In light of recent terrorist attacks, riots and other violent events here and abroad, it is clear that trained citizens who have the means to carry a sidearm should do so as much as possible.
While the mere carrying of a firearm for self protection will never guarantee that violence will not happen, it will give a trained and responsible individual a greater chance of surviving a lethal encounter. However, there are political challenges to this and it is important that if and when you speak to people who are ignorant regarding the laws and requirements for concealed carry, you act as ambassador for all gun owners and stress the training and responsibility of carry.
Anti-rights people will judge you and are looking for you to lose your composure, so do not give them an excuse to label all gun owners in a negative light. Be as ready to defend yourself politically as you are physically and mentally for a lethal encounter.
Some of these anti-rights people will unfortunately never be swayed by reason, and while that is both confusing and frustrating, the best outcome is not to treat them with contempt, but rather serve as an example of what it means to be an upstanding gun owner.
If they insist on debating with you, ask them why their contempt is focused on responsible gun owners, and not inner city gangs or terrorists that harm those around them. Ask them why a terrorist attack by an Islamic terrorist on a gay nightclub was described as “gun-violence,” rather than a terrorist attack. How about the Nice, Paris or San Bernardino attacks? Law-abiding people living in those areas were disarmed by their governments and what was the result? What about the recent riots in Milwaukee? Rioters burned businesses and attacked people, why should a law abiding citizen be at the mercy of those criminals?
Predictably, anti-rights individuals will often bring up various gun control talking points or restrictions and say something along the lines of our laws are not strong enough. Rubbish, there are plenty of laws in place so do not engage them on the nuance of law. Instead, ask them how long it took for their last background check to buy a book, or write a letter. Ask them how compromising a law abiding person’s rights addresses inner city gang violence? Ask them if they trust you and if not, how come? Stress that you are not suggesting everyone should be armed, but that it has become clear that gun control is not working and we are facing new and evolving threats to our safety that require each person to be their own first responder.
A more relevant example of the failure of gun control is the Orlando attack. The terrorist was investigated by the FBI. He passed numerous background checks, and was a licensed security guard through a government contractor in a courthouse and residential community, where he held various security and psychological certifications from the state of Florida. No amount of proposed federal gun control could have prevented the Orlando terrorist from purchasing a gun. However, he committed his atrocity in a gun-free zone, where all the victims were disarmed by law.
The questions you ask anti-rights people can also be used to quiz local and state wide politicians. It does make you wonder why out-of-touch politicians do not want law-abiding people defending themselves from violence. Why don’t they trust you to defend yourself? Why do they accept armed security for themselves if they abhor guns? Politicians lie, they all do it, but it is important to do your own research and understand where candidates for higher office stand on the issues.
Be polite and respectful as a gun owner, but be vocal about defending your individual rights.