credit: frontpage magazine.com

The first six installments of this series:

A Gun Ownership Primer: The Philosophy Of Gun Ownership 

A Gun Ownership Primer, Part 2: Does Evil Exist?

A Gun Ownership Primer: Is Killing Morally Justified? Part 1 

A Gun Ownership Primer: Is Killing Morally Justified? 

A Gun Ownership Primer: Political Realities, Part 1 

A Gun Ownership Primer: Political Realities, Part 2

If you’ve already read the first six articles in this series you have at least a basic background in the philosophical, theological and political implications of weapon ownership and use.  This article–and the next two–concern practical, moral and legal issues, as well as exploring some of the primary ways that carrying a concealed weapon must necessarily change one’s life.  Keep in mind that I am not an attorney, and that you are responsible for becoming familiar with the law where you live and wherever you travel.  An article I wrote–more in a serious vein–on the same topic may also be worth your time.

NOTE: A quick aside on the issue of carrying firearms while traveling.  Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots was traveling through New York City on December 15, 2011.  His handgun was unloaded and cased as federal law requires for airline travel.  When he asked for a firearms declaration from an airline ticket agent so he could follow federal law to the letter, the NYC police arrested and jailed him for a felony violation of NYC’s firearm laws.  Meckler’s case was eventually bargained down to an administrative violation, but NYC lawlessly refused to return his handgun.  Read Meckler’s entire statement and understand that despite the Second Amendment, despite the Heller and McDonald decisions affirming it, some cities and states ignore the Constitution and will prosecute and persecute gun owners.  Meckler is not the only law-abiding citizen caught up in this lawless web.

Awareness

Walk down any street and take the time to assess the situational awareness of those you meet.  What’s “situational awareness?”  It’s a very familiar term to police officers, soldiers, and others who engage in risky, dangerous endeavors.  Think of it as a heightened alertness combined with the ability to predict what might happen in any situation.  Most people walk around in a fog, almost completely unaware of what is happening outside of their “personal space,” that bubble extending to arm’s length or less.  It is this lack of situational awareness that helps killers fire many shots into crowds or classrooms before anyone is aware of what is happening.  In the aftermath of such attacks, people often say: “I didn’t see it coming,” or “it all happened so fast.”  That’s because few people consciously develop situational awareness.

Those who have developed situational awareness know about what I speak.  Every day they marvel at their lack of consciousness of the general public.  A stunning example occurred in 2013 on a commuter train in San Francisco.  On that day, a man shot and killed a university student, chosing him at random.  But that’s not what’s stunning:

credit: gotechweb.com

The man drew the gun several times on the crowded San Francisco commuter train, with surveillance video showing him pointing it across the aisle without anyone noticing and then putting it back against his side, according to authorities.

The other passengers were so absorbed in their phones and tablets they didn’t notice the gunman until he randomly shot and killed a university student, authorities said.

Before that moment, footage showed the man pull out the .45-caliber pistol and once wipe his nose with the hand holding the weapon…

See that man approaching you on the sidewalk?  Notice that if he looks at you at all, it will only be, at best, a quick glance at your face.  His mouth may turn up at the corners in a semi-smile, or it may not.  Notice that no one looks up; virtually no one looks higher than the level of people’s faces.  The next time you walk down a familiar downtown block in your community, concentrate on looking up.  You’ll be amazed at the details you’ve missed.

In the same vein, virtually no one looks behind them.  Consider how vulnerable this lack of situational awareness makes people to two legged predators.  This is one of the primary reasons they can be successful, for in truth, the Hollywood stereotype of the criminal mastermind is almost entirely fantasy.  Most criminals are not bright, but many do possess a kind of animal cunning.  In true survival of the fittest style criminals tend to prey on those that appear to be weak and/or distracted, hence, vulnerable.  The ubiquity of smart phones has been a boon for criminals.

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