When and why carry a gun
When do you carry and why do you do it? Aside from what caliber is "best", nothing seems to get gun people talking quicker than asking when they carry and why. I myself have been asked the question on more than a few occasions of why I feel the need to carry a gun. In fact, I was asked that question just yesterday. Upon reflecting upon that question, I began to ask myself why exactly did I decide to get a CC license and carry a gun. I've never been robbed aside from a burglary about 15 years ago, never been attacked, never been threatened with serious bodily harm (except by my first wife!) and never been shot at aside from in the military. I don't personally know anyone that has or know anyone who knows anyone else who has. So, why do I have a license to carry a concealed handgun?
Why I got a license is easy... My current, and hopefully last, wife wanted one and talked me into taking the class with her. Her job requires her to travel a lot, usually alone, and she is often the one required to open her office at 6:30 in the morning. Being a born and bred Texas girl, she likes guns, owns several and knows how to use them. Since she usually carried her Lady Smith .38 SPL in her car or her purse anyway, she finally decided to make it legal. I have owned guns for over 40 years, like them and also know how to use them. However, I never felt the need to carry one. I decided to get my CHL when my wife wanted to get hers and she wanted someone to take the class with her. It became a kind of husband-wife project we could do together. I'll quickly admit I was getting tired of the usual projects of remodeling the bathroom or the yard and this was much more interesting!
Once I had my license, I had to decide what I would carry. Luckily, owning a good number of handguns (30+) made the choice of weapons easy. It was almost like picking which clothes to wear. Big gun, little gun, revolver, auto or a pocket derringer, it depended on what I was wearing and were I was going.
The hardest part is deciding when to carry. This is usually where the great debate starts. During my 20+ years of traveling in the military, I developed the habit of being aware of my surroundings and what was happing around me. Some habit's die hard and I'm still that way. However, since I usually lived on base, traveled and associated with mostly military people, I seldom felt threatened by the usual criminal elements. Even now, I don't normally feel the real need to protect myself with a weapon unless I'm going into "bad" areas or traveling. I don't carry at home, for quick trips to the post office or to church. I also don't usually carry for trips to the doctor or places where I may be required to expose a weapon. I do keep a gun locked and loaded in the bedroom and there is always one in our cars when were out.
As I said, I've never been the victim of a major crime or know of anyone personally who has. I live in a smaller (less than 90,000) town with fewer than a 1/2 dozen shootings a years, usually by people who know one another. I live in a nicer neighborhood that's had no serious crimes committed in it (other than a stolen car that was found the next day) in over 20 years. I have an alarm on my house, security lights and two dogs that stay outside. Overall, I consider myself lucky and while I do carry a gun, I carry when I feel there's a possible need, not simply because I can. On the other hand, I know not everyone has that option or opinion and was wondering about some of you others that carry on a more regular basis. I know some posters carry whenever they leave their house, it doesn't matter where they're going. There are also a few who even carry when they're at home... basically from the time they get out of bed until the time they go back.
I'm not being judgmental and/or saying when and where anyone with a legal right to carry a gun does it. We all have our reasons for carrying, or not carrying, a gun. My question for everyone else here is simply when and why do you do it?
For the same reason I have insurance. I hope never to have to use it, but it is nice to know it is there if I need it.
When? Whenever I perceive that being unarmed is more dangerous than the alernative.
Why? For the same reason I bring my Leatherman multitool, my cellular telephone, my flashlight, my wallet, etc. It is a tool which enables me to do things my body and mind in isolation cannot accomplish easily.
Why? Criminals prefer unarmed victims.
When? (just applied for permit today but when I DO get it...) If my pants are on, my gun is on. If where I am is legal to carry, my gun is on. If something I need is in a place that I cannot carry, I send the GF in to get what I need unless I personally have to be there.
Criminals attack when THEY want, not when I am ready to defend myself. I have no way of knowing when that is, so I carry whenever I legally can. Situational awareness and Permanent Condition Yellow are paramount, but one cannot accurately judge character or body language 100% of the time, although it is a fun game to play while waiting in line for something or walking along the sidewalk. Also, riding a motorcycle has greatly increased my awareness skills.
The more you carry, the more natural it will be, no "checking" with your hand, no keeping your arm clamped to your side to hold your coat/vest shut, no funky posture to keep from printing, etc., etc.. Just like being able to locate my knife & flashlight, one-handed and in the dark (its come in "handy" a time or two), when I was carrying, no conscious thought was required to quickly access my pistol.
Why? (Same reason I carry a better-than-average knife, and a good light) "Bad things happen to good people"; a cliche, but very true.
Being a total lazya$$ - I won't type up all my detailed thoughts, again! They can tho ... be found within this thread .
In a nutshell - I am a sorta ''all or nothing'' with carry - like my spare tire etc - if it were ever needed it MUST be there - the only and rare exceptions being when I am forced thru law to discard it, in a few places.
I get up and attach - I go to bed and detach - all day however much as I am ''just'' at home in office - it is still on me. I used previously another analogy - would I as a wrist watch wearer - decide to leave it off because I ''thought'' on a particular day I might not need to check the time!? NO! This is all part of ''have and not need etc''.
I have had many brushes with Murphy thru my life and can just imagine an instance where, I might think - ''Nah - don't need it - only calling on my neighbor a few houses away'' ........ and then walking into some totally unexpected ''situation'', wanting the piece but realizing that my rig is either not there or plain empty!
If I have to reach to 3 0'clock - it must and will be there. Practicing this does for me, where Murphy factor's concerned, all but guarantee I shall never need it - that is the way I wish to flip off this lil' rock when my time comes.... never a shot fired in anger. :smile:
I wouldn't carry my gun if I knew for sure, without a doubt, that there would be no chance, not the slightest, that I would need it. And so far I don't know anyway to be that sure.
I carry 24/7 as they say. I've found that I never always know where my daily travels may take me so why not be prepared. I even carry at home. Why? While I have never been attacked and my neighborhood is relatively safe I had a friend who was killed in his home by robbers. You just never know.
I carry because I have the right to do so. Everyone has their personal pet peeves with the world around them and mine is predators.
You see it on the news and in the newpapers everyday, about another senseless shooting where some innocent slob was shot by some low life druggie out for a fix or what he thought you might have that he wanted.
As posted earlier, I wear a watch, I carry a high quality pocket knife, flashlight, and my 45 for the same reasons I carry a wallet. It's just there. It's something I may or may not need, but to quote another old addage, It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
As to when I carry? Anytime I'm outside my house. And frequently inside it as well. If I've come into the house from running around doing errands or shopping etc. It usually stays in the holster until I get undressed. I'm so used to having it on me that I forget it's there. The ease of that is in the quality of holster you wear. I carry a Sam Andrews Hybrid Saddle holster with matching mag pouch and 6P flashlight carrier. Bumper will attest to the comfort of this carry rig.
Why do I carry?
Why do I carry? That is a good question. It all started back in 2004 when I sat down in front of my TV and saw the president of the NRA on an infomercial. I had always thought he was some red neck gun crazy hick because I had heard the national news media. What I saw was an articulate well dressed professional with outstanding and undeniable facts about what was happening to our precious second ammendment right to keep and bear arms. I had heard what the democrats had said about gun control. I suddenly realized what they meant! I thought if John Kerry is elected president I probably will not be able to keep and bear arms for long. So I sought out a good gun shop and purchased my first handgun. Over the next six months or so I purchased more handguns and took my States required carry permit course and applied for and recieved my permit. I carry because my forefathers thought it was important enough to do so to include it as a guaranteed right not just a right. Tyranny comes from government, not from the people. The only defense against Tyranny is a well armed populace. That is why I carry a gun!
"The Lord is my shepherd, I am his fanged sheep........" :cool: Quite a conversion experience, Hank!
The replies so far appear to have all been from the "24/7" group. I noticed there seem to be no "once upon a time something bad happened to me" responders either. Instead, it's been "just in case" (nothing wrong with being prepared. I was a boy scout myself) and because you can. I would have thought more people would have decided to carry a handgun due to a bad personal experience. Also, am I alone here in thinking that carrying a concealed weapon is not an all or nothing option? Maybe I shouldn't be surprised since this is a concealed carry forum and I won't argue with anyone who feels they need to carry continuously for their personal protection, that's your prerogative and right. Still, I'd have though that out of all the members here, a few would consider occasional or part time carry rather than constant carry as their preferred option.
I carry all the time unless I am at work and if it can't go inside its in the car. You never know. Read my thread I posted a day or two ago. To me now size does not matter because if something happends I am glad I at least have a fighting chance.
I carry almost all the time. Being ex LE , I have seen how many problems the average citizen hasn't. Hopefully I will never need it.
OK. I started carrying because of a bad experience. I have alluded to it in various posts here, where it was the source of my perspective on some topic, but I don't generally talk about it. I have found that most people who go through stuff like that don't talk about it much in an open situation.
I have only recently found myself forced NOT to carry full-time by a new "violence in the workplace" policy. It is forcing me to reconsider my employment - tough, since I am the sole breadwinner in my family.
Carrying part-time is a strange feeling after carrying full-time. I think carrying only when you think you are going to need it is problematic for the reasons everyone states - you can't predict the random, unexpected events of life. For now, I have no choice but to not carry to work, which means leaving the house unarmed every day. If I am going to leave my current job, it will be on my terms, not theirs.