As some of you who follow me on Twitter or read my personal blog may know, I took up running last year. While I do have to use the treadmill for the better part of the year here in the Frozen Tundra, I love to get out onto our local nature trail to bust out a few miles in the fresh Dairy State air.

On my run, or rather my attempt to run this morning, I passed a lovely couple with a sweet little baby in a stroller on my way up into the woods. “How cute!” I thought. A regular, suburban looking couple, mid 30’s and professional looking, and a very expensive stroller, I noted they didn’t look like the regular country folk like me who frequent the rough trail.

I happened to pass them on my way back as well and stopped to ask about and admire their beautiful little bundle of joy. In speaking with them, I found out that they recently moved out of the city for a safer, quieter country neighborhood in my neck of the woods.

Never one to let an opportunity go to waste, I asked them if they felt the trail was safe, and told them I frequently run alone at different quieter times like very early morning or just before dark. “I guess I haven’t really thought about it,” the new dad told me, “I guess if she (his wife) were out here alone, I might tell her to be cautious. I mean, you never know who could be hiding down off the trail. Now that I think about it, this is kind of a prime spot for anyone looking to snatch someone up. Wow, I never thought about that before!”

I asked them if they would feel safer if someone were carrying a gun for protection on the trail. Her eyes immediately got bigger and she grabbed my arm and said, “Oh my gosh, do you have a gun!?” I laughed and told them I have my concealed carry permit and that I always carry which surprisingly seemed to put them both at ease.

I spoke a little more about the importance of owning our personal safety, and how I’m ready and willing to protect those around me as well, even in our little rural community. I also told them about a recent break in at the home of a friend of mine only two miles from our house and his story resonated with them deeply.

My friend Dan was feeding his newborn baby at 3am and heard the side door from his attached garage squeak. Since that door doesn’t always close tightly, he figured it wasn’t closed and was blowing open from the wind. However, the door opened wider and he saw the beam of a flashlight shine down the hall. Jumping to action, he gave the baby to his wife still in bed and looked around the bedroom for something to grab in defense from the intruder creeping down the hall toward his family. Not finding anything, Dan jumped out into the hall and screamed, “Get out of my house!! I’ve got a gun!!!” (only a little more colorful, I’m sure).

While this thankfully scared off the intruder, it also prompted Dan to start carrying a handgun and has a lot of residents of our very rural community, myself included, talking about self defense and the Second Amendment. The young couple on the trail this morning hadn’t heard of Dan’s break in, and if I hadn’t stopped to talk to them, I wonder if they ever would have ever considered the potential danger on the local nature trail, either.

This is why I say we should always be talking; talk to your neighbors, talk to the person behind you in line at the grocery store, reach out to someone at the library, post office, bank, school – wherever there are people, you should be talking about carrying. Bloomberg and Watts are working hard to spread the ignorant stereotypes of gun owners and citizens, so when we have an opportunity to dispel those stereotypes, we need to do so.

We are the face of the Second Amendment, the front line of truth in why we carry and how we are responsible for our self defense as well protecting those around us. Never let an opportunity to educate others go to waste.

You may just save a life in the process.