I’m sure most of you are aware of, or heard of, the conceal carry law. In many states throughout the U.S., citizens are able to obtain a license to carry on their persons a gun that is hidden under a jacket, in a purse or other means of concealment. There are a few things you must do to apply for such a license, including being fingerprinted, having a background check done by local authorities and paying a fee. Each state regulates the rules set forth for legal possession and carry of these guns.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida will test this very law to its fullest. I have no intention of interjecting my thoughts about who was at fault or explain the state of Florida’s laws concerning what happened. This altercation left one teenager dead and another man facing the court system.
I feel that I should remind all of us of what a great responsibility we have whenever we carry a firearm for protection. I believe we all have situations and different states of mind that could affect our judgment as to when to use a firearm for protection. With this thought, maybe there are days when we should simply leave the gun at home. There are many times that I do not carry, even though I am within my rights to do so. I listen to my thoughts and good judgment, whether to carry or not.
Whenever you insert bullets in the cylinder of a revolver or put bullets in the magazine of your favorite automatic pistol, your responsibility must jump immediately to a level of alertness at all times whenever handling this firearm. The pulling of the trigger releases all of the devices that normally keep the firearm from going off. This action releases the firing pin and lets it strike the primer, firing the bullet.
Whenever we knowingly do this, the bullet leaves the barrel and goes on its way until it hits something hard enough to stop its flight. This could be a tree, a rock or any hard object. The point here is bullets, once they leave the muzzle, have no control over what they hit. The speed or velocity of the bullet affects just how far a bullet will travel, among other influences.
As we return to the original subject, there have been threats of war, people spewing out hate-filled discussions, bounties being placed for the bringing in of the now defendant, George Zimmerman, dead or alive. This one action that took place several days ago has literally placed many of our communities at risk. I have to wonder if Mr. Zimmerman or Mr. Martin would have reacted the way they did on that fateful evening if they could somehow see the outcome of their actions. I hope and pray that cooler heads will let the judicial system do its job. I am sure that this battle in the court system will be heated and effect many, if not all, of us during its decision as to what really happened during this altercation.
A parting thought: If you find yourself ready to pull your concealed firearm and intend to use it, remember that what you decide at that moment could, and probably will, affect you for the rest of your life.
The bullet cannot be brought back once you pull the trigger.
There are no winners in such an instance, only losers.
Please pray for our country.
Roger Sherrill lives in Ringgold. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.