Dear Fellow Survivalist;
With more and more states passing Constitutional Carry laws, the opportunity for people to carry a firearm, without having to get a permit, is increasing. This probably won’t make any difference to you and I or the millions of other people who already have a license to carry. What it does mean is that there will be people carrying on the street, who haven’t passed the background checks that you and I have. Some of those people may even have a criminal record.
But let me assure you, anyone with a criminal record who will be carrying after a Constitutional Carry law is passed, will have already been carrying. The only real difference for those people will be that prosecutors can’t hang a “carrying illegally” charge on the list of other charges against that suspect. But then, if they are already criminals, they can’t legally own firearms, so they’ll still get nailed with that charge.
The real question that these new laws raise is how many new people will be carrying, who weren’t carrying before. Personally, I don’t think it will make much difference, as it is fairly easy to get a concealed carry license in most of those states. About the only people I can imagine starting to carry are those who couldn’t afford the license.
But how do such things affect you and me?
On one hand, it means that we can carry openly, rather than concealed. But do we want to? Should we?
Having a right and not exercising is not much different than not having the right at all. In this case, it could be even worse, as the anti-gun mob could intentionally misinterpret it to mean that Constitutional Carry is meaningless, as nobody is doing it. Carrying openly is exercising that right, which is a valuable thing to do, in and of itself.
Not only does carrying openly exercise our rights, but it gets the general public used to the idea that there are people on the street carrying guns. I can guarantee you that there are plenty of people out there who will be quite vocal about the fear they create within themselves, seeing guns on people’s hips. If we listen to what these people say, it will seem that we are back in the Old West, and every one of us who are carrying are about to shoot up the town and rob the bank. After they don’t get the reaction they want out of the police the first 100 times, they might pipe down.
Enough people carrying guns openly is a deterrent to crime. That’s been proven. But the key word here is “enough.” One person carrying in a place of business is not enough in most cases. While some criminals may decide to go elsewhere, others will just decide that the person with the gun is the first one they have to deal with. It all depends on the risk they feel, versus the potential reward from robbing that place of business.
Personally, I don’t want to paint a target on my back. So if I’m going to the bank, I’ll make sure my pistol is concealed. That way, if I need to use it, I can decide when to draw, waiting to the most opportune times, tactically speaking. That tactical advantage is not something to be thrown away lightly.
On the other hand, I also believe in exercising our rights, for the abovementioned reasons. The right to carry is an important right, enshrined in the Constitution. That’s why the laws giving us back this right are referred to as Constitutional Carry laws.
So here’s how I’m going to handle this. When I’m in places where the possibility of needing my gun is low, such as going to the lumberyard, I’m going to carry openly. But when I go to places where the need to use it might be higher, such as to the bank, I’m going to make sure it is concealed. The way I dress makes it fairly easy for me to go back and forth between the two, although I will probably pick one or the other for the day and stick with it.
While there is no legal requirement to do so, I also think it’s a good idea to take other people’s feelings into consideration on this. There are people who are uncomfortable around guns and there is nothing to be gained by intentionally making those people feel uncomfortable. So I won’t carry openly in church or the various banquets and events I’m invited to.
What I’m looking for is balance. While I don’t believe that other people’s feelings should affect my rights, I also believe that as a decent human being I should be concerned about those other people. That includes being concerned about their feelings. So I can see no reason to go out of my way to bring fear into my life. I carry to protect them, not to cause them fear.
You’ll have to decide for yourself.
In the mean time, I’m going to keep on keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand, as I’m sure you will too.