Being armed with lethal force is always a personal decision.
However, if you fall into one of these groups and don't exercise this right, it may be wise to carefully re-consider. Some may call it paranoia; others call it street smarts. I'm in camp #2.
Here are 10 people who can't afford not to carry:
10. People who have already been victims of violent crime
Attackers don't choose victims at random. In fact, we know that perpetrators can perceive nonverbal 'signs' of vulnerability better than the rest of us can. On top of that, people who have been abused, mugged, raped, or assaulted in the past are more likely to give off these nonverbal cues and be targeted again.
Tip: If you are concerned about appearing vulnerable, here is one useful resource that describes what potential attackers look for when choosing victims.
9. People who care for valuables or carry a lot of cash
Jewelry shop owners, antique traders, and people who often carry a lot of cash should strongly consider carrying a weapon. Although robbers aren't out to kill you, they will harm you if they think the reward is worth it.
8. Parents (especially single ones)
You know the saying "Guns don't kill people; dads with daughters do"?
Just joking! On a very serious note, even though it's not likely that you would have to defend your child's life while out at the park, as a parent, you should take every step you can to make sure you're there for your child.
Good to know: many states, including Texas, have motorist protection laws that allow legal gun owners, even if they're not licensed to carry, keep a loaded gun in their vehicles. If you drive your kids around a lot but don't want to carry on your person, look into the laws in your area.
This is a no-brainer. On your home turf, you know where it's safe to go and where it's not. When traveling, you can't always avoid the seedy side of town - especially if your car breaks down while driving through it.
A nurse pushing someone in a wheelchair is a golden opportunity for a perpetrator. If you often take care of vulnerable people, you may be putting yourself at risk as well. Carrying can even out the odds.
5. Disabled people
If you're the one in the wheelchair and you are able to operate a firearm, it's good to be more powerful than you may appear to attackers.
4. Store owners and cashiers
A large proportion of armed robberies occur at the cash register. If you own a store, consider carrying a weapon as a way to defend yourself and your business. If you work at a cash register, check your employer's policies.
3. Activists, lawmakers, and public figures
If you have a career that puts you in the public eye, that multiplies the number of crazy people who have access to information about you and where you work. Whether they're mad about what you stand for or just want your paycheck, don't make yourself an easy target for the nut case in the crowd.
This is the one that will get me in trouble... so be it. As a woman, you are likely to be physically smaller than a potential attacker - and if you're like me, you don't always wear the greatest shoes for a lightning-fast getaway.
A woman can learn to use a gun just as effectively as a man - in fact, I know a few shooting instructors who say their female students usually end up shooting better than the guys. How's that for gender equality?
1. People who don't like living with regrets
The reality is, you're as likely to witness a violent crime as you are to be the target of one. Chances are, you'll emerge from that unscathed; however, if someone else doesn't, and you might have been able to prevent that...
Let's just say, regardless of the circumstances, it's an experience you'll never forget.
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