Last weekend, many people around the United States, and specifically in DC, were organizing to take part in the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence but let's face it, the protest was really against the NRA and the 2nd Amendment. In response, the gun community wanted to start a movement of our own. I don't know who started the #WhyICarry movement for the #2A supporters but I applaud them. This movement wasn't about showing off the guns we own, the style of guns, or how many for that matter. This movement was about the #2A community banding together to share with the world why we feel it's important that our freedom to carry a gun is protected and why we choose to carry a gun.
I'm sure like most of my fellow Instagrammers and supporters of this hashtag, we were all blown away by the amount of posts that flooded our feeds over the course of last weekend. While the general consensus of why everyone chooses to carry is somewhat the same - wanting to protect family and defend oneself - there were many people that opened up about stories where they had been assaulted, encountered a potentially life-threatening situation, and stories about how our freedoms are at stake. I saw people who I never even realized carried participating and posting photos of their children and providing these heart-warming and common sense reasons as to why they carry.
I felt it was important to share this movement some place other than Instagram because the media won't talk about it. I asked my followers to tag me in their posts last weekend so I could share some of them here. We aren't bad people. We are responsible law-abiding gun owners and do not want to lose our right to protect ourselves and our families because of the acts my evil people that are set on doing harm in this world. While the oppositions voice is much louder, don't let them bring you down. It takes courage to speak up and stand up for what you believe in especially when it's not the norm or not popular.
I shared why I carried last weekend (see below) and for me it's all comes down to self-reliance. I'm not sharing these posts to start an argument over what is right and wrong or to justify our reasons. I'm hopeful that maybe some people who might not understand why we carry might read through some of these and want to become more informed or educated. We aren't paranoid. We aren't looking to use our guns. We just want to be prepared to be able to defend ourselves.
I carry because I choose to be responsible for my own safety. I choose to carry a gun because while I can't predict harm I can do my best to be prepared for it. I'm a responsible gun owner, I educate myself on the laws and issues, and I train so I know how to properly use it. I don't carry in hopes to ever have to use it but I'm prepared to if it comes down to defending my life or my loved ones. I stand strong and empowered knowing that I’ve chosen to be a self-reliant woman.
And while we all shared the reasons behind why we carry, Lauren's post (below) touched on it in a different way. In a way many of us can relate to. I love her message for that weekend and wanted to call attention to it because she articulates what I think a lot of us #2A supporters believe as well.
My initial reaction (like many others) when asked to articulate my views on the 2nd Amendment are twofold: I begin with explaining why I carry a gun/why I own, “military style” firearms, followed by what it “means” to me to be an advocate for the second.
Today, I will not explain myself as to #WhyICarry or why I own the guns I do because the fact remains, it is because I can. What exists, and what I have argued in the past are an immense number of reasons as to why I carry and I have spent many days wasting my breathe and my time explaining them, but today is not one of those days. What I say will not change the minds of those who aren’t looking beyond their perceived façade of security. What I say will not make someone understand that the removal of a freedom (regardless of what it is) is detrimental not only to the freedom in question, but all freedoms. Once you start picking apart an Amendment based on a diminutive understanding you run the risk of creating the slippery slope you cannot stop.
Some may read this and call me “overdramatic,” but those same people don’t understand history. They don’t understand the world around them that doesn’t have a Constitution created to protect them from their government; but I digress.
Today, I will not feed the egos of those who desire for me to explain myself to them only to be met NOT with a statement of “I understand, I don’t agree,” BUT with attacks and statements intended to traduce my character. Therefore, I carry and I own #BecauseICan
Excuse me ma’am, why do you vote? Because I can. #19A
Excuse me sir, why do I need a warrant to search your house? Because you do. #4A
Excuse me ma’am, why must I give you due process of law even though I have an overwhelming amount of alleged evidence to prove your guilt and see you as a “risk” to public safety? Because you do. #5A
Excuse me sir, why can’t I force you into slavery and give you no rights? Because you can’t. #13A
Excuse me ma’am, why do you wear that burka in public? Because I can. #1A
Excuse me sir, why do you own a gun? #BecauseICan #2A
No explanation required.
Please take the time to read through these and if you want to read more please checkout the #WhyICarry hashtag on Instagram.