The quote of the day is presented by Guns.com.
I don’t say (that America’s relationship to guns has to change) as some sort of anti-gun absolutist. There was a time in my life, about 15 years ago, when I regularly carried a firearm for protection. My friend and client, Brenda Paz, had been murdered for helping law enforcement prosecute MS-13, and apparently I was next on their list. When the judge overseeing the case ordered that the U.S. Attorney, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service do everything appropriate to ensure my safety, the first thing I did (on their advice) was get myself a gun.
Within a few hours, I had a concealed handgun permit and my first handgun – a Sig Sauer P230 compact .380ACP in stainless steel, a weapon specifically designed for concealed carry. One of the agents tasked with investigating Brenda’s murder and protecting me helped me pick it out, counseling me to choose something I could really live with. I’ll never forget what he told me about carrying a gun, because I think he’s right: If you really do need it, you need it all the time. If you don’t need it all the time, you have to ask yourself whether you really need it at all.
Carrying that gun was a tremendous blessing for me, because it allowed me to go about my life (almost) just like I had before, with the confidence that I had deadly force at hand if I needed it. And much like at least some of the open (and concealed) carry enthusiasts complaining about Walmart this week, I did my best to be a careful, responsible, well-prepared gun owner, ready to protect others as well as myself.
But over time, I learned something that I wish more gun owners knew: Carrying a gun isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I learned that most people I encountered actually didn’t feel better knowing that I had a gun. And, though I tried to keep it concealed in a hip holster under a shirt or jacket, the people who inevitably did glimpse it frequently wondered why I had it and whether my gun or my presence put them in danger — like the staff and customers who panicked at that Walmart in Missouri. Even the people who knew and trusted me — knowing that I was a responsible gun owner who had been threatened — wondered if being near me in public exposed them to the same danger in which I’d found myself.
I also learned that carrying a gun — even with a license, training and a real need for it — doesn’t make me as worthy of that responsibility as real cops and soldiers are, and it didn’t make me an action movie hero. Yes, I had a real, articulable need to carry a firearm and I carried one of the best made and engineered handguns available on my hip — which would have been super cool to 16-year-old me, but I didn’t have the training or responsibility of a real cop and I wasn’t any Jason Bourne.