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Why I Carry a Gun

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by druryj, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know I am bringing up some old material here, in fact, let me start by posting a link to a thread made here by a well-respected member, @spd67, back in October, 2009: https://www.okshooters.com/threads/why-you-should-ccw-every-day.69489/#post-859256.

    Thank you sir, for this still very relevant thread. Although made almost 10 years ago, it is still important today, maybe even more so now in light of the national spotlight and focus on the tragedy of senseless gun violence. We are fortunate to have LEOs like him and GED and the others who I won't name for now among us. OSA is a better place because of them, and I salute all of you men and women who step out daily, prepared and sworn to face the scum that slithers along our streets. You are the true Sheep Dogs in our civilian society.

    It might be important to re-think our reasons for choosing to carry a gun during times like this when the media is so quick to respond to mass shootings. Many are eager to condemn all gun owners for the violent acts committed by a few deranged people. Mass shooters seem only to want to take out as many innocent victims as they can before they go out in a blaze of glory themselves. I just wish, like many, that these mass shooters would shoot themselves first before opening fire in a crowd.

    Everyone has heard all the rhetoric from both sides. You know, things like: "All guns are dangerous". "Guns are made to kill". "The mere presence of a gun increases the chances of gun violence". (Duh). This is all true. Guns are dangerous; if a gun wasn't dangerous, I wouldn't have one on me. "Guns are made to kill" Uh huh, and forks MAKE you fat. And cars MAKE you speed. And cell phones MAKE you text while you're driving, and having a checkbook MAKES you write bad checks, and having a prescription for opioids MAKES you overdose... Having those things doesn't mean I'll do those things and having a gun makes doesn't make me shoot somebody.

    And then we have all heard that "The only way to stop a BGWAG is with a GGWAG". Well, that is also true, to an extent. But then again, a BGWAG can really only carry so much ammo in all those high-capacity magazines anyway, so he'll eventually have to stop shooting sometime, even if just to take a break, maybe just a short one to go to the restroom, and then re-load his mags before resuming fire, giving some potential victims a reasonable chance to break cover and escape the initial attack. Why, after awhile, he may even just get bored, like some of us do when we are just wasting ammo at the range after the first hour or so. Or maybe he will get tired and finally just stop shooting people on his own and leave.

    But I digress; this is why I carry a gun:

    I CARRY A GUN TO PROTECT MYSELF AND MY LOVED ONES FROM THE THREAT OF SERIOUS BODILY HARM OR DEATH.

    I do not carry a gun with the intent of stopping the BGWAG. I carry a gun with the intent that me and mine come home alive and safe. While I am indeed a GGWAG, I am not a sheepdog. I am a civilian.

    If I am in a public place or venue, and a nutjob comes in and starts shooting the place up, I will not stalk him and attempt to stop him by shooting him. I am not going to the store to be the 10PM News Hero, I am going to maybe get a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs. While I am indeed a GGWAG, my first and most important responsibility is to bring me and my loved ones home safe. Now, if the BGWAG changes the dynamics, and gets too close to me in my place of best available cover and concealment, I may choose to employ my weapon. And make no mistake; it is a weapon, not a lucky charm. Employing my weapon without ear protection in a public place and surrounded by screaming panicked people is vastly different than a leisurely range session where I am simply trying to adjust a new set of sights on my Target .22 pistol.

    I cannot help but feel the climate shifting among many gun owners that they must be the GWAG in case there is a BGWAG, and that they must be responsible to stop him.

    What are your thoughts on this? Why do you carry a gun?
     
  2. dlmcm

    dlmcm Retired & Enjoying Life!

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    You write pretty good when on meds.

    Seriously, this is very well said.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    I understand completely where you are coming from.

    I also understand the opposite side of the argument, the sheepdog. While I am not going out LOOKING for an opportunity to prove my courage, value, worth or whatever, I also think it would be hard for me to stand by KNOWING someone was stalking others in a store and shooting them, while I had in my possession both the tool and knowledge to possibly stop them and save some lives.

    Of course, that being said, I would be taking my own life in my hands by making any amount of effort at stopping him. Whether this was simple defense as he approached the position of myself, my family and my loved ones (a non-negotiable imperative at taking positive action), or whether making judicious progress in the direction of the shooting once assuring my family is as safe as reasonable in the short term. If I leave them to make an effort against the perpetrator, I could be condemning them to death, as well - if the BGWAG circles around me and gets to them, if I get myself killed or wounded and leave them unprotected, if there is a second shooter waiting to come in from another direction, etc. It's a tough choice.

    But at the same time, I have to weigh the consequences if I do nothing. I know it isn't my "responsibility", in that I am not a law enforcement officer, a guard, a hero, or any of those things. However... if I see a man beating on a woman (or possibly another man) in a public place, it is unlikely I will stand by and do nothing - even though I know any intervention increases my own risk of serious bodily injury or death. I just don't know if I could stand by and watch, or even retreat and call the police, while I watch someone possibly being seriously injured or killed. I just don't know.

    I pray to God I never end up in that situation. Ever.

    I am part of the security team at my church. We aren't heavily trained. We're just a group of people who feel it helpful to get to know each other and have some idea of how to coordinate a mass exodus in the unlikely event of something bad happening - and who feel compelled to be more prepared. But could I hide in a closet in the sanctuary with my family behind a closed door, praying not to be noticed, while a gunman walks the aisles calmly and methodically shooting people whom I have attended church with for years?

    I don't know.

    Do I want to look my son in the eyes when it is all over and answer him when he asks me why his friends had to die, when I had in my possession the tool and slight training and possible element of surprise that could have possibly prevented some of them?

    I don't know.

    I can't make predictions. But there are some things more important than my own life. But are they more important than the life of my wife, or my son?

    I don't know.

    :nono2:
     
  4. kwaynem

    kwaynem Sharpshooter

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    The part I worry about is if my family and I are at a place where a bgwag starts shooting and I decide to eliminate him or her and another ggwag sees me shooting or vise versa and I get taken out because he don’t know I’m a good guy tough place to be in
     
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  5. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And I absolutely agree with and understand what you're saying. There is an infinite amount of variables to consider in a very short time in a situation involving a BGWAG. Are you with loved ones or are you alone? Where are you? Where is he? Can you make positive ID of the BGWAG ? Is he acting alone? Does he have a handgun? Semi-auto rifle? Shotgun? Did he run in to rob the place and run out, or is he here to shoot as many as he can? Do you have a clean shot? What is happening right now? CAN YOU PULL THE TRIGGER ON ANOTHER PERSON? There are just way too many factors to list here, it basically boils down to making a spit second call and taking action. We can only prepare to a set point, then all else happens as the situation unfolds. My years of training and background as an Infantry Officer and Force Recon Marine taught me that a good plan violently executed right NOW beats a perfect plan executed later in most cases. But my age and health, has slowed me some, and my reflexes and eyes are not quite what they used to be...and I'm no longer crawling through windows prepared to kill someone while searching for Intel...I am now just a senior citizen trying to get through another day. I didn't come here to get in a gun fight; I came to get a dozen eggs and a lemon cake mix and some coffee creamer and some of those fancy paper plates with the blue flowers around the edge that the wife likes...

    I have established a bottom line though: I will above all else ensure that my wife and loved ones are protected. That is my priority. After that, well if I ABSOLUTELY KNOW THEY ARE SAFE, then, Mr. BGWAG, then we shall see.

    It's one of the factors I mention above among the many that are too many to list.
     
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  6. Aries

    Aries Sharpshooter

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    I know this is not the scenario you are both describing, but I just want to add... my understanding of the SDA is that it does not authorize you to ENTER a dangerous situation to rescue others, except your immediate family members, spouse, and I think your employer or an employee. It's pretty specific anyway.

    The example in our training is if you see someone robbing a Quick Trip with a gun by looking through the window, you cannot legally go in to stop them. Call 911 and be a good witness was their advice.
     
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  7. druryj

    druryj Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wouldn't it be great if we could all just buy the absolute right answer to every possible scenario as easily as we have all found the absolute right handgun to carry for every possible scenario? (Are you sure this Ruger LCP is all I need to go camping in Grizzly Country?)
     
  8. dlmcm

    dlmcm Retired & Enjoying Life!

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    The right answer is never easy. That's what makes it the right answer.
     
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  9. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Sharpshooter

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    Why do I carry a gun? Hmmmm...well I suppose it's the only way to have a gun when I need it. Ever needed a gun and no matter how many times ya whistled your gun didn't come running? I guess that's about it.
     
  10. chuter

    chuter Sharpshooter

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    I'm guessing, and hoping, that most people who carry a gun go thru this type of mental exercise, even if you can't come to an easy decision.
    For myself, I can only hope and pray that divine guidance helps guide me to do the right thing in that moment.
    The main priority is to protect myself and my loved ones.
    Spending all my family's assets on a legal defense because I stepped into a situation when I shouldn't have falls into this category.

    I don't know if I could stand by and watch innocent people get murdered, but at the same time, when they walked out the door unarmed that's a choice they made.
     

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