Risk. It’s something we all live with. Risk is simply a degree of danger or loss that we face, whether known or unknown, and we face it every day.
If we’re smart, we seek to manage that risk, both personally and professionally, but it’s always there. We purchase insurance to protect our assets. In business we hire risk managers. We lock our doors. We wear a seatbelt when driving. We check the air in our tires. There is no end to the things we do to mitigate our risk of loss or injury.
But one would have to be blind or ignorant to not recognize the growing risk we all face from those who would intentionally do harm to us, our family and friends.
Living in Chattanooga, this truth became all too clear when an Islamic jihadist attacked our city and murdered five of our military personnel on July 16, 2015. The business headquarters of a close friend of mine is just a block from the site where the servicemen were killed and he was present when the shootings took place.
This last week, though, the deadliest attack to occur on our homeland since 9/11 took place in San Bernardino, California when a husband and wife brutally murdered 14 Americans and injured 21 more. This latest Islamic attack was inspired by the couple’s alliance to ISIS, who has called for such attacks for some time now. And before ISIS, Al Qaeda was also seeking to unleash similar attacks as it still continues to do. These attacks are just two of the many that have occurred since 9/11.
But here’s the truth that we all need to acknowledge. Our nation is at war with Islamic jihadists. That war has not come in the form of missiles and bombs being dropped on our homes and cities, at least not yet. But it is a war nonetheless, with our citizens in the crosshairs.
There is another truth to these violent attacks. In nearly every instance, the innocent individuals who were brutally murdered were all unarmed. Let that sink in again. The Islamic terrorists knowingly went after individuals who could not or would not fight back or pose a threat.
Ponder this fact as well. While the police and armed authorities did ultimately arrive on the scene to take out the terrorists, in every instance they arrived AFTER the loss of life occurred. That’s very little consolation to the victims of these attacks and their families.
Our nation’s Founders never looked to their government or local armed authorities for their primary source of defense. Rather, they understood that they themselves were the first line of defense. They were first and foremost their own personal risk managers. And to preserve that value, our Founders penned the Second Amendment to our Constitution, the right to bear arms. While this is a uniquely American right, I would assert it is also our duty.
If you want to mitigate your risk, both for your business and family, there is one thing you should do.
Get a Gun and learn how to handle it safely and shoot it accurately.
While a few years ago one might have shrugged off the risk that you and I face from Islamic terrorists, I believe it is foolish to continue to do so. The writing is on the wall. Tragically, though, many in our government, led by Barack Obama, are in a state of denial. Worse though is the fact that there are way too many ordinary Americans who embrace this same denial.
I’ve heard many Americans say they are afraid of guns or just don’t like them. But let me ask the question, do you like to buy insurance? What if you never filed a claim? Was the insurance a waste or simply a wise investment to mitigate your risk of loss?
Likewise, while you may never use a gun to save a life, the truth is you and your family need a gun. In my view it’s irresponsible to refuse to own a gun. Whether you like a gun should have no bearing on whether you own one. You may not like a seatbelt, but you wear one and require your kids to do so as well.
So here is my personal challenge to every person reading this. If you don’t own a gun, buy one this week. And if you buy a gun or already own one, regularly practice using your gun. The old adage, “practice makes perfect” has never been more relevant than with gun ownership.
When your life hangs in the balance, hesitation or error cannot enter into the equation. You and I must be prepared. So here are several common sense steps you can take to prepare yourself.
Purchase a Concealable Gun
At the very minimum acquire a concealable handgun. It should fit in your pocket, on your belt, around your ankle or in your purse. There are plenty of resources to help you in selecting the right handgun, but some of the best are your local gun stores. You’ll find that a local gun shop typically has a freedom-loving owner who aspires to serve his customers first and foremost. And he likely carries a concealed gun himself.
Secure a Concealed Carry Permit in your State
While I’m a Constitutionalist and I believe the Second Amendment does not place a qualifier on owning a gun and arming yourself, I also think there is wisdom in following your state’s requirements to carry a concealed weapon. The process is relatively simple and you can find out the specific requirements for your state at this website.
Gun Safety is Paramount
One of the greatest fears people have of guns is the potential for an accidental discharge. While this is understandable, it’s also fair to say that when one handles a gun safely and with respect, the chances of an accident are slim to none. Here are four universal safety rules that one should always follow when handling a gun.
Make Shooting a Regular Family Activity
For years, one of our family traditions was to go bowling on New Year’s Eve. It was always a lot of fun but because we only went once a year, the likelihood that any of us would hit a strike was minimal and our scores were never spectacular. If we’d gone bowling weekly, I’m confident our scores would have risen dramatically. Likewise, if you never shoot your gun, it’s likely you won’t be comfortable if you’re ever called to use it. So get your family or friends together and practice. We have begun doing this as a family and have found it to be a lot of fun. And in the process we are each becoming more comfortable handling guns while at the same time honing our skills. There are plenty of options for shooting including indoor and outdoor gun ranges.
In closing, some of you may question what all of this has to do with running a business. Respectfully I would say it has everything to do with not just your business but your life. As mentioned at the outset, we all seek to mitigate our risk or at the very minimum insure against that risk. With the escalating attacks our nation is facing, there has never been a time in recent years when the need to be armed is greater.
So will you do so? Your life and the lives of those you love and care about may hang in the balance. Please don’t delay.
Remember: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
If you agree with my thoughts on this, would you mind sharing it with your family and friends? Thank you.