So, today I arrived at a base where weapons are not authorized. After carrying in condition two (or sometimes three) every minute of every day (except in the shower, of course) for months it was odd to clear out the pistol, lock it up, and hand it over to the armorer.
For the first few weeks when I started carrying, I would just tell myself, "Baah, nothing bad will happen today" whenever I thought about walking out without my sidearm (and usually found myself doubling back and taking the 30 seconds to strap it on). You get used to carrying, like wearing a belt or carrying a wallet or putting on your glasses. So now its kind of jarring to step out -- I know that very likely nothing bad will happen today and that I'm in a guarded facility, but its just habit. So the change in routine is notable.
It also made me think about the difference between modern military service and historical norms. I'm pretty sure that a British naval officer in the age of sail wouldn't be caught without their saber, nor would a cavalry officer in the Napoleonic era part with their sidearm. However, on the flip side, governments have often been careful to swiftly disarm their returning veterans (look to ancient Roman history for this tradition -- and what happened when it was not adhered to!). Still, the sidearm is both a practical tool and a sign of authority and trust or a status symbol. It makes you think a bit about what a remarkable statement it was in the 18th century for the founding fathers to declare that every citizen was worthy to bear personal arms, not just a hereditary aristocracy, the elite military class, etc.
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