Concealed Carry - Rights and Responsibilities of Armed Private Citizens
In this article we're going to discuss what being armed entitles us to – and what it doesn't. As many of you know, the 2nd Amendment affords us the liberty to keep and bear arms. It's something that has allowed us to develop and innovate all sorts of ways to carry – concealed or open. We also have a wide variety of rights and responsibilities associated with that liberty.
As an armed private citizen, you are not
• an authorized and duly appointed sworn officer of the law
• someone fit to interpret and allocate justice
• Mad Max: Road Warrior
Some people get the idea in their head that a gun ends the argument. If you arrive to a fight or altercation and it's clear you're armed – the fight stops and everybody goes home. That's not the case at all. Being armed in a potential conflict means you're able to use deadly force to protect your own life and that of your family. It does not mean just because your kid got into a fight at school that you have authority to delve out punishment. It also doesn't mean you get to interpret the law how you see fit.
Those are jobs left for judges and lawyers. Arguably even police officers aren't allowed to interpret the law – they're job is to obey and enforce it. Law is argued in a court of law – not the street.
This liberty also doesn't afford you the right to enforce the law – outside of where it applies to your individual safety, your family's safety, and your property. When you step foot off your property, you are not enforcing the law – you're just trying to protect yourself. That's it.
So if you see someone steal a candy bar, it's not your job to stop them. You can notify the clerk, call the police, testify at the court hearing – you are not allowed to exercise deadly force in the apprehension of a criminal where that criminal's actions don't directly threaten your safety.
See a bunch of kids selling drugs on the street corner? You're not a police officer. Not a police officer, not your job to insert yourself into that conflict. Go tell a police officer. Pull out a video camera and record them. Do whatever you want – but do not incite a conflict to arise so you can use your firearm as the answering authority.
Courtesy On The Road And Arguments
The ideal armed private citizen is a well-spoken person who is able to subdue his emotions when the need arises. It's okay to be angry, frustrated, or any other emotion you feel – you can feel anything you want. You're not allowed to act on those emotions if you have a loaded firearm on your person. Heck, it's not advised to do so even if you don't.
If you get into an argument or someone cuts you off in traffic, you need to be able to let it go. There have been cases where violent shoot-outs have occurred between previously law-abiding citizens due to road rage stupidity. Don't be that guy.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.