By: Chris Warren
A relative at the same family gathering that inspired my May 9 article was quite surprised when I mentioned in passing that I own numerous guns and legally carry a loaded & functioning firearm with me pretty much at all times. They were a little taken aback that low key, never-calls-attention-to-himself cousin Chris was in fact a heavily armed gun nut. “Yes, it’s true,” I explained with the deliberate intention of making it sound as normal as tying one’s shoes. “I pack heat.”
The rest of the story is that my affinity for firearms is not particularly atypical. There are millions of law-abiding Americans just like me who, for many reasons, go about their ordinary lives carrying a gun along with their keys and cellphones. In gun lingo it is referred to as conceal carry because in most areas the law requires that the weapon not be readily visible. There is an entire niche market of guns, holsters, belts, cases, and even professional training specifically designed for conceal carry.
As I run errands to the store, the bank, car wash, all the usual everyday activities, no one around me other than friends and family know I am carrying. For sure, there are people who would be very upset to know they are standing in line next to a guy with a gun. They are entitled to their opinions. I’m not interested in trying to change their mind. But at the same time, they will not change mine. My Second Amendment freedom and personal security is more important than a stranger’s sensibilities. To put it more abruptly, I don’t care about their feelings.
I understand why influencing public opinion and lobbying to preserve America’s firearms heritage is necessary; responding to every individual attack like-for-like is not. Sometimes the best response is none at all. We have a Constitution and several court cases that say private citizens have a right to bear arms. Why continue arguing when you’ve already won? I’ve only rarely been personally confronted by someone who feels I owe them an explanation as to why I carry, but when the moment comes I have a simple answer all ready to go: It’s none of their business. My non-answer answer is never satisfactory to them, but that’s the most they’ll get out of me. I wasn’t bluffing when I said that I don’t care about their feelings.
I flatly refuse to justify myself to anyone who thinks the best way to solve the “gun problem” is to harass lawful people who are not causing the problem, and I encourage all 2A supporters, whether they own guns or not, to join me in giving liberals the silent treatment they so rightly deserve, up to and including never admitting on any survey that you own firearms. Engaging these clowns is the same as conceding that they might have a valid point.
The reason gun owners are so recalcitrant to compromise is because they understand that no matter how reasonable anti-gun activists sound when benignly speaking of “respecting the Second Amendment,” the ultimate goal of the gun control movement is a total ban on all firearms. I let the National Rifle Association and similar organizations I am happy to associate with do most of the talking for me. There are thousands of illegally armed violent criminals running around causing death and mayhem; it’s completely lost on me why anti-gun activists think taking my weapons away from me is going to alleviate that. They are lying when they say all they want are “common sense gun laws,” and “to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.” They want to take all firearms away, including mine.
My cousin was right. I am consciously understated and avoid calling attention to myself. I just want to be left alone; it’s a big part of my personality. One of the side benefits of conceal carry is something I call “the gun nuts’ revenge”: Millions of peaceful, non-violent, responsible armed citizens walk quietly and unnoticed in the stores, malls, parks, everywhere, feeling somewhat amused that the anti-gun liberal flakes have no idea just how close to them we really are.