Why I Carry A Gun (at Home): When Seconds Count Edition

“Just before 9 a.m., police received a 911 call from a woman who said her friend had called her and told her that her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had a restraining order, showed up at her home,” azstarnet.com reports. “Officers arrived at the home in the 6800 block of South Kolb Road nine minutes later and found signs of forced entry . . . They found the woman inside the home dead from a gunshot wound and a man with a life-threatening gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted.” We’re not sure why the victim called her friend rather than dialing 911. In any case, the fact remains that to protect herself, a gun on her hip would have been infinitely better than a phone at her ear.


  1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    nine minutes.

  2. avatar Tim Tritt says:

    Tucson – not necessarily the nicest part of town I suppose.

    Being that it is AZ, this really should have been a no-brainer – no CCW permit requirements and almost-instant NICS check when purchasing a gun. She had a Protective Order of Restraint, so she obviously had some fear.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      In some jurisdictions, you lose your conceal carry licence if you are a party to an order of protection. I presume this means that if you swear out an OoP/Restraining Order you have to disarm.

      1. avatar Monty says:

        That may be the dumbest law I’ve ever heard in my life. “Oh ok, someone is stalking you, we’ll give him a letter from the court saying don’t do that. Now hand over your only immediate defense in case your stalker doesn’t mind breaking the law.”

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Only if it is a mutual restraining order or directed against the party required to give up weapons.

      3. avatar agathis says:

        You don’t need a concealed carry license to carry in your home, though, and AZ has good reputation for open carry. Still, it’s damned idiotic to take someone’s concealed carry permit when they’ve got a legally recognized reason for being afraid for their safety.

    2. avatar IndyEric says:

      wa, huh?

      1. avatar Tim Tritt says:


  3. avatar Aharon says:

    I’m going to buy a couple of those heavy steel shipping containers. Sink ’em partly into the ground, weatherize and reinforce the floors, ceilings, sides and doors, and cut out spaces for bullet proof windows though not big enough for entry. Oh yeah, cut out some small hidden firing ports. Then let any wacko try to break in.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      That would make an interesting season of “This Old House”.

      1. avatar NCG says:

        This Old House, Tactical Edition! That said, those shipping containers are cheap and available. Seems we import more than we export. Who knew?

        1. avatar Alan says:

          Some architects have put together plans – and even small, demonstration developments – of inexpensive living spaces made by welding together one or more containers and remodeling the insides to live in. Find the designs, modify for defense – you’d get what you’re talking about and probably have plans you could get approved at your local code inspection office….

        2. avatar DonM says:

          You should put a dirt ceiling on top and sides to make a block house, with connections between the block houses completely below the ground, so that someone moving against one blockhouse becomes vulnerable to fire from another. The geometry was realized by Vauban.

        3. avatar whosebone says:

          bury one next to the bunker one, take the roof off,,,,instant swimming pool and water supply

    2. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      I highly doubt a shipping container wall would stop a .45 or greater, probably not even a 9mm FMJ. They’re designed to protect stuff from the elements but be as light as possible otherwise, and the walls and ceiling of a container are not gonna be all that thick..

  4. avatar CarlosT says:

    “Just before 9 a.m., police received a 911 call from a woman who said her friend had called her and told her that her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had a restraining order, showed up at her home”

    I’m glad this is not your writing, Robert, because this is practically word salad. Really horribly composed. The main source of the confusion is the fact that the word “her”, which is used five times, suddenly switches referent in the middle of the sentence. I think.

    Anyway, I really think you guys should do a series on recommended gear for home carry. I think a lot of people object to home carry because of the comfort issue, so if you can answer that, you’re most of the way there.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      Funny… I thought the same thing. I had to read it a few times to figure it out. Horrific writing.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        I assume the woman placing the 911 call was making the call for her girlfriend. Hope that was it.

    2. avatar CharlieW says:

      Good point on the reporting/writing. This is the daily rag in Tucson. Dont expect intelligent reporting. This is par for the course for them.

  5. avatar Aragorn says:

    I carry a firearm well at home as does my wife.
    It does not take a rocket scientist to see that no matter where one lives
    these are desperate times for too many citizens and their self-preservation might be to invade my home.

  6. avatar JP in Tennessee says:

    I pocket carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 (slipped in a pocket holster) at home. It’s either in my front pants pocket, bath robe pocket, or in a biometric (fingerprint) safe by my bed.

  7. avatar Aharon says:

    I’m having fantasies of home carrying the Ruger LCR in .357 weighing only 17 ounces. I don’t care what Ralph says, I find the LCR a really cute adorable petite friendly gun and I’ll fill her up with 38+.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      A Smith & Wesson 642 or 442 weighs 2 ounces less and isn’t ugly. ‘Nuff said.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        [shrug] The S&Ws look a little nicer than the Ruger, but I wouldn’t call any of them good looking.

      2. avatar John says:

        That translates into more bark with the same amount of bite.

      3. avatar Aharon says:

        I don’t know. The LCR is built tough enough to fire the 357 magnum and it only weighs a couple ounces more just in case I need the 357 round. The SW 642 and 442 limits out at 38+P. I do live in the Pacific NW and up here we do have mountain lions, bears, and wolverines to prepare against. Heck, every morning I have to do a sweep of my front porch with a 12 gauge just to make sure there are no dangerous predators out front.

        1. avatar ILTim says:

          “Heck, every morning I have to do a sweep of my front porch with a 12 gauge just to make sure there are no dangerous predators out front.”

          Lol, really? Please tell me you do this by kicking the front door open, somersaulting out there in a bathrobe (exposing yourself in the process), and wildly swinging around a short barrel pistol grip shotgun outfitted with all the tacticool gear you can find.

        2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          And post vids.

      4. avatar DonWorsham says:

        Or my 342Ti at 13.65 ounces loaded.

      5. avatar JP in Tennessee says:

        The trigger pull of a Smith 642 does not compare to that of a Ruger LCR.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          What is the trigger pull of the SW 642?

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          Over ten pounds, factory. Add a $25 Apex kit and you’re stylin’.

    2. avatar Sean says:

      My 442 stays in my front pocket during the whole day.

      1. avatar Aharon says:

        I hope it doesn’t accidentally go off.

  8. avatar Jason says:

    Doesn’t really support your point, does it? The victim had plenty of time to make a call. It takes no longer to pick up a gun than a phone. This is not an argument for home carry, it’s an argument for having priorities.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This, right here.

      Recall that young mother in Oklahoma who dusted off the invaders with a 12 ga.

      She already had the scattergun *and* a pistol in hand when she called 911.

      1. avatar RandomHero says:

        best part of that story? the 12g AND a pistol.

    2. avatar Derek says:

      Meh… I think at least half of his point is supported. That the police aren’t going to be there when you need them, and even IF you manage to call them, they won’t be there in time to help you.

    3. avatar Mr. Grey says:

      I agree. It seems like the headline is wrong. If she had time to go to the phone and give her friend an explanation, she had time to a) go get her gun from a rapid access handgun safe, and probably b) call 911 directly.

      Seems to me like the real point here is that if you’re living with some threat, make plans on how you’re going to deal with it when it happens. Calling your friend to say “Holy cats, he’s here with a gun” seems worse than useless, since it both wastes time and doesn’t address the threat.

    4. avatar Dustin says:

      I don’t understand your argument at all.

      “It takes no longer to pick up a gun than a phone.”

      Had she had a gun she would have been able to defend herself. She did not have enough time to wait for the police to come save her. This is a powerful argument for home carry.

      That she had enough time to arm herself because she had enough time to dial 911 doesn’t seem logically very relevant.

  9. avatar ST says:

    At the risk of sounding like the stereotypical Paranoid Gun Owner ,this is why every single man should carry .

    Why single men-and women-should carry in their homes is simple. Your date may be a great person now, but their past could be just as ugly as anyone’s. The time to discover your new girlfriend has an ex boyfriend on the Sinaloa Cartel’s payroll is not at 3am at her place with your piece outside of your reach.

    Last time I closed the deal I went to her place armed. It was kinda weird disrobing of a firearm in someone else’s abode, but it would be much less awkward as being caught unarmed if a jealous ex with a grudge showed up.

    Even if your dating days are behind you a gun on the hip beats one in a safe with a trigger lock on it any day of the week. A home invader will not stand by and wait while you go to the gun lockbox and dial in the combination.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      You’ve brought up some points seldom considered. Ironically, there is the expression that when you sleep with someone you are also sleeping with everyone they slept with. Your insight brings a new meaning to it.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Married men should home carry, too. Unless you think that spouses really know each other because the state issued them both a piece of paper.

      1. avatar CharlieW says:

        This is a sad comment.

      2. avatar jonathan says:

        “…spouses really know each other because the state issued them both a piece of paper.”

        No, but they should really know each other because they dated long enough to build trust.

        Relying solely on a “state-issued piece of paper” for anything is unwise.

        1. avatar ATLien says:

          I think the murdered in “murder-suicide,” kinda wished they had a gun when their spouse/s.o. flipped out on them.

  10. avatar sdog says:

    this is astounding, i have been thinking about adopting this.

  11. avatar Sam Wright says:

    This is a learning lesson to call 911 and stay where you are. If my friend called and felt threatened, after calling 911, I would have been well armed and sped over to her house. Depending on the distance, I may have been faster than 9 minutes.

  12. avatar Ropingdown says:

    The kind of person that calls a friend instead of 911 when the object of their protective order is at the door has problems that go deeper than failure to arm, no?

    1. avatar Steve says:


      You would think, that with all of the cases where a Restraining Order failed to Restrain a murderous Ex, that folks would have figured out that a R.O. is Just-A-Piece-of-Paper. Its not magic.

      Some folks just don’t think.

      1. avatar Bill says:

        If a Restraining Order works, you probably didn’t need one in the first place. It’s just as effective against someone with bad intent as a “Gun Free Zone” sign.

      2. avatar Chas C-Q says:

        The person who believes that a piece of paper is a magic shield is likely to be the one who believes that a gun is a mind-controlling murder-demon.

    2. avatar Dustin says:

      It’s possible the victim didn’t want police attention for a variety of reasons. Perhaps she had something she didn’t want police to discover, or more likely, she didn’t want her attacker to get into trouble.

      That’s unfortunate, but I don’t think it actually goes deeper than the failure to arm. Even imperfect people who have hang-ups about the police should realize as adults the responsibility for defending yourself is on each person alone.

      That really is where this whole thing went wrong. It wasn’t that she didn’t call police directly. Relying on others to protect her is right where the problem was.

  13. avatar Aharon says:

    I have a good San Francisco gun story. Years ago, when I lived there, a retired cop told me about his neighbor down the street. She is a typical SF type of liberal (extreme), an attorney, radical feminist, a know it all, and wants ALL guns banned from civilian ownership and that includes off-duty cops. The woman was involved many years ago as a member of a team of lawyers who wrote SF legislation banning all handguns (which was defeated in the courts). One day, actually it was after 10PM, the retired cop gets a call from her. The woman arrived home to find her front door wide open and she is really scared. The man tells her to go to her car, lock the doors, and call the police. He too will be there in a minute. She tells him to please hurry and ‘bring your gun’….

    1. avatar RandomHero says:

      im pretty sure that ANY anti-gun person would speak those words in the same situation.

      1. avatar Trucker says:

        haha, “There are NO athiests in a fox-hole”!

    2. avatar Silver says:

      Amazing how the liberal mindset completely disintegrates in the face of blunt reality. It’s almost as if the entire dogma of modern liberalism is all insane fantasy.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        It’s almost as if the entire dogma of modern liberalism is all insane fantasy.

        If by modern liberalism you mean the far left luncay that’s co-opted traditional liberalism, yes, it’s insane.

        1. avatar Brian K says:

          Ralph you are 100% correct. Too many people fail to make the distinction that the word “liberalism” has been hijacked. If this was 200 years ago, most of us would be called liberals.

  14. avatar chazman321 says:

    There was also the state rep in Ohio whom lived in Cleveland who was seriously anti-gun. When Ohio was trying to pass CCW laws he was against it from the beginning. One day he was walking home and was almost mugged, luckily he made it to a house in time. He then became a big supporter of gun rights. Sometimes what takes a person from anti to gun nut is a crime happening to them. Others, like us, don’t want to wait and see what crime that would be or see what the outcomes would be…

    1. avatar virtualjohn says:

      A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.

  15. avatar Totenglocke says:

    I carry my M44 carbine around the house at all times, unless I’m on the toilet – then I grab my over-under 12 gauge as well.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Which one is over and which one is under?

  16. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Glock 26 is always in the remora holster, which is always on me until I go to bed. Wife has given up on calling me paranoid as I keep forwarding news stories to her. and we live in a nice neighborhood, but . . . . . sh!t happens everywhere.

  17. avatar virtualjohn says:

    Drill Sergeant Frick’s Rules For Un-armed Combat.

    1. Never be unarmed.

  18. avatar kevino says:

    I’ve carried inside my own home years ago for two reasons:
    1. I used to live in not-so-nice apartments in not-so-nice areas. It would take about ten seconds to break down the metal door. After about five seconds, it was a bad idea.
    2. I had young children around our vacation home, and it didn’t have a gun safe to lock it up. My (then) girlfriend asked me once, “Why are you carrying it NOW?” “well, we’re down here, and the kids are upstairs,” I replied. She nodded and said that made sense.

  19. avatar Steve says:

    What hand grenades are best to carry in the shower? Also, I’m planning on training my attack dogs to carry — any recommendations for a light-weight shotgun operable by a canine?

    Seriously though, you people are completely nuts. Who the hell would want to live in the state of manifest paranoia you all seem to exhibit? Or do you all live in Gaza or something? If it’s *that* bad where you live, move. Otherwise in most of the US your chances of dying in a firefight in your home are just about zero, armed or not.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      “just about zero”
      So, we can agree that the probability of armed confrontation is non-zero? Good.

      The risk/reward equation heavily favors being armed, IMHO. While the risk of encountering a situation in which a gun could make the difference between life and death is admittedly small for most of us, the reward of being able to remain vertical should such a situation arise is very sweet indeed. You are free to disagree, of course. Me, I like breathing.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Oh, look, nice neighborhood in Antioch, California, last Monday. Three men, at least one of them armed, attempted to break into a house while the family was home. I guess Antioch, CA = Gaza.

      As for the grenades, I have no personal experience of my own, but thinking about it, I’d stay away from frags or white phosphorous. I don’t think you’d have enough room in most homes to get clear of the blast radius. Flashbangs are probably all you need, anyway. As for arming your dogs, past experience has shown this to be a bad idea.

    3. avatar Ken Mitchell says:

      I have a gun relatively handy, even though I live in a good neighborhood and have never had a problem. I also have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, even though I’m a careful cook.

      With any luck at all, I’ll never need either one. But I’m not getting rid of my fire extinguisher. Or my gun.

    4. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      “Where’d you get a hand grenade, Brick?”

      “I don’t know.”

      Me, I’ll stick with my Glock 19, thanks.

    5. avatar gb_in_tx says:

      “Otherwise in most of the US your chances of dying in a firefight in your home are just about zero, armed or not.”

      Likewise, in most of the US the chances of dying in a fire in your home are just about zero as well. Does that make it paranoid to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen & your garage, and to have smoke detectors? Same logic. The chances are slim in both cases, but in both cases the cost of being caught unprepared are extreme. Thus, it makes sense to be prepared anyway.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

        I love the house fire analogy. Why? Because I’ve survived one. New Year’s Day, 1995. I’ll never be without smoke detectors. Or fire extinguishers. Or a gun. The odds may be long, but the consequences are too much to bear.

  20. avatar dustydog says:

    9 minutes: is that 9 minutes from when the call was placed, 9 minutes from when the call was answered, or 9 minutes from when police were notified to respond?

    Some jursdictions report police response time starting when the 911 operator decides to send them out. That extra lag time can be a big deal if you have to convince the operator you are in trouble.

    Where I live, the 911 system uses call forwarding on nights and weekends (due to staffing issues). You can hear it clicking, and it can take 1 or 2 minutes to actually get to a live person.

  21. avatar DonM says:

    Hoplophobe: “What are you afraid of?”
    Armed Citizen: ” Not a damn thing.”

  22. avatar FrancisChalk says:

    Carrying at home seems a little much, unless you live in a bad neighborhood. Your example to justify home carry is also out there. If you need a restraining order to keep your ex away, sure arm yourself 24/7. But few people will ever encounter such a deranged boyfriend.

  23. avatar Ross says:

    If the woman had a gun she had time to get it instead of calling the friend. If she did not have a gun the problem was that she was relying on the government for protection instead of on her self. But I do agree that the story is a good example for why you should have a weapon for self defense. He had a gun so she might not have survived a gun battle anyway but at least she would have a chance of winning a gun battle, scaring him off, or holding out long enough for the police to get there.

  24. avatar Chazman321 says:

    I don’t see a problem with carrying at home. I myself carry at home. I shoot, my wife shoots, my daughters even shoot. My daughter owns her own rifle, a pink .22 Crickett that both girls love to shoot, and being a .22 the ammo is cheap they can shoot all day long. It teaches them respect for guns.

    All 4 of us hunt together, they know their rifle is deadly because they have seen it first hand take game. They know I carry and they know why I carry, to protect them. I’m a proactive person, a problem solver.

    If someone tries to break down my door I’m going to arm myself and call the police. If the police get there first that’s wonderful, if not, then it’s up to me to protect my family. Nobody here wants to take the life of another human being.

    We don’t carry because we’re paranoid or just want an excuse to shoot someone. Taking the life of another person is something that changes you forever and doesn’t go away, nobody wants that.

    No matter how bad a criminal might act, someone somewhere loves that person and is going to be heartbroken that they’re gone. I don’t want that on my conscience, but it’s better than the alternative…

    You can say what you want about people whom carry firearms, we aren’t the monsters the media makes us out to be. Many of us are doctors, lawyers, I’m a social worker. Nothing I ever say will change your opinion, I know that. All I do ask is to look at the subject with objectiveness and no bias. Think of situations and then think of solutions. If someone is kicking your door down at 3 am, what are you going to do? Now they’re in the house, what do you do? Trying to get into your bedroom, what now?

    In life there are such things as necessary evils, guns are one of them. The criminals have guns, they aren’t afraid of using them. The guy in this story had a gun and was subject to a restraining order, which is against Federal law, he didn’t care. He didn’t care touching a gun was a crime. He went to his ex’s house even though he knew he wasn’t allowed and was committing a crime, he didn’t care then either. People bent on hurting others don’t concern themselves with the law. I know I can’t make people see this in their own lives, but you have to prepare for the unexpected.

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