Yes, and regretfully, no. I know violent crime is on the decrease, especially in the states which allow CC. But there are still shootings and knifings occasionally in any neighborhood. . .good neighborhoods just have a lower incidence of these crimes, but they are certainly not "safe". Safer, maybe, but not safe. I end up feeling irresponsible if I'm NOT carrying. The stats on the good behavior of CC permit holders from John Lott et al combined with the crime rate make me feel it is my civic DUTY to carry. There was a great piece by the late Finn Agaard on this topic I'm sure many of you have seen.
The "clincher" for me, however was the following coincidence. A colleague of mine and I were going to see a client who lives on Long Island a few years back. We were going to take the LIRR. She called at the last minute and asked us to meet her at her son's business in Connecticut instead, so we took the AMTRAK to Stamford that day.
Well, you guessed it. That was the very day Colin Ferguson did his shooting rampage on the LIRR. How many did he kill? Five or six? My colleague and I were stunned when we realized it next day. Now, I don't know if we would have been going the same direction or if we'd have been on the same train. . .but just the thought at being on that line that day, the nightmare scenario of witnessing a shooting rampage like that all the while thinking about your carry piece locked at home in the safe, was enough to make me become a lawbreaker.
It pains me to say this, as a former military officer and general stand-up law abiding guy. But the hell with it. I'm packin. . .everywhere, period. NYC, Washington D.C, all the places with the worst gun restrictions are the ones where you need one the most. I carry a ton of life insurance, but I'd rather not have my family rely on it becuase I got popped by some cranked up thug on some big city subway somewhere. I pay my life insurance premiums on time and I carry life insurance on my hip. I know once you start picking and choosing the laws you want to follow that's a slippery slope. This is definitely a problematic issue. I don't LIKE the idea that I'm breaking the law, I hate it. But I rationalize it in my mind by realizing that it is not only a bad law, but one which restricts one of our most fundamental of rights, self defense, and that of our family. These are bad laws, people, and we ought to work to repeal them. I don't need some Harvard educated lawyer on the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution for me. I'm pretty well educated and English is not my second language, and I'm well read on the framers intent. I'm not wrong the Harvard law types are. So don't feel guilty if you disobey these laws. I respect those who choose to follow them, but I don't feel guilty if I disobey them.
In my story, I was not on that train. How about that Texas Congresswoman (her name escapes me at the moment) who watched both her parents shot by a madman in a McDonalds in Texas a few years ago? I believe she had a gun in the car, if I remember correctly. Don't drink and drive, don't do drugs, don't evade your taxes, don't litter, for crying out loud. But carry your gun. Please. It's the right thing to do.