First things first, this is not a thread about gun control, or whether or not it should be legal to carry guns. This is about discussing the personal choice of arming oneself, assuming that it is already legal.
Kendo_Bunny wrote:I carry a gun for self-defense. It's my right, and that's the only defense I really need.
That's a perfectly good legal excuse, but generally when people ask "why did/do you do that?", "because I legally can" isn't really a satisfying answer. There's nothing illegal about all sorts of different things that people choose not to do, so unless you do everything that you legally can, there must be more of a personal reason than legality that you choose to arm yourself.
Kendo_Bunny wrote:Although I have to say I don't understand the distrust of anyone who chooses to arm themselves. Awful things happen all the time, and my handgun is the same as my insurance.
So, personal safety is a reason. It's the reason people list all the time. But, to me, safety != ability to kill someone. I don't think any crimes deserve death, so if I want something to protect myself, ideally it would be something that would not kill the other person. The top priority, after all, should be protecting myself, not punishing the assailant. That's for the justice system to work out. And I can't imagine many likely cases where the only way I would be able to protect myself would be by killing someone else. But, with a gun, the choice is basically between do nothing, threaten to kill, and kill. Since I don't think any crimes warrant killing, I would prefer some sort of physical deterrent that does not involve killing.
The main reason I distrust a lot of (not all) people who choose to arm themselves doesn't really pertain to their carrying itself. Though that is still a reason. I mean, it does bother me somewhat to know that the person I'm dealing with has the ability to kill me (and to kill me from far away), so that if we do have any disagreement or argument, if something I do makes them mad, they have the ability of killing me out of rage. And while I'm not the type to pick a fight, altercations happen from time to time, due to misunderstanding or whatever else. This wouldn't apply to someone I know well, of course, and I know that many people who carry guns would never pull one for anything other than self-defense, but I know that not all people have that same sort of respect for guns, and if it's someone I don't know, it's impossible for me to know which camp they fall in.
The more important reason to me, though, probably has more to do with where I live than how society as a whole tends to function. Where I live, carrying guns is not common. I have never in my life seen a civilian that I knew to be carrying. It just isn't really a part of non-gang culture in Southern California. The only people that carry, that I know carry, are the very outspoken ones with second amendment bumper stickers and t-shirts. And these people often prove themselves to be the type with little respect for the first amendment, and poorly masked bigotry (both by hearing them talk, and by seeing the type of hateful bumper stickers that usually accompany the second amendment ones).
I am not saying all or even most people who carry guns are like this, but it scares me that, where I live, the ones who are most outspoken about it (the only ones I know about, since there isn't much of a gun culture here) are the ones who I would not trust to make a decision about the worth of a human life.