Being from a Mid-Western state, I grew up around guns. I was one heck of a crack shot, judging Kentucky windage and “bullet drop” with my single shot BB gun, nailing those empty soft drink cans off the wooden stump in the back yard. I eventually grew up, went to college, and didn’t think much more about shooting those BB guns, rifles, or pistols that I used to when I was a kid. But there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve been “lucky” in any one of the following situations . . .
– An unfamiliar man sees me getting into my car, opens the door, gets in and says “I’m gonna ride with ya”
– An unfamiliar man walks up to the passenger door of my car and knocks on it asking for money while I was ordering at the drive through at a local fast food restaurant
– An unfamiliar man walks up to me face-to-face at bad-breath-distance at a gas station and asks if I have money for gas
– An unfamiliar man stops his car in the middle of the road in front of me, gets out and storms towards my vehicle yelling that I was following too close
– An unfamiliar man knocks on my apartment door and then I hear the lock start jiggling as it sounds like he’s trying to open it
It finally took the last one – the final straw – to make me realize I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else. In that moment, I realized that I only have a $20 1-wood in the closet to defend myself against someone who has decided they want to get into my apartment, potentially regardless of whether I’m there or not. It only took that one instance for me to wish that I had a gun, just in case. The police showed up only minutes later, but found no one around and chalked it up to a drunk probably trying to get in the wrong apartment. I hope that’s all it was.
Hindsight is 20-20 and now that I know the actual outcomes, a gun wouldn’t have made a difference, but it only takes one. In that moment, when you’re confronted and sometimes caught off guard, there’s comfort in knowing you have that option.
Because you do have a choice. You have the choice of accepting the personal responsibility of buying a gun and protecting yourself and your family. If you choose to accept that responsibility, you must make the commitment to store it safely, learn how to use it and understand that it’s the last resort. Just because you have the option doesn’t mean you ever have to use it. It’s like buying insurance, it takes some research and effort to get what you need and know how to use it and there’s a cost associated with it. You hope to never have to use it, but it’s there just in case. The ultimate life insurance policy.
You also have the choice of not having that option. Perhaps you feel that you can’t put in the time to understand all the necessary requirements that go along with gun ownership. Maybe you decide that you just don’t have the discipline and can’t trust yourself during those instances or that having a gun is simply too much of a personal risk. Some choose to accept this and, for them, it may be the right decision. No one will fault you for your choice, just as I don’t want to be faulted for mine.
It only takes one, one “bad guy” that can change your world forever. All the gun control in the world won’t help you. They don’t care. The bad guy is at the door, banging away. The police may be on their way, but you realize you don’t have an option. You have a golf club. You realize that you’re at their mercy. Have you made the right choice?