I work in one of the most violent, ethnically diverse areas of Nashville, TN. Everyday, an assortment of crimes take place within earshot of my dental practice. If you lived in an area that rained everyday, you’d always have an umbrella handy, to keep as dry as possible. Conversely, since I work in an area that is physically hazardous, I pack appropriately.
I’ve been carrying a gun as a private citizen for 20 years now, and I spent several of those years carrying in an official capacity as an armored truck guard. I’m, “over,” the allure of whatever is the latest and greatest carry pieces; even with the occasional test gun/experimentation, I always end up coming back to the old standards (what you see in the picture). I have an EDC (Smith M&P 9mm FS), an EDC BUG (Smith 640), and a gym/lounge/check the mail/let the dog out gun (Smith 442). If I go to a place for work where my compatriots will all be using Glock 19’s (or 17’s), I’ll sub out my M&P for the 19. The commonalities between the two pistols overlap enough that the learning curve isn’t difficult to overcome with a short dry-practice/draw refresher. The revolvers work exactly alike, except one is a bit lighter, and works better when worn without a belt (like in gym shorts). I feel it’s better to invest money in practice ammunition and software (training and education) than to carry the latest gadget laden polymer pistol. Once you’ve invested into a carry system, switching to something else is a major investment! Magazines, spare parts, holsters, non-plastic sights (if it’s a Glock), ALL these things take money and time to find and purchase. There are other things to spend time on!
I know that our world is in bedlam, some locales worse than others. Everyone is concerned about active killer events, and we’ve even had one in this area (http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2015/08/05/dispatcher-active-shooter-reported-antioch-theater/31171021/). However, my biggest personal security concern is the big parking lot outside my office, and the twenty footsteps that are required to traverse said parking lot from the front door of my office. And then there is the worry of car jacking, which happens here, regularly, too.
Unfortunately, carrying two guns, spare ammo, a flashlight, less lethal options, and a Spyderco folding knife is the, “new normal,” for many regular enlightened civilian folks like me. I’m under no illusions that calling 911 will get me any kind of help with a degree of urgency. As much as I love our wonderful Metro PD, I know that those ladies and gentlemen are simply tied up dealing with other people’s problems.
There is no, “normal,” life anymore. There is just, “life.” Each of us has to decide if we are going to be a slave to the criminal/terror threat, or if we are going to rise above it, and not compromise our quality of life. The equipment is only a small part of the equation. I’d rather be outfitted with a Speedo and a #2 Dixon Ticonderoga and be physically fit, than to be obese and bristling with weaponry. For me, I’m glad I have the experience and the training to be my own bodyguard. It makes living in our weird world, THAT much easier. I am glad that I am not one of the masses, who walk the Earth, completely unaware of the evil that lurks, just around the next corner.