America is dangerous. The world is dangerous. Here, there, and everywhere, danger is lurking. When people act unpredictably and threateningly, the best thing to do is be prepared.
Police and security are the ideal intermediaries, but personal safety cannot be entirely entrusted to others. It is time to responsibly conceal a firearm.
There are innumerable benefits to obtaining a license to carry a firearm. Here are the top seven reasons that more people should get licensed, train with their gun, and concealed carry daily.
1. Carrying Makes You More Observant
When carrying a firearm, you have the ultimate power of force in your control. With this great power is an equally great duty to stay aware.
When carrying, you need to be observant so you do not get attacked or lose control of your firearm. You must be alert to potential threats in case you need to use your weapon. And you must be cognizant of how you act so your weapon remains concealed and does not create a problem or threat for others.
There many reasons to be vigilant when carrying, and all of them make for a more responsible citizen. When carrying, you may notice odd behavior in others or things that seem out of place. This may be a public threat, like a person wearing a large jacket in the summertime or acting suspiciously, or it may be someone simply in need of help whom you noticed because you were paying attention.
At the grocery store, pumping gas, or just walking around the neighborhood, lawfully carrying a weapon guarantees more observant and alert engagement with your surroundings.
2. Concealed Carrying Makes You More Careful
Along with being attentive to others’ behavior and activities around you, carrying a weapon ensures that you act as a better citizen. While lawfully carrying means that police will not find fault for having a weapon, it is still important to avoid the dangerous potential for a confrontation with police while armed. After all, any interaction with police could result in miscommunication or accident.
This means that concealed carriers adhere more carefully to speed limits and local laws and conform more diligently to rules and regulations in daily life. Statistically, licensed concealed carriers are more law abiding than their unarmed peers. This is not only because of more careful behavior, but more diligent knowledge of state and local laws.
Carrying also causes people to act more deliberately, not rushing or acting carelessly. When concealing in many jurisdictions, it is unlawful to reveal the weapon unless brandishing it in self-defense or temporarily engaging with a peace officer. With this more deliberate pace and action, individuals are more likely to avoid conflict and better able to observe their surroundings.
3. You Can Protect Yourself from Victimization
Defensive uses of firearms routinely outweigh unlawful and violent uses. What’s more, defensive uses of firearms need not result in harm or death. Merely brandishing a gun or telling the would-be assailants about a gun many prevent victimization.
This extends to all types of crime, from home invasions to muggings, rape and assault, to stalking and attempted murder. Carrying a firearm affords you the option to thwart victimization and stay safe.
Police response time, even in the best of conditions, is usually a matter of minutes. When a criminal is approaching, most people only have seconds to react. It is better to have a gun and prevent injustice than to wait for police and potentially become a victim, even if justice is ultimately served on the criminal.
4. You Can Protect Others from Threats and Violence
A gun to protect yourself is important, but a responsible citizen can protect her fellow man as well. Deadly force is not allowed to defend property or nonlethal harm, but it is allowed to protect yourself and others from deadly threats.
This means a lawfully carrying citizen can stop the victimization of another and save lives. Again, this does not necessitate killing the criminal, but the option exists if intervening and brandishing the firearm is not sufficient to save the innocent party.
Then there are mass shooting events, in which an individual carrying a weapon is able to save not only himself and a neighbor, but potentially hundreds of fellow citizens. While under-reported, there are many documented cases of such heroic interventions.
5. You Carry Your Own Background Check with You
A concealed carry permit is its own proof of character. To obtain a license in most states, fingerprinting and background checks are required. These are routinely updated, so any unlawful conduct is flagged and the license can be rescinded. So every day, the license represents a fresh and up-to-date background check.
This is useful for a number of reasons, including interacting with law enforcement and purchasing new weapons. When engaging with law enforcement, such as during a traffic stop, providing a license to carry a firearm communicates to that officer that you are a responsible, law-abiding citizen.
When purchasing guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer, every person must undergo a federal background check. Providing a concealed-carry license or permit can expedite this process and might even make the seller trust and respect you more.
6. You Are Empowered
Knowing you can defend yourself and your neighbors is incredibly empowering. Carrying a weapon and knowing how to use it safely gives you the confidence to face every day without fear of being a victim.
Best of all, you do not have to rely on others for your own protection. Police response time is not fast enough to prevent immediate danger, and a gun equalizes threats, whether you are five feet tall or a heavyweight wrestler, man or woman, old or young, disabled, outnumbered, or otherwise.
7. You Are Comfortable Around Weapons
Most fears are rooted in the unknown. Many people who hate guns have never shot one or are not comfortable around them. A good way to be more comfortable around guns is to know how they work and how to properly handle them.
Responsible, law-abiding citizens who carry must be able to proficiently carry, discharge, disassemble, clean, and reassemble their firearm. They know what to do, and more importantly, what not to do with firearms in order to be safe around them.
You never know when you may encounter a gun. It is best to be prepared in case you ever do. This might be as simple as handling your own guns or a gun at a store or friend’s house. But it also extends to those unknown and rare instances when faced with a threatening gun—maybe an abandoned gun in a park or when a threatening criminal brandishes a gun. If the bad guy is incapacitated, disarmed, or otherwise loses his grip, a responsible gun owner is the best person to take control of that weapon before the criminal gets it back or a child or other bystander unsafely takes the weapon.
Knowing how to control a weapon and store and operate it safely is essential to being a responsible gun owner. And experience with guns is the best way to improve those skills. Carrying not only improves your safety, awareness, and confidence, but it makes you an even more responsible gun owner.
The last thing America needs is vigilante justice or reckless gun owners. But responsible, law-abiding concealed carry is one way to be a better citizen and protect yourself and your community. Even if you never bring out your weapon, it improves the way you engage with the world and causes you to be a more responsible, deliberate, and careful citizen.