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There are plenty of good, solid reasons to carry a gun. Just ask any of the millions of Americans who’ve applied for and received a concealed carry license during the last four years. Not that an American should have to get a government license to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Anyway, I won’t rehash the reasons for armed self-defense here. At the risk of inflaming my detractors in the gunblogosphere to the point of self-immolation, I’d like to present three reasons not to carry a gun . . .

1. You’re a fatalist  

Back when I was a hypnotist, a client told me he wanted to quit smoking. The middle-aged banker Dude was fresh from his annual checkup. “If the Doctor told me anything was wrong with my lungs I wouldn’t be here,” the middle-aged pack-a-day guy told me, shrugging his non-metaphorical shoulders.

It’s the same laissez-faire attitude some people have towards armed self-defense. They can’t be bothered to spend the time, effort and money to prepare for an event which may not occur. If something bad happens, something bad happens. Who’s to say a gun would do me any good anyway? I’d probably shoot myself—or be shot—with my own gun.

It’s hard to believe that some people don’t value their life enough to carry a gun to protect themselves—or their loved ones—against a deadly threat. Or at least rationally consider the facts of the matter, from gun safety stats to strategies for armed self-defense. But there are folks for whom passivity is a way of life.

Which brings us to . . .

2. You trust the government

As stated above, people who wouldn’t consider carrying a gun usually trust that everything will work out as it should. Alternatively or additionally, they trust that someone will protect them. Why anyone would trust their life to government employees—especially armed government employees—is beyond me. But hey, my father was a Holocaust survivor.

I suppose it’s conditioning. At any early age, children are taught that the government acts like parental protectors: making sure that everyone plays nice, gets an education, has clean water to drink, etc. Some of these government workers brave death on our behalf! Even as we grow to accept our parents’ limitations, some people never outgrow the idea that the government has their best interests at heart.

Millions of Americans are completely comfortable trusting the government to protect their lives. Carry a gun? You don’t need a gun to dial 911! Tell these vulnerable souls that they should carry a gun because “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away” and they’ll retreat into fatalism or deny the possibility of MIA cops. You say Mommy won’t be there to protect me? I’m telling!

3. You don’t trust yourself

This one kinda ties it all together: dangerous fatalism, an irrational willingness to surrender self-defense to the government and an inability to “man-up.” But before I suffer the slings and arrows of going all mucho macho on gun shunners, a quick aside.

I recently met an ex-cop who was surprised to learn that his badge was a national carry permit. I asked him why he didn’t carry a gun all the time. “There are places I don’t want to take a gun,” he said. “You mean like courthouses and schools?” “No, places where I might use it.”

Ohhhhhh kay. He’s not the first person I’ve met who won’t consider the possibility of carrying a gun because they don’t trust themselves not to use it illegally. To these self-aware non-gun toters, I salute you! As long as you don’t assume that your fellow Americans’ gun rights should be restricted because you can’t handle the responsibility, more power to you.

As for the rest of the citizenry who don’t carry a gun because they they consider it too dangerous (for them and bystanders), their fear is based on ignorance. And vice versa. It’s a vicious circle based on a lack of conditioning. If an American citizen doesn’t know how to handle a gun from an early age they don’t believe that they can gain the skills needed to master one. Even though they could.

And there you have it: three not-so-solid reasons not to carry a gun. None of them are insurmountable. All of them melt like snow on a hot tin roof after a person is assaulted. While armed self-defenders never hope for violence, they always hope that their fellow citizens to develop an appreciation for the power of self-reliance. A concept that gains strength and meaning when you carry a gun.

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  1. While our rights are implicitly linked to firearm ownership and use, we must take care to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not confused with an OBLIGATION to do so.

    Owning a firearm has a heavy burden of responsibility attached to it.Carrying it compounds that burden exponentially, as without proper training and situational awareness carrying a firearm merely transforms a victim into an armed and deluded victim. I respect someone who evaluates the situation of armed self defense and decides they’re better off pursuing other options.

    • I totally agree. While I see the humor intended in the article, there are some people who recognize that they don’t have the temperament to reliably deal with the complications that go with legally and safely carrying a weapon.

      And for those that do: I’ve been licensed for over a year now, but reason number 3 can still apply if I feel like I’m having a dumbass day. I think it was Scott Adams who wrote that stupidity is a disease that everyone catches with varying frequency. There are days when I just know I should leave it at home.

      If I know my judgment is at all compromised (angry, sick, whatever) I figure it’s best not to rely on it. Better to be a passive idiot than an active idiot.

  2. I agree, Robert – anyone who honestly embraces one or more of those three reasons for not carrying a gun should NOT carry one. I certainly don’t want them to be armed in my presence if they have those beliefs.

    And I would like to reassure anyone with those beliefs who fears that I might intervene with a firearm to protect them, against their beliefs, that I would never even considering doing so. I am perfectly happy to let them live or die with the consequences of their voluntary disarmament.

    • “I certainly don’t want them to be armed in my presence if they have those beliefs.”

      The antis say the exact same thing. I’m glad you outted yourself as one of them.

      • I’ve heard rumors of a State Constitutional amendment that could be coming up real soon for a vote that would legalize concealed-carry State-wide, despite the wishes of the Windy City.

        • Will, several counties have advisory referenda on the November ballot to give officials the sense of the will of the electorate regarding concealed carry. It will have no effect on the laws, but will give the legislature a sense of how the people feel about the issue.

          If it’s on the ballot in your county, please vote in favor of it.

          In Rock Island County, the referendum asks yes or no, should the legislature pass a law providing for concealed carry of firearms by citizens.

          In other counties, the question is whether Illinois should adopt Constitutional Carry, in which the Second Amendment recognition of the right to keep & bear arms serves as the only authorization a citizen needs to carry a firearm.

          There are 102 counties in Illinois. The elected sheriffs of 99 of them voted in favor of concealed carry a few years ago. I believe the referenda are on the ballots in eight. Cook County (Chicago) is not one of the eight.

          The Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association & Chicago Police Lieutenants’ Association have come out in favor of concealed carry. They work the streets and know what time it is. It’s time to allow people effective self defense.

          It’s only the higher up political animals who echo Da Mare’s “guns are bad” pronouncements. They never go out on the streets and they want to be seen as team players by those who can do them some good in years to come.

          Illinois Carry is a website that has a lot of information on firearms issues in our state. Check it out.

  3. Gun ownership and CC is not right for everyone to include people that are generally physically and emotionally stable enough. If people do not want to carry that is their decision and personal business. While not as effective as a gun, other self-defense tools might be better for them or simply nothing. That’s fine. However, those people should not demand or call for others not to be restricted from their chosen gun rights.

    • Agree completely. There are some people who have a level of awareness that they cannot be responsible with a firearm. Good for them; they should not have one. (They probably shouldn’t drive and handle sharp objects or money either) They also need to understand that those of us who are trained and know the difference between when one must not and when one needs to use a firearm have that right enumerated in The Bill of Rights because “the bad guys” are going to be armed as they see fit regardless.

    • Read up on the Petit family lbd. They lived in a low crime area too. Having said that I also believe that the freedom to carry a gun also means the freedom to not carry a gun. Some people simply are not willing too and I accept that.

    • I live in a low crime area and the house is right next to a cop’s house who is a great guy. Yet, my wife’s tires were slashed and several houses were broken into and robbed the other month. So our low crime area all the sudden wasn’t. What gave me comfort was knowing that there were a few firearms around to help keep my family safe. You never know when someone is going to target a safe neighborhood and you can’t keep it from happening.

  4. I know a guy who fully admits he isnt responsible enough to own a firearm. If you met him, it would only take you 10 min or so to agree. Good guy, and good for him for recognizing that he would just wind up as an IGOOTD.

  5. I agree with ST, its not an OBLIGATION.

    Maybe others work where they can be armed all day long, some of us cannot.

    While I can be ready for HD, carrying has its own issues

    1) I cannot carry at work and cannot have a gun even in the car
    2) If I have to commute or go to a remote office, I cannot carry. Especially since that often means going to MA, NYC or NJ and even DC
    3) Pick up the kids at school or go watch them at after school sports, nope cannot even have something in the car
    4) Go to dinner, is liquor served, then no carry there either
    5) Go to the gym, nope – they actually hang a sign and so does the next closest gym — why — because they both have had ND over the years
    6) Go to the mall, nope, since the CO shooting, they now have a sign
    7) Go on vacation, nope
    8) Go to a public golf course, nope
    9) Go to a public park, nope
    10) There are other places but I will stop

    I doubt I am alone in these situations. So, only on the weekend or when I am home or go for a walk around the neighborhood. So, if I am lucky if I can carry 30% of any given week. Not everyone lives a life or in a state or in town or county where they are free to roam armed.

    The argument is too black and white without considering any single persons situation. Those of you who can carry all the time, more power to you. Some of us do the best we can however we can.

    • Understood that you might not want to carry on vacation — after all, it’s vacation — but bad guys don’t take vacation. Tourists are premium marks for bad guys. Vacationers have money, don’t know the lay of the land, lose situational awareness easily and can be taken down almost at will since they are almost always unarmed.

      I’m licensed or have the right to carry in about 38 states. I spend more time in them that I would in places where I have no ability to defend myself. Flying with checked firearms is pretty easy and hotels usually have in-room safes. Even if the in-room safe is a POS, I travel with my own safe so I can use that.

      Now if I can just figure out how to CCW at the beach . . . .

      • I have a CT, FL, PA and UT license but much of my family is in BC Canada, NY, NJ and Italy — and vacation is with Family. And Ralph, I have friends in MA too but I am not going to Boston every 6 months to renew a MA out of state license.

        Also, while you can fly from Boston and go direct, most of Bradley flights will take me through NY, NJ or PA as puddle jumps where I can possibly land in the pokey.

        And, I am not limiting my vacation to just where i can carry. But, pretty much anything in Mexico and below is off my list.

    • I feel for those who live in states that don’t respect the Constitution.

      I would turn down a 100% increase to my income if it involved moving to a state with no right to carry. You can’t spend it if you are dead.

    • Those who live in areas like NYC, NJ, MA, etc. shouldn’t say that they can’t carry. Because they choose to live in these areas, they should say they choose not to carry? While I don’t agree that states have the authority to limit the right to keep and bear arms, if your not willing to fight for the right then choose to live in a free state. There is also the choice of ignoring laws that are requgnant to the Constitution of the United States.

  6. The only time I don’t carry (i.e. not on body) is when
    I’m in an area where the local constabulary and/or “upstanding
    citizens” freak out when ever there is a whiff of a firearm.
    By freak out I’m talking full lockdown because someone thinks
    they saw a bulge in someone else’s waistband. The towns around
    the local university are the worst.

      • If it’s .32 acp and I think this one is, it’s the 1903 Colt. If it’s .380 acp it’s the 1908 model. In spite of apperances it does have a hammer, it’s just fully enclosed.

        I have nothing against polymer. But in my experience when you get into the smaller guns the all steel models seem to have a reliability edge. I don’t have any way to prove that, just decades of experience.

        • Add to your experience this: almost no polymer gun is going to go up in value with age.

          jwm is correct about the Colt model numbers – they were known as the “Colt Hammerless” models, hence jwm’s note about them having a hammer that one can’t see. $800 will get you a nice example of one.

        • Nifty little guns. I have one in .380 that I obtained through a trade for an inexpensive .22/.22mag revolver that an acquaintance wanted. One of my better deals. It is really fun to be able to employ a tool that works as well today as it did 100 years ago. To me, that is some of the attraction of owning older tools, including firearms as well as hand tools.

  7. I wish anti-gunners would enjoy their gun free lifestyle and leavfe the rest of us allone. Same for vegetarians, gays, lesbians, cult members, metrosexuals, etc. I’m fine with just about anyone living anyway they want to if it doesn’t cause harm to others AND they don’t try to impose their lifestyle on me. And I won’t impose mine on anyone else.

    • “I’m fine with just about anyone living anyway they want to if it doesn’t cause harm to others AND they don’t try to impose their lifestyle on me.”

      Just about anyone, what exceptions are there?

  8. Another potential reason for not carrying: With the god-awful mismash of federal, state, and local laws useful for nothing but turning otherwise law abiding citizens into ‘criminals’ merely for exercising their 2A rights, you put yourself at great risk by carrying.

    It takes a certain amount of courage to carry under the current circumstances.

    • Heh. I guess that’s an “upside” of CA gun laws: at least I consistently know whether I’m not allowed to carry anywhere I go. Answer: no, unless I’m hunting or fishing.

      Though that does raise an interesting question as to whether the exemption for CCW while fishing applies when I’m doing so at a pond or stream within my city…

  9. Because as much as I do carry, I do not have convenient access to a range where I can maintain my skill level with a gun.

    Driving 40 – 70 miles to a shooting range is not convenient access.

    Consider how much people here (rightfully) criticize the cops becuase they only shoot their guns 1 to 4 times a year during qualification. Those cops are shooting a lot more than I do.

    I probably should not be carrying, but I do.

    • You can purcahse an airsoft or regular pellet/bb gun. You can easily fire them in your house/apt to maintain your skills. You need not fire your carry weapon regulary to maintain your abilities.

  10. That pretty much describes me after growing up on the left coast in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz in CA. I didn’t even realize I believed this way because I’d had years of martial arts training just encase I was ever attacked; until the day I was attacked. The brain washing absorbed when growing up in any culture is very effective. The mind of a child truly is almost a blank slate.

    That old saying ” A conservative is a liberal who was mugged” is very much the case for me. It often takes that kind of life threatening shock to make one re-examine ones belief system.

    I thank god that I was afforded the opportunity to be shown the lies I was living under; the chains of inprisonment the liberal progressive belief system encourage in the hearts and minds of the people is truly an abomination.

  11. Well, I would imagine some folks don’t carry because they doubt their ability to actually pull the trigger on another human being. I don’t see things their way, but that is a deeply personal decision and I believe the right first question to ask prior to carrying a weapon of any kind. Will I actually be willing to use it?

  12. “At any early age, children are taught that the government acts like parental protectors: making sure that everyone plays nice, gets an education, has clean water to drink, etc.”

    This says far more about the parents than it does anything else. If parents are incompetent enough to allow their children to be brainwashed then they shouldn’t be parents in the first place!

    We are where we are because we’ve allowed it. 100 million gun owners could elect any candidate they wish. In short, gun owners allowed Obama to be elected. Worse yet, it appears that many gun owners will vote for the equally pathetic Romney in November. Another example of allowing ourselves to be brainwashed into believing we either need an R or a D. If you’re stupid enough to believe that then you get the government that you want and deserve.


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