Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
It could be a matter of life or death. That reality struck a chord with me a few months ago, when I received my concealed carry permit and continued my online training.
For those of you who have read my gun posts, you might know that I was prepared to carry a gun on my person. The violence in the streets throughout this country, the shootings and the killings, convinced me that I needed to take my gun ownership seriously and be prepared to protect myself. But the more I saw the training needed to carry a gun responsibly and to minimize the possibility that no one was unnecessarily killed, my ambivalence set in. We signed up with USCCA which offered excellent videos, with a great deal of coaching about the correct responses. I realized that there were multiple scenarios I might find myself in, many of them demanding different responses to an armed person. I might encounter a person in a poorly lit parking garage. I might be eating lunch in a restaurant with a friend. I might be shopping for groceries. Any one of those situations would require that I be alert and prepared to respond so that no one would be killed unnecessarily. And that included me.
With that understanding in mind, one evening, after we’d talked about getting additional live training with an instructor, I told my husband that I just didn’t think I could carry. It would require my finding time to practice several times a week in drawing the gun, unjamming a gun, being situationally aware—the need to be well-prepared felt overwhelming. And as ridiculous as it sounded, I was concerned about actually killing a person. You learn that you don’t want to draw a gun unless you have to do it. But if you know your life is threatened, you need to be prepared to shoot, perhaps kill, the other person. Or you might die.
My husband was disappointed. But after thinking about it, he made a proposal. We were already pretty well trained in handling a gun; we shoot at a range every two weeks. He suggested that we go ahead with the situational training, and if I didn’t feel prepared to carry afterward, he would respect my decision. (I knew he’d be disappointed, but he would honor his promise.)
I know that many new gun owners in Florida have a minimal amount of training and probably rarely practice. I know that I respond well to the most urgent situations. I know that I take guns more seriously than many people around me. But all the training in the world won’t guarantee my response in an emergency situation.
So, Tuesday we will head south, stopping at an animal rescue facility and staying overnight in Okeechobee, for training to begin on Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon. The instructor will be working with just the two of us. I hope my decision about whether to carry or not becomes much clearer when we are finished.
It could be a matter of life or death.Published in