Trying to Survive

Joshua - Benton, Arkansas
Entered on April 15, 2009

Some people might call me a backwoods hillbilly or a dumb redneck, but I believe in the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. This amendment proclaims that the right of an American citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Plainly said, I believe in the right to carry my gun.

I am here legally as a citizen of the United States of America. I am not a convicted felon, nor have I been declared mentally insane or incompetent. I pay my taxes to the country that I love and my tithes to my church. I am an American, I was a soldier in the United States Army, and as such I am always ready to fight for the freedom of my country. I feel that the right to keep and bear arms is one of the essential keys to my liberty.

I am a lifelong hunter. Hunting has been a proud American tradition since the beginning. And it is more than just the thrill of the hunt or providing food for my family. Hunting is a great way to help a person develop self-sufficiency. There were many times as a child and even a young adult that were it not for the wild game we were able to track and kill, we would not have had any meat, or sometimes anything at all, to eat. This type of childhood atmosphere teaches a person independence; that they can overcome and adjust to any obstacles that appear. Hunting also teaches responsibility. As a young boy sitting in a tree stand with a loaded and very dangerous weapon in my hand, I had the responsibility of knowing what I was shooting at. I was responsible not only for my safety but also for the safety of any other people in the woods with me. Hunting helps a child develop a bond with mother nature, it also helps young adults to understand the importance of supporting healthy wildlife populations, all while exercising our fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

As a human being I should have the right to defend myself. As a husband and a father I WILL defend my family no matter what. I would just prefer not to be considered a criminal for doing so. The right to keep and bear arms means security-security against terrorists, against rising crime rates, and especially for the security of my family. It does not matter what laws are passed, criminals are always able to get firearms. Take guns away from the law abiding citizens and the only people with a gun will be police officers and criminals. I have nothing against the police or the laws that they uphold, but let’s face it; they can’t possibly be everywhere all the time. I believe this would only increase the crime rates when the bad guys know that their prey can’t shoot back.

I have been mugged at gun point twice in my life. Both times were within six months of each other and I was required by my job to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, specifically, Chicot Road before dawn. Most recently was April 1, 2008. A man ran out in front of my vehicle and I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting him. When I stopped a second man opened my driver side door. I knew, even before he shoved the cold steel barrel of his pistol into my temple, that something was not right. I was dragged from my truck, feeling helpless and angry that this was happening to me again. The two perps made off with my phone, the money in my wallet and my driver’s license. I remember being warned that if I called the police, the two of them would pay a surprise visit to my family’s home. Then they pistol whipped me on the crown of my head before making their escape.

When I finally regained consciousness I did call the police. The young female officer that responded basically told me that I was an idiot for not just running the guy over. Then she suggested that I get my concealed carry license so that I could defend myself if need be, especially if I would be continuing to work in that area. I had always wanted to get the license, but it hadn’t been my number one priority.

I went home that night and secured my house the best that I could. I loaded every gun I had and made sure my wife had access to one as well in case anything went wrong. I barely slept a wink that night, jerking awake at every dog that barked and car that drove by. Someone had threatened not just me, but also my wife and our two young sons. I hadn’t protected myself well that day, but I was determined to protect those who depended on me for their safety.

Despite my detailed descriptions of the two assailants, nothing ever came from my report of the crime. I have since gotten my concealed carry license, a license I have the right to obtain thanks to the Second Amendment to the Constitution. I can legally carry my firearm almost anywhere. And though I have not been assaulted or threatened since that day almost one year ago, I am prepared to protect my life as well as the lives of those I hold dear should the need ever arise again.