fort Hood. All of these places, and thousands of others were thought to be safe until someone made them hunting grounds for violent criminals.
“Safe areas,” “Safe Zones,” “Gun Free Zones,” simply do not exist. The safety you think exists is a facade and ignoring the realities of the world doesn’t make you safer. It leaves you vulnerable. Evil exists. And it doesn’t look like a gun. It looks like Dylan Kliebold. Charles Manson. Jared Laughner. James Holmes. George Hennard. Jeffrey Dahmer. Adam Lanza. Andrew Kehoe. Charles Whitman. Thomas Hamilton. Seung-Hui Cho. Evil looks like man. And it’s not deterred by signs or laws.
So, do I honestly think I am going to need my firearm to protect my family? I pray that I never do. But I’m not so naive as to think that I never will. (The Armed Lutheran)