My life changed on March 23rd, 1 year ago.

This is a discussion on My life changed on March 23rd, 1 year ago. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One year ago today my Texas CHL came. And my life changed. Prior to 2008 I had never owned a hand gun. But I saw ...

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Thread: My life changed on March 23rd, 1 year ago.

  1. #1
    Member Array Horseman04's Avatar
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    My life changed on March 23rd, 1 year ago.

    One year ago today my Texas CHL came. And my life changed.

    Prior to 2008 I had never owned a hand gun. But I saw things happening in our politics and in our economy that worried me. In the fall of 2008 I discussed it with my wife and also with her mom. All three of us decided to buy more guns and start carrying. The earliest we could get into a class was Jan 2009. All three of our CHLs came 60 days after submitting the paperwork.

    I now carry a Glock 23 in an IWB holster at 3:00. I carry 7 days a week, including in church. I carry from when I get up until I go to bed, and the gun is on the nightstand when I am asleep. I carry with one "up the pipe" and the magazine full -- 14 rounds. I do not carry a BUG or extra mags.

    I have changed my clothing some. I now wear plaid shirts a lot more often. My IWB is "tuckable" (a "The Answer" holster from Tucker Gunleather) and during the summer I carry with a shirt tucked. My practice draw with a shirt tucked is only about 1 second slower than when I carry "un-tucked" under a jacket in the winter. Draw time is 2-3 seconds.

    At first I was nervous in Walmarts, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. Now I don't give it a second thought.

    For a while it bothered my wife that I carried in the local small towns that we grocery shop in. Then some Walmarts in our area got robbed in broad daylight. Now she makes sure we are both armed when we leave the house. Last week a mother of two was stabbed in front of her children while they were playing in a park in one of those small towns. She is recovering in the hospital but is paralyzed from the waist down.

    For a while it bothered my wife that I carried at home. We live in a rural area -- there are more cows, deer, goats, and horses out here than people -- by about a 150-to-1 ratio. But we also live only a few miles from hwy 281 -- a north to south highway that runs from Mexico to Canada -- and it is a pipeline for drugs. Within the last few months we have seen break-ins rise out here. And the county sheriff can't get here for at least 45 minutes -- if they dispatch him instantly and there are no problems on the rural roads between us and the county seat. I work out of my home. It no longer bothers her that I carry at home. She does too.

    There have been three occasions when I have had "visitors", strangers who showed up here at the ranch "by accident". "We thought we had orders to work on a driveway at this address..." Right. I have never brandished my weapon. But I was ready and if hands had not stayed in the open or if I had felt things were going south the gun would have been out. And I suppose the look in my eyes was enough. All of the strangers have quickly departed.

    My wife is a college instructor at a local college. Unfortunately the laws of Texas do not allow her to carry in her school. We are lobbying with many others to get that changed. Like most college campuses, their school security is a joke. Fortunately her office is less than 25 yards from where she parks, and the gun is in the truck. But it would still be better on her.

    I raise and show miniature horses (one of mine champions is my avatar). We often take our horses to horse shows, public festivals and fairs, and church events. I carry, and my gun remains secure in my IWB even if I am driving a horse cart or running beside a horse as I lead it over jumps. It does not bother me that I am carrying in a crowd of hundreds of people. I feel safer for it. And many of them are children who are up close and having a blast with my horses. I like to think that I could help if some idiot showed up.

    So far as I know I have been made only once. A friend ("grandmother type") gave me a hug at a horse show. (Got to watch those hugs!) I was not fast enough to block her from touching the gun handle. A funny look came over her face -- but she did not say anything and neither did I. We remain good friends. But she also has not tried to give me any more hugs.

    I, my wife, and my mother-in-law all feel safer. Dark times are surely coming. My children plan to carry as soon as they are old enough to get their CHLs. I would be willing to bet that the total number of people CCing has doubled since 2008. But it is still probably less than 10% of the population. We are also urging all of our friends to start carrying. Many of them have. More are thinking about it.

    When we first moved out to the country my son (then about age 12) announced one day that he knew why everybody in the country was so polite: "...Cause everybody knows everybody and everyone has guns...." It is true, an armed society IS a polite society.

    I now own 5 handguns (plus a variety of long guns), and I am planning to buy more. I enjoy target shooting immensely. I practice at least once a week. And I feel more confident, more secure, and more peaceful being an armed citizen. As I said before, I believe dark times are coming. But with faith, family, friends, and arms I believe we will make it. It will probably be a lot worse than I expect. I hope that I will never have to draw my weapon in a true self-defense situation. But if I need it, I will have it, and I will use it to protect myself, my family, and my property.

    Sorry for the long ramble, but my life has changed.

    I wonder if anyone else who has been carrying for only a year or so has noticed a personal change like mine?

    I also know that others read this board who don't carry yet but are thinking about it. Now you have a glimpse of what it has been like for one person. I recommend you go get your license and your gun.
    You'll be glad you did.
    ....a politically incorrect right-wing fiscally-conservative libertarian NRA card-carrying gun-toting self-sufficient gainfully-employed Bible-believing church-going fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Perhaps you should avoid my company. I might contaminate you.

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  3. #2
    Member Array VTXDM40's Avatar
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    Very nice. I also love your signature line.
    Take care,
    VTXDM40...........Molon Labe

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    Senior Member Array Frogbones's Avatar
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    Yep it changed almost who I am to the core....For the better as most of my close ones say. Even my friends noticed. I work in a elementary and a middle school....can't take a gun in there but I do keep it in da car..locked up. Even when I'm out on lunch it's on me.

  5. #4
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    Wow, that is an amazing story! And so true.

    I know people who have finally seen the need to have a gun for defense even though they really don't like guns much at all. But they feel they need to have the ability to defend themself because they are at least smart enough to know the police are not going to be there when they are in peril.

    I try to reassure them by saying... "You don't have to like guns in order to know and understand the value having one. Your life is a sacred commodity of which you only have one life to live. Unfortunately, there are ugly and heinous creatures out there who do not have one ounce of caring in their heart. They have a broken moral compass, and they have to be stopped or they will surely take your life and not give it a second thought."

    A couple of them have said, "That's why I carry a gun now."

    Thanks for your story Horseman! It's a real eye opener. I hope it reaches those who need to hear it.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Horseman: GREAT post You have painted a very good word picture of your experiences and your thinking/reasoning processes. There are quite a few additonal folks around who are also concerned about "darker times" coming. I also live out in the country and have full-size horses that turn expensive hay into cheap fertilizer--we also raise Black Angus cows (can you smell the steaks )

    I drive into Billings (Montana) every week for a 20 hour shift (two 10-hour days plus overnight on-call) at our largest hospital, where I work as a Chaplain. I stay overnight in the condo that the hospital rents for visiting neurosurgeons. I had a very interesting conversation with this one Doc who confessed that he was thinking about where he and his family would go if things "went south" in our country--(societal collapse kind of thing). He was feeling this acutely enough to talk about it with me, but he also felt somewhat embarassed about his feelings. I asked him what it said about our country, when a significant number of patriotic, rational, intelligent (well, mostly so), educated adults who are not normally on the lunatic fringe, begin having common feelings like this--to the extent that the whole"Preppers" movement has gained significant momentum.........

    Anyway, a very eloquent and well-written post
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
    - Ronald Reagan

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    It's been about a year for me too. I got tired of feeling like the silent majority as a gun owner and actually started to OC before getting my CCP. I look at things a lot differently now. And instead of worrying about what I would do I have the tools close by to do something if I need to. There have been some definite changes, and I believe they are for the better as well. Good post.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

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    Senior Member Array SARR001's Avatar
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    Very well said, Horseman.
    "Life's tough......It's even tougher if you're stupid." -John Wayne

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    Thanks for the post, Horseman. Yes, it's quite a sensation when one decides that they are responsible for their own quality of life. It kind of feels like.... Freedom!

    Oh yeah, it's too late for the warning on your signature line - I'm already contaminated .
    __________________________________
    'Clinging to my guns and religion

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    Member Array TheFreeman's Avatar
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    Great story. It is true that if you treat CC as you should, it will change your life as you become more aware of your surroundings, the people you deal with, the places you go, etc. Good luck and keep it up!
    One of the most dangerous political philosophies afflicting America today is the belief that we canít allow anyone to suffer the natural consequences of their own stupidity.

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    Distinguished Member Array maxwell's Avatar
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    Very well said.
    THE ONLY LOVE THAT MONEY CAN BUY IS A DOG

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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    Very good story, Horseman04. The statement of "it won't ever happen where I live" should be going extinct. It can and it does.

    I believe it is a product of how we are regressing as a society, rather than progressing. Entitlement mentality, greed, self centeredness and all that contributes to the criminal mindset.

    Speaking of horses, this one tried to get into the Jeep that I drive for work. Here is the picture to prove it!
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    "A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"

    The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green

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    Member Array Horseman04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Davies View Post
    Horseman: GREAT post I had a very interesting conversation with this one Doc who confessed that he was thinking about where he and his family would go if things "went south" in our country--(societal collapse kind of thing). He was feeling this acutely enough to talk about it with me, but he also felt somewhat embarassed about his feelings. I asked him what it said about our country, when a significant number of patriotic, rational, intelligent (well, mostly so), educated adults who are not normally on the lunatic fringe, begin having common feelings like this--to the extent that the whole"Preppers" movement has gained significant momentum.........
    I was shocked this week when Fox News released a poll they had just taken. A total of 79% of those polled believe that an economic collapse of the U.S. is likely -- including 69% of the democrats polled. If someone had told me such a poll had been taken I would have assumed those expecting a total collapse would number about 25% -- NOT nearly 80%!!! And that they would have all been republicans and independents. "Right wing fringe", according to the mainstream news.

    Think about that for a moment. Has there ever been a time in our history when nearly 80% of the population believe a total economic collapse of our national economy is LIKELY????

    And I know, it was a "Fox News Poll". But Fox News does not do the polling -- they hire independent polling organizations who supposedly do not lean left or right.

    Here is the poll if you are interested:

    FOXNews.com - Fox News Poll: 79% Say U.S. Economy Could Collapse
    ....a politically incorrect right-wing fiscally-conservative libertarian NRA card-carrying gun-toting self-sufficient gainfully-employed Bible-believing church-going fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Perhaps you should avoid my company. I might contaminate you.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I too live 1/2 mile west of 281 and 20 miles from Mexico,I carry 24/7 unless I'm in the Veterans hospital.then it's in my jeep.Besides handguns,I keep a 12 gauge loaded with 00 buck and an AR15 with 30 rounds of hollowpoints that would make an attempted breakin real interesting
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  15. #14
    Member Array CenterOfMass's Avatar
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    Carrying has certainly changed my situational awareness for me personally and my wife is more in tune with what goes around her as well.

    Congratulations and stay vigilant.
    EDC - S&W M&P .45

    "The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take." Thomas Jefferson

    http://www.gunrightsreport.com

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Think about that for a moment. Has there ever been a time in our history when nearly 80% of the population believe a total economic collapse of our national economy is LIKELY????
    Yeah--if our country has a total economic collapse--think about the global domino-effect as country after country goes into collapse......
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
    - Ronald Reagan

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