Carrying a gun around the house.

Posted: September 6, 2010 in The End is Near

This weekend, my previous story about “The day I pulled my gun on someone” made it to the front page of Reddit which generated a lot of traffic, and some comments I found really surprising.

Reddit has a lot of users from all around the world, not just the USA (like a typical gun forum), and some of the Europeans seemed completely aghast that:

  • I was smoking in the car with my infant son after the near-shooting incident. (Really? Like, for real?)
  • I mentioned that I often carry a concealed weapon “whilst” around my house.

  • Several home invasions have made the news around me (Raleigh, NC) this summer. One involved thugs beating an 82 year old woman and tying her up in her home.  (These events now happen at least weekly and started increasing since around the end of 2005.)

    Realizing that MOST crime does not make the news, here are just this week’s local news stories:

    You can only retreat so far.

    1. Elderly woman injured in home invasion.
    2. Resident injured during home invasion
    3. Shooting At Cook Out Restaurant Parking Lot.
    4. Suspect Shoots At Door, Robs Greenville Sonic.
    5. One killed, one injured in shooting, attempted robbery.
    6. Man charged in fatal Harnett County home invasion.
    7. Clerk beaten in store robbery.
    8. Victim shoots suspect during attempted break-in.

    [Update: Bonus carnage on Sunday.]

    (Note: compare who went to the hospital in #8, versus #1-#7)

    I know some Europeans smugly look at all this and say “You Yanks are awash in crime because you are awash in guns.” If guns cause crime, than mine must be defective. (I believe the true reason for all our violent crime is due to the draconian way we handle the “War on Drugs” vs. European policies — but that’s a whole other post.)

    I choose not to be a victim, others (in this country, at least) are also free to choose the opposite. Additionally, I work out in the public and deal with cash for my job, making me a very attractive target for any crackhead or tweaker.

    Carrying my gun is comfortable, and comforting, when pondering the realities of society today. Carrying it has become second-nature and almost an extension of my body. It is well-concealed, but immediately available, and few outside my family have any idea it is there. I am not daydreaming about creating a Scarface-styled showdown.

    Sure, I wish I lived in a happy place of flowers and unicorns, but I don’t.  Rather than daydream about how wonderful flowers and unicorns would be, I instead choose to be prepared – for the same reason I have a fire extinguisher in my kitchen. You just never know.

    I consider the gun a reasonable, well-considered, and pragmatic response to the potential threat of violence in my environment, where even cops have been convicted of robbery and home invasions. My European detractors are entitled to have a different opinion, but I consider that thought process (in view of the ugly realities of today,) just as weird as they consider mine.

    1. jeff from CA says:

      Thanks for the article.

      I was always interested in guns but since 1989 I’ve been pro-gun control (I control all the guns). Because not-being a gun owner, it was hard for me to have some kind of insight into how a gun owner might think, and whether they might be crazy. Some of the expressions of gun culture are not exactly moderating to the rest of the people. Where is the line between someone who owns *so many guns* to someone who goes crazy from pro-gun propaganda that stimulates paranoia (Poplowski in Pittsburgh)?

      Ironically, becoming and steeping myself in the gun culture, I find that now I am the potentially unstable guy who has too many guns. I have to say that owning a gun and learning about the ethics and laws of lethal force have humbled me. I think if most people could see what I saw, they might be more accepting of gun ownership and what it teaches people when properly infused with the right values (like Appleseed or Gunsite).

      On the other hand, I see video games that make light of violence and I worry a bit.

      It might even be not a bad idea to give thugs some training in aiming, the gravity of violence, and not killing bystanders.

    2. Frothyleet says:

      Though I have no problem with carrying in one’s house, I must point out that your argument about home invasions (“Realizing that MOST crime does not make the news, here are just this week’s local news stories:”) is not really a valid point. Your assessment of the risk of home invasion is actually going to be skewed inaccurately upwards, rather than downwards, by the media. It’s a common psychological phenomenon; we only see the few incidents of violent crime reported by the media, rather than the vast majority of non-newsworthy non-incidents.

      • Jason Sawtelle says:

        I’m not sure of your position on gun control, but your above statement, interestingly, works both ways and I feel it might be useful to illustrate. Your statement using with ‘guns’: “Would you agree then that the assessment of the danger of guns is skewed inaccurately upwards, rather than downwards, by the media?”

    3. Testosterone says:

      I happen to believe that carrrying in your house may be the most important place of all.

      We are lulled into a very false sense of security because we believe our home should be where we are safest, but one home invasion after another demonstrates that our homes are not any sort of fortress except in our imaginations…

    4. Nick says:

      You know what the crime problem in America stems from? Handguns. New Zealand manages to have the most guns per capita, yet America leads the world on handgun violence. Try concealing a rifle or a shotgun to rob your corner store. It’s so easy for anyone to obtain lethal weapons and conceal them on their person. When I visited America, you could tell people were packing. And a good deal of them were the sort that you would cross the street to avoid.

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