Thursday, September 8, 2016

Always Have a Spare Innertube

As anybody that follows this blog or my other blog (all 3 of you) knows I am a self defense instructor, second amendment advocate and concealed carry supporter. That being said my little secret is I can't/don't carry my firearm all the time or everywhere. Obviously there are locations where it is illegal to do so. There are also places where it may not be illegal but carrying a concealed firearm would have negative repercussions for me. At my place of employment for instance. However I have always carried whenever or wherever feasible.

Recently I was making plans for a business trip to a neighboring state. I was going to drive and to get there I would have to pass through the notorious anti gun state of Illinois and then two other states where my permit was honored. I dutifully printed out the laws as they pertained to concealed carry in all the states I would be driving through including Illinois. After reading the accumulated 50 pages of do's and don't, the whens and wheres and the yeses and no's I started seriously considering leaving my firearm at home.

The conflict was real. I have never thought of the firearm as a magic talisman or the end all be all of self defense. It is just part of my holistic approach to self defense which includes, pointy things, stabby things, medical skills and hands on/unarmed skills. There was a very real possibility my firearm would spend a lot of time locked in a small portable gun safe during the trip. Either because it was illegal to carry or I would need to have it elsewhere during training. Would I even need it or miss it? It was going to be a real pain in the ass.

A few days before my trip I went for a mountain bike ride with a friend. On these rides I generally carry a small hydration bladder with water. Since we mainly ride gravel I also generally take an extra innertube and some tools. On this ride though I decided against them. I have never needed them before and we were only going to ride a few hours.About halfway through our ride as we were talking about my dilemma as it related to my trip I started hearing a clicking sound. With in a hundred meters my rear tire made a large popping sound and went flat. Out of the blue I had gotten a flat. And of course I had no innertube. Luckily there was a straight route back to my vehicle on the shoulder of the highway. Lucky because it was straight but it was also almost 4 miles of the walk of shame as I pushed my deflated bike.

I had a lot of time to think during this little hike. I thought, how although the gun was not the end all be all, it had always been my feeling that carrying a firearm is a responsibility that should be exercised. I thought about how I couldn't let the bureaucrats win. I couldn't let them bury my right of self defense under reams of legal restrictions. But more than anything I thought about how you don't carry a gun for when you think you need it. You carry it for when you think you won't. Just like a spare innertube. By the time I got to my car I had made up my mind. I think you know what my decision was.


  1. It's better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

  2. It's better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

  3. I agree with you: to paraphrase what I heard elsewhere, I don't go anywhere I think I'll need a gun; I carry a gun for the places I don't know I will need it. I also carry tools and other equipment in my car in case I need it, not because I expect to need it.
    I carry whenever I can (I work at a federal facility and can't there) - and when I can't carry, I look for other ways and means of defending myself.
    I'm not former military and I could certainly use more training, but I do what I can to be ready for what may come.