I remember my first time at a gun show like it was yesterday: I was 16, at the Tanner Gun show in Denver, Colorado with my dad, looking for a nice piece to protect our home with. While it wasn't my first time around a firearm, it was my first time around thousands of them. The sight was overwhelming. Everything in this place caught both my attention, and curiosity. Seriously, I couldn't move an inch without having to stop and examine EVERY firearm in front of me; the make, caliber, model, mags and capacities, etc, i studies it all. An hour in and I still hadn't moved more than 50ft. It's safe to say that guns intrigue me. And not only the firearms themselves, but the idea of having one.
As you know, our country has been butting-heads on the topic of our Second Amendment and the rights we are entitled to constitutionally. The increase of shootings and the media's biased coverage created a fog that covered the reality of firearms; all of which I was able to see through. To me, the idea of being armed and having a fighting chance in a life or death situation not only seemed like a good idea, but bad-frickin-ass. I loved the idea of having a firearm so much that I would day dream about being the hero in critical situations: That a psychotic schmuck packing an AR-15 intending to go on a killing spree, would be stopped by me and my expert marksmanship. That as soon as sh*t hit the fan, I'd be ready to go.
See, I love the idea of being prepared, I also truly care about the well being of the people around me. As great as that is though, one key element would fly over my head: the reality behind those situations. Now, if you conceal carry, you know what I'm talking about. You know that when a life or death situation occurs, we don't act the way we imagine. Perception vs. Reality. To be completely honest, reality is a lot different than you think. As a 16 year old, I thought stopping a shooter was as easy as 1,2,3: 1.) Unholster 2.) Aim for head or extremities 3.) Deliver the shot. Sounds cool, and simple! The image painted seems so real and plausible, when it's actually very far from the truth. Hell, at one point I thought the process of getting a concealed carry was easy: Buy a gun, get a permit, use it in a life or death situation. It sounds dumb, but it's how I thought at first. Unless you do your homework, you really do think this whole thing is that easy.
As I write this, I can't help but think about how naive I use to be. I do however commend myself for having a "save a life" mentality. I elaborated on my thought process of how I can eliminate a hostile target, but the motive for doing so was much greater than the action. It's vital that we as citizens have a fighting chance in every possible-life-threatening situation. In addition to such, it's also important to remember that our firearm is a last resort. I feel like it's very easy to get caught up in the "save a life" mentality, which isn't bad, but we need to pray that those situations never happen to us in the first place. We need to hope that our firearm never needs to be drawn. We absolutely should be as prepared as possible in case they DO happen, but we need to hope that we never have to live such an experience. I would have to say that younger folk around my age (early twenties) are more susceptible to this thinking. It's important to realize that as a firearm carrier, we have the ability to preserve life, and end it. While both are true, it is vital that we carry for the sake of saving lives, not for ending them.