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Yesterday, my daughters and I walked from San Francisco’s Castro Street to Union Square. We found ourselves leaving gracious neighborhoods with painted ladies for a commercial area filled with literally hundreds of homeless people.

We saw a barely conscious man crumpled by the side of a wall passing a needle to his “friend.” The only reason it was remarkable: the concentration of homeless people/addicts. In fact, SF shelters (one way or another) some ten thousand homeless people. They’re everywhere.

Not surprisingly, The City by the Bay’s crime rate is high. pegs it at 771 violent crimes per 100k. SF also has the highest rate of per capita property crime rate in the U.S. I felt distinctly unsafe walking through parts of the city with my girls — without a gun.

Regardless of the visible threat to your safety, how do those of you who live in a city/state that refuses to give you “permission” to exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms do it? No-go areas, head on a swivel, stay in after dark? Do you feel trapped? Frustrated? Angry?

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  1. Do what they do, put your head down and say, over and over again, “it won’t happen to me.”
    When it does, keep those eyes shut and say “I’m sorry.”
    See, being progressive is easy.

    • It’s even easier as a progressive politician,

      a) you never spend time in those areas because their dangerous and
      2) if you happen to be there you have your body guard protect you

      See you literally have to do absolutely nothing as a politician

  2. Why the hate, profiling, and discrimination towards homeless folks and junkies? You are so “open-minded” about the sexual deviants.

    • and what do you consider a “sexual deviant”? a homosexual? and THATS not hate and all the other BS you said?

        • i really hope your answer is not the Bible, the same book that never says rape is wrong or that Abraham impregnating his two daughters was wrong either. Oh, and ya know the whole condoning of slavery, thats ok too huh. or do you cherry pick?

        • Well little horn, I suggest that you do not comment on subjects you have absolutely no knowledge about. Did you get your theology degree out of a box of Cracker Jacks?

          “i really hope your answer is not the Bible, the same book that never says rape is wrong”

          Deuteronomy 22:13–29 speaks directly against forcing a woman into a sexual encounter against her will, or what we know today as rape.

          Deuteronomy 22:25–27 specifies that the punishment the Mosaic Law required for a man who committed was to be killed by stoning while the woman was considered innocent. Though the Mosaic Law was for the nation of Israel during the time of Moses, the principle is clear that rape is sinful in the eyes of God and, under the Law, led to the most extreme punishment possible—death for the rapist.

          “or that Abraham impregnating his two daughters was wrong either.”

          First is wasn’t Abraham, but his nephew Lot that impregnated his daughters. And it was they that raped him after they got him drunk. The resulting two families; the Moabites and Ammonites were enemies of the nation Israel for generations, and still are, though they are not known by those names.

          “Oh, and ya know the whole condoning of slavery, thats ok too huh.” (you needed a “?” followed by a “,” here, BTW)

          Israel did not have a prison system, slavery was a means by which the offenders repaid their debt to society, and it was against the law for Israelites to mistreat slaves. Also, they were to be set free after seven years, unless they desired to remain a servant to whoever they were indentured to.

          “or do you cherry pick?””

          Pot calling the kettle black, huh?

        • Thanks for stating clearly what any sentient human being knows to be the truth. Those who maintain otherwise are victims of liberal indoctrination in our government schools. I say this as a retired 30-year veteran of public school teaching, a profession from which I retired depressed and tired after seeing decades of this increasingly virulent child abuse. (If you can arrange to keep your kids out of these hell-holes, do so for their sake.)

      • Yes, in fact, sodomy IS sexual deviancy. The norm – as determined by literally millions of sex acts per day for millions of years – is undeniably M/F. Homosexual activity DEVIATES – that is, diverges – from this norm.

        Definitions. How do they work? And anyone attributing any moral guidance to this definition brought his bias with him. It’s a dog whistle that ain’t there.

      • Little horn
        The sexual deviates how ever they are defined, are all gun grabbers. They are socialist progressive in their political orientation. Anyone who wants to defend them? Go right a head. Please, take your mask off.

        • Yeah, I’m a deviant lefty gun grabber. Got myself a nice Springfield 9mm right after the Pulse nightclub shootings and learned how to use it. I’ve also got my CCW. You see many of us gays have finally realized we need to arm and protect ourselves from right wing nut jobs who want to trash and destroy anybody that doesn’t fit into their conservative view of life. We are watching and we are learning.

          So now if you or somebody you know wants to go bash some gays, you need to ask yourself : Are these the ones carrying guns? 🙂

        • Mike in WI
          Thank you for admitting you are a leftist gun grabber. It is refreshing to have honesty from a leftist for a change. The Civil Right to Armed self-defense has never been a priority for the left. As you know as a leftist the left does not believe in civilians having guns. Only the government should have guns according to the left. This is something you still support. Only now you understand you need to have a gun. But you still believe everyone else should not have guns. You are still a gun-grabbing leftist hypocrite.

          It is people like you who support and open border immigration policy that brings Killers like the one at the Pulse Nightclub to America. Muslim Flags rainbow Flags and hammer and sickle Flags March side by side in your parades.
          I understand you like walking around naked in public on days the government says it’s okay. I understand you like performing sex acts in public when the government gives you permission.

          “The fact of the matter is that you’ll still be able to run around San Francisco naked on certain days of the year. Wiener’s proposal includes an exception to the ban during festivals and on certain beaches. And obviously, the new ban is only as strict as the SFPD wants it to be”

          A leftist gun Grabber such as yourself has always supported the Welfare Industrial Complex. Telling people they can’t get married. Or they tell them can’t have sex with someone, and still receive their welfare benefits. It’s leftist gun-grabbers like you, who demand a public housing project be a “gun free zone”. The left has always told people what they can and can’t do in the privacy of their own bedroom. In San Francisco telling people how to store their guns in the privacy of their own bedroom. Telling people they can’t have a loaded gun in the privacy of their own bedroom.

          Harvey Milk was a pro-gun open homosexual SF city council member. He was, and still is, the only example of an elected open homosexual who supported the Bill of Rights.

          People like you have never supported the Bill of Rights and, have always been a danger to the American Republic. But thank you for your honesty. Thank you for coming out of a closet. You’re Leftist Gun-grabbing honesty is very refreshing.

        • Correction
          It was the San Bernardino Muslim killers who were allowed to come here. Also the Muslim immigrant who drove over and stabbed college students in Ohio is another example of the utopian leftist open borders policy. Amazing the things sexual deviates support!!! (smile)

      • Little Horn, shouldn’t you go back to the faculty lounge and recruit some third graders? And make sure you convert a couple of second graders by telling them that its perfectly normal to think they’re really gerbils trapped in a poodles body.

        Thank God that faggots choose places like San Francisco to infest.

      • “I just happen to have a lot of ferrets…”

        It’s only a problem if you use them in making ‘Squat Cobbler’.

        And videoing it.

        And uploading it to ‘PornTube’…


        • Why hasn’t PETA come to the aid of ferrets and gerbils ?
          Some of the treatment they endure seems cruel and demeaning.

    • Carrying a gun without a permit in CA is a misdemeanor.
      Carrying a knife carries more severe penalties in CA. It may even be a Felony.

        • Laws vary somewhat by municipality, since there is no state pre-emption. I believe LA bans open carry of fixed bladed knives and swords (legal under state law; concealed carry is not) and folders over three inches in blade length. I don’t know if there are any special restrictions in SF, but I would not be surprised. Switch blades are illegal state-wide, but assisted opening knives are not.

          And those of us in free counties can get “virtual shall issue” CCWs, which allow us to concealed carry everywhere in the state except inside public buildings (notwithstanding a State statute that permits carry in court houses).

        • UGH that is fucking goddamn retarded.

          but a 3″ knife is better than a stick, sometimes LOL

        • Folding knives of *ANY SIZE* are generally legal in California, though this could be further restricted on a municipal basis.

    • Laws that violate my constitutional rights are typically laws I ignore. However, I have been in foreign countries several times since I began carrying on a daily basis, and none of them have a second amendment.


      Situational awareness matters.
      I usually carry a knife.

      I also believe in a God who is involved in this world and my life, so I trust him to keep me safe when I am in situations that I am unable to protect myself. I realize not everyone has peace like that, but I do.

  3. Very timely. Very.

    For two years, I have been researching all I can (including regular interaction here at TTAG) regarding firearms for self-protection. Just two days ago I began to ask, “what’s going on here?”.

    I go everywhere I need/want, and feel no threat, or other indicator that I am unsafe (along with hundreds of other people who ‘appear’ to not be armed). I note that the number of personal and property crimes in a given year are very low, and generally in locales I have no desire/reason to visit. I move about freely, day and night. Based on surveys, blogs, polling, and news outlets, crime is just not a significant factor. That does not mean it is a zero factor. But what is the likelihood of being a victim?

    Risk management theory and practice rates a risk (threat) along the axis of likelihood, and magnitude of impact. Given the circumstances, the risk of attack is less than 1%. Do I really need to be armed as a means of lowering the actual risk? Do I need to carry a firearm because the threat of attack is just greater than zero? Am I spending a lot of time and energy analyzing law and guns for no real purpose? Will I really be safer? Or should I continue to consider all the factors, and carry a gun just because I can, and because I have a constitutionally protected right to do so?

    NOTE: I do not project my conditions on anyone else; carry on.

    • Possible troll attempt noted.

      That said, while the actual risk of an incident may be 1%, its what happens during the incident that is concerning. Once the bad guy has drawn the knife or gun you have no guarantee that he won’t stick you or shoot you even if you do everything he demands. Therefore, defending yourself is just good common sense.

      • “Possible troll attempt noted.”

        Not every question or opinion not proclaiming “shall not be infringed” is indicative of trolling.

        Everytime I think I have enough at hand to make a decision about which gun to carry, some new factor appears that causes me to re-evaluate my assumptions. It has turned into analysis paralysis. Which brought the central question back into consideration: is the world outside really so dangerous I need a gun to defend the most unlikely of events? Nothing more implied.

        And I appreciate your comments.

        • Nope you most certainly do not need a gun, nor do I or anyone else.

          You, me, and everyone else, do not “need” to lock their doors either. They don’t need to get a flu shot, or be vaccinated against smallpox, or take their daily prescribed medication. They don’t need fire insurance, car insurance, or life insurance. They don’t need a spare tire, or a fire extinguisher, or a seatbelt. They don’t need policemen, or firemen, or medical doctors. They don’t need ambulances, or hospitals, or the Red Cross. They don’t need attorneys, or lawyers or accountants. They don’t need first-aid kits, bug spray, or fly swatters. They don’t need life jackets, or parachutes, or crash helmets.

          A gun, and a whole lot of other UN-needed things may, however be very useful at times.

        • I hear what your saying and for me, I carry a gun for that 1% chance that someone will attempt harm to my family or myself.
          A gun doesn’t lower my risk of attack it just better prepares me in the unfortunate event that I cannot escape the situation.
          I carry a simple set up that works for me and it’s comfortable enough that I hardly feel it through out the day. I respect the choice of others to go un armed, to each his/her own.

        • Your note describes pretty well why I am circling back to deciding if I should carry. The threat may never appear, but the hellhole of the law after using a gun is guaranteed.

        • Here’s a phrase I’ve been hearing more and more lately, and it’s one that I think shifts the ‘break over’ (won’t say “Tipping Point” because the author’s a liberal douche) between “defensive-ready” to “offensive-and-eager” and that phrase is “life-changing injuries”.

          You hear it in connection with survivors of attempted POS muslim attacks (most notably the UK/EU acid attacks) with regard to “mercy killings”. Makes me want to hunt some MFs. But you can spool the internet right now and see video(s) [maybe even from this week, maybe in Israel?] of some poor schmuck minding their own business getting a sneak attack from some by-product of ass-rape MF whose mother (parents) should have had an abortion-by-steam roller.

          Lots of car attacks (1 is too many) happening too. Too many of those drivers have to be hunted down and “taken into custody”

          You don’t have to walk around like a potential victim, but you shouldn’t walk around with a stupefied demeanor when some ahole comes and F’s you and yours up.

          AND – you NEED A GUN (if you’re a bona fide citizen of the U.S.) to prosecute your preference and individual sovereignty under Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence.

        • You could roll the dice a thousand times and have nothing happen; but the one time it turns up snake eyes is when you are up the creek without a paddle. Wouldn’t you rather have a paddle if that happens?

          I agree, the risk in many places is quite low, and can be lessened even further. In other places, the risk is substantially higher. And factoring into the risk analysis is you: are you a potential target because you are ill or elderly, walk with an assistive device, work in a particular industry? What is the demographic of your community–and in particular, the number of males between 14 and 28? What is the size of your homeless population?

          I used to live in San Francisco, and still have occasion to go down there to court–which is adjacent to the largest concentration of homeless people in town. The filth and the homeless were one of the principal reasons I moved away after the birth of my first child (real estate prices were the other). Generally, the homeless are more of a threat of violence among each other than to any one else, but they do make their “living” off of begging, thieving, and burglary. And there are gangs (but again, the threat of violence is greatest among the gang members as opposed to the general public). But there is an increased risk, especially compared to my little town way up north. If you live there, you cannot obtain a CCW–the sheriff (and the police chief) have had an official “no issue” policy for decades, and that is extremely unlikely to change. I would not be surprised if DiFi (who at the time was a city Supervisor who had received legitimate death threats) was the last “civilian” to be issued one. (Contrary to rumor, hers long ago expired, and did her no good in DC anyway.)

        • “And factoring into the risk analysis is you: are you a potential target because you are ill or elderly, walk with an assistive device, work in a particular industry? What is the demographic of your community…”

          As luck would have it, I don’t (yet?) fit any of those categories (which are legitimate factors in analyzing risk). My community is on the edge of “flyover”, and relatives keep asking me if I still see Andy and Barney in town. The community as a whole is maybe the major underlying consideration, and I haven’t given enough thought to that.

        • I have never had the occasion to use or even draw my ccw however my wife has and did not have one. Luckily someone helped her and my child( most people are decent) and disaster was adverted. Had I been there I doubt very much she would have been targeted or the incident escalate as far as it did. If it did the world would be sans two parasites. Women, children and the infirm are targets for parasites. I carry because I see it as a civic duty to paraphrase the Gov.

        • As for which gun to buy and/or carry — or whether to have one at all — you could analyze forever, but it really just comes down to wanting one.

          Your logic is sound. But in the end, it’s an emotional decision. That’s what gives weight to the risk vs. likelihood calculations.

          To me, the potential consequence of not carrying (e.g., somebody robs, rapes, or cripples me or someone I love) has huge emotional impact. Knowing that the likelihood is almost nil doesn’t. Thus my decision.

          Plus, guns are fun. I absolutely LOVE shooting guns, a fact that hit me like a ton of bricks the very first time I pulled the trigger on my cheapo Marlin Model 60 .22 rifle (the first gun I ever bought). Decision made, right there.

        • “Plus, guns are fun.”

          It has been fun trying out different pistols (and expensive). If I had to decide right now on a gun, it would probably be my friend’s German Luger. What a blast that is to shoot. But I cannot see any means to conceal carry that hunk of steel.

        • Sam I Am, I’ve gone my whole life without needing a gun to defend myself. I probably will never be in a situation where I do. People who choose to not carry will probably find themselves in the same situation.

          All of that said, I’ve never had a kitchen fire either. I still keep a fire extinguisher. The CDC tells us that conceal carry is often a determining factor in whether a victim of an attack can survive. They list that you’re over 10X more likely to successfully defend yourself WITH a gun than you are to be killed BY a gun.

          If you choose not to carry, good for you! This article touches as much on the parts of California that refuse to allow people the option. I would argue that’s the very government that you NEED to have guns around. Regardless of whether you’ll ever use one for self defense.

          P.S. If you’re seriously considering a gun for personal defense. Might I recommend you try my own choice in the matter. The CZ 75 Compact or one of it’s clones.

        • “The CZ 75 Compact or one of it’s clones.”

          Have read a bunch on the CZ/Browning single action models. Unfortunately, the LGS doesn’t rent those. The HighPower seems a decent choice, but there seems to be significant degradation in quality and functionality with the modern versions of the HP. Something about the hammer-fired, SA pistols feels better than the poly pistols.

        • Sam I Am, only you can gauge whether or not you would like to carry. I didn’t think I needed to when I was in my late 20’s and single until I had a near mugging at gunpoint. Was working late and it happened in the parking deck. My coworker and I were lucky to escape. That mugger killed a motorist shortly after our encounter. Becoming a husband and a father is what really changed my view. I now choose to carry everywhere. I was doing so when a knife was pulled on me in downtown Atlanta, walking to the front of the building where my company kept its servers. Didn’t have to even draw the firearm as the guy did a 180 and hauled ass when he saw I was carrying. I don’t know how that “1% chance” of needing a firearm is calculated, and I may never have a close call again, but I won’t be taking ANY chances ever again.

        • In your situation (big city living), with your experience, I probably wouldn’t be frozen about the decision to carry. My situation is bucolic, comparatively. In a town of unlocked homes, what threat/risk am I guarding against? Here, you can walk up to a front door and ask for a glass of water on a hot summer day, without fear. I don’t want this to all come down to carrying because I just want to regardless of circumstances.

      • Failure Mode Effect Analysis

        You look at the likelihood of something occurring vs the consequences if it occurs. Probability vs severity.

        One way they apply such analysis where I work (consumer products):
        You assign them numerics: when likelihood is higher, it’s a higher number, when the significance of the consequences are high, it too, is a higher number.

        You multiply those numerics together, and you get a new number, which you compare to a set of thresholds. Above a certain threshold, you must take some sort of corrective action. Usually speaking, even things with low probability, but high severity, force you above that threshold, and into action.

        • Yes. Familiar with the 5X5 risk management matrix. However, have seen major, major, billion dollar (stock value) companies refuse to take any action on catastrophic risk that has a likelihood of under 1%. Historically speaking, the minimal probability does not happen (hence the low likelihood assessment). Over and over, companies “bet the farm” that fringe catastrophic events will not happen. Of course, there is the Lazarus Long theorem that the probability of any event is 50-50; a thing will happen, or it will not. I suspect that since the theorem blows up the 5X5 risk matrix, Lazarus Long’s calculations are not taken seriously.

      • “Possible troll attempt noted.”

        Possible? You are more generous than I am.

        Still, some people should not be allowed to have guns. He’s one of them.

        • “Still, some people should not be allowed to have guns. He’s one of them.”

          I suppose you mean only tactical operators, tactically operating tactically, should carry guns. Yep, something else I should add to my decision matrix.

    • “Risk management theory and practice rates a risk (threat) along the axis of likelihood, and magnitude of impact.”

      Sam I Am, you seem to have not considered quite a bit with this simple but accurate statement, as well as your analysis of it.

      First, and most obvious, you didn’t mention your consideration of the magnitude of impact, you only mentioned the likelihood, and then, only from an individual standpoint. From my individual standpoint, which I recognize may be different than yours, the magnitude of impact of a physical threat includes the death of myself and/or my family. That is a catastrophic risk. It pegs the top of any graph. So in our analysis, a 1% risk, or even less than 1% risk, still carries with it a catastrophic impact for a non-zero likelihood. This has to be considered.
      But your assessment is also overly simplistic in the likelihood of a violent attack. For you, on any single particular day, that risk may be 1% or far less. After all, you may live in a safe neighborhood, have little interaction outside of that safe area, generally don’t travel much, and are not subject to others outside of your safe area. If so, your risk may be very low.
      But for all of a large population, over the course of their lives, that risk will be much higher. Sound estimates have been made that, taken as a whole, the average adult in the United States will face one violent criminal encounter during their lifetime. That takes the full population from 1%, all the way to 100%, over the course of their lives.
      But of course, as you’ve pointed out, you are not everyone. You live a different life than anyone else. Maybe that life is less threatened than others. Or maybe you just think it is.
      After all, no one wakes up one day and believes that this is the day they will be murdered on the way home from work. And yet, we must recognize that every day, someone is murdered one their way from work. The likelihood for the population is, again, 100%.
      Your attitude is the one of the flock animal, and for the entire flock, it is effective. Sheep do not need to be armed, because really, the wolf only takes one or two sheep and leaves the rest. Of course, none of the sheep believe it’s going to be them that the wolf eats. That’s why it works for the flock, but not for the individual sheep.
      I wonder if they all think, “well, don’t be on the outside of the herd and that won’t happen.”?

      • “… the wolf only takes one or two sheep and leaves the rest.”

        Certainly a recommendation to always stay in the middle of a crowd.

        Yes, the magnitude of impact is very high, off the charts even. Still, if one must take extraordinary measures to mitigate one deadly risk, how far do we go to avoid (which is a mitigation technique) or mitigate other unlikely deadly events? My risk of grievous bodily injury is much greater than my risk of criminal attack. I don’t have a full roll cage in my car, nor a 5-point quick disconnect web of safety belts, nor wear a helmet. Thinking about all the potently sources of instant or horrific death, I would live in an underground bunker with independent sources of food, electricity, water and oxygen.

        While I fully grasp why POTG carry firearms, I just get tangled up in all the variations, from weapon type to legal horrors. I’ve gone through every pistol at the rental counter (except revolvers), and still can’t decide. Maybe I should just get a pitbull.

        • ” I’ve gone through every pistol at the rental counter (except revolvers), and still can’t decide.”

          Perhaps you should visit the revolver counter, because a double-action-only like a Ruger LCR in .38 or .357 is what I recommend folks buy for a first gun. Dead-nuts reliable, with no complex stuff like chambering a round, working the slide, or a safety you could easily forget to flip that leaves you wondering why it didn’t go bang when you wanted.

          A long, heavy trigger pull makes for far less unintended discharges.

          ” Maybe I should just get a pitbull.”

          Why not both? 😉

        • “Perhaps you should visit the revolver counter, ”

          Once upon a time, I had cause to be armed as part of my duty assignment. The weapon was the .38 S&W model 10. Had to qualify. It was terrible. The grip was so small, I had to adjust the hold after every round. The long trigger pull resulted in holes just about everywhere. And the back of the trigger guard hammered the tops of my gripping fingers. After three “practice” sessions, I qualified. Couldn’t wait to find another job.

          But still, revolvers aren’t anything to sneeze at.

        • If you’re this conflicted about whether or not to buy a gun, what kind of gun, whether you really need it, whether you are safer with or without it, etc. ad nauseum, then I’m pretty sure that if you are ever in a situation where you have to use it, you will choke on your own indecision and become a victim instead.

          So buy some pepper spray and/or a Taser and hope for the best.

        • “I’m pretty sure that if you are ever in a situation where you have to use it, you will choke on your own indecision and become a victim instead.”

          Yes. The “freeze” would not be because I have trouble with the idea of neutralizing the threat. It is because I might into the “this can’t be happening to me” syndrome. Combat was a long time ago for me. Not conditioned anymore.

          Owning and carrying a firearm is an important issue, because of the political assault on one, specific constitutional right. Screw government, screw “red diaper doper babies”. Is it some sort of betrayal if I would end up carrying a gun, but admitting there is little chance I would use it in any given situation? Maybe that is where I am, trying to justify being on both sides of the fence simultaneously.

    • The risk management theory to which you refer uses a multiplicative relationship between probability and severity. Guns are sort of like parachutes – if you need one and don’t have one, you’re likely to never need one again. That, for me, raises the severity end to its effective maximum. That alone indicates the need to take corrective action, in this case, carrying.

      • I like your analogy of the parachute. But consider…if I avoid aircraft, the need for a parachute is nil. If I avoid places where I would “need” a gun, is not the requirement for a gun nil? And on parachutes again, we all fly commercially as passengers, yet accept that we will never have a parachute in an emergency; the risk of an air disaster is not zero, but close to it.

        • “If I avoid places where I would “need” a gun, is not the requirement for a gun nil?”

          Sam, you’ve been hanging around TTAG for a few months.

          How many security cam videos have you seen here of innocuous-looking places that in short seconds turn into a world of shit?

          It’s the areas you don’t consider ‘sketchy’ that can turn real bad, real fast for you…

        • “How many security cam videos have you seen here of innocuous-looking places that in short seconds turn into a world of shit?”

          Yeah, you got a really good point. Probably convincing myself that I could always get away from the kinds of incidents you reference. And then, if I had a gun would I actually use it, or still try to get away?

    • I kinda agree with you that the odds of being mugged or worse are slim. But I would argue that it also depends on your locality. Compton, LA is a lot different than Honolulu, Hi. That said I carry all day every day. I sometimes wonder if it really is necessary until I read the news the next morning. A stabbing in an affluent area of town, a rape a nearby shopping mall, a robbery in the neighborhood adjacent to mine. I realize then how “big” 1% is.

      • Agree, location heavily influences the decision process. Which compounds my dilemma. I have no objection (like it would matter if I did) to people who are carrying in public, or planning to do so. It does seem that I am on an information treadmill, or maybe hamster wheel.

    • Sam I Am,

      Risk management: considering the probability of an event, the associated devastation of the event, and the ease/difficulty of mitigating measures. The more likely or devastating an event, and the easier the mitigating measures, the more you should prepare for it.

      We know that violent crime can be devastating (permanent disability or death) which pushes us to prepare. Does the probability of violent crime push us to prepare? Police agencies formally reported about 1.2 million violent crimes last year in the U.S. And the actual number of violent crimes is significantly higher since many victims refuse to contact police for various reasons. We will assume 2 million violent crimes in the U.S. this year for discussion and easy math … as well as a population of 320 million. Therefore, across the general population, one in 160 people will be victims of violent crime this year. Most people see that and figure it isn’t worth the “hassle” to be armed.

      And if your lifespan were only one year, I would agree. Of course your lifespan is about 76 years on average … and you would be realistically eligible to be armed in public for at least 50 of those 76 years. What are your general odds, therefore, of being the victim of a violent crime during those 50 years? About 1 in 3!!!!!! In my mind, if there is a one-in-three chance that some calamity will occur to me, I definitely want “insurance” of some sort to mitigate the long term negative outcome. In this case that “insurance” is having a self-defense firearm.

      Of course those odds reflect the general population and “wise” lifestyle choices will decrease the odds that you are the victim of a violent crime. Perhaps violent crime only happens to one in 30 “wise” people. Even at those odds, when the outcome could include permanent injury or death, I still want “insurance”.

      The last question to consider is how “easy” it is to carry a self-defense handgun. In most states, it costs about $100 for a concealed carry license, $200 (and at least one full day) for training, and at least $400 for a handgun and holster … and you can realistically get a concealed carry license just about everywhere except Hawaii, coastal California, New Jersey, Maryland, the New York City metro area, and Boston. Once you have a license, handgun, and holster, carrying it is nothing more than just that, carrying it.

      So, the probability of being the victim of violent crime during your adult lifetime is significant. And the outcome of violent crime is significant. Are you willing to invest one day for training and pony up $700 to carry your “insurance”? I sure hope so.

      • I understand your reasoning; don’t even dispute it. The issue is the consequence of choosing wrong; wrong gun, wrong ammunition, wrong legal back-up, wrong target, wrong training, wrong type of carry, ad nauseam. And maybe, just maybe, I want science/math to be the deciding factor, rather than acquiring and carrying a gun simply because I want to.

        • Sam I Am,

          Science and Math tell you loud and clear that you should carry some type of handgun as you go through your day.

          As for all the possible wrong choices:

          — wrong gun
          … You are likely to prevail over 90% of violent attacks with ANY handgun. Therefore you basically cannot possibly choose a “wrong” gun.

          — wrong ammunition
          … You can almost never go wrong with any major brand of hollowpoint ammunition that expands reliably. If in doubt, start with the Hornady Critical Defense line.

          — wrong legal back-up
          … others on this forum can direct you to excellent legal/liability insurance

          — wrong target
          … Only use deadly force against an attacker who presents a credible, imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death and you will never be projecting deadly force at a wrong target.

          wrong training
          … Meh, using a firearm, especially revolvers, is exceedingly simple. If you can point a pretend “gun” with your fingers at someone accurately (everyone can), then you can aim a handgun well enough for self-defense at common engagement distances (about five feet). Once you have aimed, all you have to do is pull the trigger and repeat as necessary until your attacker is no longer an imminent threat to your life. What I just described doesn’t require any training at all. Therefore, all training from reputable instructors/organizations is beneficial or at least not harmful.

          — wrong type of carry
          … There is no way to predict what will be the “right” carry method for you. You can start with what seems to work for most people and try something else if you don’t like it. Neither Math nor Science can help you in this regard.

          Disclaimer: I am very knowledgeable on these matters and extremely confident in my opinions. Having said that I must remind you that I am not an attorney and the previous is not legal advice. I recommend that you spend 15 minutes with a good attorney in your jurisdiction to review these and related matters/questions.

        • Thanks for the analysis. I guess the really big “wrong” I worry about is somehow hitting a bystander. Can’t remember anyone on this blog (or some of the others) reporting a private citizen using a gun in defense who also managed to injure or kill a bystander (not so much for cops), but the possibility nags at me.

          In my area, open or concealed carry are legal carry options. The “wrong” option seems to be the best – open carry. Since we don’t have known gang activity, and no open carrier has been relieved of a gun, the worry is probably silly. Open carry has speed of deployment advantage, but concealed carry doesn’t “frighten the horses”.

          Considerations, considerations, considerations.

    • “Am I spending a lot of time and energy analyzing law and guns for no real purpose?”

      I have noticed your indecision over the past few months.

      It’s a very simple calculus. Imagine how you will feel if it comes to pass you need one, and don’t have one with you…

      • I like your answer better Geoff, all this “risk management analysis ” seems to be an attempt at putting a numeric value on your life – and I’m not fantastic at math.
        I try to stress to new gun owners that a gun is not a magical talisman that wards off evil, it is the tool you use to banish evil yourself in the event you encounter it. But since this is an emotional consideration rather than a cold calculation, ask yourself this: would I feel better having a gun with me that goes home fully loaded and unused every day? If having it with you would simply make you feel better (and to hell with how it makes anyone else feel) then carry it and walk with a bit more confidence and less worry.
        In that way, I suppose we could say that gun is no less of a talisman than a good luck charm: I know I feel better having mine than when I dont.

        • Truth is, I am trying to make a perfect decision. One I won’t have to be embarrassed to admit. It is a terrible thing to do nothing for fear of somehow doing wrong.

        • Sam I Am,

          Perfect planning and outcomes virtually never happen on the first attempt. Rather, excellent outcomes are the result of careful planning followed with corrections for the unknown/unforeseen deficits in that careful planning.

          Consider mechanical/structural engineers who have rigorous academic and professional standards. They carefully designed the Tacoma Narrows bridge which was perfect according to the state of the art at that time. Unfortunately, mechanical and structural engineers at that time had not yet discovered aeroelastic flutter and the bridge collapsed on a windy day. Fortunately, designers learned from that mistake and design bridges that have no trouble surviving high winds.

          So it will be with you. Acquire what you think is best based on the information at hand and careful planning. Then be ready to learn as you go and adapt/change accordingly.

        • Thanks for the reference to “Galloping Gertie”. We discussed it in aerodynamics classes.

          I guess you nailed it; I want to “come out of the gate” with the correct solution. Cost is non-trivial consideration, so mid-course corrections may not be affordable. Meanwhile, I enjoy learning from this and other “gun sites”.

      • “It’s a very simple calculus. Imagine how you will feel if it comes to pass you need one, and don’t have one with you…”

        I do ask that question, often. Then there is the question, “If only I had taken the bus, would I have been involved in that traffic incident that happened when I was driving my private auto?”

        Fear of making bad decisions is generating a bad decision.

    • Up until September 10th, 2001 I went through my entire life never giving a thought to the possibility that someone would fly an airplane into my place of work. The next day someone did. It’s called a black swan event.

      I carry a gun because I don’t expect to use it. If I expected the need to use it I wouldn’t go there.

      • All the places you wouldn’t go, just get bigger if you don’t go there.

        Look at NK, it all started out as a pimple on China’s a _ _ .

      • “I carry a gun because I don’t expect to use it. If I expected the need to use it I wouldn’t go there.”

        Interesting conundrum. You state it nicely.

        • Being a victim of a violent crime and being around when the earth is hit by a big space rock are both black swann events. I can do nothing about the space rock but I can even up the odds with a gun against a violent criminal. Since you cannot predict when and if a black swann arrives both carrying and not carrying are both rational acts. However, if that black swann shows up you will be in better shape if you are armed. There is no cunundrum.

        • Understand your reasoning about the “black swan”. It is the phraseology you used.

          You noted you carry because you don’t expect to be required to defend yourself, meaning you likely do not need to carry. Then you note if you needed to carry, you wouldn’t go where your gun would likely be needed. Meaning you don’t need to carry, because you avoid the likelihood you would need to defend. I thought that was ironic.

        • I din’t think you quite get what I am gettin at. You cannot predict the arrival of a black swann event. That’s why I say I don’t expect to have to use it anymore than I expect to get hit by a space rock. The marginal cost of carrying a gun is effectively zero since I would own guns anyway. If I am unfortunate enough to encounter a life altering threat I will be prepared.

        • Oh yes, I understood your meaning, It was the way you phrased it that was attention-getting.


    • Sam I Am,

      I congratulate you on recognizing your “analysis paralysis” with respect to choosing a self-defense handgun for everyday carry. Perhaps these few pearls of wisdom will help:

      (1) There is no such thing as a perfect firearm. Every platform or caliber will have advantages and disadvantages.
      (2) Quite literally ANY gun is far better than no gun if a predator attacks you.
      (3) Merely drawing and aiming, without having to pull the trigger, will send about 90% of violent attackers running for the hills. And of the remaining 10% who don’t immediately retreat, about half of them will immediately retreat once you start pulling the trigger and your gun goes Bang! Therefore, even “small” and “underpowered” handguns are incredibly useful and should enable you to prevail over something like 95% of violent attacks.
      (4) It is next to impossible on the first try to acquire a handgun and holster combination that works for you. Expect to try two or three different holster/carry methods and possibly even two or three different handguns. (Pro tip: you can keep the handguns that “did not work” as emergency spares or sell them!)
      (5) Consider two handgun/holster combinations: one “small” combination where discretion/concealment is a must and one “large” combination for hiking or where concealment isn’t important.

      If you are stuck because you think you need a large, bulky, heavy, expensive firearm for effective self-defense and cannot see how you could successfully conceal it (or you anticipate a huge level of discomfort and cannot bring yourself to take that on), then go with a small and light handgun and know that you will probably be well-served in at least 90% of violent attacks. As I stated in number (2), ANY gun is better than no gun.

      • Thanks for providing considerate suggestions. Sometimes, I think I need to just suck it up and carry a S&W Bone Crusher (.500), somehow.

        • If I remember the thread correctly you said that open carry is legal for you. If so the solution is dreadfully simple, strap that shootin’ iron to your hip and don’t give two shots about scaring the horses.

        • Yes, open carry is legal/permitted/allowed (how bad is it to say that?). Don’t see that, except in the woods or farms.

          Read the article on the RIA 1911 that shoots ,22 and 9mm. Liken a starter gun, and advanced weapon rolled into one. Beginning internet research. Might solve my dilemma.

    • Sam is actually right. In America, risk of violence is very much determined by proximity to minority neighborhoods and government subsidized housing. If you happen to live far from those areas your risk of ever experiencing violent crime is extremely low. There is a reason why affluent neighborhoods in large white majority northern states are so anti-gun. The stats about gun accidents vs needing a gun to defend yourself in those places make owning a gun actually the riskier proposition. Perversely not having a gun to defend yourself in South Chicago seems suicidal. Gun violence is about people not guns.

      • CLarson,

        In America, risk of violence is very much determined by proximity to minority neighborhoods and government subsidized housing. If you happen to live far from those areas your risk of ever experiencing violent crime is extremely low.

        Please note that fedzilla is purposely moving away from inner-city centralized subsidized housing in favor of spreading those subsidized housing benefactors among the suburbs (via rent vouchers or something along those lines). To the extent that subsidized housing recipients are violent criminals, they are coming to a neighborhood near you.

        I would also suggest that a fair amount of crime happens in rural locations. Criminals who live in those locations (or who can afford to drive to those locations) are thrilled with the fact that LONG police response times and no witnesses are a certainty.

        • I don’t disagree with you. I was speaking about risk in general terms. It is disgusting that the government has this retarded notion that the secret to middle class success is to force diversity into invariably white middle class neighborhoods. If we can’t stop it maybe Trump should propose expanding the moving tax deduction to also apply if government destroys your neighborhood and school.

      • I think you have struck at the heart of my indecision. I find guns interesting and fun. But my location is so different from the large cities (run by Demoncrats?), that I actually understand people who believe guns are more risky than no guns. Fortunately my compatriots do not have anti-gun fever. Maybe I need to be considering buying a gun just for the fun of it, rather than as a defensive measure. Maybe taking the whole carry question should not be on the plate at this time. I have been looking at justifying a gun by reason of “need” for protection, and sport as a side benefit. Maybe the equation is backward.

        • I agree with this sentiment. I recommend that bone crusher you mentioned earlier.
          Mine is one of my favorites.

    • Spreading the risk is certainly the logical response if you are interested only in the collective. I like the collective just fine, but I’m mainly interested in the individual. If the murder rate in Denver is 7.3/100,000, and if I further surmise that as a middle aged white man who doesn’t go stupid places my odds are more like 1/100,000, and a gu n and holster, am munition, and training can be had for 600.00, then to fully arm my demographic would cost $600,000,000 per murder prevented. From a collectivist point of view, that’s insane.

      But to save MY life, or that of a loved one? Sounds cheap.

      Plus, shall not be infringed and all that.

    • If you’re this conflicted about whether or not to buy a gun, what kind of gun, whether you really need it, whether you are safer with or without it, etc. ad nauseum, then I’m pretty sure that if you are ever in a situation where you have to use it, you will choke on your own indecision and become a victim instead.

      So buy some pepper spray and/or a Taser and hope for the best.

    • So I read your post this morning but didn’t reply due to time constraints placed on me today which gave me some time to chew on your post and, later on, some of the replies.

      It strikes me that there really is no “perfect” handgun. As people note here quite frequently there really isn’t a handgun round that’s realistic for EDC and has “one shot stop” capability. Instead it’s about placement of the rounds you fire.

      With that in mind I’ll give you my go-to set of questions for when people ask me “What gun should I buy?” and then address the “Should I get a gun?” question.

      1) What is the purpose of this firearm? Do you just want to punch paper or is it for carry? If carry, what’s the realistic target should you ever come across one? Person? Bear? Coyote?

      2) Does the gun fit you? As you note in your discussion of a revolver, some guns just don’t fit your hand. Find one that does. Like putting on a pair of gloves that fit; you’ll know when you’ve found it.

      3) Can you shoot the gun for your intended purposes? If not, practice. You don’t need crazy tactical operator courses but if you can’t shoot a decent pattern at 10 yards with this gun then it’s probably not for you.

      4) Is ammo actually available for this thing and does it do what you want it to do for your intended purpose? Sure a Five seveN or a Star B in 9mm Largo is a cool gun but can you get ammo for it on a regular basis and at a price you can afford? Similarly there’s no point IMHO, in buying a pop gun because you’ve got a methhead problem.

      5) Are you really willing to carry this thing? By willing I mean: Are you going to bitch that it’s too big/heavy/thick/whatever and leave it at home? Lot’s of people opt for small guns for comfort, personally I think that’s silly but it’s a free country and it’s their money.

      So, then there’s the question specific to you Sam: Should you bother buying a gun?

      Well that depends. Do you want a gun? If so then based on your posts here I’d suggest you start with something small, cheap and reliable. The kind of thing you can put on your hip when camping for pests or whatever. Nothing that’s going to break the bank but something that 1) is a real gun and 2) gets you used to the idea of carrying a gun. Since you mention you like the Luger, something like a Ruger MKII or MKIII comes to mind since they have the same grip angle. Those little semi-auto .22’s are great little trail pistols and will work for everything from plinking to target shooting to, in a pinch, self defense.

      Once you own a gun/have borrowed one for a prolonged time period and have carried it a bit on the weekends or whatever you’ll note what you like and what you don’t like about that gun, holster etc etc. At that point you have actual data on YOUR preferences rather than someone else’s preferences and limitation (such as how you can carry based on your body style) and that’s where you can start making decisions based on simply putting a few mags through another person’s pistol. You’ll also have an idea on what compromises you might make for CCW or if you want to OC.

      The whole thing is intensely personal and you really can’t just take other people’s advice. Beg, borrow or buy a fairly cheap gun, familiarize yourself with it for safe handling and then start carrying it around with you. You can start just sitting around the house with it in your holster if you want. This way you’re getting the information you need and, in the unlikely event that you decide you really don’t like owning a gun, you can sell it and at most you’ll be out a few hundred bucks.

      Either way you’ll start getting a lot of data on what works for you and how to answer those questions above.

      Hey, worst case, it’s cheaper than buying a motorcycle only to find out that riding on a road scares the shit out of you and you don’t want to do this anymore! (I know people who have done that.)

      • Really good stuff !

        The “will you use it” question is at the heart of my wishy washy situation. Based on a reply this morning, I considered that my interest is more in making a statement in support of universal gun rights (bad phrase, I know); doing so because I can.

        Funny you should mention the Rugers. Have been reading about them being either a copy of the German Luger, or the Japanese Nambu. The Rugers do appear similar in appearance to the Luger, and .22 is something I have not considered much. When I saw the latest offering, I really wanted to get one. The price, however, for a .22 was a bit much when I can get 9mm for the same price. The idea of getting the cheapest .22 is good. I can get “pretty” when I settle on something permanent.

        Think I have been trying to resolve this by beginning at the end, where I should begin at the beginning. Maybe I am more comfortable shooting for fun and sport, leaving self-defense as a last resort. Perhaps things will change.

        • The genesis of the Ruger Standard, which became the MKII/III/IV is indeed the Nambu. They can be pricey but you can also often find a gently used one much cheaper if you shop around and are patient. Gun store consignment sales, online sales, gun shows etc. are all places worth checking out.

          Of course those all provide deals on larger calibers and there’s nothing wrong with starting out with a 9 (just don’t get one of those ultra deadly .9’s). There’s about eleventy billion 9mm pistols out there so it’s likely you can find something that you like.

          If you enjoy punching paper or ringing steel that’s exactly where I would start, it’s where most people start. Realistically unless you get into competitions that’s probably all you’ll ever do.

          Yeah, I carry a gun daily for personal defense but then I lived in a really shitty neighborhood that impressed such a concept on me and it doesn’t really wear off. It’s not a “I wish a motherfucker would” type of thing, in fact I seriously hope a motherfucker won’t. However, I’m also well aware that bad guys also look for nice places because nice places have things worth stealing and often have people unprepared to deal with bad guys.

          I’m not interested in ending up like a friend of mine did: tied up in his own bathtub with some guys debating if they should off him or not.

          Good luck in your quest.

        • “(just don’t get one of those ultra deadly .9’s)”

          Definitely not. Don’t think I could handle the recoil when the bullet jumps to light speed in the barrel of the pistol.

    • When asking myself the sane questions, what i kept coming back to was these two:
      I love my family infinitely more than Trump and Clinton. If I’m paying for armed security for politicians, why wouldn’t I provide protection for my family?
      Also, why shouldn’t I carry? I grew up with firearms, enjoy shooting, have immense respect for firearms and safety, and cost is not a huge factor.

      • “If I’m paying for armed security for politicians, why wouldn’t I provide protection for my family?”

        Really good question. Haven’t seen the pro-gun issue phrased that way before. Yes, if we are paying for armed security for politicians, why should we not pay ourselves to be armed protection, as well?

  4. In places you can carry or not:

    1) Most crime happens between people who know each other. Don’t hang with scumbags or do business with them, and your odds of encountering crime go way down.

    2) Don’t go stupid places. If you are going someplace new, look at schedules for businesses, public transportation, etc. If most of the city is hopping 24-7, but that area closes at 9, there’s a reason, and at best it’s because the 9-5ers went home and the place is shut off. If it looks like a hell hole, it’s probably a hell hole. Want to do hell hole things? No? don’t go there. Don’t go places you don’t know without other people around because…

    3) Don’t sit around in condition white while fumbling with valuables. Put your head on a swivel, pay attention, and make eye contact with a lot of people. You’ll look like way more work than the next guy over wearing $100 headphones and playing with their $800 phone while oblivious to the world around them.

    Also the top two things you can do to vastly alter the odds of being the victim of a violent crime no matter where you live, or how well you are armed.

    1) Don’t be in a gang.
    2) Don’t screw around on your spouse or screw someone else’s spouse.

    Avoid those and you just exited the demographics covering about 50% of violent crimes.

    • Of course. There risks to everything but safe people minimize them. And carrying a gun all the time is just paranoia for the average person for all the reasons you give.

      • Think so? Maybe you should take a refresher course in Psychoanalysis before charging anybody. I don’t consider myself paranoid, hell I haven’t locked the doors to my house in over 20 years. But I carry full-time, including home carry, and I can usually get my hands on 2 different guns within seconds. Because, when you already own and like guns, carrying one costs next to nothing, why not? And crime statistics go down because lots of people are armed, either due to thugs realizing that, or being shot.

  5. Two words: “situational awareness”

    Use you nogin and don’t go where you Spidey senses says it’s.not comfortable.

    And a slight annoyed/aggressive face helps put off people.

  6. Well, in many cases, we aren’t. Many californians have given up trying to fall the Labyrinthine and contradictory gun laws of our fine state.

    Sadly, many of us have become criminals by the stroke of our governors pen.

    No, NOT ME! I live in a county where getting a gun permit is not ridiculously impossible, though I’ve got quite a few friends and their options are far more limited.

  7. Growing up in LA in the ’80’s, I know the feeling. But first of all, the junkie shooting up on the sidewalk or the homeless dude picking his toes aren’t often threats- they have their minds (such as they are) elsewhere. Its the predators that you have to worry about, and fortunately they are few. Still, you’re never really unarmed, even if you don’t have a gun. You’ve still got your wits, your fists, and your feet. You might have an improvised weapon or even an actual non-gun weapon like a knife. You make do with what you have.

  8. Generally it doesn’t bother me (Other than that time I took a wrong turn and ended up in Camdwn, NJ. That wasn’t fun.).

    IMHO, your best tool and your best weapon is between your ears. Use it appropriately and most of the time you’ll be fine.

    That said, if you can’t take a gun, have a knife or three. If you can’t take a knife either look at what you can take that won’t get you arrested and which you could use as an improvised weapon if need be.

    The whole “keep your head on a swivel” thing is truly useful. Generally if you avoid stupid people and places you shouldn’t have a problem but criminals can be anywhere. Usually they prefer their victims to be caught by surprise, so make a point of paying attention and you’ll often dissuade them from attempting anything against you because 10 yards behind you the hipster with his nose in his iPhone is an easier mark.

    Something to remember though: Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose. All you can really do is stack the odds in your favor as best you can.

    • Camden, NJ. was a nightmare shithole in the late 70’s, when I last visited, to hunt down a radio part at their RCA corporate store.

      I doubt its improved, much…


      • Camden, NJ is still a hell hole, even with the waterfront development and concerts. New Jersey’s strict, Draconian gun laws have done nothing to mitigate crime in Camden, Trenton, and Newark.

  9. I stayed 3 days in a very nice residence hotel in the business district of Frisco (SF to you purists), back in 1993. In the mornings I walked around the block, had breakfast in a nice little cafe, and read a paper. One thing that really stood out to me: EVERY door, and every first-floor window of the buildings on that block had “burglar bars” – steel window and door guards intended to keep out the criminals. Later in the day,the same block was full of bums and other sketchy types. My first impression of that city was that the honest people lived behind bars while the criminals walked free, and ruled the streets. Welcome to the liberal Mecca of the People’s Republic of California. I am sure it is far worse after 25 years of continuing socialist rule.

    Even though I lived in the rural NE corner of the state (Lassen and Modoc counties), I thanked God when I retired and escaped the PRCa in 2004. When I drove across the Snake River into Idaho, I started singing “free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we’s free at last.”

    And if this comment offends any residents of Frisco – good.

  10. Because I know how to fight and I can recognize a bad guy. If you don’t have those skills, stay in your gated community, if you’re inclined to be a fearful person.

  11. When I really cant be strapped with my gat I will atleast have pepper spray, a knife, and a bright flash light. Frankly if you are in California 90% of the people carrying guns dont have a permit and they are the ones that want to hurt you.

  12. I don’t visit places I cannot carry, if I were forced to, I would stay extra vigilant and always carry my Cane Masters self defense cane. The ADA prohibits _any_ restrictions on a person carrying a medical device – including carrying it aboard an aircraft – so get one and carry it! Canes can be very effective protection but they are a PITA generally….. unless you have an actual physical need for one.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA

    • Interesting. Is a prescription required to carry it on board an aircraft? Couldnt they just take it away from you and give you a different cane, that is less capable of wacking someone over the head effectively?

      • No. But avoid really aggressive looking canes. Canemasters makes very nice canes, but make sure you get one with a rounded end on the handle, rather than the ones that have a sharpened end with heavy knurled sections. Makes sure it just looks like a well made hickory cane and not a weapon doubling as a cane or TSA is definitely going to hassle you. It will also help if you have a legit excuse if questioned. E.g., injured knee, hip, back, etc.

  13. I follow the rule of avoiding stupid people, places, things, times etc. I live in the California county most likely to issue a carry permit, but I just don’t feel inclined to do so. Carrying a gun everywhere is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of forethought and planning, not to mention the potential discomfort of carrying yet one more thing on my person. I’ve simply yet to feel unsafe enough during my day to day to justify the extra hassle of carrying a gun everywhere.

    I’m not knocking people who choose to responsibly carry a firearm, I just personally choose not to. A vast majority of all violent crime is criminal on criminal and I don’t knowingly consort with criminals. Yes, something could happen in spite of my best efforts, but I could also die of anuerism right this moment.

  14. Be aware of your surroundings. No earbuds, no phones, no gawking at the pretty lights and tall buildings or tumble-weaves. Do not get stopped for any reason. Do not get pressed into a corner or wall. Own your personal space.

    Stay out of cities.

  15. RF, haven’t you heard? None of the criminals in California have guns due to enlightened common sense gun control regulations. It’s the safest place in the world. You and your family have nothing to fear.

    Nothing at all…

  16. Knife laws are pretty generous in CA. Last year I went out there to visit family and I swung by the Berkeley REI and bought the biggest folder they had, CRKT Hootenanny, which I stashed in my pocket right after checking out. We got the heck out of SF as soon as we could.

  17. If a sidearm is an impossibility, I carry a good spring-assisted folding knife. It that isn’t possible, I don’t go to that location unless it’s briefly while in transit to elsewhere.

    The only area I frequent where I can’t carry is southern Illinois, and having a shotgun in a case behind the seat of my truck is perfectly acceptable even there. Given as I stick to rural areas, a pocketknife and a shotgun or rifle a minute away is acceptable, if not exactly ideal. If I need to work in IL, I’ll take the time and expense to get an Illinois non-resident CHL.

  18. In the mid-1990’s I worked as a bouncer in a bar near the Cabrini Green projects in Chicago. Despite the illegality, I carried a full size EAA Witness .45 tucked in the small of my back with an untucked shirt when walking to and from work. No way in Hell I was going to walk around unarmed at 3 AM on those streets. If something happened, at least I might come out alive, and deal with the legal consequences later.

    I suspect a lot of people in this situation operate in the same manner.

  19. I stay out of urban areas unless absolutely necessary. I live in a quasi-rural village, it’s safe here. I still carry most of the time anyway, because you never know. But to willingly go into some progressive city with dangerous gun laws like San Francisco? No way.

    • Quote: ” it’s safe here”

      Good luck with that.
      FYI: Charles Starkweather, Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickock, Derrick Ryan Dearman, Jacob Cole Kosky, etc. ad infinitum

  20. The cost benefit analysis I have to make living in NYC is this: What is the probability that I will be attacked and be severely injured on the street or subway vs. the probability that an illegally carried gun will be found by police during their frequent subway “random checks”, thereby getting me a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in Rikers Island where my probability of getting severely assaulted by the innates and staff is close to 1. The second is more likely.
    Me: Why do I need the police again?
    LEO: To protect you.
    Me: Cant I just carry my gun?
    LEO: No, we will shoot and/or arrest you.
    Me: ok
    LEO: Care to donate to the policemans ball?
    Me: Why?
    LEO: so I can continue to protect you silly-vilian.

    Never mind ignoring the second amendment entirely, random searches and frisking is 100% A-OK and legal here. No probable cause required. Zero.

    • On a long enough timeline, I estimate the likelihood of both scenarios to be 100%. The question then is this: which one do you believe would happen first? It’s the old “rock and a hard place.” I’d be planning my escape, personally. There’s a great documentary about it with Kurt Russell.

  21. I’m not to sure what the commenters mean when they set the risk of a confrontation at 1%. Is that 1% per year? If so is that 40% over a 40 year period? That doesn’t seem negligible to me.

    • Risk we are talking about is not cumulative. Once a time unit passes, the risk level for that unit also passes. If I have a 1% risk of being run over at a traffic intersection, that does not mean I have a 2% risk at the next intersection. Cumulative risk would be: walking down the street unarmed; walking down a dark alley unarmed; walking down a dark alley where I can see people holding chains and clubs, blocking my way.

      • You are making a common mistake. If the probability of an event is independent than the probability of the event in time T1 is p. The cummulative probability that you will be a victim after 2T is 1 – (1-p) × (1-p), that is the 1 minus the probability that you are not a victim after two time periods. For NT the cummulative probability that you will be a victim is 1 – (1-p) x (1-p) × … × (1-p) or 1 – (1-p)^n.

        • Based on those calculations, the incidence of being attacked approaches 100%, but the reported events do not bear that out. Someone noted that the likelihood of being attacked (accumulating the 1% risk) is 40%. Yet that is not borne out either.

          If one compiles the risk factor for a single operation type (crossing street intersections) across an actuarial lifespan (75yrs), the logical result is that it is only a matter of time before you are hit by a car; which is not the case. Walking 100 feet from my front door does not increase my risk of being run over any more than the same risk applies if I only walk 50 feet from my front door. The risk of being attacked inside my house has no bearing on the risk of walking outside, but there remains a risk, nonetheless. I would concede that if there is a gang fight at the 75 foot point outside my front door, the closer I approach that event, the risk of injury does increase with each step forward.

        • If you life 100+ years maybe. If you aren’t a criminal or live among them your chances of being a victim of violent crime is quite low. My community has had one murder this century, and only a handful of non lethal violent crime. That is true for a high proportion. Of the population.

  22. How do I (CA resident but in a virtual shall-carry county) get by without a CCW?

    * I avoid stupid tricks in stupid places with stupid people … mostly!

    * I believe I am more likely to be busted for violating the incredible variety of stupid carry rules than to be in a place where I need the carry weapon. YMMV

    * CA has so much registration going on that I do not want to be on their radar via yet another piece of paper.

    * I sometimes carry a small wad of singles for the sole purpose of tossing in their air as a decoy. I have not used it yet. It’s not useful against someone who wants to cause mayhem, but it ought to do the trick most of the time.

  23. I have been in every bad neighborhood in Chicago. Unarmed too. And I’ve been attacked. Frankly I thought I was a big strong badazz. Now I’m old and I’m NEVER completely unarmed. Knife,pepper blaster,axe in the car or gun. It struck me watching the local Chiraq news how many crimes(and MURDERS)are occurring in ” it’s never happened here” locales. Gold Coast,Near North and NW Side…there is NO safe-space!

  24. I’m not aware of anyplace around me sans the post office where it’s illegal to carry. I may or may not do so anyway. What people don’t know won’t hurt them. Places like courthouses have everyone being screened, as well as the amusement park I occasionally go to. I break company policies daily, but those won’t get me arrested. If you’re smart about what you’re doing, you won’t have any problems until there’s an actual problem that needs addressing.

  25. I have had a carry permit for over 40 years and rarely carry. I don’t know, I have been all over the world unarmed 90% of the time and never needed a gun. I guess people that refuse to go places that don’t allow one to carry never travel abroad because there are few countries that allow foreigners to carry these days. Many years ago South Africa did allow foreigners to carry but I have no idea if that is true now. I sort of doubt it.

    Anyway I am happy that I don’t live in absolute fear of the world as some seem to.

    • Haha, amen. I love rural upstate NY. Gun laws could be better, nowhere near as bad as NYC, but it’s a beautiful place to live otherwise.

  26. I lived in NYC for 35 years. My late ex-wife did not carry because she was not allowed to under NYC law. She was raped once while we were still dating and robbed at knife point in our building after we were married.

    I’ll never be unarmed.

  27. First and foremost, I try to never go to locations where I cannot be armed.

    Having said that, I was unarmed on a recent four day trip. I stuck to “nice” areas. I stayed inside between the overnight hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. I was exceptionally aware of my surroundings and mentally ready to extricate myself at any moment. I had no alternative weapons.

    If I go on such a trip again, I will take a walking cane with me. They are a formidable self-defense weapon … as long as your attacker does not have a firearm.

  28. No metal detectors & searches & visible armed guards = no gun free zone. If you can’t guarantee that the bad guys don’t have theirs, then I’ll have mine.

    • He wasn’t referring to people. The famous strip of Victorian houses on the Hayes Street hill, often photographed (Google it) are known locally as The Painted Ladies, but the term is more generically applied to the various fancy paint jobs with three or more color paints in the various fancy (original =) trims often found on Victorian houses there.

  29. There is only one gun law in this country, the 2nd Amendment. All else is bureaucratic nonsense that I choose to comply with or not at my discretion…

  30. Thinking like a Progressive (that I used to be), I pretty much agree with RF — they’re called “no-go zones”. And if you’re still in one of those places, staying off of Condition White usually detracts the baddies from even starting something. Lastly, hope that the place has enough with decent people that should you ever need help they won’t just break out their cellphones and start recording…

  31. Ever notice now these ‘progressive’ utopias are open-air sewers?

    Even as far back as the late 80’s, places like SF, Oakland and Berkeley were literally open-air sewers. You could smell urine everywhere in these cities. Berkeley was the worst urban area I’ve ever been in for bums, panhandlers, etc.

    But the last time I was in SF about eight years ago? Oh, my, the stench…

    • I am so grateful to you for all your comments on firearms. I’ve told Mr. Farago they’re worth more than all the other comments by all the other readers all put together.
      Except mine, of course.
      As to S.F.: It’s my hometown, so I’ll ‘splain you. There’s no excuse for failing to fix the sewer smell, but the issue isn’t as simple as it seems to be. S.F. had about three people in 1848. Then, it exploded with the gold rush in 1849, and things were so chaotic with greed fever, hundreds of ships that brought the fortuneseekers were sunk in along the shoreline, by Battery Street, and then filled in with dirt to form land.
      And the sewers were…decades later…routed through that unstable land, and then through bedrock farther uphill. And that’s the area where the sewer stench is the worst: Chinatown and the Financial District.
      Now, those sewers are closing in on their two-hundredth birthday. And they run under skyscrapers that are worth billions of dollars, and streets that carry hundreds of thousands of vehicles and which create jobs for many of their drivers. So that’s the reason why we don’t do what we really know we should do. The billions of dollars it would take to redo the sewers would only be a part of the cost that people would have to pay.
      It didn’t help that S.F. govt. was completely corrupted by thieving big businessmen for the next sixty years after it became a city in the gold rush, but it was. They stole almost every penny of our tax dollars instead of, among other things, building the sewers the way the said they would, then they even cleaned out the city vault of all its cash and gold. (We only found out when the vault was exposed by the great quake of 1906.)
      And that’s the reason why we created the Civil Service and began to check up on everybody. Let’s all remember the stench of those sewers every time some bought-off talking head tells us that things are great when we “get the government of the backs of the honest businessman”.

      • I’m not referring to your actual sewers. I’m referring to your shuffling mobs of bums using alleys, deep doorways, industrial parking lots, etc, etc as their restrooms.

        SF is a beautiful city – I’ve enjoyed visiting many times. But the idiocy of your politicians with respect to the homeless and bums… it gets old, fast. It’s true in SF, it’s true in Santa Cruz, it’s true in Berkeley, Oakland, LA, Santa Monica, you name it.

        One of the reasons why I prefer living in places where we get Real Winter[tm], where it gets down to -20F at nights for a couple weeks in the winter is that this clears out the bums. As long as we can keep the idiotic “Christian” women from dispensing their charity and sympathy, we can keep bums and panhandlers down to a few that come through in the summer.

        • Well, here are a few things that might surprise you.
          In the Summer of Love, the most famous Hippie wave, 1966, The Beatles came to S.F. to play their last concert. There were already Hippies in Swinging London, and The Beatles were some of ’em, and they couldn’t wait to see this Summer of Love, so they toured the Haight-Ashbury…and were revolted, and said so.
          George specifically said that in London, Hippies were very entreprenurial, and all had little shops, and galleries, and businesses, or were learning trades with an eye to making their own little separate society, but when they went into the Haight, they saw people nodding off in alleys, and sitting around stoned, and they all said that this wasn’t a Hippie place at all: It was a Bowery.
          Later that year, California elected Ronald Reagan, and he destroyed the State Dept. of Mental Health, and said that people would all take care of the mentally ill in their own communities.
          Well, the name of that community was Fantasyland.
          Suddenly, thousands of crazy people were dumped onto the street to suffer and die. But if you think I say things are that simple, just,wait. Eight years later, we elected Democrat Jerry Brown, and he and the Dems in the State Legislature and Senate did THE EXACT SAME THING, but made it much worse,and told us not to believe our own lying eyes, and that we should believe the same bullstuff.
          B.t.w., I didn’t read this on some website. My mom worked at Camarillo State Mental Hospital and gave me a play-by-play description of every destructive act as it happened. Camarillo, Napa…they’re almost all shut down.
          The old system was terrible sometimes, too, but not as bad as dumping crazy people into our communities. And it’s made us kind of miserable, too.
          I’m gonna say it again: Your comments on guns matter more to me, and help me get better, more than everything else on TTAG put together. There are lots of really good gunsmiths who are smart, but you have this knack for picking a topic that could be made clearer, and making the exact point that makes us smart. So please, for cryin’ out loud, don’t think that I don’t respect you just because I don’t just say, “YEAH !!!!” every time you make a comment. I do. I wouldn’t have spent one single second responding to anyone else’s comments in these matters. Just yours.

  32. “In fact, SF shelters (one way or another) some ten thousand homeless people.”

    If you want to remain astonished at that number, RF, I suggest you don’t look at the stats for your current hometown. I’ve seen numbers as high as 7000 for Austin, and a recent early-evening stroll around downtown gave me the impression that that number is pretty realistic.

    The Austin city council sees places like the open-air asylum of the Bay Area not as cautionary tales, but as models to emulate…

  33. Professional statisticians agree that crime statistics are the most unreliable statistics that exist. If we claim to understand the world of firearms and crime we have to remember that fact and get THE truth.
    San Francisco is my home town. For this reason, I happen to know that it doesn’t actually have the nation’s highest per capita property crime rate.
    Because so many people work and vacation there, the daytime population is close to 1.5 million people, but only 870,000 people are actual residents. Got it? So here’s the thing: Law enforcement takes the total number of crimes and divides it into the total number of actual residents, and gives us a really, really wrong statistic: almost twice as high as the actual number.
    Let’s all just force ourselves to learn a bit about the world every single day, especially by reading some publications that say things we don’t like sometimes, so we can be people who already understand things.
    When we do, we can keep from getting tricked by numbers and being afraid all the time. I can tell you one thing: When I was a younger San Franciscan, you were…this figure varies year by year… three, four, or five times more likely to get attacked with violence than you are now.
    Too bad that’s because Big Business exterminated all the working San Franciscans who weren’t rich…like me… and replaced them with yuppies and their slaves, but that’s a subject for another day…

    • Don’t take this personally, but I think your analysis is flawed, unless you’re claiming that half of the property crimes are perpetrated against tourists and commuters. I’ll wager that isn’t the case, and that the victims of such crimes are most likely to be local residents, leaving the per-capita statistic closer to reality than you think.

      • Yeah, and I know what most of it is: Auto burglary. Not so much auto theft, but breakins. They are concentrated in about 25% of The City, but you just see broken glass all over the sidewalks, esp. in touristy and commuter areas..which include our nightclub and concert neighborhoods. Car locks are also punched out, and thieves rifle through vehicles, esp. for car stereos, GPS units, laptops, smartphones, and guns they can steal. There are a lot of places in the U.S. where you’re more likely to be carjacked, or assaulted, or raped, or murdered, or to have someone break into your place, but S.F. is pretty much the world champ in auto breakins.
        I actually wrote a snippety reply to you, then I re-read your comment, and I saw your comment was actually polite, and reasonable, and didn’t deserve that kind of a response at all. What the hell are you doing in a COMMENTS section with your good manners and reasonable attitude, anyway? What are you, un- American?

  34. I was always unarmed before I started being armed.

    I prefer the latter but can deal with the former. Particularly when I avoid doing dumb things with dumb people at dumb times, etc.

  35. I’m surprised you’re afraid of homeless people. I think that’s kind of an irrational fear. Homeless people should be afraid, not us. Even when I was a little brat with my friends in Los Angeles perusing the subways there at night (we were not smart), I didn’t feel particularly threatened… just, sad for the state of America. I was kicked by a homeless person in Barthelona once, but to his defense I was on a walk of shame and looked kick-worthy. Likewise, I never felt unsafe in San Fran even on lone runs. Upstate NY is filled to the brim with drugs and homelessness but I’ve never witnessed any violence on the streets there. I’ve seen a homeless guy kill another homeless guy at a bus stop in my neighborhood here in Austin, but they seem not to randomly attack pedestrians. Sure, no one wants to become a statistic, but I would also say don’t worry so much about becoming a statistic and just live your damn life. All the stories I’ve heard about street theft and gun violence threats, running really fast in the opposite direction seems to work.

  36. I do my best to avoid areas that are known for violent inhabitants.

    The problem is, the violent inhabitants don’t always stay in “their area” and practice their craft in more secure areas.

    I may have near zero probability of encountering these miscreants but if it does happen there is significant probability of something bad happening. Sorta like a fire extinguisher, I prefer to be prepared if something bad happens.


  37. I carry a gun every day, not because I’m afraid of the world, but because like my home burning to the ground I can’t afford to replace it no matter how unlikely I am to have a house fire.I also carry auto insurance and wear my seat belt although the risk of an auto accident is larger than a fire. As far as living in a safe place reducing the risk of being a victim of violent crime, my father and step mother lived in a rural area and enjoyed a quiet life right up until the night they were murdered, March 9th, 2006. Yes, criminals can and do drive.I refuse to ever be a victim so I will continue to take precautions including carrying a gun.

    • “Sam I am.

      Troll for Bloomie.”

      Certainly glad you got your nano second of fame with that one. You must not read here much.

  38. For a brief period while in my Navy electronics school on Treasure Island we lived in the old converted military barracks behind the Cow Palace in Daly City. Not a neighborhood I would recommend to anyone. At the time I at least had my shotgun and .22 with me in Navy housing. That was back in 73′. We never had problems there, but I wouldn’t go back now without adequate arms to defend myself and family. The ruling dumbassocrats banned guns because they are scared to death of violent retribution by the citizens for their draconian policies! They pass what laws they want and the public be damned! A lot of hate there towards the ruling class polecats!

  39. How do you stay safe without a gun in Baghdad by the Bay? You put the phone down and be aware of what’s going on around you. You don’t go into places you can’t see an exit from. You don’t flash expensive electronics in the wrong places and if there’s a hot girl on the Muni, you damn sure avoid looking at her and pay attention to where the two compatriots of hers are that are going bum rush you for your wallet or iPad (learned this the hard way).

    Also understand that the SFPD has been neutered and can’t be relied upon. The average beat cops are ok, but the command structure is not going to let them be effective.

    Accept th fact that if you are lucky enough to have the people who steal from you arrested, they will be back out on the street within 72 hours because the DA, Sheriff, and Police Chief have all ageeed its “bad” to hold suspects in custody before trial. They will come back looking for their ill gotten gains from you (as they did to my neighbor).

    Accept the fact that at least once a month, crazy cyclists will shut down the streets and will attack your car if you come to close to them, despite the fact that they’re riding illegally. Work from home on that Friday.

    Becaus of my job, even if there was shall issue, I’d never be able to carry because of other restrictions.

    But yeah, to tourists, this place would look dangerous in some areas. Where the author was walking is some of the worst outside the Bayview. Weirdly, that stretch of bad has gotten smaller over the years. Its never going to be clean, but its not as bad or as long as it used to be.

  40. I really loved visiting my aunt in Berkeley and my Grandmother in S.F. Back in the 1970’s they were great places to spend time in. It always seemed like a great adventure for a teenage kid.

    But the progressive socialist who have gay sex with each other disarmed the civilian population. They were afraid they’d get shot some day. But don’t worry. You’ve got open marijuana intoxication. You got legal public sex acts on days the government gives you permission. You can walk around naked with city permission.

    The last gun store, High Bridge Arms, founded by a Chinese American Olympic shooter, Bob Chow, was forced to close, by the city government.

    You got a marijuana dispensary in it’s place, that gives out “free weed” to anyone who wants it. A libertarian utopia.

  41. Two nights ago at work in the Bronx I had someone stop their car in front of my truck, get out, and start a confrontation because I honked at them for cutting me off. He had his hand way down the front of his pants to indicate to me that he had a gun.

    So how do I do it, you ask?

    Well, the only smart answer is, “I don’t”.

  42. Not to mention the smell, parts of SF are an open air toilet with swarms of flies near every basement opening ot other spot that serves as a convenient relief station.

  43. My favorite San Fran Tenderloin District (which is where you passed through or near) experience were the signs advising residents not to let their dogs eat the human feces on the sidewalks because it might contain dangerous amounts of illegal drugs.

    Grimly humorous, though not so much when you consider a man who was the mayor of this disaster of a city now wants to be (and probably will be) governor of the largest state in the nation.

  44. The question is not “should I carry a gun ”
    Of course you should carry a gun
    The only question is “in what condition should I carry my gun”
    Do your statistical analysis on the risk of Accidental discharge versus the risk of an ambush type Attack
    I see more risk from handling my gun, so I carry empty chamber, full magazine, safety ( if present) set to fire
    The general consensus here on TTAG is to carry loaded chamber
    Like you, I see my likelihood of attack being extremely low but not zero
    So I carry daily and accept that I will be 2 seconds slower and need two hands to rack the slide
    I practice drawing, racking and firing at moving animal and human shaped targets a lot
    At least I have a gun with me all the time

    • “I practice drawing, racking and firing at moving animal and human shaped targets a lot”

      I presume you do this outdoors. Is it an established range with equipment for moving the targets, or in the open, and you have your own means of animating the targets? Have open land not too far, but the only established range is indoors. Any recommendations on the type of movement equipment needed?

    • “Empty” chamber? Man, that’s asking for trouble! What are you going to do if someone gets you from behind? You may barely be conscious enough to get a gun out of a holster, let alone racking a slide. How about if a bad dude grabs your arm and puts a knife to your throat? You gonna ask the dude if he minds relaxing his grip for a couple of seconds, while you rack your slide??
      There are a couple of alternatives if safety is your concern. You could get a double action simi auto like the Makarov, which will let you safely carry a round in the chamber, with the hammer down. There are other autos that are also double action, bust most are larger and heavier. Myself, I was carrying a small Sig 9 mm, 1911 style. I loved that little gun, but I just couldn’t bring myself to carry the gun with the hammer cocked on a loaded chamber. I’m a very senior citizen, probably a little to ancient to start training to carry a 1911 style piece with a round in the chamber.
      So, I purchased a Ruger SLRX wheel gun, with 3″+ barrel. I say +, because the barrel is really much longer if you counted the length of the cylinder. The SLRX will handle 38+P loads. This little revolver only weighs 15 oz.. I carry it with a full cylinder, and of course, the hammer down, but it is instantly ready to fire if the occasion ever rises.
      The only down side is that it only holds 5 rounds, but that’s what they make speed loaders for.

  45. Since in the Los Angeles area there have been attacks on disabled people, my wife requires me to carry. Carrying a registered handgun is only a misdemeanor, and the way I carry muddies the chances of conviction. (Is carried on a wheelchair being carried on the person, and is a wheelchair a vehicle or a residence.)

  46. I live in SF and carry bear spray….many a prospective mugger has crumpled in a heap before they could ply their trade.


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