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Sara T. armed pumpkin carving (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

It’s that creepy and frightening time of the year when children get to dress up in costumes and parents everywhere get to help their child choose a carve-worthy pumpkin. This Halloween was no different, aside from the fact that I’m always armed now and I have a few pictures to show it.Β It’s not like I was going to remove my gun to carve pumpkins. Why would I? That gun is a part of every outfit. Period.Β  Not even thinking, my husband snapped a few images (that are poor in quality, since he really doesn’t understand my super cool Android phone) and sent a few to some liberal relatives. Lo and behold . . .

the problem in these photos is that “Sara needs to have a gun to carve pumpkins?” Seriously. It’s not like I actually contemplated removing the gun for the pumpkin carving festivities, but it never crossed my mind that I’d need to defend myself from the pumpkins either. I just honestly always carry and I never thought twice about sharing a photo of myself carving pumpkins with my kids…until now.

Should I be concerned? Nope. I’m not breaking anyΒ laws, I’m not hurting anyone, and I’m perfectly comfortable with that gun on my hip. So as I sip my iced tea and stare at my almost-complete AR-15 (which is stunning, by the way) and type this up, I’m not even the least bit concerned with my decisions.

I am, however, at a loss for the “concern” from those who noticed the gun in the pics. They are well aware that I carry on a daily basis. Why the shock and awe? I could understand the questions if I send a picture of me having a glass of wine while armed. (But I don’t do that anyway. I never mix alcohol and guns. It’s just a rule of mine.)

In the end, we’ll all be judged. We will be judged by those who don’t own guns, or those who do, but disagree with our carry choices. I make good decisions regarding my children and myself especially with regards to my guns, so the criticism definitely didn’t sway me. I got a few good smiles out of it though.

Gun owners are just people. Only better prepared and more aware of their surroundings.

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  1. Sara needs a fire extinguisher to bake cookies?

    Sara needs a first aid kit to go to the playground?

    Of course not. But those precautions are not as visible because those kinds of emergencies give you some time to go fetch what’s required.


    • Great minds think alike.
      I was thinking “Sara needs a fire extinguisher to carve pumpkins? No, Sara knows it’s silly to get rid of the kitchen fire extinguisher to carve pumpkins.”.

    • Brings up an issue I thought about the other day while I was sitting in Jack in the Box having a (forbidden) cheeseburger:

      I’m right handed and I carry IWB at 3:00. My fingers were slick with french fry grease and a leaky burger. Question came to mind – how will this affect my draw and grip if I need to use my pistol?

      Your pumpkin-guts coated fingers in the photo reminded me of that. Any ideas? Anyone? Buehler?

      • Cliff,

        When carrying and eating finger food (I’m a righty), I’ve taught myself to eat left-handed to keep my gun hand as clear as possible. Ditto, when I’m carrying a coffee mug, it too goes in the left hand to keep my strong hand clear.

        Long days and pleasant nights!


        • Nah, you keep the coffee in the strong hand and pitch it at the bad guy to give you extra time to draw and aim. Nothing communicats that “oh crap I screwed up” feeling like a face full of hot coffee.

      • “O2, do you carry when diving, too? What do you recommend for that?”

        Bangsticks work well, as do Glocks with the Maritime firing pin cups and ball ammo with sealed primers.

        There is a bigger question to ponder… If memory serves, O2HeN2 lives in Colorado, just how much heli-ox diving gets done in landlocked Colorado? Flooded mine diving?

        • Colorado… Where great diving is only a short plane flight away… πŸ™‚

          Huge numbers of folks fly to Cozumel from Colorado. Me, I mostly head to Northern Florida. Mayo to High Springs area typically.


          Ps. Trimix, not heliox. πŸ™‚

    • Sara doesn’t need a first aid kit to go to the park, because most parks already have first aid kits there. The day they start placing emergency guns at every place there is a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, fire alarm pull, smoke detector, etc. is the day that we will no longer need to carry our own guns with us wherever we go. Which of course doesn’t mean they need to be banned either.

  2. You can choose and unchoose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives, except for in-laws.

    And if they really want to know why you “need” a gun to carve a pumpkin, show them Hickock45’s viddy where he carves a pumpkin with a Glock 23.

    • Actually you can unchoose your family. My friend gave his brother and mother the you’re dead to me speech. They failed to return his child when asked then told. Hasn’t seen or heard from them since.

    • I think Hickok45 carves a pumpkin with a different tool every year.
      This year, it’s a Henry.

  3. More important questions than “Sara needs to have a gun to carve pumpkins?” would be:
    Did you roast the seeds?
    How did the pumpkins turn out?
    Do you Tannerite the sh!t ouf them in a couple of weeks like we do? (We spent 8 gallons full of it last time. Rained orange for 5 minutes.)

    • I did roast the seeds! (Armed…of course.) And I can’t wait for those pumkins to fall apart and get to the point of being mush. That’s when my Remington 870 will obliterate them. It’s a favorite time of the year for me. I’m not a pumpkin lover, so there’s zero chance those will make pies. πŸ™‚

  4. Aw, I thought she was carving an armed pumpkin! You know, “Open Carry Jack O’ Lantern, the Anti-Fudd”.

  5. From the pumpkin’s perspective….

    it should have been a defensive gun use: armed woman and child kidnap and lobotomize pumpkin couple!

  6. That pumpkin might try to defend itself from being craved up and try to take your gun – Oh wait, a pumpkin is an inanimate object, just like a gun. Carry on!

    • I agree. Those pumpkins really should be sitting on a folded up towel or something to help stabilize them while working. The counter (table?) is going to get slick when you really start gutting those bad boys and you risk them sliding off/around when you start to do the sharp work.

  7. Sara,
    Your daughter is a cutie. Gets that from Momma?
    Anyway, maybe you could send your kinfolk some links to recent TTAG articles involving home carry and a DGUs.
    Just a thought. Carry on.

  8. Seven comments and already two “I disown my gun hating family.” Please. I’m not disowning any family member who disapproves; the very idea is fanatical. They have to accept that I choose to exercise my rights and I accept that they spit on those rights.

    Face it, everyone. OC is still an outlier activity.One day, maybe not so much, but that’s the reality. I seem to do a lot of things (like attend an orthodox Christian church and vote Republican) frowned upon by others. So be it. My family lives and loves. What more can we do?

    • I suspect there are very few cases of gunnies disowning family members solely for their stance on firearms. It’s probably more likely that being pestered by them on the topic of guns is the last straw after a lifetime of shitty behavior…

      I haven’t “disowned” any family members, but I do pick and choose which ones I want to spend time with. Life is way too short to spend it hanging around with assholes just because you have similar genomes.

    • All families by their very nature have different factions, especially along cultural lines. My brother, his socialist wife and 2 kids live in Kansas, as do my stepmother and her 2 daughters, both of whom married liberals. While they’re all friends on Facebook, I sometimes wonder just what planet they’re from. Or maybe it’s just the water under the ground. It’s a bit disappointing but then again I suspect they probably feel much the same way about me, my grandfather, and my aunt and her family, too. It is what it is. I just wish they would be willing to talk more often, but I’ve long since realized that their lives do not include me. I just have to tell myself it’s nothing malicious, just the way of it.


    • Rokoruta,

      Here is the bigger picture. Think about the people who arm themselves so that they have some ability to protect themselves from attack. Those people tend to share many common traits, such as being responsible, self-sufficient, self-controlled, self-disciplined, respectful of themselves and others, polite, friendly, generous, etc. Now think about the people who actively reject the idea of even owning firearms much less being armed for self-defense. Those people tend to share common traits also, such as being irresponsible, dependent on others, impulsive, demanding, selfish, disrespectful, and sometimes even downright abusive.

      And my family members who abhor firearms are the worst of the lot: in addition to the previous negative attributes that seem to be inherent in so many gun-grabbers, they are so conceited and superior that it should be impossible for us to have common ancestors. When a family member tells you that you are stupid/crazy/corrupt (standard Progressive play to categorically dismiss your facts and positions), that they are superior to you in knowledge, education, job titles, and experience, and that you are utterly and totally wrong with respect to anything you advocate — including the ownership and possession of firearms — there really is no basis for a relationship whether they are blood relatives, in-laws, or otherwise.

      Seriously, how can you have a relationship with someone who sees themselves above the lowly masses and actually despises your lowliness?

      • So are you speaking in generalities or about specific people? If specific people, then I agree — no one wants to be around such folks, even at Thanksgiving. But if you’re speaking in generalities, my experience is that people can be very insufferable in principle, but more forgiving in actuality. My left coast progressive sister has no respect for religion or red-blooded American groups like Boy Scouts, but finds ways to support her Scout nephews and occasionally attends church with us when visiting. To flip the coin, my (white) father-in-law has few kind things to say about minorities in general, but has never looked at his (Asian) son-in-law sideways. Like I said, live and love.

  9. My liberal relatives hate guns until they need one. Sometimes when you need one, the timing is critical. They don’t see the hypocrisy.

  10. You need new relatives(I’ve had a few with a few different wives). Some would freak out -some wouldn’t. Whatever-your kid and your choice. But didn’t you get pumpkin goo on your gat?

  11. I carried during my daughter’s 5th birthday party yesterday. It was concealed, I don’t want to scare the muggles, but it was there in case of the EXTREMELY slim chance it was needed.

  12. the pic mite not be the best quality, but your little one is adorable. you should keep this one for the scrap book.

  13. I’d be more concerned about the unrestrained knives behind her. They could to rabid and slice everyone to little pieces at the slightest provocation. Knife violence, it’s a thing.

  14. Regarding family members that freak out about you being armed while doing __________ (fill in the blank) activity — return the favor regarding their cell phone on their belt while doing __________ activity.

    Try this for example:
    “Why would you have a cell phone on your belt while carving pumpkins? Do you expect the pumpkins to attack you and have to call 911?”

    Or this one:
    “Why do you have a cell phone on your belt while decorating your Christmas tree? Do you expect your tree to attack you and have to call 911?”

    Or use some other point of reference like makeup for women:
    “Why do you wear makeup when cooking dinner? Do you expect Publisher’s Clearing House to knock on the door and you want to look good for the cameras?”

    Or for men:
    “Why do you wear a baseball cap when raking leaves? Do you expect an errant fly ball and the need to shield the sun from your eyes as you strain to see the ball and stop it from hitting you in the head?”

  15. Carry on, Sara. I got my dad to shoot my 300 BLK AR just 2 days ago, and he used to be firmly in the FUDD camp. We shoot in desert outside our resort in Indio, CA amongst dozens of gun fans. No safety officers, no range fees, and no injuries. I’d say don’t give up on your family, or even your liberal friends.

  16. Keeping in the TTAG theme…

    OMG! OMG! Why do you “need” to wear a watch while carving pumpkins? Do you NEED to always know what time it is?

    OMG! OMG! You’re using a sharp knife near a young child!

    OMG! OMG! You let your child STAND on a chair??? She could fall, ya know!

  17. Someone hit it on the head earlier. The gun issue is one of many reasons I don’t have ANYTHING to do with my family. Someone also highlighted their believed sense of superiority. That part is particularly hilarious considering I know many of their missteps in life. My wife and children (bio and step) pretty much see the world along the same lines as I do. That is my “family”. Shared biology isn’t a valid reason to force associations with people who declare themselves as enemies of everything I hold dear.

  18. Halloween is fun, but its real purpose is to thumb out collective nose at death, destruction and evil. It’s a celebration of living our lives in defiance of them. That purpose is sometimes opaque, for our costumes, decorations, and media being filled with so much supernatural horror. Still, real life horrors do lie at the base of it all.

    An actual firearm, carried by an actual woman, whom I have exactly zero doubt would discharge it with deadly effectiveness in the defense of her family, is a little too real for some people. It’s easy to whistle past the graveyard when only your imagination generates the goblins. When the monsters reside in reality, however, as the image of an armed mother prepared to ward them off reminds us, then this [stuff] just got real.

  19. It’s only because they can see it. If they couldn’t see it they wouldn’t have to be freaked out about it. Hence the complete meltdown over open carry compared to the lesser meltdown over concealed carry. If they don’t see it they don’t have to be afraid.

  20. Ha, I have one of those Galco holsters as well. It’s really meant more for AIWB than 3’oclock…. But it’s one of those holsters (are there others?) that just seems to fit almost every gun and you can get away with using it in different ways. Though it might not be ideal for any, it is adequate for most. Which makes it nice to own. BUT If you are using it *every day* to carry a double stack at 3 o’clock, you should look into something more fit for 3 o’clock carry.

    Carry on!

  21. I’m with you, young lady! Some (most) of my family does not approve. However, my XDs is with me EVERYWHERE I go except to bed, then it is within arm’s reach. That is, where legal (no courthouses, etc.).

  22. You need to explain to these people that carrying a gun is your default behavior. You don’t need a reason to carry it, you need a reason not to carry it.

  23. people who don’t carry are always shocked at the prospect of people carrying a gun. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard “why do you need to carry a gun to x” the response is always the gun is part of getting dressed in the morning and that being the case, why do I need to take the gun off just to do x?

  24. Wow it took me few moments [and noticing that red circle] to realize there was a gun in the mix.
    All I saw was a mom and daughter doing something awesome, like together prepping for the holiday.

    And as far as gripping [the gun] with slippery hands… aw hell I’ll leave that one alone! ha ha ha walking away lmao

  25. You think American liberals freak out over a picture like this, try sending it to people in Britain or Australia or Germany πŸ˜€

  26. You don’t need pants or a knife to carve a pumpkin either. However, each of these item serves a purpose.

  27. I think the comments when they already know you carry is what the anis call that gun shaming. It’s a bad thing to liberals when it’s something like fat shaming but good when it’s gun shaming or climate denier shaming (aka flater earther shaming) . It’s a way to try to control someone by trying to make them ashamed to be themselves. It doesn’t work, but it’s not like they can use logic when it’s not on their side.

  28. TTAG Sensors because they suck just like this article and this author. SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK. DELETE THIS!!!!!!!!

    • Did you forget your Medication?

      Somewhere I can hear the FBI making a note of your current mental condition for the NICs administrators.

      TTAG does “censor” excessive ad-hominems – especially against the site and it’s authors – but apparently your statement just wasn’t worth the time and effort.

  29. Here’s what I see: A really cute kid, having fun carving pumpkins with Mom.

    That’s it. That’s all I see.

    There’s no need, or reason to invest in this picture of a little girl and her mom carving a pumpkin any larger political issue or significance.

  30. One question on the holster small children can be unpredictable I mean this constructively, when small children are around they can be so unpredictable! Wouldn’t a retention holster be a better choice?

    • When I was a very small boy, my dad wanted to teach me that firearms could be dangerous and that I shouldn’t touch or play with them. Instead of telling me this – he took me outside, raised his gun, and BANG! I flinched all over and got scared. I saw that whatever he pointed it at, even really hard things, were destroyed and it gave off an amazingly loud painful noise. At that point, I knew what that firearm could do, and I had no interest in it for a long time.

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