The idea that someone would *need* to carry a gun around was something straight out of an old western movie.
Consider that Canada had a pretty smooth history of westward migration compared to the US. The government had the foresight to send out the RCMP *before* the settlers really came en mass - and a result, they managed to keep the western part of Canada much more tame and civil. The rule of law before the rule of the gun - the latter seems to have been much more prevalent south of the border. In fact, the most trouble we had was from whiskey runners coming up from Alberta. Trust me, I grew up near a place called "Whiskey Gap" and "Fort Whoop-up" which were both places where whiskey traders plied their trade.
However, consider that my history also dates back to the forced migration of Mormons from the east/midwest to Utah. As a result of our unique heritage, we Mormons tend to have a self-reliant streak a mile wide. Or at least a history of it - many of us are getting as fat and lazy as the other sheeple thinking that Albertsons and King George will provide.
We've had times where government was out to kill us (extermination orders, Invasion armies heading to Utah) and others when we worked quite well with them (Mormon Battalion, Railroads etc). I'm actually quite proud that this duality - we've worked well together and we've walked away from tyrants and mob rule.
In short, we've shot back and we've walked away when it was the right thing to do. Consider also that our scriptures (The Book of Mormon) have tales of both as well - we've got great soldier leaders who fought against oppression and other great examples who vowed never to shed blood and buried their weapons in the ground. Very cool.
Anyhow, back to the idea of concealed carry. I live in Washington State and I looked into the whole process almost from an academic exercise. I wanted to see what it took to be legal to carry a gun.
As an aside: part of me has grown to see the silliness of asking the government to "authorize me" to carry a gun for self defense. I mean, the 2nd amendment is pretty clear on the whole "Bear" part. I know I'm not alone, and there are a few states who do this.
But part of me realizes that there are *alot* of rubes out there. Morons. Idiots. Goofballs. Tools. People who don't put thought into their actions. Do I want them carrying a gun around endangering me if I'm in the next bathroom stall? Remember that dude who blew up a toilet in Utah at a Fast Food restaurant a few months ago? His conceal piece fell out of his belt and discharged, shattering the toilet bowl. He was lucky no one was injured.
Carrying a gun is a HUGE responsibility as you have the ability to protect yourself or harm others thru negligence. I know that lefties tend to get all in knots over both of these - the police can protect you and the odds of you using it to defend yourself are slim, while the odds you'll make a stupid mistake and hurt someone else are probably up there. I do note that few really know the actual statistics when they opine about this - I sure don't.
That dude in the Utah bathroom was careless and could have killed someone. You can't dismiss it easily.
So anyhow, I went to the local Sheriff's department and setup my appointment. I had to wait a few days and I was back - all I needed to do was fill out a form, get fingerprinted and wait while they ran a BG check on me.
Honestly, I was expecting more. I mean, to drive a car (which can also be dangerous or helpful - and both are definitely more significant statistically speaking) one has to jump thru all kinds of hoops - practical test, written test, eye test. Hell, I can't serve hotdogs (not that I would, I'm a vegetarian) to kids at a baseball game without a food permit.
So in about 30 days my permit showed up. To be honest, all I really wanted it for was so I didn't have to wait when I purchased a handgun.
In fact, soon after I decided to get a carry gun in case I wanted to do so - and I decided on a Kel-Tec P3AT. Buying this tie was much nicer and I walked out with my new tool 30 min after going in.
Honestly, I do like the idea of a CCW permit because it proves I've gone thru a BG check and was clean - at least when it was done X years ago. A rational lefty would argue that this might be the best way to make sure person-to-person sales (i.e. the gunshow loophole) are legit. Personally, I'd never sell a firearm to anyone without a CCW - and I know from what I see in classifieds that I'm not alone.
So, have I carried?
I certainly didn't start out doing it. Before the Kel-Tec, the Bersa was just too big, and being new, I was too self conscious of it. I didn't even consider the Glock. The Bersa is slim and small, but the Kel-Tec dissapears in your pocket.
At first I tried IWB in the small of the back. It was annoying as hell. Couldn't sit down, I felt it was printing all the time. Just hated it. So I only did it on occasion. And often it went into bags I was carrying rather than on me specifically.
A few months ago, I decided to really try to carry ever day. I have expensive cameras and like to wander around a lot, and it gives me a bit of added security - there has been several times where I've been in dicey situations with 10k worth of camera equipment around my neck. Gunnies, photographers have it worse than you, trust me.
Even the Kel-Tec wasn't working IWB, so I got a pocket holster and fell in love with it. I ended up going out and buying some BDU style shorts (needed some new ones anyhow) and found them perfect for carry. I'd plop the gun in its holster into my back pocket and I was good. I could drive, work, play and it just felt right. The size of the P3AT and that holster are perfect in my book.
I now carry every day. Even at home while working or messing around in the garden. Washington is pretty good about letting you carry most places - I just have to avoid post offices, schools and municipal buildings. And yes, I think its pretty silly to have gun free zones. It seems to me that criminals, by nature, will ignore that rule, but I have to? Stupid. And I hate having to disarm to go into the post office, which I have to do daily because I live in a rural area without home delivery.
I guess if something goes bad, we can all run to the post office and let the magical forcefield protect me and my family from danger.
Yeah, that is the plan...