One of my favorite driving roads outside of Sioux Falls has an amazing corner on it. It’s like a wee-baby Corkscrew, almost, because you start going up a shallow hill, and then right after it crests there’s a shallow right hander followed by a banked left. It’s a great corner. When I’m driving with gusto, I know that the best way to take the corner is to keep my foot in right up until I hit the crest, the go hard on the brakes as late as possible. But that’s scary, because I’m essentially accelerating up a blind hill that I can’t see the road on the other side of.
But I do it anyway, because it’s fun, because it’s exciting, because the experience of telling my fear to “shut up” and brake late before the bend adds more to my life than not doing it. I don’t always drive this road, and I don’t always drive it hard, but when I do, I want to go for it. I don’t want my attitude to be one of fear.
I say this, because I’ve become more aware recently of a trend online among gun people, specifically CCW people. It goes along the lines of “I won’t go to That Place, because That Place bans guns.” They’re not saying it as a political statement, but rather a statement of not wanting to go someplace that doesn’t allow guns, or would frown upon the discovery of a gun. Whether it’s a place that actually has a “no guns” sign, or a friend’s party where you don’t want to be seen carrying, it’s the same thing.
That’s what got me thinking about the car analogy. Is driving in a spirited fashion more dangerous than plodding along at 45 mph studiously observing the speed limit? Certainly. It’s also a hell of a lot more fun. Is going to a movie without your gun more dangerous? Probably. But the question is whether or not you’re depriving yourself of a certain richness of experience because you’re not allowed to carry your gun in That Place. I would much rather spend the evening with some great friends having a good time without being able to carry than the opposite. But that’s my choice.
Luckily, there is a bit of a compromise solution: pocket guns. Going somewhere but can’t really carry a full size service pistol, but still want to be armed? Pocket guns man, pocket guns. There is a glut of great pocket pistols on the market right now, and they can really make it a lot easier to carry a gun when you’re going to a place that may not be cool with you having a gun. The real point of this article isn’t to convince you to carry a pocket pistol, though. That is probably a better solution than not carrying a gun, and lord knows I love a good pocket gun. But rather I want people to remember that there’s more to this life than carrying a gun; and when you start to define yourself by the fact that you carry a gun, you run the risk of losing out on some neat life experiences. I carry a gun…most of the time. But I also do lots of things where I don’t carry, like go to beerfests in the park. Because beerfests in the park are pretty awesome.