Why do people carry concealed weapons? For self-protection of course. But this a blanket answer to what I find to be a more complicated and personal choice. I wanted to hear from men and women who carry to get their answers to the question. I wanted to know what motivates them and how they came to exercise their right. I put out some feelers and found some very interesting personal stories. These are stories that only people who carry will understand.
Margaret Hansen, 33, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. says, “My husband works a night shift as a security guard and though I feel safe in our neighborhood, I’m not comfortable home alone all night. I also have taken classes and have been carrying when I run errands. I want to be self-protecting and self-sufficient. I know I can defend myself if I have to.”
Lopez, 64, of Tucson, Arizona, told us, “I’ve taken a lot of harassment and seen some violence. As a gay man, especially when AIDS was becoming a major issue, it was brutal. I lived in Mobile then. We were threatened constantly and some of my friends were attacked. I had some co-workers who suggested concealed carry and at first I resisted. But when I move to Arizona and had no family close by, I wanted to make some changes. I’ve met great friends at the range and I practice regularly. Being able to protect myself and my friends is important to me.”
Derek Chamberlain, 41, of Phoenix, Arizona, wrote, “I grew up hunting and fishing. Concealed carry was never a question for me; it’s a right. And I have the right to protect my family. I believe I’m a responsible gun owner and I teach my kids gun safety. If there is any threat to my family, I will protect them. People need to understand the dangers we face and respect that. There’s no other way to put it.”
Tina F., 25, Boise, Idaho, explains, “I’m a single woman and a bartender. I work a late shift and I drive home alone. I live alone. My dad taught me how to use a gun and I’m not afraid to carry. I often carry a fair amount of cash after my shift and anyone would know that. I am not about to be somebody’s punching bag or victim.”
Theresa L., 33, of Tucson, Arizona, tells us, “I am a survivor of sexual assault and I am not about to go through that again. I am an advocate for women’s self-defense and I have to say that carrying a gun is not popular in my circles. But I want to have the ability of defense. Learning karate and judo is fine, but it’s no match against an armed sexual predator.”
Compelling comments, all of them. No doubt you have your own. American Concealed would like to hear about your bold choice as well. Please leave us a note in the comment section.