GLOCK 19 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

No one knows how many Americans carry a gun on a daily basis. Florida has issued the greatest number of concealed carry permit holders; some 1.2m of the Gunshine State’s 19.5m residents are good to stow. How many of those practice everyday carry (EDC)? I’d be surprised if it was ten percent. Why? I’m not sure. But I can guess. In the interest of increasing those numbers, to protect innocent life and Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, here are three reasons people don’t carry a gun on a daily basis, and how to surmount them . . .

1. I don’t need to carry a gun every day

Unless you’re a gang banger or someone living/working where gang bangers bang, you’ll probably never face a threat of death or grievous bodily harm. You might, but you probably won’t. That said, if you do run into serious trouble when you’re unarmed, chances are you’ll change your mind about EDC. Hopefully, it won’t be too late. ‘Cause that would really suck.

This risk analysis reluctance to carry a firearm every day is entirely understandable, especially when you look at it on the biological/evolutionary level . . .

The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get. That’s what brains did for several hundred million years — and then, just a few million years ago, the mammalian brain learned a new trick: to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happened.

Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain’s most stunning innovations, and we wouldn’t have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing.

According to psychologist Daniel Gilbert (who wrote the above), experience can create quick-acting subconscious stimulus-response patterns in the amygdala (old brain) that defy neocortex (new brain) control. In other words, your rational brain is in control of risk analysis and response – right until something bad happens. And then it isn’t. And may not be again, at least in relation to the something bad that happened.

Does that mean that all gun owners who gladly carry a gun every day experienced some kind of traumatic event that created an unstoppable “carrying a gun is good” subconscious program? No, but a lot have. I was robbed at knife-point twice. Many of our readers have reported similar come-to-Smith-&-Wesson moments. But it’s important to note that these EDC-inspiring traumatic events don’t have to be “real.” They can be realizations.

A non-gun carrier can watch a TV news story about a local murder and think “Holy $hit! That’s the store where I buy my milk. That could have been me!” A woman who never carried a gun can have an “ah-ha” moment involving their children’s safety: “What if that man had wanted to take my child? How could I have stopped them?” These pro-EDC thoughts can reach down into a permit holder’s subconscious mind and trigger a deep and lasting change in their self-defense strategy.

How does a concerned friend convince someone who doesn’t carry a firearm every day – because they don’t think they need to – that they should pack an EDC? Using a calm, not-to-say-hypnotic voice, get them to imagine what might, could, will happen if they aren’t ballistically prepared for a violent assault. What would you do if your daughter was about to be raped? Light up to their lizard brain. Or wait for the real world to do it for you, while hoping it doesn’t.

2. Carrying a gun every day is a pain in the ass

Carrying a gun on an everyday basis isn’t very difficult – providing you take the time and effort to find the right gun and the right holster. There are hundreds of EDC-worthy handguns in at least four major calibers that will fit into an equally vast variety of holsters. There’s a gun and holster option for every type of body, comfort level and activity.

Actually, all that choice is the problem.

Trying to find a comfortable gun/carry system triggers Stendahl Syndrome, “a disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significance, particularly viewing art.” More widely, the term describe consumers’ “freeze response” when facing too much choice. Ever seen people standing motionless in front of the spaghetti sauce selection at the supermarket, unable to make a choice? Like that.

Only worse; choosing a gun/carry system easily qualifies as a “an experience of great personal significance.” Worse still; the chances of settling on a practical and comfortable everyday carry set-up the first time out are smaller than the chances of seeing Scarlett Johansson at Big Lots. There’s no way you can know if a carry system works without trying it in the real world. And when it fails, it hurts. Physically and financially.

The solution? Start small. I recommend that everyday carry newbies buy a “wonder 9” – a small 9mm semi-automatic handgun like the Ruger LC9 – and stash it in their front pocket using an Uncle Mike’s holster or similar. Although I prefer to carry a ridiculously expensive full-size .45 caliber boat anchor (Wilson Combat X-TAC) in an outside-the-waistband K Rounds Kydex holster, a gun owner’s first foray into EDC should be a pocket-and-forget experience. [Don’t worry. If push comes to shove, they’ll remember it’s there.]

After that, it’s a matter of choosing a comfortable holster system, then finding a gun to suit. I know it’s sounds silly, but there’s nothing wrong (and a lot right) with carrying an empty holster to see if a carry system works when sitting, driving, running, working, etc.

3. Carrying a gun every day makes me different

When you first start carrying a firearm on an everyday basis you’re sure everyone knows you have a gun – regardless of whether or not they can see it. You wonder what people would think if they “found out.” Would they think you’re paranoid? A right-wing racist? A criminal? Would they call the cops? No doubt about it: EDC can be a mentally and emotionally awkward experience. At least at the beginning.

For some people this feeling of social alienation an insurmountable barrier. They don’t want to risk being “outed” as a gun carrier, to have to defend their choice of armed self-defense. Other people try everyday carry for a while and stop, put off by uncomfortable thoughts and feelings of separation from their fellow man/woman. On the other side of the spectrum, some gun carriers couldn’t care less what people think and/or welcome the attention as a way to highlight the importance gun rights (I’m looking at you, kindly, open carriers).

Pocket carrying a small gun discreetly helps overcome this barrier to EDC, as well. A diminutive gat properly stashed feels a lot less obtrusive, both physically and psychologically. But the real key to getting over firearms alienation is to spend some time with people who carry everyday. You can do that here, in cyberspace, and in the real world, down at the gun range, where you’ll meet gun owners from a number of demographic groups. At the same time, armed defense training helps you accept the EDC lifestyle. Such as it is.

I say that because there’s no getting around the fact that carrying a firearm on an everyday basis does make you different. It makes you ready, willing and (hopefully) able to defend yourself, your loved ones and maybe even innocent life against the threat of death or grievous bodily harm. That’s a huge responsibility. But it’s also a huge, potentially life-saving advantage – that you only have if you have it.

There are plenty of good reasons not to carry a gun every day. As is your right. But there’s one compelling reasons to carry everyday that trumps them all: your life may defend on it. That’s good enough for me. You?

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116 Responses to Three Good Reasons Not to Carry a Gun Every Day, And How to Overcome Them

  1. Ha! Ok number three made me laugh. Different from who? Almost everyone I know packs everyday. I feel bad for those of you who live in blue states. Other two points are valid but, easily overcome with a bit of effort.

    • The feeling is real. I have been carrying a gun (not always) for over 15 years, but I’ve only been “legal” since June of this year (shout out to the 7th Circuit!). Old feelings die hard, and I’m still very conscience of the gun on my hip. Though I am now legal, it still feels like I’m doing something I don’t want to get caught doing. It will change eventually I’m sure, but that is something he pointed out in number 3.

      • Hi, this is uh Sam, yeah, we’ll go with Sam. I’m with a certain government agency that shall go unnamed. Are you the Chuck in IL with the blue Toyota or the Chuck in IL that lives close to the 7-11 and Shakey’s Pizza?

    • The really good thing about #3 is that soon it will be the anti’s that will be feeling “different”….

    • Yay for you. Now that you’ve shown us all that you are the coolest kid in class sit back and learn something new. Not. everyone. is. the. same.

      My wife and I both took CPL training together. I applied and received mine right away…. started carrying just a holster as the article suggested and then began carrying sparingly until finally I practically have it on from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. But I experienced everything in this article along the way. I don’t have many friends who carry. There is no one except my wife who knows that I carry every day. And as for her… she has decided not to apply for her permit. She hasn’t ruled it out but for now she is not comfortable with it. Her reasons are her own and that’s OK.

    • It isn’t just “blue states”. Every state has a large variety of different types of people. I really despise the concept of red and blue states. These terms do nothing but seperate individuals. They are terms created by the simpletons in the MSM and the government. They certainly don’t represent the diversity of Americans and their political views. All they do is categorize people and states into the two categories that the MSM and government want while giving the impression that there are no other options.

      Okay that is my simple free thought rant for today.

      • Red and Blue states depict the leaning of the state. The correlations are pretty obvious, and the additional information helpful to the individual.

    • The Kel-Tec .380 sells a clip that attaches to the gun. Right side or left. You can carry inside or outside the pants. I carry it on my nylon jogging shorts. I can’t believe how secure it is even while jogging or biking. Drawing the gun is effortless. It took me 5 minutes to install it . A word on calibers, thugs must laugh at us worrying about “stopping power”, penetration, hammer or hammerless, single or double action, magazine capacity etc. A thug runs at the 1st appearance of a gun, HE knows that any sized white hot, tumbling bullet will leave a bloody tunnel in him, don’t matter if it’s 4″ or 14″. just practice alot with whatever you decide.

      • That belt clip is dangerous. It doesn’t provide any type of cover over the trigger like a proper holster should. I’m sure you know what you’re doing and all that. But in the heat of the moment you want the trigger completely covered until the weapon is drawn. Not to mention the possibility of something catching on it when you least expect it. Please, for your sake and those around you, consider getting a holster designed to prevent ND.

  2. The thing that makes #3 easier to deal with is to remember that the average person is NOWHERE NEAR as observant as you think they are. Most people go through their day and the people around them barely register in their brain as anything more than an obstacle to move around. They are NOT going to notice the gun on your hip unless you’re trying to draw attention to yourself.

    • +1

      I had this very conversation with a federal LEO this morning. It is the carrier who thinks he is printing, the general public wouldn’t notice you if you’re OC-ing or if you are dressed right, they will think you were a cop. One day I was walking my dogs in the park during peak hours and a leash got caught around the grip and yanked the gun out of the holster on to the grass. Nobody even noticed me picking it up and reholstering. Carrying small to start out with is probably a good idea but I think it has a tendency to convice people that they can’t carry a compact or a full sized pistol when in fact it isn’t that hard to coneal a full size pistol.

      • I agree on concealing full sized pistols. I CC’d a glock 21 for a year or so. tucking it in wasn’t the hard part. going about your daily routine was the part that sucked. I felt like the right side of my pants were completely unbalanced. It’s surprising what cutting an inch off the grip does for the comfort of carrying.

        • I used to feel the same way until I found the right belt that could support the weight of the gun. While I prefer to carry a full sized pistol Ithink something on the order of an XD/m compact is probably the optimun size for concealed carry.

        • tdiinva,
          what belt do you use? I like the maxpedition liger gunbelt. I agree that the belt can make or break concealed carry.

        • I was looking for a gunbelt but I found the perfect one at a no name leather goods store. It is 1.5″ wide and very rigid. I have been wearing it for three years now and it hasn’t lost much stiffness at all.

      • Agree totally. I actually started out the opposite. I bought a pistol to keep bedside first, then decided to get my CCWP. Not having the money to get a dedicated CCW pistol at the time, I instead started carrying the same home defense pistol…a Beretta 92FS. Yeah, possibly the biggest pistol a person could carry. And I carry it every day…and nobody notices (or if they do, they don’t care). I eventually want to get something smaller, but I have no problem with a fullsize. It actually helped me.

    • Bingo!

      In seven years of carrying, only one person has ever come up to me and asked me if I was carrying. Even then, it was a fellow CCer who was just trying to politely gauge his own ability to detect other carriers. As evidenced by civilian disarmament enchantress Shannon Watts, 99.9% of the public isn’t nearly situationally aware enough to discern carry of even full-sized pistols.

      Most of the time I EDC a Glock 19 in a raven OWB holster. For those very few (and I mean VERY few) occasions when I cannot get away with that, I switch to a Raven appendix carry rig. In the ever rarer event that that won’t work I have an EXCELLENT pocket carry holster for my Glock 42 made by RKBA Holsters. They also made me a double-magazine holster for my other pocket, which helps me overcome the limited capacity of that particular pistol.

      Bottom line, I have placed a lot of emphasis on the “E” in EDC. If you have hangups about carrying every day, then you just need to do whatever legal and mental judo necessary to get over them. Having a gun is like physical fitness, fight training, a flashlight, a knife or a compass: by the time you realize you need it, it’s probably too late. Don’t learn those lessons the hard way.

    • No kidding! I have gotten up on stage to do solo concerts without anyone noticing (S&W 442, appendix carry).

  3. Wife & I get dressed main carry & back-up go on. Automatic as grabbing a cup of java & brushing teeth. Takes about 15 seconds more dressing but it is much better than needing & being without.

  4. Two big problems to every day carry is first summer dress and out doors work/play makes it hard . and no. 2 is you can not legal carry into the post office/bank/VA office/ school grounds… so that means putting your pistol on and off a lot.. But still work around this.. I do.. the VA.. now has no knife ban too. so I lock it up in the car till I leave.

    • Good point, the constant on and off at times is a big pain in the ass. Post office, school, court house etc. I have mitigated this to a point by using a Shield in Kusiak holster with an extra mag on board. It clips in and out very quickly but, still aggravates at times.

      • I EDC and most times I couldn’t care less about Gun Free Zones i.e. the PO, courthouse to register a vehicle or trailer etc. But to the point…most people are blind. My preferred system allows me to carry at any time till I put on my speedo (not!) I use a crossbreed mini-tuck and an LCP with very good ammo. I also have the LC9 with the same setup. I will not carry my Sig 9mm concealed cause its too big and heavy. My job requires a lot of in and out of my truck so the Ruger is just right.

      • When I used to be a teller I had several customers that open carried. We didn’t have a security guard so we actually loved having them there. Extra security.

    • Same for me as well…especially since I work for the government, and, at the same time, a drilling reservist. The only time I can carry?
      1. Between 5:00pm and going to bed daily.
      2. During weekends when I’m not drilling.

    • Exactly. Im a teacher so I cant have it at work. And I dont like the idea of leaving it “secured” in the car. So that leaves me at weekends only. And then again only if Im not going to have to remove it before I go in some where. I know alot of people who just leave it in the car all the time. Not a good idea IMHO. So carrying at all is more of a hassle than I want to deal with at this point.

  5. As my name implies I live in FL and have had my concealed license since I was 22 or better stated I have been a FL CCW holder for about 25 consecutive years. I carry about 10% of the time just cause it really is a pain in the ass, but I do have a gun within about 5 feet of me 80% of the time. There has never been a time when I wished that I had had a weapon on me and I have even carried out of state (New Orleans, Las Vegas, Atlanta, etc) Now if FL were to go to open carry then I may find myself carrying 80% of the time! But carrying concealed is just a real pain in the ass.

    • Non-Floridians may not realize that for 10-1/2 months each year our uniform is shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops. Carrying concealed is NOT simply a PITA, it is effing near impossible. For “at the beach”, strike “effing near”.

      For us, Open Carry has long been an imperative.

      • Hawaiian shirts and other large button-down short sleeve shirts replaced all my t-shirts. Works for me. I carry appendix.

  6. Very succinct. Point #1 is the disbelieving rebuttal I get when people find out I carry. Point #2: A gun n00b can start even smaller — a .380 P3AT, LCP or 738 TCP (mentioned so Jeremy S. doesn’t have to chime in) fits even better in the pocket (although I just scored a LC9s and it is surprisingly pocketable!). Point #3: probably the biggest hurdle in modern America — one side benefit of gun ownership is that it forces you to be more independent-minded (if you weren’t already) and thick-skinned. It isn’t easy being gaslighted every day. That is why there is TTAG!

    • I agree with the smaller calibre recommendation. I have a Colt PocketLite 380 and a Sig938 9mm. The difference in weight is just enough to make me very willing to carry the 380 but not the 9mm; I weigh 185 lbs. Most women, I imagine, will find their break-point between willing/UN-willing at a weight a few oz lower than their fathers/ . . . /boyfriends. WE OFWGs have to take that into account when advising our loved ones. I would rather see a slightly-built loved-one develop the EDC habit with a 22 or 32 with the EXPLICIT understanding that it’s stopping-power is essentially psychological. Once the new carrier has a few months of carry under her kilt, add a little more weight. E.g., throw a couple of D-cell batteries in her purse (along side the 22/32) and see if she tolerates the additional weight. Add a third D-cell battery. When she finds her break-point put her gun and batteries on a scale and see how much they weigh. Then shop for a 380 or 9mm accordingly.
      – – – My self-consciousness with pocket-carry dissipated within hours. Note, however, that I’m in PA where CC/OC under a LtCF is legal. Therefore, I have no reason to care if “my slip is showing”. Carriers living in States such as TX need to learn to carry discretely; and, they have a compelling reason to start-out small.

  7. I have a CCL, but I have not yet carried. I don’t feel I yet have the skill and sensibility. Working on it….but I got the license at the first opportunity on the odd chance that I would not be able to obtain one later.

    • The best way to develop the skill and sensibility is to carry. It’s the same with any skill set — to learn it, just do it.

  8. GFZ’s are the single biggest hurdle to me carrying, and the main reason my wife won’t bother to get a CHL (we both work in GFZ’s). And since, as you say, finding the right equipment and clothing is not an easy process, being unable to continue that process on a daily basis pretty much puts an end to it. I found an ankle holster to be comfortable right from the start and not require changing my clothing style, so that’s what I slap on when I’m going somewhere other than work, but it’s far from ideal.

    • +1, especially here in IL, and I don’t even have my permit yet. I’m not worried about holsters, what other people think, etc. Can’t even walk the dog to the park legally. Well, as long as I don’t STOP in the park to talk to anyone, I’m legal…

  9. I’m surprised you EDC a Wilson Combat. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a beautiful gun. It’s just that EDC beats things up. And it’ll get seized for evidence and really treated like a red-headed stepchild if you use it in a DGU.

    For me, that’s the beauty of an ugly Glock. My EDC G27 is beat to hell. It’s hard to imagine it getting any uglier. Heck, it might even be prettier after a police impound.

    Another problem is sport seats in a car. I’ve already got a tear in the leather on the right side seat bolster where my G23 or G35 mag contacts the seat.

    I’d be surprised if your Benz doesn’t have seat damage from packing heat.

    • I have that same problem with car seats. Aggravated by the RTF grip on my glock I suspect. It’s odd I almost never see it mentioned on gun sites.

  10. I guess I did it wrong:

    “After that, it’s a matter of choosing a comfortable holster system, then finding a gun to suit. ”

    I picked the firearm I shoot the best and then spent way too much attempting to find that comfortable holster that actually conceals my MC Operator 1911 w/ light. Took a few tries but I found it.

  11. Biggest thing may be your employer, mine allows CC.
    No swapping to the car safe and back. As soon as I put the night stand .40 away and have pants with a belt on, I slip my Infidel that holds my Shield onto that belt for the rest of the day and that IS the rest of the day until my pants come off for bed.
    The Infidel’s belt hook fits perfectly on the little locking knob in the bathroom stall at work so I can’t leave until I put the gun back on.
    The employer is one of the keys!

    • Btw
      2 1/2 years and I have forgotten my gun once.
      Don’t wake up and choose whether you will carrying today,
      Make the choice once that you are going to carry, then you don’t have to ask yourself, should I or shouldn’t I.

    • This is my biggest hurdle. I work for a massive corporation who wouldn’t want to deal with the non PC pro CHL policy. To be fair they also own a lot of equipment where one Negligent discharge could impact there ability to serve customers. It’s a good job for now while I’m getting my MBA, and I probably won’t work there forever. I’m looking for alternative defense options while at work. Hopefully my next employer will be more tolerant.

  12. I got my CCL a couple months ago, but have only carried once so far (F2F Craigslist transaction – Px4 in a sizeable front pocket). I’m not against carrying, just haven’t found the right holster setup yet.

    My problem is I screwed up my right elbow somewhat a while ago, so drawing from the 4 or 5 o’clock location isn’t very easy for me. Crossdraw feels much more comfortable especially since I sit alot, but that’s not the most popular way to carry so holster choices are slim/expensive. I’m actually in the process of making my own holster, so I’m hoping that pans out acceptably.

    • If you shoot with your right hand and want to carry on your left hip for cross draw, have you simply tried a right-handed holster on your left hip in the 9 O’clock or 10 O’clock position?

      • I’ve looked at it, yes, but the problem with doing that is the cant of the gun which makes things easier to draw from on the right side, is totally opposite of what would be needed on the left – at least as far as non-adjustable holsters go. A RH appendix holster would have a better chance of working in that config now that I think about it, but I’d have to check one out to be sure…

        I’ve also looked at some IWB hybrids, but they can be a bit expensive as well. Expensive in-and-of-itself isn’t [too] bad if the quality/materials warrant it, but not knowing if it’ll work for me or not is the big issue.

        • A number of the bigger name holster companies have generous return policies. May not hurt to call ’em, explain your situation and ask for a ‘trial.’

          Hybrid IWB’s (and others) can have the advantage of adjustable cant. It may not be enough for cross draw.

          Have you tried something like the Remora? You can place it pretty much in any position you want.

        • Ah, good point Mike about the cant of a right handed holster being opposite of what you would want from a cross draw configuration. That sounds like a new market opportunity!

      • This is a good point. Black Hawk makes a holster called the check 6 and from what ive seen its pretty solid. The thing that is most appealing it allows me at 5’9 ish to carry a larger handgun concealed w/ minimum effort. I think what disuades most people from carrying every day is not knowing how to dress around the gun. Im aitting at a local coffee shop currently and nobody would ever guess i had a firearm, when in reality i have a Glock 26 tucked in my waistband

  13. #3 is why I started carrying in the first place. I live in a low crime area where on a given day the chances of needing a weapon that day are almost zero. But I get a kick at the thought of what some of the people I see everyday would think if they only knew. Most people wouldn’t care but every day I meet someone and think to myself ‘this person would crap their drawers if the knew this guy they were talking to had a .357 magnum tucked in his belt. Kind of makes it fun IMO.

  14. Well living in South Florida and being one of the 10% – I can tell you one of the reason is cause its hot as balls! down here – the small LC9 in a pocket holster is a guy thing – women shorts don’t let us do that and shirts are thin and contouring in this weather so the LC9 ( which i have and consider it my “winter gun”) it’s still “big” for here – women have to get very creative with EDC systems – and therefore fall in “the pain in the ass” category easely

    • There are lots of trade-offs in life and you may have to sacrifice a little style/appearance for having a firearm.
      In other words you may have to “dress around your firearm” to some extent.

      If you are unwilling to trade-off style or appearance (assuming you dress in scanty or tight fitting clothing), you still have a couple options. As others have stated an NAA Mini-revolver in .22 Magnum is better than nothing and ultra-concealable. You could also carry a lightweight snub-nosed revolver in .38 Special in a purse or clutch (off-body carry). While off-body carry has drawbacks, it is still better than having no firearm at all.

  15. Nice article Robert, but if your goal is to get more or less every qualified adult to carry every day, I would respectfully disagree.

    One of the great things about living in a place where it is legal to carry is that you get to make your own choice. We don’t want the gun grabbers telling us when to carry, so is it any better when pro-gun folks pressure us to carry at all times?

    I think it’s important that each person gets to make that decision for themselves every day. We can’t decide for them, because we don’t know all the details of their lives. Maybe they work in a make believe gun free zone and would have to leave their sidearm in their car. Maybe they have a physical condition that makes carry painful after a while. There are so many possibilities.

    Not everyone needs to live in condition yellow. Not everyone is capable of doing so even if they wanted to.

  16. I feel your pain Flubnut. I am in the same boat. I have carried a Kimber pepper blaster for years and a knife. The blaster is fatter & nearly as long as the Taurus TCP I had. I did carry a bit on the sly but got paranoid. I don’t even notice what I’m carrying unless I DON’T have it. I plan on getting a CC but I’ll deal with this s##t now.

  17. I think #3 would be the hard one for me. I have always had that crushing feeling that everyone is looking at me, whether it is a blot of spaghetti sauce from lunch on my cuff, or a missed belt loop on the pants, etc, etc… also 5 days out of the week I’m wearing a shirt that has to be tucked in and is usually fairly fitted along with the pants. That puts me in pocket 380 territory or maybe some of the smaller nines.

    Due to wardrobe constraints, probably the only option is appendix carry, so on top of a crushing sense of self consciousness, I will have to overcome the desire to not ND my testicles.

  18. Your article makes 3 logical reasons for not carrying everyday. I have experienced each of these myself. May I add a 4th reason – it is just not worth the hassle!

    (A) In the event police discover you have a gun, you may be raked over the coals pretty good, even though everything is legal. Not all cops are well informed as to the carry laws, so some LEOs will bully you until they find out they are wrong, then their pride makes it difficult for them to back off and treat you with some respect. This may typically happen at traffic stops or at roadside checks. It may also happen when some anti-gun fanatic sees your weapon somehow and calls the cops and you are “detained” for disturbing the peace. What a hassle!

    (B) If you are forced to draw or fire your weapon, then there will be whole lot of ‘splainin’ to do to get the cops and legal system off your back, as well it should be I suppose. In the event you wound or kill someone with your weapon, you WILL take a major financial hit as you hire attorneys and experts to defend yourself in criminal and civil proceedings (lesson here – have adequate insurance).

    (C) Then there is the social ostracism that may result if you have to use your weapon. Most of my friends will understand, but some won’t and I do care about them too.

    So, all this being said, is it better to carry and be prepared, or to suffer the consequences if you are faced with a life threatening situation? Odds are you will never face a life threatening situation, so why carry? I will continue to do so myself, but with concern over your 3 points in the article, plus those I have expressed. Everything is not as clear cut for me as it is for most perhaps. I’m not a newbie to guns, but have only had my concealed carry permit for 6 months or so (live in Illinois – the last state to get legal concealed carry and the ONE state a person should probably carry with all the corruption and crime spilling across the land from Chicago and St. Louis).

    • Of your 3 reasons, only the first stands up to logical examination.
      Yes, getting hassled by the fuzz sucks.

      But the other two don’t compute.
      In both of those scenarios, you’ve had to draw and maybe even fire on a threat.
      Whatever you have to deal with after that, legally and socially, is going to be FAR better than having to face a threat to you or your loved ones unarmed.

      I mean seriously, think about that: A man with a weapon approaches the passenger side of your car and attacks your wife, child, elderly parent. You stop the threat. Legal and social repercussion insue.

      Or, a man with a weapon approaches the passenger side of your car and attacks your wife, child, elderly parent and kills them while you dial 911.

      That doesn’t seem like a choice at all.

      • Or, let’s put it another way.

        Say a lot of people in our society have a rabid hatred of seatbelts.

        Abstaining from using one because of that might make sense to some people.

        But saying:
        “It’s not worth it, because if I get into a bad accident and seatbelt use saves me and my family from death/serious injury, I might face legal trouble and some close friends will no longer like me.”
        That makes no sense at all.

        • Alpo – all good points. I cannot argue with you. That is why I do carry most everywhere I can. But my concerns still abound. Maybe some day, they will abate. I practice my shooting (about 5000 rounds in the last 2.5 years), advocate for concealed carry, have been active in encouraging some businesses to remove their “NO GUNS” signage, support several gun organizations, contribute occasionally to NRA constant appeals for money, etc. If I was loaded with $$, I’d go to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute or some other place to get better training. Anyhow, thanks for your input.

    • I second Alpo’s comments.

      Any “friends” or family members who would denigrate me for having used a firearm to defend myself or other family are not worth having.

  19. You forgot one of the biggest reasons. Gun free workplace policies put in place by employers. That is the reason I can’t carry every day.

    • I feel your pain the company I work for has the same policy. What pisses me off even more is that they had a “training” video on what do in a an active shooter situation. What do they say push everyone and everything out of your way and head straight to the nearest exit. Yupp that’s right push customers coworkers and everyone out of the way and GTFO of there. They specifically emphasize not trying to be a hero and help to save anybody. I say I’ll go to my car get my gun and end the situation.

  20. “There are hundreds of EDC-worthy handguns in at least four major calibers that will fit into an equally vast variety of holsters.”

    Since you’re including OWB carrying of a full sized 1911, I’d have to say that the number of carry-worthy calibers is more like 15.

    .380, 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 Sig, .45 GAP, .45 ACP, 10mm.
    .327, .38, .357, .41 (special & mag), .44 (special & mag) .45 Colt.

    Even excluding the much maligned .380 and the “less common” calibers (.327, .45 GAP, .41) you’re still looking at 7-10 calibers that are worth consideration.

  21. Although I got my first concealed carry permit in MA many years ago, I did not carry on a 24/7 basis until 1992. A good friend of mine was shot to death in his own kitchen on a Saturday morning by a crazy person. My friend was six feet away from his nearest gun, which was kept in a kitchen drawer. Since then, I’ve carried at least one gun on me at all times. Even at bedtime, there are several guns within reach.

  22. I always thought “wonder nine” was a term used to describe full-size double-stack 9mm combat guns, not teeny pocket 9mms like the LC9.

    • Yep, I think I was around when the term first gained currency. IIRC, the “wonder” part referred to the large magazine capacity (as opposed to those 8-round 1911s and those still-popular 6-shooters).

  23. Reason #4:
    I work in a “prohibited area.” No guns allowed at my place of employment, per state law (beyond the 20+ prohibited areas in the statute, any employer can make his property prohibited just by posting a small sign on the door). And regardless whether your job is prohibited by law or by choice, violating it is a class B misdemeanor.

  24. When Gates was still chief of police in Los Angeles, his public take on [unlicensed] concealed weapons was “I can’t tell you to carry them, but we [the police] would all much rather a cop caught you with it than that a bad guy caught you without it.”

    Pretty strong words.

    • I find it hard to believe this, as he was one of those who gleefully denied people in the city the right to bear arms (Los Angeles being the essentially “no issue” jurisdictions), and he was no different in NYC.

  25. As a Floridian I’d say about 1-2% of permit holders routinely carry. 99% pay for the privilege card because they want the option, or because they don’t know glovebox carry is legal without a permit. I’d say 5% of vehicles have pistols in them concealed. Unfortunately open carry is illegal because if neoconservativism, south Florida “liberalism” and gun carry industry misinformation.

  26. Above post 100% in an fl cc too.
    Took me a few guns to find one that “fit”
    I haven’t changed my whole wardrobe to facilitate my carry/ don’t have multiple carry holsters to fit my wardrobe ( it’s over 90 with 90% humidity at noon)
    I can’t pack at work, or school. And even though it’s the most likely place to be attacked: I’m not comfortable leaving a gun in my car.

  27. I think the lip-service you pay #2 is insufficient. First: there are body types that really do have a very difficult time carrying concealed comfortably and effectively, especially when you consider climate. Second: not only is it expensive to find the right holster/carry method, but it is expensive to buy a whole new wardrobe to dress around the gun, which leads us to Third: completely changing up your wardrobe can be massively uncomfortable in and of itself. The pocket pistol methodology probably works well for a pretty wide variety of people, but, for some, it would completely fall flat on its face. Along with widespread hatred and derision for off body carry, this leads to a high reluctance to even bother trying to carry regularly for some people, myself included.

  28. Show me a place where violent crime never happens and I will leave my gun at Do you only have a fire extinguiser when you think there may be a fire? A smoke alarm? Life insurance? motor vehicle insurance? Seat belt? If you don’t carry everyday everywhere you sure as hell won’t have it when you need it. Its your choice.

  29. My biggest obstacle is my kids. They never cease to amaze me with their ability to create danger. I’ve had them walk up to me and reach in my front pocket just cuz they wanted to know what was in there. Until they are older, I just can’t see carrying around them. That’s ironic of course since my obligation and inclination to protect them are of course strong.

    • Sorry Duke, but to MY way of thinking, you’ve got another real problem there.

      If your kids don’t learn to respect and keep their hands off of things and out of places that they don’t belong now, when will they?

      It sounds to me, like there is an education, parenting and discipline issue that needs to be corrected NOW. If not now, when?

  30. Here in hoplophobic MA (where the hoplophobia tapers off dramatically outside the door of the state house), I’ve found that nobody knows and nobody cares about me carrying a gun. Not cops, not “citizens,” not anybody. I could duct tape a .40 on top of my head and nobody would give a crap, except maybe some of the fashion-forward denizens of Boston who might ask me where they could buy such an attractive tiara.

    There was a time when the Wally Walk was a right of passage for carriers, and a good one. After one Wally Walk, a new concealed carrier lost all fear of being “outed.” I recommend it strongly.

    • The tradition of the Wally Walk out here in California is dying, as the Walk required the purchase of Nachos and ammo, neither one of which can be had at Wally World anymore.

    • Ralph, not sure I agree with people in MA not caring about a person carrying, in fact outside of a few very conservative mini regions of the state, I think many people(outside of real close friends) would be scared, offended and worse if they realized you were concealed carrying.

  31. I think this is one of your best articles, yet, Robert.

    It’s not only a great article for those who are considering concealed carry. It also serves well to explain the rationale of the concept to those who are “against” concealed carry.

    Kudos!

  32. Well the thing about carrying a gun is the same as carrying any useful device. Put shortly: if you needed it and didn’t have it… that would SUCK.

  33. “The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get.”

    *cringe*

    • That was a quote from a psychologist, frickin joke. there isn’t a species of animal alive that doesn’t have built in awareness for their surroundings to enhance their chances for survival.

  34. For everyone that is worried about printing, people just do not look at other people. I once concealed 5 full size Beretta M9s and nobody noticed. If I can carry ten pounds of gun on my belt, you can carry your P3AT.

  35. I pick and choose when I carry.. if im going to the bar for dinner and drinks i leave it in the truck. If im Craigslist shopping it’s on me.. Work, it stays in the service van

  36. My reason for carrying everywhere, everyday: I’d hate to have my last moments spent PISSED at myself because I thought I’d be okay just going out for milk.

    “Sorry, Mr Thug you’re gonna have to catch me tomorrow. I don’t carry on Wednesdays.”

  37. I don’t carry everyday because my employer prohibits firearms on their property AND in your vehicle if parking on their property.

    • I try to carry as much as possible. During the week, I could carry to and from work, but riding a motorcycle doesn’t afford me anywhere to leave the gun while at work.

      • You could instantly triple your life expectancy by getting a truck instead of a motorcycle, and carrying every day 😛

  38. Just because you have a driver’s license doesn’t mean you HAVE to drive every day. Or go fishing every day just cause you have a fishing license. Not a big deal if you decide not to carry EVERY day either. But as mentioned, everyone’s situation is different.

  39. Good article, TTAG. Relevant, intelligent, concise.
    So much better than the seemingly endless “fear the police” and political bash red-meat articles.

    I carried concealed daily for over 25 years. Now I carry monthly. My lifestyle, appearance and my situ-awareness skills get me a lot farther than hoisting my rosco has.

  40. Friggin college campuses don’t make it easy. No way you can risk a gun, but concealing a knife makes for good practice.

  41. Needed a fourth. It being: ‘I don’t know ahead of time if I’m allowed in the building I’m going to because my state lets people force their opinion on me by banning guns with nothing more than a paper and a picture of a gun and the international symbol of ‘no’ on it’.

  42. I bet all who do not carry a gun on a 24/7 basis,DO keep a spare tire in their care —- “just in case”.

    And also bet ‘most’ have AAA — ‘just in case’.

    And have a fire extinguisher at home —-‘just in case’.

    Might even carry a knife at all times —- ‘just in case’.

    So a tool that if left behind could very well be THE only answer to a problem faced by many on a daily basis — left behind ?,really ?.

    Yes its a royal PITA to carry 24/7,so I would be willing to pay dearly for the TRUE and perfect knowledge of EXACTLY when / if ,I will need a gun.

    I will not be there,and that solves the need to CCW = since we all know that is not about to happen,I will “carry on”.

  43. Umm, so where in the article are the three Good reasons for not doing EDC? No matter where you are, you are always armed to defend. Cannot carry a firearm? Carry a knife. Cannot cary a knife? Carry a pen. Cannot carry a pen? Use your hands. You might not survive but you can definitely die trying to survive. EDC is a mindset.

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