Should I Carry?

Many of us gun owners now wonder whether we should start carrying a gun.

I, Dave Bunting, your editor, have had a concealed carry permit for most of my adult life, and own several concealable handguns. I haven’t carried in more than ten years. But since the San Bernardino killings, I’ve considered carrying, especially when I would be in crowded public city places.

Those unfamiliar with the concealed carry situation should not be shocked. You may be surprised to learn that carrying concealed is quite common. I have known that while working in a local business and additionally even while worshipping in local church, there have been, no doubt are still today, local Packwood residents among us who are armed at all times.

But I know that I am not capable of responsibly and effectively dispensing lethal force from a gun in my hand if I were in one of these horrible situations. And I know enough of you readers well enough to know that most of you are similarly unprepared.

Though I had good firearm training as a youth from my dad, the Boy Scouts, our high school shooting range instructors and then in the Army, I haven’t fired a handgun in four years, and haven’t used one extensively, enough to be skilled, in 40 years.

The San Bernardino police captain who was one of the first to enter the room, described facing, in addition to his own fear, bloody carnage, ear-splitting screaming, the fire alarm also screaming, even the fire sprinklers spraying, absolute total confusion and inability to identify the bad guys or even whether the bad guys were still there.

There was even a legally permitted and armed concealed carry person in that room, who is reported to have been “unable to act because of the confusion.” I understand.

To shoot a gun responsibly and effectively in such a sensory overload situation requires us to be trained and practiced extensively in both shooting and handling the gun, but also in controlling our emotions, in holding our mind in the “iron lock” required for effective action under extreme stress.

We also need to know the law about public use of a gun.

Another issue: if I carried, from how many of my fun events would I be barred by metal detectors at the door?

I am a total defender of our rights under the Second Amendment, our absolute right to keep and bear arms, as the bottom line defense of our freedom. As I’ve reported here, since the current administration came to power, unbiased polls have found that the majority of Americans have now come to fear our own government, as I do.

So I firmly support all Americans having and bearing guns. Further, I oppose all efforts by this administration to reduce or limit the freedom or use of guns. No matter how they claim their efforts are innocuous, their goal is so obviously to disarm us, and any move by them is only a step toward disarming us.

Perhaps if the IRS. the FBI and other federal agencies had not been found to have criminally attacked innocent citizens, we might be willing to consider their reasonable changes in background checks and other regulations, but they have proven we cannot trust them.

But we need training and practice!

We need to obtain professional training for thousands of us Lewis County armed citizens. The NRA, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other responsible organizations have such training programs fully developed, with dozens of trained instructors already here in Lewis County.

Quoting from NRA Programs and Services

“From beginner to developing competitor, the NRA Training Department develops safe, ethical, responsible shooters through a network of more than 97,000 instructors and range safety officers, more than 5,700 coaches, and more than 1,800 training counselors. NRA Training Counselors recruit and train instructors to teach NRA’s basic firearm courses. NRA Coaches, in turn, develop competitors at the club, high school, collegiate and national levels.”

These training programs need to be extended in time and will require investment of both serious time and much money by us as individuals and also through our government levels.

Can we get this training going, and dedicate the considerable time and money to get ourselves trained and practiced?