I like QK have been digging out some old stuff - in my case it happens when rooting around for something else! More than likely folks have seen this but I think an airing is useful - simply because, I like the way it is written - says a great deal as well or probably a lot better than I can.
My file is dated 2002 and so this was probably written even earlier.
Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear
You don't know me, and I have a gun
By TIM ANDERSON
YOU DON'T know me, or maybe you just don't know that you do. I could be your neighbor, doctor, clergyman, nurse or just another nameless, faceless stranger in the crowd. I have a valid, court-issued permit to carry a concealed handgun, and I do so whenever possible.
Though you don't know me, there are a few things you can know about me for certain. The local police fingerprinted me. The fingerprint cards were submitted to the FBI and a criminal background check was performed. Before that, I had to pass state and local background checks. I had to present evidence of approved firearm-safety and marksmanship training to the court before my application would even be accepted.
I am not a felon, junkie, drug dealer, stalker or even a shoplifter, since any number of indiscretions, including alcohol or other drug abuse or even simple assault, would disqualify me from holding my permit.
My classroom training covered when it is appropriate and legal to even indicate that I have a gun, much less display it or actually use deadly force. Doing so in any circumstance, under which I am not in immediate fear for my life or the life of another, would mean more than the loss of my permit. Most likely, I would also be charged with brandishing a weapon, disorderly conduct and/or assault.
If it was determined that my use of deadly force was not to protect a life in immediate danger, I would probably be charged with second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter. On top of these, I would also face civil liability.
Like most people who legally carry concealed handguns, I practice at a range regularly and am well aware of the laws and regulations affecting me.
I am not a nonresident alien. I am a good citizen, and I vote.
I avoid conflict. I know that should a situation escalate, I could be identified as the instigator and face losing my permit or worse.
I am very aware of the responsibility I bear, and I will walk or run away rather than risk confrontation.
I will, however, act swiftly and decisively to protect my life and the lives of those around me should the need arise. Are you afraid of me?
In my home state of Virginia, not one permit holder has been convicted of a violent gun crime despite more than 100,000 issued permits. Throughout the entire United States, not one police officer has ever been shot by a person with a legal handgun. A number have, however, been assisted and even rescued by armed, law-abiding citizens.
You should feel a degree of comfort knowing that there is someone nearby with the means, motive and training to possibly save your life, or that of those around you.
Criminals, on the other hand, should feel fear, never knowing if their next intended victim might be armed, trained and ready to effectively defend himself. If you feel safer patronizing establishments with a "No guns allowed" policy, please keep in mind that the criminals don't obey the signs or the laws.
Criminals know that the law-abiding customers of that establishment are easy prey and will have little or no fear of the consequences of their actions. The hallways and parking lots of these establishments might just as well post a sign saying: "Attention, criminals. You are now entering a self-defense-free crime zone. All potential victims have been disarmed! Enjoy! The Management."
There is no need to fear me, I am just another loyal, law-abiding American. You should, however, be very afraid of those who endeavor to turn the entire law-abiding population of our great country into defenseless victims.
TIM ANDERSON of Boones Mill works as a mechanic for the government.