Although I am not sure why but I usually get a surprised look from folks when they find out I have a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit. I honestly feel it is well within our rights to carry a defensive weapon should we choose to accept the responsibility. I also feel it is our duty. Below is an article by Dan McManus who clearly articulates why he has a CCW. I fully agree with him and could not have said it better.
Why I Got My CCL Permit
“…Was I on some ego trip? Was I trying to prove my masculinity? All of these may have had some minor influence, but as I probed, I found that there were other, more significant motivations that sprung more from who I am as a man….”
BY DAN MCMANUS
In the fall of 2001, I completed the process of securing a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I had debated for over a year as to whether to do the work necessary to apply for it. For a number of years I had been an occasional shooter, but it wasn’t until the hoopla of Y2K that I began to get more serious about shooting, took some classes and become relatively proficient. I soon found that I loved to shoot. Since an indoor range was within easy driving distance, I often found myself visiting it, along with several other outdoor ranges. That, plus the advent of a new pro-CCW county Sheriff, caused me to think that I might have a chance at getting the CCW permit. It was, however, with both some trepidation, and frankly, a lot of excitement that I finally decided to take the coursework necessary, complete the required paperwork, do the interview, get fingerprinted for the DOJ, and all necessary activity to be considered for the permit. It was only after I had been approved that I started thinking about why this seemed so important to me; what was it that stirred me so? Over the last few months I have given it quite a bit of thought. Am I really that concerned about crime…we live in a pretty low-incident area. Was I on some ego trip? Was I trying to prove my masculinity? All of these may have had some minor influence, but as I probed, I found that there were other, more significant motivations that sprung more from who I am as a man and reflected certain core values that comprise my person. I’d like to put those down on paper.
1) I am both disturbed and frustrated by much of what I see in this country’s politics these days and I am often left wondering how to properly respond. It occurs to me that, as just one man, I have very little impact on this nation — one voice out of 280 million. Yet, this country means a great deal to me. I lost my father to the Korean Conflict, all my uncles served in WWII, and I have studied and understand what unique and precious rights are afforded the citizens of this country I am privileged to live in. Additionally, I hold as a strong value the opinion that every man and woman has the God-given right to be responsible for his or her own personal safety, that no one is obligated to be a victim, and that this right is not a privilege bestowed on me by some governmental entity. I also believe that if a person of good character is willing to do the work necessary and takes the responsibility, then that person has the basic right to carry a defensive weapon. However, it seems that there are those in this country who disagree with me, who fear that I, and others like me, are a danger to society; that this freedom which is so basic to natural law and so thoroughly entrenched in the Constitution, must be taken from us. These usurpers are even now furiously working to legislate that right out of existence. Mistakenly believing that this issue is “guns,” they feel quite comfortable trampling on my freedom. And so, it is to the anti-gun fascist, those who would deny me my rights as a free man and an American citizen, that I am responding. It is in the spirit of those American’s before me who cried out “give me liberty, or give me death,” “damn the torpedoes,” and “let’s roll” that I acted. As a political statement, as an act of patriotism, as my way of hoisting the flag, and my finger, in enraged defiance of those despots who say I can’t, I got my permit to carry a gun; it was my patriotic duty.
2) Concurrent with this is the fact that much of what I hear today about gun control from the anti-gun crowd in just plain infuriating. It’s not just that it is bad science, emotional, illogical and just plain ignorant; it’s the assumption that they make and propagate about me as a gun-owning person that I take personal offense. It’s my character they are impugning. I take exception to the notion that society somehow needs to be protected from me because I might carry a gun. Actually, I am a responsible, mature man, an adult, and I resent like hell being treated as if I am somehow untrustworthy and suspect. It judges me, and millions like me, as weak and without moral vigor. It tells me that my affinity for guns and my desire to carry one is a suspicious problem that requires legislation, registration and control. And it is demeaning. So, to the elitist crowd who would look down their noses at my personhood, who fear my masculinity, who believe that I am somehow part of the problem, and that my character is defective, I say this to you: I will not let you treat me like a child, I will not let you “nanny” me, suspect me, or disrespect me with your paranoid attitudes and your laws. Acquiring my CCW is my firm response to being patted on the head and told to get in line and behave myself. I will not go quietly into the night.
3) The third reason I got my CCW is one that I understood less when I applied for it than I do now; carrying a handgun alters my sense of awareness by creating a heightened sense of vigilance. Caring a gun has caused me to develop a “6th sense” to my surroundings. I remember reading somewhere that carrying a weapon is like taking a child to the mall…it really expands your awareness of your environment and makes you cautious. Using Jeff Cooper’s color alert system (white/yellow/orange/red) had become a natural consequence when I carry; I am always in code yellow; I am more observant, I look for someone displaying the signs of a predator, I am a better driver, I am more courteous and I do not daydream my way through the day. From the extensive reading I have done, it seems that many, if not most victims became a statistic because they allowed the predator his advantage due to their lack of observation. I believe that the best way for me to never have to use my gun and to never become a victim, is to not allow myself to get into situations that leave me no option other than the final one. Someone once said that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure…Carrying a “pound of cure” inside my waistband compels me to a live with an acute awareness of my surroundings so that I am not caught “flat-footed,” and have to resort to a more violent solution. Having my CCW and carrying a gun prohibits me from lapsing into the luxury of inattention.
4)Basic to my understanding of human nature is the belief that there is in this world a distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, and that men have the personal option to choose between these two. Therefore, society is comprised of both Mother Theresa’s and Adolph Hitler’s and all levels in between. It doesn’t take much social awareness to know that there are sufficient numbers of those who chose evil as a way of life, and who by nature, prey on the weak and vulnerable. They are predators that will viciously hurt, rape and kill to accomplish their self-centered aims. They have no sense of conscious, any remorse, any pity or mercy, and indeed should be labeled “evil.” They may use alcohol or drugs to give them courage or numb their conscience; they may not have a conscience. These opportunistic stalkers don’t wear signs that advertise who they are or what is their intent. They can be in your neighborhood, at the mall or in the car driving behind you. The only thing they respect is strength and usually only move when they think they have the unfair advantage. So, my options are only two. I can go through life hoping I am one of the fortunate majority who will never have to confront evil, but live in fear that I might. Or, I can be one of the few who do not trust to luck, and am prepared to be “unlucky.” I personally have chosen to hope for the best, but to be prepared for the worst. I am not paranoid, nor am I a Pollyanna; I do take to heart the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.” For me, that means having the resource and training sufficient to come out on top. Part of that training is learning how to avoid those situations in the first place. But if I am ever so unlucky as to have to defend myself or my family, I am prepared to do so. And so, because there is evil and because I don’t believe in lucky charms, I acquired my CCW.
5) How can I read about the “Good Samaritan” or follow the teachings of Jesus, and not be aware that I have a responsibility to look out for others, to be my brother’s keeper. The murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 is a perfect example of what how far removed we, as a society, are from concepts like nobility and chivalry. Kitty was a 28-year-old woman returning home from work at 3:00 a.m. when she was brutally attacked and eventually murdered with a knife over a 35 minute period, all of which was witnessed by no less than 38 people, none of whom called the police or in any way acted to help Kitty. The man who later confessed to the murder also confessed to murdering two other women, all attributed to his uncontrollable rage. He told police that he chose women because they were easier and don’t fight back. The courts declared him “insane.” The “bystander effect,” which is given responsibility for the inaction of these 38 witnesses, can affect all of us. However, my Christian upbringing has taught me that I am not to be blind to the plight of others and that this world would be a better place if we all looked out for each other. Having a CCW allows me to fulfill the moral imperative that I am mentally and physically prepared to defend those who are at risk. I believe in the calling of the “Warrior’s Creed” which says, “Wherever I go, everyone is a little safer; wherever I am; anyone in need has a friend.” Having a CCW and the accompanying training causes me to be alert and prepared, to chose to be a “line of defense” should it become necessary, to have consciously determined that, on my shift, the crazies, the social terrorist, and the evil do not get their way. Jesus didn’t rebuke Peter for carrying a sword, just for not understanding when it was appropriate to be used. In today’s world, Peter might have had a CCW. Therefore, Christian charity compels me to acquire my CCW permit. It’s the moral thing to do.
6) Closely following the last reason is one more personal and reflects more my perspective on life. Being armed reminds me every day that we are in a battle; that we are at war. By that I mean that there really is a struggle going on between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehood. My lifestyle is such that it is far too easy for me to pull the shades down and sequester myself in my own little cocoon, leaving the rest of the world to go to hell in a handcart. Given these natural tendencies, I must do something to pull myself out of my comfort zone and become actively engaged. When I wear a gun, I am consciously deciding to do something, to make a difference, to pro-actively engage my world. I wear a gun, therefore I vote, I go to church, I honor my marriage and my family, I give money to worthy causes, I am a good neighbor, I deal honestly in my business; I even write my congressman and voice my opinion or displeasure. When I wear my gun, it reinforces a lifestyle, a philosophy that acknowledges the axiom that says, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Good men arm themselves with a mindset that acknowledges that all is not right, that there is a battle to fight, and that I can, indeed I will, make a difference. Because I choose to be proactive, because I choose to be among “the good,” I got my CCW.
7) There is an old saying; “God created all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” There will always be someone younger, stronger, better armed, and more attuned to violence than am I, who are looking for victims of a lesser challenge. My chances of survival are not good against such hard-core criminal-types if I have to depend on my personal strength, quickness and fighting technique. The gun that I carry and the subsequent training I employ, helps to insure that I don’t come up short on the “balance of power” equation. I am of little good to my family should we become the target of a predator and I am unable to defend them or myself. And my family looks to me to be that barrier between them and violent men. So, I choose to alter the odds, I choose to wear a gun. In fact, my “trump card” may very well prove to be all that is necessary to convince the criminal element that he has made a poor choice and to go ply his trade elsewhere. With access to a gun, I have a much better chance to stop an attack before it begins, and I am much more likely to survive the attack should I not be able to avoid it. So, in the interest of stacking the deck, I got my CCW.
So, I got my CCW and carry a gun because: 1) It’s my patriotic duty, 2) It was the un-politically-correct thing to do; 3) To keep me alert and attentive; 4) I don’t trust luck; 5) As an act of Christian charity; 6) As a reflection of my pro-active lifestyle; 7) To stack the deck in my favor.
So now you know why I carry a gun, why will you carry yours?
About Eskridge & Associates. (www.eskridge-associates.com) Eskridge & Associates which specializes in the placement of physicians in both locum tenens and direct hire placement opportunities nationwide. Bob is one of a handful that has five industry certifications. He is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist (CTS), a Certified Physician Recruiter (PRC) and a Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS) through the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). He is also a Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) through the American Staffing Association. He has recently published his first book: “So you Always wanted to be a Physician Recruiter (http://tinyurl.com/EANewBook) and is working on his second book titled, “The ABCs of Black Belt Physician Recruiting.”
Bob Eskridge is also President of Eskridge Travel(www.eskridgetravel.com) providing travel services for physicians as well as Eskridge Consulting (www.eskridgeconsulting.com), a practice helping others to realize their childhood dreams of becoming physician recruiters.