Do you carry a back-up firearm? Most people would answer quite reasonably, “Dude, I’m not Rambo; and I wouldn’t want a jury to think that I thought I was either.” Most gun owners have enough trouble hauling around one gun and its accessories for 10 or 12 or 14+ hours a day—to the point where many give up concealed carry altogether. A second gun would be way too Harrison Bergeron. But plenty of CCW holders at the instructor-level carry two guns. Packing two heaters is a common custom and practice for cops and security professionals alike. Are there some compelling reasons for stuffing a little extra iron in your pants? D’uh . . .
First off, there is the old adage, “Two is one and one is none”. Even “PERFECTION” can fail. Maybe your gun has always run perfectly, and you, like me, are the weakest link. But chances are you know someone who has a similar gun that randomly took a dump at the range one day. A simple broken ejector or extractor and that gun is done. Even trusty revolvers can bind up for a multitude of reasons. In a life or death emergency, having an extra life-saving tool to draw on when Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head can make the difference between a crisis and a disaster.
I am often out and about with friends and family members who, though able and responsible with firearms, do not always, if ever, carry. Example: My best friend travels internationally for work. Sometimes I pick him up at the airport. Since we carry similar guns, I provide him with a familiar snubby to tuck for the adventure home. In the event you are stranded with your family on the side of the road, you can leave a gun with your spouse while you, the ‘Alpha Protector’, make the trek for a gallon of gas or a location with phone service. It could even be handy for something as simple as those “Stay here, I’m just gonna run in to the store for a minute” moments. (Note: able and responsible are key. I wouldn’t recommend giving a gun to just anyone.)
Your gun is now His Gun
Ironically, taking a gun away is much easier than holding on to one. If you are involved in a struggle and your gun ceases to be YOUR gun, you are up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Not the creek where you go fly fishing either, I’m talking about the one IMMEDIATLY down stream from the water treatment plant.
A quick search revealed that of the 616 Police officers killed on duty between 1994 and 2003, 52 were killed with their own weapon (FBI). This is with training and triple-retention holsters like the Safariland 070 series. Being able to secrete a pocket gun in such instances has saved many officers lives.
The New York/ Chicago Reload (Why does that sound so funny?)
Do you ever wonder if your five-shot wheel gun or six-plus-one pocket rocket is going to be enough? How fast can you reload your trusty J-frame? Do you keep a spare .380 mag handy? Personally, a good reload for me and my six shot K-frame takes about four seconds. That’s from the belt with a Competition Speed Loader. Topping off my snubby from a speed strip in my pocket is about double that (a.k.a., an eternity). An Airweight .38 in each pocket is a do-able combination, and packin a pair of micro .380s a no-brainer.
If you are presently carrying a duty size, normal-capacity auto, do you carry a spare mag? Could you just as easily carry a sub-compact in the same spot, and have a reload/spare gun at the same time?
When reading accounts of gunfights, a common theme emerges. Very often, one or more of the participants is shot in the gun, hand, or arm. It’s more than random chance; strategists suspect that tunnel vision forces bad guys to focus on the gun as the threat, and aim their aggression there.
If your dominant hand is busy dominating—blocking a club or serving as a chopping block for an attackers blade—it is going to be up to the weaker appendage (the one you don’t even trust to hold your adult-beverage) to save your life. This is aided by having a gun accessible to that hand.
The last 10 seconds of this cop shot invasion video provides a perfect example. I’ll take a .22 over a wastebasket any day.
Is one gun enough? Statistically, one gun is WAY more than you will ever need in your life. A flashlight, can of pepper spray, and some first aid training will be a heck of a lot more useful. (Put Pressure on it!) No weapon is a substitute for staying aware and avoiding potential trouble before it starts.
That said, carrying a gun is about being prepared for the worst while hoping it never comes. If your worst-case scenario includes any of the above scenarios, consider adding a backup to your repertoire.