Confessions of an Ordinary Gun Toter

Summer Time Carry GearIn the comments over on a previous thread, HappyWarrior offers what I’ll call the lament of the non-gun-ninja, regarding the burden of carrying around all the equipment advice on the Internet would have you carry if you took it all seriously. I can sympathize, because I’m no special gun carrying ninja. We all have to make tradeoffs, and it’s OK to make those tradeoffs. It’s your life, not someone else’s.

There are only two things on my belt at all times, and that’s a Leatherman multi-tool and an iPhone. No, I don’t carry a tactical folder anymore. Why? Because I can’t carry it everywhere, and I use the Leatherman enough that grabbing it and one handed opening is quite natural to me. If I’m leaving the house, and it’s winter, and sometimes in summer, there will be a Glock 19 on the belt in a Comp-Tac Infidel holster just behind the iPhone.  Tactical advice is to “dress around the gun,” but realistically, there are times you can’t do that. Tactical advice will dispute this, but it’s your life, not someone else’s.

I’m not carrying the Glock, it’s an LCP in a pocket holster in the strong-side pocket. I’m usually carrying OC spray in the weak side pocket, along with a flashlight clipped to the pocket, and a spare magazine for the LCP. If it’s winter, the OC goes in the weak side coat pocket so my jeans pocket only has the reload and flashlight in it.

Yes, I realize this is not very “tactical,” and I’d be fumbling for a reload if things end up going pear-shaped, but if things end up going that pear-shaped and all I have is an LCP, I’m already figuring I’m pretty well screwed to begin with. It’s all trade-offs, and only you can make them. Sometimes I don’t even carry, which is the biggest tactical sin of all!

And why do I make these tradeoffs? Because I can’t run around looking ridiculous with half a dozen things clipped to my belt in summertime, and having to dress around the gun. Yes, my professional reputation and that of my company are more important than the very unlikely event that I find myself in a situation where a firearm would come in handy. That said, I manage to successfully carry something most of the time I’m out of the house.

But I don’t feel bad about making tradeoffs to accommodate life. You shouldn’t either. As Tam’s original post noted, you should just understand and accept the risk those tradeoffs impose on you.

17 Responses to “Confessions of an Ordinary Gun Toter”

  1. Zermoid says:

    Well, I have a gun on me 24/7, unless I go in a govt building that has metal detectors, otherwise what they don’t know won’t hurt me.

    1911, 2 spare mags, a couple of knives (usually a folder and a swiss army), lighter, and a Utilitech flashlight on a front belt loop are standard, sometimes add a second gun, a multi tool, or if I really need to go with an undetectable gun I’ll pocket carry a 25ACP.

    Really am considering adding a pepper spray to the mix.

  2. Dannytheman says:

    Now living in California and struggling with the laws here, my perspective has changed. I carried every day in Pennsylvania. Always had my Walther PPK on my belt or in my briefcase. (Tam will probably clobber me for that) But 30 years of carrying caused some interesting reactions by me here in California where I can not legally carry. The first 3 to 6 months here I was constantly jumping when I realized my holster was missing. The same feeling you get when your wallet isn’t exactly where you always put it.

    So now I am a big pepper spray carrier, thanks to Kimber. I always have my multi-tool and flashlight, but I carry them in my briefcase. Like Sebastian said, I can’t be all Batman like utility belted at work.

    The only time I carry now is at the range during training classes. (Tam, the Sig P320 in 357 Sig now)

    I will get back to carrying once I leave and get back east, but southern east.

  3. Countertop says:

    Well I’m at the beach. Not carry right now (do have a folder on me). But I will have a stainless S&W Model 66 with me in the kayak when I go fishing later. Not so much for two legged goblins as it is for rattlesnakes and cottonmouths (and alligators).

  4. EgregiousCharles says:

    I recently dropped a few items from my EDC loadout to lighten it, so I just now my pants with the lightened loadout on a fish scale. 12.54 pounds. This is how I got the Egregious nickname. And I STILL never had everything the Internet recommends.

  5. Echo says:

    Kinda surprised a light isn’t on your list, or are you just not mentioning it?
    Whether it’s tangles of cables behind a desk or a weird noise from the bottom of an engine compartment, it helps if you can actually see the problem :)

  6. Buck says:

    Folder knife,light and sometimes my G20 in a Safariland paddle holster. I don’t always carry my gun because of concealment problems but I’m always carrying something. I agree it’s not practical to be a tactacal ninja.

  7. HappyWarrior6 says:

    Thanks for the hat tip ;)

    This NRA blog post is quite timely:

    It’s pure parody, but it does make one seriously consider how much is worth bringing with you and where it can be stored…

  8. Tom in NH says:

    LCP 99% of the time with G26/19 the remaining 1%. Flashlight & knife, not very often. Too bulky & won’t work for me while I’m on the job.

    • beatbox says:

      I find it humorous that if you perused gun blogs, you would get the impression that the LCP is a nice little lady-gun, or an acceptable 3rd backup to your concealed 1911 and Glock 19.

      The actual sales numbers (and my own anecdotal experience) tell a different story, of course. I guess the first rule of LCP carry is never admit LCP carry on the Internet.

      • Sebastian says:

        I never thought there was anything wrong with the LCP. Though, I think Smith & Wesson may have taken the pocket gun to the next level with the Bodyguard .380.

  9. beatbox says:

    Excellent!! I don’t know HOW people carry all that crap. 12.5 lbs? I understand that some EDC as a hobby, but come on.

    I love this vid by Caleb.

  10. aerodawg says:

    I tailor my load to the threat environment and my expected response. There’s a different loadout for tooling around our small town vs going to the city, as well as me alone vs with my family. By myself in the small town, I usually carry the Bodyguard .380 with not extra mags. A low threat environment and a high probability that I can just RTFA. If I’m going into the city with the family, it’s a max loadout of the full size M&P9, an extra mag plus the Bodyguard .380 as a BUG. I want as much firepower and ammo as possible if I have to stand between my family and harm as they RTFA.

  11. Old NFO says:

    Great post, and no we can’t all be tactical ninjas… The reality of coat and tie, and multiple entries into .gov buildings tend to cut back your ‘EDC’ considerably. However, it’s funny what I ‘can’ carry into some buildings and not into others… sigh

  12. Patrick says:

    My wife has an LCP that she pretty much reserves for garter carry, when she does not want to print through one of those little black dresses. Now take your EDC list and imagine it pinned to the garter of a 96 pound woman.

    I bet you don’t feel so bad about leaving off the flashlight now, eh?