As the numbers of readers increase, so do the number of questions I get. I have been surprised by how many of the questions are more about me than anything related to guns, but then maybe that is why you all read. We share a love of people.
I have wrestled a bit with how to address these questions. After tossing around a few ideas I came up with “Whatcha Wanna Know Wednesday” If I get a question that I think might be of interest to someone else, I will write a post about it. I am the question girl and I have been so lucky to be able to ask lots of people lots of lots of people and they have all been very kind to answer, so I am happy to do the same.
This weeks question is Do I Always Carry My Gun and if not Where Do I Keep It When I Am Not Carrying?
I have actually started half a dozen posts on this topic, but I can never quite say what I am looking to say. My first post was a kind of “Day In The Life Of”. I wanted to describe a typical day of a girl, that’s me, who carries, but I don’t really have a typically day, so I ended up explaining and explaining and explaining. I had so many asides that it wasn’t clear what the post was about, so I scrapped it.
I also struggle with how much to tell. Where is the line between informing someone who is curious and sharing to much? Not sure I will ever know that answer, but it is good to be aware of the question regardless.
The past few weeks the question has been asked a couple different times by a few different people, so I will try again.
Here it goes…
I do not carry everyday, everywhere, 24/7. When I first bought my gun, I did. I carried it everywhere and if I could not carry, I did not go.
This was mainly because I was terrified, but it was also because the people teaching me about guns, said carry, all the time. I respect them and I did not trust myself, so I did what was most often recommended.
For me though, I started to have some internal conflicts about always having my gun and I started to feel controlled by it, instead of empowered. As I tried to sort out my fears and not give into paranoia, I had several issues come up. I wrote about some of them Here. So, in trying to find that balance, I have chosen to sometimes not be armed.
This is not to say that those who choose to carry everyday, everywhere are paranoid. It is to say with my background and my personality and my schema, it is how my brain interpreted my circumstances.
One of the greatest gifts I have been giving is that I have been surrounded by gun folks who have given me the freedom and permission to do what is comfortable for me, mainly because they are so darn comfortable with who they are and the choices they make for their lives. I am grateful for this.
When and how often I carry, I am not gonna tell you.
For 2 reasons:
First, I don’t think it is a good idea to tell the whole world or the 5 people who read this blog exactly when I am carry and when I am not.
Second, because it doesn’t matter. I have learned so much from so many wonderful people that have been open and honest and shared and shared and answered all my many questions, and offered me all their insights, which have helped me to form my ideas and opinions about what is best for me and my family. At the end of the day, one has to do what one feels comfortable doing. Taking the time to figure out for yourself, what you can live with and what you are not willing to live with, is always the answer.
I will tell you, that I am with my gun more times than I am not. I prefer that if I am with my husband we are both armed. He is clearly the better shot and has much more experience in stressful situations, but still I don’t want to be left without a gun and I truly believe I can help take care of any bad guy that comes around. However, there are time when just he carries or just I carry. Again the specifics are not important.
As for the house, if my gun is not on me, then it is very easily accessible. I struggle with this one the most because my house is my safe haven. I love nothing more than to be home with family and friends hanging out, and keeping it as safe as humanly possible is paramount. Therefore, I am not all that hip on giving the bad guy a blueprint to where my weapons are.
I do, however, know what it is like to honestly want to do the right thing , but not having a flying flippin’ clue how to do that? That is probably why I got asked this question. People are looking for answers to things they struggle with. There are blogs, articles, books, people you can hire, courses you can take(I am gonna take one soon) out there that discuss home security in much detail and, of course, they know what they are talking about. This is not me. I am not giving advice or suggestions. I know many things, home security is not one of them, but I will share with you some of what we do.
I think the ideal at home is the same as when out and about. Wear the gun, all the time. But just as gun laws often fall short, so do I from time to time.
Wearing my gun all the time at home really isn’t feasible for me. I have young kids and we wrestle around, we build extensive tunnels and crawl through them, we have massive water balloon fights that evolve into full on garden hose warfare. I often have 2 or 3 kiddos piled on top of me to watch a movie or read a book and a Glock on my hip just isn’t conducive to my lifestyle at home with 3 small kids. I have 5 children all together, but my daughter is 13 and my son is 20. Neither of them sit on my lap anymore, although occasionally when I am feeling sentimental about my son being all grown up I sit on his and make him watch old VCR tapes of when he was a baby.
For those times I am at home, but chose not to have my gun on my person, what do I do??
Without giving to much away, We do have a system. While I am not sure our system is all the special, I will say that for us, consistency is important. I always put my gun in the same spot down stairs and the same spot upstairs. The handle is always in the same direction and it is always in the same condition. Conditioning mean 1, 2, 3, or 4 I know I have a few people who read this blog that are like me and still learning the verbage associated with guns and a few of my friends who are like I was and are totally clueless, so for them I will explain a little. When guns are in different states of “ready” they are either in Condition 4 or Condition 1 or somewhere in between. I think this article does a great job of explaining it in plain easy to understand English Conditions Of Carry.
While our children do not have access to our weapons, meaning they can’t just go pick up a gun off the coffee table or the floor or out of my purse(I actually don’t carry iu my purse), they do know exactly where the guns are. I think it is important that they know what is inside that box(safe) or why they are not allowed to go into said gun spot.
As always I did a lot of research into this area and spent a great deal of time thinking and discussing what is the safest way to have guns in our home commingling with our children. For us, knowledge and awareness are key. All of our children, even the one who does not like guns, have handled the guns, empty, of course. We let them handle them and if they want, shoot them, but they are not allowed to touch guns if I or my husband are not around. We may have to adjust this as they age and get friends with parents who might have guns, but for now, DO NOT TOUCH unless dad or I are there is our family motto. For me and the mindset thing, I will not even let my children have toy or water guns. I think they are too young to distinguish between what is real, what is toy, so to eliminate the confusion, for now, the only guns we have are real, and they are not toys, so don’t touch them. Every single time my 5 year old sees me get my gun out to put it on, he says, “DON’T touch.” And he doesn’t.
The last part of the puzzle for us is our gun safes. We have 2 in the house and one in each of our cars. We have a place for our gear like holsters and magazine pouches(things you wear that hold extra magazines, the bullet holders basically) Our extra ammo is with it, but not our guns. We do not have a large gun collection, so storing guns here and ammo there with an extensive plan for not making it easy for the bad guy to get an extra gun and ammo, really isn’t an issue, and I am assuming whoever asked me this question doesn’t either or they probably would already know the answers. As our collection grows, we will have to address those issues.
How’d I do, got a clear picture?
I know you all are a shy bunch and nto the Chatty Cathy that I am, but if you have a method or idea to share, I am sure the folks who asked me about my carry, would love to hear from you. The more one knows, the better choices one can make.