Piece be with you! But if it's at home, and not with you, it won't do you a whole lot of good.

Piece be with you! But if it’s at home, and not with you, it won’t do you a whole lot of good.

The fourth deadly sin of concealed carry is… not. Not carrying, that is.

Crazy has roamed the earth for about 65 million years – several decades before Joan Rivers’ first plastic surgery. Consider that we live in a world where  people proudly claim they are “Beliebers“, faux celebrities name their cute babies North West and despotic Korean dictators have family members executed for missing a Black Friday Blu-Ray player sale. The scary part is that the current level of human crazy barely makes the nightly news.

So forgive me if I disagree when people tell me they aren’t carrying for reasons like this:

  • “I’m just running to the store.”
  • “I’ll only be out for a few minutes.”
  • “I won’t need my gun.”
  • “I won’t be in any bad areas.”

It’s an insanity-filled world out there and there is no such thing as a perfectly safe public outing. If you were really able to predict when and where you might be a victim of violent crime, why on earth would you ever be there in the first place, armed or not?

While the cause of spontaneous and violent crazy might be bath salt dessert parties, crystal meth fueled enthusiasm or just plain evil intent, you never know what’s going to happen out there. A quick look at news stories will tell you exactly why you must carry all the time if you carry at all.

The big news is frequency. According to the FBI, a violent crime of some type occurs in the United States every 26 seconds. A murder occurs every 35.4 minutes; a forcible rape every 6.2 minutes and a robbery every 1.5 minutes.

Zombies? Yeah, they’re the rage on TV and shooting accessory products, but I’m talking about the real kind. A Miami man permanently maimed another with just his teeth before being killed by a responding officer. A Texas man attacked friends and neighbors before eating the family dog. Admittedly, the odds of becoming the victim of a zombie attack are similar to Honey Bo Boo editing the Harvard Law Review. But it’s a classic example of the need to expect the unexpected.

The big news this winter is a series of “knockout game” reports. Apparently some folks’ idea of entertainment is to sneak up on distracted pedestrians and punch them in the head, trying to knock them unconscious from a single blow. Some game. Consider the fact that 678 people were murdered last year by beating with nothing but hands and feet. That’s over twice as many as killed by rifles of any kind.

Concealed carry isn’t only for protection against crime. You never know when you might need immediate access to a concealed weapon to protect yourself from irritable members of the animal kingdom. Dog attacks like this one suffered by 77-year-old Anthony Wilson are far too common. Other critters? How about a bobcat attack in Holden, Massachusetts? Heck, you might even cross paths with a shoplifting sea lion.

A New Orleans biker was rammed by a car while riding in a quiet residential neighborhood. After the aggressive bike bonk, the male driver and female accomplice robbed the downed cyclist at gunpoint. While carrying is not likely to help much against a Buick bludgeoning, our hapless cyclist might have appreciated the option of a concealed gun when on the ground facing armed robbers.

Home invasions? Here’s the gotcha. Home invasions are not a defined crime category in the FBI tracking statistics, so you have to estimate your own figure. At a high level, there are over 2 million burglaries per year in the United States annually. Roughly two-thirds of those are residential. The bottom line? People are breaking into houses, occupied and not, all the time. Concealed carry applies while at home too.

Violent crime happens everywhere, everyday. New York City officials made a big deal of publicizing November 26, 2012. Why? It was the only day anyone could remember without a reported murder, shooting, or stabbing. The fact that a day without violence is a notable event tells you all you need to know about the need to carry every day.

When people carry guns, criminals listen. Back in 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the home. Burglary rates dropped 89 percent and violent crime rates continue to be 85 percent lower than the national average. A potential lesson? When people expect armed opposition, they tend to behave. I know, concealed carry means that no one knows you’re carrying. But if the status quo becomes an assumption that permit holders carry everywhere, criminals will become somewhat more wary.

Be safe out there folks, it’s a crazy world. Piece be with you.