Gun control advocates talk a lot about feelings. They use emotion-based rhetoric to appeal to voters’ desire for peace and security. Gun rights advocates counter this anti-gun agitprop by marshaling an array of facts and common sense arguments; correctly arguing that feeling safe is an illusory goal. I want to pause a moment, set aside the stats and point out that keeping and bearing arms is a wonderful feeling . . .
When I carry a gun — which I do virtually every waking moment of my life — I do so with tremendous satisfaction. I’m comforted by the thought that I’m prepared to defend myself, my loved ones and other innocent life. My gun gives me a sense of personal responsibility that I wear with pride . . . and humility.
I know that a gun isn’t a magic talisman. Even though I both home and open carry, I understand that my gun will not necessarily ward-off bad guys. I also know that I can do everything right in a gunfight — a remote possibility — and still fail in my duty to protect myself and others.
In short, the sense of safety I get from wearing a gun is not absolute, but it’s not illusory. I have a realistic chance, however small, of defending everything that’s near and dear to my heart. A better chance than someone who doesn’t carry a gun.
But that’s not the point. As a Jew whose father survived the Holocaust, as a Jew whose grandparents and relatives did not, the words “never again” mean something to me. I used to think about having those words tattooed on my arm. But I now realize I don’t have to. I carry a gun.
How does carrying a gun, or having one, make you feel?