Answering the Question Why We Always Carry

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I’m sure it’s happened to you… someone you know, asking why you always have to carry that “thing” upon your hip. Every anti-gun relative I have has hit me with that one sometime or another and a few friends have as well. It’s like they expect us to have some sort of precognition that tells us the times we’re going to need it, so that we only carry then.

Even worse, to those people, is that we carry at home, as if nothing bad could ever happen to us in our homes. I guess they’ve never heard of home invasions or don’t think it could happen to anyone they know. But in reality, home invasions are on the rise, at a time when the rate of common burglary is declining. Of the two, home invasion is much more dangerous, because it is intentionally committed when the residents are at home, with the intention of confronting them. For that reason, those who commit home invasions are armed, while those who commit burglary rarely have more than a knife.

The truth of the matter is that none of us know what’s going through a criminal’s mind and when they are going to choose to commit crimes. Criminals count on that, using the element of surprise to their advantage. If handled properly, that moment of confusion their victims experience can be all they need to succeed in controlling the entire encounter, getting away with whatever they want.

That’s one of the things being armed helps us with. Even if they catch us off guard, we still have time to react. Actually, in many cases, waiting a few minutes is advisable, as it gives the criminal time to relax, allowing us the ability to use the element of surprise to our advantage.

But there’s something else that carrying does for us; that’s to give us the confidence needed to take action on our or someone else’s behalf. We can walk into situations that we might otherwise avoid as being potentially dangerous, knowing that we are prepared to handle the situation, if it gets out of hand. While a purely psychological advantage, it’s a huge one.

Last night when my wife was coming home from work, a car followed her, pulling into the driveway behind her and just stopping there. She immediately got on the phone and called me. Fortunately, I was armed (as I pretty much always am), so I went out to confront the two young toughs in the car. They quickly realized their mistake and decided that it was a good time to be somewhere else… anywhere else.

Although I didn’t draw my sidearm, the fact that I had it made a difference in that situation. It gave me the confidence I needed to deal with the situation directly, rather than just trying to sneak my wife into the house. While I might have been able to sneak my wife into the house without incident, there’s no way of knowing whether I could have or not. But confronting them directly worked, quite possibly because my demeanor showed that I wasn’t going to put up with any problems.

Let me be clear, if those two guys had wanted to cause trouble, they would have had me, if I was unarmed. I’m considerably older than they are and I wouldn’t call my body “athletic.” But there’s more to dealing with a confrontation than just physical ability. Often, displaying confidence can be enough, as it shows that you won’t be a pushover.

Make no mistake about it, criminals are always looking at the demeanor of their intended victims. They want to intimidate, not get into a confrontation. So they look for potential victims that they can instill fear into, allowing them to control the situation. The confidence that being armed can instill in you can stop the crime from happening, causing them to break off before they even start.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this. I’ve had other similar encounters, including with drug dealers. A couple of years ago a couple of drug dealers, neighbors, decided that they didn’t like seeing me walk around their cars, looking at them. Being typical young toughs, they decided that they would lay a little intimidation on me. But it didn’t work. I was armed, and while I knew they could beat the stuffing out of me, I also knew that I could draw my pistol and ruin their day.

Confidence is important; but don’t let it turn into cockiness. There’s a difference. Confidence is based on knowing who you are and what you can do. Cockiness comes when we think we can do more than we can. I don’t think I’m bulletproof and I don’t think my gun gives me the ability to punch somebody into next week. But at the same time, I know it is the ultimate trump card, when I find myself in an altercation. That affects how I feel and therefore how I act. I can walk into situations with confidence, because I know what I can do if things turn south.

Our psychological preparation to deal with a problem is just as important as our physical preparation or possibly even more important. Keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand is important, but so is keeping a positive mental attitude, with the confidence that you are ready.

Dr. Rich

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