There are many great organizations promoting and protecting our Second Amendment rights. From nation-wide groups such as the National Rifle Association, to state groups such as Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association, Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio Carry for us in Ohio, to your local rod and gun club. They all do important work and being a member of any or all is a good idea. They all also show a collective support of firearms and our rights. The strength in numbers they offer is solid. The problem is, not everyone can afford, or has a desire to financially support so many organizations. Their having good solid numbers is important, but at the end of the day, well, you’ve joined a club.
I have the opinion that there is something that each of us can do that shows a more sincere and dedicated commitment to protecting and supporting our rights. Get your concealed carry permit. I understand every argument people have against this. No, we shouldn’t have to pay for permission to exercise our rights. No, you may not have any desire to carry a gun, or even own a handgun. I understand that some are concerned that it gives a solid link to you owning guns. What is often overlooked is the direct benefit it does to the cause of protecting your and my right to own firearms.
In most cases, getting your CCW/CHL involves taking some training and submitting to background checks voluntarily. You also pay for the fee of the license and, eventually, its renewal. Many benefits are gained from this. Individually you have become a certified “good guy.” In many states, having your chl replaces the need for your NICS instant check at the time of purchase of a firearm because your valid CHL shows you’ve already done this and it’s on good standing. The collective benefits are even more substantial. Every license is recorded, counted, and reported, not by a club or lobby organization, but by the issuing government. There exists, at all times, a finite and exact count of the number of permits and the percentage of the population that has them. It’s not arbitrary, estimated, or arguable. X number of people have a valid permit. You or I can look up that number, as can the media, as can your elected officials. The higher that number, the more attention to it that has to be paid.
The gist of it is this. Having your CCW/CHL shows a level of commitment to firearms ownership that is stronger than being a member of EVERY 2A supporting organization in the country. We gain the advantage of the very people who may consider firearms ownership a fringe or odd thing having their own data tell them that we are here, we are willing to commit the resources to get a permit, and the likelihood is that we also vote. Sometimes the best way to beat a system is to use the system to beat itself.
Please consider getting your CCW/CHL, even if you never plan to carry a firearm a day of your life. You bolster the numbers of people who are pro 2A in a way that cannot be matched by any club or lobby. And that benefit is priceless.
Another article written for a defunct FB page, originally published September 11, 2015.
Membership is great, your CHL or CCW is better. by Jerod J. Husvar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.