Saturday, September 12, 2020

Who Shouldn't Carry a Gun?


Let me first clarify that question: I am not asking who should not be "allowed" to carry a gun. If you have a right to defend yourself from aggression (and you do), you also have a corollary right to (justly) acquire, and to possess/carry (on your property, on "public"/un-owned property, and on the property of those who have not forbidden it as a condition of using their property) the means of self-defense.

But should you?

If you're unwilling to invest the time and effort in acquiring a modicum of skill in the gun's use, you shouldn't run around town with the gun and a full magazine on your body. It's not necessarily asking for trouble, but it's asking for whatever trouble comes along to quickly get worse, not better.

I'm not saying you need to put a military career behind you, or invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in "tactical" courses at civilian schools, or anything like that. But neither should you treat the gun like most men (yes, this is a sexist stereotype, and mea culpa) seem to treat a piece of DIY assembly furniture -- pull it out of the box, throw away the instruction manual, and just wing it. RTFM. Do a little research (YouTube is your friend). Go to the range and spend some time using the weapon. Preferably a range where you know you'll find people who are willing and able to show you what to do and how to do it. And for God's sake, pay attention to the range safety rules.

As for carrying a weapon you're familiar with and know you can use correctly in a range/recreational setting, know thyself.

If you are prone to uncontrolled panic or uncontrollable rage, don't add a firearm to that mix. Your lack of self-control is not an excuse or defense for shooting someone you had no right to shoot.

If you don't know whether you can bring yourself to aim the weapon at a violent aggressor and pull the trigger, that's a problem too. You'll never really know until and unless you're in such a situation. But you need to work on the correct mindset. A weapon in the hands of someone who can't bring herself to use it is, at best, an expensive paperweight. At worst, it's you providing an aggressor with the tool he uses to kill you.

If you're on the right side of the above equations, let me be the first to thank you for carrying. You're not just making yourself safer, you're making the world around you safer.

But just as others owe it to you to respect your right to carry, you owe it to others to take the exercise of that right seriously. Don't half-ass it.


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