Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Gun is a State of Mind

I read an interesting quote today in the local newspaper: "A gun is not a gun, it is a mental state." This is the most succinct description of the act of carrying a loaded handgun in public that I can remember seeing. All these he-men whining about not being able to carry their Desert Eagle to the corner store for a loaf of bread, or feeling helpless walking Fluffy in the park early in the evening, or even rolling down your window on the jerk who cut you off in heavy traffic. It is the idea of packing a gun that excites most of these True Believers. It is pretty much accepted that the people with the most guns have the least training -- particularly handgun training and especially "concealable handgun" training. The time it takes to recognize a serious threat, decide to unlimber your weapon, grab it and manage to free it from wherever you've concealed it, prepare it for firing (push off safety, rack slide, cock hammer, whatever must be overcome that provides a safe carrying situation, point it and make a conscious decision to put a slug into the threat's boiler room -- much time has passed. The concluding "Bang" is surprisingly loud without ear protection. If you've missed -- and at any range over 20-30 feet, chances are you will miss with a 2" - 4" long concealable barrel, while you try to see around the blue spot where the muzzle flash once was to reacquire your threat target, the threat now has the psychological edge. Remember, the threat had already decided to do harm to you before the encounter began. Only in the movies has the victim read the script and is mentally prepared. Fear leaves you one option. You keep squeezing the trigger, shooting and shooting and shooting in the general direction of the threat until the gun clicks empty.

You may have stopped the threat, or at least chased the threat away. Now, where did all those bullets go? Where's the kid who was riding his bike a block away? Did the mother three blocks away get home okay with her arms full of groceries?

You just have to remember, everything in front of your muzzle is your responsibility.

Concealed Carry is virtually an oxymoron. I lived and worked in Arizona for a few years, a state that has very liberal carry laws. I carried a .38 Special Smith & Wesson Chiefs Airweight revolver with a 2 1/2 inch barrel. I also carried a badge. Every opportunity I had, I trooped out into the desert with fellow officers and we ran boxes of bullets through our guns. Even with cranking away on a regular basis, I was very happy that I never had to make a life or death decision. I also never met anyone who regularly conceal-carried a handgun, who didn't want other people to know about it. Carrying a gun is a state of mind, a state that embraces everyone in front of your muzzle when you squeeze the trigger.

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