Sometime after the Batman massacre, five men sat at my dining room table discussing not whether they would have acted, but how. Things like how to move the non-combatants into cover and how to charge a shooter. During my shock at the London Riots, I asked a friend if he would “step off his porch and defend his neighbors from violent rioters.” He gave me a look that suggested I was being a bit thick and replied, “Leslie, I don’t have to step off my porch. That’s what the long guns are for.”

When we tweeted about ‘never in Texas’ during the Boston manhunt, it wasn’t merely Texas swagger. For most of us, we had already thought it through. At first report of an armed and possibly wired terrorist looking to hide in residential areas, most of us would have organized a perimeter around our neighborhood. This organization would simply happen. The police would expect and use it.

To live in a gun culture is to have decided to defend yourself, to have thought through how to do it, and know that your neighbors have done the same. When the grave threat comes, action is just a matter of strategy.

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Texas Tower shooting photo from AP. Concealed Carry License classroom photo from Lone Star Handgun.