I was recently chided here as stupid for carrying a gun in my car and in my briefcase. I was informed that any sort of off-body carry was stupid and so was my article. It’s good to know people are reading your stuff. And it made me wonder, how the People Of The Gun usually carry. My personal habits are to have one by the bedside, one in the car, and one in my briefcase. The car gun is a Kahr, and slips easily into my pocket when I deem it advisable. It’s admirably suited for its role, plus, Kahr in the car is just obvious . . .
The bedside gun is a Sig P229 that often makes its way into the TV room of an evening, or even into my capacious pockets for walks in doggy or otherwise appropriate areas. Last and in no way least, a Browning Hi Power rides around in my briefcase and also takes turns on my person.
Some people carry whenever they’re out of the house, and perhaps fewer have elected to carry at home, so that they’re carrying whenever they are out of bed. I’m not aware of anyone who carries while in bed, but I’m sure you’re out there. I don’t think I want to try that, though I agree it’s always good to be ready for action. Some people keep one in a backpack, under the bed, at the top of the closet or in a sock drawer. I’m sure there are myriad other options.
My father used to keep a 32 in a lockbox with key and all. It was a found or borrowed gun, and never once fired in his hands. There was also a lovely 7mm sporterized Mauser sitting in the closet that belonged to my Uncle Jim. He’s promised it to me…we’ll see. Beautiful gun. His sons live in California and New York, and feel right at home with their gun laws, so I’m sure they have no use for it.
Dad thought his armed son was a little nuts. I bought my first handgun at 16, a beautiful Smith and Wesson model 19 with a 4-inch barrel. These were the days of Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan and Col. Cooper. I’d have liked a model 29, but they were rare and precious. Model 19’s were rare enough then also.
Note to you young people out there…don’t sell good guns. Just don’t. At 21 I had a decent selection of sidearms, and Dad knew I was all the way around the bend. Then the day came that someone tried repeatedly to run him off the road for no apparent reason. That little bout of evident hostility turned my collection into a library, with Dad as the main patron.
I have had a few experiences where having a gun was a great comfort. One was a pharmacy as a 16-year-old clerk. We were robbed at gunpoint one day, and I was ignored by the BG who marched the pharmacist around and left me alone. I made my way to the under-counter tray that held my boss’s model 19 (no coincidence there) and decided if there was a gunfight I was going to take part. Toward the end, BG turned his back on me at the cash register, and it would have been easy enough to shoot him. By then I had been competing in small bore a little, reloading and had at least 1000 rounds of 357 out of an identical gun.
But I didn’t shoot and nothing much else happened. BG left, the pharmacist gave chase but it was all over. The policeman (with the amusing name of A. Prokop) who interviewed me was quite adamant that I should have shot the guy, urging me strongly (OK, yelling at me) that an armed robber was nothing but a murderer who hadn’t pulled the trigger yet.
In those days there were lots of pharmacy robberies, and he was right. In one case, the employees were killed. In another a pharmacist we’ll call Wild Bill chased one BG out into the street, firing as he drove off. Still, at 16 years old, I was glad I did not shoot. That was 40 years ago. Today…different ending, perhaps.
The other occasions where a gun was a most welcome companion were all different, but all were the same in that no shots were fired and me and mine lived to tell the tale.
What have been your experiences in having a gun handy in worrisome times, using it to deter trouble, or, God forbid and thank you Jesus, firing it in anger? Or even worse than a gunfight, a fight that should have been a gunfight, only you were without a gun? My carry protocol has evolved and balances between convenience, perceived threat, and the fact that many of the places I work prohibit concealed weapons. I would prefer to carry everywhere always, but that is illegal and generally not worth the risk. So I make the best of it, and may change it all up at any time. You?