Exploring carrying a gun
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  1. #1
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    Default Exploring carrying a gun

    Hi y'all! I do not currently own a handgun. I'm in Arizona, ex-military, and upstanding in my community (when I'm not down-sitting in my recliner with an iced tea, that is!). All to say: physically buying and carrying a gun is not the issue. I'm looking at a lot of different factors surrounding owning and carrying, and trying to decide if this is right for me. I'm hoping some of you will be willing to put up with my rambling thoughts and drop-kick me in the right directions.

    Hope y'all have a good Memorial Day weekend!
    Ed

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    Aim true ! NGF Addict! Coalcracker's Avatar
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    Senior Member creek21's Avatar
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    If you know before hand when bad things would happen you could just stay home. But you do not so carrying a gun will come in handy if needed. Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Get some training , maybe a NRA class and the instructor can help you along. Good Luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by creek21 View Post
    If you know before hand when bad things would happen you could just stay home. But you do not so carrying a gun will come in handy if needed. Rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Get some training , maybe a NRA class and the instructor can help you along. Good Luck
    All of that is a given. I was signed up for a CCW class for last weekend, but the class was cancelled - so I signed up for next month's class. In AZ, I don't need a permit to carry open or concealed, and as former military I don't need the class to get a permit. But I want to talk with an instructor and get to know and understand this whole situation.

    I've also seen some people who carry that really scare me! ANd many others that I don't know if they carry - but if they did I would run! I'm in my 60s (that used to be so old - but 70 is looking so much younger the closer I get to it!), and I do not want to be a scared, paranoid old man who thinks a gun makes him safe and powerful. I've only started thinking about this fairly recently - like the last 6-8 months - because for the most part my life is pretty laid back and non-threatening. Granted, it only takes one situation to burst that bubble, and the reason I started thinking about this is some situations that could have popped it real quick!

    But carrying a gun is going to change my lifestyle in so many ways. But as long as I have to make some changes, would I be better off making other changes in the other direction that mitigate the possible need for a gun?

    I'll start a thread soon that lays out what I'm thinking so y'all can talk back to me and give me perspective. After all, I'm just starting this, and you guys are way down the road. I'm glad to have someone I can talk to!

    Ed

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    Welcome from another Arizonan. You need to get a permit if you want to carry in other States. The Arizona permit is one of the most widely recognized of all CCW permits. Here is a reciprocity map:

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    welcome.........
    carry is a choice...........yours to choose to do or not.

    my lifestyle and perceptions are the same with or without a gun.....so there is no change there.

    i do not even bother to change my mode of dress.......i simply pocket carry and accept those limitations......and carry on as if i had no gun on my person...so i see any lifestyle changes as minimal....i just avoid small shallow pockets and large guns for carry.

    as for range idiots......well, there are idiots on the highway, parking lot, store, and and practically anywhere public.........all at some point doing something potentially dangerous to themselves or others by their actions......you can't fix stupid.
    .....so why penalize or handicap protecting yourself?
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    Aim true ! NGF Addict! Coalcracker's Avatar
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    Great post Siplace.
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    Siplace, you have outlined the first things I struggled with when I first thought of getting a gun. I wish you lived near me (I would never move to country that cold!!) so I could absord everything you've learned. But that's why I am here -- so I can still carry on the conversation.

    My first "I kinda wish I had a gun" thought was maybe 30 years ago. I live in the bottom SW corner of AZ, and work at a remote location about 35 miles out in the desert. The only road in and out is a paved two-lane. I was coming home one late night after a second shift and passed a slow-moving car. Glancing up in my mirror, I saw the car speeding up!! I knew that if they forced me off the road out there, it would be a long night before anyone found me.

    But that cooled off. The idea drifted across both my brain cells from time to time, but not really seriously. Mostly my life is pretty chill: I've worked at the same location for over 30 years; I've lived in the same neighborhood with no real issues for 20 years; I don't go places with rowdy crowds.

    What really got me thinking serious was joining the lock-up rotation at my church. Once a week, when almost everyone else is gone, it's time to walk around and check the fence, gates, and doors and set the alarm. Our church isn't in the best part of town, but it's okay for us. There's a mission a little ways down the street, a liquor store across the street one way, and a sketchy rent-by-day-or-hour motel right behind us the other way. Out there in the dark late at night is when the rats and roaches come out to play, and I got to feeling the vibes.

    One evening, a drunk came by and started hassling the guy standing out front, eventually getting into a wrestling match with him. Our guy won and the drunk was arrested. He was lucky - our guy is armed and LEO-trained. But it was the training in large part that enabled him to NOT pull, but do everything else first to end the conflict.

    I read the story about the lady who went berserk in a NJ WalMart. That was right after me and the wife came out of our WalMart one night, and I saw some dude wandering amid the cars. He never came close, but knowing he was there - and how many that I didn't see?? - made me wish I could defend if I had to. I'm not in shape for physical fight or flight. In a conflict I need a force multiplier.

    I think what gave me the final push was being outside the church one night and watching some homeless guy walk past our fence line with a rifle slung over his shoulder. It's legal in AZ, and if you're homeless where else ya gonna keep it? He seemed to not even notice us. But I noticed him. There were others down the sidewalk, but they didn't see him. If he had decided to unsling, I was the only person between him and my friends. And I had nothing!

    What's a gun? It doesn't make me stronger, invincible, or always right. It's a tool to correct certain specific situations. I've got enough tools that cost big bucks and were only for one job - but the job wasn't getting done without it, and the tool was worth every penny.

    A gun is not self-operating. It does take practice. I found that out in boot camp. I did go out shooting with some friends recently. They were working on skills and situations -- I was trying to get shots inside the target sheet at 5 yards!! I will not be the old guy who buys a gun because I'm scared and now I feel safe. I will not be the guy who carries but is a greater danger to himself and others than he is to the perp. I was shooting at our indoor range to practice for the CCW class using a borrowed .22, and the guy next to me was putting 3 rounds of 9mm in palm-sized groups at 7-10 yards. If I get a gun, that is my goal: consistently effective.

    My concerns are a bit more practical in terms of lifestyle changes. Most involve time and expense, and how much time do I have left to do all this, and is it worth it to get a gun and make *those* changes or forget the gun which mandates other changes?

    Ed

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    Like deputy said, to carry or not carry is a choice. You don't have to make that decision today. But the decision, in my opinion, you might want to make pretty soon is to buy a gun. You'll get a lot of opinions here and elsewhere about what to buy, and almost all of them will be reasonable but absolutely all of them will be better than not buying at all. Talk to your local gun shop; they'll have opinions, too, but there's will be slanted by the weight of their inventory. Even that's not terrible, assuming that their inventory is based on good gun-buying sense.

    So, get a gun. Since you're ex-military you know enough to handle it safely. You have plenty of time and opportunity to decide next steps. But there are a lot of politicians trying to decide whether to buy or not for you - and they're all leaning to the "Not" side of that. Beat them to the punch and then worry about carrying.

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