Paranoia Or Preparedness?

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Hands hug the family (concept)

This article, written by Beth Alcazar, originally appeared on the website of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

I am an only child. And, no, I am not spoiled… except, perhaps, spoiled with attention. When I was young, I did not get everything I wanted. I did not throw tantrums to get my way. But I did grow up in an environment in which I received all of my parents’ devotion and love; so, yeah, I am a bit spoiled in that area.

I was also overprotected. I say overprotected because my mother was a bit on the “crazy mom” end of the spectrum. This could very well be because I was her one and only, but I know that she was on pins and needles when I got my first job at the toy store for the Christmas holidays, when I drove away in her Honda Civic at age 16 and when I moved away to college (just 26.8 miles away, mind you!). And I can’t count how many times my mom called the police, not because of something terrible I’d done, but because of a forgotten call home, or a wrong turn, or a miscalculated time of arrival. Because of this overprotective nature, you could say that my mom instilled within me a sense of suspicion and mistrust for the world.

When I am alone, I tend to zone in on the task at hand, ignoring distractions and avoiding conversations, whether shopping, running errands or traveling to work. But you’d better believe that I cautiously take in my surroundings; and if something looks or feels odd, I’m in alert mode. And even if everything seems fine, I take my time to find parking spots in well-lit areas; I look around to see if people are nearby; and I think about places to hide or take cover in an emergency situation.

When I am with my children, I scan parking decks and parking lots. I wait for people to walk by or drive away if they’re near us. And no matter if we’re playing at the park, attending a school program or trying to win tickets at Chuck E. Cheese’s, I watch for weirdos who might let a friendly smile or gaze linger too long on my daughters or my son. I stay close to my children. I watch everything and everyone.

When I am at home, I set the alarm. I lock the doors (and check them often, in case my energetic son or my forgetful husband unlocks something without my knowing). I make mental checks of the locations of our guns and ammo. I make sure I know where my children are and what they’re doing. And I keep my cellphone close. I’ve watched way too many “Investigation Discovery” TV shows to believe that a quiet day at home in a friendly, suburban neighborhood is completely and innocuously “safe.”

I also realize that all of this is not enough. So I choose to carry a handgun. While I don’t linger on the thoughts of impending danger (I have enough nightmares and worries to deal with, after all), I do consider the fact that bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Don’t call it paranoia; call it preparedness.

My children look to my husband and to me for answers, for direction, for love and for protection. I don’t want to let them down. I’m a proud and responsible gun owner; and, just like my mother before me, I’ll err on the side of “crazy mom,” any day.

USCCA

(United States Concealed Carry Association) is the Nation’s ultimate concealed carry resource. The USCCA website is for people who are willing to carry a concealed weapon to protect their loved ones.