Craigslist Carry

Craiglist deals are my secret, guilty pleasure. I paid a whopping $20 for my most recent purchase: a wooden coffee table with plastic wheels and a big Texas star in the middle. It was basically trash. With a good cleaning and a fresh coat of honey oak stain . . . it’s still trash. You have been warned. Speaking of warnings . . .

Every time I walk into a seller’s house, I’m strapped. For those of you who think this story is about furniture, I’m not talking about tie downs and bungee cords. As sweet and unassuming as I most certainly look, I’m packing a gun underneath torn jeans and old t-shirt.

I usually carry a .45 caliber 1911 loaded with Speer Gold Dot hollow points. When I’m planning on lifting something heavy, I prefer to carry a diminutive 9mm Ruger LCP with Nosler Defense jacketed hollow points.

Over the years, I’ve concealed carried into strangers’ homes without anyone suspecting or asking. Thankfully I haven’t had one incident, one time when I felt I might be in danger. Even so, I’ve never second guessed my decision to protect my life with a concealed firearm when venturing into uncharted territory. Nor have I seen any homes bearing a 30.06 sign — no concealed carry — at the door.

However, that got me thinking . . .

I know the Castle Doctrine will protect me in case of necessary self-defense in my own home. But how would that play out if I had to shoot someone in their home in self-defense? What if a Craigslist ad was a setup designed to lure unsuspecting women into a trap, to rape and/or murder them? What if a seller suddenly flips out and attacks?

It could happen.

The Florida Sun Sentinel recently reported that “gunfire in a CVS pharmacy left one man dead began with a Craigslist sale that went horribly wrong.” A licensed concealed carrier and Craigslist buyer thought that meeting in a “public place” would be safe. It wasn’t. How is someone’s private home any better?

On the flip side, would I feel safe if a Craigslist buyer showed up at my door carrying concealed? I could unknowingly be inviting an armed criminal, sex offender or thief into the sanctity of my own home.

I’d like to believe that all gun owners are equal. Truth be told, they’re not. As Clint Eastwood put it, “I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.”

Still, fair’s fair.

When Craigslist buyers come to look at my treasures, armed or not, I’m wary. I restrict them to the garage and front lawn. At the first sign of weirdness I invite them to leave. And I conceal carry as we negotiate, as I do throughout my day, wherever it’s legal to do so.

Feel free to call me paranoid. I prefer to call myself cautious. Sensible. Then again, I did buy a coffee table with plastic wheels . . .

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