Why I Decided to Start Carrying Concealed
There was a time when I laughed, sometimes even got offended at the mere idea of carrying a concealed gun. Living in a close-knit community in Cincinnati always made me feel safe and secure. Not that I am not familiar with firearms, I’ve had my fair share of experience with firearms in the Cincinnati shooting range with my dad and on hunting trips with the family. The idea of carrying a concealed gun as a civilian bemused me as I believed that the rights to carry a gun in public should be confined to law enforcement or military officers. However, certain incidents and experiences changed my outlook towards it really quickly and gave me second thoughts.
CONCERN FOR SAFETY
The incident that triggered this thought of the need for Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) when two students of my college were robbed at gunpoint and one of them was then stabbed to death in their home. The robbers barged into their house late night through a back door wearing masks and wielding guns. According to the student that survived, they co-operated with the robbers upon confrontation. They gave them no reason to inflict harm on them by staying out of their way. One of the thieves, however, stabbed the student repeatedly with his knife before escaping.
When confronted by an armed criminal, we are taught to give him or her, what they want and they will let us live. This reminds me of the title of a book by Flannery O’ Connor, “You can’t be any poorer than Dead”; and I know I’d rather be poorer than dead. But then I wonder what if this is not always the case! With increased presence of terrorism across the world and rise in violent crimes in major American cities, I decided that I would not want to be left at the mercy of my attacker alone and would like to carry some means to protect myself, that would make my attacker think twice before coming onto me and would give me some glimmer of hope, even if it fails at the end.
Cincinnati has a long history of riots. Some were fueled by racial tension whereas some stemmed from employment conditions or political issues. While, being thankful to God, I have never witnessed any major riots in my time here; I have come across few of the rotten racist mobs from time to time who try to create a ruckus for no reason in the community. While these groups often cause discrepancy and conflicts in society, they don’t affect the overall peace and harmony that runs in society. However, I can’t help but think how the neighborhood would react in case of riots or natural disasters like floods or tornados. It’s difficult even for police to deal with a group of people who tend to act irrationally during this period. It is in times like these that calm heads fail to prevail and violence erupts out of loss, need or distress. You can laugh all you want but imagine the horror during a zombie apocalypse. Not saying that people will go on some kind of rampage and start hunting for brains, but now on a serious note, the behavior of people does get questionable in times of crisis. I once read about people, and I mean people who come from respectable and sophisticated families, who started robbing a supermarket during an ongoing riot.
In times like these, I would like to know that I can protect myself from hostile intruders and not get mugged, or even worse, get killed for mediocre reasons. I would like to be prepared. This is where carrying a concealed weapon could be a huge saving grace.
Concealed carry is legal in 50 states since 2013 and is governed and regulated by the states themselves. While CCW may seem like a necessity, as I mentioned above, it is vital that it’s regulated with necessary precautions. Here are few of the points that I would like to present to my readers:
1. Adequate book/online training along with governed shooting at the range for the required number of hours is a must. I am currently pursuing CCW classes at a shooting range in Cincinnati. These CCW classes are required to acquire CCW license. One of the senior officers at the shooting range in Cincinnati mentioned that the biggest mistakes he observes in training sessions are mostly related to safety infractions.
2. It’s important that effective background checks must be carried out and strengthen the weak permitting systems that allow dangerous people to carry guns in public. So many lives can be saved and so many accidents prevented by giving out CCW license only to responsible people.
3. Restrict CCWs at certain public places, for example, allowing concealed weapons on college campuses/ hospitals is foolish.
To conclude, there are people with differing views on rights to carry firearms and who should carry them. Do you carry concealed? Are you in support of CCW bill or against it? State your answers and reasons in comments below.