I wanted to follow up my recent post on the safety of atheists in the bible belt by raising the subject of atheists arming themselves because of concerns over safety. I've heard from more than a few atheists that they would carry a gun on their person at all times if they lived in the bible belt. And I've heard from a few living here in the bible belt who have said that this is exactly what they do. I'm not currently among them, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered it. In fact, I'm still not sure that this is not something I might end up doing in the future.
I have not been carrying a pistol a few reasons. First, my place of employment does not allow firearms even for concealed carry permit holders. Since I'm usually at work when I'm not home, this is a deterrent to concealed carry. I'm simply too much of a hermit to have the opportunity to carry much. Second and far more important, I don't have a place to shoot nearby. This means I wouldn't practice nearly as much as I would need to in order to feel comfortable carrying a pistol. Without training and considerable practice, me carrying a gun might cause far more harm than good. Third, I find the idea of jail so aversive that I'm not completely sure I would be willing to risk going there even to await a self-defense hearing.
Despite these reasons, I do periodically think about picking up a pistol and a concealed carry permit. No, nothing in particular has happened to prompt such thoughts. I haven't been threatened any more than usual or anything like that. I'm not sure what it is; I just have this vague sense that my circumstances could change rather quickly.
Assuming you have been concerned about your personal safety as an atheist surrounded by the religious, what are you doing to keep yourself safe?
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