Reader Concealed Swede writes:
I am writing to you concerning the recent terror attack in Sweden. As an avid reader of TTAG, a Swede and a concealed carrier, I would like to add a few thoughts to your post on the matter.
First of all, there are indeed permits for legal concealed carry in Sweden, but these are more scarce than unicorn turds. People in the know estimate these permits to be around 20 in the whole of the nation (of 10 million). Eat that, New York City.
Secondly, we have a long-standing tradition of bowing before and relying on the government. Ever since 1523, when Gustav I was crowned king, we’ve had a downward spiral of centralization, regulation, taxation and reduction of civil liberties. Every single thing in our society has been relegated to, or regulated by, the government.
There are the obvious ones such as healthcare, welfare and education, each one every bit as evil as the other. But these are superficial and do not even touch upon the really scary problems that arise when you hand everything over to the (not so) benevolent state. People wholly relegate such things as morality, critical thinking and responsibility for their own lives. Some of this obviously happens in every country, but here it shows itself in its full form, unaltered and undisputed.
If I were to ask a hundred random Swedes, the recent attack fresh in mind, if anyone should be allowed to carry a gun in public, I am certain I would get at least 99% responding, “No way, are you completely mad?” The mindset is that only the government could and should ensure people’s safety. Even when it proves it can’t. Time and time again. If said random Swedes were freely asked to come up with a solution, usually the answer is to make a new law. Cuz’ murdering people with a truck is way too legal right now. Or something.
This latest attack made me both sigh and gasp. Mostly sigh, unfortunately, as a blindfolded person in a dark room probably could see it coming. What made me gasp, was that I just this last Tuesday was in the same place as the attack. And I was unarmed.
As I mentioned in the preamble, I carry concealed, and I do not have the capabilities to mine unicorn feces. As such, I carry illegally. Every day I face the risk of going to prison for four years, just because I realize that my safety is my own responsibility. Every single day, except the day I was in the spot of the terror attack, just three days before it occurred.
I usually adhere to the first rule of self-defense, don’t go wherever trouble goes, and thus I avoid big cities like the plague. I really despise them. Alas, on this occasion I had a very important job interview in the capital. Obviously, I had to go, but why didn’t I carry? Well, I had to catch a flight immediatley afterwards, and illegaly carrying illegal guns on planes in Sweden is frowned upon for some reason.
My workaround is to mail myself the gun, which I had done earlier that morning. I didn’t think that a few hours without it would matter. Until now. Boy, did I learn a lesson. Never again will I let it leave my side until the last possible second. What if my interview would have been postponed until yesterday? Or if the perp would have set his plan in motion a few days earlier?
The lessons I would like to purvey is that you should never ever relegate any part of your life to an entity which has powers over you. Always carry. ALWAYS. Nevermind legality, practicality or social risk. Your life is worth more than any of those. If you ever consider leaving your gun at home, it will be the time when you need it. If it is illegal to carry where you live, remember the axiom “concealed means concealed”.
As a postscript, I realize that people will be curious as to what I carry. I’ll tell you, but you will be disappointed.
I carry a Colt 1908 Vest Pocket in .25 ACP in a belly band or pocket holster.
Well, moan all you want. I have a number of good reasons for it.
1. It’s a gun
2. It’s illegal to carry where I live. As such, concealment trumps firepower.
3. It’s completely sufficient to put someone down at close range, and after all, most DGU’s occur at really close range.
4. It was what I could get a hold of.
If it makes you feel any better, I’ll be getting a G19 this winter after jumping through all the hoops required, which takes around 16 months. Still can’t carry though. It’s for “bullseye shooting”, with emphasis on the quotation marks.
Other than that, the only thing I can do is maintain situational awareness and hope Trump gives us defenseless Swedes political asylum so that we can start carrying legally.