Friends will sometimes ask me, “Why do you carry a gun? You gonna be a hero?” then they snicker. The CT Tragedy has once again ignited the gun control debate. CT has the 4th most restrictive gun laws in the Nation. I live in a “Shall Issue” state. Our state will issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who presents a record of military service showing weapons training or to anyone who completes an authorized firearms class.
For Veterans – it takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days to receive your permit in my state. They do a full background check and they can even check references.
I carry as often as I can – and I carry concealed. I follow all the laws – I don’t carry onto my work site because it is federal property and that is illegal.
I always carry at the mall – regardless of their little signs on the door! After all, no one about to shoot up a mall looks at the sign and says, “Oh, Shit! Gotta do it somewhere else!” I often carry to church. I often carry into Wal-Mart.
I have no intention of running towards gunfire in a crowded mall looking for the shooter. Anyone who has an understanding of active shooter scenarios knows that this is the worst thing you can do. If you are close and can take cover and get a clear shot without shooting an innocent bystander – then take the shot. If not, you are better off finding a safe place to barracade yourself into. The purpose of the weapon is to protect yourself and the innocent people with you in the event of a direct attempt by the shooter to access your barracaded location.
There has been talk about making sure that people with “significant mental illness” don’t have the ability to purchase, access or carry weapons. I can understand most of that – most of that. However, I wonder how they will label those of us who have Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (okay – I know the term is “disorder” but I hate that term. The only thing “disordered” is what was done to me to injure me!) I fear that if they include PTSI on the list that it will prevent Veterans from getting the help they need and their compensation for their injuries. “I can’t go to the VA – I will lose my right to own a weapon!”
I don’t know a single survivor of military sexual trauma that has killed their attacker. In fact, these mass shootings are not perpetrated by Veterans – except for the Ft. Hood Shooting that was motivated by radical beliefs. I can only think of two that have been committed by service members.
As for teachers learning how to use a firearm to protect their classrooms. I have taught – I was adjunctive faculty at a Community College for three years. One of those years I taught high school students. No, I could not carry or possess a firearm on campus and it was long before our state changed their carry laws. However, I can honestly tell you that I adored those kids – I would have died for those kids – and if necessary, I would have defended those kids with deadly force!
I was a soldier in the US Army. The oath I took did not go away when they sent me away. I took that oath for life. Part of that oath includes defending the innocent from all enemies foreign and domestic. Who are the innocent? My children are the innocent, your children are innocent, my neighbor, my church, my community, the stranger in the mall, my co-worker.
I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
In honor of those in Sandy Hook School that did give their lives trying to protect the innocent. Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto.
American Heroes – Gone…but Not Forgotten!