The Atlantic

What Critics Don't Understand About Gun Culture

I carry a weapon—and it’s tied me closer to my community.
Source: Don Petersen/ AP

My wife knew something was amiss when the car blocked our driveway. She was outside our house, playing with our kids on our trampoline, when a car drove slowly down our rural Tennessee street. As it reached our house, it pulled partially in the driveway, and stopped.

A man got out and walked up to my wife and kids. Strangely enough, at his hip was an empty gun holster. She’d never seen him before. She had no idea who he was. He demanded to see me.

I wasn’t there. I was at my office, a 50-minute drive from my house. My wife didn’t have her phone with her. She didn’t have one of our guns with her outside. She was alone with our three children. Even if she had her phone, the police were minutes away. My wife cleverly defused the confrontation before it escalated, but we later learned that

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