It’s that time again. Time to renew my CCW permit. I have to retake a four-hour class and re-qualify with the exact firearm I wish to conceal. I can qualify with up to three guns. No more. Why? Because California. This biennial renewal is a hassle. It’s expensive and time-consuming. But it’s not as bad as it could be. Our Sheriff is a good man who believes in the right to carry a gun. Good for him. Still not so good for me. It still bothers me that . . .
I have to pay $50 to get the government’s permission to exercise the “bear” part of my right to “keep and bear arms.”
At the risk of stating the obvious, criminals don’t subject themselves to this kind of government scrutiny. Why should I? A criminal won’t give the State of California a palm print to keep on file along with every single finger print from all ten digits. But I do.
Every two years, I question whether or not I’ll renew my permit. But I don’t debate this long. I always renew.
It has something to do with self-defense, defense of my children and defense against tyranny. But truth be told, I’ve internalized those arguments. I simply cannot stand not to have a gun on me. It’s a part of me now. I would no more leave the house without my gun than I’d leave the house without my wallet and keys.
Luckily, Lassen County has very few “gun-free” zones. My daughter goes to a private pre-school. The only place I would have to disarm would be the Post Office and county government buildings. I use FedEx and I try not to darken door of the county on official business.
So, I picked up my paperwork from the Sheriff’s office (not a “gun-free” zone) and filled out the 10-page questionnaire/information sheet and scheduled my class. I will remain armed. I will get a fresh and new small piece of paper (no picture, not laminated) that I can put in my wallet listing the three guns the state will allow me to conceal.
But the paper rankles as much as it reassures. It’s a reminder that I am not a free citizen, able to exercise a right guaranteed me by the U.S. Constitution. Now that I’m a writer for The Truth About Guns, exploring the issue confronting The People of the Gun in The Golden State, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about the class this time around. Watch this space.