This was edited on December 2, 2015 to read Reactive Defender instead of Reactionary, following some readers pointing out the word reactionary has a distinct political connotation.
I want to take a moment and discuss a subject and undertone that is present in a lot of concealed carry conversation. One that delves into what it really means to walk around with a firearm on our person, as civilians.
If you hear, read or watch anything related to concealed carry you will eventually hear the term “sheep dog.” Sheep dog is a rather innocuous term. It draws to mind a shaggy dog, maybe with hair in its eyes, overseeing a flock of sheep with the farmer nearby.
Unfortunately some have decided that carrying a concealed handgun makes them something akin to that docile canine overseeing the flock; except in their minds they are overseeing a flock of sheeple.
From Wikipedia: Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a derogatory term that highlights the herd behavior of people by likening them to sheep, a herd animal. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research.)
I believe the sheep dog mentality is dangerous and even leads to bad habits. Why? Simply put, upon receiving my Texas CHL, I was not sworn to protect anyone or anything. I don’t carry a badge; I don’t have the weight of law behind me. I am an average guy that carries a firearm virtually everywhere I go. I do so to protect my family and those I love. If I happen to be somewhere and a bad situation develops in front of me and I can safely intervene to reduce the risk of injury, casualty or death, then I have the option; that does not grant me the latitude to go seek out criminal elements.
The civilian with a firearm carries it for defensive use. Law Enforcement, Military; they carry to protect themselves AND enter into harm’s way and hunt evil doers. That use by definition is both defensive and offensive. They are First Responders.
If I decide to start chasing down criminals without the legal authority to do so, I have become a vigilante.
So what do I consider those who chose the CCW/CHL lifestyle? Reactive Defender.
I can and will defend my life and those around me within my means. Carrying a gun is serious business and it should be treated as such. It is not a joke, it should not make you feel like Rambo, or cool, or anything else. It should be as mundane as carrying your wallet or a flashlight (you do carry a flashlight, right?), both of which you will use 99.99% more often than a firearm, gun range notwithstanding.
Reactive Defender. A term that I feel better aligns with why we actually carry and sounds less arrogant to those on the fence about gun control.
Give Thanks what you have, work for what you want and nourish what is important – family and friends.
About the hack author –
After hounding Caleb for over a year, I finally got a chance to write for Gun Nuts Media. I am an helicopter mechanic turn manager by trade and hot rodder/car nut by birth. In addition to wasting money on hot rods I have always been a gun nut, have had a CCW for about 10 years and recently started competition shooting. I am an avid concealed carrier, but I don’t consider myself a Timmy. I like mechanical things, going fast, making noise and fabricating things with my hand. I fix stuff. I may explore some different subjects here, if Caleb lets me. Being of a mechanic background, I am not a writer by trade or training. You may find my post to be incoherent and poorly written or you may embrace them, rejoicing in the uniqueness and quality they add to your life. Either way, I had fun writing them and I am happy to be here.