Why Carry a Firearm?

This article is for the adult audience.  Obviously, carring a firearm (concealed or open) requires extreme responsibility and training.  If you are not prepared for the responsibilities that are involved in carrying a firearm DO NOT carry one.  Also, if you are going to carry be sure to know and abide by all the laws in your state.

Personally, I do carry a pistol.  Many may think, why would you carry a pistol? You are a martial arts expert.  You are a highly ranked black belt and an expert in self-defense. Here’s the reality: yes, I am a martial arts expert.  Yes I am a personal protection and self-defense expert.  Yes, I’ve used my empty handed skills to fight off punks, bullies, drunks, and such as a five year bouncer.  I’ve got ring experience and street experience in the empty hand realm.  I know what I am capable of.  I’m also realistic.

Any martial arts instructor who tells you that being a black belt means you can fight off anybody bare handed, even if the attacker has a weapon, is in la la land.  This isn’t a movie.  This is reality.  Any martial arts instructor who tells you that she doesn’t need a weapon because she is a black belt and doesn’t need one is in serious denial, and you can bet she’s never been in a fight in her life.

A twenty year old black belt walking down the street who gets approached by five gang bangers getting ready to mug him will be a hurting unit if he isn’t armed.  Anybody who disagrees with that is seriously BRAINWASHED.

Ultimately, my belief is that life is about being kind.  Being humble. Being honest.  Being honorable.  It’s about always doing the right thing.  It’s about WHAT’S right not WHO’S right.  I would much rather be your friend than your enemy.  I would much rather see a smile on your face than a frown.  I would much rather shake your hand than punch you in the face.

I will say, however, as kind as I am; all the nice things I do for people; how well I can fight; and so on doesn’t matter to the criminal.  Nothing will stop him from trying to kill me.  He doesn’t care that I am a nice guy.  He doesn’t care that I can protect myself.  It won’t stop him.   Any martial arts instructor who tells you differently is just trying to SELL you something that will get you seriously injured someday.

I suggest you get a book called “Meditations on Violence” by Rory Miller (no relation).  Miller explains the TRUTH about martial arts training and how it relates to real world violence.  It will be an eye opener for most martial arts students who are ignorant of what they are actually learning – or more appropriately NOT learning.  I teach a “realistic” approach to self-defense and that book puts it all into words.

I could write an entire novel about carrying of firearms.  The reason I am writing this article is because I came across an awesome article that I wanted to share will all of you about this topic.  Here it is:

–The Munchkin Wrangler

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, thats it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that wed be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the muggers potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiatit has no validity when most of a muggers potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and thats the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then theres the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones dont constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon thats as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldnt work as well as a force equalizer if it wasnt both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I dont do so because I am looking for a fight, but because Im looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I dont carry it because Im afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesnt limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation and thats why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

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I hope you enjoyed this article.  I am not telling you to go get a firearm and carry.  I’m telling you, however, that violence is getting worse and it has nothing to do with the carrying of firearms.  My belief is that if we all carried appropriately the violence would decrease drastically.  The criminals will always find ways to get firearms.  If you don’t have one and he does the only thing that will get you out safely is luck and the grace of God.

About the Author:

Michael Miller is an international real world self-defense and fitness expert who holds a 5th degree black belt in American Kenpo (a modern reality based system of self-defense based on logic and reason), an ex boxer, a Joe Lewis Fighting Systems student under Joe Lewis, a Gracie Barra No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu student, and a Mixed Martial Arts  (MMA) and boxing trainer/coach. He also studies the Center Axis Relock system of firearms. He operates his full-time school, Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo, in Bradford, Pa. He is also a writer who has been featured in Inside Kung-fu and Black Belt magazines several times as an authority in his field and is the author of the Legends of Kenpo biography series.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in writing with a minor in sociology.  He can be reached by e-mail at michael.miller@millersdojo.com or by phone at 814-368-3725.