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 inÂ 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.