I just finished the class for renewing my carry permit. Here in Minnesota, we have to renew every five years, and part of that renewal is going through the class again and submitting the application. I was thinking about how I have changed and how the world has changed since I started carrying.
On the personal side, I started carrying at first because I could legally carry. I had one carry gun and one holster. As with most carriers, this did not last long. Soon I was looking for better holsters. I also changed the way I dressed. I was shopping for clothing with holsters in mind. Also, I was educating my family about firearms a lot differently than before. They soon got used to the idea of me carrying a gun. My wife got really good at letting me know if my wardrobe was not appropriate for the holster, and if I was “printing”. Before work, I would get dressed and do the fashion spin for my wife and ask her for a “Print Check”.
Soon I learned that having a single carry gun was not ideal. My M&P got supplemented by its little brother the M&P Shield. The more I carried, the more I learned about the gun laws, both local and federal. I got involved with gun rights organizations. I started researching and following the news with self defense and conceal carriers in mind.
Also during this time, I was a victim of a road rage incident. Had a rather ugly guy threaten me and even my wife (who was not even there). I called the cops, never drew my pistol. This was my first time dealing with law enforcement while being legally armed. I showed the officer my permit, and he was very courteous. He never even asked to see my gun. This officer even commended me for the restraint I showed in this situation. If that ugly dude had only known that the man he was threatening was armed. He was only one mistake away from getting drawn on and possibly shot.
When I started carrying, I was so worried that I would be “made”. Now, I have gotten so comfortable, and attitudes have changed toward carriers here, that I have open carried on occasion. I should clarify that “I” am more comfortable, my wife is not comfortable with me open carrying yet.
Now what I have shared would probably be considered “normal” for a typical legal carrier. Nothing flashy, nor exciting with exception of the road rage incident. So what have I really learned? About society? About gun rights politics? About firearms and gear? I would say a lot. I have learned that most people are accepting of permit holders carrying. I would also say politics have gotten more important. A politicians view of the 2nd Amendment is the first thing I look for. I have learned that the politicians that are “anti-gun” are really out for more control over society. Guns are just the beginning.
How have I changed? I am more aware of my surroundings. I am more aware of dangers that surround us. I am more aware of the anti-freedom forces that exist here. I am more aware of our rights being so fragile, so close to being on the brink of being lost. I have an appreciation of our freedoms that I did not have 5 years ago.
What has not changed? I am still a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a neighbor, an employee, and a gun owner. I am still a Gun Toting Dad.