“What’s in your pockets?”
Have you ever asked yourself why you carry a gun? Have you thought about not carrying?
People give all sorts of reasons to carry a gun. Most are for self-defense, but not all.
I’ve done a lot of reading about the subject and it strikes me how so many gun carriers don’t carry for self-defense. “Because I can” is one of the top reasons I’ve heard. To me, this isn’t good enough.
Here is a short list I have heard of the top reasons to carry a gun.
You may find yourself here more often than you like.
Because the law says I can. In my opinion, this is just plain nuts. It’s not a good enough reason to carry a gun. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It’s like carrying a fire extinguisher everywhere you go. You can do it if you want, but is it wise? Especially if you don’t know how to use it, don’t know when to use it, or maybe it doesn’t even work.
Do we still have a Militia?
It’s my 2nd Amendment right. This is very true. It is your 2nd amendment right to carry a gun. It’s also your 2nd amendment right not to carry a gun. There are some folks carrying a gun to support the “right to carry”. We’ve all heard the stories, seen you tube videos, of guys in Texas or Arizona carrying an AR15 down the street for no apparent reason other than just to antagonize the cops. Somebody with them always has to have a cell phone camera running to capture the reactions of other people. Don’t misunderstand me. I support the 2nd amendment wholeheartedly. I just don’t want to beat the public over the head with it.
It’s never seen unless I want it to be.
I carry for self-defense. I see this as a very valid reason to carry a gun. I have carried a gun for most of my adult life. I started carrying a handgun when I was in the Army traveling across the country, sometimes alone. At that time in American history, the gun laws were not nearly as stringent as they are now. I could carry almost anywhere I went without fear of being jailed just for having it. As a horseman, I rode a lot in the backcountry. I rode the mountains and desert of Southern California for about 25 years. I never knew what kinds of creatures may be around. There were even a couple times when I had to put down an injured horse. You can’t do that with a pocket knife.
I might want to go hunting. This is one of the dumbest excuses I’ve ever heard. If you’re gonna go hunting, you plan for it ahead of time and prepare. No hunter I’ve ever known has decided on the fly to just go hunting without planning the trip. Even if it’s out the back door, so to speak.
I carry for back-country survival. This would be another valid reason to carry a gun. If you spend a good amount of time in the backcountry, or as some call it, the wilderness, a gun is a necessary part of your survival gear. This is where you don’t need surprises, but you should be prepared for them.
Some Of My Realities
As you can see by this article, I have my own opinions about why I carry a gun, and why some people, both men and women, should not carry. Like I’ve heard some folks say; “just because you can carry a gun, doesn’t mean you should”.
There is also a big difference between “open carry” and “concealed carry”. Lots of jurisdictions around the country allow open carry, which simply means you are allowed to carry your gun in plain sight of anyone. Like I said before; “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Open carry just promotes the wrong message to the general population.
There is so much “bad press” these last few years about guns, that too many of the “regular folks” don’t understand the need or desire to carry guns in public. If “regular” Jane Doe and her 4-year-old daughter see you with a gun in Wal-Mart, they may freak out. They don’t know what your intentions are. All they know is the “fear” that has been instilled in them by the media attention guns attract.
I read an account of an off-duty police officer in a shopping mall parking lot. He was loading his purchases in the back of his car and his shirt rode up a little. A young boy and his mom saw the gun under his shirt, and the boy got “traumatized” by the sight of a gun on his belt. The officer explained that he was an off-duty cop, and it seemed to be OK with them.
A year later, the police dept. was sued for two million dollars because the young child was still traumatized, having nightmares and always in a state of shock.
Open Carry Is A Mistake
Another reason for me not to carry openly is the fact that I will set myself up as the first target of the “mall shooter”. If the bad guy sees my gun then he sees me as the first person to eliminate. The element of surprise should be on my side, not his, (or hers).
I carry a concealed handgun every day, everywhere I go. I am completely at peace with it because I know I have the training to deal with what may come about. I also know how the law will treat me if I have to use the gun, or even if someone sees it poking out from under my shirt. And I have the protection of the US Concealed Carry Association. The only time I carry openly is at home or at the firing range, where I’m expected to be armed.
Open Carry At Home
Liberty Full-Size Gun safe
I mention being armed at home for a couple reasons, First, I’m prepared for a home invasion if it should occur. I don’t live in a high crime area, but thieves don’t always target those places. They want the affluent parts of town where there’s more chance of “better loot”.
Barska Biometric handgun safe
I also carry at home because that’s the safest place for my gun to be when I’m at home. I have two gun safes, one for the handguns and another for the long guns. If I have a house guest of any age, my guns are always secured and I always have one available for use if needed. But the gun available is also secured from my guests due to it being “on my person”. No one can get to it by mistake.
Just A Little Overboard
I spoke with a woman, a nurse, recently who told me she and her husband have a gun hidden in every room of their house. Anytime they have company she has to go through the house and gather all the guns so they can secure them. What a waste of time and energy. What if they forget where they’re all stashed?
I don’t ever have to be concerned with that because my gun is always secure. My 10- and 13-year-old nephews can stop by absolutely any time and I don’t ever have to worry about them finding a gun lying around somewhere “hidden” in a desk drawer or under a couch cushion.
Reasons To Not Carry A Gun
Carrying a gun in public, or even at home, has a tremendous responsibility attached to it. I touched on some of the reasons to not carry in the previous statements, but there are a few other reasons to not carry.
A show of force. I’ve met a few guys that just want to show people that they mean business. Like; Don’t screw with me, I can hurt you. Like; I won’t take your s%&t. You portray the wrong attitude to everyone you come in contact with. These people obviously have the wrong kind of training; or no training at all. If this person were to use his/her gun, the law enforcers would have a field day with them. They would literally have no defense in the court system at all.
Showing a defiance of the establishment. Same situation as above. Defiance of law enforcement is probably the best reason not to carry a gun. You invite trouble wherever you go. This same defiance will show the criminals who you are and just how you think. This makes you their first target because they know they can take your gun from you with little to no effort.
My Closing Thoughts…
I carry my gun for one reason; self-defense. I carry it concealed because I don’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention. I don’t want to attract any attention at all. This is why it’s called “concealed carry”. I can go absolutely anywhere I want and not have any problems. I’ve carried my gun into numerous so-called gun-free zones, simply because I don’t look or act like I have a gun on me, and I don’t give anyone a reason to think I might. I recently had my gun with me in several federal and state buildings. I inadvertently forgot to leave my gun in the car, and when I got to the door of this building, I saw a sign prohibiting firearms. By then, I either continue or go back to the car. I look and act like a “regular Joe”, and that’s exactly what I want.
What are your reasons to carry a gun? What are your reasons to not carry? I would like to know. Do you have any thoughts about this article? I’d like to know that, too. Please give me your thoughts in the comments area below. I will respond….