Why I got my CCW Permit and Why You Should TooPosted: June 19, 2013
In the fall of 2001, I completed the process of securing a permit to carry a Concealed Weapon, called a CCW. 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. And 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, got fingerprinted for the DOJ, 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 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, just one voice out of 280,000 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 and intellectual 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 & vulnerable. They are Predators, who will viciously hurt, rape, and kill to accomplish their self-centered aims.
They have no sense of conscious, no remorse, no 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, 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 or denial 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 3:00AM 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 be 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 caring 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, there really is a struggle going on between right and wrong, good and evil, truth & 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 proactively 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 if 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 to luck; 5) As an act of Christian charity; 6) As a reflection of my proactive lifestyle; 7) To stack the deck in my favor.