By Adam Caporello
Small town America did me no favors. The quaint Massachusetts village of less than 6,000 had no crime to speak of, so doors were kept unlocked at all times. We were raised comfortably oblivious to the reality in which most people live. For that I am mostly grateful. Mostly . . .
Growing up I became familiar with your typical bolt-action .22 rifles and single barrel shotguns, I have the Boy Scouts to thank for that. However, I had never even considered the prospect of handling or owning a handgun, especially not for daily carrying. Handguns were items to be strapped to the hips of police officers and security guards.
I couldn’t tell you if it was due to growing up in liberal Massachusetts, my parents leaving the doors unlocked in our relatively crime-free neighborhood, or perhaps just sheer ignorance, but it never even crossed my mind that an ordinary citizen could or should own a handgun. I couldn’t comprehend why anybody would need that level of protection.
Then my daughter was born.
It was instantly the most frightening and joyous moment of my life. This gorgeous blessing had come into my world, but she had also just been born into a world filled with blind hatred, horrific inhumanity, and senseless violence. It hit me like .50 caliber recoil that I was personally and permanently responsible for her safety and well-being.
What’s a guardian to do? We could buy a car with a million airbags or install the most advanced security system, but what I quickly realized was that the best way to keep my wife and daughter safe and alive was to keep myself safe and alive in order to come between them and those that would do them harm.
That’s when you start asking yourself the tough questions. How would I defend against an intruder or an attacker? What if the attacker has a knife? A bat? A gun? Do I have it in me to take a life to protect the lives of my family members? Is it right in the eyes of the law? Is it right in the eyes of God? These are questions that every guardian needs to ask themselves.
So now, even in relatively gun-friendly Texas, friends and family inevitably have questions. When they ultimately ask what it was that prompted us to be a gun-carrying household in the first place, the answer is always the same. It was the burden of guardianship.