I understand the open carry movement: desensitize non-gun owners to guns so that they [eventually] accept Americans’ right to bear arms. I get the concealed carry movement: remove the most “unreasonable” restriction on gun ownership so Americans who have the right to bear arms can bear arms. But I don’t understand why more people don’t practice Home Carry. It’s the bridge between the initial stage of gun ownership (home defense/target practice) and all that follows (concealed and/or open carry). It’s a perfect training ground for concealed carry. You learn carrying’s practical demands and limitations, and get comfortable with the concept of personal lethal force. But more than that, holstering your gun around the house serves two critical functions:
1. Protects your family
Truth be told, if your home is attacked, you won’t be able to get to your home defense gun in time to defend yourself or your loved ones.
You won’t have time to Observe (we’re being attacked), Orient (where’s my gun, where are the attackers, how do I get to my gun, how long will it take to get my gun, will they harm my children before I get to my gun), Decide (I’ll run up the stair, unlock the safe, get my gun, run down the stairs and shoot one of the invaders without shooting one of my children) and Act (I’m moving).
OODA this. Home invaders play by prison yard rules: inflict as much violence on your victim as quickly as possible. The sooner the victim loses, the sooner they win. And they’re in a hurry. From the moment they enter, they’re attacking. (Which isn’t true in every case, but it would be foolish to assume anything else.) You need to formulate and execute a defense/attack of your own BEFORE they even start theirs.
Which gives you a fraction of a second to draw your gun, aim and issue a challenge and/or fire. Try it. Stand in the part of your home that’s farthest from your gun. Have someone run towards you as fast as they can from a logical point of entry (closest door). See if you can get to your gun. And that’s assuming your not right next to the door and an invader or invaders yell “go!” as they enter.
While it’s not worthy of its own bullet point, Home Carry also eliminates the problem caused by state laws that require a gun to be locked. If a gun is on your person, there’s no fumbling with keys, combos or biometrics when you REALLY need it. Sleeping? Law or no law, if you have kids, you’re SOL there. Lock it up.
2. Desensitizes children
Speaking of rug rats, Home Carry desensitizes children to guns as self-defense. Shock! Horror! Why would you want to do that? Millions of gun owners want their children to live in blissful ignorance of potential violence. They’d no more wear their gun around the house than blow smoke rings in their kids’ bedrooms.
[NB: A small percentage of gun owners do the extreme version of both behaviors: leave loaded guns around the house and smoke like an 18th century mill near their kids. I’ve got one word for that: Darwin.]
First, kids are adaptable. The gun on your hip will fade into the background within days. Soon, they won’t notice it. They’ll continue to live their lives with as much happiness or unhappiness as they experienced before you started Home Carry.
Second, you have a gun for self-defense. One can only assume that at some point, you’d want your children to carry a gun for self-defense. Responsible gun ownership begins in the home. By growing up with a parent or parents who carry a gun for self-defense, they will see their right to bear arms as a natural, normal part of life.
Third, Home Carry teaches gun safety. Not only will your children see that your gun is always in one of two places (your hip or a locked safe), but they’ll also see you safely loading, handling. carrying, practicing, unloading and cleaning your weapon on a regular basis. Hundreds of times.
Fourth, Home Carry satisfies children’s natural curiosity about guns AS you teach gun safety. There’s no statistical data on this point, but common sense suggests that sprogs are less likely to play with a gun they encounter, in your home or someone else’s, if they know how it works, what it’s for and what it can do (don’t forget range time).
Home Carry. Concealed Carry. Open Carry. Gym Carry. Now wouldn’t that be funny? Depends on your sense of humor, I suppose. But this much is clear: the more quality time you spend with your gun, the better protected and, yes, safer you are.