I have been following the news across the country closely. I saw a report yesterday from ABC News that reported on the wave of homicides across the country. It seemed like in every big city across the country had a homicide rate up over 100% over the previous years. In Portland, so far there have been 72 homicides, which puts them at a 100% increase over the previous year. Most of the violence has been considered “gang” violence, but there are innocent people being caught in the crossfire. Over the past few years there has been a push to defund the police, this coupled with lack of enforcement and prosecution has created a very dangerous perfect storm. There also has been a push by radical DA’s to reduce prison sentences. This puts everyone in a bad spot. Recent legislation here in Oregon limits where law abiding citizens can lawfully conceal a handgun with a permit. It actually creates a dangerous patchwork of laws that now can be enforced separately. It also makes it a criminal offense to “grounds adjacent to,” any public building. It is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to an $125,000 fine. Not to mention it does NOTHING to increase penalties for criminals, it potentially turns you and I into criminals.

What the new law does not address is “gun violence” in “gun free zones.” According to Dr. John Lott, from the Crime Research Prevention Center, the foremost leading expert in the country on this topic. 95% of all mass killings happen in a gun free zone. Gun free zones are any piece of property, that is publicly or privately owned. Normally they will have a sign posted saying that firearms are off limits on their property. Private property is considered a company policy and is not punishable by law. The only caveat here that is if you are to be caught concealed carrying, they can ask you to leave. If you do not leave you can be charged with trespassing. This is punishable in a court of law. So always carry discretely and comply if ever discovered. In public and federal buildings, under NO certain terms, try carrying a firearm into these locations. You will go to jail! Normally this would be considered a felony, so please don’t chance it. What is important to realize is that company policy paints a big target on the building and puts you in a dangerous position.

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Also on the rise is home invasions, car jacking’s, and a new phenomenon of smash grab type robberies. In most cases the presence of a firearm is there. While I’m not encouraging you to get into a shootout with a thug. I do believe in self preparation when it comes to your personal protection or the defense of your family. You literally are your own first responder. The police will not be there when you need them. They are at max capacity all over the state and are overwhelmed. There has been a major exodus of good officers over the past year, especially in the Portland area. My advice, buy a gun, learn how to use it, and carry it for your protection. There are studies that show that an armed populace is a safer populace. This contradicts the fear based emotions pushed by those that would seek to further take away our rights. What is lacking here is all sense of reasonableness. Do you think it is reasonable to defund public safety, then restrict the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families? I vote NO!! Most informed Oregonians would agree. Then why are we where we are? It’s because of apathy. We are complacent with then violence because we do not hold our elected officials accountable for their failed policies that have lead us all down this path. Apathy is killing us. We are always waiting for someone else to do the work that we all need to do. We have to get involved, we have to engage at a local level, all the way to a federal level.

The proper equipment and mindset will help keep you safe. Knowing where you are going in major cities and staying on busy roads will help ensure you stay alive. Have a plan and do not plan on just sight seeing. You are just asking for trouble. I typically have gear that will make sure I get to and from where I plan on going. It is common for me to have a handgun, an AR pistol, spare mags, and a plate carrier with me at all times. I am not looking for a fight but I want to be prepared at all times. I make sure all equipment is properly stored and discretely hidden. I also make sure I can get to it quickly if needed. All legal for me to have with me, for now!! You see the government has a problem with me and people like me exercising our 2A rights even though it has been the fault of the governments why we are in this situations. Meat eaters are going to eat meat. It is the viscous circle of life. My firearms are insurance that I get to go home. I have to act lawfully though. My gun will only ever be fired in self defense if my life or the life of someone else is ever in danger. Pray for our country and our cities. We need peace on our streets. We also need politicians that will stand up for the rights of their constituents. Politicians that will do better to set policy that will actually help stop the issues that we face. Drugs, mental health issues, and chronic homelessness lead to an uptick in person to person crimes. Very often these crimes become violent. It is nearly impossible to reason with someone in this mental state. Being able to deescalate the situation so you can escape safely is way that you can avoid changing your life and the life of others forever. Once that gun goes off there is no going back. Most criminals are emboldened right now because there are so few penalties for them. This is what we need changed in our society. For the sake of our children. Until next time, carry your gun. Be Safe!