TTAG Readers Answer the Question. ‘Why Did You Start Carrying?’

TTAG Why I Carry Concealed Open

Last week, we asked our Facebook followers, “Why did you start carrying?” There were almost as many answers as there were readers. Some were so truthful and moving that we decided to immortalize a selection of them here on the site. Enjoy.

“I very nearly missed being present at a shooting in a mall shortly after buying my first handgun, and I realized how worthless it was to have a gun in my car.” – Jordan Linscheid

“Because as a father and head of a household, my family’s safety and security are ultimately my responsibility.” – Charles Mawson

“Someone threatened to kill me because I fired his girlfriend. He just got out of prison recently after being convicted of felonious assault, where he beat a man into a coma.” – Todd Merkel

“At the time, I was a truck driver primarily hauling steel, and they don’t build steel mills in the good part of town.” – Tom Dreher

“Been a longtime gun owner since the 70’s. I got robbed at gunpoint and was a victim because carrying a gun was illegal. Decided right then and there I’d be carrying my gun from then on because criminals don’t follow the law. And they prefer unarmed victims.” – Alan Ryan

“Got robbed at gunpoint while working midnights at a gas station. Now if I get killed it won’t be for lack of shooting back!” – Michael Allen

“Thieves broke into my house in the middle of the night, and I had to chase them out with a knife. I never wanted a repeat of that experience, so I bought my first gun.” – Joe Siwek

“Because I live in South Africa, where our homicide rate is more than 6 times higher than the International Average.” – Stefan Alberts

“Wife, stepchildren, and grandchildren.” – Jim Gibbons

“For the same reasons I have fire extinguishers and first aid kits… Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” – Joel Henderson

“I moved to a free state, and MSM started telling me I shouldn’t.” – Han Liu

“To protect my family while we’re away from our home.” – Tommy Morgan

“Had a mountain lion tracking me and my then 4-year-old daughter. She’s nine now, never been out in the woods without a sidearm since.” – Lars Jensen

“I became a citizen of the United States.” – E-rock E-rock

And finally, the most popular response:

If you’re so inclined, follow TTAG on Facebook.

comments

  1. avatar what would spock say says:

    Procured a firearm primarily for home defense…started carrying because I frequent the types of places where off-med millennials and Daesh-wannabees like to go on shooting sprees….movie theaters, restaurants, malls, etc.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Using your real name on Facebook…priceless😄😎😏

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      I don’t use Facebook, but why is using your real name bad? I use my real name on everything.

      1. avatar Mastro says:

        Posting to Facebook about guns is fine- unless your future boss hates guns and decides not to hire you, or your sheriff checks out Facebook before issuing you a carry permit, or a cute friend decides not to date you because you like guns.

        In short- lots of reasons.

        1. avatar former water walker says:

          Winner!🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫

        2. avatar Scott says:

          “or a cute friend decides not to date you because you like guns.”

          I would call that a litmus test. A woman who doesn’t think her life is worth defending with the best means available isn’t worth marrying.

        3. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          Who said anything about marriage?

        4. avatar Jr says:

          Plus there are lots of girls that may think that but really have just never been exposed to guns and are easily converted.

      2. avatar Anymouse says:

        The first part of your answer is the correct one — don’t use Facebook. It’s an intelligence gathering service that people willingly join and spy on themselves.
        As for the real name, people make public pages and show off themselves, their kids, their possessions, etc. This can make them a target for stalkers, crazies, or criminals. A quick search of a real name then gives them the location where they can commit the crime. It’s kind of all the bad things about being famous with none of the upsides. It’s generally not a problem if your FB page is private and you’re using it to connect to your real friends, but your info can leak out a friends public account.

    2. avatar Erik Weisz says:

      I’ve been online since it was called the arpanet, and have never used my real name anywhere online, nowadays pretty much just out of habit. I know I’ve been using facebook too much when I introduce myself in real life as one of my FB screen names, or stammer through several of them before I can remember what my real name is. Which is obviously [email protected]

    3. What the….? I didn’t know TTAG had a facebook page. I just joined with a fake name, for obvious reasons. Use it to access commercial/companies sites. (Otherwise you get a big square across the middle asking if you want to join facebook.)

  3. avatar Nanashi says:

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  4. avatar Ropy saliva says:

    Because I can. That is all.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Boat. Same. 😉

  5. avatar Ster Hipp says:

    When I realized I could be the first guy in my local DSO chapter to carry a gun. I figured I could ironically be the gun owner of the group. I carry a Hanyang C.96 in a holster knitted from fair trade fabrics.

  6. avatar WiffleballTony says:

    Short answer: Because I can.

    Long answer: My first place with my wife was in a particularly unsavory area. Had one attempted home invasion. Decided a carry piece would be a good idea in addition to my long gun.

  7. avatar Daniel says:

    Because I graduated Virginia Tech in 2007.

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      winner

  8. avatar Greg says:

    An armed society is a polite one. Doing my part to be polite.

  9. avatar C.S. says:

    Because I’m not into big d*ldos.

  10. avatar Hippi says:

    I wanted the option to be able to defend my family and myself outside of the home

  11. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Longtime gunowner, retired from USAF in 1991 and got back to Austin just in time to enjoy a bad guy nicknamed “the Rolex bandit”, guy hung around grocery stores looking for shoppers wearing Rolex watches, followed them home and robbed them of watches and wallets at gunpoint. Pretty stupid, I thought, how tough is that going to be to catch? Well, first the cops would actually have to *try* to catch him. Instead, for weeks or months, more and more attacks until we get from the cops “Why do you wear your Rolex to the store anyway?” Because it is my WATCH, asshole. Since I’d been wearing my “I love me” 18K Rolex for several years at the time and the cops made it clear they were not trying to catch this criminal, I started carrying my Python regularly rather than occasionally. Something like 7 years later I went and got a license. I realized we might start with him having me at a disadvantage, planned to hand over valuables and then shoot him in the back with .357 Mag hollowpoints when he turned to leave.

    1. avatar Mastro says:

      Try to get a bullet in the front of him or you might get into legal trouble, maybe not criminal charges, but a lawsuit from his loving family.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Don’t think that is gonna work, I wanted my property back. Might inspire a countersuit to recover the cost of my boolits.

  12. avatar Big Al says:

    Been a 45ACP fan for 50+ years. Why carry??? Better for your health.

  13. avatar Mastro says:

    I started carrying in the mid-90’s because I worked near a really rough area of my city. So bad the police bought our building and made a local police station out of it.

    Worked in the burbs, rarely carried.

    Worked in another bad part of town, druggies wandering the streets like a zombie movie. Moved into a “gentrified ” area- great homes and restaurants, but heard gunshots twice from my living room.

    I carry- sometimes I feel a bit paranoid, but a guy was shot in the neck walking his dog a few blocks away last month. So when I walk my dogs, I carry.

  14. avatar 36IDRedleg says:

    First answer is: I carried for 321 days in combat (Op Enduring Freedom) and I felt naked when I returned to CONUS. I got my LTC at my first opportunity, as did my wife. With all the terrorism domestically, it seemed the prudent thing to do. Besides,…..MURICA! And oh, yeah, TEXAS!

  15. avatar William K Gordon says:

    I was living in Kodiak, Alaska, twenty some years ago when three young thugs murdered a cab driver. I figured if senseless acts of violence can happen in a place like Kodiak then it can happen anywhere. Been carrying everywhere it’s legal every day since.

  16. avatar Don Nelson says:

    Caught a mink on the trapline about 52 years ago, sold the pelt, and bought a Ruger Bearcat so I wouldn’t have to tote a rifle when checking traps. I was proud of that little revolver and carried it everywhere in the free Hunter holster the hardware store threw in. The sheriff called me to his office a few weeks later and told me, “…if you’re going to carry that thing around town, at least hide it. Folks are complaining.” I was sixteen.

    Now my favorite niece has the gun…and the holster.

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      My next gun might be a Bearcat. The Single Six gets all the love but I’ve always liked the Bearcat better.

      1. avatar Don Nelson says:

        Way easier to shoot the Single-Six/Seven though. Never could hit anything with the Bearcat. But yeah, it’s tiny and handy. When it took two cylinders worth to kill a trapped badger, I started carrying a .22 rifle again, too. Damned thing wouldn’t hold still.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Don, that “sheriff” story made my day. Thanx!

      1. avatar Don Nelson says:

        Welcome! It was a small county. Rather, a big county with a small population. My dad may have asked him to do it.

  17. avatar Some guy says:

    When during the last election cycle people were being drug out of their cars and beaten and the Attorney General is calling for “blood in the streets “, I got “woke”.

  18. avatar DrewR says:

    I got my permit after the Boston bombing, but didn’t really start carrying until the Gabby Giffords shooting. It made me understand that if I had been there, and had the ability to stop it but left the means of doing so in my car I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I consider it the only worthwhile thing Giffords ever did.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yeah, she was a doofus, but she did not deserve that. Neither did her followers.

      1. avatar Free Texas says:

        Uh, who was a doofus?

  19. avatar luigi says:

    “I moved to a free state, and MSM started telling me I shouldn’t.” – Han Liu

    Han may have a Chinese name but I think he’s got this whole “American” thing down better than most Americans

  20. avatar AZgunner says:

    I carry for a lot of reasons. Because I can. Because I’d rather have it than not. Because I want to be able to protect my loved ones. A big reason is because I’m a cop and I’d rather not be unarmed and happen across the gangsters and dirtbags I’ve previously arrested.

  21. avatar sound awake says:

    its easy:

    FT HOOD

    the lesson of ft hood is that anything can happen anywhere at any time for any reason

    i will be in some state of readiness when it does

  22. avatar Anon in FL says:

    Been carrying for 20+ years and NEVER have I ever had any trouble…However….That one time I may need it I better have it. I’ll admit that I even carry in areas I’m not legally allowed to only because if you mind your own business no one will ever know and what if “that place” is the one place I need it?

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Right? Unless somewhere is declared to be “gun free” AND HAS THE MEANS TO ENFORCE THAT (armed guards, metal detectors, limited points of ingress, etc), anyone with dishonest intent can get their weapons in just as easily as an honest citizen. Unless leather needs to be cleared, who’s gonna know?

      1. avatar Dave M says:

        Everyday, everywhere, don’t give a damn about ‘signs’.

  23. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Was mugged years ago, that woke me up!
    Have carried for over 20 years, my wife also.

    It is a much more dangerous world now and it is not just “certain” areas of town, can happen any place.

    Be Prepared !

  24. avatar David Walters says:

    I started carrying when my wife and children were threatened by an anonymous caller (on my home’s answering machine which the kids picked up first) who didn’t like our politics.

  25. avatar Eli2016 says:

    No comment.

  26. avatar Kevin says:

    Not why “would” I, but why “wouldn’t” I?

  27. avatar Chris Morton says:

    The police have no legal duty to protect you as an individual and no legal liability when they don’t.

    I either protect myself or I don’t get protected at all.

    My family learned this lesson in 1919 during the Chicago race riot in which future Mayor Richard J. Daley was a perpetrator.

    My own 61+ years of observation and experience have done nothing to contradict that conclusion, from being refused “protection” from a dim witted drug dealer in college, to the Cleveland PD being unable to see a race riot in 1986.

    If you rely on the police to protect you, you might as well shoot yourself.

  28. avatar n64456 says:

    Because there are too many violent, unhinged Democrats roaming the streets; looking for an opportunity to rob, rape, or murder you…

  29. avatar Darkman says:

    Grew up in Missouri in the 60’s and 70’s. Had a gun in the gun rack of my truck all the time. Even in the school parking lot. As did a lot of people. Was just a part of life and never really thought about. As a bonus there also was very little crime. Different time different people in those days.

  30. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Because I can exercise my right.

  31. avatar Shwiggie says:

    My aunt was robbed in her small local water association office here in Podunk Holler…the last place I would have ever expected it. She’d left her gun in the car that day, so her desperate grab at the assailants’ gun as they led her into a back closet was very likely the only reason she survived. The following week I picked up a brand new .357.

    That was in 2007. I didn’t start carrying until 2010 due to nervousness, but now I carry everywhere and encourage others to do the same.

  32. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    It took my best friend being murdered 15 minutes after I left a bar to go home. Back in 1991 in NYC for me to finally get my CCW. One of those “their but the grace of G-d” moments.

  33. avatar Decoy91 says:

    Summer 2012. A homeless man in Miami high on bath salts attacks and eats the face of another homeless man. The attack occurred for 18 minutes. One man eating the face off another… for 18 minutes. This event pushed me to buy and carry firearms.

  34. avatar billy-bob says:

    Wait. TTAG has a Facebook?

  35. avatar R D B says:

    Had been shot at while doing volunteer EMT duty years ago, always wanted to be able do something besides flee the scene. I later lived in NY during 9/11. Upon returning to a gun friendly part of the country I bought first handgun, and carried it daily. Obtained CCW permit 4 years ago. Of yeah and because when I was a Boy Scout our motto was “Be Prepared”

  36. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Because the slave state of California would not let me. Now in a free state I can educate people that the second amendment is for everyone.
    If you don’t exercise your rights, they can and will take them from you.

  37. avatar 7.62x54r says:

    Because Cuomo doesn’t want me to.

  38. avatar Toni says:

    here in australia i am not able to and would face serious charges if i did and got caught (here they hand down lenient sentences to criminals in possession but to the law abiding with no criminal record you are likely to get 20 years) i would go to jail for a long time. however in saying that if the law changed tomorrow i would carry everywhere, in fact i would have been doing so since whatever age the law allowed me to do so. i regard the carrying of the means of self defense in the same way i do having first aid gear or a fire extinguisher. rather have it and not need it that not have it and need it

  39. avatar Gralnok says:

    Because I was on my way to do some target shooting, and some cops decided to rough me up, tazer me in the ass, grind my face into the pavement, and parade me around, just for having a gun on the seat next to me. There’s lots more to the story, but the gist of it is that I wanted the same thing they carried, so I’d have more of a chance, to take one of them out, should they decide to rough me up again. I got the same caliber, but it’s not the same gun. Still, having it makes me feel better when I’m driving or relaxing at home.

    1. avatar RDB says:

      Can you also get one of their body cams too, your reply makes me think it would be some awesome video…

  40. avatar pieslapper says:

    Because you can’t fix stupid… but you can fill it with holes.

  41. avatar anonymoose says:

    When I was at Case Western, I read constant reports of muggings, rapes, and robberies, etc, on the east side of Cleveland. I got an off-campus apartment and already had a 91/30 and an Uberti Walker, but when I turned 21 I decided I wanted a P30 and a Mossberg Cruiser. Back then I had a big college fund from an injury settlement case…
    I’d always been into guns and militaria since I was a little kid, but my Democrat parents didn’t really allow me to indulge myself when I was growing up.

  42. avatar Ian in Transit says:

    I was finally able to afford it. Even as a kid it seemed like the right thing to do. Got a few jobs and grew up into better paying jobs. Started a family which sapped my funds again. Eventually my state switched from “may issue” which would have been a gamble of my funds to apply for to a “shall issue” state. By this time I had a good job but had started a family and several hundred dollars was not in the discretionary budget. It wasn’t until I had established myself as an adult with a stable career that i could justify the expense of doing what I had known was the right thing all along.

    Long story short, I finally started carrying when I could barely afford government permission.

  43. avatar curmudgeon says:

    When I lived in Illinois I assumed that “only law enforcement and specially privileged” was the standard. Moved to Georgia and a friend enlightened me to living in a free state. A few weeks later I had my permit and my first handgun.

  44. avatar Kap says:

    Been into guns all my life, just wanted too be legal once it was enacted in this state, carried a number of other items for Self-defense also, Sharpened Garrison belt, roll of Dimes in Neckerchief etc.

  45. avatar Jr says:

    Moved to PA from new Jersey. I got my permit right away but wasn’t carrying while I shopped around and researched for a small carry gun I liked. Then the one crazy employee at work went off the deep end and got fired in a heated confrontation. Damned if I didn’t find a way to carry my P226 the very next day. I’ve carried every day since (now with a more reasonably sized Kahr PM9)

  46. avatar Eli2016 says:

    Because there is good and evil and one should never bow to evil.

  47. avatar Keith from Ohio says:

    I got my “permission slip” in 2005, didn’t carry all the time like I knew I should. Then on March 9th, 2006 my father and stepmother were brutally murdered in their home. I promised myself that I would never be a victim.

  48. avatar m. says:

    Needed an effective tool to keep the demonrats away, they will do anything.

  49. avatar Drake_Burrwood says:

    As an old Fart my grandchildren can run faster the me. Both me and my wife started to CCW when they were born. In case we had to reach out and touch something in front of them.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      …mustn’t… reply…

      1. avatar Drake_Burrwood says:

        But.. why. . . .
        +++XB;=3~<

  50. avatar Free Texas says:

    Because I’m not Bruce Lee (though I’ve seen video of a karate guy being hacked with a machete), and it’s my responsibility to protect myself and my family and lo and behold we live in an age of guns…and because like the framers said, it is necessary for the security of a free state.

  51. avatar Guy's world says:

    Since the end of Vietnam.to the Current status of invasion by refugee asylum seeking to lie deceiving thieving ignorant democratic voters looking for a free-living-giving our tax $, by the Socialist who hate real patriotic Americans and love Anarchy on American Patriots. That’s why!

  52. avatar Paul says:

    I started carrying during the second year of the Obamanation when I realized that the leader of the U.S. government no longer supported law enforcement. No one’s coming to help us … we’re on our own.

  53. avatar Aleric says:

    My state is open carry and for years I carried openly and when I hit 25 I decided I wanted to go into places that my open carry wouldn’t be showing everyone I had a weapon. I could also afford better and more comfortable pistols that weren’t the standard colt officers model I carried in the service.

  54. avatar Recon says:

    Because I live in Kansas City, one of the top ten demorat shooting gallery cities.

  55. avatar That Deaf SOB says:

    I’m disabled. Retreat is NOT an option for me and I will not be someone’s victim.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email