Law versus Morality. Seems easy enough, or is it? Is following the law worth your life? That is a decision you have to make as a concealed carrier (or any type carrier for that matter). Gun ownership allows you the comfort of safety but never guarantees self-preservation.
There are laws and opinions that are designed to prevent you from having possession of your firearm for personal protection. In South Carolina, we have sign restrictions that are optional for business owners and corporations to disallow your carry. You see this hideous and satanic symbolism often. I have given this sign the appropriate name of “Diablo”. Not sure if you picked up on my view of this sign yet, but if not, keep reading. It will come to you.
Make sure you understand the laws around the sign and know what to look for in your travels. A full description of the requirements for the sign can be quickly viewed here http://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2012/title-23/chapter-31/section-23-31-235 Keep in mind, the circle is not required to be RED. That is an added courtesy to make it more visible.
When a freshly unleashed concealed carrier hits the streets, they start to tune-in to things that were previously not their concern. The sign means nothing to an unarmed individual. It also means nothing to a criminal. You, however, are now confronted with this rude and loud sign telling you that YOU are not allowed in unless YOU disarm and enter with no means of self-defense. Will you disarm and enter? Will you enter armed?
There are a few things you need to consider before becoming either the outlaw or the pragmatist. First thing is first; why would you want to give free bodyguard services to a business that does not want you there? You are entering to patron a place that would rather you die than shop there. You do realize this, right? They expect you to unleash yourself from your safety net and enter to give them money, and some will! Many people will enter because they say it is their right and they would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. Who really wants either? Go elsewhere and you do not have to choose. You also do not have to risk being the unlawful thug that we, as gun owners, are accused of being. Why stand on such a pedestal to give support to a place that expects you to risk your freedom? I never understood that philosophy.
When you are given the option to disarm or enter unlawfully, you have to decide which is more important to you, your safety or your morals? I refuse to choose. I will take my business elsewhere. I strongly support businesses that welcome my carry and my desire for public safety and self-preservation. I also cannot give in to a business that is so foolish to believe that Gun Free Zones are SAFE. They are not bullet proof zones. We are the law abiding that deserve the right to carry and defend, yet they take it by posting and forcing boycotts and corporate give-ins. When the creeps that shout about us being animals and blood thirsty killers hear about a carrier being caught for carrying anyway, they have just received praise and confirmation for their theory. Stop giving them that ammo!
Take the time to give your hard earned income, time, safety net, attention and commitment to a business that, not only wants you there, deserves you there. Watch for Diablo and spread the word. There is always another business that offers the same services and/or products that you can patron instead. I always love to see Diablo sightings on Facebook. It saves me gas by not even wasting my time driving out there.