I Carry a Gun Every Day

Thirty-one years ago, at the ripe age of twenty, I was given a modest amount of training, a revolver, eighteen bullets and put on the streets of Miami-Dade County to enforce the law. I was given the authority by the government to deprive my fellow citizens of their liberty, at least temporarily, and sanctioned to use deadly force against them. I swore an oath to uphold the law and defend the Constitution. But more than that, I had a moral obligation from a much higher authority to protect my fellow citizens. It was not until many years later that I realized the ominous responsibility I was charged with.

I have pulled people out of burning cars, plugged bullet holes, watched people take their last breath of life, seen people squashed, transected, and literally ripped to pieces. I have chased robbers down dark streets, through housing projects, and seen the business end of a gun pointed at me. I have told parents their children were dead, told children their parents were dead, and told one woman that her whole family was dead, her husband, three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. I have also saved lives, delivered babies, found missing kids and dogs, helped people find a place to live when they absolutely had nowhere to go. I have seen the terrible things that people do to each other. I have seen people who were robbed, gave up their belongs without resistance and were then shot for no reason. I have had coworkers and friends shot and killed in the line of duty. I have seen people shot with almost every type of gun in robberies, home invasions, stupid arguments over trivial issues, domestic disputes, suicides and for seemingly no reason at all. I was a police officer, a counselor, a social worker, a victim assistance advocate, a secretary, a taxi driver and anything else I needed to be to get the job done.

I have witnessed gun violence first hand, as well as school violence, domestic violence and violence just to be violent. Therefore, I carry a gun every day. I have been vetted by police departments, the State of Florida and the Federal Government, I have passed psychological evaluations, polygraph tests and oral boards. I am authorized by the Federal government to carry a gun in every state, county and city in this nation. Yes, even New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Detroit and I have carried a gun in every one of them. I am no tactical Rambo, but I can shoot. I train regularly, and I am very proficient with a pistol and a rifle.

Never once in the last thirty-one years, until recently, has my authority, ability, or right to carry a gun been questioned. In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting that all has changed. We are in a different time. I have been told that I should not be allowed to carry a gun, that I should only be allowed to carry a musket, that I should have to pay $5,000.00 for each bullet, that I do not need to own an AR-15, that my background should be checked every time I want to buy a gun, bullets or gun parts, that I should have a multimillion dollar insurance policy for my guns, that each gun should have to be registered and a yearly registration fee paid, and that the government will protect me. I was not told this by the news media, the political pundits, the politicians or government agents, I was told this by people I know. People that took the initiative to call me or engaged me in conversation, so they could give me their opinions.

I am not usually a political person, I keep most of my political opinions to myself. Like most people, I am just trying to get through life, have as much fun as possible, help people when I can, and generally do good. I believe that most people are good and try to do the right thing. I believe that where you stand on issues comes from where you sit in life. I am not stupid or naive either. I know the world can be a dangerous place, I know there are human predators that prey on other people, that evil exists in the human form and that violence has the potential to erupt at the most inconvenient times.

I understand the narrative being pushed by the media and the politicians, I understand the push for gun control, the juice behind it and the emotions involved. I have read the newly passed Florida laws pertaining to guns, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 introduced in Congress, the Constitutions of the United States and Florida, the Federalist Papers, the Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment and other various sources on the topic. I realize that there are people actively advocating repeal of the Second Amendment, the confiscation of privately owned guns and the vilification of people like me. People that lawfully own guns, have never used a gun in an illegal manner and are otherwise responsible gun owners. In my HUMBLE OPINION, I am a person that should be carrying a gun.

This time the gun control argument is strong, emotional, well financed and making progress. This is no longer a discussion or compromise, this has become a battle, a shouting match, and an issue that divides us. I refuse to buy into the narrative that because I own a gun, that I am an NRA member, a firearms instructor or whatever else I may be, that I have some culpability in any shooting of which I am not an active participant.

I do not believe that gun control, so called common sense gun regulations, bans, confiscations, or other such measures affect, reduce, or prevent gun violence. I do believe that such measures only prevent or inhibit people like me from defending myself. There will be no effect on the predators in our society. I will remain a member of the NRA, I will continue being a firearms instructor, will become politically active on this issue, and continue to carry whatever fricking gun I happen to own. See you at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas.

Patrick J. McGeehan, Esq. is a criminal defense and family law attorney in Miami, Florida. He has over 20 years of law enforcement experience in the South Florida region. Mr. McGeehan was a police instructor in several areas as well as a court certified expert witness in D.U.I., speed measurement, accident reconstruction and other law enforcement fields. Mr. McGeehan has been featured on numerous national news networks, radio and print media regarding his legal work. He can be reached at the Law Offices of Patrick J. McGeehan, P.A., Brickell Center, 801 Brickell Avenue, Suite 900, Miami, Florida 33131, 305-577-4933, patrick@pjmlawyer.comwww.pjmlawyer.com;www.patthelawyer.com.

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