I never owned a gun until 2012. I entered Active Duty Coast Guard service in July of 2001. I had never held much less fired a weapon until basic training. I didn’t normally carry a gun during my duties while in the CG. However I did quality as an armed watch stander while in port on my ship. So from 2001-2012 that was my only exposure to weapons, I wasn’t raised in a house hold that had guns, I didn’t grow up as part of a “gun culture”.
What changed? Basically I did. I took a look at our society, at the behavior of our government, I took a closer look at my responsibilities as a father and a husband. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t living up to my responsibilities as a provider and protector if I went about life unarmed.
I have two beautiful children, I have a beautiful wife. I love my family, I love my life. The fact of the matter is we live on planet Earth and there are people on this planet who would kill me to steal my car or my wallet. Do I live in a high crime area? Nope. I’m blessed enough to live in a beautiful neighborhood in a beautiful house. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be aware of the fact that there is evil in the world and it might find me.
I came to the realization that I couldn’t live with myself if I was confronted with a situation where my family was harmed or killed and I could have changed the outcome by being armed. Since 2013 I have carried anywhere and everywhere I am legally allowed to do so. This means there are certain times and places where I can not be armed and I accept that.
I speak with my children about gun safety. When they have questions about a new gun or any of my guns we clear the weapon together and then I allow them to handle it as long as they obey the 4 rules of gun safety. I have yet to catch my children trying to access any of my weapons without permission, we’ve had no incidents or issues in my house. I made the offer to my daughter when she turned 12 that I would take her shooting if she wanted. She decided to ask me to take her shooting for her 13th birthday. My son knows that he will get the same offer when he turns 12.
Do I lament the fact that I live in a world where I came to this conclusion? Yes I do, and then every time there is a tragedy or an event that effects my life personally I reexamine my decision and my choices. Each and every time I have come back to the same acceptance of reality. I can’t prevent evil, but I can be prepared to fight it.