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Concealed Carry: Preparedness or Paranoia?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I was having a discussion last weekend with friends. The topic was whether or not carrying a handgun every day (and to a lesser extent prepping for disaster) was an act of preparedness or was it a symptom of paranoia. We also discussed that if carrying every day was not an act of paranoia, was there a hypothetical line you could cross that divided being prepared from being a nutjob.

    It could very easily be argued that carrying a gun on us daily is indeed an act of paranoia when you consider the issue based on statistics alone...but being prepared is not always just about statistics. We buy insurance that covers things that are extremely unlikely to happen to us and no one ever questions that.

    In the end, my opinion was that neither of these acts are in themselves an act of paranoia...no matter how far you decide to go with them. There is no line involving the extent of your actions that brings your stability into question. There is however a line when it comes to motivation and your personal mindset. We cross that line when we start letting fear be our primary motivation.

    I, and most people I know that carry, do not carry because we are afraid bad things are going to happen to us that day. In fact, we almost always think the opposite. we are well aware that we are more than likely going to get through the day just fine. When I stock supplies I do not do it because I am certain the world is going to end. I do it because I like to be prepared in case something unlikely happens. I am always happy, and not at all surprised when I have no use for my gun and I am always happy and not surprised when I have to cycle out old survival supplies.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people that do cross that line and fear is their biggest motivation. You see them all the time online. They are convinced the world is ending. they are convinced Obama is the anti-christ. They are convinced the government is out to get them. They are more than certain they are going to be attacked in their homes by gang members or illegal aliens. I really feel sorry for these people. it must suck living your life in fear...but my compassion for them is lessened quite a bit when they are so eager to loudly spread their paranoia. They are so loud and so ridiculous that they get so much attention and make the rest of us that do what we do for less dramatic reasons look bad.

    So what do you think? Is there a physical line that can be crossed? Is it all about mindset?

    I know I have to catch myself sometimes when I start passing judgement on someone for being a "loon" when I see they carry multiple guns...or have a garage full of disaster supplies. I often pay too much attention to the physical actions and forget that the motivation might be quite benign.

    PS: I did a YouTube vid with the same topic for those that prefer a face and do not like to read. :)

    YouTube - Concealed Carry: Preparedness or Paranoia?
  2. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    You could make the same argument for seat belts, smoke/CO detectors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, defibrillators or just about any other piece of safety equipment that is infrequently useful. I consider it preparedness. If someone could, with 100% accuracy, tell me when I would and would not need my firearm, then I would only carry at those times. Ain't gonna happen.

  3. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    A personal decision to be prepared for armed self-defense usually depends upon how much evil you have seen and been unable to respond to at that time. And upon how many times that you have been mugged! And burgled! Or upon how many truly feral human beings you have observed on the prowl for victims, and eagerly awaiting an end to civil order to go on rampage.

    Or it might depend upon how long your memory is: how many remember the L. A. riots of 1991 and how fragile civil order is? Or it might be from an appreciation of how differently than the Japanese that Americans would respond to a major disaster? Widespread looting is an established fact in America after tornadoes and hurricaines---just imagine how it would be after the INEVITABLE Northwest earthquake, or any major national disaster!

    It is not paranoid to simply be aware of how bad things can get at the drop of a hat. I think ONLY a nutjob would submit themselves to evil without being prepared for meaningful self-defense!.......................elsullo
  4. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I absolutely agree that most of the time it is preparedness. If/when the preparedness overcomes your other basic desires and becomes an obsession that it is too much...ie your kids don't get a birthday party because you have to buy more supplies. this is when it gets to be too much.
  5. kenjo

    kenjo Washougal Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    In the PNW we are in the zone for a major earthquake at any time, according to the geologists. Having basic food, water, medical supplies and ammunition on hand to get through the days, maybe weeks, before infrastructure and civil order are restored is no more paranoid than keeping a couple of fire extinguishers around the house. Carrying a concealed weapon in Portland or other metro area is just common sense--that's where most of the human predators are.

    I have yet to find a person, who questions why I carry concealed, who can provide me with a personal guarantee they will protect me if I'm attacked. It isn't paranoia, it's taking responsibility for your own safety.
  6. packman

    packman coast Active Member

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    it is a sign of having common sense. do your friends ever watch the news?
    Never leave home without it,always within reach at home. just my view on things
  7. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post PP. My perspective is this. I have logged a shade over 33,000 hours in commercial aircraft. 99.99% of those hours were uneventful, but that last bit made me VERY glad I spent a couple of weeks each year in recurrent training and getting raked over the coals in a simulator experiencing every possible, but improbable, combination of disasters. I hope, and am fairly confident I will never have to use my weapon. But if I do I will have it. It's called covering all your bases. If you have the wherewithal and training to do it, you are a fool if you don't.
  8. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Excellent answers also. It's kind off like that old saying,,, Im not paranoid or I'd be packing a shotgun.
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    A guy told me that the lottery is for those folks that aren't good at math

    The chances of ever needing a gun in our society,if you know how to carry yourself,have to be WAY low.I have worked and lived in some not so great areas and have never felt the need to cary on a regular basis,other than deep in the woods

    I call paranoia.

    Learn to carry your self better and keep the heck out of bad places.
    Is a job that important to have,other than a LEO,to need to carry because it's in a bad area?
    Has America gone to second world,where we may not make it home because of civil unrest?


    paranoia and fantasy
  10. VW_Factor

    VW_Factor Woodburn Oregon Active Member

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    I don't consider myself paranoid. I do however live on a property surrounded by chainlink and barbwire, with laser beam perimeter just in case someone decides to cut through a fence.. Paranoid? Nahhh...
  11. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    Just being prepared... I sincerely hope the only action my CC pistols get is on the range.

    Bottom line is sh*t happens, and you don't know when it's going to happen. Could you imagine what Portland would be like if we had a disaster like Japan did? I can... and it ain't pretty.
  12. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Junction City Active Member

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    Yes, I am paranoid. Why wouldn't you be? If I wasn't, I wouldn't carry a gun, have car insurance or wear a cup when I play football.
  13. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Y'all should have a look at Gary Kleck's excellent site -
    GunCite: gun control and Second Amendment issues
    Professor Kleck's studies show that 1.5-2 million times per year, an American deters a serious crime with a personal firearm. It's not nearly so rare an event as the media would lead you to believe.

    The problem, statistically speaking, is that in 98% of those self-defense cases no shots are fired - the bad guy turns and runs. Older studies simply ignored any "use" of a defensive handgun that didn't include firing it.
  14. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Once you've seen the beast you can never go back. Some people just have to learn the hard way or not at all..
  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Waves at you, hiding up there in Sequim in your ivory tower
  16. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    In over 40 years of driving, I have never need seat belts or air bags. When riding my motorcycle I have never needed my helmet or leather clothing for protection from the payment. So I guess all those years that I have used seat belts or on my bike wearing a helmet and leather, that was paranoid? Or if I didn't, it would be recklessness?

    To call it paranoid or preparedness one needs to know the person. We all don't live in the same place, all don't have the same skill sets, all don't share the same feelings towards risk, etc. IF a person chooses to carry or not to carry it is their business. The cops won't give you a ticket if you are carrying like they would if you don't have your seat belt on or wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. The risk is there.
  17. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, PP, I think you and almost everyone else is of the same opinion...be prepared! I have been in combat (Vietnam) and have worked for weeks at a time on our southern border, and I believe I can state that most folks down there are both prepared and paranoid to a degree. I could go on and on, but others more articulate than myself have stated the rationale quite well.

    I have not yet, in all my years of concealed carry have had the need to defend myself, but with continuous practice and keeping an eye out on my surroundings, I feel that if need be, I can protect myself or my loved ones. I am NOT interested in some miscreant dictating the outcome of some illegal activity involving myself or my family. I would call that prepared, gun control advocates would call it paranoid. Perhaps Obama should disarm his Secret Service detail and orate in his defense. I would like to see how that comes out.
  18. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    I support those who carry whether it is concealed or open for self defense.

    I have never carried for self defense, just like to target shoot.

    I have not often felt a need to carry and in reality have never been faced with a situation where being armed would of been helpful.

    I think there is a great argument to be made that a majority of citizens who choose to carry are paranoid, not a crime to be paranoid.

    I think there is a great argument to be made that a majority of citizens who choose to carry are just simply acting prepared and wise, not a crime to be prepared or wise.

    We are all individuals each with a different story, I just thank my lucky stars to be a US citizen and for the constitution and the bill of rights.
  19. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I've had to draw 6 times and my wife twice. No shots fired but neither of us would be here and whole if we had not been packing. I've mentioned a few of the specific incidents in another thread
  20. Rix

    Rix Tacoma Active Member

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    <---- little of both maybe.