Recently, I saw a discussion on social media about firearms in the home go pretty much as you’d expect. The post, from a liberal friend, started out by asking if anyone had actually used a gun in their home to defend themselves. First off…who cares? I’ve never had to use my fire extinguisher, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need one.
And what’s the point of starting a conversation like that on social media? Experience tells you the post was really a transparent method for justifying the poster’s own agenda. I say transparent because it was clear that the idea of a gun in the home was anathema to this person.
If the question were genuine, why not reach out — by phone or email — and have an honest conversation with someone a friend who actually owns guns? Be willing to accept that you don’t know everything, which is why you’re seeking another point of view in the first place. Take the time to listen and ask questions…with honest follow-ups.
I’m all for engaging in meaningful conversations, but social media isn’t the venue for that. All you typically encounter there is a lot of grandstanding, virtue signaling and moral preening.
My question about guns: why not be armed in your own home? Despite the venue and the motive of the original post, there were some decent parallels drawn in the exchange, such as wearing a seat belt. I wear one because seat belts have been proven to save lives. So too have firearms. But that’s a nasty truth bomb the anti-gunners among us want to ignore.
Being able to defend yourself and your home should be the first point of discussion. Is it reasonable for a person to have the ability to defend their home and loved ones? if we can agree that it is, then why not own the best tool for the job?
It just so happens a firearm is an incredibly effective means for personal defense. Yes, having a firearm in the home can also result in accidents. It’s a fact we have to be willing to own up to or we’re just as misguided as the anti-gun crowd. But accidents happen with just about any household tool, whether it’s a kitchen knife or lawn mower. That does’t mean I don’t want to have one when I want to filet a fish or cut the grass.
As parents, we go out of our way to “baby-proof” our homes In the same way, securing your firearms is part of responsible gun ownership. They should either be on your hip or secured in a safe or otherwise inaccessible to children and other unauthorized people.
But the other consideration in safely storing your firearm is access — can you get to your firearms if and when you really need them. It’s difficult to call time out in an emergency so you can safely retrieve a gun from a lockbox or safe. I’m not against them, they serve a valuable purpose. But you can’t predict where you’ll be in your home when you need it. That’s why I’m an advocate of home carry.
One of the best ways to prevent unauthorized access to your gun is to keep it on your body. Coincidentally, that also solves the immediate access problem. The only potential downside can be the size of the firearm. Some people object to carrying a big, heavy gun all day long.
Downsizing your EDC gun to something more comfortable is worthwhile if it means you’ll carry it more often. The best gun in the world is the one you have with you when you absolutely have to have it to defend yourself or a loved one. So choose a carry gun that works for you…one that you’ll carry comfortably and often.
And don’t get drawn into those online discussions. They’re a waste of your time and theirs. Instead, consider what you’ve done today to improve your own personal safety and that of your family. Now that will be time well spent.
eff Gonzales is a former US. Navy SEAL and preeminent weapons and tactics instructor. He brings his Naval Special Warfare mindset, operational success and lessons learned unapologetically to the world at large. Currently he is the Director of Training at The Range at Austin. Learn more about his passion and what he does at therangeuastin.com.