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Why do you carry a concealed handgun?

Ask a concealed carrier and you'll likely get several answers, which is no surprise, as everybody has their own reasons. Some carry for the protection of themselves and their family, some may carry with the mindset that they are willing to protect anybody unable to protect themselves; some may carry simply because they believe it’s their right to do so, and some just think it’s cool. It honestly really doesn't matter. As long as you're in compliance with your state/local ordinances, you can carry for whatever reason suits you.

As any of you “carriers” know, conversations with non-gun folks will inevitably lead to the question of why carry a gun. I believe in the mentality of “I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” And as such, I'm usually in a position to take care of myself at virtually all times. My reasons why have evolved over the last couple years. It used to be the obvious answer of protecting oneself against crimes such as robbery/assault/rape, and while those have unfortunately not gone away, one only has to watch or read the news to know there are more and more potential threats in this day and age.

  • Do a Google search for Slender Man, and you'll see a story about 3 12 year old girls, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. 2 of these girls decided to kill their friend to prove themselves worthy to Slender Man, an evil character who only lives on the internet. They stabbed their 12 year old best friend 19 times and left her for dead. Fortunately she was able to crawl out of the woods and was found. She is alive today while her 2 friends are standing trial. I know it’s unlikely that 2 12 year old girls are bound to get the drop on you, but the mindset is something I think is important to note. There are adults that have trouble separating fantasy from reality as well.

  • Eddie Ray Routh was just found guilty in Texas for the murder of CPO Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. There are a couple different narratives on his reasons, and although I have my own thoughts, I want to talk about his version. He claims to have believed that Kyle and Littlefield were pig assassins. Hybrid pigs sent here to kill people, including himself, as a part of a world takeover. He also believed his coworkers were cannibals.

  • James Holmes, of Aurora, Colorado walked out the emergency exit of the movie theater where he was watching a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Returns, propped the door open, and returned armed. He killed 12 people and injured another 70. So far there is still no known reason.

  • In February 2008, Paul Roland was kidnapped in suburban Austin, Texas, in broad daylight. Even though he had no ties with the drug trade, he was taken by members of the Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel, and held for $500,000 ransom. He was recovered by law enforcement as the group was heading towards the border.

  • In December 2014, a self-styled Muslim cleric, claiming to represent ISIS, took up to 40 hostages in a Sydney, Australia coffee shop, resulting in 2 deaths, not including his own, before the situation was resolved.

  • DHS has recently received credible threats against the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota, by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. This is the same group that took credit for the 2013 attack at a Kenyan mall, killing 67 civilians.

These are only 6 examples of some of the threats going on in the world today, and while the Sydney scenario wasn't in this country, it very easily could be. Some are mental health issues, some are beyond the normal criminal expectations, and some are outright terrorism. Yes, some are far-fetched examples, but why would I want to take the chance that I was in one of those “fluke” scenarios, unprepared?

As I said, everybody has their own reasons for why they carry. I've shared some of my reasons.

Why do you carry?

---Vic Fredlund

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