I've carried a firearm as a soldier, an armed private security officer, a police officer and a legally armed civilian. I made the decison years ago, when I was learning to shoot at the shooting galleries in NYC's Times Square, that if I had to defend myself or a loved one or an innocent bystander, I could and would. As a police officer I've had people at gunpont. I was very close to shooting on older Latino man who was waving a gun around. He finally laid it down and surrendered. The gun was a very realistic Daisy BB gun, a copy of a Smith & Wesson pistol.
Since retiring from law enforcement and moving away from where I worked, away from people who might have a bad association with me for having arrested them or a family member, I have felt less need . . . until the incidence of home invasions began to rise, even in the "nicer" parts of my city. I also find that people here are generally nicer, more polite, friendlier than they were where I used to live, and, even though I am armed, I respond to that different attitude in a positive way.
I have been a supporter of our right guranteed and protected by the 2nd Amendment to keep and bear arms for fifty years. We have won some and ost some, but the right remains relatively intact, although it has been unConstitutionally infringed upon many times and, under this President, is threatend anew.
The decison to own and to carry a firearm is not one to be made lightly, as you have learned. And, if you lack conviction in your decision, you should probably not. Most of my guns are secured in a safe. My primary every-day carry gun is either in a quick-access pistol safe, on my person or near me. There are no children in my house, but when there were, the guns were also secred, with one ready to hand if needed but still either secured or under my control. Just hiding a gun won't work. I found my Dad's old Colt Single Action Army when I was around six. There was no ammunition for it, so the worst I did was to drop it on my big toe. My father carried a firearm when he was carrying the payroll to his ship from the bank with a conditional carry permit in New York City. He could only carry when he was transporting cash.
It is hard to come from a culture that is basically hoplophobic - fearful of weapons, especially guns - to this country where firearms are part of our history and the fabric of our culture. I know a number of expatriates who have made the transition. I hope that you make a decision that will work for you, whichever it is. If you decide to carry, welcome to the club.
Salt Lake City Weekly
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