Here is a question that I was faced with recently. And frankly, I wasn’t happy with my response. Not in the comments on Roberta’s blog, but see below.
As I’ve said, I live in a relatively free state where there at least is no requirement for a permit to own any shotguns, rifles, or handguns. But this state is what OpenCarry calls an “anomalous” open carry state. It’s allowed at the state level, but there’s no preemption preventing localities from restricting it. And some certainly do. So we have a patchwork of ordinances that make it legally risky to carry openly. There is at least preemption for concealed carry.
But none of that really matters while in one’s own home. So I carry openly regularly in my home. But a few days ago I had someone come by and ring my doorbell. Doesn’t happen very often for the simple reason that I’m relatively new to the area and don’t know enough people who come by without calling first.
Before opening the door, I panicked and chickened out. I immediately disarmed (except I forgot about the two spare mags in mag holsters on my left hip) and went to answer the door. It was a cub scout with his father selling all that funky flavored popcorn to raise money for his pack. I was more than willing (even though I’m not wild about popcorn) to support the scouts. (Some day maybe I’ll blog about my rather short lived experience with the scouts, but that’s for another time.)
So I let the cub scout and his father in and proceeded to pick something from the catalog. The father then saw the large amount of ammo that I had recently purchased (a clearance sale at a price I couldn’t refuse) sitting on my kitchen counter and asked if I was a firearms instructor. My response was, “No, not an instructor, just a fan.”
First, I chicken out and disarm, just at a time when being armed makes more sense than ever…after dark when someone I don’t know rings the doorbell. And second, I revert to the “fun” aspect of shooting instead of the “freedom” aspect. I had a perfect opportunity to talk to someone about the Arms = Freedom equation and I blew it.
As an aside, it turns out that the father was a retired LEO who had most recently worked in the metropolitan area closest to my home. He only recently retired and got a job paying about twice as much at a jewler’s shop, only to be laid off four months ago and is now looking for work. I don’t know why it surprised me, but it did bother me that the first thing this retired LEO assumed was that I was a firearms instructor.
I do hope he gets a job soon. Preferable at a local range teaching civilians how to shoot. If he’s any good, that is. (smirk)
I’ve read quite a bit over the past few years indicating that the majority of in-the-trenches officers are in favor of an armed citizenry, but it is the Chiefs of Police and other bureaucrats who are against it. But I also hear quite a bit about training — many non-LEOs spend a lot more time practicing than most LEOs. And regarding accuracy, the hit rate (hitting the intended target) and wrong person not getting shot (intended target was the correct target) also tend to favor the non-LEOs. I have no numbers at the moment, but I’m sure I can dig them up if anyone asks.
I’m on a mission, now, to find as many friends and relatives who are LEOs or former LEOs (my brother-in-law is at least one) and ask them what they think and why. If my sole reader (heh) can do the same, we might have something to report back.