My Kimber Custom II

My Kimber Custom II

This is a question I get asked from time to time. Sometimes, the question is sincere. Sometimes, it is merely an effort to expose some flaw in me.

If you are genuinely curious, please read on. If you are seeking to expose a flaw in me, please read on as well. I have answered all kinds of imaginable curiosities and personal attacks in the past and will do my best to address them here in a concise and easy to follow manner.

I guess it’s best I start with a story.

I first obtained my Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in July 2010. I owned one pistol that I kept in a nightstand. I was facing a move to a large city and due to my budgetary constraints I was not in a place to be as choosy as I had in the past. A CHL would make legal transportation much easier.

Afterall, who would really mess with me? I’m 6’2” and weigh 270 pounds. I wear a beard and a bald head. I ride old school motorcycles. I looked like the stereotypical 1%er. I was not, mind you, but I looked it.

The time came to look for new living arrangements. I used the usual tools to locate some potential homes. Once I identified six or seven, I set out to scope the neighborhoods.

My adventure began on a hot August day. I threw my leg over my old police cruiser and set out with a map and a notebook. The homes and apartments were nothing fancy, but one stood out.

There was this one house that was in my price range and bicycling distance from campus. I was especially excited to see it. I turned left onto the street the prospect was on.

Time slowed down as this white boy rode his police motorcycle two blocks into what seemed like the set of Menace II Society. I’ve been in some rough places, but never alone and never as the intruder minority.  Those people leered at me as I rode by, pointing and talking to their friends.

It got worse once I parked. A metallic green Cadillac riding low on rims that easily cost more than the car full of young black youth rolled by me VERY slowly. I could make out the lyrics to the gangster rap coming from the car’s trunk as I tried so very hard not to lock eyes with its occupants.

The house was quaint. It was definitely a step down, but I was on a smaller budget. It was livable.  The one next to my prospect was quite different.

Most of the windows were boarded up. Those that weren’t had slits in the bottoms of the window screens. For you readers that don’t understand the significance of those slits, drug deals happen through them like a drive through window.

I noticed several small holes in the siding along the front of the house. I didn’t think much of them initially. Once I saw the words “CRIP BITCH!” spray painted on the side of the house I was certain those 20-30 holes were from bullets. I can’t tell you what caliber they were, but once I realized they were bullet holes, they became huge!

I could just imagine someone trying to make a hole that big in me!

That’s when I saw the metallic green Cadillac for a THIRD time and decided it was time for this white boy to get out. I tried to stay as calm as possible knowing that I was being cased. I got on my scooter and pulled out of there as quickly as I could without drawing attention to myself.

As if they didn’t already notice me.

I took a right from Osceola Avenue back onto East Hudson Street toward the freeway. Just as I pulled out, a Columbus Police car was passing by. I stayed on that car’s tail until I was able to get on I-71 southbound and haul ass until I was far away from there.

I wasn’t carrying my firearm that day.

Looking back, I wish I was. I wasn’t intimidated or fearful. I just like to live.

But, I went there on purpose. How many times while riding my motorcycle on long solo trips have I gone near such places? What if by accident I found myself with a disabled motorcycle on East Hudson Street or someplace similar a few hours later in the day?

I made the decision at that very moment to make carrying a firearm for my self-defense part of my life. I set out to find a carry method that maximized concealment and tactical response. I began training for the unfortunate moment I would have to use that firearm to live.

I moved to Columbus, Hilliard actually, dedicated to developing a mindset of awareness. I’m not sure if my new outlook forced me to pay attention to the news, but I began noticing crime in areas where and times when people otherwise felt safe. I began to understand that criminals do not observe a schedule or operating areas.

Just recently 68 people thought they were safe in a movie theater. Six more thought they were safe at their place of worship. Two workers at Ohio State felt safe on the night shift in 2010.

This further solidified my resolve.

Little did I know that I would end up spending the majority of my time over the next four years in a place where despite my spotless background I wasn’t allowed to have that firearm. Once I realized that fact, I wasn’t pleased. It made no sense to me.

I had no choice but to accept it. I’m law-abiding. I am a big guy and I could just avoid places I didn’t know when I wasn’t carrying my gun. I came to the conclusion that carrying a firearm illegally onto campus wasn’t worth the risk.

I was still going to carry everywhere I was legally allowed to. Despite this restriction I was determined stay focused on making concealed carry part of my life. I get questioned on this resolve from time to time.

People have called my choice to carry a firearm compensation. They usually make some phallus reference. Since I understand the psychological phenomenon known as project, the phallic reference only makes me chuckle.

But they are on to something. I am compensating. I’m compensating for a lack of people to help me out when I encounter multiple attackers. I’m compensating for a stronger, faster attacker. I’m compensating for an attacker with a baseball bat or some other means of mechanical assist.

Some people, even one friend has questioned why I would need a gun now when I’m so young. He suggests that I can wait a few years before I really need to start carrying. I indeed could do that, but I would be missing out on years of training and skill development for something I may need more when I age.

I wasn’t going to let this new lifestyle, the external limitations on it, and the sometimes ugly insults for choosing it negatively affect me. I began enjoying college life as much as I could. It was a difficult task at first. Being around young beautiful women everyday made the task much, much easier though.

The all of the sudden, it hit me.

I’m a big guy. I can hold my own under normal circumstances. I can avoid situations using the heightened situational awareness I developed. I can survive.

These gorgeous girls I am surrounded by do have gifts, but they’re not the same as mine. There is no way the average young woman can keep the average young man from doing her serious bodily harm should he choose to. Sure, they may both not have firearms (assuming of course the guy breaking the law by assaulted a young woman isn’t also disregarding the one banning firearms on campus), but she is at a serious disadvantage.

And that is doing her a grave disservice.

I could not stand by idly and allow that to happen. What if one of my friends was assaulted? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing I allowed that to happen.

I tried looking at all logic to understand how a campus-wide firearms ban would make these young women safer. I just could not find one. No valid reason existed.

Why was the law even there? Why do we allow it to remain intact? Why am I accepting it?

I made the decision during the summer of 2011 that I was no longer going to idly allow these young women or any law-abiding citizen to remain at a disadvantage. And so began my activism. In just under two years I had gone from someone who obtained a CHL to make transport easy into someone who wants to make it so a licensee can carry on a college campus with no restrictions.

In case you couldn’t tell, I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

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