This is probably going to be a controversial topic. If you don’t like guns, just do everyone a favor and stop reading now. I will continue below
Ok, if you are still reading, you were warned. What follows below will be a talk about things like shooting happy little unicorns with big mean guns and other mean people shit.
I carry a gun everyday, almost everywhere. There are some places in Texas (and on Federal property) where it is illegal to carry a firearm. I sometimes follow those rules. The pistols I carry vary, but generally are one of the following three:
-A Ruger LCP, in .380. Good pocket gun, carried when i wear lightweight athletic shorts.
– A Sig Sauer P225A1, in 9mm. A “compact” gun, this is my everyday carry pistol.
-A Sig Sauer MK25 in 9mm. Customized quite a bit, with Nite Sights, Threaded barrel, custom Hogue grips, and a TLR2g laser/light combo. This is my “tactical” gun. If I could only have one pistol, this would be it.
Do I carry a gun when hiking? Damn Skippy. In Texas, we have poisonous snakes, coyotes, feral pigs, big cats (rare but growing), bears (moving west from Arkansas and Louisiana), and meth-heads. I carry because feral pigs REALLY are a big problem in Texas and I would prefer not to have myself or my dog get gored. I carry because I trust people as far as I can throw them, until they prove themselves trustworthy. I carry because I can.
Where do I carry?
When I am hiking, I generally carry in my Ribz pack. That keeps the gun easily accessible, but secure and concealed. Texas allows open carry, and I do occasionally, but most times it is just easier to conceal. Wherever you decide to carry, make certain you secure it, and it is stored safely.
Where do I store it at night?
Generally, I store my pistol in my gear hammock. That way it is stored securely, and within easy reach while I am lying down. My main concern at night is coyotes, and I have had to draw it before. One fall hike on the LoneStarHiking Trail, we heard coyotes in the distance when we turned in. Later that night, I was woken by Faith. She usually sleeps under my hammock and when she stands up she bumps my butt. She was growling pretty hardcore and I grabbed my pistol, turned on the mounted light and looked across the logging road we were camped along. Across the road (about 20ft or so) were more than 10 eyes glowing back at me. After engaging in a stare-down for a few minutes, the coyotes decided they had seen enough, and left. Most times, coyotes are purely opportunistic scavengers, but you starve any animal long enough and they will act in an aggressive manner. I refuse to be a snack.
Is carrying a gun the right thing for you?
Maybe. Maybe not.
-can you legally carry a gun?
– are you comfortable around guns?
-do you know how to use a gun? Safely?
-if necessary will you use the gun?
If you answered no to any of the above, then you probably shouldn’t be carrying a gun. If you answered yes to ALL of them, then you need to think long and hard before you take any further steps.
A gun laying on the ground is no more dangerous than a paperweight is. Pick up that gun and point it at something and that gun has not become a damn bit more dangerous. But you have. Gun ownership is still a protected right in this country, but the responsibility to carry and use it in a safe manner is all on you. Don’t go out and buy any old gun you see at your local gun shop.
-Find a friend who owns a gun and have them take you shooting to see if you like it.
-Try out different guns, most good ranges also rent guns. Try as many as you can and find what suits you best.
-Take a concealed carry class.
-Know your State laws. Is open carry legal? Concealed carry? Constitutional carry? Find out and follow the laws.
-Take a pistol class. Many ranges and shops offer classes on how to shoot, clean and carry a gun. Generally less than $100, it is money well spent.
Let me close by saying if you do carry, I hope you never need to use it. If you use it, I hope you hit what you aimed for. If you hit it, I hope it was a furry little animal. If it wasn’t, I hope you have a damn good defense or a damn good lawyer.