There are millions and millions and millions of firearms currently in the hands of private citizens in the United States, and that in my opinion is a good thing. We in the U.S. have a unique relationship with guns because it was firearms in the possession of private citizens that was the key to securing our freedom from the tyrant King George III. And it is these same privately owned firearms that continue to keep America free, not only from tyrants in government, but the tyranny that results because of violent criminals and their willingness to rape, rob and murder without regard for the impact on innocent people.
It is a verifiable fact that the violent crime rate in the United States is significantly lower than in most of the rest of the free world. What can be debated I suppose are the reasons why, although I firmly believe it is firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens. With that said, I am continually amazed at how many people use the excuse that violence isn’t likely to happen to them as a reason for not taking an active role in their own safety and security, whether it be firearms ownership or some other form of personal protection.
Lets take a look at how likely it is that you will be the victim of violent crime. (Note that where you live and your lifestyle does have an impact on your likelihood of being a victim.)
According to FBI crime statistics for 2011, there were 1.2 million acts of violent crime. You are 58 more times to be assaulted than to be injured in a residential fire. Even so, most people have working smoke detectors in their home and many have a fire escape plan, but many of these same people do not have a plan for personal protection. Did you know that there has never been a child killed in the United States at school because of a fire? But, there has been several killed at the hands of violent criminals. And yet, there are smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers and regular fire drills in every American school, but not a plan to deal with violence. So why don’t we do more to protect ourselves and our children from violence? That is a question I really don’t have a good answer to, but I suspect it’s one, people don’t think it will happen to them, two they think the police will protect them, and lastly, they have a fear of firearms which is usually rooted in ignorance.
I advocate a multi-pronged approach to personal protection and security with firearms being a part of that approach. There are circumstances in which a firearm is not an appropriate response to violence, and there are times when they are. But given the statistics I just shared, if you have a smoke detector in your home, you ought to also have a firearm, it just makes perfect scene. If you have a fear of firearms that is the product of ignorance or your inexperience with them, don’t worry about it, it is never to late to educate yourself, your safety and security may someday depend on it.
Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.