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The Dignity of Being Armed

I’ve generally believed when you make a decision to be armed, you try to do your best to be armed in all circumstances where you can. But sometimes, you just have to give in. Caleb seems to be in the same place, describing that there are no good solutions for jogging. When I used to bike regularly through Fairmount Park in Philly, I usually figured out a way to carry. It’s not difficult if you eschew the typical biker spandex and go with shorts and a loose t-shirt. You’ll probably print a bit, but if it’s legal, who cares.

But I don’t really concern myself anymore about difficult situations. When that comes up, I just leave it at home. I’m working in New Jersey now, which means generally not carrying very often. I don’t want to risk strapping on in the morning and then forgetting about it if I get called on-site. Do I worry about being unarmed? No. Not really. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I think mindset is more important than the weapon. Firearms are just tools. It’s the mindset that makes them weapons.

Statistically I’m taking a much bigger risk indulging in my love of fried foods and distilled/fermented beverages than I am leaving the gun at home. Caleb’s probably doing more to protect his life jogging than he would spending equivalent time driving car while armed. For most suburban dwelling middle class folks, the odds that you’re ever going see the balloon go up are smaller than being in a serious car wreck, or coming down with a life threatening illness before you’re 60.

But even for suburban dwellers, the odds of being the victim of a violent crime over a lifetime is not so insignificant as to make it something to just casually dismiss. Most of us know a few people in our lives that have been victims of violent crime. Maybe we only know a few more than have ever had cancer. Over the years thinking about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that carry is not a numbers game. If it were, we’d spend less time with the guns and more time at the gym, and we’d try to fly and take trains instead of driving places.

I believe the reason we all carry is because most of us demand a high level of personal autonomy, and the individual dignity that comes with that. That’s why people who have a weak sense of individuality don’t understand it, and why it’s such an affront to collectivist thinking. I’d much rather die in an accident, or from a health issue, than die on someone else’s terms. I can’t honestly think of a worse way to go.

If I were one of the 40,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, staring down the ISIS horde, I’d much rather having a gun in my hand, pondering a strategy for taking at least 5 barbarians with me, than have to contemplate submission. Even if submission would mean living, I’d rather die on my own terms, as a free thinking and acting individual, than submit to the barbarian horde.

That’s probably also why I’m not keen on spending more treasure helping the Arabs, but I’m willing to do so for the Kurds. The Arabs have largely thrown down their weapons and submitted when confronted. The Kurds are fighting, and at the end of the day I’m always going to be willing to throw my lot in with people who are willing to stand up for themselves, even against terrible odds. The reasons the Kurds are fighting barbarians are the same reasons we carry. It’s not about statistics, or odds, it’s about dignity.

15 Responses to “The Dignity of Being Armed”

  1. Asdf says:

    It was only a few years ago that I read an article about how “Western” Syrian society was. I believe it was in Time magazine. The article showed pictures of women going to nightclubs wearing tight jeans, men without Islamic beards, etc. They were just like us, and I still think they are.

    Which brings me to my point-

    We’re really no different from anybody else, no matter how much we’d like to think otherwise. We can very quickly fall into civil war or mass riots/civil unrest just the same as any other group of people. And the thought of being helpless should this happen is terrifying!

    But on the other hand, too many of us gun nuts are overweight and unhealthy, which is definitely a greater danger to us if we look at things statistically. The difference of course is that we control our own demise in that case.

  2. Steve says:

    Yes I agree with your statement: It’s the mindset that makes them weapons. Carrying is a great thing but being aware of your surroundings can save your life and others.

  3. Clay says:

    I agree, better to die on One’s feet than live on One’s knees.

    • Braden Lynch says:

      …except they want you on your knees so they can behead you. Your submission is often insufficient.

      Anyone who wants me disarmed has declared themselves to be my enemy. I do not throw that term around lightly. They are saying that at a minimum that they do not trust me (quite insulting) and in the worst case that they may want to threaten or use violence against me so I will do their bidding and they don’t like the idea that I might get defiant and say no to them because I can back it up with firepower.

  4. The_Jack says:

    I’ll give my advice: Dickies shortsleeve workshirt unbuttoned and bloused over my tshirt adn shorts. LCP in a Nemisis holster in the front pocket.

    Doesn’t flop or bounce and retains nicely.
    (Might not work so well for women I’ll admit).

    That said it’s more important to not go condition white when jogging. Since I run with my dog, I have the added reason to make sure we’re clear of other dogs and joggers as well.

  5. KM says:

    I think mindset is more important than the weapon. Firearms are just tools.

    True to a point.
    Bullets do more damage than throwing your brain at someone.

  6. Gerard says:

    You are adressing a complex question. I live in a peaceful suburban environment and the odds against me needing a firearm are small. The decison to carry is an intensely personal one, and has very little to do with the specific risks of needing a gun. That’s what the anti gunners will never understand.

  7. I try to carry as much as possible. If I can’t carry a gun because I’m in a slave state, I carry a knife. I get the feeling to just say Fuck It, and not carry. But I have to tell myself that that is not the best idea.

  8. James Nelson says:

    I carry all the time whether is is comfortable and/or convenient or not. For me it is not the odds of needing it, it is the consequences of needing it and not having it.
    I have personal experience with unexpectedly needing a personal firearm (home invasion while visiting a friend) and I wouldn’t have traded my firearm for anything at that moment. It turned out okay for the good guys.
    I don’t regret a dime of the money and time I have spent on guns accessories and training as I feel I have received my money’s worth. If I never need a gun again it was all worth it.

  9. Kirk Parker says:

    Jogging? Surely some kind of belly-band with a P3AT or LCP will give you the ability to be armed while running?

  10. WV Cycling says:

    I live in a tiny town that is about 2.5 miles in diameter at it’s widest. I’ve been CC’ing for about a week now. 5 o’clock is damned difficult to not have the grip become visible when my shirt’s a flapping around in the wind. Don’t give a darn for the most part.

    I’m on a fifteen pound bike with no body panels around me. Dogs, druggies, and hillbillies looking to pick a fight are always out there. I’m 5’6″, 130lb, and would get the shit kicked out of me if it was more than one on one.

    I never want to use my gun in a defense situation, but I’m damned ready.

    P.S. there’s armbands now that will hold a P3AT / LCP like an iphone. They’re sweet. Silicone printed dots on the inside to keep it from moving around so much, etc.

  11. Chris from AK says:

    We got a small fanny pack that holds a LCP sized handgun while jogging. Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks sewed a small holster attachment into it.

    Works great, doesn’t look out of place, and you can carry some dog poop bags easily.

  12. Brad says:

    Re: Kurds vs Iraqis

    I wouldn’t blame the Iraqis too much for bugging out when ISIS first rolled in. From what I have read the problem was with the senior officers and not the lower ranks. When the lower ranks saw that their commanders had already bugged out, they bugged out too. If just a sprinkling of American advisors had still been present, even with the senior officers bugging out, I don’t think the Iraqi army would have catastrophically collapsed.

    Note how the defenses of Iraq firmed up when ISIS closed in on the center of Iraq. Then people were defending their own homes and families as opposed to defending tribes and areas which supported Saddam when he was dictator and now apparently support ISIS.

    Apparently the current leadership of the Iraqi government has spent the last several years corrupting the Army by placing officers whose only virtue is as a pawn to the party of the leadership.

  13. Barry Hirsh says:

    First thing you gotta do is vote with your feet.

    I won’t go anyplace I can’t carry, therefore a fascist republic like New Jersey doesn’t even exist in my universe.

    Discussing what the gulag guards will let you get away with don’t git it.

    • Sebastian says:

      I live ten minutes form the border. There are significant ties between Southeast PA and New Jersey economically. I can do my best to avoid it, but avoiding it entirely is not an option for me, especially if I want to make a living.

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