Deciding to Carry

Making the Decision to Carry a Concealed Handgun

Drew Beatty

Like most of you reading this, I made the decision to carry a firearm after a long period of contemplation and forethought. Owning and carrying a firearm for personal protection is not a light decision. No one in my family while growing up even considered carrying, partly because it wasn’t a right that was as easily exercised then and partly … well … because they never even thought about it.

Prior to getting my concealed handgun permit, I made the decision in my early 20s to carry a pistol with me in my vehicle regularly. This was in the mid-1990s. I remember coming to this decision after a particularly violent outburst of gang activity in my city. There seemed to be weekly shootings and other violent episodes committed by gangs. That year is still a benchmark year for violent crime in my city. One incident involved a carload of gangsters shooting at another carload of gangsters while racing down a road near where I worked at the time.

The primary driver of my decision was self-preservation. After reading about these gang incidents in the local paper, I asked myself, “What would I do if I were caught in the middle of this?” The obvious answer was, “flee.” But what if for some reason I couldn’t flee? What if I were forced to defend myself or die? I realized that I had no adequate answer to that question.

This observation led me to the decision to be armed and prepared. No one who was forced to defend his life had planned to do so. I decided that I wasn’t being paranoid, I was simply being practical. I am responsible for my life, my well-being and my personal protection. Also, I like my life, and I want to live it. It’s mine to preserve, and I don’t like the idea of someone taking it from me. Violence and violent criminals are an element of human existence as old as time, and sometimes, innocent people like you and me, are involuntary victims of their choices. Nothing will ever change that.

With the passage of time I’ve come to realize that making the decision to be armed when I was younger was the correct and moral decision. I’ve never regretted it for a minute.

Life has changed for me quite a bit since the 1990s. I have a family to think of now. They need me. My responsibilities are even greater. There are others whose safety I’m responsible for. I’m prepared for the task of defending my family, largely because I made the decision to be armed when I was younger. I didn’t realize it then, but I do now: By making the choice to be an armed citizen back in my twenties, I was preparing myself for a lifetime of personal responsibility, self-reliance and preparedness that only a trained armed citizen can understand. And I’m proud of that.

Drew Beatty is a 50 year old husband and father, and a lifetime resident of the great state of Colorado. He is a long-time firearms enthusiast as well as a strong advocate for The Second Amendment.