Sara Tipton: I Can’t Leave Home Without It

Sara T.

I was sitting at my computer earlier today. My two year-old asked to sit with me – on my lap. It’s a little painful to have a child sitting on my lap when I have my gun in the appendix carry position. So I removed my XD and put it well out of his reach. I sat down, picked up my boy and put him on my lap. After about 30 minutes playing together on my computer it was time to go for a cheeseburger in town and pick up my daughter from school . . .

I grabbed my phone and my purse, and put my sunglasses on my head. I felt weird. I couldn’t put my finger on why. Something wasn’t right. I buckled my little man in his car seat and started to drive away from the house still not sure why I felt “off.”

Halfway down my dirt road it hit me. I wasn’t armed. I’d left my gun in a cabinet by the computer so my little boy could sit on my lap. I had two choices. One, be on time to get my daughter from school and go to lunch unarmed. Or two, be late to get my daughter from school and be armed at lunch.

I didn’t contemplate the decision long. I turned my Jeep around and went back for the gun. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the “what ifs.” Like, “what if I need the gun?” What if this is the one time, eating cheeseburgers with my kids, the one time I needed a gun and didn’t have it?

Almost immediately after grabbing it from my home and putting it on, everything felt right. The planets had realigned. I had never forgotten the gun before; I normally don’t take it off my person often until nighttime either. I was only five minutes late to get my daughter from school and I was infinitely calmer at lunch, armed, than I would have been without my gun. I would not have turned around for my phone. I did for the gun. Would you?


  1. avatar Don says:

    Good choice.

  2. avatar Coffee Addict says:


  3. avatar MattG says:

    I’ve done this a few times. The missing weight on my hip feels unnatural now.

    I never believed my CCW instructor years ago when he said, “Eventually, it’ll just become part of your list of items you take when you leave the house- keys, wallet, phone, gun.” Now I’ve drank the kool-aid…

  4. avatar Professor says:

    Yup. When I’ve inadvertently driven away from the house without my STI on my hip, just no other choice but to turn around and go home, no matter where I am off to or how late I will be for the diversion.

  5. avatar tfunk says:


    You made the right decision…just honestly I most likely would not. I’m trying to get better about it, though! 🙂

  6. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    Mistakes like that could be tragic, I suggest revisiting your method of carry (could be the same thing, just a new system of gunning up when you leave the house, or if you must stay armed at home, rocking an LCP in a back pocket until it’s time to go then put on the big boy gun). Whatever you settle on make it habit. When we’re tired or pressured we’re only as good as whatever systems we put in place.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Sara doesn’t have any “big boy guns.”

  7. avatar Felix says:

    Haha, the only part of her articles worth reading are the ass kissing guys in the comment section. Every article is pretty much the same. We get the point, like a lot of us on here, you don’t leave home without your pistol.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Did you know, she is also a girl?

    2. avatar RenegadeDave says:

      At pistol matches we call those “leg humpers”

    3. avatar Red In Texas says:

      Now you’ve done it, Felix. The white knights are already beginning to assemble.

    4. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Amen brother.

    5. avatar Sock Monkey says:

      Well, it wasn’t happening in this article, so why bring it up? ???

  8. avatar JPD says:

    Happens to me all the time. Yes, I am forgetful. Yes, I always go back.

  9. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Only left home once without the gun, back in the early days of carrying. I only got to the end of the driveway, and went back for it. I don’t carry a purse at all, so the few other things I carry are on the other side of my belt and I can feel the balance difference if I don’t have the gun in the holster. Don’t have any children around either. 🙂

    You might, however, consider having a backup gun in the car… safely and discreetly stashed, of course.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I carry a 22 magnum in my pocket 24/7, so if I ever forget my main weapon, at least I have the “little guy”

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        I’ve got to get one of those! Right now, the back up gun is a Ruger .357, and it’s a little heavy for the pocket. It sits on my desk, and sometimes rides along in a CC fanny pack. But I’m getting too old to carry both of them much. LOL

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          I reckon the difference between you and me, is that I’m getting old too, but I’m not laughing about it!

  10. avatar Art out West says:

    Pocket carrying a small J-frame (or occasionally P3AT) means that I never need to disarm, except when going into GFZ’s.

    Of course it also means that I am woefully under equipped most of the time.

  11. avatar M J Johnson says:

    I’d go back for my gun and my phone.

  12. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    That is the kind of man purse I would get! I would add a grenade shaped cigarette lighter hanging on the outside as an assesory.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    I’d rather leave home without my pants than without my guns.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Make sure you always wear your pink polka dotted shorts, just in case you forget both!

    2. avatar Lotek says:

      In the words of Jon Wayne

      ” she asked me if I had a gun. I said” I have my pants on don’t I “.

    3. avatar Five says:

      Ralph says:
      “I’d rather leave home without my pants than without my guns.”

      I think you might be taking Open Carry a little far there,…. and giving it a new meaning.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        The Mexican term would be “Dos” open carries.

  14. avatar Joe says:

    Yup, though I would’ve turned around for my phone too – being able to dial 911 can be useful on occasion.

  15. avatar L,John says:

    Two phones helps. I have my regular phone and a $10 burner that never leaves my car. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I can’t find it and dont want to look. No matter what the status of my regular phone the burner is always there.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I always carry my phone in a case, similar to a double magazine pouch. Also have an extra key fob in there too. The case is always attached to my belt, so it;s always with me.
      I carry it on my port side (that’s left side, for you landlubbers), and my piece on the other side.

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        Port is only left if you’re facing in the direction you’re going.

  16. avatar Mecha75 says:

    Yup. And i have once turned around halfway through a 1 hour commute to go get it. Because you never know.

  17. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    It seems like “every time” I leave the house without my weapon….I wish I had it. It really isn’t every time, but there have been a number of times that I wish I had it because of something, although I didn’t need it, it’s been one of those times where you say to yourself, god I hate not having my gun on me.

    It’s like forgetting to renew your car tabs and you are driving around knowing they are expired. Sure you will get away with it unless a cop get’s right behind you, so you watch your mirror ready to turn if you see one in the mirror, but still, it’s that uncomfortable feeling which those of us who daily carry, don’t like.

    When one has embraced and adopted the mindset that we WILL NOT be a victim, that very tool which we most heavily rely on is our security blanket. Just like a guy who leaves home without his wallet, it’s not comfortable. We are out of our zone. Not too long ago I went to get my hair cut. When time to pay, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. I had my Sig stuffed in my Sticky appendix carried, just no wallet, no CWP, no drivers License..NO MONEY! Gosh that sucks but you know what, I’d rather have my gun on me than no wallet.

  18. avatar American says:

    Though having a gun on the purse is probably not the best idea…

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      If it was functional, she wouldn’t have had to go back.

  19. avatar jknuckls says:

    Was walking into a courthouse once in Detroit (there for work but I’m not a LEO), and had to stop just shy of the metal detectors to take 2 magazines back to the car.

    Remembered to dump the gun, forgot the mags.

  20. avatar thewiz says:

    Problem I had is where she put the gun “out of reach”. kids climb and are curious little buggers. If it ain’t on the hip, it’s in the safe. and no, i don’t leave home without it

    1. avatar Mike says:


    2. avatar FlamencoD says:

      This was my first thought, too. No harm in this instance, but, what if her daughter was home, and mom went to the kitchen to make dinner, unattended daughter finds XD on accident and…no matter what you teach children, they are curious and don’t have [a firm grasp on] impulse control.

      I also prefer not to carry where an accidental discharge would shoot me when sitting down (i.e., no appendix carry for me). I carry between 2 and 3 o’clock with a slight forward cant. Carrying at those locations your kid can sit on your lap without your firearm getting in the way. I have 3 young kids, I’d know.

  21. avatar Model66 says:

    What a cool purse! (Checks….still has man card.)

    Has it ever caused any problems in anti-gun areas?

  22. avatar CCDWGuy says:

    Love your posts. I would have turned around for both the phone and the gun.

    Just happy you are there to take care of yourself and your family.

  23. avatar tmm says:

    She has chosen…wisely

  24. avatar Hank Locker says:

    Unless I am too far away when I realize I am unarmed, damned skippy I go back. But I am almost always armed in my home, so it’s hard to dash out the door and forget my piece. I may have to come back for my wallet, but…

  25. avatar jsj says:

    I gotta go back to check the lights and use the restroom anyway.

  26. avatar LNJK says:

    Yeah, I don’t leave without my Glock, my Dalton, my Pelican pencil light, my monkey’s fist, and my Note II.

  27. avatar John J. Jones says:

    Once you start carrying a gun you feel naked without it. The “What ifs” always cause me to be sure. Sometimes it’s a .40, sometimes a 9MM or even the little .380, but I’m always armed. Church, doctors office or grocery store, one of them is there.

  28. avatar Ted says:

    Certainly late is better than possibly dead.

    It’s the choice I would have made.

  29. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    Seems like everyone is on the same page. Let me offer a different opinion… Life is about risk v.s. benefit in many ways. Or burden v.s. benefit. If you are in the car and just left and the consequences for being late are minimal then sure, go back. But it isn’t that clear cut most of the time. Being late for work in this economy isn’t a really good idea. Hard to afford ammo to stay proficient if you don’t have a job. If you realize that you forgot your firearm to protect you during lunch, wouldn’t a good choice be to have it delivered and get some extra work done? I don’t always carry, partly because where I work doesn’t allow it even in the parking lot. Should I then quit a very good paying job with outstanding benefits? Or do I assume the “risk” of going unarmed part of the time for the reward of the high paying job? I like the idea of a “back-up gun” in the car, but what if someone breaks into your car to steal the stereo and gets a huge bonus. Plus if you have that “back-up .22” in your purse/backpack and forget it next time you go through airport security (yes that happens all the time), then you are in big trouble. My point is: that the answer to the question is very individual and depends on the situation and even the specific day. Not all one way or the other.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      A acquaintance who regularly redoes the insides of vehicles as a hobby came up with the perfect place to keep an extra piece in his car: he added three inches to the low hump the drive shaft runs through, installed a lock box bolted to the frame, and recarpeted. He didn’t tell me the access system, as I had no need to know, but as handy as he is I’m sure it’s quick and easy, and virtually impossible to find unless you know it’s there.

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