If you have been around this internet enough and have read the articles on more than three articles about carrying a weapon for self-defense, you have read a post by someone with a screen name like “combatvet[insert war here]super_tough_sniper_specialforces_guy” that they would never take any guff from a mugger/gang banger/[insert other derogatory term here], that they would whip out their concealed fully automatic [insert favorite firearm manufacturer] and eliminate the threat with 1 shot. (Or two magazines worth, depending on who is typing.)
Through all that bravado, I sometimes wonder a) if that commenter is really a combat vet special forces sniper and b) if they have really thought through the gravity of taking someone’s life.
Every single human on this planet is unique, created special. When they die, no one else will ever be able to replace them.
If you kill someone, justified or not, it is not something you can undo.
It is serious enough when you have to kill someone in the gravest extreme. But what if you get it wrong? What if you shoot and kill someone that wasn’t a mortal threat to you or someone else? Can you picture living with yourself after that event?
I bring this up because of this article I read today. To summarize, dude wearing a black shirt takes three people hostage in an apartment. As sheriffs surround the apartment, two people come running out the door. The first guy was wearing a white shirt, with an unarmed guy in a black shirt, covered in blood, scrambling out the door immediately behind him. Three deputies fire on the guy in the black shirt, killing him (and wounding the obvious hostage as well). They go inside to secure the apartment and find the true hostage taker still inside with the third hostage. After they arrested the real hostage taker, what do you think was going through the minds of the three deputies who fired then?
I am not criticizing the deputies. In this case, it appears they were faced with what seemed like a fairly clear choice. And they chose wrong.
Forget the legal hassles – every day for the rest of their lives those three are going to have to look in the mirror in the morning and face the possibility of the seeing a killer of an innocent who for a split second happened to look deadly.
So for all the citizens out there who carry a weapon to defend themselves and others, have you seriously asked yourself “Am I prepared to live with my conscience if I take the life of someone who should not have died?”
If no, then you need to do some more thinking.
If you can answer sear your heart and answer yes, yes I love life, yes I love my family and friends and neighbors, yes I love my coworkers (because hopefully you work at a place where you can carry), then welcome. Strap your iron on and go about your day.