Imagine this scenario for a moment – you’re the son of a billionaire known for his philanthropy. One night, your parents take you to the Opera located in a seedy part of town. After the show, your old man elects to take a short-cut through a desolate alley. His decision proves fatal. Not a minute through, the three of you are confronted by a gunman in his twenties who demands valuables. Your father does his best to comply, but as the gunman reaches for pearls hanging around your mother’s neck, dad’s protective gene kicks in and he lunges at the man. What happens next is tragic; the gunman reacts, pulls the trigger twice, and like that, you’re the wealthiest orphan north of the Mississippi.
You end up exacting revenge by transforming yourself into a caped crusader roaming the city at night ridding the world of scum. You even manage to settle the score with the scumbag responsible for your parents’ death. But, ask yourself this question – If your father, Thomas Wayne, had a Conceal and Carry permit, could things have turned out differently? Maybe your parents don’t end up lying face-up on dirty concrete, your eight-year-old self weeping over their bodies? Perhaps they go on to grow old together and become grandparents? What if you never end up creating Batman, an unappreciated vigilante who sacrifices nearly everything for a city well past its glory days?
Right about now, you may be thinking ‘why the hypothetical?’ Hypotheticals are fruitful endeavors. They allow us to run through any number of scenarios without actual costs. Let’s rewind for a moment, and re-run the above storyline, but this time let’s assume your father is packing.
I’m not an opera fan, but mother and father encouraged me to attend with them last weekend. It was bearable, the actors were phenomenal, and three hours felt more like an hour which is always a good sign. Father wanted to avoid members of the press whom he spotted from our balcony, so upon curtain down, we exited through a rear door and found ourselves standing in a graffiti laced alley with smoking manholes. Mother seemed tentative at first, but father held her hand for reassurance, and we continued down the desolate sidestreet.
And then it happened – Without so much as a warning, a man with big teeth, a devilish smile, and slicked-back hair cornered us and brandished a silver pistol the moon bounced off of. Mother froze in terror. Father showed a resolve that made me proud. He complied with the hoodlum and handed over his wallet without protest; this should have been enough. I’m sure there were well over a thousand dollars inside the wallet, but criminals are often greedy. My mother’s pearls, a family heirloom, were the next items on the man’s shopping list. He demanded Mother hand them over, but Mother just stood there which angered the man. He snatched the pearls off of her neck, temporarily averting his eyes from Father and I. This was the precise opportunity Father was banking on. Without hesitation, he reached down for his right ankle where he kept a practical Rex Zero 1S in a holster, pulled out the pistol, and squeezed the trigger three times. The man with the grin was no longer smiling. He hit the pavement hard, and Father pounced on top of him. Blood was gushing out of the man’s abdomen. Father pinned him to the ground and instructed me to pick the man’s gun off the ground. Ever the dutiful son, I did what he said.
The above events may be fiction, but believe me when I say that in today’s climate, it’s more than likely to occur to anyone of us, on any given day. We live in a world of opportunists. This may not be the most positive paradigm, but spend enough years in this world, and you will see it ring true time and again. Humanity can be frail, some people are evil, and if you give them the chance, the smart money’s on them putting you six feet under. This is why I’m a staunch believer in always carrying a concealed weapon [CCW].
At present, most of the states in the Union permit one to carry a concealed weapon if their proper requirements are met. The guidelines are fairly straightforward. However, things get murky when one lives in a particular state, then travels to another and wishes to still carry. Some states only issue permits to Residents [Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Guam]. Some have reciprocity agreements with other states, which means each state honors the other’s conceal carry permit. It’s the individuals’ responsibility to do their due diligence when traveling. Simply put, most gun owners I know are the embodiment of responsibility. They tend to be well versed in the laws and constitutional rights of our nation. They are law-abiding citizens who do their best to protect their sovereignty. They care for their loved ones and yearn for their safety. And contrary to most media spin doctors, they value life and only discharge their weapon when it is necessary.
As the divide in our nation widens, more and more individuals are finding themselves in contentious situations. The probability of conflict has never been so high, and that is why now is as good a time as any to adopt a conceal and carry attitude. Don’t be a victim. Assume the best in people, but be keen to the fact that the world is filled with opportunists itching to take advantage of anyone for personal gain. It’s a harsh truth worth facing, and the sooner you do, the less likely it is that you become a statistic.
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