Georgia resident Andisheh Nouraee writes about what it is like to exercise his freedom to carry a weapon for self-defense in the great metropolitan melting pot of the South – Atlanta. The article is worth reading and the pictures are inspiring – in particular because Nouraee is of Middle Eastern extraction.
If you intend to rob me, stab me or punch me in the neck because you think I looked at you funny, I recommend you glance at my waist before lifting the pull tab on that can of whoop-ass. I may be carrying a handgun. Nearly everyone in our state can legally keep guns in their home. I am one of the few, the proud, the Georgia Firearms Licensed – one of a reported 300,000 Georgians permitted to carry a gun in public.
I am also one of Georgia’s 300,000 gun carry license holders. I don’t really worry too much when I don’t have my gun with me (which is rare). I do find it extremely useful when I bike, run or travel by automobile. It’s reassuring to be packing heat when I’m practicing for a triathlon on the rural roads around where I live and a pack of wild dogs decides they need to chase me and nip at my heels – I haven’t yet had to fire a shot but it certainly reassures me to know that if I feel teeth sinking into my calf I don’t have to try and hop off and beat the mutt into submission while his pack mates chomp down on other extremities or worse yet, my throat. If you’ve never experienced the pack mentality, I suggest you watch some video of a pack of dogs attacking a human being. Not pretty.
Humans in packs are even worse than dogs. Enough said about that.
People have many reasons for self-defensive weapons carry. Most people only need to be mugged once to realize that police provide an illusion of safety but not much else – they generally won’t be there to stop whatever bad thing happens to you while it’s happening.
I got my gun license a year and a half ago after I was relieved of my wallet at gunpoint at my front door by a man who threatened to come back for me if I cancelled my ATM and credit cards. Since he was clearly comfortable dropping by the house unannounced, police told me to take the threat seriously by carrying a gun myself. I’ve had handguns for target shooting since I was a kid, but never carried one for self-defense. After the robbery, I applied for a permit so I could carry a gun without breaking the law. And even before the license arrived, I started to carry my gun from my driveway to my front door, which is legal; I was scared the guy would keep his promise and come back for me.
Amazing! Police told Mr. Nouraee to get a gun! That’s wonderful. Let’s move on to the meat of the story.
Nearly everyone I spend time with regularly has a visceral and fearful reaction to guns. Having so many gun-dreading friends and acquaintances has taught me to keep guns where no one will ever see them. Carrying a gun in public seemed like peeing in the sink of a public restroom. Not illegal, but definitely a first-degree jerk move. I was also afraid of the reaction of strangers. I would hate to be the subject of this 911 call: “Hello, police, I’m at the Publix on North Decatur Road and there’s a swarthy bald man here with a gun. He’s headed for the Lean Cuisine.” So, although I had a permit, I was less than thrilled that the General Assembly passed H.B. 89 in April. The new law would give licensed firearms permit holders the right to legally carry guns into places that used to be off-limits: city and state parks, public transportation, and restaurants that serve alcohol.
We Americans are allowing ourselves to be conditioned to just this mindset. Guns are bad, MMMKAY? If a dude has a gun and he isn’t in uniform he must be planning something nefarious, MMMKAY?
The truth about guns is that they are merely an extension of the mindset of the person who has control of the trigger. I have never understood why we cannot focus on changing the mindset and instead insist that the gun itself is the problem. But our bureaucrat class feels threatened anytime control is taken away from their clerks and myrmidons. Which is how we arrive at these sort of stupid press conferences.
Mayor Shirley Franklin and airport General Manager Ben DeCosta held a press conference at Hartsfield-Jackson to publicize their intention to keep the airport a gun-free zone. They were joined by the media and a half-dozen members of the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org, there to protest the city’s position. Bearden and his gun never showed up at the airport, though. But later that day, he did file a lawsuit against the city for banning guns from the airport. A hearing is scheduled next month. The city argues the airport and its parking lots are municipal buildings, and therefore not subject to the law’s public transit provision. In their speeches, both Franklin and DeCosta emphasized the 9/11 attacks as reason to keep guns out of the airport. The city’s found a powerful ally in U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who’s demanding that the Transportation Security Administration ban guns from all parts of major airports. “I keep hearing the phrase ‘in this post-9/11 society’ and I’m so sick of that,” said Mark McCullough, a GeorgiaCarry.org member who was at the press conference. “What 9/11 showed me was that the government has no ability to protect me. I don’t want to be walking around the parking lot here with [my cell phone] being the only device protecting me.” While I was at the airport, GeorgiaCarry.org treasurer Michael Menkus invited me to a party. To celebrate their newly granted right to carry guns in restaurants that serve alcohol, members of the group planned to meet at Christos, a Greek-style pizzeria in Marietta, to eat dinner with handguns strapped to their waists.
I hope you’ll take the few minutes out of your life to read the rest of the story. I hope this because I hope to one day live in a place where guns are not the problem. I hope to live in a society that values rational discussion enough to realize that it is what lives in your mind that is important. A society that values individualism and self-determination will inevitably also value the life of the individual and allow individuals to defend themselves from aggressors. Societies that ban guns just end up with lots of stabbings. They also tend to end up with lots of people who cannot think for themselves in life threatening situations.