Statistics show that licensed concealed carriers are less likely to commit a crime than the average citizen. D’uh. If nothing else, licensed carriers must undergo a background check. And know how to fill out a form and show up somewhere when scheduled to do so (e.g. fingerprinting). The question is . . .

Has carrying a gun made you a better person? Less likely to engage in arguments? Less likely to stick your you-know-what you-know-where (risking a confiscatory Extreme Risk Protection Order)? And if so, do you find that open carry magnifies the effect?

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59 Responses to Question of the Day: Does Carrying a Gun Make You A Better Person?

  1. I don’t really worry about the deep stuff such as the question posed, but what I do know is that Dean has total Pith Helmet Swag (PHS).

    • I dunno, amigo… based on a room full of gun guys under 40, he looks like a total drunk uncle. Straight up goof troop.

      Not sure where that outfit is appropriate but I defend his right to make me look that much more classy while doing it.

      • I definitely prefer PHS to the I Have More Pockets Than You and vulgar t-shirts of the I Thought About Being A SEAL crowd. A Webley (or any pre-1950 handgun) would make the ensemble even better. To each their own…

      • I highly suspect, that in a room full of guys including Jack Griffin and Dean, I’d rather hear what Dean has to say.

        • Based on your past comments in this forum Gray, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that you and Dean are like minded. Why shucks, ya’ll probably go together like peas and carrots! Too funny!

      • The mustache is swag as well, Ted. Not many guys that aren’t gay or cops can pull off a mustache.

  2. While I am much less likely to get up in someone’s grill, it seems more a result of my aging rather than my carrying. What hasn’t changed is: I’m still an a-hole.

  3. It’s made me less willing to get into any confrontation, but I don’t know if that makes me a better person.

    • ^ This.

      There were two confrontations that really, truly needed to happen … and I couldn’t risk looking like the aggressor and then lose my firearm rights forever.

      As a result, a punk in his 30s thinks it is okay to LOUDLY yell F-bombs to the neighborhood and LOUDLY tell neighbor’s wives to perform explicit sex acts on himself — while 7 year-old neighborhood children are close by of course. That guy needed to be laid out. Instead, all he got was a tongue lashing (ooooh, big deal) from a deputy who paid him a visit 30 minutes later.

      There are some behaviors that require “aggression” in a decent society. Unfortunately, such necessary “aggression” will result in a permanent loss of rights these days. Thus, I would say that I am not, in some respects, a better person for being armed.

      • Most certainly!

        A society where all “aggression” is banned is not civilized.

        Or perhaps better, a society where sensible people are not permitted to use appropriate force to discipline an asshole is not civilized. Hillary Clinton’s “It takes a village” concept requires that the civilized “villagers” be allowed to knock back the uncivilized lest the uncivilized take over.

      • “… if someone stumbles into the community watering hole and raises the stink-eye to the rest of the herd, you pick up the largest tree branch, smack them over the head with it, then you fling them to the heavens in Kubrickian glee… and I’m okay with that”
        > Dennis Miller

  4. Of course not. Just ask your local gangbanger. A gun is an object, like any other object you carry with you. Does a handkerchief make you a better person? A pocketknife? If you’re an asshole without a gun, you’re an asshole with a gun.

  5. Carrying a gun has nothing to do with being good or bad. Carrying may make you a better behaved person but just because you are well behaved doesn’t mean you can’t be a poor excuse for a human being.

  6. It makes you ACT like a better person – or at least a calmer, less confrontational person (and in my case, a less speedy driver) – and that’s close enough.

  7. Re ANON in CT- Exactly. I am motivated to act and think more carefully and less emitionally in public and private while I’m carrying. Perhaps over time this might make me a better person. On the other hand, Jesus Christ is working all the time to make me a better person.

  8. Taking a group of people who have never been convicted of felony or domestic violence and who are willing to prove it by paying money to the government guarantees lower crime for that group.

    I personally have never been aggressive and that hasn’t changed. I find that I’m more aware. I try to consciously avoid printing, I check who might notice that I carry, I’m more aware of what I say. These things translate to a higher general awareness of where I am and what’s going on around me.

    Better person? Not me. But I am much better off in life

    • +1 THIS. Carrying concealed has made me more conscious of my surroundings and how I interact with others. I guess that’s a good thing, but I don’t think it amounts to a radical shift in my character.

  9. I don’t really think it matters. As kevin said “If you’re an asshole without a gun, you’re an asshole with a gun.”

    That said, generally speaking I think the type of person who generally carries a gun for legal purposes isn’t an asshole. They’re usually as calm as a glass of water whether they’re carrying at the time or not.

    I think you can, reasonably accurately, say the same thing about a lot of things. For example, drunken jerks are generally jerks when sober etc.

  10. If my carrying a gun makes me a better person, then carrying two as I sometimes do must double the effect. Perhaps, if I shove one of those little NAR 22 magnums in an ankle holster for a total of three, then I might just qualify for sainthood!

  11. Owning a gun “legally” makes me a regulated person.

    My principles, values, and moral compass make me a better person.

  12. While all of what has been stated is true, just the fact that you are willing to go to the class, go get printed, etc, means you are serious about it. Also, if you do the steps needed, it means you have taken on a responsability. This is not usually for a job, or a hurdle to bigger and better things, it is only to obey the law in order to carry legally. People that have little responsability won’t jump through the hoops, they will just carry anyway, or will have one close by, in a hidden way, so they have access.

    Carrying a gun is a responsability, even if you only care about protecting you and yours – let others die and just go on like you did not have a firearm. You are not duty bound to help a stranger, like a LEO, but you still may be called to make a life or death choice, for you and yours ofr the attacker. If you are not ready for that choice, don’t carry.

  13. Well, it hasn’t caused me to start wearing pith helmets…is that a side effect I should watch for?

  14. Better? No…just armed. If you’re carrying tp be a vigilante or armed avenger you’ve got a problem.

  15. Yep. I’m a better person because I had to understand the responsibility I have on my shoulders. Kind of like when someone trusts their kid and is rewarded by them appreciating the responsibility. Not that the government is a parent or anything. I guess it’s more like I’m a proud child of my nation.

  16. I’m the same person whether I’m in California, New Jersey or The United States.

    When I was disarmed by statute, I avoided conflict and dangerous situations. I still do that when I’m armed.

  17. I wish I was brave enough to wear a pith helmet (British 1877 Foreign Service Pattern looks fantastic). Unfortunately I’m still far to young to not care about what people think. When I’m old however…

    On the actual topic of this post, carrying a gun may make one less volatile in their public interactions but being a Better Person is based on other things entirely.

  18. Carrying a gun does make you a better person. I think we all know that everyone one on Earth already knows this. Wearing shoes opposed to sandals makes you an even better person yet! I think we can all agree that when we are carrying and bump into someone who is not we are overwhelmed with a sense of superiority and power… Which is better indeed!

  19. Absolutely. Since receiving my CCW 5 years ago I no longer speed when I drive, I don’t participate in road rage, and I drink a lot less because I don’t want to come across a situation where I jeopardize my rights and I let petty stuff go because I always assume everyone else is packing.

  20. I quit drinking ANY alcoholic beverages, full stop. While I still push the speed limit with the give 5 take 5 philosophy, I don’t regularly speed. I’m still a smartass, and Mr. Fucking Asshole. I steer clear of stupid people, places, and times to the best of my ability. Leaving for work when the bars are closing can make that problematic. Better person? Not so much. More careful? You betchya!

  21. I would say better for two reasons:
    (1) They are well enough behaved to pass a background check. There is no reason to expect that to change.
    (2) They know that screwing up with a gun will dump their previously good lives into the same toilet already occupied by the a-holes against whom they acquired the gun for protection.

  22. No, it hasn’t made me a better person, and no, open carry would not magnify any effect on my good behavior, because in California open carry is considered bad conduct that will land your ass in jail. I’ll take a pass on that, thank you.
    I carry because my wife travels by wheel chair, and there are areas in our fine town we cannot avoid in which one finds a ubiquity of homeless, many of whom are addicted to meth and/or heroin, others who suffer serious mental disease.

  23. All Dean needs is a whip and a chair to round out that ridiculous attention grabbing lion tamer costume. What a goof!

    “Hey everyone look at me I’m open carrying a handgun because I’m making a political statement and I experience intense gratification when I rest my hand as close as possible to my Glock without touching it to hopefully generate a little drama while drawing as much attention as possible from everyone I encounter”. “Some of my favorite places to do this is the grocery store back home, rest areas in Arizona, and outside police stations in Texas”.

    Too funny!

      • That’s Mr. Asshole to you junior. I submit that “attention whore” is a term more applicable to someone trolling public places wearing a lion tamer costume and an openly displayed Glock in a Fobus holster. You’d be surprised how much less attention is attracted when only those with xray vision can see my concealed handgun. I’m all for armed dumbasses who thrive on drawing attention to themselves with open carry, it makes it so much easier for me to spot them. Too funny!

        • Junior? Don’t I wish. Nah, attention whore suits you. Hysterical comes close. Getting all bent out of shape about how some old timer that you’ll likely never meet dresses.

          Maybe hall monitor?

  24. Nope. Carrying a gun has not made me a better person. No spiritual or emotional warm fuzzies from toting a gun.
    Carrying only for defensive reasons.

    Being a man of faith and being married to a woman who motivates me to do better every day…those things have made me a better person. Yeah, not great, as I started from a really deep hole…but better. Anyway, you can’t get that from a gun.

    BTW, could somebody please bring this post to my wife’s attention. I want to buy a new gun 😉

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