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Guns, my life, personality, safety and the future. I'm lost and confused.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Freezebyte, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. Freezebyte

    Freezebyte member

    Dec 31, 2008
    I need help/suggestions/incite into something very deep and personal to me and this thread is going to be long, complex and personal. If you have nothing POSITIVE to say or contribute, PLEASE stay out and keep your opinion to yourself.

    I'll go into as much detail as I can without going overboard and hitting on the major points of my life up till now to help you know what im asking help about.

    I grew up with a father who taught me the responsibility and usage of guns. He had a few revolvers when I was growing up and sold them for money for other things and rarely used them except while in the woods for target shooting. He taught to ALWAYS treat weapons with respect and care for them. On a somber note, his father killed himself with a handgun after giving up on life from stress and alcohol when he was younger; something that still affects my father to this day. In short, I knew guns were to be respected and treated as such at all times. Guess that’s off to a good start.

    My first REAL gun was a .22LR Marlin rifle after years of pellet and BB guns. I got it when I was around 15-16. I have shot a few other guns from random people at various times but guns weren’t a huge factor in my life and I thought they were cool from what I saw of them, but I didn't get heavily into it.

    Since moving out finally when I turned 25 *back in summer 05* I began to really flex my independence muscles and started to see and experience the world in a new light, away from my parents upbringing and protection. I had thought owning my own gun for a few years up until now. Recently as of last year, I was very interested in purchasing a shotgun for home defense as I felt maybe it was time to invest in something could save me and my loved ones lives someday, especially with how things are going in this world.

    That being said, I grew up in a very safe and comfortable living in Montana where the world of crimes, gangs, thieves and what not were very foreign and far away from me. I only new and saw what I watched on the TV and movies. The idea of murders and shootings in my own neighborhood was simply beyond me, I couldn't grasp or understand living life like that. I was used to *and still am* staying in my "Safety bubble" where the world didn’t trouble or bother me and I didn’t’ go out of my way to leave my safety and comfort zone. This is something me and the girlfriend have discussed/argued about many times before in our relationship, but that’s whole nother topic

    Still living in Montana for the time being however, I have begun to really notice the changes around my once "peaceful" town. Murders rates have risen and gotten uncomfortably close to where I live or have spent time at. Crime has gotten higher with more vandalism, especially in regards to cars and houses that where once very quiet and safe neighborhoods, including my childhood house. For the past few years, the reports have been growing in regards to vandalism for people’s cars, breaking and stealing stuff from lawns and open garages. The safe and trustworthy neighborhood I grew up with was changing, and it scared me and my parents.

    They still live there and luckily, nothing major has happened other then some kids walking into their open garage one night and taking my fathers smoking pipes and tobacco, ignoring the thousands of dollars worth of downhill skiis, mountain bikes, hiking equipment and such. However, I can't help but wonder how long will it be for something very bad happens closer to my former upbringing home.

    I'm already seeing in my apartment neighborhood. It’s a lower income area due to the cheap nature of the apartments. It’s nice and clean and well lit, but for the first time in my life, I was experiencing cop sirens running through the back alleys, arrests for domestic disputes only a few doors away from me and a few people's doors being knocked on very late in the night and the shouting and screaming of arguments and fights only a wall away from me.

    Around my area, the signs of the times were also showing. Gang and wannabe gang signs and graffiti mark area’s here and there, on walls, sidewalks, buildings and sometimes signs. People are becoming more "weirder" and "sketchy" looking in the downtown area or when the night time comes. Teenagers zip around in crotch rockets at high speeds not caring who they cut off or how fast their going down narrow streets. I'm seeing ALOT more Goth looking and very depressed looking kids and teenagers wandering the streets at all times during the day that I can’t help but feel very unsafe and unsecure when I am around them, even in a public place. Going downtown at night just to a local bar scares the crap out of me, as I’m afraid im going to be hassled by some teens or jumped by a begger or robber, even though the likeylhood of such a thing in my town is very slim.

    Not more then a few weeks ago however, one of my local banks branch’s that I visited often was robbed by a guy with an assault weapon that fired into the ceiling and led the police on a chase across town. Only to have a gun fight between eachother and him going down. Now I began to feel VERY vulnerable, as if the black void and evils of the world that I pretended I was immune to, were start to slowly close in around me and my safety bubble was going to be popped.

    I grew up and am still a quiet natured computer nerd. I didn't have many friends in my life, and I was picked on and bullied most of my school years. I have few close friends still and I love my family dearly and have always honored my mother and father for all that they have done for me and my sister over the years. I know how it feels to be picked on and harassed so I have never had the courage or desire to do the same to other people, regardless of intent.

    I'm at a crossroads. I am feeling the pull of my independent self wanting to "take action" and "Be prepared" for whatever may come my way in the coming years. I feel compelled and pulled to start becoming more mentally stronger in myself and how I view society. I'm sick of feeling weak and unable to stand my ground against people. I hate having to feel like I’m completely useless in stressful situations, as if I couldn't protect myself as I just don't have that "fighting blood" within me. I have never been good with conflicts all my life, even to this day when my father has a temper fit, its VERY hard for me to summon up the courage to tell him to chill out. Or in another case, tell my best friend that he needs to get his act together and get mental help for himself so he can help support and raise his family of four children instead of drinking and refusing to take responsibility for his actions.

    Since purchasing my first ever handgun and gun in general for myself, i've been feeling a "torn" feeling between what I know, feel and felt all my life and what I could become if I decide if I wish to take a more "aggressive" stance at life and stop sitting on the sidelines waiting for fate/God to intervene with dangerous situations and deal with it accordingly.

    I was raised Lutheran and have Christ as my savior and i've learned much about myself and my faith as I have gotten older. At the same time, with my freedom of being on my own with my also Lutheran and very open minded girlfriend, we have many aspects and viewpoints that lean on the far left and also on the far right. I guess you could classify me as a "Centrist" that take both a little from the left and right viewpoints and none of anything I don't like.

    Which leads me up to this question that i've been pondering for sometime and not sure how or even if it can be answered. I believe in God and thought my faith is definitely not strong in comparison to some, I have to believe that over looking the course of my 28 years on this imperfect world that I have been watched over and protected by powers beyond my comprehension of understanding. It has served me well in that the words of the bible stating "God will only give you so much that you can handle"

    For the most part, I agree that the difficult times in my life at their points seemed impossible or unable to be solved. Yet time and time again, as my mother stated over and over when I was a child "Things work out in the end"

    And that leaves me to the biggest question I have for myself as a imperfect human being. How far and willing am I going to take my self defense and protection with a firearm too? Am I truly capable of being able to step up to this new mountain of unknowns to face evils and trouble that may or may not come my way? I've learned much about guns, safety and utilization and legal ramifications of guns in the few short months i've been a personal gun owner.

    I am having a personality clash. Part of me wishes to believe that this world is truly not getting better and that its simply not right or morally correct for me NOT to take my American right and freedom to arm myself to protect me and my loved ones from danger, which way or may not come Gods will dependent. However, I also feel a clash somehow going to this next step in personal security makes me feel not myself. I've always just waited things out and hoped for the best rather then taking stiff action to solve a solution. Basically, I crossed my fingers, did what I could and didn't lead myself or anyone else into sticky situations and fight my way out as a hero. I much preferred following the leader all my life and im at a crossroads to decide if I want to change that.

    I've been a good law abiding citizen all my life. A few speeding tickets and police pull over’s but beyond that, I have been pretty much a clean slate in regards to my criminal history, or lack thereof. I have known policemen and law enforcement officers both family and friend and I greatly respected and feared them. Is is that same fear that makes me VERY uneasy about taking up arms to protect myself from a situation or person that may or may not happen to me. The idea of having to face and talk to a police officer on the street if I was open carrying a gun around scares the living sh1t out of me. No joke, the concept of going to this next level of "freedom" and the whole legal and law can of worms it may open up compels me to say "Back the hell up, I’m not cut out for this kinda thing, I am not a conflict kind of person in a face to face basis, so I sure as hell don’t' need to be introducing new stress and trouble in my life by carrying around a firearm. I should just go back to being a quiet computer nerd, do my thing and hope fate/God protects me from such things”

    And there's what it boils down too. What do I leave to fate/chance/God and what do I do to take action on my part? How much am I willing to leave to the chance that something may or may not happen that will require my usage of a firearm against another human being vs keeping my faith and hope that it simply doesn't happen to me, but to someone else. The problem is, I AM that someone else TO someone else as well.

    I spoke with my father earlier tonight and I told him about the CCW course I had signed up for and his voice changed to his usual serious and stern tone. The conversation went something like this

    "Why would you want a CCW?"

    "I dunno, because I can, I like the idea that I can protect myself an others from threats from society. But its really scary at the same time, and im not sure if im ready for that level of responsibility yet or ever"

    "If you were living in LA or a another crime ridden city, I'd say absolutely, however your still living in Montana and the police will be asking ALOT of question and pulling you aside if they find out your carrying a piece"

    "Yeah true, I am concerned about, I’ve never been good about conflicts, let alone starting one"

    "I've thought about joining you on the CCW course but I’ve decided that im not going to. There is simply to much stress and responsibility that goes with. I carried my .44 mag when we went on family trips in the vehicle and when we camped but beyond, I simply don't see the reason to be armed 24/7 and I don’t want to be finger printed and watched by the government more then I already am”

    "I haven't made any decisions either way, but the older I get the more I realize that this world isn't getting much better and I feel it might be a bad idea not to start taking action to protect myself and others from society’s problems"

    "I wouldn't recommend it. Its simply to much for you to handle, especially with your mental condition *I am diagnosed with OCD and have been on medication for 10+ years* I remember years ago at the mall at the sporting good store I was managing watching a few gentlemen with pieces on their belts walking in and causing a real stir and worry among people around them. They said it was "Their God given and American right and freedom" I agreed but I also believed that was fine for hunting season and back woods trekking, NOT for walking around a public mall in, even though it may be legal. I asked them to leave and they did and I never saw them again"

    "I dunno dad, part of me is compelled and driven to try this and see how it feels to be empowered with so much power and responsibility. I've been so used to a safety shell and bubble all my life and I'm basically wonder if I want to really *pop* it or not"

    "Again, I don't recommend it. Carry bear spray and hit people with that and they will WISH they were dead and its alot more legal to carry around without disastrous results. My opinion is no, not to do it, but I can't tell you what to do, that’s up to you"

    What should I do? Do I finally test and stress the outer limits of who and what I am by becoming an armed citizen? Do I start taking in the stress and responsibility of carrying a firearm at my side and the ramifications that come with that? Or am I just going through this as another side hobby? Nothing more then "I want to try this and say, yes this is fun or no, this is boring, I’ve moving on?"

    Do I just keep to myself in my safety bubble and just keep living my comfortable and safe existence as myself and not stress my boundaries and keep hoping that fate/God/luck will be on my side in all future situations.

    I am asking for any incite suggestions, tips, personal experience and some prayers to help me come to a decision of what to do.

    If I am already uncomfortable with the idea of dealing with police and the legal ramifications and responsibilities of handling and carrying a firearm, is that that a big signal that I’m just not cut out to be one of the many "armed" US citizens? Am I just better of sticking to what I know best which is living my life how I see fit and comfortable and handle the bad/dangerous situations as they come and pray that somehow I or people in my life come out all right via fate/luck/God? Or do I take a stance and start to really stretch the outer of limits of who I am and who I can become and these are just the growing pains that I am not accustomed to for living in a safety net for so long.

    Thanks everyone for reading and listening in. I’m grateful for any words that can help me find clarity during this confusing time in my life.
  2. Mr Kablammo

    Mr Kablammo Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    If believe that the responsibility is more than you can take on at this time, don't CCW. But don't let another person, even your father, make your decisions for you. You can still get the license, if required in your state, and carry at your option. Better to have it and not need it... Don't let another person's lack of confidence and reality bleed over onto you.
  3. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Freeze it sounds like you've thought about it quite a bit and it appears you've already made the decision in your head not to. If you don't feel comfortable with everything that comes with CCW then don't do it. If you feel you might get stressed and put yourself or others in danger that's a really good reason not to.

    On another note I think you need to talk to someone other than your father about it. Maybe talk to some guys at the Range and see what they think or an NRA certified instructor and tell them your worries.

    Don't let anyone browbeat you into carrying or not carrying. Also remember it is not your personal duty to protect the rest of the world just to keep yourself safe and do the best you can. What I'm saying is don't try to be a hero.
  4. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois
    If you don't feel comfortable carrying a firearm, don't. It's that simple. It's not for everyone. As a private citizen you have no civic duty to be armed or to intervene in any incident that may happen in your presence.

    Carrying a firearm is a tremendous responsibility and it is good to see that you are think long and hard if it fits your lifestyle. Many people don't.

    The fact that you live in Montana, where violence is rare shouldn't enter in to your decision. It's generally true that if you don't live a criminal lifestyle orhang around with those who do, or go to the places they hang out that your chances of being a victim of a violent crime are very, very low. Still, it can happen anywhere.

    Make no mistake, carrying a gun will change your life. You may have to change the way you dress to conceal it. You will have people judge you for carrying a gun. I had people in my family question it the entire 22 years I was a police officer. There may be places you can't go or won't want to go anymore because you are armed.

    You've got a hard decision to make and it sounds like you are being very responsible about it. It is your decision. Don't let anyone make it for you and don't take any flak from anyone about it, no matter which way you go.
  5. HeavenlySword

    HeavenlySword Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    New Yorkistan
    After reading this twice... I will try to be positive. I will not insult you.

    Reality is reality. It will hit you and pop your little bubble if it is what I think it is.

    You are fairly lucky, having always been shielded, living in Montana. I come from the densest city on the face of the planet. My life was full of chaos and pain, but it has made me harder, stronger.

    If you believe
    I say, you do not understand. If you've had my experiences, you would see how you are able to feel 'secure', by the bloodshed of millions, starting from the Founding Fathers, to the hopeless Sherman crews throwing themselves against Panzer & Tiger formations, to the Marines kicking down doors today.

    And the willingness of past Americans, especially those such as Montanans, to embrace self responsibility- and make it clear criminals were not free to attack them, they were not to be sheep.

    Go read up at http://www.a-human-right.com/introduction.html

    Its fairly up to date, has even more knowledge than me, and is well laid out.
  6. Hungry Seagull

    Hungry Seagull member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Here and read what the Lord has to say Brother.

    Ephesians New Testament Chapter 4 in it's entirety.

    Verses 17 through to end and then Chapter 5 until end.

    Read, study and rest in the Lord with this thought.

    I normally dont bring Religion into it but your Faith closely follows mine except I was saved at 13 and kept out and sheltered from big city crime and other issues for a long time. Only to get right into it during my Trucking years where I have indeed gone into bad places.

    I grew up in a neighborhood that was one Anglo-German with some Dutch a few blocks down, it was possible to visit every type of culture across all the world and sample the life, foods and the people around the world on one simple trip across this city.

    But that neighborhood that I once knew is gone. It has been replaced with a people out of Latin America and others and no longer have any belief or other hold on tradition etc. Only for themselves. I dont care. That was then, you can never go back home.

    We normally would not have bought weapons and go to the range to train, learn and get accustomed to the weapons except for the constant decline in life in our state with home invasions and crime steadly migrating through the state.

    Dont be lost, dont be confused. REFUSE to accept fear and refuse to give yourself over to those who would like to see you adulterate and abuse the things that the Lord has done for you.

    You might actually have to think about moving again in the future to a even more remote area, possibly one that has seen others migrate to with the same feelings you have had and possibly even share a strong connection to the United States and things such as the 2nd Amendment. If you find such a community you can move there and live a life free and in peace for a while.

    But even then, we are not to be alarmed by danger in the night, disasters and great things occuring in the future. The Lord knows all things to come and we are not to be afraid. All things here will pass away and one day we will be with him and all of those before us and those to come until his Judgements is completed and all of this has passed away forever.

    Your duty is to provide for yourself, your family, care for those who cannot care for themselves and tend to your weaker parts of the whole body. Offer help or find ways to serve others with small useful tasks. Shun debt, credit card living and live free from your debtors.

    Dont worry about what will come in the future, no one can know.

    Sleep easy, sleep lightly and be careful with the laws in your area regarding weaponry.

    Every day we give thanks to our LEO's, First responders, Military Soldiers and Marines who go overseas to fight those that will come here and kill YOU and your family. Sometimes these Soldiers and Marines come back home damaged and unable to live well. Our job is to do whatever we can to help these people and perhaps tell them that what they have done is OK and that they can learn to live again.

    But remaining in a state of mind that these things of the world are not happening in your area where you live is essentially ignorning the warning thunder of the approaching storm. This is the time to do what you need to do to get ready as best as you can.

    It may not be the gangs and violence, unrest and trouble that gets you, perhaps that yellowstone near your area goes and buries the USA in ash a foot deep. Who knows?

    Dont be scared, you were not scared before, not is not the time to surrender to fear.

    Yes, prepare, train, arm, provision and relocate if necessary. But dont let fear dominate your thoughts.

    I used to walk through neighborhoods with a hand on my KA-Bar Blade wondering if I have to kill or hurt someone who intends to do me harm and prevent me from supplying a city with meats or seafood for the next few days.

    As far as I know when I go before God someday, I will be able to say unto Him that I did my work unafraid, ready to protect myself and fortunately by his Grace came out ok. Yes there is some damage, but nothing that will stop me from living my life my way in him.

    We are to set our plans, but his Hands take hold of our feet, his words a lamp onto them and we are to follow that narrow rock trail. Not the great highway that multitudes will follow without guidiance or light because it's so easy.

    I tell you this. I have been allowed to live a life away from big city dangers for a long time, so long that I have forgotten my Kbar. However, It was the right time to exercise our 2A rights and arm appropriately for what we think is good situation for us.

    We might need those weapons to shoot and kill wildlife for food and live off the land when the Nation spirals down to loss of grocery stores and general break down in the fabric of society.

    We were discussing getting a old Dutch Oven and place it in a spot for the home so that we may use firewood from the trees to live for a while cooking, heating and eating well as we used to do in the late 1800's

    Technology and modern living isnt all that bad. But that old oven will outlast us all and I got the trees to feed it for a number of years.

    During a recent Ice storm we had set aside a portion of provisions to help anyone who did not have power and have lost drinking water, food etc for a few days should they have come to knock and ask for whatever help we might provide. It would probably not have been much but... sometimes we must do what we can and share what little we are able so that others will do the same.

    Hang in there.

    To those other dear readers... I really open my big mouth sometimes and cannot shut up.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  7. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

    Sep 9, 2008

    In the end, the first time carrying or being pulled over by a police officer while carrying is like buying your first 6 pack at a gas station with a creepy attendant who loves to inspect ID's. It has been something that you have been told all your life is either not needed or wrong (it was rare for me to hear positive things outside of my dads lawyer/hunting crew).

    No one on this forum will be able to answer your questions for you. For me, when I decided to carry it was just because. I never liked being pushed around (which happened a lot when I was younger), however, I didn't get my CHL because of it; I was relatively indifferent. About 6 years ago I went through a drastic change, I stopped caring about what other people said, started doing things how I wanted to do things and told anyone who had a problem with it what I felt about them. I came to a realization that this is my life, the only one I will have and after my mother died... I'll be damned if I will let someone rob me or whats left of my family of that.

    Truth be told, you will probably never have to pull your carry weapon. There are officers who have served for a very long time and have never had to draw their weapon, supposedly (what I hear around here sometimes). Then again, if that time comes... "do I want to die begging on my knees? Or will I stand and fight those who would come and take from me my life?" That is the only question that haunts me. I will fight back, firearm or otherwise. It's this mentality, in my opinion, that one needs to reach in order to make that decision. Then you can decide with what tools you will use to defend yourself.

    I have already had to deal with a few police officers here in Houston. I got a warning on a speeding ticket and a 30 minute discussion about the latest and greatest of LWRC 6.8mm rifles (the officer had just got his but said he couldn't use it). Some officers will find a CHL to be more in line with the law, others get paranoid because they value their lives too. I am working on a way to show my CHL to the officer non-chalent like when I am not carrying too lol, not that I get pulled over that often. I have really cut down on drinking, speeding, and lack of turn signal usage since my CHL arrived.

    In the end, you can hope all you want, but hope only gets people so far. Action takes them the rest of the way. You need to dig down but don't over think it. Keep things simple. That is the only real advice I can offer you bud.

    Good luck with your soul searching. It's never easy.
  8. ThrottleJockey

    ThrottleJockey member

    Jan 25, 2009
    I agree with the other posters, but keep in mind, IMO carrying will not "pop your safety bubble" but will reinforce it and strengthen it, giving yourself the ability to choose whether or not you will someday possibly become a victim. I decided I will stand strong, and prepared for anything. I too was one of those guys that was bullied, and blamed for everything as a child. Just didn't quite fit in with the crowd. I will continue to turn the other cheek whenever possible, but will have the option of defense if things escalate beyond the realm of control and being able to walk away.
  9. prelaw09

    prelaw09 Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    First and foremost I think that putting your self out there like this on a public forum takes a lot of courage. You stated a lot about a lot of different things, so I will try to keep my points in line with yours. Disclaimer- the points expressed are solely my own and are the compilation of my experiences, beliefs, and/ or superstitions.

    First, I think it probably took a lot of strength and resolve for your father and you to separate your grandfather’s suicide and the tool that he used. The fact that you both
    could own and shoot firearms is a testament to your inner strength and reason.

    As far as your neighborhood changing, and not for the positive, this is something that many o us have dealt with. It is discouraging to see a peaceful, cooperative neighborhood go down the tubes, but it is a modern-day reality, especially in today’s economic environment.

    To your next set of points, if you are a (if I may paraphrase) “quiet computer nerd who was picked on”, a gun is not going to help you. A gun, like a carpenters hammer and saw, a masons trowel and chisel, or a welder’s torch is a tool that is only as good as its master. If you need improvement with self-esteem try Karate, rock climbing, a softball league, cycling club, or anything else that will make you feel like part of something; something that will reassure you of your worth. Please note: I am not poking fun at you. I am just saying that self confidence starts with you. No piece of metal can make you believe in your self.

    As far as your father goes, I too, like most males in our age group, find it odd trying to “stand up” to our dads. We, as young males, find ourselves in a more and more confusing place in society. We are expected to fill traditional roles but be more politically correct, more sensitive, and more God only knows what else. You are not alone if you feel lost as a young male in today’s world. I have no advice here. We are all kind of “off of the map”, and have to figure it out our selves.

    As far as God goes, you said “"God will only give you so much that you can handle". But it is also said that God helps those who help them selves. Look, I am not religious. I don’t believe in the bible, Jesus (other than as a wise philosopher), or any religion, but I am an ardent believer in God. I feel that God has given us the tools. We choose to use them for good or bad. Defending one’s family or self is good in my book. I feel that it is a man’s duty to protect life and Liberty. On issues of Religion and faith, I will not push of try to convince. Your beliefs are your, and mine are mine.

    The choice to carry is not one to be taken lightly. Get your training. Practice often. Keep your powder dry. If the situation arises where your gun is needed, hopefully you will not even need to think about it. Someone wiser than me once said: (once again paraphrasing) in times of crisis great men do not rise to the occasion, but are reduced to the level of their training.
  10. Freezebyte

    Freezebyte member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Thanks all for the incite, I appreciate it

    Being a somewhat "liberal" Lutheran if that makes any sense, I tend to have my own personal beliefs in God, and let that be good solid a foundation of my life, much like a house. But I tend to prefer to make my own decisions and thus want to be the architect of my house. I prefer to design it MY way, even if if its not Gods way. I prefer to embrance my free will as I see fit, and accept the end results good, bad or indifferent and try to learn from them.

    I'm bringing up God in this conversation only as one part of the equation of my question, nothing more. So please don't turn preachy on me, it doesn't do anything for me and just results threads turning into faith wars.
  11. 1911Today

    1911Today Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    I know I'm not around here very often, but to me, it seems like you're not quite ready for that CCW. It would be a terrible outcome if you were confronted with a situation where you had to use your weapon, but you were overcome with fear and hesitated. It could turn from a relatively peaceful situation, into a life threatening one. It seems to me that your views of "responsibility", "respect", and "fear" have become somewhat couldy. A CCW is a GREAT responsibility and warrants a high level of respect, but you should never fear your weapon, THAT is dangerous. Similarly, you should never fear the police, your father, or your surroundings. Simply be aware of the situation at all times and try to keep a clear and cool head. The fact that you have already experienced so many moral quandaries regarding your CCW and your surroundings in general, shows that you're not quite ready yet.

    But by all means, take the course, just because you take the course doesn't mean you have to carry. All it means is that it is legal for you to. A CCW course can go a long way in clarifying the responsibilities and requirements of being a gun owner and subsequently carrying. It could aid you in making your decision.

    And hang in there man, life is all peaks and valleys, and I'm sure your current questions will resolve themselves if you keep a cool head, a positive outlook, and a strong devotion to your faith.
  12. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Another Lutheran, eh? Well,

    Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott,
    Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
    Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
    Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
    Der alt’ böse Feind,
    Mit Ernst er’s jetzt meint,
    Gross’ Macht und viel List
    Sein’ grausam’ Ruestung ist,
    Auf Erd’ ist nicht seingleichen.

    Mit unsrer Macht is nichts getan,
    Wir sind gar bald verloren;
    Es steit’t für uns der rechte Mann,
    Den Gott hat selbst erkoren.
    Fragst du, wer der ist?
    Er heisst Jesu Christ,
    Der Herr Zebaoth,
    Und ist kein andrer Gott,
    Das Feld muss er behalten.

    Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär’
    Und wollt’ uns gar verschlingen,
    So fürchten wir uns nicht so sehr,
    Es soll uns doch gelingen.
    Der Fürst dieser Welt,
    Wie sau’r er sich stellt,
    Tut er uns doch nicht,
    Das macht, er ist gericht’t,
    Ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen.

    Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn
    Und kein’n Dank dazu haben;
    Er ist bei uns wohl auf dem Plan
    Mit seinem Geist und Gaben.
    Nehmen sie den Leib,
    Gut, Ehr’, Kind und Weib:
    Lass fahren dahin,
    Sie haben’s kein’n Gewinn,
    Das Reich muss uns doch bleiben.

    - Martin Luther, 1529

    Oh, some of you don't speak German?

    A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon;
    He helps us free from every need that hath us now overtaken.
    The old evil foe now means deadly woe; deep guile and great might
    Are his dread arms in fight; on Earth is not his equal.

    With might of ours can naught be done, soon were our loss effected;
    But for us fights the Valiant One, whom God Himself elected.
    Ask ye, who is this? Jesus Christ it is.
    Of Sabbath Lord, and there’s none other God;
    He holds the field forever.

    Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us.
    We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us.
    This world’s prince may still scowl fierce as he will,
    He can harm us none, he’s judged; the deed is done;
    One little word can fell him.

    The Word they still shall let remain nor any thanks have for it;
    He’s by our side upon the plain with His good gifts and Spirit.
    And take they our life, goods, fame, child and wife,
    Let these all be gone, they yet have nothing won;
    The Kingdom ours remaineth.

  13. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Freezebyte: "Bring a somewhat "liberal" Lutheran if that makes any sense ..."

    Oh. One of them. Swedish?

    I'm more of the "Grampa's Iron Cross on the Wall" tradition.
  14. meBNme

    meBNme Member

    Feb 17, 2009

    It sounds to me as if you aren't really satisfied with who "yourself" has been in the past. It also appears that you want a change in your life, but the very thing that has kept you bound in the past is what causes you to fear the change you desire.

    There is a phrase that I think may apply well here.

    "If all we do is what we've done, then all we will have is what we've had."

    Are you happy with what/who you are now, and have been?
    Do you want to change into a more confident, self sufficient person?
    Then don't fear the very change that will bring you the freedom of being this new person.

    If always waiting for things to just "work out" is part of what you are unsatisfied with about yourself, then take the step toward changing that.
    Start taking control of the things you can have influence over.

    I really think this is more than just a question about deciding top Carry a gun.

    Its a question about deciding if you want a change in your life, if you want to come out from under dependency, a victim mentality, and a follower spirit and become your own man.
    Maybe THATS the decision you have to make.

    Maybe deciding to Carry a weapon is the first step to finding your own inner confidence and self reliance. Whatever that step is, don't be afraid of your freedom. Don't be afraid of the very thing that will help you conquer your fear.

    I firmly believe that we should have faith in God.
    I also believe that he expects us to do all we can for ourselves, and trust him for what we cannot do.

    If we can arm ourselves, train, practice and carry, then maybe we should do so. That does not eliminate trusting God. It just says "OK God" I am willing to do my part, and I will trust you to step in where my ability ends."

    I can arm myself, I can train, I can educate myself. I will do so.
    I will trust God to either keep me from ever needing to use that weapon/training, or to guide my mind and hand if I ever DO need the weapon/training.

    I also believe that is is our own responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
    If that means stopping a criminal from harming us, then so be it.

    As God fearing people It is our duty to protect and defend our own in the most effective way possible.

    If the criminal happens to die in the process, then that's on HIS head, all I did was stop him.

    HE is the one who decided that his crime was in equal value to his life, and HE is the one he chose to lay his life on the line when he committed the crime.

    If our taking action to protect innocents by stopping a criminal, results in him dying in the process, it was HIS choice.

    ARE YOU willing to make a change in your life?
    Are you happy with who you have been in the past?

    Only you can decide. But you CAN decide!
  15. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    First off, congratulations on making the longest post I have ever seen here on THR :)

    Secondly, like others have said, you are the only one that can make the decision. The biggest thing that stands out to me is your OCD. To me carrying a gun relives some of my stress. But to you it may increase your stress. If carrying a gun increases your stress then I would say dont do it, its that simple.

    I think your best bet is to go ahead and take the CCW course, It will teach you about all the laws and rules and stuff, and should make you more comfortable with it. In the end, if you still don't like it, then no problem. Just don't carry, its that simple.
  16. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Are things really getting a lot worse where you live, or are you just starting to take notice?

    You mention you are diagnosed OCD... In light of this, and even if we knew the specifics, I doubt anyone here would be qualified to make the recommendations you request. I strongly suggest you discuss the matter with a counselor who knows you and your history. There may also be legal matters to consider - you may not even be qualified to obtain a CCW in your state.
  17. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I am the same person when I am carrying, and when I am not. The core of your personality does not change unless you let it happen. You are in charge , not your father, not the police, or the members of this forum.

    I live my life with an understanding that I have no right to dictate to others what rights they have, and they have no power to take my rights from me, unless I hand them over. It is my choice.

    I do not carry a firearm out of fear, I do not carry a firearm to impose my view on other persons, or to take anything from them, including their safety.
    I carry to protect myself from preditors , and yes , they are out there.

    Perhaps not in high numbers , but I choose to be prepared rather than helpless.
  18. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    As a Christian myself, I believe it is a good idea to prepare for the worst. God helps those who help themselves, and a person who has chosen to not prepare has, in essence, closed doors for Him to do good through you. Anyone can be the recipient, but far greater is to be the vessel.

    You are correct, this world has not gotten any better. It is decaying fast. I personally believe I would be remiss to not to own weapons. However, I am also hesitant to get a CCW permit right now because I would rather not be on record at this time. That is not to say, though, that I would not immediately get one if the places I frequently traveled made me feel a need.

    You obviously feel the need. The areas you live and frequent are suffering from urban decay, and crime is increasing. That is a surefire sign you need to act. You first need to make a simple decision, though: if it comes down to it, you are willing to take any means necessary to protect your life and the lives of your family. It's not that hard a decision for most people when you look at it in these very black and white terms. Once you have made your decision, I would spend time at the range. Become confident with your firearm. And take your CCW class and get your license. You do not need to carry all the time, but it opens doors to you. Eventually you will become more confident with carrying, and more committed to your decision. Confidence builds over time, and eventually you will have it.
  19. loneviking

    loneviking Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Carson City, NV.
    IMHO, just go ahead and get the CCW. It will be a good learning experience, and if you ever feel the need to carry, you can.

    I think you have three problems that you are grappling with:

    1. Is carrying a firearm compatible with the Christian faith? Absolutely. There is nothing in the N.T. that negates the right of self defense. The Apostle Paul states that those who do not provide for their families are worse than unbelievers. To provide for your family means food, shelter, love/comfort and most emphatically, security. Remember, that God works on this earth through individuals, both individuals acting collectively as the church and going about as unique persons attending to the daily life. God is not limited, and could save you by a miracle---but God has also given you a mind and abilities to develop that He expects you to use. BTW, I'm Lutheran as well, Missouri Synod.

    2. The second problem is one of the unknown. What's it like to carry a sidearm? Won't I look like I have a bullseye painted on me? Won't I feel obligated to respond to any situation that puts someone in peril?..etc.

    Freeze, slow down and take things sloooooow. Don't fret over what might happen, or try to figure out all of the angles of something you haven't done before. Get the CCW, and then carry out for a hike in the middle of nowhere. Get used to carrying as you go to the range. Then, at some time, stroll into your local ammo dealer on your way to the range, armed and get used to that. Think baby steps.

    3. Most importantly, you need to get your confidence up. You've always been a picked on computer nerd,so it's time to change that. Why? Because if you don't, your confidence will only be in your firearm and that becomes the only recourse you have when things go bad. Find a martial art school that teaches discipline and respect. If you can find one that practices actual contact, even better. You learn that you can take a punch and give it back. You learn to keep thinking and adapting to what the other guy is doing. You learn to keep your cool out on the streets as you have nothing to prove because you've already proven it to yourself.

    When you've reached the point where you've trained long enough and proven what you can do, then you can take things to the next level with regularly carrying a sidearm.

    You are to be commended for thinking through issues like these. Good luck!
  20. Sixtigers

    Sixtigers Member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Ridgecrest, California
    Personal opinion? In a nutshell? CCW isn't for you. I don't mean this to be insulting--I have many good friends that aren't right for CCW either, for a number of reasons. There's no shame in NOT carrying CCW!

    You're not ready yet.
  21. Trustin

    Trustin Member

    Oct 19, 2008
    You and I are more alike than you know.

    I am also a montana boy, had lots of problems, not to popular, all the usual.

    I'm in the same boat too, I've lived in Phoenix for 5 years now (arizona for 12) and Violence is a part of life out here. the things you only now have to worry about have been a problem for us for years.

    CCW is serious and if you feel you aren't ready then you aren't. although i do feel you and your dad are over reacting about the government and cops interrogating you. Montana is so gun friendly it's almost unfathomable. and if the open carry causing a stir is worrying you, nobody ever need know you're packing with your permit.

    long story short, I'm going for mine and I'm gonna try it out for up to a year, if I'm not comfortable, I don't have to carry. I've made it 22 years without it, should be fine for a good while longer.
  22. renegade1alpha

    renegade1alpha Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    I say get your CCW and carry your gun. As the saying goes; "Better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it."

    Just because you live in Montana and not in Los Angeles, does not mean that bad things can't or never will happen to you. Some of the worst crimes happen "in the middle of nowhere." I say get your CCW. And whatever you carry remember to PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE SOME MORE!

    The best advice I can give you is:

    (1) Don't go flashing your gun. THAT will draw attention from the cops. Basically the only one that should know you are carrying is YOU!
    (2) If you do see or encounter a situation, remember to first be the best witness you can be.
    (3) Only interfere when serious bodily harm or death is about to be inflicted on you or an innocent person. Only then, is deadly force and option.

    This is the definition of deadly force that I give to my students:

    "Deadly force is that force that a person knows will cause death or serious bodily harm to another person, and should only be used as a last resort WHEN ALL LESSER MEANS HAVE FAILED."

    If a verbal command or distraction can be used then by all means use it. Sometimes however you may have to go from being a witness to using deadly force. It can happen that quick.

    Good luck and be safe!
  23. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    The Old Dominion State
    Get a J frame revolver and carry it. Use it to defend yourself. Keep it simple and keep it sweet.
    It should not be any more complicated than that.
    If you are having any doubts about your safety because of the crime increasing in your area then carry.
    Practice and perfect practice makes perfect. Practice with a goal in mind. That goal is to become proficient with that pistol. Get a good firearms instructor. Be at peace.
  24. Throwingdown

    Throwingdown Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    NW Indiana
    I have a friend who felt similar to how you feel about carry AND guns in general.
    After some clear headed discussion, he decided to try shooting. After a few outings, he purchased his own pistol and practiced and became quite good.
    After reading many stories about good outcomes from CCW, he took the plunge.
    As have already been stated. You will probably never use it. But as my father used to say. You are better off to have it and never need it, than need it and not have it.
    Also as mentioned above - practice is THE single most important thing. Remember the first few times you drove a car - how you had to focus, and now years later you don't even think about it.
    Handgun carry should be the same.
  25. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Member

    Dec 29, 2007
    Belfair Washington
    I think you should take the CCW class and get a permit. You already have a gun so why not be able to legally carry it should you ever feel like it or feel a need to? Making the decision to CCW will change your life but don't let it scare you. Everything you do, every decision you make changes your life. You are the one driving this bus! :)

    The thing is, if you carry for a while and decide you don't like it you can always stop carrying and let your life drift back to where it was before. But if you don't try it you'll never know if it's right for you or not. I understand that all the things that come with carrying a concealed weapon can seem overwhelming if you try to tackle them all together at once. You don't need to. Deal with them one at a time as they come up. Like others have said, baby steps.

    When I first started carrying I was scared to death whenever I saw a cop. I stressed out over all the details and "what ifs" that never happened. In nineteen years of 24/7/52 nobody has ever seen my gun that wasn't supposed to, and I'm really not that careful about it. Security has never tackled me coming out of the dressing room when I was trying on clothes. I've never been hassled by a cop and I've been pulled over *plenty*. I've worn shirts that printed badly and guess what? Nobody noticed.

    Thank God I've also never had to shoot anybody. I drew my weapon in an encounter with three criminally trespassing dirt bags once. Afterwords I didn't sleep for two days but more importantly I didn't take a dirt nap. That experience changed my life more than any other, and not for the worse. The biggest doubt I never knew I had was lifted that night: Like many I always "knew" I could pull the trigger if I needed to. The thing is, you'll never *actually know* until you do it. My finger was on the trigger and the hammer was almost all the way back when bad guy number one dropped the bolt cutters he was about to swing at my head. After that experience I guess I really had an epiphany. I realized how precious life is and how lucky all of us are just to be here. It sounds cheesy as hell, but years later the grass still looks greener and the sky a deeper blue. When I look into my wife's eyes I really can see forever. I have no desire to be Rambo, but if anyone ever tries to harm my wife by God I will be. I can no longer fathom why anyone that's able to be armed isn't.

    Some people that have replied have said they don't think you are ready for a CCW because you have questions and doubts about it. I think many, many people that CCW have questions, doubts, and fears but don't realize it or won't admit it. They certainly won't admit it on a gun forum the way you did. You poured your heart out for the world to see and that took more courage, strength, and cojones than carrying a gun does. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. I think your questions, doubts, and ability to post them for the world to see mean that you ARE ready.
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