Sunday, July 10, 2011


I know it’s been forever since I posted, and that’s largely my own fault, though in my defense, I would like to point out that work has had be jumping through hoops (and then some).

I wanted to take a minute to talk about something a little more down to earth than just politics in general. The other day, I stopped by the local sheriffs’ office and picked up my Oklahoma Concealed Weapons License. Simply put, I am now allowed to carry a pistol on my person, out of sight, and in public. I’ve had more than a few people who don’t seem to understand my motives, and some who seem to actively choose not to understand. Please note, I am not requiring anyone to agree with me. I am accusing some people of refusing to understand my answers when I give them, but that’s another story entirely. I wanted to take a chance to address some comments I’ve gotten over the past year regarding concealed weapon’s carriage.

Invariably, the first question is always “Why do you have a gun?”

Well, the answer there is simple; money. As a private security guard, positions as an armed security officer pay slightly more than positions as an unarmed one. Additionally, having an armed license and a personal firearm makes me more marketable in the security field. That is the reason I purchased the weapon in the first place.

Second up; “Do you really think its necessary to carry a gun?”

There are two ways to answer that.

As a professional security officer, the answer is “You’re damn tootin!” If the client is paying good money to have an armed individual there, he had better get it. If I don’t want to wear my gun, you better believe that my boss will find someone who does.

As a private citizen, off the clock, I hope and pray (hard) every day that I never have to pull my gun. Furthermore, now that I have started wearing my weapon, I find myself more actively thinking of ways to get out of a room or building if all hell were to break loose. (NOTE: I did just say that I was looking for ways OUT of a situation, NOT ways to charge further into one.) The bottom line is that the moment I got my gun, I started looking for ways not to pull it if things went south in a hurry.

So, no, I don’t think there is any current threat that actively justifies a firearm.

However, the law does not require justification. The way the Oklahoma constitution is written, a private citizen with a concealed weapons license may carry a pistol without having to justify himself to anyone. If you don’t like that, change the law, don’t argue with me (good luck with either of those, by the way).

Next: “Aren’t you worried about having a gun in the house with a child around?”

Simply put, No.

When I first got my gun, I inspected it, made sure it was empty, and then put it on my desk and called my 5 year old son into the room. He took one look at it and blurted out, unprompted, “That-is-a-gun-and-I-am-not-supposed-to-touch-it-and-if-I-see-it-I-need-to-tell-you-really-fast!” (and yes, he got a really big hug for that!). So, to start out with, my son has a good understanding of what a grave issue just seeing the weapon is. Additionally, when not on my person, the weapon is locked, and locked up, away from anyone. I also do not use trigger locks, the locking mechanism I have blocks the weapon from being loaded, cocked or fired in any way. In fact, with the lock in place, you can’t even line up the magazine with the magazine well, let alone slide it in. When my weapon isn’t on me, its locked and secured, and I carry the only keys.

I’ve actually had people argue with me, saying “But your son could get your keys and unlock the weapon and load it and accidently kill himself.” At that point I just roll my eyes and tell them to “get real”. Yes, it is a physical possibility, but as a degree holder in safety, and a father who loves his son, I can say that the barriers between reality and that actually happening are more than enough to let me sleep at night.

As a side note, I wanted to address another topic I get hit with. A number of people have said to me “did you know that 9 kids a day are shot to death in the United States?” To be fair, that number varies a little, but I am trying to give a best faith average of all the encounters.

Well, the statistic is technically correct, but there are some underlying facts, depending on where you get your information from. First of all, a lot of statistics are collected from criminal investigations, and medical records. These are excellent sources to be sure, but it should be pointed out that both the justice system and the medical community group “kids” as anyone under 18 years of age. Furthermore, some studies reach as high as 19 when they try and quantify gun violence against children. An accidental death of a 4 year old with a handgun is almost certainly the fault of the supervising adult and the gun owner (who may well be the same person). However, the accidental death of a fifteen-year -old with a handgun can be an entirely different situation.

I have personally read material that says (for example) “over thirty three hundred children a year are killed by firearms.” Well, read a little deeper and you find out that maybe “children” wasn’t the best word to use there, because that particular study ran from 0-19 years of age (18 being a legal adult in this country).

When I read a little deeper into the study in question, I found the real number that I was looking for, but it was buried several pages in. According to the study, 214 “children” were killed by guns “unintentionally”. However, that number had no age breakdown that I could find (It may have been in there, but I know I didn’t see it). So, of that “9 children a day” figure, less than one of them was accidental, meaning that the rest had little to do with unsafe gun practices and probably had a lot to do with criminal activity.

My point here is not to throw out all gun violence statistic, far from it as a matter of fact. Rather, I would like people to look at the numbers objectively, and see both what they are really saying, and who is saying them. Unfortunately for us, groups like the NRA have a vested political interest in minimizing or ignoring these types of figures, while activist like Rossie O’Donnell can he heard saying lines like “9 children a day are killed by guns” all the time. In reality, both sides are correct, and both sides are being dishonest at the same time.

In the end, however, statics mean little to me. I intend to practice safe, responsible gun ownership at all times. As my son grows, he will have increased exposure to my weapons, if for no other reason than safety and education. If I were to ever decide that he, or anyone else, might actively try and take my firearm, I would react accordingly, including sleeping with the keys around my neck if necessary.

and as a footnote, I wanted to incloude the best summary of the second ammendment I currently know of.
(Sorry for the profanity, but as these two go, it was mild).

No comments:

Post a Comment