Seekonk River Schnauzerlaufen (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

I broke from the normal Schnauzerlaufen this morning. I continued walking along the river bank onto a road blocked off to cars. The pavement’s obscured from everyone but rowers (galley slaves with little desire to scan the shore). A brace of dog walkers approached, oblivious to me, their dog [not shown] and the rapist/mugger/psycho killer from the nearby mental hospital lurking in the bushes. For all they know. Which left me wondering: are people who carry a gun more situationally aware because they’re packing or are they packing because they’re more situationally aware? I’m going with the latter. I reckon the Armed Intelligentsia are naturally inclined to carry. Then again, nothing re-wires a human more effectively than pain, fear and, especially, trauma. One bad scare (or worse) and those ladies would leave condition white. Would they carry afterwards? Probably not. So . . . nature. Your thoughts?

46 Responses to Question of the Day: CCW–Nurture or Nature?

  1. Nature.

    There was a drunk father who was murdered by a thugscrum of cops over in California recently. A woman who had video of the murder called the same agency that the perpetrators worked for with obvious results. Most people are lazy and love authority figures. They are passive and enjoy the idea of delegating this responsibility (defense) to others.

    • Yep. Lazy cretins enjoy watching the spectacle. In my opinion, most human beings, on some level, enjoy schadenfreude. Who doesn’t like seeing their enemies suffer some minor misfortune?

      But some people enjoy it WAY too much and get a huge thrill out of watching authority figures clamp down on others. This is part of the reason why police states are always so successful in controlling their people: they have dedicated informers that take glee in watching other people suffer. If they need more they simply threaten the people who were informed on and their families with harsh penalties if they too don’t become informers.

      But you’ll rarely find such cretins that are willing to put on the boots and kick in the doors themselves. They’re too cowardly for that. They’ll only take part if they know there’s no chance they’ll face retribution.

      The ones who do have the cojones to do it, or who simply like the adrenaline rush and are amoral, become SWAT cops.

  2. almost assuredly if they meet a threat while under “condition white”, they soon will be under “condition brown”. just sayin…

  3. I noticed when I pack heat I scan people alot more completely out of the corner of my eye. While it is bad to stereotype, it probably is worthwhile to be better prepared in the end than to be oblivious to it all

      • so it’s a good thing or is it still bad because it’s bad, or is it bad not to because they might be bad?

      • The ability to identify patterns is the basis of rational thought. One shouldn’t write someone off completely as a human because of appearance(they may be good people. I was never intending to hang around and find out anyway), but you can make some safe assumptions based on dress, demeanor, etc… while passing random people on the streets. Don’t trust strangers, but trust some even less.

    • The whole notion that “…it is bad to stereotype…” is modern PC bullcrap. Full stop.

      Let’s have some examples of stereotyping:

      It’s about 2,000 years ago in the area that would now be known as Oregon. You and your extended family run into a brown bear while you’re down at the Pacific coast, fishing for your grub. Six of your merry band are mauled and one will be in tomorrow’s bear scat.

      Do you judge the next bear by this bear’s performance? You bet your ass you do. That’s how humans evolved.

      Same thing with people on the street. Rather than get into the negative stereotypes, let’s talk about positive stereotypes.

      Let’s see here… how many people are mugged by Asian grandmothers on the street? Yea, that’s about 0.0. So when you see an older woman with Asian features stroll up beside you while you’re waiting at a light, does your hand reach for your EDC knife, with your thumb on the stud? Not likely.

      Let’s try some other stereotypes: There’s a trial for a notorious crime in Delta, Utah. The defendant, thought to be innocent of the charges, is convicted. Let’s say you’re a resident of Delta and you hear about the verdict on the local radio station. Do you break out your Garand to prep for the white riots about to plunder through town, burning down buildings and looting businesses?

      Nope. Why’s that? Well, how many riots happen in white, Mormon towns in Utah? Yea, that’d be about 0.0 in forever years.

      You’re on an airplane, waiting for boarding to finish. A Mennonite couple get on the plane. Do you start glancing up and down the rows, wondering where they’re going to sit, and whether they’ve got a bomb in the checked luggage?

      I’d bet “no.” How many acts of terrorism have been/are/will be committed by the Mennonites? Again, right about bupkiss-point-jack-all.

      So when I step out onto an urban street (in the few times that I still frequent the great urban cesspools that most urban centers have become) and I see a bunch of young minority males sporting all manner of tats and flipping all manner of hand signals around, do I think “there’s a patch of potential trouble?” Of course I do. That’s how the human brain evolved and it was a very successful evolution: Being able to observe things that happened to other people, spot the pattern and apply it to your own survival.

      • Delta FTW! I love that you actually know there is a Delta, Utah. Though, to be fair, there’s a decent Mexican population there. Decent in size, and very decent people. Still not exactly the riot demographic though, so you’re safe.

        • That’s nothing, I can even imitate the speech patterns of guys from Enterprise, UT.

      • “The whole notion that “…it is bad to stereotype…” is modern PC bullcrap. Full stop.”

        Thank you for clarifying my point.

  4. Its both. Someone that by nature is more observant of their surroundings notices things that make them more aware of their vulnerability. They may be more likely to take responsibility for their own safety and realize a gun is a good way to do that. On the other hand, someone totally oblivious to their surroundings may get their attitude adjusted by a scare or close call, either to themselves or someone they know. That’s the only way they will ever realize that owning a gun to protect themselves is not just for gun nuts. I hate to say it but most women I know fall into this second category.

    I will also add this. I believe any responsible person who starts carrying will become even more aware of their surroundings because of the recognition of the awesome responsibility they now have. Carrying alone is not enough, you have to understand when and how to use it correctly or you go to prison, or worse, the morgue.

  5. Most would continue demanding that the state provide them security, asking for increased patrols, lighting and surveillance cameras.

  6. I can only speak for myself, but I live in a very low crime area and consider my chances of getting into a gun fight about as likely as being struck by lightning. However I carry to celebrate the last vestige of freedom we have in this country. I grew up assuming the most ridiculous things were illegal because most of the time they were. When I was 15 taking driver’s ed in school the teacher asked if we thought it was illegal to drive in bare feet. Most of us thought it was illegal, turned out it actually is legal in my state. But the point is that by the time you’re a teenager you just assume that such ridiculous laws are on the books and you could be punished for driving a car with your shoes off. We have our children brainwashed into sheep by their teens!

    For 60 years it was illegal to brew beer in your own home for your own consumption. Fortunately Jimmy Carter managed to do one thing right. So the best beer I’ve ever tasted is the stuff I brew at home (dirt cheap too). But I’d like to try my hand at whiskey – No that’s a federal felony! You’ll do 7 years for that. And they call this a free country? You want to grow some pot for your own use? It’s none of my damn business – knock yourself out.

    I think it was Socrates that said if you see two men walking down the road you can tell which one is the slave and which one is the freeman – the freeman is armed. So I have a slip of paper that says I can tuck a loaded firearm under my shirt and walk around Walmart – how cool is that? I can’t be trusted to distill a couple of gallons of whiskey but I can be trusted with a loaded gun.

    In answer to your question though, I know in my case having a firearm on your person definitely makes you more aware of the potential for needing to use it. Maybe a little of both though.

    • It’s not that they don’t trust you. It’s that they’re extortionists who want their huge slice of the pie.

      If Fat Tony and his guys came to your house and demanded you pay him to allow you to make whiskey you’d recognize right away they’re extortionist scum.

      But when Officer Jerry and the ATF say “pay us or we’ll kick in your door, arrest, and possibly kill you” we’re to simply assume that they’re brave hero public servants who took oaths to uphold the Constitution (whatever the USSC has interpreted to be constitutionally correct in THEIR opinion) and are just enforcing the law.

      The standard response is that if you don’t like the law you should try to change it. They say this even while they must know that one commoner (or any grassroots group of them) has about as much of a chance of convincing enough people in power to give a **** and change the law as he does winning the powerball three times in a row.

      • Unfortunately it is easier to pass another freedom restricting law than to get one repealed. If I could change one thing about our government I would make all laws expire after 10 years. The government would be too busy trying to repass necessary and beneficial legislation to pass the unnecessary ones.

    • I carry and
      I have been struck by lightning.
      No lottery win yet though.
      To the question:
      Carry/Aware
      Aware/Carry
      If you are in a loop, it doesnt matter where you enter.

    • Went to an obstacle course fitness run my wife participated in today. Must have been 5000-10,000 people there and one of the first things I noticed was there was absolutely zero security. I never used to notice that sort of thing before I carried. Each thing feeds the other IMO.

  7. Here’s my opinion, which will not sit well with some of us elitist “born sheepdogs”: It is almost entirely nurture, not nature. Your argument is that Condition Whiteys won’t carry even after a scare. Why? Because they don’t realize armed self-defense is an option. Why? Because it is not within their field of vision. If they know no one who carries or shoots and all they hear is “you’re more likely to have your own gun used against you,” what else would they think? They’re operating on the “best intel” available to them. It is not necessarily that they’re forever too frightened to take up their own defense. That’s why it’s crucial every one of us evangelize responsible self-defense instead of looking down our noses at non-CCW people. They are concealed carriers waiting to happen, given the right information, right laws and (unfortunately, sometimes) the right scares, which often involve realizing “authority” can’t or won’t help you 100% of the time.

    • I agree.
      I believe it is partially self or other taught, and if you open your ears, you’ll see the world is not a nice place.
      Once you know this you’ll see everything differently.
      How and where you sit in a restaurant, walking on the side of the street that has better lighting, scanning peoples body language, etc.
      Carrying is a choice, but once one starts, why would one do otherwise?

    • I agree. They are in condition white because they always have been, and it’s probably served them just fine until now. The reality is most people will never be mugger or stabbed or shot by some deranged escaped mental patient. Some people plan for the worst case scenario. Some convince themselves the worst case scenario won’t happen to them (and they are probably right). But, to those of us that make the choice to arm ourselves, we’ve made the choice that we’d rather be prepared and not need it, than convince ourselves we probably won’t need it. Honestly, I still fall into the latter camp occasionally. Maybe I’ll regret it one day, maybe I won’t.

    • I tend to agree, you need to willing to accept the massive responsibility not only your own well-being but those around you as well. It helps to be independent by nature and creativity don’t hurt neither. A eye opening event helps too. My Event happened in the late 90s, trip with parents, stopped at a Motel 6 in Stockton, CA. We didn’t know this was the “bad” part of town, the rate was cheap and it had a AAA endorsement. So we get settled in for the night. As it happens, some sort of party all night a few doors down, and some guy banging on every door from 12-2am looking for “Bean”. Called front desk, called cops, nothing, not even a drive thru. After that, Dad took a discreet traveling companion on every road trip thereafter.

    • I also agree. Once or twice the idea of every day carry crossed my mind but it seemed so distant. Then one day a cousin revealed his concealed carry license and carry sidearm to me. I don’t know why but it instantly clicked. Three months later, I had my concealed carry license and began carrying every day. A few months after that, it clicked with my father and now he has his license. About the same time, it clicked with my spouse and now my spouse has a license and carries every day.

      At this point I am incredibly aware of my surroundings — much more aware than my spouse. Now I think I am more aware because of nature. And yet it took nurture to get all off us started.

  8. I know it’s off topic, but why is the dog off leash? Not the most responsible choice, even if the dog is obedient and friendly…other dogs, kids, etc could pose all kinds of trouble for little Fido if the owner has no way to physically control him.

  9. I grew up in CA. I shot from a very young age, but my mother hated handguns so we never had one in the house. Regardless, carrying was never a legal option, and to tell you the truth I never really thought much about it. Then I moved to a freer state (for work). When I first heard that I could legally carry here, I was blown away. First week or so after I received my permit, I was very self-conscious. Now, when I visit CA, it feels strange not to carry. I guess that rambling doesn’t really answer the question.

    If I think about it, I’ve always tended to notice my surroundings, periodically throw a quick look over my shoulder, pay attention to sounds and movement, and to avoid places that look sketchy. I don’t think I’m more likely to do that now that I’m usually strapped relative to when I didn’t carry.

  10. How do you know these ladies weren’t packing? After all, it’s called concealed carry for a reason.

  11. People I know who walk around in condition white all the time never believe that “it could happen to them”. After all, the government is here to protect us, right?

    There ain’t no cure for stupid.

  12. Both, I think. I’ve been a head-on-a-swivel person most of my life, but I only took that mindset of self defense to its logical destination within the past few years, mainly due to my concerns that the entire county may turn into New Detroit.

    • This was my conclusion, as well. I was naturally drawn to carry because I was already aware of the fact that the world isn’t always a safe place. However, it’s not like I stepped out of the womb ready to do that. It took some logical thought and experience to finally get me there.

  13. took nearly having my house broken into [twice] to get me out of condition white, so nurture for me 😉

  14. I definitely am more sitch-aware when possessing a firearm.

    And this is a good thing. Which is why America would be a better place if more people carried — and why Chicago is not.

  15. Me, nurture. Although I’d hardly call it “nurturing” to have survived what I’ve seen in a lifetime.

    I’m just happy to not feel quite so helpless and afraid anymore.

  16. Started out as a little nature, taught about guns at a young age. Lost a close relative to a violent crime. some nurturing happened for a number of years than then my personal incident happened and now it’s been nurtured even more. I carry all the time. At home in my PJ’s or cutting the grass. My wifes gun stayed at home and she relied on me but, has recently started taking her personal safety. I used to half joke with her that she was supposed to be my backup. Now she is.

  17. My situational awareness began long before carrying, product of growing up in NYC ghettoes. Today as a middle aged adult, I carry weapons for self protection and I carry for my job. In my mode of thinking and living self awareness is a mandate for survival, hence condition white has never really been suitable for me. My wife and kids are thankful that they have a person like me, as it allows them to be relaxed, knowing daddy’s got it in check. I guess I can say in my case it was acquired via nature, yet reinforced through nurture.

  18. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the effect on a CCW licensed individual is an echo effect.
    By that, I mean that those who notice more will generally be more inclined to get their CCW, and when carrying they will heighten their normally high levels of alertness in order to live up to the level of responsibility that they view carrying as requiring.
    Course, I could be wrong, but that’s been my experience with the guys and gals I’ve been around.

  19. I think it’s primarily nature, and here’s why: My father grew up around guns. He’s hunted several times. He sold my late grandfather’s .30-06 when I was about 10, and has not owned a gun since. I shoot and hunt, my brothers both shoot and hunt, most of my extended family shoots and hunts. My dad has been mugged more than once, he used to drive truck, he’s a bank manager who has been robbed at gunpoint more than once. He is incurably stuck in condition white.

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