I can answer another question: "What will a cop say?" I've been pulled over 3 times over the years while carrying, and each time I informed the officer that I was a CCW permit holder and that I was armed. I told them where the gun was. (Holstered twice, in my door's map pocket once.)
Two times the cop said nothing, we proceeded as normal. If anything they RELAXED, as they knew I wasn't a threat. The third one asked, confrontationally, "Why do you carry a gun?" I said, "For the same reason you do." He asked, "Why? Are you a police officer?" I said, "You don't carry because you're a police officer. You carry for a more fundamental reason than that." "Why", he asked. "In case you need to shoot someone." He didn't like that answer, but I wasn't trying to make friends.....and I was right. You carry in case you need to shoot somebody. WHY you might need to shoot somebody isn't up to you. You don't get to decide "why", or "when", or "where." Other people make those decisions, and they don't consult with you. You only get to decide whether or not you're armed when those decisions are made FOR you. Therefore: You carry in case you need to shoot someone. Period.
I've carried every day for 20 years. Has it affected my behavior in public? Yes. I'm more polite, and less confrontational. I'm more aware of my surroundings. I've formed little habits, like looking around me in a restaurant and unconsciously "evaluating" people. I sit facing the door. Things like that. Mere habit.
I'm probably slightly less likely to avoid certain places at certain times of day. Less likely to think, "Do I REALLY want to walk down this sidewalk in the dark?" In other words, I access my own public property when and where I wish, rather than deferring to possible criminals.
Other than that, no. It doesn't really affect me. I'ts just a thing I have in my pocket.
We the People are in charge of our own security. The police and the military are employees who we task with HELPING us handle our responsibility, but when it hits the fan the only people who are guaranteed to be present are the perpetrator and the victim. They are the only ones who can do something about it. The police draw chalk outlines around the bodies afterward.
Consider this: Do cops disarm themselves when they're off-duty, and rely on "the police" to protect themselves and their loved ones? Of course they don't. Because they're NOT STUPID.
By the way, there is no "middle ground." You either believe in the right to keep and bear arms, or you don't. You can't arm yourself and then "sort of" agree with the gun-grabbers as long as they don't grab YOURS.
Join the NRA. We have jackets. And find out what we REALLY advocate, including extra long prison sentences for people who use a gun to commit a crime. That's right: The nasty Federal gun enhancement laws are due to the lobbying efforts of the NRA. We have no tolerance for the use of guns in crimes.
Find out how we REALLY feel about background checks. I never sell to anyone who doesn't have a carry permit, and I've been asked for mine several times in private deals. A CCW permit represents a background check. We don't like GUN REGISTRATION, and the way so-called "background checks" are done gives the government a record of your purchase whether you pass the background check or not. REGISTRATION is the point of them. Make it impossible for the government to keep records on who PASSES a background check and nobody would complain. Make access to the database (which is, legally, public record) and we'd all do background checks for every sale to a stranger. Happily. We're against REGISTRATION, not background checks. They should be as simple as a cell phone app.
Welcome to America. Now that you're beginning to see the light you'll look at those "statistics" in another light. There are 300,000,000 people in this country. We're #1 for gun ownership, barely in the top 20 for murder rate (and far lower than THAT if you eliminate big cities with gun control), and Great Britain's violent crime rate is 400% higher than the United States. (According to crime stats from the FBI and Scotland Yard.)
Murder is illegal everywhere in the U.S. Nobody does that because they legally own a gun. The most commonly used murder weapon in the U.S. is a baseball bat.
I live in the #1 gun owning county in the #1 gun owning state in the #1 gun owning nation on Earth. We have an unusually low murder rate. FAR below the national average. My neighbors are I are literally the most heavily armed civilian population on Planet Earth, yet we rarely kill each other. Why is that?
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