When I started down the road to armed self defense, I was initially somewhat startled to find that pretty much all of my instructors (including Gunsite and Suarez International personnel) carried a loaded rifle with them in their vehicle at all times. This sort of shocked me as, in my ignorance, I had no idea why anyone would need a rifle readily at hand . . .
Over the next several years, the idea of keeping a rifle handy — in the vehicle, in the office and at home — has started to appeal to me more and more. Simply stated, I started my firearms training with pistols. As I transitioned to learning the rifle the last few months, I see very clearly how a rifle is a much more precise, easy to use and powerful tool. Rifles trump pistols in every category except portability, concealment, and convenience.
Recently I came across the above video of a police officer ending the Sikh temple shooting by standing off a ways, and engaging the bad guy with a rifle kept in his vehicle. The perpetrator had previously incapacitated and grievously wounded one officer in a closer range, pistol to pistol shootout in the same parking lot.
Now I’m thinking about keeping a rifle in the car. It’s completely legal in Arizona and seems to be the standard approach amongst my firearms instructor friends. Is this paranoia or a reasonable precaution?