By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
One of the terms that people in the gun community like to use is “responsible gun owners,” with “law-abiding gun owners” being not too far behind it. Granted, a lot of people actually are, but some people really just aren’t.
How law-abiding is a person on a day-to-day basis? Do you speed or tailgate in traffic? Only partially stopped at a stop sign? Goosed it through a yellow light only to have it turn red halfway through the intersection? Those things are against the law, and people do those things all the time.
And the thing is, that there are a number of gun owners that just aren’t responsible. A good number of them wind up in the news after being involved in a terrible accident that was easily preventable. Furthermore, if we’re going to be some sort of “gun community” or whatever that might mean, we should encourage each other to not be one of them.
That means calling people out for being irresponsible when appropriate or educating newbies and total rubes when they clearly don’t know what the heck they’re doing.
So where do we start? Who is clearly NOT a responsible gun owner?
Let’s start with the obvious. There are certain practices which we know to be irresponsible, that have led to terrible accidents that make their way into the news.
First, pocket carry without a holster. Yes, I work for a company that makes holsters (including pocket holsters) and some folks love pointing that out in the comments section. While I’d love it if more people bought Alien Gear Holsters, in a way I don’t even care if it’s one of ours so long as people are being responsible and safe.
How many times do we have to see stories about a person who gets wounded or dies because some yokel, some putz, some doofus was pocket carrying without a holster and the gun discharged?
By now, we all know that you shouldn’t do it. Again, this is where the comments section says “but the guy writing this works for a holster company!” Folks, you can find a decent Kydex holster for like $30 on eBay, Etsy or Amazon. You don’t have to buy ours. We appreciate it if you do, of course (and they’re pretty darn good) but there just aren’t any excuses for anyone here. Heck, some gun companies throw in a cheap SERPA knock-off with the gun.
Another practice is carrying off the body likewise without a holster. While this seems to be a bit more common for women (plenty of ladies just put a pistol in their purse) there are plenty of dudes that will stick a gun in their backpack, unholstered. Every single risk present with pocket carrying without a holster (accidental/negligent discharge and possible injury and/or death) is present with this bad practice too.
This is another irresponsible practice that has made headlines. Toddlers get their mom’s guns out of a purse, a lady drops her purse, or someone reaches into a backpack with an unsecured pistol and then tragedy ensues.
It’s not hard to keep these things from happening. Even a cheap holster can keep the trigger guard protected and in today’s era of poly-frame striker guns with no manual safety and light trigger pulls, keeping the trigger covered is of utmost importance and no, a zippered pocket or what have you does not cut it. There are purpose-made concealed carry purses that have something like a holster built into them, and some aren’t that expensive.
Another is inadequate storage. This is another common story that creates headlines. How many times has a toddler or other child gotten to a loaded gun that was in a drawer or cabinet or something, which led to tragedy?
Folks, you can get a lockbox for less than $30. Are they as good as an actual safe? No, but they do most of the things you need a safe to do. So long as the keys are only accessible to adults, it gets the job done. You can get a decent gun case and a padlock for around the same amount. You can even upgrade to a Stack-On for a couple hundred dollars if you feel like it’s not enough.
With strategic placement and planning, you don’t have to sacrifice much in terms of readiness and still be safe.
If you don’t carry with a holster, and don’t have secure storage for a carry gun or home protection gun, the fact is you aren’t a responsible gun owner. And given that it doesn’t cost very much at all to get either or both, there just aren’t really any excuses for it.
Any other practices you think are irresponsible? Sound off in the comments.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.