Jeff Gonzales: A Meaningful Conversation on Guns in the Home

Home carry (courtesy

Recently, I saw a discussion on social media about firearms in the home go pretty much as you’d expect. The post, from a liberal friend, started out by asking if anyone had actually used a gun in their home to defend themselves. First off…who cares? I’ve never had to use my fire extinguisher, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need one.

And what’s the point of starting a conversation like that on social media? Experience tells you the post was really a transparent method for justifying the poster’s own agenda. I say transparent because it was clear that the idea of a gun in the home was anathema to this person.

If the question were genuine, why not reach out — by phone or email — and have an honest conversation with someone a friend who actually owns guns? Be willing to accept that you don’t know everything, which is why you’re seeking another point of view in the first place. Take the time to listen and ask questions…with honest follow-ups.

I’m all for engaging in meaningful conversations, but social media isn’t the venue for that. All you typically encounter there is a lot of grandstanding, virtue signaling and moral preening.

My question about guns: why not be armed in your own home? Despite the venue and the motive of the original post, there were some decent parallels drawn in the exchange, such as wearing a seat belt. I wear one because seat belts have been proven to save lives. So too have firearms. But that’s a nasty truth bomb the anti-gunners among us want to ignore.

Being able to defend yourself and your home should be the first point of discussion. Is it reasonable for a person to have the ability to defend their home and loved ones? if we can agree that it is, then why not own the best tool for the job?

It just so happens a firearm is an incredibly effective means for personal defense. Yes, having a firearm in the home can also result in accidents. It’s a fact we have to be willing to own up to or we’re just as misguided as the anti-gun crowd. But accidents happen with just about any household tool, whether it’s a kitchen knife or lawn mower. That does’t mean I don’t want to have one when I want to filet a fish or cut the grass.

As parents, we go out of our way to “baby-proof” our homes In the same way, securing your firearms is part of responsible gun ownership. They should either be on your hip or secured in a safe or otherwise inaccessible to children and other unauthorized people.

But the other consideration in safely storing your firearm is access — can you get to your firearms if and when you really need them. It’s difficult to call time out in an emergency so you can safely retrieve a gun from a lockbox or safe. I’m not against them, they serve a valuable purpose. But you can’t predict where you’ll be in your home when you need it. That’s why I’m an advocate of home carry.

One of the best ways to prevent unauthorized access to your gun is to keep it on your body. Coincidentally, that also solves the immediate access problem. The only potential downside can be the size of the firearm. Some people object to carrying a big, heavy gun all day long.

Downsizing your EDC gun to something more comfortable is worthwhile if it means you’ll carry it more often. The best gun in the world is the one you have with you when you absolutely have to have it to defend yourself or a loved one. So choose a carry gun that works for you…one that you’ll carry comfortably and often.

And don’t get drawn into those online discussions. They’re a waste of your time and theirs. Instead, consider what you’ve done today to improve your own personal safety and that of your family. Now that will be time well spent.


eff Gonzales is a former US. Navy SEAL and preeminent weapons and tactics instructor. He brings his Naval Special Warfare mindset, operational success and lessons learned unapologetically to the world at large. Currently he is the Director of Training at The Range at Austin. Learn more about his passion and what he does at


  1. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “And don’t get drawn into those online discussions. They’re a waste of your time and theirs.”

    The danger in not dealing with them is that they can claim ‘victory’ since “they don’t deny we’re right”.

    Yeah, it’s a treacherous minefield to navigate, but I’ll be dammed if I let them ‘win’ by default…

    1. avatar Shotgun Sam says:

      And careful you don’t become an unintentional mouthpiece for the NRA. Carry where you need to, but do not to validate the whimpers of the NRA.

      And never discount the wisdom of the women in your life.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Thanks MOM. Buy a pair

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      +1.. its a fight worth fighting, because its easilly winnable without degenerating to name calling or sarcasm. You can always count on the emotional virtue signallers to either get angry and petty or conceed that they would “rather die than have a gun”. However, if you aren’t armed with facts and/or are incapable of maintaining your composure, then I would suggest that you avoid any fight.

      The fight isn’t about the participants; it’s about the people listening. A crazy emotional shill who screams “I would rather die than defend my children’s lives with a gun!” will lose the support of rational people every time.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        The worst part about it is, is that I’ve actually seen people make that very exclamation for the world to see.

        What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    3. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      If you enjoy arguing, it’s worth the investment of time to chip away at the misconceptions and outright lies promoted by the gun control crowd (including a huge chunk of the media). Stay silent, and ignorant readers will continue in their unopposed belief that harsh restrictions are effective in reducing gun deaths.

  2. avatar dlj95118 says:

    Just bought the wife a Becko “belly band” holster so she can carry her SP101 .357 while around and about the house. Never had to think about this a few years back, but day-time break-ins have been on the rise in our area and I’d rather her be forearmed, just in case.

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    All the good reasons for carrying a gun in your home can be flipped. . .


    And vice versa.

    Don’t let the anti’s bs you into thinking it could be flipped any other way. If they don’t think so, someone might need to make them think of a reason that someone might need to carry a gun.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Home carry, people. Home carry. And ignore the tr0lls who would advise you otherwise.

  5. avatar Hank says:

    Think about it this way: why would someone try to convince YOU not to carry in YOUR home? …. perhaps they plan to rob you…

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      See my comment below why gun-grabbers would try to convince YOU not to have firearms in YOUR home.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    I’m sitting here watching Wheel of Fortune with 2 loaded pistols next to me. Yeah why not?!?😄😄😄😄

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      A Phrase:
      “S_all n_t be inf_inge_”

      I’d like to solve the puzzle, please.

      1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

        Too late, I solved it first! LOL

      2. avatar Arizona Free says:

        NAGGERS. No wait people that annoy you? Wrong episode sorry.

  7. avatar onezero says:

    I like the fire extinguisher analogy. I used one from company truck when a Kharmen Gia burst into flames in front of me. Another time I didn’t have one in my truck when another truck at pullover started on fire fortunately another driver had one. Needless to say my home has multiples and my truck has one. .. I always home carry.

    1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

      I’ve used the fire extinguisher analogy, also. We have 3 in our home. Thankfully we’ve never had to use them. However, twice in my lifetime, I’ve had to display my pistol in order to prevent becoming a crime victim.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Side note – If you have a Kidde extinguisher with plastic head is being recall/replaced.

  8. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    I like to home carry my FN 5.7, it’s so light weight. Any time I have clothes on I’m carrying. Where allowed of course.

  9. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    The sad truth Jeff is that no one has meaningful conversations face to face anymore. It’s all about how many virtue signalling posts you can write to gather the most likes.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Beware: some gun-grabbers think that they are indeed increasing their childrens’ safety.

    In their minds:
    (1) Eliminating firearms from the home eliminates any possibility of accidental gunshot wounds, attack with firearms from family members, and suicide by firearm.
    (2) Banning firearms will reduce the number of “guns on the street” and therefore reduce the lethality of home invasions.

    What they fail to include in their calculus:
    (1) Eliminating firearms from the home does NOT stop a family member from attacking with equally deadly results using alternate weapons, does NOT stop suicides by equally deadly alternate methods, and does NOT stop a family member who decides to kill you or themselves from getting a firearm from an outside source.
    (2) Criminals will obtain firearms via illicit distribution channels (just like illegal narcotics) and invade homes far more often since they will KNOW that homeowners are unarmed and vulnerable.

  11. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Well if that ain’t calling the kettle black TTAGers. . Has anyone had any real experience fitting a drop in barrel for a 1911, the lock up engagement lugs are my main concerns, I’m sticking with my stock barrel bushing as it is good and tight. Already looked on YouTube, just looking for a ” I did it”.

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      I did it.

      No, I won’t tell you how.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        I know how. Just wondering how hard was it to get the lugs seated. I want the same point if aim as it’s got now. I know if you don’t get the top lugs filed down enuff it will shoot low, and if the bottom ones aren’t filed back enuff the barrel can be springy, I am pretty sure the hood dimensions will be a snap. Just wondering how hard it was to seat the lugs. I changed barrels on another pistol, 7.25 to 9mm , it was supposed to drop in, but the lugs are cut a little to far back and was causing the slide recesses to peen, I called Brownells but they just wanted to sell me more stuff to fix it,so I quit using it. Ive gotta do this on the chesp. Thanx for your help….NOT

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    “Do you keep a gun in your home?”
    “Why do you ask? Do you want to take it away from me if I do, or do you plan to rob me?”

  13. avatar strych9 says:

    This article reminds me that I need to check the fire extinguisher in my basement and the one in my garage. In fact, while I’m at it I should probably just check them all.

    “Some people object to carrying a big, heavy gun all day long.”

    Sack up. Carry it around for a while and you’ll forget it’s there.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      And the smoke alarm batteries.

      And the CO detectors, if you heat via combustion…

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Yup. Changed all the batteries on the day we changed to daylight savings time.
        I probably need to have my fire extinguishers serviced.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Here in AZ we don’t do DST, so my smoke detectors get a Christmas present of a new battery.

  14. avatar Jack says:

    NO!! YOU ARE!!

  15. avatar neiowa says:

    As parents, we go out of our way to “baby-proof” our homes

    NO Don’t have/raise morons. Don’t touch the stove, outlets, firearms kid. Spank them if they disobey.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Thank you. Most of us who are 45+, are here because we survived being raised by our parents.

      If your child needs ‘special attention’ paid to it to prevent it from eating the Tide Pods while fingering a light socket, the parent has failed. Either through poor parenting, or poor genetics. Either way….

  16. avatar James69 says:

    I carry everyday I’m home from work. In the house, out on the town etc…. but I have to fly to work. Then get on a coast guard certified merchant vessel – 1000 foot ship. Firearms are a big no-no for my company as well. Sucks. Nothing like being far from home with your ass swinging in the wind. So I have to depend on a fixed blade knife. CRKT Dragon.

  17. avatar Kenneth says:

    “social media isn’t the venue for that. All you typically encounter there is a lot of grandstanding, virtue signaling and moral preening.”
    Which is exactly why I’m not on social media. Since its almost all showing off, what good is it? Why would I be interested in that?
    “don’t get drawn into those online discussions. They’re a waste of your time”
    Which is why I mostly lurk, and seldom comment… mostly.

  18. avatar CBI says:

    “And don’t get drawn into those online discussions. They’re a waste of your time and theirs.”

    Disagree. These sorts of discussions are neither for your or your opponent’s benefit. It is for the benefit of people observing the discussion. For people who have no firm opinion or whom are open to different viewpoints, such discussions–if done rightly–can help them understand and be less likely to be affected by the scare tactics of the antis.

  19. avatar Johnny108 says:

    I do not want, or need a meaningful conversation about:
    My Right to Free Speech
    My Right to be Free from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

    So, why the HELL would I want a meaningful conversation about
    guns in my home?

  20. avatar Bob999 says:

    I no longer try to convince leftist why we have a 2nd Amendment. They don’t care about facts. They have chosen loyalty to their political leadership over truth and independent thought.

    Here is something funny. I tell these leftists that I am retired military law enforcement, and suddenly, it is okay in their mind that I own and carry guns. To them, I need one because bad guys may seek revenge against me. News flash! That is the movies. The people I apprehended are far more likely to assault a random stranger than track me down to seek revenge for the result of their bad life choices. Even so, it is doubtful they would ever know how or where to find me.. Heck, it is like saying retired firemen should be the only ones to have a fire extinguisher to protect them against arsonists who may want to seek revenge. Assaults and fires can happen to anyone at anytime. If you lookup the stats, you will find that you are more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than have a significant fire in your home, and you are not more likely to have a fire or be assaulted simply because you are a retired fireman or retired law enforcement.

  21. avatar Sprocket says:

    Don’t use social media, don’t associate with lefties; problem solved.

  22. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I used to home carry when I lived in kansas city I moved. The only thing breaking in out here where I live now is these goddamn pack rats. Shot one with a pellet gun, but didn’t kill it quick enuff, it crawled in the wall and died, pew wee for weeks. Got pissed off and got the 22 , one was fucking around the kitchen sink, so I let him have it, killed it drt , passed thru the rat and blew the faucet to smithereens, water everywhere. Won’t do that again, now I’ve got a cat.

  23. avatar Adam says:

    Virtue signaling is all the rage on social media now. Ask a question in a certain way to imply that you are a good person.

  24. avatar little horn says:

    trying to have a mature, rational conversation on today’s social media is a trail of futility. i do not talk on social media. i post things i think are interesting and don’t ever look at comments.

  25. avatar Mr. Hand says:

    It’s almost a Yogi Berra-ism….”I carry a gun because 100% of home invasions occur in the home.” Not sure where I read that first, but I love it!

  26. avatar MojoRonin says:

    Online debates aren’t for the benefit of the participants. You argue to win, avoid logical fallacies, and you do so for the benefit of the observers, the lurkers, and those on the fence to an issue.

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