Carrying a gun is a big responsibility. You’re schlepping the power of life and death. In theory. In practice, a firearm is no guarantee you’ll be able to stop a lethal threat. Even so, it’s a hell of good thing to have IGF (If God Forbid) you need it. The antis will argue this point all day every day to The End of Days. The chances are lightning strike small that you’ll ever need it, a gun is more of a danger to you and your family than a gaggle of gang bangers, yada, yada, yada. I’ll let Bruce Krafft rip the antis a new orifice as and when. Meanwhile, I’d like to point out that you don’t have to be paranoid to pack a pistol. There are non-ballistic advantages to carrying a gun. Here are my top three . . .

1. Carrying a gun make you more law-abiding

Gun rights are subject to instant and permanent revocation. If you somehow make the transition from law-abiding citizen to convicted criminal, your ability to keep and bear arms will not make the jump with you. I’m not saying that carrying a gun will stop a gun-owner from robbing a bank (especially as most bank robbers are tooled-up). But anyone who cherishes their gun rights thinks twice about misdemeanor offenses.

Case in point: a friend recently offered me the opportunity to exchange bodily fluids with a professional. While the young lady in question looked like Samantha Gradoville (NSFW), I’m reliably informed that this activity is illegal. So, despite my recent divorce—an event more emasculating than getting trounced in tennis by Billy Jean King—I declined his invitation. So-called soft drugs are also off the menu.

Anecdotal yes. But I can assure you that I’m not the only armed citizen who sings “because you’re mine . . . I walk the line” to his everyday carry gun. Exhibit B: the only person I know who packs a pistol and drives like a lunatic carries a badge. Everyone else keeps their speed low and avoids road rage like herpes (see: above). You can file that one under “I don’t speed because I don’t want to be pulled over and shot by a trigger-happy cop,” but it’s the same difference.

Paying taxes? Avoiding ANY kind of legal trouble? That too. Whether or not increasing your law-abidingnessosityitude is a personal or societal advantage is subject to debate. But rectitude has its rewards. Like being able to defend yourself and your loved ones with a gun in an IGF life-or-death situation until the moment when death takes you anyway.

2. Carrying a gun make you less confrontational

I was elipticaling at the gym the other day when the gentleman next to me decided to schmooze with his daughter on his cell. When I reminded him that gym policy prohibited phone calls he reacted as if I’d keyed his Porsche. “I’ve been a member here for years. I know the rules. If you think—” I put on my Dr. Dre’s and ignored him. That really set him off. So I moved.

Anyone who carries a gun who has an ounce of common sense (and tons of people answer to that description) does everything they can to avoid interpersonal conflict. They realize that a shouting match can lead to a physical confrontation that can lead to police interaction that can lead to the loss of their gun rights. Not to mention the possibility that they’ll have to use their firearm, which also leads to the loss of their gun rights.

Call it the anti-Zimmerman effect—which admits that the connection between armed self-defense and conflict avoidance doesn’t apply to all the people all the time. Where it does apply, this gun-based reticence goes beyond that, into ASPIS PDST (Avoid Stupid People in Stupid Places Doing Stupid Things). Many if not most armed civilians stay away from places where a violent argument might arise. Roadhouses are Positus non Gratis.

Stats show that people who carry a gun legally are more law-abiding than those who don’t. (Bruce, please email me the link to the Florida data.) I reckon that’s because people who want to carry a gun legally don’t want to lose that right. And yes, it’s a self-selecting sample; they’re more likely to be law-abiding than the general population. Your problem being? Hey, you talkin’ to me?

3. Carrying a gun makes you a better parent

One need only peruse TTAG’s Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day category to know that some gun-toting parents don’t get the whole firearms safety thing: they leave their carry gun unsecured with tragic (if Darwinian) consequences for their progeny. (This includes cops.) But the vast majority of gun owners are not only responsible with firearms, they teach their children to be responsible as well.

We know the first part of that assertion because Mr. Krafft tells us so, with enough hard statistical date to give The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence pause. Not really, but if the antis can use “common sense” to back up their claims so can we. The fact that millions of children don’t shoot themselves or others with their parents’ guns tells you that someone has taught them not to play with guns.

Carrying a gun is the best way to teach your kids about gun safety. When they have a parent or two that carries, sprogs learn by example that a firearm is to be treated with respect and vigilance. Their close encounters of the carrying kind helps keep them safe from other people’s firearms because, after all, we live in a country literally littered (on occasion) with guns. Children learn to leave guns alone, and how to handle them if they need to.

Let’s not discount the civics lesson, either. When a child sees a parent carry they learn that a law-abiding citizen needs to take responsibility for their own safety (no culture of dependency there). Kids with parents who pack are also likely to hear a thing or two about how the Second Amendment’s protects individual liberty from government tyranny. There’s nothing wrong with that, and quite a lot right (so to speak).

And there you have it: three “fringe” benefits for Americans who choose to exercise the aforementioned right to keep and bear arms by keeping and bearing arms. The next time an anti wants to debate the cost – benefit ratio of armed self-defense turn their arguments on their head. You carry a gun for the good of society, personal development and, of course, the children.

30 Responses to Three Ways Carrying a Gun Makes You A Better Person

  1. RF,
    Couple of points. Totally agree with Point 1 except for “Gun rights are subject to instant and permanent revocation.” While this may be the case “legally”, in truth, one’s rights are subject to no one.

    As for Point 2, wouldn’t being “less confrontational” mean ignoring the guy on his phone? I mean, it isn’t really your job to enforce or even remind him of another property owners rules, and as you stated, you could have just put on your Dr. Dre’s to drown out the annoyance.

    Sorry, I’m in a nit-picky mood this morning.

    • I understand the point: gun rights are human rights. But it’s still true that the government can strip you of the ability to exercise the right to keep and bear arms.

      Also, I could the gym guy yapping through my ‘phones. But, in retrospect, you’re right: I should have kept my mouth shut and moved. Lesson learned.

      • Actually you were spot on for #2, trying to correct the problem with cell phone guy first. After he got aggressive you should have gone to management, and after that police if aggressiveness continued.

  2. I have yet to find a gun hater who can explain to me exactly why a holstered firearm on my hip is a threat to him/her, other people or myself. They simply can’t do it and usually walk off in a huff because they know they’re factually wrong.

  3. I agree with the three points. I find that carrying a gun increases my sense of responsibility as a citizen. And my pride in exercising a fundamental right, just like I’m proud to vote or write a letter to the editor criticizing the government.

  4. I agree whole heartedly with this post. I have told some people at church that if you want to learn how to be a true Christian carry a gun for a couple of weeks. After the stunned looks I explained that it isn’t the gun, it’s how you must behave because you carry a gun. You have to stay calm and pleasant no matter how you are insulted or even pushed around. You have let people cut you off or steal your parking spot. You have to allow yourself to be bullied by others. You have to become meek. In other words a gun makes you walk the Christian walk instead of just talk.

  5. I agree with all of these.

    But does carrying a gun make you more suspicious of people? Does it make you less friendly? Less outgoing and less likely to help someone who asks?

    Every time I strap on my gun, I’m reminded that there are scumbags in the world. Is that reminder healthy? (Physically, sure. But mentally? Morally? Spiritually?)

    I dunno.

    • NR, I don’t have the mental, moral, or spiritual issues you mention when I carry. Actually the reverse happens. Because I know I have personal protection available, I’m actually friendlier and not nearly as concerned about approaching others. This doesn’t mean I’m going to run down to the hood or local trash trailer park, but it does mean I give people more benefit of the doubt than I use to. Surprisingly, everyone to date has been rather nice. Where before I might not have spoken to them at all. As Robert points out, I am more respectful of the law and realize that those around me might just be having a bad day, so I don’t let those little things affect me anymore. Part of that comes from carrying.

    • “Every time I strap on my gun, I’m reminded that there are scumbags in the world.”

      Isn’t that why we all carry in the first place?

      That mental, moral and spiritual anguish can be laid at society’s – and, ultimately, government’s – feet.

    • NR,

      I contend that various external sources (friends, news, television, movies, music, etc.) will remind you every day that there are scumbags in the world. In fact those external sources remind us so much that we are to a great extent desensitized. So I don’t see how strapping your handgun on somehow adds a heap of coal to the proverbial scumbag fire.

      To me donning a handgun every day is actually refreshing. I have always known that there are scumbags in the world. In fact I have managed to run into at least five of them. Unfortunately I was not armed in any of those encounters and the outcomes were not pleasant. Now I know that I have an additional option if a scumbag pops out from behind a corner. In unsavory situations, having such options is a very good feeling.

    • The fact there are people who intend to do others harm is simple reality. There’s nothing wrong in acknowledging that reality and taking responsibility for your own safety. If more people did that, the world would be a better place. There were some needless deaths recently here in Seattle because some people thought they didn’t have to do so. It’s true that for the most part, you can get away with it, because in our modern society, lethal violence is actually a pretty rare occurrence. But if it does find you, you are the only person who you can count on to be there in time to respond.

      I’m polite and friendly to those I meet, but I also try to be aware of all those around me and look for things that are out of context. Is someone really agitated? Do they seem unusually unfocused? Are they wearing a heavy coat on a hot day? Are they wearing no coat on a very cold day (some drugs cause overheating)? Can I keep that up perfectly? No, but I try.

      • You bring up a good point about situational awareness. In the current “it’s all about me” generation. I’m amazed sometimes at how many people haven’t a clue what’s going on around them. They are so into themselves and what they are doing that they take no notice of the argument that’s going on just a short distance away in which they may un-intentionally become involved in. Look at cell phone users who walk into walls while texting, or the ever popular cell phone driver who seems to not understand that he/she is not the only one on the road. A friend and I discussed situational awareness the other day. We agreed that we increased our chances of avoiding a volitile problem because we are aware of what is around us most of the time, and why we have not been involved in any major issues in the past.

        • There’s another side to that. I let my guard down when concentrating on a problem at my desk / workbench or a (public) coffee shop table.
          Sometimes I put in earplugs to completely focus. If in public, should I be carrying concealed in such situations?

        • You shouldn’t let your guard down completely when in public EVER. And ear plugs and head phones, two not one, should NEVER be done in public. If you need to concentrate on something that much do it in your office or at home.

  6. In your shoes, I would have reported the cell phone jackass to the gym’s management when I left and asked them to enforce their “no phones” rule. If he was really annoying or became abusive, I would have cut my workout short and pointed him out individually to the management.

    Going armed doesn’t mean that you have to be a doormat for anyone who tries to take advantage of you. It just means that you fix the problem using other methods besides getting in the guy’s face. If there is to be a confrontation, let the escalation be entirely on his side. That makes you the innocent victim and him the aggressor.

  7. There is yet a fourth reason carrying a piece makes one a better person.In my pre-carry days I wantonly picked up girls with no regard for emotional stability or marital status.I tried not to game taken girls,but some of them lie.Without an on the spot polygraph its easy for a single man to get burned:and now that I own and enjoy firearms I vet my dates like US Secret Service recruits,complete background check and all.Undisclosed boyfriends,husbands,psychological and financial instability in addition to chronic hoplophobia are grounds for immediate rejection as ST’s evening guest.My gun collection will not be seized pursuant to a bogus DV charge or after an avoidable shooting because my girl’s ex con husband paid us a visit.

    • Plus the one’s you bring home and say “AWSOME” when they see your gun collection are keepers. While those who say “I don’t like guns, guns kill people” are obviously the ones to let go 🙂

  8. +1 one on this article.
    Couldn’t agree more..
    One thing I did notice when we decided now is the time to move forward with arming ourselves, the first thing I did was look for a range near by which had youth programs, and also women’s based defensive shooting programs.
    I remember my wife was like I know how to shoot a gun. I said yes you point it in the right direction and pull the trigger. I then asked her how do you pie a door? If you are in bed and someone is entering the room what is behind them? Where are the choke point in the house. Do you know how to defend our kids who are sleeping on two separate floors?
    She kind of looked at me irritated because she knew I was right. I told her it isn’t just shooting but tactics and defense. This is something our kids need to understand and practice as well.

  9. Case in point: a friend recently offered me the opportunity to exchange bodily fluids with a professional. While the young lady in question looked like Samantha Gradoville

    Who are you friends with that know professionals that look like her? A DA or Mayor?

  10. a friend recently offered me the opportunity to exchange bodily fluids with a professional.

    Solution: Visit Toronto. Or London. Firearms for personal protection are (essentially) illegal and yet the world’s oldest profession is freely practiced.

  11. actually, not carrying a gun makes me paranoid. when(rarely) i am outside of my house cause i mistakenly forgot it, i feel naked. maybe because i have carried now for twenty years.

  12. for me carrying a gun everywhere i go keeps me alert to all things around me. i am never in that condition white or whatever they call it. being aware of the situation will keep you out of trouble better than having to get out of trouble some way by using force. carrying in the proper state of mind makes you a better observer and can be quite amusing

  13. I’ve been carrying a pistol, or two, for a lot of years. I do believe that carrying a gun makes you more law abiding; in fact, I’m certain of it. I do NOT believe that carrying a gun will UNIVERSALLY make a person less confrontational; in fact, I’m certain of this, too. As for generally being a better parent? No, I don’t believe that for a moment. Why? Because there are way too many psychological and economic factors involved to either verify, or guarantee such a broad intellectual generality.

    Generally speaking: If children can get to a gun in the home, by degree, such access is highly likely to be abused. I don’t think this is true; in a large percentage of cases I’m certain of it.

  14. Great article! We need more people pointing out the truth, counterpointing the brainless drivel coming out of the mouths of liberals.

  15. I thought it was just me. After completing my CCL and strapping on for a few weeks I noticed all of the things you brought up in this article in myself. I asked some friends who also carry and we all agreed that carrying every day essentially makes you a nicer, calmer more thoughtful human. My evidence is personal, anecdotal and not part of any study, but I really like the changes that have been brought about by my decision.

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