I held off on writing this one for a long time. And it seemingly delayed all of my other posts. Maybe with this out of the way I can write more.
I have actually owned a gun for about two years now and had my concealed carry for a little over a year. As I intended to finally get around to writing this post, some sicko shot innocent people in a movie theater. If you were a gun owner, you did not get an opinion. Guns were evil and so was every person that thought they should be legal. As the fury subsided and it felt safe to publicly cross this off my list, the horrors of Newtown happened and vitriol towards gun owners hit an all time high and ridiculous laws that would not have prevented either tragedy started getting passed at state levels to go with the political grandstanding.
There is a long debate as to why I think those laws are stupid, make the citizens actually unsafer and what laws I would put in place (yes, there is room for gun laws that do not threaten the second amendment).
I will say that I fully understand people’s apprehension with guns and furthermore the cowboy mentality a lot of gun owners display. But when someone in your family has been held up at gun point twice, you also understand that the police will almost never be there to protect you in the moment.
With that being said, my point is not launch into a long debate over gun control and the “need” to carry. North Carolina is an open carry state. I got my Concealed Carry License so as not alarm others when I do carry. I carry because I don’t want to be a victim or feel helpless as this world gets increasingly violent.
But, I am a responsible gun owner. I do not wave my gun around. I do not threaten people with the fact that I own a gun. If I’m not at the range and it is loaded, it ALWAYS stays holstered. If I pull it out, at least two lives are going to be forever changed and I don’t ever want that.
I have read this before but I think it sums up my thoughts on what should be the mentality of everyone who carries a gun:
“From now on, when dealing with (ed.) crazy / possibly violent people, you will lose every argument. You are always wrong. You are sorry for impinging on their day. You will apologize and apologize again. You will back the **** down. You will put your tail between your legs. You will let them talk **** about your ladyfriend. You will let them call your mother a bitch and a ***** and your dad a bastard. You have no ego.
You do all this because if you are the one to start a fight, by default that fight now has a gun in it, and if you start losing, you’re going to pull it and kill him. And even if you don’t go to jail because you could convince the jury that it was self-defense, you’re going to have to live with the fact that you could have saved someone’s life and yet you let your ego kill someone. “You are not the police, so don’t act like them. Though all of you [civilians] are better shots than the police, you do not have the training, the continuum of force policy, or a union plus free lawyers protecting you if you screw up.
But after backing down and trying to apologize, if at any time you then feel your life or that of a loved one is in danger, put three rounds into his [cardiothoracic] vault, call the police, give a statement, go home, and sleep like a baby. You did all you could for your attacker, and he was the one that made the final decision to kill himself.”
With all of that being said, I am sympathetic to the anti-gun culture but do not believe what they believe and do not appreciate their attempts to throttle responsible gun owners. Guns are not only for protection but can be a fun hobby too. And if you don’t believe me, I would be happy to take you to the shooting range just once, teach you gun responsibility and then the thrill of squeezing off a few rounds into a safe inanimate object. I find it a truly enjoyable experience without using it to “blow off steam” or “train to kill.” I think most responsible gun owners would agree.
Regardless, this is being crossed off my list.
When I created my 30 by 30 list I indicated I wanted to run a 10K. Even then I thought it would take a miracle to complete because at the time I couldn’t even run two miles. But sure enough, I fought through a lot of pain and with some hard work I completed my goal. The only problem was, I didn’t have a medal to show for my hard work. I started thinking to myself, where could I get a medal? Then it hit me! I could run a half-marathon!
In actuality, my decision to run a half-marathon went nothing like that. I am a goal oriented person but I am also prone to laziness. Now that I had completed a 10K, I knew the only way I was going to stick with running as a form of exercise would be to sign up for another race. So I signed up for a half-marathon and started training. The only problem was I would not stick to a mid-week running schedule and would only run my long runs on the weekend. That was fine when the long runs were 4-7 miles. But once the mileage got up there, it took its toll. On a 12-mile run I strained a hamstring, aggravated my IT band and entrapped a nerve in my foot. Yes, all on the same run. As such, I could barely walk and actually had to use crutches for a few days. I missed my half-marathon and could not run for another month and a half.
Determined to actually run a half-marathon, I added it to my 40 to do by 40 list and started my training again last summer. I signed up for the inaugural Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in November. I convinced a few friends to sign up as well and began running with a group to keep me accountable.
Training consisted of a few mid-week runs that were 3-5 miles long including a day of speed work. On Saturdays I would meet my running group and complete our long runs. It was beneficial because there were people to run with and talk with and water stations were set up for us every two miles. Along the way I had to buy new running shoes and new running shorts because I wore my existing ones down.
My last run before the half-marathon was my dreaded 12-miler. The same one I hurt myself on the year before. However, this time a better training plan paid off! Not only did I complete the run injury free, but I had also hit a great running pace and felt like I could easily knock out another few miles if I had to. Not wanting to push it before the race, I held off but was ready to take another crack at running a half-marathon.
Part 2: It’s Race Day! Run a Half-Marathon – Complete (coming tomorrow)
I am excited to finally post that all of the descriptions for my 40 to do by 40 list are written. You can access the main page here. You can also click on each individual goal to read the full description.
Please let me know if you would like to join me on ANY of these goals. When I was working on my 30 by 30 list, I had people join me for sky diving, building my desk, working on a Habitat house, donating blood, snowboarding, hunting, fly fishing, running my 10K, and others. All in all, I had someone participate in 14 of my completed goals. Review my 40 to do by 40 list and if you want to do it too, let me know in the comment section and I can let you know when I am working on it.
In the time it took my to actually complete the website, I have already completed Running a Half Marathon and am working on Going on Another International Mission Trip. I have a gun and am waiting on my Concealed Carry License to be sent to me. Those posts will be written shortly and added to the site.
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Thanks for checking out my new site 40 Things To Do By 40. To see all it all started, please check out my 3o Things By 30 Site. I am currently working on typing up the descriptions for each goal and hope to have them done soon.
In the meantime, you can check out the “About” section of this blog. I do hope you will join me over the next decade.