This past weekend, my wife and I said good-bye to her mother, who had just lost her valiant battle with leukemia. As one often does in these situations, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the past 14+ years shared with my mother-in-law. She was a great lady. She was upfront and you always knew where you stood with her.
As I covered the years in my head and slowly began to turn my attention back to the matters at hand, I was stuck by something she had said to me several times over the years when we spoke about matters of personal safety. I would admonish her about leaving her patio and front doors unlocked and/or open. She lived in the elder section of her apartment complex, but there was a lot of foot traffic past her apartment from other sections of the complex. She always used to tell me: “I don’t have anything worth stealing”. I used to respond that no one else knew that and she needed to be more careful.
Then she said the thing that struck me: “What are the odds?” That is what I found myself thinking about for the past few days. I actually hear that a lot when I talk about concealed carry and why it is important. My usual response is “Do you carry auto insurance? What are the odds you will get into an accident?” Of course, some smart guy usually responds with “I have to carry car insurance, it’s the law”. This guy is missing the mark, however. My point is still valid. Whether it is the law or not, if you do not have insurance and get into an accident, you could end up in a world of hurt.
The same logic applies to concealed carry. If you go to the store and someone goes nuts while you’re there and starts on a shooting or stabbing rampage, what are you going to do? If you are armed, you have a chance to defend yourself – you have a chance to take down the bad guy before he takes you (or your family) down. Is this a harsh version of reality? Yes, it is. It is not a scenario in which any of us wants to be involved. However, the operative word here is “reality”. Incidents like this can and have happened – just ask those that suffered through the events at Columbine High School, Colorado; Virginia Tech, Virginia; Aurora, Colorado; Fort Hood, Texas; Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut; Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Pennsylvania; Santa Barbara, California; Fort Hood, Texas (again); Wal-Mart, Las Vegas, Nevada; and, many others. Many people get upset when I mention these terrible events. I understand that. Discussing these events is painful. They were horrific – but they happened, they are reality. Ignoring that fact does not change it, and it does not prepare you to handle the next tragic reality.
Now is when someone usually asks the question, “Yeah, but what are the odds?” To be honest, I don’t have the exact numbers – I am sure they are long. But the above events occurred despite the odds, and I am sure people asked the same question before those incidents took place. What you need to ask yourself is: are these odds long enough that you are willing to bet your life, and those of your family, on them?
Do you carry concealed? Why not?
Read the news. See how many crimes are committed on a daily basis. Next, see how many stories there are about people winning the lottery. How many people are becoming victims of violent crime? How many people do you think play the lottery? Which one do you think has the better chance of happening to you?
Now, it’s my turn to ask: “What are the odds?”