Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carry a handgun? Never.

I had a conversation with a woman a few years younger than myself the other evening. The topic was carrying a handgun.

Or, more accurately, why carry a handgun.

She argued that she'd never needed to have a handgun on her person or in her car.

Never, eh?

I'm used to this line of mislogic. It kind of goes with the mislogic used by the anti-gun crowd that whines, "If the Founding Fathers knew there were going to be Uzis and AK-47s and 50-caliber sniper rifles, do you think they still would have written the Second Amendment the way they did?"

I answer that question with one of my own: "If the Founding Fathers knew there was going to be an internet, blogs, hundreds of cable-news stations, 'journalists' like Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather outright fabricating stories (ie exploding pickup gas tanks, false papers about George W Bush, et al) and no accountability whatsoever for the media, do you think they still would have written the First Amendment the way they did?"

Normally I get a "deer in the headlights" gawking, gasping, stuttering response to that question.

As far as "never" needing to have a handgun, I nodded at the woman and offered the following points:

• I'd driven for years and never needed a spare tire. Then one day on a lonely highway, I had a tire go flat on me. This was before cell phones, so I was on my own. Glad I had a spare tire, even though I'd never needed one.

• I'd gone for years and never needed to see a dentist, but then I got some wisdom teeth hurting. Glad there was a dentist around and even more glad I'd planned ahead and stashed away some money for just such an eventuality.

• I'd managed to go for years and years and never had my wallet stolen, so there was no need to keep track of silly things like my drivers license number, credit card numbers, insurance info and the other stuff most men typically keep in their butt-purse. But then one day, some scumbag SOB at the gym rifled through my (locked) locker and wouldn't you know it? Glad I had all that info written down and in the (gun) safe at home.

• My granddad had put me in judo shortly after first grade, then in jiu jitsu, then in karate--all before I was in junior high school. I'd never needed needed it in a real fight, but the first week I was in high school, three guys--all older and bigger than me--(mistakenly) thought they were bad asses.

Point is, if I'd gone through life blissfully ignorant and naive thinking I'd never need anything that might save my life or keep me from being very uncomfortable or in a bad way, I would've learned some hard lessons.

As it is, I changed a tire and went on my way. I had some wisdom teeth extracted and continued college. I called the Texas DMV, my insurance companies and banks to cancel everything in my stolen wallet. And three seniors sported some bruises and bumps for a few days, but nobody died and within a few months, we had all actually become fairly good friends.

Being prepared does things like that.

So, that's why I carry a gun. Hopefully all the excitement of life is behind me, but still, my wise old grandma always used to say, "Never say never."

Good advice then. Even better advice now.