Guns & Patriots

Who Should Not Carry a Gun?

With power comes responsibility. With greater power, comes greater responsibility. If you carry a gun, you carry the power of life and death. That’s a lot of power. Such power raises your level of responsibility such that you must be diligent in avoiding social conflicts that could escalate into serious violence.

You must avoid road rage incidents and the like. This is because if you are in a violent physical confrontation, by having a gun on you, you are introducing deadly force into the equation.

Why do we carry a gun in the first place? The common answer is for self defense, and as a last resort in response to an unavoidable threat of imminent death or grave bodily harm. That is the only right answer.

However, if we delve deeper, it becomes clear that we carry a gun so that we don’t have to use it. The more we train, the less likely we are to have to use it. So, we must train so that we don’t have to use it. What other tool do we carry with us that we don’t want to have to use? The gun is unique in that respect.

Sure, we buy insurance and hope we don’t have to use it. In a sense, a defensive firearm is like insurance. You want to have it in the event you need it, but you don’t want to have to need it. It is an emergency rescue tool for the gravest of extremes.

There are some people who should not carry a gun

I’m a passionate gun rights advocate. However, there are some types of people who should not carry a gun, and perhaps even not own one! Permit me to explain.

For one, there are people whose personality, or intellectual deficiencies, or lack of common sense make it impossible for them to understand the grave responsibility that goes along with being armed. Perhaps they get so confused at times that they are unable to pay attention for long enough to learn how to safely operate a firearm.

Then, there are people who lack the necessary judgment and impulse control that would enable them to exercise appropriate restraint when they get hot under the collar.  These people present a risk to themselves and others if they are armed. These people should not carry a gun.

People with severe attention deficit disorder should probably not carry a firearm. They can turn into a danger to themselves or others. Also, people who do not have the necessary intellectual capacity, patience, or character to learn what they need to learn to take on the responsibility of owning a gun should certainly not carry a gun.

People who are violent criminal actors, or who have major anger management issues and very short fuses should not own guns.  Obviously, all efforts should be made legally to prevent psychopaths and sociopaths and criminal personalities from owning guns.

Then, there are clinically depressed people who are at risk of committing suicide.  They should be convinced to give up their firearms temporarily until their depression is well under control.  While they remain clinically depressed, these people should not own guns. 

Ignorance is no excuse. There are people who are so smug or stupid or ignorant that they believe that it is okay to purchase a gun and not take any lessons on how to use it.  There are many people who think they know everything that they need to know about using a gun–just aim at your target and pull the trigger.  The heck with all the complicated and boring stuff!  Wrong! Actually, there’s a substantial body of knowledge that is necessary for you to develop that goes along with responsible gun ownership and concealed carry.        

Carrying a gun is not a game.  Carrying a gun is a serious commitment, and with that commitment, comes grave responsibility. Anyone who is not willing to put the time into learning how to operate and maintain his or her firearm, into to learning about the judicious use of force, including deadly force, and into learning how to effectively conceal their firearm so that it is out of sight, should not carry a gun. 

Hoplophobics. Hoplophobia is an abnormal and irrational fear of weapons such as knives and firearms. It is a true phobia and often, a complex and deep versus a simple phobia. Hoplophobics are people who feel so uncomfortable with firearms that they will never go to the range and practice.

Many of these folks are unable and unwilling to take a human life in self defense even if it means getting raped or murdered. Their belief system makes them morally opposed to self defense. They would rather the State defend them. They live under a dangerous illusion, and they cannot carry a gun, if at all own one without grave risk to themselves and others. They will not learn how to use their gun. They will not develop the mental readiness and preparation for using a gun in self-defense if the situation warrants it.

People who are show-offs and braggarts and who can’t keep their mouths shut about serious and personal matters perhaps should not carry a gun. If they let the world know that they carry a gun, who knows what can happen? For example, I had a neighbor once who wanted to be taken to the range. He came calling one day and asked to see my gun collection. I denied having much of a gun collection which was the truth. In a lapse of judgment, I agreed to take this neighbor to the range. Much to my surprise, this neighbor met me with two of his neighbors and his son in his truck. He was telling those neighbors what a “gun nut” and marksman I was! 

At the range (I should have walked away right then and there!), my neighbor was unwilling and perhaps even unable to focus and listen to instruction.  He just wanted to be allowed to shoot!  Then he wanted to purchase the range gun (an ultra-compact small caliber pistol) at a bargain price so that he could keep it in his bedroom drawer as a home defense weapon!  He wanted to be able to use it to blow off an intruder’s head, especially if the intruder took any members of his family hostage! 

On the line at the range, this gentleman kept fumbling with the gun but wouldn’t pay attention to instruction on how to operate the pistol.  He just couldn’t keep the gun consistently pointed down range.  He kept turning around with the loaded gun in his hand, unwittingly pointing it at the instructor and at the office behind the range. This person was a menace with a gun. 

In another case, I was teaching a basic NRA firearms class at the range. One of the students who registered for the class kept talking about “close calls,” people that were out to get him, and situations in which he had the opportunity to blow someone’s brains out but didn’t.  He limped and carried one of those sword canes with him. 

His affect was stilted and he looked very angry at times.  He never seemed to being paying attention to the instructor. 

He seemed as if he was in another world.  He dropped out of the class after two classes. This was not a person who I felt should own a gun.

He wanted permission to kill people! We don’t give that.

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  • Slinger56

    So then you suggest people carry JUST because it is their right? Piss poor reason if you ask me! Take down your Abbey Hoffman posters please.

    Just my thoughts, but I wonder how those same architects of the Constitution would design “rights” today? With absolute & complete abandon for any common sense?

  • Duke_Digger

    “people who lack the necessary judgment and impulse control that would
    enable them to exercise appropriate restraint when they get hot under
    the collar.  These people present a risk to themselves and others if
    they are armed. These people should not carry a gun. People who have major anger
    management issues and very short fuses should not own guns.”
    Now don’t go disrespecting the city cops!

    “people who do not have the necessary intellectual capacity, patience, or
    character to learn what they need to learn to take on the
    responsibility of owning a gun should certainly not carry a gun.”

    Do tell, good doctor, just how does one judge intellectual capacity? The number of degrees stacked behind a name? Really?

    In the words of H.L.Mencken “I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”

    Liberty over safety!

    On the subject of being uncomfortable about the skill level of those who carry. Tough, that is their right. And how can one determine the skill level just by looking? This discomfort is the price we pay as a free society. If you restrict the right, you dictate that some do not have the same right of self-protection as you do because of some arbitrary skill set. The weakest mouse has the right to fend off its attacker, even if it is never successful. For those whose lack of skill or whose ill will toward others causes injury or worse, they will be punished accordingly. But you cannot preemptively decide that someone doesn’t deserve the right to self-preservation, especially if you have no idea of their skill level.


    This article elaborates concerns felt by many who are familiar with firearms ownership, use and the associated implicit responsibility.  However, it is imparative that when one promotes the concept of limiting ownership of firearms in the United States that an ironclad, objectively verifiable definition of what constitutes “unfit” is included as an integral component of such a proposal.  When I first studied physics in high school, I was taught that “Force = Mass x Acceleration” (we ignored the effects of friction and drag to simplify the calculation).  Yet in the real world, friction can have an alarming impact (It burns up space vehicles on re-entry) and drag can cause perfectly good aircraft to crash.  The point is that this academic treatment of who should have their right to keep and bear arms infringed is an academic exercise without a well thought out basis in reality. 

    I, for one, abhore the actions of “activist judges.” This is fodder for an “activist judge” to determine that there are those who should and those who should not be allowed to keep and bear arms.  The question that remains is, “How will they define the ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’?”  Remember that it is not long since that the Secretary of Homeland Defense inferred that veterans are potential domestic terrorists.  Should veterans have their right to keep and bear arms infringed?

    Remember the words of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:  “A wel regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Our freedom is directly related to our willingness to accept associated risk; and all actions taken to mitigate those risks erode our freedom.  For example, a man who makes his living by taking what is not his from others accepts the risk that those that own that which he covets are not going to be able to stop him (in the the US today, highly likely).  The owner of the covetted items, on the other hand, is free to own the covetted items as long as he can hold them.  The National Rifleman has a monthy feature (The Armed Citizen) that addresses this very thing.  Deciding who should and should not be allowed to own firearms is a slippery slope that may well be the very means used to make us who love this country and the freedoms granted by its Constitution “should nots.”


  • imbobzilla

    I would approve of an IQ test for prospective drivers, as well as shooters. And I believe in both cases (driving and shooting) some folks are just NOT cut out for the activity. Let me just say that I have had many many close calls because of irresponsible drivers and that number grows more each day with folks texting and driving. I have only had one close call with a gun – the gun that was pointed at my head during an armed robbery. Needless to say, I carry AND I drive. Nuff said! But I sure wouldn’t mind if folks had to pass some sort of mental evaluation. But who gets to decide and administer that test is where I get stuck. Who makes the rules? How do we do it without encroaching on the basic rights of folks who are perfectly capable and willing to do it right? I am all about 2nd Amendment rights and I believe that if we do ANYTHING like this article suggests with guns, then we MUST do it also with cars. I think then I would agree to it. The guy who turns the gun towards the gun range office and the instructor is NO different from the 20-something girl I saw today, steering her car in traffic at about 45mph with her left hand, while she looked at her phone to compose a text. They are BOTH a menace – and they BOTH put folks in an equally deadly situation.

  • imbobzilla

    But that’s exactly the point. We DO NOT have to pass anything to drive a 3,000lb vehicle, nor does anyone seem to care that cell phone drivers now kill more people than drunk drivers do. Three times as many, last time I heard a statistic about it. The behind the wheel “driving test” is a joke – geared towards 12-million illegals who are lucky they know what side of the road we Americans drive on. I passed the vision test without glasses, contacts, or a magnifying glass windshield and I’m as blind as a bat without those things. The written test? C’mon! If you fail the written driving test you are a baboon. And even if you remove both drunk drivers and cell phone drivers from the discussion, cars kill more people by far than guns and you can add all of our wars into the gun statistic if you want.

    NO one has to “prove competency” to drive a car. Where did you get that info from??? Do the drivers YOU pass every day seem competent to you?

    Start with cars first, then we move to other dangers that kill far less people.

  • imbobzilla

    Right! I love this response. And every disqualified person you mentioned is someone who does the work by their own actions, as a felon would be disqualified by becoming a felon. Or being diagnosed mentally unstable by a licensed psychiatric doctor would disqualify you. But these laws are already in place. Tough luck anti-gunners.

  • imbobzilla

    Actually, for those who bother to READ the US Constitution, the 2nd Amendment gives all citizens the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. THE US CONSTITUTION DOES NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT CARS. Driving IS NOT a right, it is a privilege! Some folks (especially liberals) confuse these two, but our Constitution DOES NOT grant us “the right” to drive a car. The government can revoke your driver’s license at any time – for any reason. For no reason! That’s a fact Jack!

  • imbobzilla

    I’m with you too. I just got my CHL last December and I am absolutely rabid about learning as much as I can, being in the right mindset, and being able to say that my weapons (particularly my carry pistol) are an extension of my body. I shoot at the range often and I consume as much information as I can with classes, books, the net, etc. I have many friends who are ex-military or are cops – I tap into their experience too. But the most important things I have learned have all been about mindset. More than anything, it’s been about avoiding situations that would put me in a place where I have to draw my weapon. Avoid road rage is a biggie. I used to engage the guy that would throw a middle finger salute. Not anymore. Too much responsibility on my part. I’m patient and take the “my bad” attitude in traffic. I was robbed at gun point before I owned a gun, but know now that the weapon I carry would NOT have helped me in that situation. I had a gun to my head before I knew what was going on and reaching for my weapon (had I been carrying) after I heard the words, “Give me your wallet, bitch.” would have been a deadly mistake on my part. I am aware of my surroundings at all times these days and have taken evasive measures many times since then to avoid a possible confrontation. Some would call it “paranoid” but I’d rather be marked P, than D for deceased.

    Great article Doctor!

  • imbobzilla

    You’re so right. And I’d also like to add that accidental shootings are reported ad-nauseum by our (state run) media, while real statistics – like for instance how few accidents there are for the number of gun owners we have in the US. Legal drivers have accidents too – far more than legal gun owners do. Good comment!

  • texexpatriate

    We have a good start toward producing a Hitler, Stalin, or Pol Pot in Barack Obama and the appointees he has brought to the White House. 

    On your main point, your objection to approval and training, you can arm yourself and take your chances.  Then it’s back to the old adage, “I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.”

  • imbobzilla

    I agree. I was being a bit sarcastic with the whole IQ test thing. No, I too believe that driving IS NOT a right and having a gun is. And there are already rules for mentally unstable people owning guns. We don’t need more laws; we need to enforce the laws we have already – probably even get rid of some. And we certainly should not restrict a Constitutional right. The criminally deranged will find a way to get them even if liberals melt them down. I grew up in Chicago – one of the most restricted gun rights places in America – and EVERYBODY had an illegal gun. I saw a guy get his head blown off in a robbery… not in “gun crazy” Texas where I live now, but in “Gun Grab USA” Chicago. Right downtown.

    Driving, on the other hand, I wish they’d do something about some of the stupid and/or angry and/or mentally unstable and/or mean and/or distracted and/or violent drivers.

  • David Landro

    Might have been written in a well meaning manner  but the bottom line is that power seeks more power.    Who gets the right to deny someone their right?   Psychologists and the like are in part responsible for the nanny society we live in.    

    Use the WISQARS ( tool from the CDC. It shows something on the order of 32k annual gunshot related deaths. That includes suicides (at a little over 50% usually), homicides, accidents, and other/undetermined intent gunshot deaths.   Even LEO shootings…Just FYI,  If the Kleck, Gertz studies are correct about aprox 2,000,000 defensive gun uses per year in this country and if only 1% of those would have resulted in a murder then gun ownership in this country prevents at least 20,000 murders a year. Gun related deaths have actually reduced by 94% since 1904.   In the last ten years there has been a dramatic decline in gun related incidents coupled with a dramatic increase in gun ownership!33000 alcohol related deaths.   This is more specific.   All of the dead were drunk or killed by a drunk or were a passenger in a drunks car.    

  • Philup

     I have to agree with your first sentence.  The stats are revealing.

  • roninmd

    The Constitution is pretty clear. The right to bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. and if you did not know this… even crazy people have rights. That’s why they don’t have guys in white hauling people off to the crazy house anymore. You should be more concerned whether they break the law. Otherwise you are fear mongering and trying to limit the constitutional rights of every American here through a permit system… and that IS OPPOSITE of what a right is. The right to bear arms is a right not a privilege that can be taken away.