Jogging, Personal Defense and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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By MarkPA

The tragedy of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts calls each of us to take responsibility for our own security. Government does not and cannot actually protect us and our dependents. Each of us must look primarily to ourselves.

Mollie was apparently abducted and murdered while jogging on a lightly traveled road where she was vulnerable. Her sole defensive weapon was her cell phone. As I travel down nearby US 202 I see many individual women jogging alone on the trail that runs along the right-of-way. All are apparently armed no better than Mollie was. 

This plea for taking personal responsibility for our own security is not blaming the victim. We don’t feel blamed when public health officials urge us to wash our hands to avoid disease. Government can’t look after us individually. And there will never be enough cops or prisons, ICE or border patrolmen. Government could always do more, but will never be able to do it all.

Politicians’ primary motivation is to solicit campaign contributions and votes based on false promises of government benefits. Of those, security is first and foremost. Yet the motivation to actually deliver on such promises is weak. Politicians conserve their limited influence to cater to constituents who will fund their campaigns and support their reelections. It’s perfectly clear that even those representing crime-ridden precincts can do little to protect us from criminals.

Each crime victimization tragedy should be a call-to-arms. Individuals should armor-up their doors. We should contemplate when and where criminals ply the streets and pathways. And we should prepare for the very real possibility of predators whom government has not yet caught, or who have been released to prey on others.

Jogging, Personal Defense and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
courtesy Smith & Wesson

In 40 states it’s easy for citizens to carry a handgun, a right exercised by more citizens each year. By latest estimates, 17 million Americans hold concealed carry permits, 7% of adults. The most rapidly growing demographics are women and minorities. Nevertheless, for many, the awesome responsibility of carrying a concealed handgun won’t be the first nor last step taken. Some will consider pepper spray or stun guns. Everyone should evaluate their walking and jogging practices.

The important thing is to take personal responsibility. We must give up the habit of looking to government to protect, educate, feed and clothe us from cradle to grave.

Emphasizing personal responsibility has political implications as important as preventing individual tragedies such as Mollie’s. Accepting personal responsibility for life and its preservation makes government and politicians less meaningful.

And that makes them nervous—while keeping us freer.


‘MarkPA’  is trained in economics, a life-long gun owner, NRA Instructor and Massad Ayoob graduate. He is inspired by our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and holds that having the means to defend oneself and one’s community is vital to securing them.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

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  1. “Politicians’ primary motivation is to solicit campaign contributions and votes based on false promises of government benefits.”

    It is a sign of national psychosis that politicians run on the idea of “making government work”, of promises to “fix government, of pledges to change government. New elected politicians are the kindergarteners of political parties. They are told first the list of holidays and vacations for members of the House and Senate. Then they are told that their position in the legislature is to vote according to orders from leadership, fund raise for the party, fund raise for themselves. Essentially, they are told to be seen, but not heard.

    • Which is why, as a conservative, I prefer gridlock and government shutdowns. Big government that governs slightly less is slightly preferable.

        • “You’re going to love the next couple years.”

          I’m stocked with popcorn and pop. TV works. Raise the curtains, and let the show begin.

      • Gridlock is terrible at our current setting. Right now, our non-discretionary spending (Social Security, Medicare, entitlements, etc) are drastically bankrupting the nation. Unless we do something drastic and soon to reign in entitlement spending, we are going to be a nation of slaves to our debtors.

        Neither party is willing to make the hard decisions necessary to cut our debt and it is going to result in a nation of completely screwed young people with no future prospects. With gridlock and our current spending in place, we are on the road to serfdom.

    • That’s how political parties have always worked and always will work. The politician that adapts to the system and learns how to use it will achieve the ones that don’t fill seats and terms.
      The democrat party is more unified in its individual goals compared to Republicans, that’s why they pass legislation that continues on like obomacare and Republicans can’t do the Hearing Protection Act.

      • The framers did not design the constitution with political parties in mind (as in designed to serve political parties).

    • Sam has certainly be watching the demtard party. Will be interesting to see how their newage wackos (Cortez, Finkenaur, Axne, or the other dozen prog broads as freshmen last week) like the silly ass old radical dinosaurs (Pelosi, Hoyer, Cummings, Conyers, Lewis etc).

      • The GOP works the same way, if you haven’t noticed. Despite the fact that everyone hates them, the neocons/libs still control the GOP just as much as they control the DNC. Despite the fact that Trump is president, the newly elected Trumpian Senators and Congressmen will be the necons bitches. Why do you think, with the majority in both houses, Trump still had problems passing most of his agenda?

  2. Jogging or otherwise- a woman should always have a snubby when her hubby ain’t around.

    I have no love for S&W but the hammerless J-frame is in a class of it’s own.

    • She should have a firearm even when her hubby is around. I want my wife to watch my back and I don’t want her helpless should I fall.

      There’s no excuse for any adult in this country to be a victim in waiting.

  3. Oh I’ve seen it all…completely clueless cuties with earbuds on unaware of their danger. And scantily clad too. I doubt most even had a rape whistle or pepper spray. My daughter -in -law is something of a fitness nut but thinks her martial arts is enough. It doesn’t help that my ex-army son is a fudd. Oh well…

    • In Ames (IA) a couple years ago a girl got run over and killed by a bus. The driver took off and eventually turned himself in and claimed he didn’t know he’d run over her. Ended up getting off with a month in jail because there was no evidence that he did know, so now there’s a big movement to change the law, etc. But My thought was, how in the hell do you not notice a bus and get out of the way? Drive through campus and half of the pedestrians are just walking around with their nose in their phones, most probably with their ear buds in, completely oblivious to the bus that’s about to run them over.

      • There are stories each year where people get hit by trains while walking or jogging near tracks because of ear buds. The ones who jog down the tracks run inside the tracks because that’s that area is usually the flatter area and the stone are packed better. They never hear the train, they never even know what hit them.

        • The You Tube of the fat chick on the phone stumbling into an open sidewalk elevator a year or so back was about as good as it gets… Her indignance when she finally appears is even better. How dare someone put this big 6 x 8 hole in the damn sidewalk for me to fall into????

  4. Women aren’t the only ones vulnerable outside . If your riding a high dollar bicycle in a remote location you’re a target.

    • Or listening to music on a $1,000 iphone or pixel phone… expensive running shoes, ear buds. Some might target because you are already tired.

    • “If your riding a high dollar bicycle in a remote location you’re a target.”

      Why I ride a 29 year-old Trek 1200…

      • I rode a $90 used bike for years but my son races mountain bikes and we finally broke down and bought a higher end bike for him. My current one was $400 used and his was $1200 used. We ride a lot of hard miles every week. A cheaper bike doesn’t hold up to hard riding.

        Oh, and I’m armed and no earbuds for me. 😉

        • That Trek 1200 cost $650 in 1989.

          Hands-down, the best money I have ever spent. It has been heavily upgraded along the way with a used 2001-vintage Dura-Ace derailleur and shifters in 2005, SRAM Red cog, and a bunch of other bits-n-pieces.

          I don’t dare buy a modern carbon bike, because I’m a spaz, and manage to launch myself over the handlebars at least once a year. That will wreck a carbon frame, and there’s no repairing a carbon frame. I’ll be keeping the aluminum frame and rugged steel front fork…

        • used to get alpinestars at cost (sold a lot of their boots/ gloves) but always got the chr mo true temper frames. thought i could stress cycle alum enough to crack. look up the “oes” years. for some weird reason they elevated the chainstays on those.
          the all nuovo record international i garbage picked in northfield. rang the doorbell, couldn’t believe my eyes.

      • I ride a 1996 Klein Mantra Race and I’m still a potential target. Thieves aren’t exactly world-renowned for their brilliance.

        I also ride a newer Fuji. That bike is less likely to be stolen because the black market for bikes with skinny tires and drop bars is much smaller.

        It doesn’t matter which one I’m riding, I’m also carrying.

        • Myself, I ride recumbent. (Injury limitation.) They’re all expensive new n tend toward non-cheap componengs. Fortunately, most of the culling cohort aren’t that bright.

          You can carry many things on a recumbent. They’re already heavy and effectively come with luggage. Access, well those little map or gear bags on the bars, bar riser or seat…

  5. ‘This plea for taking personal responsibility for our own security is not blaming the victim.’

    I don’t know, maybe a little victim blaming isn’t such a bad thing. I remember a few years ago there was this brain dead hippie that thought he could just go to Alaska and live with the brown bears. He made some videos and stirred up a little controversy, but otherwise it all went well enough until one of the bears decided to eat him. Eventually they found a few of his bones in a pile of bear shit. So…

    What a dumb-ass.

    There’s lots of perils in the world and most of them walk on two legs. Sure, this illegal who killed Mollie Tibbetts needs to fry (and I mean literally, deep fat fried, not just electrocuted), but that doesn’t change the fact that she chose to walk among the bears completely unprotected.

    • herzog made a documentary on grizzly man and his gal. worthsee.

      i showed my daughter where the tent city is in the ames woods, or at least the dead end street that leads to it. and i told her to stay off the golf course.
      can’t wait to see her next week.

      • Ames used to be about as quiet and peaceful of a college town as you could find in the USA (except during VIESHA), but really that was just a delusion. Maybe our bears just weren’t that hungry at the time.

  6. That’s why there are, internal hammer, Airweight, J frames and Rem. Golden saber +P .38s, center mass till it clicks. Your results may vary, but not by much. -30-

    • I have run with pepper spray but rarely with a gun. I could maybe see a derringer but even a G43 feels onerous when I run.

      • I used to run/bike in San Antonio with a G23, even in the summer with a concealing garment (before OC was legalized).
        Now I run carrying a G19 (now in rural TN – no concealing needed).
        If your daily carry is x then why not train with that weight on? I’ll be the first to admit I’m hardly a runner, but seems logical to train with approximately the same carry load as daily carry.

      • If people can run with water bottles or Walkmans (when dinosaurs walked the Earth), they could figure out a way to have at least a pocket pistol somewhere (belly band, belt pack, running vest, etc).

        • I think the problem is I run with nothing usually. No keys, cellphone, water bottle etc. I rarely run over an hour and a half( 6-12 miles). It’s too hot to wear a belly band, plus it constricts breathing. Maybe a 380 strapped to the shoulder might work. As far as open carry, there is a very fit, very fast guy that I often see running the river walk or downtown with a open carry 1911 and Texas flag shorts. Very inspirational.

      • I keep meaning to build a holster into my camelbak. It’s big enough to hide a full size pistol and the straps would distribute the weight nicely. I just can’t figure out how to rig it for an easy draw.

  7. I can’t jog any longer but when I did I carried an S&W M 38 and only once did I ever think I might have to use it because of a person but multiple times prepared to draw on dogs. Once was when a jackass brought his Pitbull into a playground full of kids where another jackass had a Pitbull. When they started for each other and it looked like leashes would be broken I got ready. The owners got them under control and left but one mother had seen what I had prepared to do and gave me a “Thank you”. Uncontrolled dogs are the bane of joggers.

    • “Uncontrolled dogs are the bane of joggers.”

      And folks on bikes. Bikes in motion trigger their ‘run down the prey’ instinct…

  8. A jogging holster is advised for anyone who runs outdoors. Vicious loose dogs are a much more likely threat.

    • I have been a recreational runner for 15 years and I have never been attacked. A few times I had to stop running and prepare to fight but luckily didn’t have to. I would say pepper spray or a knife is a better option then a gun. One of the fundamental flaws humans have is we forget we are apex predators. Against a few pit bulls we more then overmatch our opponent. We might get bloody but the dogs are gonna be dead as long as we don’t run. Fear and the reactions to it are great evolutionary devices but only if we condition ourselves to the correct(offensive) mindset. This is helped greatly by the advent of modern medicine.

      • We have a brain and thumbs for a reason. We make tools. There’s no point or sense to having to get bloody to defend ourselves.

  9. I run 2 miles most every day. BDU pants with a belt and T-shirt with an Uncle Mikes IWB holster and XDS in 45. Not a single problem with it coming out of the holster or being exposed. I don’t listen to music as I much prefer to hear what is going on. Birds chirping and the neighborhood waking up as I jog in the early morning light is much nicer than music.

  10. Government, and national lobbying groups, will never solve problems, because THEY DON’T WANT TO. They get paid to “work on” problems. If they solve the problem, then… there goes their paycheck.

    The NAACP doesn’t want to make any actual progress against racism in the USA, they want to continue to scream about how their membership is victimized, so that people will continue to give them money to “fight the problem.”

    Demanding Moms don’t actually want to solve “gun violence.” That’s why they endorse strategies that will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve the situation and lower gun deaths. They promote disarmament that will never pass, they promote background checks that criminals will bypass, they promote anything and everything that will “look like” they’re “doing something” but which (and this is vitally important) will NOT actually solve the problem. Because if they were ever to solve the problem, Bloomberg would quit giving them $50 million per year.

    And cops cannot guarantee safety, nor would their departments want them to. The individual officer might dream of a day where crime ceases to exist, but the chief and the union and the statists would never want to see that actually come about.

    You are your own first responder. That will never change.

    • Demanding Moms want full disarmament, but they’re willing to take a thousand baby steps to get there. First are “commin sense” measures like GVROs, no private sales, licensing, “safe” storage, “assault weapon” and “high cap mag” bans. Night vision is a recent addition to the list. When violence still exists, they’ll ask for “common sense” measures of semiauto bans, handgun bans, “sniper rifle” (scoped bolt actions), registration, home inspections, no CCW, mandatory Australian-style “buybacks, “etc. After all that, they’ll push for “common sense” Britsh-stlye laws with only allowing break action shotguns and muskets under the same onerous restrictions. They might be satisfied at stopping with muskets stored and used at shooting ranges while under the supervisior of a police officer with a machine gun pointed at your head. But, they’d still “support the 2nd anmendment” since you’d be allowed to have a gun.

      • Stupid website didn’t take my edit. Demand Moms are an extension of Bloomberg’s desires, not an independent organization that found a patron with deep pockets. The pretend to be the voice of your neighborhood mothers, not the mouthpiece of an old, white, New York billionaire. Also on their first list of “common sense” reforms are gun violence research (governnent-funded propaganda), lawsuits against the makers of guns used in crimes, and ghost gun bans. They’ll go for tobacco-style lawsuits against the gun industry in general to try bankrupting anybody still left standing.

        • Even when bloomberg finally drops dead, his money will push gun control for many decades. he’s worth something like $70 billion now, he’ll leave tons of that with his groups so they’ll be funded for infinite to push his liberal agenda long after he’s dead.

  11. J-frame is the shit as a running gun. Modded a belly band with a gel wedge to make appendix carry comfortable, no reason to ever go running without it. Light in the left pocket, pepper spray in the right pocket for the pooches.

    And, hell, ain’t nobody ever gonna go after ME for my body. That’s like 60% of the runner risk factor that I don’t even have to worry about. Women running around unarmed boggles the mind.

    • I understand it, running is fun and what we are designed to do. It also helps that we have a relatively peaceful society. That being said if planning for risk is all grown ups job.

  12. Nice article, Mark.

    My GSP and I put in about 5 1/2 miles per day, year round. When I’m in IA the run is on an old rail path “bike” trail that cuts diagonally through farmland- no houses anywhere near and way off of the gravel roads except at a couple of intersecting points. Not too many people out there since there are also miles of path that run along side US 6, but I wonder about the occasional biker or runner chicks I, meet literally far from any civilization. I’m always with my .40 Shield or occasionally a J Frame, even with only a t shirt no one has a clue. In fact, the only time I’ve had to draw my piece was out there when a damn coyote decided to chase my dog back to me. It veered off when it saw me and I didn’t take the shot but it’s nice to know I could bring it quickly to bear in an “emergency” The rest of the time in MN I carry the same, Only a t shirt and running shorts but in a more populated area. I’ve never had anyone even consider that I am armed. SHEESH! Minnesota Nice…

  13. I have been searching high and low for a hydration pack with a ambidextrous pistol pocket easily accessible from the side of the pack between the joggers back and front of the pack. None to be had. I have also contacted customer service of Red Rock, and other manufacturers and distributors without reply. Camel Back, Red Rock and others make tactical units as they call them because they have molly webbing and are coyote or OD colored. Whoppy shit. I wish they’d get off their ass and make a practical “real” tactical unit instead of a typical unit falsely marketed as something they are not.
    I have gone so far as considered to buy a Red Rock sling pack and a Camel Back and sew the pocket of the Red Rock onto the front of the Camel Back. Maybe if I submitted for a patent they’ll get their act together and produce a genuine article!

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