Being a gun enthusiast, I have been in many situations where I was expected to list and defend the reasons for which I choose to carry a gun to people whose business it was none of. The counter argument from these people always lands on the horrible things that guns can do. What really baffles me though is that most of the time, these arguments occur with people who know me. People who know that I am not violent - people who know that I am not irresponsible - family and friends who know they can count on me to do the right thing. Still for some reason my gun puts me in the company of criminals - the exact people I carry a gun to protect myself, my friends and my family against. So why I carry a gun is no longer an interesting conversation to me. If you google it, you will find tons of blogs and lists and debates about why one carry's a gun. Instead I'd like to list some things about me that exist or are reinforced because I carry a gun.
Because I carry a gun I avoid fights at all costs. Before I acquired my concealed carry weapons license, I was not nearly as vigilant about avoiding meaningless confrontations. I am not a fighter by any means, but a disagreement with a stranger in public could lead to a heated argument and in one or two rare cases over the years end up in some sort of physical skirmish. Now that I carry a gun this has no chance of happening. I will not instigate an argument, I will not agitate anyone verbally. If challenged, I will walk away. Because I accept the responsibility of protecting my life and the lives of my family or innocent civilians, I also accept the obligation to remove myself from any confrontation that is not life threatening especially when my presence could make it so.
Because I carry a gun I make an effort to NEVER go anywhere that the law does not allow me to go with my gun. I carry my gun with a license that allows me to do so legally. I have no desire to lose my legal right to carry and as such only carry where allowed by law. I am forbidden, for example, to carry my firearm in a post office as it is a government building. As such, you will not find me in a post office. The law prohibits me from protecting myself or anyone else while at a post office so the United States Postal Service has lost me as a customer for as long as this law exists. Keep in mind that criminals carrying guns will have no issue with going to the post office armed and dangerous. Disgruntled postal workers have no issue with it either. The only thing this law ensures is that if a criminal with a gun tries to do you harm while you are trying to ship cookies to your sick grandma, I will not be there to protect you.
Because I carry a gun I don't drink when I am out. To be honest I don't drink much at home either, but I am certainly not going to impede my judgement or my ability to act in a crisis situation while in public. My gun is an advantage in a life or death situation. If I am intoxicated, that advantage does not exist. If anything my gun becomes a liability. It is also illegal to be drunk with a firearm ( and I am totally okay with that ).
Because I carry a gun obnoxious people annoy me. If I am standing in line at the super-market and the person in front of me decides to confront the person in front of them because they are taking too long to write a check I become unhappy. The patience and understanding of people in this world is at an all time low and the last thing I want while I am armed is you getting into a needless fight with someone else. This forces me to go into a state of higher alertness and readiness as I may have to protect myself, or you from whomever you piss off. I have never had to pull my gun to protect myself or anyone else and I hope this never happens. It frustrates me that you might do anything to ruin a perfect record over something so senseless.
Because I carry a gun, I am happy that you don't. While some gun toting zealots are on some mission I don't understand to see every American Citizen armed with guns, I could care less about the political religiosity of it all. The reason I carry is to have a tactical defensive advantage. If you carry and you do it without the same mentality I have then my advantage is only lowered. I've met a lot of people in my life but I have only recommended concealed carry to a tiny few of them. I don't believe everyone should have a gun and it doesn't bother me at all that you don't either. Your anti-gun opinions leave you vulnerable but they do not affect me at all...at least not negatively.
Because I carry a gun I am expected to agree with the politics of other gun advocates. More often than not, I don't. I am a liberal and I am an atheist. The fact that anyone associates my desire to protect my own life or the lives of my family and friends with my personal philosophies on any other matter is outrageous to me. If I actually believed a politician would attempt to take my legal right to carry away from me but would also fix everything else that is wrong with this country I would not vote for or against without weighing the pros and the cons...and you shouldn't either. But I am going to tell you a secret - Politicians use gun control to get elected the same way they use abortions. Neither political party gives a damn but both sides know that you do.
Because I carry a gun, I am more prepared. I carry a gun because I choose to take responsibility for my own safety and the safety of the people I care about. If I don't apply this behavior to other aspects of my life than I'd be lying to myself about why I have my gun. So when I go to bed at night, I take my gun and put it on my night-stand, but not before I check to make sure the doors are locked and that I have my phone on my night-stand too. If we are prepared to shoot someone who breaks in the house we should also go out of our way to not be easy targets. If someone still attempts to make me a victim, I am always prepared to alert the authorities...before if possible, after if not. I also have concealed carry self defense insurance for the legal aftermath should such an unfortunate scenario unfold. This preparedness leaks into other parts of my life too. Now I carry a knife, multi-tool, lighter and minimal first aid supplies on my person all times. These items are consistently coming in handy in helping myself and others and the primary reason I have them is because I carry a gun.
Because I carry a gun I think it's fantastic that you would make it obvious to me that you don't have one. If you walk around with your baggy jeans around your ankles and your boxers or tighty-whities are the only think covering your dangle I would like to say "thank you" at this time. You might look like an idiot, but you are broadcasting your tactical disadvantage and overall harmlessness to me and I appreciate that. You are a rebel and as such, no one discounts you as much as I discount you.
Because I carry a gun I sort my shirts based on the size of gun they are capable of concealing. It's just easier that way.