By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
The problem with good habits is that they’re the easiest to break.
Eating right, going to the gym (when they were open!) not doing that one thing your spouse hates, changing your oil at exactly 3,000 to 7,000 miles (depending) and so on are examples of things we know we’re all supposed to do, but keep finding reasons or excuses not to.
Occasionally, one might get a reminder to keep doing those good things. Hopefully, that reminder is not catastrophic. Perhaps the oil light on your car goes off, and you start changing and checking fluid levels. Maybe you get winded going up a flight of stairs and start getting in some more cardio.
The reminder can also be much harsher, such as a seized engine or a heart attack, so it pays to be mindful when you get a small reminder of the stuff you’re supposed to be doing.
Since this column is about concealed carry, guns and stuff related to that, one habit that all of us say we’re supposed to engage in is always having your gun on you. If you don’t carry it all the time, what’s even the point and so on.
I’ve even had that conversation with friends who don’t own or carry guns about why I have it on me all the time. It usually goes something like “it’s like car insurance; you can’t anticipate if or when you’ll need it,” an idea which is going to come up again.
However, during the lockdown I got complacent, and I got a reminder. Ordinarily I try to leave myself out of anything I write because I’m not particularly interesting (although I occasionally make some awesome jokes) but this was an experience I had that some people might find relevant as far as this topic is concerned.
I live in a small town about 20 miles away from Spokane, Wash., which – if you’ve never heard of it – is a medium city about 250 miles east of Seattle and about 20 miles from the Idaho border. If I have to head into the city for anything, my gun is always on. Typically, I’m pretty good about wearing it at all times, but during this period of isolation I haven’t been venturing into the city at all.
As you might imagine, the reasoning is/was something like “well, I’m only going to the grocery store (we have a couple; the furthest is 2 miles and the nearest 10 blocks away) so why bother?” or something to that effect. It’s an excuse, and not a good one.
About a week ago, my wife and I – with our kiddo in the backseat – went out to get takeout from a Chinese restaurant (because Safeway Chinese food just doesn’t always cut the spicy mustard) in another nearby small town. I didn’t put my gun on because we’re only driving about 10 miles and I’m just going in and out of a restaurant, so why add to the hassle?
As it turned out, the restaurant in question had been robbed a few minutes before I walked in.
It wasn’t an armed robbery; the perpetrator asked the cashier/hostess for a glass of water and popped the register open when her back was turned and made off with the cash about a minute or two before we pulled into the parking lot. So it wasn’t violent, but more of a crime of opportunity so to speak.
On a side note, robbing a restaurant these days (especially a small mom and pop operation like most Chinese restaurants) is kicking people when they’re already down. I hope that guy gets a disease.
So nothing really happened to anyone in terms of physical or serious psychological harm, but what if we’d left the house five minutes earlier? Maybe he wouldn’t have done anything. Maybe he’d have pulled a gun or a knife.
There are some obvious lessons.
Crime doesn’t just happen in the big city. It’s rarer in the hinterlands, but it still happens, so the idea of “I’m just insert excuse here” holds less water than you’d think.
And obviously, if you’re going to bother getting the permit, training, the gun and the gear to carry with, carry it all the time. Just like with having car insurance, you know that there’s a possibility you might need it but the conditions of when and where you’ll need it cannot be anticipated. I knew this, and ignored it. Luckily not to my cost but it could have been.
Also, their egg foo yung wasn’t very good, which means my search for a good Chinese restaurant in the area continues.
Occasionally, we need reminders to shake us out of complacency. Hopefully, this is the last one I’ll need, but maybe it won’t be. Maybe you’ll need a reminder of your own.
In related news, my gym is opening up again in a few days, so that’s something.
But what about you? Ever have a close call or something like that happen that shocked you out of complacency about carrying? Sound off in the comments.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to 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.