“See what these kids do, is hear about us toting pistols
And they want to get one, cos they think the sh–’s cool
Not knowin’ we’re really just protectin’ ourselves” – Eminem
Guns are always a touchy subject. No matter what statistics you bring out to back up your point that guns aren’t the problem, the other side will claim that you made up your statistics or you don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s fine. Frankly, I’m tired of trying to convince people with annoying things like statistics.
Instead, I’m going to explain a few things about the vast majority of people who legally carry guns. I’m one of them, and I know a pile more personally. I can speak with a fair amount of authority on whom these people are and who they are not.
First, contrary to some may think, the folks who carry guns here in Georgia are not a bunch of redneck Rambo wannabes who think that carrying a gun makes them bad. Instead, they recognize the intense responsibility that carrying a gun is, and they take that responsibility seriously. They see a weapon as a means of protecting themselves and their loved ones. Nothing more, nothing less.
So you say that’s what the police do? In that case Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the Supreme Court ruled that the police are not obligated to protect people. This isn’t the only ruling of its type, either. Now, you’ll be hard pressed to find a police officer that doesn’t want to protect people. I’ve known far too many of them to think otherwise. However, they might not be able to. If someone is attacking you, you can’t call a “time out” until the police arrive. It just doesn’t happen.
The second thing people think about gun people is that they’re all itching for a fight and can’t wait to shoot someone. Bull. Frankly, most gun people pray they never have to discharge their weapon in self defense. The few of us who’ve even pulled it as a matter of defense are rare (and yes, I have had to do that), but even rarer are those who seek confrontation. I honestly haven’t met one out of the hundreds of gun people I know.
They may not shun a fight, but they darn sure aren’t looking for one. You see, taking a life changes everything. Gun people know this, so they don’t go looking for a gun fight. As gun control advocates claim, this isn’t the Wild West. We know this. We don’t go looking for shootouts at high noon. We go to the grocery store and the gas station. We walk our children to the park and take them to movies.
However, sometimes, bad things happen. Someone who thinks they’re desperate for whatever reason decides that working isn’t the solution, but taking what I have is. However, leaving me alive isn’t part of the plan. Maybe leaving my kid alive isn’t either. That, my friends, is the thought that keeps me awake at night. That is why I, and millions of my fellow Americans, carry a gun. We’re not looking to shoot someone, but we refuse to be victims.
This leads me to the third thing many people think about we armed citizens, that we’re paranoid. Nope. You see, we also know that violent crime is actually fairly rare. It happens, and it happens all the time, but it doesn’t happen to every person. Statistically, you’re not likely to find yourself being the victim of a violent crime, and many of us recognize that. However, your house catching fire is rare as well, and yet no one thinks it paranoid to have a fire extinguisher next to the stove. On the contrary, people think it prudent. I do too.
Should everyone carry a gun? Absolutely not! Not every law abiding citizen wants to, and so why would I want to require someone to do something they’re uncomfortable with? Some people have a fear of guns. Others don’t think they could actually use it if they needed to. I respect people’s reasons for not carrying guns. Instead, I simply ask people to respect the reasons that myself and millions of other folks opt to carry a firearm. Nothing more, nothing less.
Written by Tom Knighton. Tom Knighton is the managing editor of Laws-n-Sausages.com, a political blog focusing on SWGA. He is the former co-owners of SWGAPolitics.com and currently serves as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Southwest Georgia