I was out with my family last night and some people noticed my firearm. An older gentleman made a comment that he never needed a gun and would never need a gun. I kindly spoke with him and asked how quickly the police would show up if he needed protection. He admitted that they would likely not show up in time. In fact, they have no legal obligation to protect you according to our judicial system. If this is the case why are people so apprehensive about law abiding citizens carrying a means to defend themselves?
The common question I see on the faces of people who happen to notice my firearm is one of puzzlement mixed with contempt. They simply do not see the reason why I feel the need to carry a gun wherever I go. Why do you need a gun at a park? Why do you need a gun at the grocery store? Why do you need a gun at all?
Now some of you reading this might just agree with those thoughts. Why does someone need a gun? Well, my answer is quite simple: we likely don't. Most of the time there is no reason to carry a gun. In fact, statistically an overwhelming majority of the time I don't need a gun.
So, now that we have established that fact I think I will disarm myself, hop in my time machine back to October 16, 1991, visit a place called Luby's Cafeteria and sit down for a bite to eat. I feel comfortable in the fact that I more than likely do not need my firearm. Little do I know that a crazed madman is about to drive his truck through the wall next to me, get out, and start shooting patrons. I had no idea that I would be among the 23 dead but, hey, who needs a gun in a restaurant?
Well, let's raise me from the dead and hop back in that time machine and visit the year 2007. Our destination is Virgina Polytechnic Institute and being that its a college campus I am absolutely positive that I am not going to need a gun. This is a place of learning not violence. Wait a minute, perhaps someone should have told that to the young Asian man I see walking toward me with guns blazing. 32 dead...I guess they didn't need guns. After all, someone could get hurt.
These are just some of the most horrific tragedies, but there are many more examples you can find if you simply turn on the 6 o'clock news every night. We like to feel safe and no rational person wishes to invite danger but the truth is that we live in a world where not all of us are good guys.
No one knows when bad things will happen they can only prepare. The chances that I will need my gun to defend the lives of me and my family are slim. You are most likely right when you say there is no need for me to carry a firearm into a park or to a library or to a church. But I will gladly bear your contempt for all the times I will not need my gun for the one rare chance that I do so that if that unfortunate occurrence takes place I will not have to live the rest of my life with the regret that I could have saved the lives of those I love but instead followed your advice and played the odds.
We all value different things in this life. We take steps to keep them safe and secure our investments. We insure our houses and we insure our vehicles but when it comes to the most valuable possession we own we throw caution to the wind and leave it unprotected. When the chips are down and life and death are decided by mere seconds no one will be there to help you. The police will always be there for you, of course, but they won't be there to save you; just to clean up the mess. The only person that can ensure your safety is you. You are your own last line of defense.
The next time you see a man with a gun do not ask him why he needs it; just be glad he doesn't.