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Everyone Wants To Think They’re the One-Stop Firearms Guy

Why is it that every gun forum has these guys that think that their methods of carrying (and their equipment) is the one and only methods?  These guys think that their answers are the absolute only way to address a situation.  They’re the one-stop guys…the guys that think that they’re asked first and the questioners have their answer and that’s the end of it.

Am I claiming I know better?  No, but a LOT of this isn’t one-shoe-fits-all, either.  And a LOT of it is common sense.  As well, there are soooo many variables with gun owners, their experience, and their equipment that it’s stupid to think that there’s only one answer.  These are the same people that will immediately call someone a sheep, but yet they’re giving these canned and wrong answers.

Where’s all this coming from?  There’s this guy on a forum that has two full-sized (or nearly so) handguns and he says they print too much with his summer shirts.  He wants to store his gun in a backpack when running and was asking for people who had experience with carrying in that manner.

The first forum responder asks if he’s talking about the legality or the practicality of carrying in a backpack.  He also shares his experience (he carries his in a dry bag when he’s boating or kayaking).  He also says that some carry methods aren’t optimal (carrying on a bike, for example) and that you have to do the best you can, and that “a little less reaction time has to be adjusted by more situational awareness.”  I agree.

Some others responded by stating to use backpacks that have CCW in mind, or even use a fanny pack or shirts that have robust built-in holstering.

One responder outright stated that using a backpack was a bad idea.  I responded to him by stating that there’s no absolute answer.  There are so many variables in assessing what’s best based on your individual needs that just because Owner A may use a certain holster doesn’t mean that holster will be acceptable for Owner B.  The original poster stated he wanted to carry his gun when he’s running with his dog.  His guns are difficult to conceal in his running gear, I assume.  One offered option was to downsize his guns (trade or sell his guns for smaller framed guns that are easier to conceal).  I also offered the option of maybe finding running gear that will better accomodate his handguns, or get some printed shirts that will hinder printing.  Telling the guy outright that carrying in a backpack was the worst answer was really awful…that’s what this responder did.  It started a debate between myself and the responder.  My argument was that you would need to give yourself more time to be situationally aware when carrying in this manner.  His argument was weird…he was like, “situational awareness has nothing to do with carrying”, which was the worst answer possible.  If you aren’t situationally aware and you’re also carrying, that’s dangerous, especially if you’re open-carrying.  He kept stating that it’s quicker to unholster a gun that’s being carried on your hip than it is to reach inside of a backpack.  He’s right, but no one was arguing that point.  Well, he was but no one else cared.  Several guys within the thread stated that you should always be situationally aware and if you are sufficiently aware, you could buy yourself time to get to the gun.  Another argument this person used was, “well, there was a guy in a van that pulled up next to this girl, he pointed a gun at her, demanded she get into the van, then he repeatedly raped her.”  He used this to argue his point of a holstered gun being better than a gun in a backpack.  I asked if she was carrying a gun and asked how that proved his point.  He never answered…just stated that I was being obtuse.

My point is, every gun owner that carries (whether concealed or not) should be performing mental risk assessments to determine how to best deal with potential problems based on the equipment they’re planning to use.  There are so many variables in assessing risk (gun, owner’s experience and training, owner’s holster, owner’s ammo, the potential defensive situation…), you can’t just say, “a bag isn’t going to cut it”. There’s no absolute answers. You deal with it the best you can. Even if you practice daily, real life situations aren’t scripted. You’ve to adjust as it happens.  Situational awareness is going to help with that.  His example of the girl being raped, for example…she could’ve done several things based on the risk involved.  She could’ve run, or yelled at the top of her lungs, or did both.  A gun wouldn’t have solved that and would’ve escalated the incident.  Running and yelling would probably have worked because those are defensive actions…potential rapists don’t typically shoot their potential victims if they yell or run.  People have been killed with holstered guns, as well.  Having a gun does not stop bad things from happening, but even if you’ve a gun, carrying in a manner that is basically looking for a confrontation with a bad guy is…bad.  If you see a bad guy coming toward you with a gun, are you going to just stand there and wait for him to get to you?  You should move, run, hide, or at least make enough distance between you and him so that you can get the gun from the backpack.  A backpacked gun is better than no gun in that situation.  One could argue that someone could steal the backpack.  Well, one could bumrush a person CCWing and take his holstered gun as well (remember the Walmart incident in Florida earlier this year?).  The gun by itself isn’t the weapon…your MIND is the weapon too.  Don’t let yourself be lulled by the fact that you’re carrying concealed.  If you’re printing and not aware of it and have the attitude that you’re safe, you’re now in a higher level of danger and you’re in a complacent state of mind, as a bad guy will more than likely see your printing gun and see you as an immediate threat.  I’m not even a LEO or have been through advanced or even basic defensive firearms courses and I know this.  What’s crazy is that it seems that everyone wants to be the internet expert on armed confrontation…they think they’re John Wick, I guess.

Is a backpack the best equipment to carry a gun?  NO!  But if it’s all you have, then you make the best of it, or get something that’s a bit better than a backpack (maybe a backpack that’s designed around CCW), or get a smaller handgun.  Work out what’s best for you and what you can cope with, risk-wise.