Before I leave my house every morning, I grab the following: wallet, phone, car keys, and above all else, yes, pistol. Why? I think that most people get us (combat veterans) wrong especially when it comes to concealed carry. We get portrayed by the media as hyper vigilant people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and many other combat-related issues. Although that may be the case for many of us, myself included, that is not the reason that we carry. I honestly believe that we carry for a multitude of reasons.

The main reason: Who better, more reliable, trusted, and tested than us to carry? We’ve been trained to fire weapons, and who do you want close by you when that active shooter situation hits home? Do you want the anti-gun liberal who lives in the land of unicorns by your side curled up in a ball, or would you rather rely on yourself? Police do their absolute best, but an average response time is 10 minutes at best.

There is not time to wait. It is our God given and constitutional right to always be in control of our own destiny. We, unlike most countries, have the ability to exercise this right because of the 2nd Amendment. We do this to protect our self, our family, our loved ones, and yes the general public if needed. Who better than us to be that possible combat multiplier if needed, we are trained to respond to threats, we can show restraint but will without a doubt pull that trigger if needed and we don’t run and hide?

Next: “We ARE hyper vigilant in a way, absolutely!” I wish that all Americans were hyper vigilant. I wish that all Americans would consistently use a good mixture of common sense and situational awareness because those two basic life skills will keep you, your family, and the people around you safe. The great thing about leaning more hyper vigilant is your prepared for that one in a thousand chance you may need a firearm and being prepared is much more powerful and practical than hoping that evil does not exist. Time after time we see that Evil does exist. I can list off the horrible stories but you have all heard and seen them first hand. We (Combat Veterans) understand that everyday life back home is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Going to work is not the same as rolling out the gate on a combat patrol however we can still use some of the things that we learned through training and experience downrange in everyday life. What is the weather going to be like today? Where are we going be traveling to throughout the day? What is the overall threat assessment of your planned day? What are the three most likely events that could take place where you might need a firearm? Most importantly what firearm makes the most sense for that particular day / schedule? We don’t have to have a mission plan to leave the driveway however a quick common sense plan of action for any worse case scenario takes only a minute or two. (EXAMPLE) My mother in law is flying back to Texas and I have to bring her to the Savannah GA, airport late at night. In order to get from where I live to the Airport I will have to go through, “shall we say” one of the less friendly neighborhoods in town. What are the risks? 1000 to 1 nothing will ever happen. However If something does I don’t have time to go back home, I do not get to take a mulligan. I pack accordingly, it takes an additional one minute planning. I do two things that make the 1 in a thousand worse case scenarios less likely. I fuel up in the nicer part of town and pack a higher caliber firearm with an additional magazine. If I get stopped at a red light in that part of town I use common sense and situational awareness to give me my greatest asset in all bad situations, time to react. Am I insane for thinking this way? No. I think that people who don’t think this way are insane or insanely stupid. Skittles, you like skittles. Who doesn’t. If there were 1,000 skittles in a jar and one of them was going to kill you would you eat any of the skittles? If you said yes then – the answer is – YOU’RE STUPID.

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Reason #3. For all you fathers or mothers out there, your number one mission in life is to always keep your kids safe. Is it “insane” given the times that we live in today to want to always have the tools needed to keep your kids safe? I don’t think that is crazy and in fact I think that is very much what any responsible person would and should be ready for. Simple rule that I have for everyday carry. If it is just me going out, Light is Might, one magazine is a typical carry. If I have my kids in the car I will add some capacity, up the caliber and even have a back up magazine. Why? Why not!

Lastly: We carry because most others will not. We carry because the burden or responsibility to carry everyday is just to much for people these days. We are comfortable stepping up and we will “carry” that burden. For all the people who are scared of firearms, for the people don’t believe in our constitutional right to carry we carry for them. For all the people who I mentioned earlier, the folks who “Live in this magical place full of unicorns and lollipops and where evil does not exist”; for all of those folks we carry.

We carry for our family, we carry for our loved ones, we carry for our fellow American brothers and sisters. We were the first ones to raise our right hand to protect this country abroad. We were willing and able to travel to distant places in order to fight and win wars for our country and we are happy to if needed carry that burden and responsibility of providing additional security where ever we may be.