Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Open Carry

I have been carrying my gun openly for some time.  Around here, I get very little notice.  It could be because I resemble a police officer or detective, or it could be because people don't care or don't find it noteworthy.

I did have one interesting conversation recently.  An employee at the local big box store was ringing up my purchase at the register when he remarked to a coworker standing nearby, "Guns make me nervous!"  Although he wasn't actually talking to me, since he was supposed to be attending me, and was only about three feet away, I joined the conversation.

"Why does my gun make you nervous?  I haven't done anything to you."

"They just do.  Why do you feel like you have to carry a gun?"

"I carry a gun to protect myself if necessary.  I don't carry it to intimidate, and I'm not a violent person.  I'm may be one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  However, not everyone I deal with is that understanding."

By now, customers that were nearby began to show an interest in our conversation.

"Well," the employee said, "you would have a different view if anyone ever pointed one of those things in your face."

I paused for a moment.  "I'm sorry you had to go through that, but the problem was not the gun, the problem was the individual who pointed it at you."

"I guess you're right."

"Besides, would your story have been any different if you had been armed and able to defend yourself?"

[a brief pause and look of understanding]  "Never really thought of it that way."


Bob S. said...

Excellent response Sir.

It always amazes me how many people view themselves as helpless in response to criminals.

The conditioning to be a good victim must start incredibly early. Guess maybe being the perpetual new kid who was skinny and had a speech impediment taught me I didn't want to be a passive victim. Way too much experience with bullying not to stand up for myself.

How do others not learn to stand up for themselves?

K. Erickson said...

Whether you carry a firearm or not, the best defense is a prepared mind. The victim mentality is the evidence of an unprepared mind. It says, "what do I do?" Or, as your cashier put it, "Never really thought of it...". It would have been interesting to find out more of the details of the circumstances that led to the cashier having a gun poked in his face. Did he get drunk and pick a fight with the wrong person? Did he "give the finger" to the wrong person in traffic? Was he walking in a dark alley late at night in the wrong part of town by himself?

I may not carry a weapon, but that is not the same as saying that I am unarmed and defenseless. I have thought through what I can and will do to defend myself, and the majority of those things take place long before a weapon becomes necessary. It means taking responsibility for your own safety, thinking, and not making stupid decisions/choices. It means being aware of your surroundings.

Lawyer said...

Bob, as usual, you make a good point. My girls are becoming very comfortable with the idea that they have the right to defend themselves. I want to banish any victim mindset.

K. You are absolutely correct. In fact, if my body is armed, but my mind is not engaged, I might as well be unarmed.