There are plenty of good, solid reasons to carry a gun. Just ask any of the millions of Americans who’ve applied for and received a concealed carry license during the last four years. Not that an American should have to get a government license to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Anyway, I won’t rehash the reasons for armed self-defense here. At the risk of inflaming my detractors in the gunblogosphere to the point of self-immolation, I’d like to present three reasons not to carry a gun . . .
1. You’re a fatalist
Back when I was a hypnotist, a client told me he wanted to quit smoking. The middle-aged banker Dude was fresh from his annual checkup. “If the Doctor told me anything was wrong with my lungs I wouldn’t be here,” the middle-aged pack-a-day guy told me, shrugging his non-metaphorical shoulders.
It’s the same laissez-faire attitude some people have towards armed self-defense. They can’t be bothered to spend the time, effort and money to prepare for an event which may not occur. If something bad happens, something bad happens. Who’s to say a gun would do me any good anyway? I’d probably shoot myself—or be shot—with my own gun.
It’s hard to believe that some people don’t value their life enough to carry a gun to protect themselves—or their loved ones—against a deadly threat. Or at least rationally consider the facts of the matter, from gun safety stats to strategies for armed self-defense. But there are folks for whom passivity is a way of life.
Which brings us to . . .
2. You trust the government
As stated above, people who wouldn’t consider carrying a gun usually trust that everything will work out as it should. Alternatively or additionally, they trust that someone will protect them. Why anyone would trust their life to government employees—especially armed government employees—is beyond me. But hey, my father was a Holocaust survivor.
I suppose it’s conditioning. At any early age, children are taught that the government acts like parental protectors: making sure that everyone plays nice, gets an education, has clean water to drink, etc. Some of these government workers brave death on our behalf! Even as we grow to accept our parents’ limitations, some people never outgrow the idea that the government has their best interests at heart.
Millions of Americans are completely comfortable trusting the government to protect their lives. Carry a gun? You don’t need a gun to dial 911! Tell these vulnerable souls that they should carry a gun because “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away” and they’ll retreat into fatalism or deny the possibility of MIA cops. You say Mommy won’t be there to protect me? I’m telling!
3. You don’t trust yourself
This one kinda ties it all together: dangerous fatalism, an irrational willingness to surrender self-defense to the government and an inability to “man-up.” But before I suffer the slings and arrows of going all mucho macho on gun shunners, a quick aside.
I recently met an ex-cop who was surprised to learn that his badge was a national carry permit. I asked him why he didn’t carry a gun all the time. “There are places I don’t want to take a gun,” he said. “You mean like courthouses and schools?” “No, places where I might use it.”
Ohhhhhh kay. He’s not the first person I’ve met who won’t consider the possibility of carrying a gun because they don’t trust themselves not to use it illegally. To these self-aware non-gun toters, I salute you! As long as you don’t assume that your fellow Americans’ gun rights should be restricted because you can’t handle the responsibility, more power to you.
As for the rest of the citizenry who don’t carry a gun because they they consider it too dangerous (for them and bystanders), their fear is based on ignorance. And vice versa. It’s a vicious circle based on a lack of conditioning. If an American citizen doesn’t know how to handle a gun from an early age they don’t believe that they can gain the skills needed to master one. Even though they could.
And there you have it: three not-so-solid reasons not to carry a gun. None of them are insurmountable. All of them melt like snow on a hot tin roof after a person is assaulted. While armed self-defenders never hope for violence, they always hope that their fellow citizens to develop an appreciation for the power of self-reliance. A concept that gains strength and meaning when you carry a gun.