Whether you already carry a concealed weapon or are thinking about starting, here are some bulletproof reasons supporting why it’s a good idea.
For many of us, the question of “why you should carry a gun” seems silly, given the current state of affairs in the United States early in the 21st century. Carrying a concealed weapon allows one, regardless of gender, age or physical ability, to control his or her own immediate environment and thereby have options in various emergencies that unarmed people simply do not enjoy.
Carrying a gun is simply part of recognizing and accepting responsibility for one’s own actions, one’s own safety and the security of one’s own family. Indeed, with the level of lawlessness evident in today’s society, it might be the social duty of decent, intelligent people to arm themselves.
A cursory review of recent statistics is all the justification we need:
1. The No. 1 cause of on-the-job deaths in the United States is homicide.
2. One of every six on-the-job deaths is a homicide.
3. Each year in the U.S., there are about 15,000 reported murders. This figure does not include homicides not reported, including persons who just vanished without a trace. The true figure is thought to be closer to 30,000 to 40,000 persons.
4. Advances in trauma care mean fewer than one in 10 people who are shot with a firearm actually dies from that injury. In 2017, there were almost 1 million people shot, stabbed or bludgeoned seriously in the U.S. Although these did not become homicide statistics, thousands of them were left blind, paralyzed or otherwise crippled for life.
5. In Memphis, Tennessee, for instance, in 2013, there were 154 homicides. There were, however, 9,165 incidences in which someone tried to kill someone else; they just were not successful. The main trauma center there, for instance, which is only one hospital out of 20 in the metropolitan area, treated 3,100 people for gunshot wounds that year alone.
6. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), almost 6 million people a year in the U.S. are victims of some violent crime each year. Therefore, this is not some arcane, esoteric threat that occasionally happens. Violence and violent crime are an everyday fact of life in modern U.S. cities.
07. The annual BJS report for 2017 showed the following numbers, for just that one year: total violent crimes, 5,612,670; rapes, female victim, 393,980; robbery, 613,840; aggravated assault, 993,170; serious violent crime involving injury to the victim, 643,760; stranger violence (victim and offender unknown to each other), 2,034,100.
According to the BJS, you have a 1-in-49 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in a single year, not your lifetime. So, the odds are not “one in a million,” they are “one in a few dozen.”
If we only consider aggravated assault and no other violent crimes, there were an average of 2,721 aggravated assaults per day in 2017. The FBI’s definition of aggravated assault is “an unlawful attack involving serious bodily injury to the victim, or the use of a deadly weapon or other means likely to cause death or serious injury.” In other words, that’s almost 3,000 times each day someone tries to injure someone else in the United States. Taking sensible precautions against something that common is not being paranoid, it’s being smart.
Each year, fewer than a dozen people die from snake bites in the United States, and around 50 are killed by lightning. Almost everyone takes precautions against snake bites and lightning strikes, although statistically the threat is insignificant. Criminal violence, on the other hand, takes place every day, in every sort of place, all over the nation, and effects one in every 50 people every year.
Why then doesn’t everyone carry a gun? Everyone likes to think, “Violent crime only happens to someone else.” Well, to everyone else on the planet, you are someone else!
Consider this data from the FBI uniform crime report for 2017, a sadly typical year. In that one year, there were 1,247,321 violent, interpersonal crimes reported by police agencies to the FBI. These are murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault and assault. Please note that this is a voluntary reporting system, and many police agencies do not report totals to the FBI, so this number is actually much lower than the true total. According to the FBI, aggravated assault accounted for 65 percent of these violent crimes, while robbery accounted for 25.6 percent.
These are the crimes that require us to go armed.
Many people are what I call “willfully ignorant.” Not only do they not know the actual level of crime indicated by these statistics, they don’t want to know. If they knew, they might actually have to do something about it.
Throughout most of this past century, as the population became more urbanized and government began playing a larger role in everyone’s daily life, more and more cities/states adopted laws against the carrying of weapons in a misguided attempt to prevent violence. It hasn’t worked very well, has it?
In addition, the populace has been taught for several generations now to depend on the government for everything, including education, social mores and personal security. The problem is, the government cannot and will not guarantee your personal safety. The police, except in extremely rare cases, will only come along after the fact to make a report. Your personal safety is, as it always has been, your responsibility.
You’re Not Helpless
Over the past decade or so, a number of states have recognized that a disarmed citizenry is at the nonexistent mercy of sociopathic criminals who often engage in mindless violence even after the victims have submitted. The proliferation of drugs, youth gangs and highly disturbed persons has created a call from citizens that they be allowed the means to protect themselves and their families; and this call has been answered in every state.
As of 2014, all 50 states in the U.S. have at least a theoretical system for private citizens to acquire a permit or license to carry a handgun on their person for self-defense. Illinois, the last holdout, was forced to come online in 2014. In fact, states that have enacted reasonable carry permit laws have since seen a decline in the rate of homicide and other violent crimes. It should be obvious that citizens who go to considerable time, paperwork, and expense to legally carry a firearm will not be a problem. The problem is the population of thugs who ignore laws against murder, rape, robbery, drug peddling, etc., and who should not then be expected to obey laws against carrying guns.
One thing I would like you to consider: In our culture, there is always a lot of media-generated noise about civil rights and human rights. What do you suppose the most basic human right or civil right is? It is the right to self-defense. Without the right to self-preservation all of the other rights are meaningless.
You have a right to be alive, and to live without being killed, crippled or raped in an unlawful, immoral attack by a sociopath. Telling you that you have the right to self-defense, but that you may not possess a weapon is ludicrous. It is just like telling you that you have the right to a free press, but that you may not possess ink or paper.
If you have the right to self-defense, you have the right to be armed.
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt of Concealed Carry Class: The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics.
More On Self-Defense:
- 6 Defensive Handgun Drills to Master
- The Shot Timer And Defensive Handgun Training
- Dry Fire Training To Improve Defensive Handgun Skills
- Aiming A Defensive Handgun, Is There One Right Way?
- 7 Steps To Control Fear And Make Sound Decisions Under Stress
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