The reasons for carrying a concealed weapon are as diverse as people themselves. No two individuals make this decision for the same reason, but many agree that carrying a weapon is both a right and a form of protection. With anti-gun sentiment at its peak, it’s important to understand why many people choose to carry concealed.
“To avoid being a victim” – There’s no way to know when you’ll need to draw your weapon, but you can’t protect yourself if you’re empty-handed. Ed Combs, the associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, feels leaving home without his gun means “making the concrete decision to be unprepared for emergency lifesaving.” Combs has been both a deputy sheriff as well as a teacher and believes that “[stacking] the deck in favor of personal safety, public security, and civilized society” is better than living dangerously. Fear is not a factor in his decision but his weapon and training have prepared him for the worst case scenario.
“Because I’m a realist” – Many CCW holders describe themselves as being realists. Having lived through a variety of situations, they’ve developed an awareness that situations can turn dangerous in a blink of an eye … and being able to respond just makes sense. Many of them carry day in and day out while wearing customized apparel to safeguard their weapon. It gives them a form a protection and preparedness in case a real-life scenario unfolds.
“Because it’s a right, as well as a responsibility” – Joe Kurtenback, the managing editor of American Rifleman believes that “the decision to lawfully carry a firearm is not made lightly, and it is a decision that must be remade, and recommitted to” every day. Like Mr. Kurtenback, many CCW holders feel that protecting themselves is their responsibility. Law enforcement can only do so much, and when time is of the essence, being able to defend yourself or stop a criminal from harming you is vital.
“To level the playing field” – Many people, especially women, choose to carry as a way of getting on more equal footing with would-be attackers. Stereotypes aside, women are often victimized because of their size and physical strength. A firearm changes that dynamic. Women aren’t alone in this reasoning, though. Many men also agree that the odds of surviving a dangerous situation are greatly improved by a person’s ability to engage and potentially neutralize a threat.
“To prevent something bad (or worse) from happening” – The world is far from perfect, and the nightly news reminds us that the unthinkable can happen anywhere. A concealed weapon doesn’t necessarily eliminate that threat, but the person carrying one is more prepared for a negative encounter than most people. Being a gun owner doesn’t mean you’re prepared to carry one on a daily basis but being a CCW holder means you’re ready to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the innocent people in harm’s way when necessary.
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The majority of men and women do not carry a gun out of fear. They don’t carry one to feel powerful either. In fact, most of them hope they’ll never be required to draw their weapon at all, but they all agree that being able to protect themselves is a priority, a responsibility, and a right.