Recently, I was at a barbecue at my brother’s house with some friends who had just moved to the area from the Northeast. As we sat around the table catching up, the conversation eventually made its way to politics and the upcoming election. Because our politics didn’t align, there was potential for conflict, but I was pleasantly surprised by the calm, rational, and thoughtful way arguments were presented, and how respectfully they were received…that is, until the subject of gun control came up.

My more liberal-minded friend admitted she had never actually been in the presence of a gun and was happier for it. She just didn’t feel the need to endanger herself in such a manner, and though she could appreciate that some might enjoy hunting or target shooting, it was simply too dangerous to carry a firearm with you for any other purpose.

It was at that point that two of us at the table produced our own concealed carry firearms, unloaded them, and set them on the table in front of us. Unbeknownst to her, she had actually been in the presence of not one, but two firearms throughout the entire evening. Again, to my delight, she was not horrified or angry—she was curious.

“You mean you’ve just had that with you? This whole time?” she asked, smiling like a teenager that had just found the key to her parents’ liquor cabinet.