Guns Rule Gun Rules

These are the gun ownership rules that Christine and I live by. I recommend them to everyone though, which is why they're here. There are two basic categories: rules that make sure you, your loved ones, and bystanders don't get shot (these are the most important and should look familiar), and rules that make sure criminals and attackers do get shot.

  1. Staying Safe
    1. Never point a gun at anyone or anything you aren't willing to destroy
    2. Always handle a gun as if it's loaded, even if you're certain it isn't
    3. Off Target, Off Trigger

      Keep your finger off of the trigger unless you are currently aiming at your target and ready to shoot.

    4. Know the gun

      Don't even pick up a gun until you are familiar with it's operation (from the manual or another person).

  2. Staying Dangerous
    1. Don't be a G.W.

      …meaning "gunless wonder", which is what we call each other when we're not packin' heat. You should be aware of what the law has to say about this where you live, but in general, unless a fairy from the future has given you a list of all the times you'll need to defend yourself, you should carry a gun everywhere. Do you lock your car and bring the keys with you every day, or just on the days when you think someone might want to steal it? Do you always keep a fire extinguisher in your house, or do you just go buy one when something's about to catch on fire? Seriously, what does carrying a gun cost you? Practically nothing? And what could not carrying a gun cost you? Your property? Your life? Your spouse's life? Do you really even need to think about it? We don't.

      What if you're not allowed? If you're not supposed to have a gun at Location X, but no one is doing anything to prevent you from having one, carry it anyway. Right now, you might be thinking "Carry a gun everywhere? Even when you're not allowed? My God, these people could be going to the same places I go and start shooting any time they want! Places that should be gun-free where I've always felt safe." In fact, I hope you are thinking exactly that because you just made my point. We're not crazy, violent, short tempered or any of that, so you don't have to worry about us, but then again, why should you believe me when I say that? Besides, there are plenty of people you really do need to worry about and if you or I can bring a gun into Location X, so can they.

      We often worry about being found out in places that don't appreciate (or allow) firearms, but my response would have to be "I'm not going to hurt anyone, but imagine for a minute that I did have some malicious purpose. With your aversion to being armed, what would any of you be able to do about it? You'd be sitting ducks! You're freaking out about me having a gun? I'd be your only hope if the shit hit the fan here."

      And keep in mind that criminals possess the same self-preservation instincts as regular people. They generally avoid places where they know people might be able to fight back, so any place with a "no guns" policy that depends on voluntary cooperation is probably more vulnerable to violence because only the "good guys" respect the voluntary disarmament rules. An unenforced ban on guns is actually a reason in favor of carrying one, not a reason to leave it behind. Do you ever hear about pissed off people shooting up the police station? No. Pissed off people open fire in schools, Post offices, malls, and office buildings because they know their victims either aren't allowed to have guns there, or are not likely to have them. Do us all a favor and surprise these crazy shooters by simply being ready to shoot back.

      One final concern that's anything but minor… Yes, this rule can put you in some grey areas (and some not so grey) where the law is concerned, but most laws regarding guns were never designed to be applied on their own. Rather, they exist to be piled on top of other charges in the case of a violent crime to allow for stiffer sentences. Ignoring that though, since you can't really count on it, this is the bottom line: Consider these two situations and ask yourself which one will have a happier ending…

      1. Getting caught with a gun and trying to reason with a cop
      2. Getting caught without a gun and trying to reason with an attacker
    2. Keep your "gun hand" free

      You aren't going to be able to shoot anyone if your arms are loaded up with valuable goodies so, as much as possible, don't carry anything in the hand you reach for your gun with. (Or at least, don't carry anything you aren't willing to drop.) Because of this rule, I can often be seen with a gym bag, a water jug, an iPod, a travel mug, an umbrella and my keys all on my left arm, while my right arm just swings along with [seemingly] nothing to do. I wonder if anyone notices and thinks it's odd. I'd be happy to explain it to any inquisitive muggers.

    3. If you're wondering whether or not you should shoot someone, shoot them

      The decision to intentionally harm a person isn't to be taken lightly by any means, but if a situation has gotten bad enough that you're considering shooting someone, just shoot them. You could wait until you're sure, but certainty is going to seem pretty overrated if it's the last thing to go through your mind as you die.

      I should add that this applies to questions of intent, not questions of identity. If you're not sure who's walking around your house in the middle of the night, it might be good to find out before opening fire, but if you're in a confrontation where you don't know if they guy plans to hurt you or not, let him have it.

Common Objections

There are some things that we hear over and over from people who are anti-gun, or just don't understand why we live this way. Here are some examples (and some clever rebuttals, of course).

Do you really think you'll need a gun when you're             ?

Ah, yes. This usually comes in the form of a sarcastic quip, like "Yeah, I'm sure someone's going to come in and shoot up the restaurant any minute". Ha ha. Laugh it up.

You know what? I agree. I don't really think I'm going to need a gun either. I'm carrying a handgun aren't I? Handguns are for surprises. If I really thought I was going to need something, I'd be carrying a rifle or a shotgun (or both). Or better yet, if I knew in advance that I was going to need a gun, I'd probably avoid the situation altogether if I could.

Find anyone who's ever been shot or kidnapped or something (and survived) and ask them if they thought they were going to be shot or kidnapped when they woke up that day. I'm pretty sure you don't see these things coming, otherwise, you'd stay home.

Think of it this way: Do you really think you're about to wreck your car every single time you put on a seat belt?

Carrying a gun at              makes people uncomfortable.

Whatever. It's a stupid, irrational fear so you shouldn't accommodate it. There are a lot of people that are frightened by black people. Are you going to restrict the movements of black people to accommodate them? No, because it's a stupid, irrational fear.

A gun won't protect you from             .

This type of statement is especially common when talking about terrorism. "How is a gun going to protect you from a bomb going off? [Neener neener. I'm so smart.]" Yeah, I get it. A gun won't help in this one specific situation that you've concocted, therefore, a gun is never useful.

Guess what, dumb ass. An umbrella won't protect you from a bomb either. Neither will a fire extinguisher. Does that mean these things are never useful? Does that mean we should get rid of them or make them illegal?

What if you get in trouble?

What if you get car-jacked? Which of us is really taking a big risk here?

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