I originally had a different topic for this blog post. I was going to write about the importance of our 2A rights because of what is happening around the world in real-time. I decided to pivot because of a tragedy that just occurred in Maine the night before. I feel that there are some really important teachable moments from this horrific situation. I want to preface this blog post by saying that our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were affected by this senseless violence. We will honor those who were lost and our heart breaks for their families. On Wednesday night a madman with a history of mental illness reportedly was hearing voices in his head. Went into two different gun-free zones and murdered up to 18 people and wounded another 13. If you aren’t familiar, a gun-free zone is a civilian disarmament zone. These are all the rage in areas where either politicians have ruled or policies that prevent law-abiding citizens from having the ability to defend themselves or others. This policy is dangerous and as we increasingly see, flat-out dangerous. According to Dr John Lott, 94% of mass killings happen in a gun-free zone!! We have to ensure our safety when in public by taking important steps to keep our families safe. We will talk about what you can do.

First off, know where you are going. Depending on what state you live in will dictate how you potentially be able to defend yourself and your family. Here in Oregon if a GFZ is private property there is only a store policy that prevents the public from carrying a concealed firearm. It is my opinion that concealed is concealed. I carry into these types of situations for my safety and the safety of others. If the GFZ is public property there is a completely separate set of challenges that can restrict my ability to carry a gun concealed into those locations. The most dangerous terms that are related to this is “the grounds adjacent to.” This can ensnare and entrap law-abiding citizens who unknowingly step foot on public property without knowing that it could be off limits. One important part of this process is your mindset. Do you feel comfortable carrying a gun in a non-permissive environment? Do you have a concealable firearm? Do you have a discreet holster? Does your outfit break up the outline of your firearm? These are all really important questions for you to be able to answer. If you can’t honestly answer “yes” to all of these questions. We suggest more training.

As a training company, it is our goal to be able to help produce prepared citizens because those who seek to further restrict us don’t want to admit that more guns in law-abiding citizens in public is a good thing. Our firearms are used up to 3 million times annually in lawful self-defense. Most times without a single shot being fired. This statistic comes from the FBI, a number that the politicians and lawmakers want to pretend doesn’t exist. They want this gun-free utopia. The problem with this thought is that it doesn’t take mental illness or the evil hearts of men! Believe it or not, our 2A rights are more relevant than they ever have been. Mostly because of the bad policies that have put us on this path to destruction, but they constantly double down, which puts us all more at risk. We have to all get involved. We have to push back on the misconceived notion that banning our guns will somehow magically fix all of the issues in our country. This is a pipe dream. America needs strong protectors who can step into the fire to save themselves or others.

As you go into the local GFZ, you have to have a plan. It is important to know your entry points of the location and your egress. In the event of violence, there will be sheer pandemonium and people will be rushing everywhere. This can be dangerous because people can trip, fall, and then become trampled by those who are trying to escape. Introducing a handgun in this situation also could be a really bad idea. One of my biggest fears is being shot by a fellow concealed carrier, off-duty law enforcement, or actual first responders who are showing up to secure the scene. There have been reports of concealed carriers being shot by law enforcement by mistake. There was an example in Colorado that comes to mind. In this type of situation, my handgun is more defensive than offensive. My firearm would only be offensive if I could get to that active threat quickly and could safely intervene without risking the lives of innocent people. It is really important to remember not to be a hero if you cannot do it without hurting others. I recommend to always being an asset to society, not a liability. The best gunfight that you can get into is the one that you can avoid. My gun is to protect myself or my family. There are so many things that could go wrong that could cost you your freedom or expose you to civil litigation. There is so much that goes into this situation, knowing all of the risks is important. One point I want to make is this blog post is for informational purposes only. I am by no means telling you what to do when you are carrying a gun in public. I am just trying to offer insights on how you could be vulnerable. This is NOT legal advice.

The best thing that we can do as a civilized society is to abolish the GFZ. This would make those who seek to hurt innocent people think twice because of the potential of an armed response. What people don’t like to admit is how this is a deterrent and potentially can help thwart an attack. Another thing that we have to do better on is funding for mental health. Here in America, we have a mental health problem, disguised as a gun problem. Sadly, real conversations can’t be had because there is no common ground between our elected officials. They kick the can down the road, nothing happens, a tragedy strikes and some come out to blame the guns. It is a vicious cycle. At the end of the day, we ALL want to save lives. We have come together before it is too late. Pray for the victims, pray for our country. Carry a gun every day! Until next time. Be safe!!