Your Handgun. Don’t Leave Home Without It

When I first became a police officer I could not wait to get my hands on my new department issued gun. Once I received it, it was very rare that we would separate. Then one day I left my trusty gun at home. “It’s ok,” I thought, “I’ll carry it next time.” I got in my personal vehicle and drove away. Then, over time, not having my gun happened a second time, then a third and so on, until finally, I stopped carrying it.

The complacency of not having my gun turned into normalcy for me. I mean, how many times have I been out in my lifetime and had to draw my gun? After all, nothing is going to happen to me, right? Road rage shooters, mass school shootings, grocery store shootings, restaurant shootings these things do not happen when I’m around.

Then I think of Virginia Tech – 33 dead. Luby’s restaurant shooting in Killen, Texas – 23 dead. And more recently, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Congresswoman from Arizona who was holding one of her many constitutes meetings at a Safeway grocery store where 17 people were shot, 6 killed including a nine-year-old child. And the main question for me is, why don’t I carry more often?

The fact is complacency seems more sensible than a mass shooting. We go about our daily lives, day-in and day-out assuming that bad things happen to other people. But where will you be when things break bad? Are you among the masses cowering down behind a bench praying that the shooter doesn’t see you? Or are you taking aim on the shooter ready to stop his reign of terror?

We walk with people in society who choose to be oblivious to the realities of life without truly understanding that we are free, but that freedom comes at a cost. Your freedom only lasts as long as someone with greater free will like a Jared Lee Loughner, who will visit your quiet little society, like the Grim Reaper, and take your most prized possession, your life. Having your gun may have thwarted his advance.

I know cops who don’t carry because it feels like “too much like work.” I also know people who do not carry because the novelty of their gun wore off. But understand the day you decide to disarm yourself is the day you join the ranks of the provable sheep or what I like to call the “walking dead.” You’re just going with the flow, oblivious to the walking dead around you and the moment you come to the realization that you’re in a bad spot is about the moment when the bad guys are blowing the heads off the zombies you’re walking amongst.

Do not let complacency win. Be aware of the possible dangers that lurk around you. You can start by never leaving your gun at home.

comments

  1. avatar Van says:

    I thought when I got my Ruger LC9 I would carry more often. Nope. I’ll keep playing the odds in my white bread version of suburbia until I get killed like a zombie. Or not.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      You can pursue a strategy of “avoiding trouble” all you want, but sometimes, trouble comes looking for you.

  2. avatar TUCO says:

    As you state it is easy to fall out of the habit of carrying.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Are you among the masses cowering down behind a bench praying that the shooter doesn’t see you? Or are you taking aim on the shooter ready to stop his rein of terror?

    Personally, I think the best approach is to do both.

    1. avatar Joe Grine says:

      That’s probably the correct answer in most cases. These situations are often very chaotic and develop very quickly in most situations. It may be difficult to identify who the shooter is, and it may also be difficult to get a clear shot. It may be difficult to know how many bad guys are there. And just shooting the guy with the gun may turn out to be the wrong answer – because there may be another good Samaritan CCP holder like yourself on the scene. Hauling ass out of the AO is likely the first order of business, at least until you can get behind some cover and assess the situation.

      1. avatar HAVEGUN says:

        I like the way you think Joe Grine.

      2. avatar peter says:

        I know a man who has been in a shooting.

        I have consulted with him on the matter, and he says that if you’ve been there, you know: it is very clear who is shooting at you. If you shoot an unarmed (wo)man, it’s because you are a bad shot under that pressure.

        I would agree with you on all other points, though, including the possibility of shooting another armed civillian.

    2. avatar ankle says:

      …but ideally behind better cover than a bench…

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        You’ll find me behind the other people behind the bench. If the BG wants to get to me, he’s gong to have to go through them first.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          I’m going to take cover behind Ralph who is taking cover behind the bench which is behind the masses of sheeple. Thanks Ralph.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          Get thee behind me, Satan!

  4. avatar Dig Doug says:

    This is why I love my Glock 27. I have finally found a pistol that, for me, strikes a balance between “not a mouse gun” and “tolerable weight and discomfort” such that I’m willing to carry it all day, every day.

    By the way, is that a functioning XD in the photo? Where can I see the rest of it?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Ditto save mine’s a Glock 30SF. And yes, the XD-M is fully functional. Click here to see some portraits with it.

      I’ll be taking it to the SHOT show for more pics next year.

    2. avatar APBTFan says:

      I agree 100% with Dig Doug, the right balance makes all the difference. I’d been through a Browning Hi Power, a Colt Combat Elite, a S&W SW99 and dozens of different holsters until I found my sweet spot in a Bersa Thunder 45 UC. I initially picked the Browning then the Colt simply because I shoot those two better than any other handgun but they were too bulky for me and they tended to print like crazy in my normal uniform of a t-shirt and cargo shorts. The Smith was a bit better but still too bulky. The Bersa however gives me 7+1 big fat .45’s in a package that in a simple High Noon IWB is so comfortable and concealable I hardly notice it. Every time I go to leave the house its always wallet, keys, phone, Bersa.

  5. avatar Rokurota says:

    Of course, it’s just as easy to get into the habit of carrying as out of it. It’s like fastening your seat belt or paying your bills on the 30th. Habit goes both ways.

  6. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    the only thing that stops me is the 30.06 rule or 51% rule here in texas i think it’s B.S…. bad things can happen anywhere , any time whats the old saying “i’d rather be judged by six than burried by six.”….

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Better find those six other jurors…

    2. avatar Tim says:

      Judged by 12 than carried by 6?

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    I was complaisant about my “safe” neighborhood until I found out that we have had 10 home invasions in the past month or so. I realized that I would never get to my gun in time so I started to home carry. When seconds count you need to buy more seconds. Unfortunately neither my wife nor I can carry most of the time. She works in DC and I work in the Pentagon so we must go about our daily business unarmed. There is no such thing as an entirely safe place only varying degrees of risk. You have to choose when the the risk threshold is high enough that you feel you should carry.

  8. avatar RuffRidr says:

    I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: I love the color scheme on that Springfield!

  9. avatar Andrew says:

    I love this article that is written by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. I think it sums up everything just nicely.

    http://killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

  10. avatar DavidT says:

    For some of us it is a problem with work. My employer doesn’t allow us to bring firearms into the office and I ride a motorcycle during the summer, making storage a bit of a problem. I also don’t always know what I’ll be driving home as I sometimes take a company car and don’t want to leave the firearm unattended for extended periods (I have left my motorcycle at the office for up to 2 weeks while in a company car). I do carry when out with family and shopping, unless directly after work.

  11. avatar GS650G says:

    And it’s worth stating that bad people know where you can’t legally carry. Since they are breaking more serious laws violating a gun ban isn’t high on the list.

  12. avatar William says:

    The place I am most complacent is at home. Home carry has been difficult to pull off for some reason. In the last few weeks, I have been making a conscious effort to get up, get dressed and get armed safely and comfortably. I hope I make and keep the habit.

    Otherwise EDC is a pretty common thing where I live. So the habit comes naturally and is reinforced by close friends as well as the culture.

  13. avatar LC Judas says:

    Every year I can count the days I leave home without a handgun unintentionally on one hand. It’s always less than five. On those days I have a weapon at hand anyway in my vehicle, holster available as well. If you leave home without your weapon you give up your say in what happens when someone having a bad day decides to make it into something catastrophic. Having it won’t guarantee you anything better but it’s a better bet than just hoping for the best.

  14. avatar karlb says:

    Sheep . . . Walking Dead . . . Oblivious to the realities of life . . .

    Or, could it be, that I (and perhaps my fellow sheep) recognize reality in a slightly different way? There were 2.7 murders per 100,000 people in my state last year, yet there were over 150 deaths per 100,000 from heart disease, and over 170 deaths from cancer, and even 15 traffic fatalities per 100,000. The reality is this, if I am not involved in the drug trade, am not a criminal, am not part of a violent family or group, I have an even lower chance of being murdered. The reality is, would do much better for myself and for those around me if I would carry a defibrillator instead of a gun.

    Me? I really like guns. I like shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Heck, I like pellet guns. But choosing not to carry a gun with me does not make me a sheep or a zombie. To use the Arizona shooting as an example, Laughner was brought down by unarmed heroes, or were they sheep/zombies?

    1. avatar Christopher P. Fusaro says:

      Point made, thanks! But he did do a lot of damage in less than 5 minutes and was stopped only because he had to reload. But yes, they were the true hero’s who intervened when they clearly didn’t have to.

  15. avatar Troy says:

    I have carried nearly everyday at all times that my pants were on, for about three years.
    I work in an business where guns are banned. I share office space with the anti-gun business owner. I sit less than ten feet in front of him.
    I have watched police and criminal activity, just outside my glass office wall repeatedly for twelve years. My office space has been used for police surveillance.
    There have been multiple Federal raids at properties I can see from my desk. I have watched my mid-range residential neighbors homes and cars be broken in to for much too long. Thankfully there has not been any injury or assault.
    I have made a choice to change my mind on how I may protect my family, my friends and my coworkers, even the anti-gun types. I have done the research (and continue to). I have become comfortable with my daily carry Ruger SR9c, Crimson Trace Laser Guard , completely changed wardrobe and custom “made in my garage” IWB holster.
    I suggest you spend the time to look at your options. Get comfortable with your “kit”. Think about your obligation to your fellow man(woman and child).
    You are the aware.

  16. avatar Rich says:

    Just like only wearing your seatbelt when you think your going to be in an accident, not carrying all the time is not logical. Show me where violent crime never happens and I will leave it at home. P45, slim, light, powerful

  17. avatar Cowboy Dan says:

    “My employer doesn’t allow us to bring firearms into the office and I ride a motorcycle during the summer, making storage a bit of a problem. ” I once worked in a secure facility (prison). We weren’t allowed to leave guns in our cars, nor were we allowed to check them at the control room.

    I got past that by leaving pieces of my little Austrian friend in different parts of the car. Slide here, barrel there, frame in another place, magazines in yet another. Only my wife and I knew where all the pieces were kept, and I could be ready to fire in eight seconds or less. Don’t leave home without it, unless you live in Illinois, the Lone Star State of victim disarmament.

  18. avatar Richard says:

    Your gun is your American Express Card, “Don’t leave home without it”.

  19. avatar Boo says:

    If you’ve ever been held hostage for even a minute, you will never let it happen again, which means you will catty and your attitude will not be one of negotiation.

    Generally as a cop, you won’t have to worry about it if they find out you are a cop.

  20. avatar Legion7 says:

    I carry, but I’m not saving ANYONE but me and mine at the mall or any other place a psycho starts shooting. The reason? I refuse to have the liberal anti-gun bimbo cowering behind the rack of 20% off dresses that I just saved tell the cops she was more scared of me. I don’t want the cops to shoot me, or the media to denigrate me. I don’t want to be prosecuted for shooting the bad guy by an overzealous prosecutor trying to move up the ladder, or ending up paying the scumbags’ family for “reparations”. I don’t want the media to make me a bad guy and give out my address to one and all. I don’t need to hear “it’s better left to the professionals” one more time. Get your own pistol and permit, and defend yourself. Don’t count on me…

  21. avatar Joe Doakes says:

    I have developed a self imposed standard for carry. If I don’t feel 110% I do not carry.

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