3/10/14 | by Jim Grant
In an earlier article I narrated how I obtained my CCW permit at the tender age of 21, the eligible age prescribed by law in Massachusetts. However, I had not yet made the mental decision that I would do what is required to keep both my family and me safe. As I began to carry my 1911 with me everywhere, I began to feel more and more like a Jedi. Am I advocating that any joe schmoe walk out into the street feeling like an invincible space samurai looking for trouble? Absolutely not.
When I was a young Padawan unaccustomed to carrying steel, I felt like everyone knew my “dark secret”. Every glancing eye could see right through my leather coat, silently reading “Colt Series 70” with horror as they speed dialed the cops to whisk me away for having a handgun. Before leaving my house, I would gawk at myself in a full-length mirror desperately trying to determine what angles I could bend at without revealing my pony-clad protection.
I read everything about CCW I could. I memorized the self-defense laws of where I lived and would mentally run through worst case scenarios whenever I traveled. I would determine where the best cover was and who to engage in what order if the whole place erupted into an old-west gunfight. It sounds ridiculous now, but at the time I felt like Atlas with the world resting on my shoulders.
I acquired as much training as possible and carried everywhere I legally could. Over time, I became more comfortable as I learned different techniques for assessing potential threats. My motions through life became more deliberate, my mind more focused. When I got a craving for beef jerky at two in the morning in downtown Boston, I didn’t wander through the bad parts to get it. I weighed out the pros and cons and would stay in until a reasonable hour, then buy a stockpile for when I was hungry next time.
How is this make me a modern-day Jedi? In the “Star Wars” films, only other Jedi and Sith (bad jedi) could tell who was and wasn’t armed with The Force. To everyone around me I am just a regular guy minding my own business, but like a Jedi I wield incredible power with equally incredible responsibility. All people who carry a gun — good or bad — are burdened with this great power. The truly psychotic and evil individuals wield it with no second thought. To them it’s a simple tool, like a hammer. To them, the word is full of nails, some more difficult than others to pound into place, but all nails just the same. One of the greatest weaknesses — though a 100 percent necessary one — of lawful gun owners is the hesitation to use lethal force. Just as Jedi don’t force choke the bank teller when he gives them incorrect change, CCW holders must wield their power responsibly.