Professional Life as A Responsibly Armed Citizen – Part I

This series of articles is going to address balancing professional obligations with the desire for personal security.


Part I – Follow the Law….and Corporate’s Policies


I, like many of you, spend my life in relative safety. I work in an office in the suburbs and don’t engage in extreme hobbies or risky behavior. I hardly drink. I exercise and I don’t smoke. I have a responsibility to myself and my community to be a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen. In order to fill that role, I need to be able to hold down a steady job.


In spite of living in relative safety, I still choose to live my life as an armed citizen (always within the bounds of the law). I have worked for it to become second nature to have a high level of awareness of my surroundings. I have trained to be ready to defend myself, should the need ever arise – because you just never know what the next day may bring.


The reality is that this lifestyle choice doesn’t generally blend well with the corporate lifestyle that I must have in order to be able to pay my bills. There is no way I could walk around my office complex in Condition Orange or Red (see this link) and successfully do my job. ….but, really, why would I have to do that? My biggest risks, upon arriving to the office, are snark, lunch gnomes, empty coffee pots and tedious meetings. What on earth would I gain by walking around my building hyper-vigilantly scanning dark corners, always seating myself such that I face a door way, ready to fight every minute, etc.? How the hell could I write the 172 page technical document I’m assigned if I stopped and scanned my surroundings every few moments? I couldn’t—I’d fail at Office 101: Do Your Work.


The reality is….get ready…it is perfectly ok to be relaxed in many contexts! As a matter of fact, it’s a hell of a lot more fun to just take a load off and NOT worry about “someone” trying to do “something” to you! Imagine that? Work (for those in an office) is one of those places where it is ok to dial back the vigilance and allow yourself to be ‘task fixated.’


Part of being a Responsibly Armed Citizen means following the law. Keeping your job means following Corporate’s policies. As a consultant, I have seen my fair share of lengthy corporate policies. All of them have forbidden firearms/weapons on the premises. Being a good employee means you are following policies and are unarmed (and likely to keep your job). You might not like it. You might feel awkward and even naked without your weapon on your person at work, but if you want to keep your job and your Upstanding Citizen Status, you have to do it.


Face it. The danger of violence at work for most office drones is low. If your company forbids you to carry on their premises—you must follow that or risk termination. It may be an uncomfortable truth that packing your gat at the office is unnecessary, but it is the truth nonetheless. Now that we have acknowledged that the risks are low for many professionals, the remainder of this series is going to address where the threats may actually arise and what to do about it.

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