No Safe Place

No one can predict when and where we might have to defend themselves from a criminal attack.

posted on July 6, 2024
Sheriff Jim Wilson

I just have to shake my head when I hear comments like, “I didn’t carry my gun because, after all, we were just going to church.” Or, “I was only going down to the corner grocery, so I just dropped the little two-shot derringer in my pocket instead of my usual carry gun.” Some people just don’t learn until they survive a real deadly encounter. And that, my friends, is a tough way to learn.

Every month, I try to read the Armed Citizen column in my copy of Shooting Illustrated and you should too. Take the current issue, for instance. They list six deadly encounters, four of which occur in the home. One is at an ATM (no surprise there) and the last involves an encounter between a motorist and a cyclist. Who in the world would expect to have a deadly encounter with someone on a bicycle?

When you bother to educate yourself, you realize that deadly encounters can occur anywhere and when we may least expect it. They occur in churches, parking lots, movie theaters, sporting events, the home and in fact, everywhere that people gather. And the victims are people from all economic levels, from poor to extremely wealthy. Everyone is subject to experiencing a criminal attack and that, my friend, includes you and me.

I don’t want to hurt feelings, but the person who says they will only carry their defense gun when they think they might need it is either a fool or is just playing at personal defense. We carry a defensive handgun because we don’t know when we’ll need it. If we knew, we’d carry a rifle or shotgun ... or, better yet, just stay home.

Not long ago, I changed clothes and then set out to run my morning errands. As I was cranking up my truck, I realized that I hadn’t put on my revolver, instead it was lying on the bed right where I had been changing. Since I was only going to the post office and the corner grocery, I was, for a moment, tempted to just go on. But, mentally kicking myself in the butt, I went back in and got my gun. Just a few minutes later I sat in the store parking lot while the city police arrested a drunk who was trying to get a fight started. Even though I was not involved in any way, I gave myself a mental pat on the back and went on about my errands.

When it comes to the folks who are just playing at personal defense, about all we can do is to continue to try to educate them. As for the rest of us, we remind ourselves and each other that no one can predict when and where we might have to defend ourselves from a criminal attack. We went to the trouble to be able to legally carry a defensive handgun, we got good training and we carry all the time because it is our right to do so and it is the smart thing to do.


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