Ten things non-gun people should know about CHP holders
1. We don't carry firearms so that we can ignore other basics of personal safety.
Every permit holder that I know realizes that almost all dangerous
situations can be avoided by vigilance, alertness and by simply making
wise choices about where one goes and what one does. We don't walk down
dark alleys. We lock our cars. We don't get intoxicated in public or
hang out around people who do. We park our cars in well lighted spots
and don't hang out in bad parts of town where we have no business. A
gun is our last resort, not our first.
2. We don't think we are cops, spies, or superheroes. We
aren't hoping that somebody tries to rob the convenience store while we
are there so we can shoot a criminal. We don't take it upon ourselves
to get involved in situations that are better handled by a 911 call or
by simply standing by and being a good witness. We don't believe our
guns give us any authority over our fellow citizens. We also aren't
here to be your unpaid volunteer bodyguard. We'll be glad to tell you
where we trained and point you to some good gun shops if you feel you
want to take this kind of responsibility for your personal safety.
Except for extraordinary circumstances your business is your business,
don't expect us to help you out of situations you could have avoided.
3. We are LESS likely, not more likely, to be involved in fights or "rage" incidents than the general public.
We recognize, better than many unarmed citizens, that we are
responsible for our actions. We take the responsibility of carrying a
firearm very seriously. We know that loss of temper, getting into
fights or angrily confronting someone after a traffic incident could
easily escalate into a dangerous situation. We are more likely to go
out of our way to avoid these situations. We don't pull our guns to
settle arguments or to attempt to threaten people into doing what we
4. We are responsible gun owners. We secure our firearms
so that children and other unauthorized people cannot access them. Most
of us have invested in safes, cases and lock boxes as well as other
security measures to keep our firearms secure. Many of us belong to
various organizations that promote firearms safety and ownership.
5. Guns are not unsafe or unpredictable. Modern firearms
are well made precision instruments. Pieces do not simply break off
causing them to fire. A hot day will not set them off. Most modern
firearms will not discharge even if dropped. There is no reason to be
afraid of a gun simply lying on a table or in a holster. It is not
going to discharge on its own.
6. We do not believe in the concept of "accidental discharges".
There are no accidental discharges only negligent discharges or
intentional discharges. We take responsibility for our actions and have
learned how to safely handle firearms. Any case you have ever heard of
about a gun "going off" was the result of negligence on somebody's
part. Our recognition of our responsibility and familiarity with
firearms makes us among the safest firearms owners in America.
7. Permit holders do their best to keep our concealed weapons exactly that: concealed.
However, there are times with an observant fellow citizen may spot our
firearm or the print of our firearm under our clothes. We are very
cognizant that concerns about terrorism and crime are in the forefront
of the minds of most citizens. We also realize that our society does
much to condition our fellow citizens to have sometimes irrational
fears about firearms. We would encourage citizens who do happen to spot
someone carrying a firearm to use good judgment and clear thinking if
they feel to need to take action. Please recognize that it's very
uncommon for a criminal to use a holster. However, if you feel the need
to report having spotted a firearm we would ask that you please be
specific and detailed in your call to the police or in your report to a
store manager or private security. Please don't generalize or
sensationalize what you observed. Comments like "there's a guy running
around in the store with a gun" or even simply "I saw a man with a gun
in the store" could possibly cause a misunderstanding as to the true
nature of the incident.
8. The fact that we carry a firearm to any given place does not mean that we believe that place to be inherently unsafe.
If we believe a place to be unsafe, most of us would avoid that place
all together if possible. However, we recognize that trouble could
occur at any place and at any time. Criminals do not observe "gun free
zones". If trouble does come, we do not want the only armed persons to
be perpetrators. Therefore, we don't usually make a determination about
whether or not to carry at any given time based on "how safe" we think
a location is.
9. Concealed weapon permit holders are an asset to the public in times of trouble.
The fact that most permit holders have the good judgment to stay out of
situations better handled by a 911 call or by simply being a careful
and vigilant witness does not mean that we would fail to act in
situations where the use of deadly force is appropriate to save lives.
Review of high profile public shooting incidents shows that when
killers are confronted by armed resistance they tend to either break
off the attack and flee or choose to end their own life. Lives are
saved when resistance engages a violent criminal. Lives are lost when
the criminal can do as he pleases.
10. The fact that criminals know that some of the population
may be armed at any given time helps to deter violence against all
citizens. Permit holders don't believe that every person should
necessarily be armed. We recognize that some people may not be
temperamentally suited to carry a firearm or simply may wish not to for
personal reasons. However we do encourage you to respect our right to
arm ourselves. Even if you choose not to carry a firearm yourself
please oppose measures to limit the ability of law abiding citizens to
be armed. As mentioned before: criminals do not observe "gun free
zones". Help by not supporting laws that require citizens to be unarmed