According to Massab Ayoob, the three critical parts of a self-defense shooting are Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy.
- Ability means that the aggressor has the tools or physical strength to cause death or grievous injury.
- Opportunity means they are in your presence and within the effective range of the tool.
- Jeopardy means that they have expressed a desire or intent to cause harm.
So here's what got me thinking: I'm sitting with you in a room and I have my concealed carry gun with me. That's the first two legs of the triad right there, ability and opportunity. The only difference between me and a murderer is that I have no intention (jeopardy) of hurting you.
But here's the problem: no one but me knows what's inside my head. I could be harboring murderous thoughts and you'd never know until I acted upon them.
I think this is why anti-gun people are so scared of civilian concealed carriers, and why they love the police: theoretically, police officers have had some kind of mental screening to weed out people who might be harboring thoughts of murder, but citizen carriers don't. I understand the anti-gun mindset a bit more now.
NOTE THAT I DID NOT SAY I AGREE WITH IT! ...just that I "get it" a bit more than before.
So now that I feel I have better understanding of their fear, the big question is "How do we, responsible civilian gun owners, allay those fears?"
I'm thinking that drawing a parallel to cars might be the answer:
- Other drivers also have ability and opportunity, but we don't fear them all as murderers-in-waiting;
- Defensive driving is based upon the notion that other people are careless and might try to kill you by accident if not negligence or malice, so defensive driving and seatbelts are the vehicle version of concealed carry;
- Cars are culturally less frightening than guns.
Thoughts on this matter are most welcome.