The second article, Why Do You Carry A Gun? went deeper into the reasons and practical considerations, but I didn't yet have much actual experience. After more than three full months of carrying all day, every day, wherever I go, it's time to tell more about it.
Many friends and acquaintances have given me the full range of encouragement, good tips and the benefit of their experience, and some their arguments or even outright disdain. Some are fearful for me because I do carry openly and insist I must get a CC permit instead - if I really want to defend myself this way. Some don't believe that a woman my age can become truly prepared (physically or emotionally) to USE the gun in an emergency, and some think I'm just playing some game with it.
So, let me give you a brief run down on what has happened in the last three months and my efforts at preparation for the future. I assure everyone that this is NOT a game, and that I am as prepared to defend myself as is possible for my age and physical condition - and will continue to improve that situation over time because I will not cease to train and practice. This is for keeps.
I continue to be amazed and glad that at least 90% of the people I meet these days pay no noticeable attention to my gun, and - so far - most of those who do notice are simply curious or unaware that an ordinary person CAN carry at all. Sadly, some of these last are Wyoming residents, with one that I know of being a Wyoming native. What unfortunate proof that so many people simply do not understand either history or their own heritage.
The closest thing I've had to a "negative" reaction came last month at a WalMart in South Dakota. I had almost finished my shopping when two young women "manager types" approached me and said that some customers and "associates" had expressed concern because of my weapon. They asked if I could put it into my purse.
They were not in any way hostile, and went to great lengths to let me know they were obliged to convey the concerns that had been expressed to them. They said that some of the women were "concerned for their children!"
This was an excellent opportunity to teach them the truth, and my only regret is that those other women and "associates" had not asked me themselves. I assured the two ladies that I carried the gun specifically to defend myself and those "children" if necessary. I also made sure they understood that I was within the law carrying openly, but could not conceal it. I gave them each one of my "Why Do You Carry a Gun" cards as well.
They were both friendly, open and nothing more was said. I went immediately to check out and was amused when the clerk only noticed the gun enough to ask if the ammunition I had in my order was for the handgun. Seems they have to ring that up differently than rifle ammunition.
In all, I handed out six of my guncards that day and served well as an ambassador for the right to keep and bear arms. Just wish I had a lot more company doing so, especially other women. There are only two of us Second Amendment Sisters in Wyoming, and the other one shoots but does not carry.
This week, while practicing various tactical moves and visualizing some potential scenarios, I got to thinking about the rationale behind carrying at home all the time. It is quite inconvenient, especially if one likes to cook! The fact that the vast majority of people manage to survive just fine without walking around armed all the time seemed to indicate that I was going too far with it. Especially in Wyoming, it seems silly since "home invasions" are almost unknown here, even in the cities.
I also wondered if I might become so used to carrying in less than "condition yellow" while at home that I would become careless when I was out and about with it. I also thought about how much less likely I would be to actually carry outside each time if I had to go get it and strap it on first, but figured I could deal with that if I really wanted to.
So, the next morning I left the gun in the nightstand drawer and went upstairs without it.
After about half an hour I went back down and put it on my belt. I felt strange without it, and I knew that I couldn't give up my purpose for the little convenience. I've made this commitment, for better or worse, and I'll stick to it for as long as I can shoot.
So, call me an old fool if you want to... but SMILE when you say it. :)
the previous articles:
Self ownership essay: http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/eight.asp
The Ludwig von Mises Institute: http://www.mises.org/
What about the "poor?" - Reinventing America: http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=289
Advocates for Self-government: http://www.self-gov.org/home.shtml
Second Amendment Sisters -- Self defense is a basic human right.
Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership -- Learn more about the real meaning of the Bill of Rights and the people who have fought to preserve it.
Keep And Bear Arms -- a grassroots movement of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is a call to action, a call for self-education, and a 21 gun salute to the many good men and women who fought and died to bring America into being.
Owners of America -- "Gun Owners of America was instrumental
in mobilizing the grassroots to fight the crime bill."
These will lead you to many others.
From The Editor