Deciding When You Should Carry

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I was faced with an interesting question the other day. I’m getting remarried in a few days, and my bride to be asked me if I was going to be carrying at our wedding. It was a fair question, especially considering that before we met, she never thought that she’d be in a relationship with someone who carries a gun every day and she had never shot one. She’s wasn’t against them, she just wasn’t used to them.

Of course, me, being me, I intend to carry; both at our wedding and the reception immediately following, and at the more in-depth private reception for the family that we’re having in the evening. That one’s going to be a bit more tricky, as I won’t be wearing cargo pants, but I’ll work it out.

Going back to her question, she asked, “Do you really think that someone is going to come into the church during our wedding, or to the house in the country while we’re having the reception? To be honest, I don’t think they will. But that’s not the point… at least, not to my way of thinking.

You see, there are two ways of evaluating that decision, which she and I exemplified perfectly. She was looking at it from a risk assessment viewpoint; determining if the risk was high enough to warrant carrying a gun. Considering her professional background, that’s a perfectly normal way for her to look at it. But there’s another name for that, at least in another context… it’s called gambling.

The other way of looking at that decision is more like the Secret Service looks at it; seeking out possible threats. We all know that there are threats out there and this way of evaluation looks to determine what they are and come up with a way of countering them.

In my situation, there have been several cases of mass murderers entering into churches and taking out their anger by killing innocent people as they worshipped. If people aren’t afraid of doing that during a worship service, why would they be afraid of doing it during a wedding? At the reception later, all it would take is a couple of mildly high dudes going down the road and seeing all those cars parked in front of that big house in the country. They could easily get the idea that everyone there was loaded and it was time to cash in.

Both of those are credible threats. As such, I feel they are ample reason to carry my gun, even at my own wedding. I don’t know who else might be armed there, so assuming that others will be able to take care of any problem that might crop up is more of a risk than I am willing to take.

This illustrates very well the way we need to look at these situations. People who don’t carry, tend to ask the question “How much of a risk is there?” while those of us who do assume there are risks and try to identify them. As long as there is any risk, no matter how slight, there is reason to carry.

There is never a situation where the Secret Service decides to take a day off, because the president doesn’t need them. They aren’t asking the how much of a risk there is. Rather, they try to identify the potential risks and work to find ways of countering them, preferable before those risks can manifest. These are the pros and therefore are the standard we should look to hold ourselves to.

That’s why I always carry. If I’m up and dressed, I’m armed. The only exception is if I’m somewhere where the law does not allow me to go armed. While I hope to never have to use a gun again to protect life, I’m ready if I have to. To me, that’s what it means to carry.

There’s another part about that, which I think is important. That is, I don’t just carry to defend myself. While I write as if our responsibility is limited to protecting ourselves and our families, I don’t live that way. I see the right of carrying arms as a social responsibility. Therefore, I carry to protect everyone who happens to be wherever I am. They may not know it and they may never thank me, but I am trying to ensure their safety, just as much as I am my own.

If there was ever a better reason to carry, than to protect our loved ones and those around us, I haven’t heard it. If I’m at risk, they are too and they need that protection. It just goes along with keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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