Why Carry?

Why do you carry a gun? A question often heard by those of us who do. There are many possible answers. I tend to adapt my answer to the questioner. Are they really interested in my answer? Do they hate guns and think anyone who likes guns are dangerous, crazy and not to be trusted? Are they interested but not sure how to broach the topic of self defense?

I read a good response from the member of my gun forum. It went something like this:

His wife was always ragging him about carrying his Ruger .380 LCP whenever they left the house.

"Why are you carrying that gun when we are just going to the grocery store?" she said.
"Are you going to be wearing your seat belt?" he said.
"Of course," she said.
"Do you really think we are going to have an accident just driving a few blocks to the grocery store?" he asked.
"No, but you never know." she said.
"Exactly," he said.

My philosopy is that if I have decided to carry and am committed to that decision, I will carry all of the time where legally permissible. Sounds a little like overkill to some, but to me, it only makes sense.

You never know.

I have, however, struck a balance between being armed and being over-armed, so to speak. Many professionals, like Ayoob, advocate carrying more than one gun. They are usually speaking from a background wherein they are much more likely to have to resort to their firearm than you or I will. I think it makes sense, in some situations to go with a backup gun, but not always. I want to have enough redundancy and reliability that if I have to rely on a handgun, it is there, it will fire and I have additional ammunition should I need it. Sometimes this might mean one larger gun and a smaller back up gun as both redundancy and additional ammunition. Other times I feel comfortable with one reliable handgun and a spare magazine.

I'm not into over doing it as a civilian. A main carry gun with two spare magazines, a backup gun with at least a spare magazine, is a little too much for me. If I knew I was going into a crime prone neighborhood, I might do that. But, more realistically, I wouldn't go unless I had no choice.