FROM THE US Concealed Carry Association—
Honest Citizens Carry Concealed Weapons Because Bad Things Can Happen To Good People -Anytime, Anywhere.
Many honest citizens know this, and they know that when seconds count, the police are minutes away—at best! These honest citizens take responsibility for their own safety and choose to carry a concealed weapon for the protection of their own lives and those of their loved ones. They are not vigilantes; they are not cowboys, wanna-be cops, or wanna-be killers. They are people like you and me who realize that life and family are worth protecting in a dangerous world, and they want to have a fighting chance should crime come unbidden to them. By so doing, they protect not only their own lives, but the lives of those around them. They do this by being a de- terrent to those who would do us harm.
Before 1987 (when Florida laws changed to allow “shall- issue” carry permits), criminals knew it was very unlikely that their would-be victim was armed. No more! With the majority of states now being shall-issue, and with more citizens carrying guns for protection on more American streets, criminals cannot know who is armed and who is not. This deters criminals, and contributes to the decreasing trends in violent crimes nation-wide.
Carrying a gun is easier than carrying a cop. While the missions of the police officer and the armed citizen are different, guns in the hands of trained citizens can be just as effective against sudden attack as guns in the hands of trained police. The difference is, the responsibly armed citizen has the gun he carries immediately at hand when the danger strikes, and need not wait minutes or even hours for help to arrive. Any honest cop will tell you that most of the time, when they are called for help, they arrive after the danger has passed.
Violent crime has gone down in the United States for the last several decades, while the number of guns in civilian hands has gone up. But there is still more than enough violent crime to give the prudent citizen cause for alarm. Violent crime is still a real threat that can strike anyone anytime and anywhere. For the last year statistics are available from the FBI, there were 14,748 murders, 84,767 rapes, 367,832 robberies, and 797,500 kidnappings. These numbers are hard for some of us to understand, but that is because we are rational, law abiding members of society. We are the sheepdogs that have to help our loved ones, our friends, and even complete strangers from the wolves out there.
Facing the prospect of criminal attacks, many citizens choose to arm themselves with a handgun for the same reason police do: to protect themselves and others from deadly danger. Handguns are more convenient for full-time carry than rifles and shotguns, and given modern ammunition, they can be effective for defensive purposes. There are other options for personal protection, such as martial arts, knives, or sub-lethal devices such as OC pepper spray and noise-makers. Such devices have the disadvantage of being less effective at quickly and decisively stopping an aggressor, and they also have the added disadvantage of needing to be used at close-contact range if they are to be effective at all. By contrast, a gun delivers a powerful deterrent blow at a safer distance than can knives or pepper spray. In the face of a potentially lethal attack, the number one goal is the protection and survival of the innocent: that’s you, someone you love, or another innocent person.
~ Tim Schmidt
For more info on the USCCA, visit their website at usconcealedcarry.com.