Wear A Gun In The Safety Of Your
Own Home? Here’s Why It’s A Good Idea.
By Massad Ayoob
A staple meme on the gun-related Internet forums seems to be, “If you carry more firepower than I do, you’re paranoid, and if you carry less than I do, you’re a pathetic sheeple.” Nowhere does this manifest itself more than in discussion threads on “home carry,” that is, wearing a handgun on your person when at home.
One poster comments he keeps a gun in his pocket or on his hip at home. Another writes, “Where do you live, Fallujah? I’d hate to be as paranoid as you!” And the argument is on. A second person will comment, “I just keep a loaded gun stashed in every room. Why carry at home?” And the next guy will say, “You’ve got a gun in every room, and you call someone else paranoid?” Well…
Ayoob’s signature model Ed Brown .45 in Ayoob Rear Guard holster
by Mitch Rosen (or something similar) has proven comfortable for
all-waking-hours wear, and un-tucking the polo shirt covers it
quickly when need be.
The responsibly armed household has to balance quick accessibility of a loaded firearm in a sudden, life-threatening emergency against the obvious need to keep that weapon secure from the unauthorized hands of little kids, irresponsible adults, and the burglars themselves. If the stored or staged gun is even in a quick release safe, there’s going to be the matter of swiftly and surely unlocking the little vault, perhaps in the dark and with hands shaking from adrenaline. Some hands are simply not compatible with biometric safes. Getting across even an average size den or bedroom to the storage location takes considerably more time than the practiced movement of drawing it from a holster already strapped to the body.
I figured out a long time ago the simplest way to keep a loaded gun instantly accessible and simultaneously keep it out of unauthorized hands was to keep it loaded and holstered on my person.
I first met Jeff Cooper in the mid-1970’s at his home on the then embryonic Gunsite property, where he lived with his wife, Janelle, before building his famous house, the Sconce. I noticed his trademark Colt .45 auto never left his hip unless he sat down, at which time he set the pistol on a table beside him. A couple of years later, I was a guest in the home of Lt. Frank McGee, the legendary commander of the NYPD Firearms and Tactics Unit, and observed that his signature 3-inch barrel S&W .38 Special never left the holster on his hip. Those wise men had figured it out before I had.
An assortment of pocket holsters and S&W J-frames (above) are no more
difficultto have on at home than a wallet in your pocket. The Glock
in the quick access Gun Vault (below) is a good thing, but will
you be able to get to it in time when the door is kicked down,
or you confront a stealthy intruder who has sneaked in?
We would be fools to think we’re prepared to defend against home invaders without studying what happens to victims who are not so prepared. If you haven’t done so already, read In Cold Blood, Truman Capote’s classic on the 1959 murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kan. One would think a farm family would have at least rifles or shotguns in the house, and if they did, none of the residents were able to reach one when surprised by the murderers, and they were slaughtered. Look at the savage orgy of rape, murder, and arson in Cheshire, Conn., in 2007, which only one member of the Petit family survived. I don’t know if the family even owned a gun. But ask yourself, when each of these atrocities went down, if the head of the household had been carrying a gun, whether the outcomes might have been better.
No, you don’t need to walk around the living room strapped up to run a 3-Gun match. If you’re worrying about alarming the UPS man, the cookie-selling Girl Scout, or the neighbor who came over to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar, a J-frame in a pocket holster or a subcompact 9mm strapped to the ankle or even a full-size .45 or magnum holstered discreetly beneath an untucked shirt will go unnoticed.
Even if you feel comfortable with a loaded gun quickly accessible in every room because your home is presently child-free, the day is going to come when a friend or relative shows up unexpectedly with a passel of rug rats. This will require some hurried running around to get all the hardware scooped up and secured. It seems so much easier to simply have to pull a slightly oversize shirt over a holstered pistol, or leave the gun in your pocket—this way you can be sure little fingers won’t be finding their way onto any triggers.
Paranoia? Nah. The gun on at home is, for a lot of people, simply a solid understanding of the time and space continuum and how rapidly a home invasion can go down.