Guns:

Many people have asked me why I own guns, and I feel my story is typical enough that it bears writing down so that maybe my logic (right or wrong) can help someone make up their own mind on this important subject.

First, know that I lived my first 30 years of my life with only a passing exposure to guns. My father owned a hunting rifle and showed me how to use it the first day I found it behind the couch (he stopped everything he was doing and took me immediately out to the range) and gave me a brief but effective explanation and let me stand by as he lit off a round from that powerful rifle. The sound and thunder of that shot gave me an instant respect and understanding that this was NO TOY!

So why now did I decide I needed guns. Well probably the single most important change came from my daughter. Here was this helpless little girl, who was counting on me to protect her from all harm, and also defend myself and my wife sufficiently to make sure we came home to her every night. And, well I guess I just didn’t feel up to the challenge of being able to beat up all the “big bad wolves” I felt like might come to challenge me or do harm to my family.  So, short of ninja training (which I simply lack the time to devote to J ) I chose to own a firearm. Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I did not make this decision lightly or casually, it was a concerted decision, and one I knew would take it’s own amount of discipline and training. 

Some people question whether keeping guns in my home made it safer or more dangerous. 
Well I grew up around many dangerous “tools” that most of us have in and around our homes. I was taught their potential if misused and understood early on that a gun was no more dangerous than any number of things we keep and use everyday. Set aside the media hype for a second and admit that a gun is no more inherently dangerous than say a chainsaw, or lawnmower (if ignorantly misused) or even many of the things anyone has in their kitchen (knives and many other things designed to cut through and chop up animal parts), think about how devastating almost any power tool could be if misused. (However, I don’t see any initiatives to curb or register the sale of matches or provide child locks for blenders) And certainly guns are no more dangerous than driving around in our cars (this has been proven statistically, so regardless of whether you want to believe me it is the truth). Guns are tools plain and simple, and like any tool, if used correctly can make our lives better but if abused or even accidentally misused can cause catastrophe.
“Guns make suicides easier”  some say, well I know that if one would like to end it all, it is as simple as turning on the gas stove without lighting it and waiting for the inevitable. If that is not your style then the medications found any anyone’s home should be more than enough if taken all together to send you to the great beyond.   

What about gun control? Glad you asked, because I don’t believe in it. Laws targeted to hamper criminals don’t work because criminals by definition don’t obey them. Gun control only makes it harder for innocent and good people to protect themselves from evildoers who very likely still have a gun, again by definition, a criminal has had no obligation to relinquish their guns. (This concept has been proven thought history and by countless studies, some very recently here in the US. The statement that an armed society is a safer society has been proven whether you want to take my word for it or not).
Thus, gun control empowers the criminal as they are just assured that their “prey” are not able to effectively fight back. This makes them more brazen and gives them the freedom to expand their criminal activities. So, sorry but I will not support anything that gives criminals more power (I never can understand why more people don’t get this one).

Finally, it came to one last choice, where and how often to carry a gun, and this was arguably one of the toughest decisions. Clearly I wanted to defend my home, but what about when we were out and possibly in a location or environment that could bring an encounter with those who would do us harm.
Many say well just avoid those places, well easier said than done,  ok, so I won’t take my 5 year old clubbing on 6th street, no problem there, but what about that Halloween party that goes till late at night or the theater show downtown that let’s out after 10 p.m. Any of these situations could go bad if we got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So at that I decided it was time to supplement the home defense firearm with a pistol and the appropriate concealed carry training and certification.

Concealed carry, now there’s something I support. If I had my way every adult man, woman and even teens would have to take this class.  It is a long day (12 hours of classroom time) but I learned more about conflict resolution and how to deescalate a conflict than I had in my entire life. Not to mention tips on threat situation detection and thus how to stay out of the bad situations in the first place, not just how to shoot and conceal a gun. I see this class as one of the single most important days of instruction of my entire life. If you only take one thing from this take my advise and take this class regardless of rather you intend to carry or even own a gun.

Well, that’s my rational, now do I have 15 guns stashed in every corner of my house, carry 3 on my person at all times and keep 2 under my pillow, No. Do I own a few firearms which I keep safely locked up but still ready enough for me to defend myself and my family, Yes.  
Do I think everyone should own a firearm for self defense, No.
Some people lack the commitment to own and or operate a firearm under those circumstances. During my training, the instructor said that if you are in a situation and you “break leather” (drawing your handgun from it’s holster for the rest of you) the time for talking has passed, there should be no negotiating, no discussing, there should be shooting and someone should be dying. That is a bold statement but a true one, the law says if you draw your gun you should be in fear of your very life, and thus be prepared to defend it at all cost including the cost of the life of the person who is threatening you. If you cannot come to terms with that reality and cannot be able to come to that decision, and act on it in a split second then you have no business owning a gun for self defense. It is not a magic wand that wards off evildoers, it is as I said before, a tool. And like any tool must be respected and used properly. Just remember, the more people who can and do commit to owning a firearm for self defense make the criminals less comfortable and less likely to do their evil deeds because due to the firearms needing to be concealed they can’t tell who can “fight back” and anything that makes the criminals nervous or less likely to do their crimes I think is a good thing.

My $.02
RGUARD