|Posted on June 22, 2014 at 7:25 PM|
June 22, 2014 at 6:24pm
It's no secret that I lawfully carry a handgun. I've been around guns my whole life. I first shot a rifle when I was about 11 or 12. I first fired a fully automatic rifle at 14 and by the time I was actually old enough to buy a handgun I'd fired everything from black powder to antitank rockets and heavy machine guns, courtesy of Uncle Sam.
As a guy who holds a license to carry, I have to obey the rules. The criminal doesn't give a shit if there is a little round sign with a crossed out gun on the door that says "No Guns Allowed". I have to give a shit because a law-abiding citizen has to play with both hands on the table.
This burns the asses of some gun owners. Aren't we supposed to be the ones with the rights? The law-abiding? Why are we being penalized leaving the criminals to run around willy-nilly doing whatever the hell they want?
I was going to write my opinion on this, but then I ran into a random post by one Marc MacYoung. For those unfamiliar, Marc is something of an expert on all things violent and messy and has lived it, on both sides of the law. He's probably one of the most dangerous people I know. Not just because he's seen almost as much of people's insides as I have, but because he's intelligent to the point of being diabolical. For my fellow geeks, imagine if you put Hannibal Lecter in Wolverine's body and gave him ADHD. I'm just glad he works for the good guys.
Below is his post about businesses that have the no-guns allowed signs and whether we as gun owners should either ignore the sign, take off our weapons or just avoid the business entirely. He says what I was feeling much better than I could have said it. And yes. I asked his permission to use this. DO you think I'm crazy?
Usually I don't carry a distance weapon these days. If I do carry, I avoid places where they are disallowed. Mostly it's a courtesy and out of respect for the property owner's rights. Fortunately I live in a state where if the government says 'gun free' they must provide protection. (In short, my safety is on their dime -- which normally limits their willingness to try to disarm people.)
Fact of the matter is up close I can kill a man faster with my bare hands than I can with a gun. I carry a knife because up close, I can incapacitate more people faster. What's more important though however is I have other levels of force options than just lethal. Which coming from a place were lethal force was not uncommon, I assure you that many more levels of force are needed. It's not just nada or lethal.
Simple statement is you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you make choices there are going to be consequences and limitations. If I choose to carry, I can't go into Starbucks (no great loss because I don't like burnt coffee). If I decide it's my right and do so anyway, the only thing I'm doing is showing what a self-centered prick I am. Because, I'm demanding my rights and ignoring the rights of others. Specifically the property rights of the owner -- which I got news for you people is a bigger issue than you think. Like the basis of our way of life bigger.
A point that I have is that there is a strong contingent in the anti-gun camp that wants to take away people's rights because of their feelings.
#1) Don't become like them
Don't piss on their rights because you feel it is your right to carry anywhere and with anything. Worse, you're doing the same thing. If you insist that nobody can tell you what to do, your feeling of fear (and why you need to carry every where) is just as much a trampling of other people's rights as you claim is being done to you.
#2) We do need to take other people's feelings into consideration.
I'm not a fan of open carry for a lot of reasons. Do you have the right? Yes. Do I think it's a good idea? No. Mostly because it makes other people uncomfortable -- and realistically it intimidates a lot of people in this modern world. As such people who insist on it being their right to do it outside socially acceptable boundaries are mostly saying, "Fuck you I don't care about your feelings. The only ones I care about are mine. And I'll hide this by calling it my right." Again, how is this significantly different from what many in the anti-gun movement are doing?
#3) By carrying concealed you don't scare or intimidate others who choose not to be armed -- and your decisions don't need to be public.
This is a big one. There is no sturm und drang about anything you do as an armed citizen. My decision to respect the rights of others is no more spectacular than me walking up to a door, turning and walking away when I see the sign. In places were I am allowed to carry, nobody in the room needs to know I'm armed. Do I personally have to hold myself to a higher set of standards about my behavior? Yes I do. The legal consequences of using my weapon will be great. To say nothing of the fact that I might not survive being involved in a situation where I was legally justified to use said weapon (Quit your whining. You knew the job was dangerous when you took it) At the same time, me being armed is not a power trip. I am not a superman because I alone am -- most likely -- the only armed person in the room.
This brings us back to my ability to cause mayhem and death at any range. I've found the best way not to have to use those skills is by being polite, considerate and willing to work with others. Insisting on my rights above everything else -- especially other people's rights, feelings and needs -- is a fast way to find yourself in conflict. And simply stated, no matter how much you tell yourself you are, you ain't the good guy.