Why You Should Always Be Carrying

Why You Should Always Be Carrying

Let’s talk everyday carry.

And let’s try a novel approach in doing so. Let’s eschew discussion of concealed vs. open carry. Let’s avoid arguing about what the best carry piece is, or which carry system is best. And please, for the love of all that’s good and right in this troubled world, let’s not revive the Caliber Wars. Those were dark times, and I’d rather not relive them. Let us instead address a more fundamental question.


Why should you carry every day? The vast majority of us will never need to use our carry weapon. We’ll never be the victim of a violent crime, the target of a sexual assault, present at a mass shooting, or subjected to a home invasion. If anything, our great nation is getting safer every year.  So why carry?

Because statistics mean nothing to the individual.

Cancer patients beat million to one odds and recover in full. People win the lottery, or get struck by lightning, or . . . you get the point. When statistical outliers get real, you’ll have to deal—and deal quickly—with a rapidly evolving, unthinkable situation.  Have the right tools available.

There’s also a legal aspect to daily carry that I think is under-discussed. The fact is that, while law enforcement exists, it serves the community as a whole and has no obligation to you as an individual. Every Supreme Court case on the question has affirmed that position; Google Warren vs. District of Columbia for a prominent example. I’ll quote the decision:

“[t]he duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists.”

A special relationship is generally defined as a duty to protect, and generally only exists if you’re in police custody or have been specifically assigned police protection. And few of us are.

So the bottom line is this: while the cops are there and will certainly try to help, their approach to individual violent crime is generally reactive, and their legal responsibility to you is generally zero.  Legally and morally, the weight of your own defense rests on you.

Heavy stuff? Maybe—but it has to be said.

So practice situational awareness. Avoid places where trouble might start.  Leave a light on when you’re not home and invest in a good alarm system—or a dog.  Keep your car insurance up to date and have a fire extinguisher in your home.  In short—take the steps you need to keep yourself safe: carry, and carry daily.

And one final note before we close.  We live in troubled political times.  If you’re going to carry—particularly if you’re going to carry openly—you need to be on your best behavior. You’re an ambassador for all of us who support the 2nd Amendment. Be polite—even if they’re being a jerk. Keep your cool, and show the world that responsible citizens, well armed, are a tool for peace and freedom.

Read More: How To Have Good CCW Interactions With Law Enforcement

And, as always: stay safe out there.

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at opencarryjenkins@gmail.com.
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Bob P

I’m 67, just this year purchased a handgun for home defense. Started my education by acquiring an SC CWP and have spent several hundred hours learning responsibility, law, behavior, safety, shooting skills, etc. At the onset of this journey I never intended to carry however, as I learn I am leaning toward carrying. Your short article does a wonderful job of stating the case for carrying. Thanks for the well written article.


I’ve started every single comment in this article for years.
I’m not knocking cops here, was one.

Fact, the police are far less likely to stop a crime in progress than the average citizen.
Fact police are basically there to cover your dead body with a tarp, then investigate your murder later.
When the statistics say you have a 1:10000 chance if being a victim of violent crime, and you’re the victim, your now that 100% chance of that statistic.
So do you really want to be a statistic and a case number?

Robert McCabe


Paul MacFarlane

Thank you. This is exactly the crux of the matter. I live in an essentially crime free neighborhood, and work on a military base so should never need a carry weapon right? (not that I can carry on a military base. Does everyone understand how ridiculous the “active shooter” policies are on military bases? Very!) Your point is right on. It may be a 1:10000 chance of being the victim of a violent, life threatening encounter, but it only takes once and then you’re at 1:1 or 100%. Thanks again.


Everyone who says that the police are equipped to keep us safe , i agree with you and your 10’s of thousand statistic, but i have one fact that can not be disputed so i agree with carry 100%. that fact is :

For every split second life or death situation , the police is 1 minute away.


The article’s last paragraph is extremely important. Be a good ambassador for all of us that carry. Also, don’t get the Rambo mentality where you relish any opportunity to display your piece. The opposite should always be true.

One last comment; You can never be too well trained. Just when you think you know it all, you tend to prove you don’t. I’m an old Airborne Infantryman and RVN Vet but I still attend classes about concealed carry.

Robert McCabe

Why carry daily? That is such a silly question. We live in a world where maniacs go on shooting rampages in schools, movie theaters, restaurants, malls, etc. And statistically, we are unlikely to ever need our concealed handguns. But, it is a prudent man or woman who is prepared if it does happen to them or around them.
Para Bellum – If you want peace, prepare for war!


Nitpicky maybe, but others may not know it. That’s actually si vis pacem, para bellum

Para bellum only means prepare for war

Robert McCabe

You are correct sir!


I’m in the habit of carrying everywhere I can – even if I’m just going to the corner store to get a soda. Even at church. Because you never know when a bad guy might show up – just ask the folks at Sandy Hook or the Emanuel (AME) Church in Charleston if they were expecting someone to come in and shoot them up.

Marcus Gungeek

This is a good article, there is one sentence I kinda disagree with is ” If anything, our great nation is getting safer every year. ” IMO, it might be getting safer but more and more crime is taken place. The ones that carry do help others and themselves but crime is more prevalent. Technology has made somethings safer also.


Some low-info type asked why I’d carry concealed since I’m not a cop.

I asked why he’d have a fire extinguisher in his house since he’s not a firefighter.

I’m still waiting for the answer…


I just took the FDLE CCW course. I am suspicious of the last days of this administration and for this and many other reasons, I will now carry everyday.


As you point out, if you only occasionally carry it can be warped into making it appear you had intent to shoot someone that day. If you carry everyday, then the case can be made that the only reason why you had to pull it out of the holster out of the 365 days x years is to defend yourself, family and more risky motivation, to come to the aid of others…