As 2017 approaches, many people are considering how they will do things differently. For the new year, considering the numerous unprovoked terrorist actions committed all around the world, my resolution and promise to my family is that I will lawfully carry my Glock 19 wherever I can.

I’m doing this because I love my wife and son. This is not about sounding tough or trying to impress anyone.

A trained individual can protect the innocent against those with evil intent.

In our country and our world, there is an ever-increasing security threat. Being prepared to defend my family is my primary job as a man and something I take very seriously. (Some may say that is sexist, but my wife has the same responsibility to us.)

There are many liberals who will ask, “What is your handgun going to do against a group of terrorists with machine guns?”

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In Garland, Texas, in May 2015, an off-duty police officer armed only with a handgun was able to stop two terrorists with high-powered, semi-automatic rifles. This incident is the perfect example of what a trained individual can do to protect the innocent against those with evil intent, bent on murdering innocent Americans.

Sadly, arming myself to protect my family will make numerous locations off-limits to me. For some reason, many businesses feel that by putting up a sign in the window that says, “No Guns Allowed,” they are protecting themselves from people who are intent on inflicting maximum carnage. That little sign will stop absolutely no one — except those of us who are law-abiding citizens.

I am not sure what makes a business owner think a terrorist, criminal, thug or spree-killer will be worried about violating what is in most states only a misdemeanor offense or less.

Other able-bodied Americans may want to take these simple steps:

1.) Learn about guns and gun safety.
There are many resources on the internet and in local communities to turn to for gun education. Talk to family members and friends who are “gun people,” and have them steer you in the right direction and offer advice. If you do not know any, do not be afraid to go to your local police station and ask for some guidance, including what you need to do to get a carry permit (if it’s necessary in your state).

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2.) Research, research, research before any gun purchase. 
Educate yourself before purchasing any firearm. It’s important to know and understand what may be right for you, depending on your needs, your size, and your skill level.

3.) Train. Take classes.
Start with the basics, including a concealed-carry class, and expand from there. Ammo can be expensive, so make sure you set yourself a training budget.

4.) Be sure to have all the right equipment.
You must have a proper holster or carry purse. With modern firearms, you should carry your weapon chambered (which means fully loaded and ready to fire), but you must make sure your trigger and trigger guard are fully covered and protected by the holster.

5.) Continuously train.
There are classes, of course, but also alternative methods of practicing safely in your own home. Google “dry fire training” and you will probably get millions of results.

Beware, criminals and evil-doers. If I am there, it is not a “gun-free zone.”

Lone wolf shooters, spree killers, terrorists, vengeful spouses, jealous lovers, thugs, gang bangers — they never announce where they are going to hit next. It could be a metropolis like New York City, or just as easily an unprepared getaway in the hills of Tennessee.

Going unarmed is a gamble, and it is sad to have to say that. However, I am not going to let the false argument from the Left — one of “moral superiority” about being unarmed — stop me from doing what is necessary. My family, my community, even people I do not know will be safer if more men and women, well-trained and responsible, accept this responsibility. And it is my Second Amendment right, guaranteed by the Constitution.

Related: Protecting and Cherishing Our American Flag

I refuse to be a defenseless victim. I promise my loved ones to be prepared.

John Cylc is an eight-year U.S. Army veteran and lives with his family in eastern Tennessee. His primary advocacy is promoting and protecting Second Amendment rights.