USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Everybody starts somewhere. If you drive a car or fly a plane, you had that first time behind the wheel; that first solo flight. If you are like me, there was a lot of excitement and maybe a little (read: a lot) of fear.
To me, carrying a pistol seemed strange at first. You see, although I grew up with guns (Gun Culture 1.0), carrying one on the person in public was seldom done, except for police and thugs. I had carried one in the car when traveling, but carry permits were uncommon in those days.
Then the carry revolution began in Florida and swept across much of the United States. Tennessee, with the incessant urging of gun owners across the state, enacted a permitted carry law. Initially, the ninety-five sheriffs of the state-issued the permits. A bond was required in addition to the cost of training and permitting. I was able to scrape together the funds to get the ball rolling. I took the required course, paid for the bond, and went to the bowels of the City-County Building in Knox County to get fingerprinted.
Note: Bad guys can get fingerprinted 24/7/365, but to get my permission slip, I had to set an appointment during business hours.
So, I got the very expensive carry permit and started to carry a pistol. It seemed like everywhere I went people were looking at me. I thought to myself, “Do they know I am carrying a gun? Do they think I am a weirdo?”
I went to the magazine rack at Walmart once and was thumbing through some (gun) magazines, and up walked a police officer. “Am I printing? Does he think I am a bad guy?” Oblivious to me, the 12-pound anvil on my hip, and my decided list to starboard, but then he started perusing the magazines, too. Okay, I’m just an ordinary guy, participating in my constitutional right to bear arms. Everything’s cool.
As time went by, daily carrying of a handgun everywhere except where prohibited became routine, and the time came when being without at least a little pistol in my pocket became odd and uncomfortable like I forgot something.
Carrying a handgun is an awesome right and responsibility. For most of human history, the powerful have ruled over the weak. Fists or blades have enabled brigands of all sorts to rob, rape, and pillage at will. The development of the repeating handgun, beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century has changed that. The woman or the man of lesser body strength is able to project equalizing power. From Smithsonian Magazine:
The old saying goes like this: God created men equal. Colonel Colt made them equal.
If you are thinking about carrying a handgun and getting a permit (in states where required), then just go ahead and start the process. Get training whether required or not. Get some good instructional videos, such as the Gunsite 250 video course #ad.
Learn and always follow the Four Rules:
- Rule One: All guns are always loaded.
- Rule Two: Never let the muzzle cover anything which you are not willing to destroy.
- Rule Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Rule Four: Always be sure of your target (and what’s beyond it).
Particularly in these unsettled times, with police stations being burned and insurrectionists taking over sections of cities, you are indeed on your own.
Plan and act accordingly, and above all remain dangerous.
About Liston Matthews
Liston Matthews has been involved in the gun rights movement since 1971. He was involved in the passage of the Tennessee carry law, and its improvements. He has testified before local legislative bodies. He has contacted politicians and had numerous editorial letters published. He believes that politicians must be carefully vetted at the local level because few change their positions when they move to higher office.
Liston writes his own blog Good Hill Press is an AmmoLand News contributor, and formerly wrote at Examiner.com.