The whole subject of civilians carrying guns for self defense is discussed too much in the wrong places -- ACLU cocktail parties, gun club gatherings -- all placid atmospheres far removed from the terrifying reality of violent confrontation with the lawless. It should be discussed in prisons, where professional criminals are remarkably candid about their avoidance of armed citizens who can fight back. It should be discussed in rape crises centers. Ask a woman who has been raped, whether she ever wished she had a gun when it happened ... and whether she had bought one since. Her reply is likely to be “yes” to at least the first, and often to both. Talk to the bereaved who lost their loved ones to the streets. Talk to those who have been violated in their homes. Ask them how they feel about passive non-resistance. And when you have attuned yourself to the haunting fear that lives with them forever after their nightmare, you will be ready to talk with someone else who was in their place, but survived unscathed because they were armed. The contrast will be striking. These survivors don’t put notches on their pistols, and they don’t brag about what they had to do... The taking of a human life, no matter what the circumstances, is an unnatural act, an emotionally shattering experience that leaves its own scars forever. But none of those people regret what they did, and to a man, their first reaction was to go home to their wife and children and hug them, tightly and wordlessly.