Roy Exum: Iím Now Carrying A Gun
by Roy Exum
posted March 1, 2009
There is no longer any doubt we are living in desperate times and desperate times create desperate people. I never thought I would reach the point in life where I felt I needed to carry a pistol, but, be aware, Iíve now got a big one.
For a long time a bunch of my friends in law enforcement, from street cops to sitting judges, have told me I was a fool not to have a weapon with me under the seat of my truck. For just as long Iíve held the belief the very first day I did that I would hit a pothole or something and shoot myself, either in the foot or somewhere worse.
But the more I see, and hear, and read, I am convinced the time has now come for me to carry an ďequalizerĒ with me wherever I go. Face it, with a right arm that is now just ornamental the chances are pretty rich I ainít going to win many fist fights or wrestling matches.
Further, I am a happy guy, one who if a fight breaks out I am not going to be hit anywhere, but in the elbow or the back of my head because Iíll be running away from it as fast as I can. Iím not looking for trouble, but, if it were to find me, I will not be at a disadvantage.
A Tennessee Highway patrolman, a man who cares about me, chided me pretty hard last week when I admitted I still didnít carry a pistol. After he did, I wondered if I could actually shoot a thug. I hope and pray Iíll never know.
A few days later I was talking to a bunch of the hairy-legged souls I sit with in the late afternoons and, to a man, every one of them carries a gun in their vehicles or else has a weapon in their house.
Think about that. To my knowledge not one of my broad collection of pals has ever shot anybody - outside of military combat - but they are all very adamant that if their wives or children were ever threatened, they would threaten back. Trust me on this; gun sales all across America are brisk.
State after state is now passing legislation making it easier to carry a weapon. Law-abiding people want to do it legally, and responsibly, and safely, but share my opinion that self-protection is becoming increasingly necessary in todayís society.
God forbid that anything bad would ever happen to any of us, but, if it does, the playing field darn sure needs to be level. All the while I keep saying to myself - my goodness, who among us would have ever thought it would come to this?
In the once-proud community of Brainerd there was an overflow crowd the other night to complain about crime. Over 200 people attended the meeting and, among those who spoke, there was a frightening story.
One woman stood to say that burglars kicked in her neighbor's door and robbed the house about a year ago. She immediately called 911 to report it, but it was more than an hour before police arrived to investigate.
By then, of course, the crooks were long gone, she said at the meeting organized by the Hilltop Neighborhood Association. Then she said, "Last week the same house was broken into again. And, just as the first time, it took police over an hour to "respondĒ to the 911 plea for help.
The police chief, Freeman Cooper, very rightfully, urged those at the meeting, "We don't want you out there enforcing laws. It's too dangerous . . . You don't know who these people are and what they are willing to do. You get in their way, they don't fight - they just shoot you."
Thatís exactly my point. I am not going to stand there just looking like some target. Iím too large for that.
The way I have this figured, things change if you can shoot back. Iíve been around firearms all my life. I still have some rifles. None of the ďlong gunsĒ I ever owned were designed to be used against people. The pistol I now carry was made solely for that purpose and it is of the size where if you use it, it is ďone and done.Ē
You see, there are other areas less than five miles from where I live I have been told by the chiefís very own officers to never stop, no matter what the circumstances, unless a uniformed officer is present.
Maybe I am bored and donít have enough to do, but with the economy pressuring criminals with the same force it is hammering legitimate businesses, there isnít much room for argument. Not long ago my aunt, who lives in a wonderful neighborhood, was surprised by a home intruder.
She ran into the street, yelling for help, but not before the criminal grabbed her purse and some other things and made his getaway. She knew where the guns were in the house, but her ploy of running into the street, screaming like crazy in broad daylight, was smarter.
What would have happened had it been at night? I really believe my uncle, not only a World War II veteran but one of the most Christ-like men I have ever known, would have shot the guy. Iím talking about the sweetest, most decent people in the world. It happened to them. I can give you many more examples, real-life situations that have involved people I actually know and are friends of mine, that have occurred in just the last 12 months.
So while I am hardly a warmonger or some ďsix-gun dandy,Ē you need to know that I am now ďpacking a pieceĒ and if I come upon some crazed moron who is a threat to me or my people, I pray Iíll never have to use my gun but hope the sight of it will make him wonder real hard.
I was taught about the age of five to never lift a rifle until you are ready to use it. God forbid Iíll ever have to use the same rule with my pistol.
Once again, who would have ever thought it would come to this.