I have a family. I have an obligation.
It really is that easy.
This is a discussion on Why I carry a concealed weapon. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The reasons for carrying a concealed firearm are probably as varied as there are people who carry concealed. I have spent a lot of time ...
The reasons for carrying a concealed firearm are probably as varied as there are people who carry concealed. I have spent a lot of time trying to honestly understand my reasons and I find the answer to be very complicated and personal. I am sharing this with the readers of this form because I think an honest answer will help every person learn how to clearly convey their reasons to anyone interested in an honest discussion. This post may be a bit long, but I can do it no shorter. So here goes.
I am 66 years old and have never had to defend myself or anyone around me from an assault of any kind. I have only been carrying for a little over three years. So why the change of heart (mind?) after more than 60 years of not carrying? There are several personal factors that have influenced my decision.
1. First of all, the world is a very dangerous place and is getting more dangerous by the day. It is not the same world that it was when I was growing up. Morality and the ability (or willingness) to determine right from wrong are almost non-existent any more. Evil has always been with us, but is now, it seems, being given an almost free hand to prey upon the weaker ones in our society.
2. I have never been a jock. I have always been more of a geek. To paraphrase the song, “I was a geek before being a geek was cool.” I don’t think I ever won a fight on the playground or the back yard when I was growing up. It would be useless for me to attempt to learn any martial arts as a means of protection. It just would not work for me.
3. As I said earlier, I am 66 years old and whatever physical prowess (?) I might have possessed in the past grows less and less every year. I am not as strong as I used to be. I cannot run as fast as I used to be able to run. My reflexes are continuously getting slower. My eyesight is not what it used to be.
4. I am currently three years cancer free. I was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer, underwent major surgery where two sections of my large intestine were removed and endured six months of very serious chemotherapy. Though I am doing well, it has taken a toll on me. I am not sure what a severe punch to my abdomen would do to me since my surgery. I still suffer from numbness and tingling in my finger tips and the bottoms of my feet. It is only in the last six months that I can once again make a fist. My balance is all messed up because of the condition of my feet. Physically fighting with these limitations would be bad enough if I had once been a good fighter. Since I never have been a good fighter, I think it would be almost impossible for me to survive a physical assault under my present circumstance.
5. I have been a Christian since I was nine years old. Because of this, I do not fear dying. But, at the same time, I am in no hurry to leave this life. I want to enjoy my wife of many years, my children and grandchildren, and the wonderful world God has created for many years to come. More than death, I fear not properly protecting my family or my friends if the need arises. Where I might hesitate if only my life were in jeopardy, I would willingly and fiercely surrender it to protect those I love or care for.
Therefore, given all these very personal circumstances all I want to do by carrying a concealed weapon is to try to level the playing field, or even the odds, or however you might want to phrase it. If I cannot physically defend against an attacker because they are younger, bigger, stronger, or more than one, how else can I defend myself unless I have something that gives me a fighting chance of surviving, and hopefully winning? The only thing that I know of that will accomplish this is a firearm. Pepper sprays and tasers are not designed for giving you the ability to win, even if you could successfully deploy them. Rifles and shot guns are obviously not a practical solution, at least not away from home. Only a hand gun will provide me with the stopping power I need, is readily deployable, and, so far, very reliable. So, for me, this is why I carry a concealed handgun, all day, every day, everywhere I possibly can carry.
Your reason will be your own and probably no less complicated than mine, but your very own none the less. I hope that my opening myself up to you has in some way helped. If not, then so be it.
NRA Life member
A muscle not exercised will eventually atrophy.
A right not exercised will eventually be taken away!
I have a family. I have an obligation.
It really is that easy.
My pants were all too big and carrying IWB made them fit perfect.
Also that family and obligation thing multistage said.
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
Thanks for sharing this very personal information with us, it takes a lot of courage and self awareness to find the meaning of our actions and decisions and to elevate them for everyone to see. I believe this helps an individual answer the why of their actions and at the same it commits that individual to a mission if you may. So my hat is off to you brave old timer
I am still asking myself what my true reason is for carrying... Yes a big part of it is to defend myself and my family, but I am willing to bet we all have "other" reasons that we may or may not want to confront.
Once again, thank you for sharing your most sanctum reasons with us ... I wish you well and success in your endeavors.
"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
-James Earl Jones
Quite simply, to protect myself and my family. As has been put many times, "I carry NOT because the world is evil, but because of the evil in the world"...
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
Leprechauns,I may have found a Pot of gold...and maybe I didn't,but apparently they lost theirs and they keep showing up at my crib with their shillelaghs crying out "So wheres me gold Danny Boy"
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
Good post and excellent points!
NRA Life Member
"I don't believe gun owners have rights." - Sarah Brady
I will rarely post, but will read (and hopefully learn) a lot
Good post RS
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I am not a large man by any means and prefer not to be involved in any confrontation what-so-ever. However, I cannot say I have ever lost a fight. But, those were younger days. I am a father now, and my obligations drive me toward showing my children right and wrong. These values, while some might consider them "old fashioned", are the ones I think most valuable to my two young children. I don't care that they grow up to be rich, famous, or whatever they might turn out to be...just so long as they are good people. This, similar to parts of what the OP has said, is what this world is lacking at the moment: good people, sound judgement, and overall, just doing right by one another.
I carry because I think this is what the world is lacking. Small, rather trivial arguments seem to escalate and spiral out of control with little effort. There is little respect for one another. Even littler respect for each others differences...be it opinion or otherwise. Who knows when something of this nature might erupt around you...I would rather be prepared to defend my family, than to sit back and watch, idle and paralyzed with fear because I was ill equipped for the situation. As the old saying goes: I'd rather have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. I'm not here to save the world, but I would give it to defend mine.
Someone here on this forum once asked: If present during a public shooting, what would you do? My simple answer? My family would have an armed escort...as far away as I could get them.
'Fortes Fortuna Juvat'
“The Second Amendment is timeless for our Founders grasped that self-defense is three-fold: every free individual must protect themselves against the evil will of the man, the mob and the state.”
― Tiffany Madison
Good post. Like you medical issues make fighting or being able to flee rapidly something that is not going to happen. I still put going home to my family a priority, and will do what is needed to make it happen.
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
Thanks for sharing. I feel exactly the same way. I also am in my sixties, and have had my medical issues. When it comes to exercising the fight or flight options, like you, I am very limited. I can't really run very well, and my hand to hand skills are no longer what they used to be. At our age I know that we are "soft targets" for the bad guys. I carry not so much because I like to or want to. In fact, I would prefer to live in an environment where I really believed it was not necessary. However, I don't live in that world. As such, all I can reasonably do is to be a hard target for the bad guys to protect myself and my wife if the situation arises.
Best way to win a gun fight? "That's easy, don't show up." --Wyatt Earp
--If you’re carrying a gun for self-defense, don’t practice like a marksman. Practice like a gunfighter.
--Always be nice until it's time not to be nice.
Unfortunately, these days we live in an ever increasingly dangerous world. It is no longer possible for the police to protect us, there's just not enough of them. Therefore I choose to carry for self protection. I conceal carry because FL law says I have to carry in that manner.
Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
Because the world is a dangerous place for me, my wife, and my young daughters my young daughters and because I live in a land that recognizes a man's divine right to have the means to protect his own life (at least for now we recognize that) I carry when I can.
Unfortunately, I teach school, so every day I have to resign myself to being a victim from 7:30 - 3:30 5 days a week.
No one..No one has the right to take these from me... They are worth defending to the death....so I carry.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —
"When those who are governed do too little, those who govern can, and will, do too much." Ronald Reagan
Do what you can; then do what you must