You Don't Know Me, and I Have a Gun!

You don't know me, or maybe you just don't know that you do. I am your neighbor, doctor, clergyman, nurse or just another nameless, faceless stranger in the crowd. I have a state authorized, court issued permit to carry a concealed handgun. I do so whenever possible.

Though you don't know me, there are a few things, however, you should know about me.

The local police fingerprinted me. The fingerprint cards were submitted to the FBI and a criminal background check was performed. Before that, I had to pass state and local background checks. I had to present evidence to the court of approved training in firearms laws, safety and marksmanship before my application would even be accepted.

I am not a felon, junkie, drug dealer, stalker or even a shoplifter since any number of indiscretions including alcohol or other drug abuse or even simple assault or a restraining order would disqualify me from holding a permit.

My classroom training covered when it is appropriate and legal to even indicate that I have a gun, much less display it or actually use deadly force.

Doing so in any circumstance, under which I am not in immediate fear for my life or the life of another, would mean more than the loss of my permit. Most likely, I would also be charged with brandishing a weapon, disorderly conduct and/or assault.

If it was determined that my use of deadly force was not to protect a life in immediate danger, I would probably be charged with second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter. On top of these, I would also face civil liability.

Like most people who legally carry concealed handguns, I practice regularly at a range. I am well aware of the laws and regulations affecting me. I am more well trained than some law enforcement officers.

I am not a non-resident alien. I am a good citizen, and I vote.

I am aware of the responsibility I bear, and I will walk or run away rather than risk confrontation. I will retreat as fast and as far as possible. I always avoid conflict. I know that should a situation escalate, I could be identified as the instigator and face losing my permit or worse.

Should the need arise., however, I will act swiftly, intelligently and decisively to protect my life and the lives of those around me

Are you still afraid of me?

In my home state of Virginia, not one permit holder has been convicted of a violent gun crime despite more than 100,000 issued permits. Throughout the entire United States, no police officer has been injured by a person with a legal handgun. A number have, however, been assisted and even rescued by armed, law abiding citizens.

You should feel a degree of comfort knowing that there may be someone nearby with means, motive and training to possibly save your life, or that of those around you.

Criminals, on the other hand, should feel fear. They never know if their next intended victim may armed, trained, and ready to effectively defend themselves.

If you feel safer patronizing establishments with a NO GUNS ALLOWED policy, please keep in mind that the criminals don't obey the signs or the laws. That is why we call them criminals.

Criminals know that the law-abiding customers of that establishment are easy prey, and will have little to no fear of the consequences of their actions. The hallways and parking lots of these establishments might just as well post a sign saying...

There is no need to fear me, I am just another loyal, law abiding American.

You should, however, be very afraid of those who endeavor to turn the entire law abiding population of our great country into defenseless victims.

T. S. Eggleston

Copyright 2002 by T.S. Eggleston

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