Concealed Carry

When I took my Concealed Carry handgun class in Texas a couple of years ago I learned something very important. People who have a CCH license are probably some of the most gun-safe people around. Not only that, the regard for human life is ratcheted up a notch after taking that type of course. Why?  It’s pretty basic, if a person is going to carry a concealed firearm, they better come to a decision under what terms they would and would  not use deadly force.  That’s a question many people never grapple with.

Last week, at the store where I work, the assistant manager was robbed at gunpoint. All the thief took was a laptop computer, but he used a gun to do it. Now, I’ve thought a good deal about that incident. At times I think about it from the perspective, “what if it were me being robbed?” Other times, “What if I were in the store as a customer when the robbery took place and I was armed?”   These are the kind of questions people licensed to carry a firearm MUST ask themselves all the time. Why? Because it is imperative to know under what circumstances you would use your weapon. 

Here’s my conclusion. If I were in the store at the time and was armed. I would NOT draw my weapon since the bad guy was only stealing not shooting.  A human life is much more valuable than a computer. I would probably follow him but that would be all.  However, if he had fired his weapon at the manager or any other person in the store, that would change the scenario completely.  (As things go, today at work, there was a narcotics officer in the store and we talked about the robbery. His response was an exact mirror of what I had said. It made me feel good that I was thinking the right way.)

Now some may say this is a crude argument and even thinking in these terms is unchristian and moronic. However, let me post this scenario. You are in a store and a man comes in and starts beating on a woman, you later learn is his girlfriend. Would you stand there and do nothing?  Would you yell “stop!” at the guy hoping he would comply with your request? Would you simply call 911 and hope the police arrive before he beats her to death, or would you intervene with anything available to you to use as a weapon?

If you were in the nursing home in Carthage, NC at the time the man was walking the halls killing residents at random. Would you do nothing? Yell “stop”? Call 911 and get behind a desk? Or, would you attempt to stop the shooter any way you could? Or hope someone visiting there had a concealed firearm and could/would stop the bad guy?

There were times in our country when senseless violence was a rare occurrence. Now, it’s not so rare – but still senseless. As citizens, neighbors, and friends, thinking through what we might do in certain types of situations is imperative. Yes, we all would hope it NEVER happens, but being at least mentally prepared if it did is important.

Pardon the pun, but there are no magic bullets when it comes to self-defense or defending others when appropriate. Nevertheless, isn’t there a certain responsibility we all bear when it comes to “creating” a safe environment?  Yes, we can pray. We can love. We can turn the other cheek if necessary. And yes, we could ask “What would Jesus do?” The bottom line, in my mind is this, can we – will we – should we – do whatever is in our power to stop bad people from doing bad things to us or those we love?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Concealed Carry

  1. I agree to a certain extent as to what you are saying. Let me qualify that. I believe that you are correct when you say that you shouldn’t have pulled your weapon if the man was only robbing the store. The idea behind a CHL, is self defense. [CHL (in oregon) Concealed Handgun License.]

    However, if your life is threatened, then by all means, if given the opportunity, draw and fire. In this scenario, I would fire to kill. A wounded lunatic can still kill me. But one important thing: if a person is not ready to take a life, then they have no business carrying a weapon. Sorry folks. Innocent people get killed when this type of thing happens. Second guessing will also get you a pine box.

    The person carrying should not shirk the responsibility of practicing with his/her weapon. A misdirected shot is better off not fired. Again, innocent people die. Of course, along with that practice also comes the responsibility of safety as you mentioned.

    One area in which I would disagreise is in following a perp. This is dangerous and not conducive to your continued health – maybe your longevity. A good description goes a long way. Getting a perp angered or frightened, can get you and innocent people killed. It is best to let him go. Yeah, I know, it sticks in my craw also. But I live another day.

    In the case of the woman beater, I’d holler at him for sure, esp if he was carrying things over the edge. A man should never lay a hand on a woman in the first place, but there are those cowards who enjoy this. I would definitely let him know of my presence. I couldn’t stand by and watch that. If he continued and told me to get lost, I’d pull back my jacket and un-conceal my conceal.

    Ninety-nine percent chance they’ll back off, esp if I unsnapped the strap. Sometimes one guy can muster help from others to help. Most people don’t want to get involved but all it takes, usually, is one guy, and then there were ten. Brandishing can get you in trouble also, but the alternative is not pretty.

    We should try and stop bad folks, depending on the degree of offense, in whether we should use deadly force. As a side note, we could be the ones who end up in jail for using unwarranted deadly force. True story.

    Disarmament is coming. But hey, disarmament works great, just ask the experts: Stalin, Hitler, Qadaffi, Edi-amin, etc.

    Enjoyed the blog. Have a great day.

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  2. Norm

    Good observations James. I’m not sure about your thoughts on the “follow”. Under the circumstances where our store is located, the time of day, and number of people in the area, it’s unlikely there would have been shots fired by the bg. And, as I told my wife, with brick pillars every twenty feet, the adrenaline of a robbery, and attempting to get away, the chances of the bg hitting anything or anyone were he to shoot would be highly unlikely. Of course, there is always a chance…..

    I expect there is no “right or wrong” just purdent behavior for the situation at hand.

    Your point about practice and training is spot on!

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  3. Norm

    It was interesting that tonight 4/1, on LIFE, the blatant theme was the Second Amendment. From what I determined no real emphasis one side or the other, however, they did make the concealed carry group look a bit extreme with all their weapons hanging on their hips. But, the one point made was they “are well within their right.” Which could have been construed as a slam considering it was made in response to a person firing a “warning shot.” I susupect the implication, people who carry will fire warning shots even when their life is not in danger.

    Then again, I may be reading too much into the whole thing. 🙂

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  4. If the perp has the clerk at gun point but does not fire a shot I agree and I would not pull my firearm. Once you pull that trigger you life changes. I met some John Waynes with CCW permits that are just looking for trouble. I hope they never find it.

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