Positive Changes From Carrying

This is a discussion on Positive Changes From Carrying within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have had my carry permit and have been carrying for about 6 months. When I first started carrying my wife was not very happy ...

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Thread: Positive Changes From Carrying

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Positive Changes From Carrying

    I have had my carry permit and have been carrying for about 6 months. When I first started carrying my wife was not very happy about it. She didn't like guns, could not understand why I felt the need to be armed, and was worried about an accident involving our two young gandchildren who live nearby and visit us frequently. I did my best, at the time, to calmly, and without getting angry, explain the reasons, including my sense that we were living in an incresingly dangerous world, and I that I felt obligated to do my best to protect my family from random acts of violence. I told her that I hoped that even if she never became activly supportive, I hoped that she would at least come to accept that this was something important to me, as to which I felt very strongly, and that, in any event, like it or not I was going to be armed.

    As I have been carrying all of the time, I began to notice some interesting changes in my behavior. First, I have become much more of a cautious driver. I now take great pains to avoid commiting a traffic violation, and drive more defensively to avoid having an accident. As I thought about this I realized that it is because I don't want to be involved with a potentially antagonistic LEO, or risk a road rage confrontion with another driver over a fender bender accident. The other thing that has happened is that I am making super efforts to avoid being in places at higher risk for a confrontation, and most interesting to me is that I am tolerating abusive actions by others I would never have accepted before, such as getting the finger or abusive language from other drivers. I am simply ignoring these incidents when they happen and/or walking away from them.

    The other day, to my great surprise,my wife told me that she had actualy noticed these positive changes. She also admitted that when we had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night several weeks ago in a somewhat unsavory part of town because my mother-in-law had taken ill, she was actually glad that to know that I was armed.

    Now, although she is not quite yet rushing out to get her own carry permit, or signing up for gun use and safely lessons, she has come around enough to where she is, at least, supportive of my decison to carry a weapon. And without getting into the details in this thread, she is satisfied with the precautions I have taken with respect to my grandchildren. In fact, I would not, at this point, be shocked if she tells me in the not too distant future that she wants to go to the range and try shooting.

    I am telling what I realize is a long winded story, because if there are other members having the same problems with spouses or significant others, my experience would suggest that staying calm, using reason and remainining patient seems to be the key to bringing them around.

    I would also be very interested in learning whether other members have had similar experiences.

    Ron

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  3. #2
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    I have had a lot of the same changes as you have had. Some for me is knowing that my libilities are higher. I also do not want confrontations. I do think LEO's are accepting this better. About a month ago I drove through a county that is known of handing out tickets for just about anything. I was pulled over and before the LEO reached my car, I already had the doom light on, the car turned off, the radio off and my hands at 11 and 1 on the stering wheel. As he reached my car he asked for license and registration. Handing him my license I told him I was armed ( in Missouri you do not have to let LEO know ) And had a permit in my wallet. He told me forget about finding mt registration and that I had a headlight out and told me to have a good night. I have never heard anyone ever getting out of a ticket in this county and I'm sure if I didn't go through the procedures of CCW permit holder when you're pulled over, I would of gotten a ticket. A CCW permit does make us more responsible.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    I would also be very interested in learning whether other members have had similar experiences.
    I think you will find that many people felt the same way and noticed the same things when they started carrying. While I never had to convince my wife that carrying was a good idea (she has her own permit) I do understand what you mean about the attitude being important. It reminds me of an article that I read in a flight training magazine about seven years ago when I was first taking lessons to learn to fly. It spoke about why some people around you may be uneasy with your decision to take up flying. For example I have always been a "funny guy" around my family. I'm always playing around with everyone and I'm a bit of a practical joker. This is a bit of a problem when you start to bring up an activity that is both potentially dangerous and unfamiliar to those in your family (whether it be flying or carrying a gun). When I got my first carry permit at age 20 nobody had anything to say because my family knew how I was around guns (read: very respectful). So this was essentially a non-issue to them because they had seen throughout my childhood that I could be perfectly safe with firearms. BUT once I started taking flying lessons a few years later, it was a very large issue. The root of the problem was that they had never seen me pilot a plane before, they weren't educated about the safety/dangers of flying a plane, and, in their mind, it was the practical joker side of me who was flying the plane and not the level headed son that carried a gun. The simple answer here is one dose of education and one dose of how you present yourself. I am just as level headed when I'm in the cockpit as I am when I am carrying a loaded handgun. There is a bit of a shift in personality towards strangers for sure, but I still play practical jokes on my family so....

  5. #4
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    A satisfyingly predictable read Ron - as you have expressed what I think (and hope) all responsible CCW's find and promote.

    I never looked for trouble even when way younger - I am no ones macho guy with something to prove - I just prefer to keep all body parts intact! Since electing to carry this lasy near 5 years - I have to taken even greater strides to avoid any problems - including my demeanor on the road. I still cuss idiots tho

    The other thing I promote aggressively is our state of awareness - it goes hand in hand with carry responsibilities and is our best ''tool'' for avoidance of trouble. If we see something soon enough then our options for avoidance are increased greatly.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    Ron,

    I completely agree on the change in driving habits.

    Other driver's actions that used to upset me now barely get a reaction from me. Having a weapon within easy reach changes how I think. Letting my emotions get out of control by yelling at some idiot and getting into a heated situation is a recipe for disaster.

    Keeping those same emotions in check and keeping a clear head regardless of what the "other guy" does is comforting and safe.

    PapaScout (aka Ron) :)
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

    "I carry a gun for the same reason that I carry health insurance and a cell phone - be prepared."

  7. #6
    Member Array Linda's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Life Changing Indeed!

    You want to talk about positive changes, God Lord, this CHL has completely changed my life forever because of it. Ohio's Gov signed the Bill in 1/04 and it became law in 4/04. My husband and I were some of the first in the county to get our CHL's. It's been life changing from then.

    Subtle changes started taking place. You don't even know it's happening to you. As mentioned above, I started watching my traffic laws more closely, I now walked around aware of my surroundings. No more condition white, always yellow. I now REALLY enjoy going to the gun stores and gawking at handguns. Confrontation is not an option now....,and that's OK!

    The 2nd Amendment became MY issue now. It effected me and I was going to make darn sure that our laws got improved. I educated myself thru an organization here in Ohio. Got to know the guys involved there.

    Then the shocker for me began. So out of the box for me! I had a meet & greet for like minded individuals. Invited State Representative Aslanides who authored our original concealed carry bill to speak. He accepted and I had politicians out the wazoo show up to my little ole meet and greet. The guys from the organization mentioned before took notice of me. One of their guys helped out at the M&G. Two weeks later, I was asked by this organization, Buckeye Firearms to become one of their leaders! I'm still in amazement of the direction my life has taken because of this license to carry.

    It's doesn't stop there...,I've become a Life member of the NRA, have testified in front of the Ohio House on behalf of CCW, attended every single hearing on our fix it bill, gotten to know many many of our Senators and State Reps and other high office holders on a first name basis, become friends with some of them, have worked on legislation, campaigns, been on NRA News, have been part of writing bills, and the list just keeps going.

    Oh, and I've become an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and now instruct CCW classes!!

    So has it changed my life? Oh yes, so much for the better and I'm having SO much fun with all of this!

    I really encourage anyone who has a concealed carry license/permit to get involved with a 2nd Amendments rights organization in your state. Be part of the solution! Everyone should know their Senators and Reps on a first name basis.
    Member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors
    www.BuckeyeFirearms.org Buckeye Firearms Association Central OH Chair
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  8. #7
    Member Array jednp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Hennessy View Post
    I have had a lot of the same changes as you have had. Some for me is knowing that my libilities are higher. I also do not want confrontations. I do think LEO's are accepting this better. About a month ago I drove through a county that is known of handing out tickets for just about anything. I was pulled over and before the LEO reached my car, I already had the doom light on, the car turned off, the radio off and my hands at 11 and 1 on the stering wheel. As he reached my car he asked for license and registration. Handing him my license I told him I was armed ( in Missouri you do not have to let LEO know ) And had a permit in my wallet. He told me forget about finding mt registration and that I had a headlight out and told me to have a good night. I have never heard anyone ever getting out of a ticket in this county and I'm sure if I didn't go through the procedures of CCW permit holder when you're pulled over, I would of gotten a ticket. A CCW permit does make us more responsible.
    Just goes to show, a little respect shown to an officer, can go a long way. When each time that officer pulls someone over, they have to worry about whether or not they are going to be shot by the driver, and you, when not required to by law, did your part to make the officer feel safe and gave him a heads up that he'd so much like every other stop. You showed him you are a decent person, and got rewarded for it.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Sheep and shepherd

    I believe that Ron's experience is a frequent outcome of carrying a gun for defense. I have seen it in myself and others I speak with.

    The old analogy of sheep and shepherd is useful here. The sheep can roam around and eat grass all day, with their eyes on the ground. But the shepherd has to watch for the wolves constantly, because he is the protector.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    I believe that Ron's experience is a frequent outcome of carrying a gun for defense. I have seen it in myself and others I speak with.

    The old analogy of sheep and shepherd is useful here. The sheep can roam around and eat grass all day, with their eyes on the ground. But the shepherd has to watch for the wolves constantly, because he is the protector.
    Pogo2, that is a great analogy, and something to always keep in mind. Thanks.

    Ron

  11. #10
    Member Array Greg Dunn's Avatar
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    Carrying has increased my devotion to situational awareness and critical thinking skills in regards to tactical choices.
    Ranger Gunleather

    If light rails were needed on handguns John Browning would have included it on the 1911.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Yup, many changes, all good! I drive better, behave better, am more courteous. Also much more aware and able to help myself and possibly others. Not much of a downside there for me.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    Member Array produman's Avatar
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    I too have felt the changes everybody has discussed. I also had another I did not even notice the other night. My son pointed it out later after it happened. My wife, myself and my son went to dinner on our motorcycles. Well after we came out we were getting on the bikes when a large black male came walking up to us. He asked if we had any money because he was stranded. After we got home my son told me I had my hand on my gun. I did not even realize I had put my hand there. As you see there are many changes that you go through when you start carring.
    "May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won't."
    General George Patton

  14. #13
    Member Array devilmutt's Avatar
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    I feel that I deal with strangers in a better way. I don't trust them any more than before, but I'm less confrontational with them. I carry in case of a confrontation, but I do not want to be the cause of it.

    Hope that makes sense.
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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    At first my wife didn't quite agree with me - asked me if I was paranoid or something - why did I want to carry a gun.

    A few weeks after I started carrying we went to a Dairy Queen late a night - several young men came in dressed gang-banger wantabe style and you know what she said to me in an anxious way??

    "You got your gun with you?"

    I got a good laugh outta that one.

    Of course nothing happened - just kids being loud and cutting up.

    But, you never know do you.......
    For God, Family and Country!

  16. #15
    Member Array elance's Avatar
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    my sister-in-law has managed convience stores for 17 years , the last 3 years a drugstore . only a couple of times when closed they where broken into, the occasional hot check writers , and shoplifters . she has always been on alert, saturday her store was robbed at gun point . poor little girl she has running the reg froze , shook them all up . BG said he could shoot them , but left empty handed .

    i haven't done the i told ya so dance , mainly because i'm more thankful that everyone was allright .
    she has asked about a small gun to have on hand ,but that was as far as she we go with it.

    anyway stay alert even if you dont carry and safe
    elance

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