Every police officer in the United States carries a firearm, almost always a pistol. Although there are some countries where police don’t carry guns, those are clearly in the minority. On the other extreme, there are a number of countries where police are typically armed with fully automatic rifles, looking like paramilitary troops, more than cops.
So why do police carry? The answer to that is two-fold. First, police go into dangerous situations and therefore need the ability to defend themselves. Becoming a police officer does not eliminate one’s right to defend themselves. The same laws which allow us to use deadly force to defend ourselves, also allow law enforcement officers to defend themselves.
But there’s a second reason why police carry; that’s to defend society in general. While the courts have decided that police have no obligation to defend society, their cruisers often have the words “to serve and protect” or “to protect and defend” on them. Law enforcement officers are dedicated to the job of protecting all law-abiding citizens, everywhere, and even to protect the criminals that they track down and capture.
While police go into dangerous situations much more often than you or I do, we all live in the same world, with the same dangers. So we are likely to encounter those dangers sometime. We just don’t know when that sometime will be. But when it comes, it would be good to be able to defend ourselves.
Carrying concealed provides us with the tools to do just that. An armed society is one that is able to defend itself. This leads to reduced crime rates, as criminals don’t want to face off against victims who can defend themselves. They want to use their guns to intimidate people; they don’t want to have to shoot. Shooting crosses a line that they can never cross back over.
Seventy percent of the time that someone with a concealed carry license draws their gun, there’s no need to shoot. Just the presence of an armed individual is enough to cause the criminal to flee. They don’t want to get into a shootout and risk either getting shot or shooting someone and getting tried for second-degree murder.
By carrying concealed you not only defend yourself and your family, but by extension everyone around you. Anyplace you happen to be is safer from criminals, whether that be a restaurant, store, your home or stopping in at the bank. It’s just like police presence makes a place safer. Someone there who is armed and ready to deal with any armed criminals makes that place safer for everyone else too. While your hidden gun and presence won’t be a deterrent, you’ll be in position to help thwart a crime.
Of course, that means that you need to be ready, not just be carrying. In other words, you need to be trained in what to do and have practiced enough that you are ready to do it well. Considering that adrenalin in your system will reduce your ability to shoot accurately, that means being a much better shot than what’s necessary for the moment.
In addition, you have to have your gun on you. That means carrying at all times. It doesn’t do any good to have a concealed carry license and leave your gun in the nightstand, while you are sitting in the living room, watching television. If someone kicks in your door for a home invasion, they’re not going to give you time to run back to your bedroom to grab your gun.