That’s Not My Carry Gun…

My 4-year-old daughter has a set of fun touch-and-feel board books that all begin with the phrase, “That’s not my…” So each title and story focuses on a variety of monsters, pandas, tractors, puppies or even snowmen that do NOT belong to the author (or the reader, depending on your level of involvement and imagination!). In the end, however, every book in the series concludes with the correct train, monkey, dragon or whatever the item or animal is. And there is much rejoicing.

As parents know all too well, we often get caught up in a routine of reading the same, few requested books over and over again every evening at bedtime or whenever the mood strikes our children. So these favored stories become very familiar, and sometimes painfully so. Luckily, my daughter’s little books are short and sweet and simple to get through without much concentrated effort. She can even “read” them herself (thanks to some countless repetition). But the humor didn’t escape me when I imagined an additional text that, perhaps, is missing from my child’s bookshelf: That’s Not My Carry Gun.

Stick with me for a moment.

That’s Not My Carry Gun… 

That’s not my carry gun. Its grip is too rough. 

That’s not my carry gun. Its recoil is too strong. 

That’s not my carry gun. Its slide is too heavy. 

That’s not my carry gun. Its trigger reset is too long. 

That’s my carry gun! Its sights are so bright.  

I know this story is pretty silly. But, you have to admit: The idea behind it is so true. Too many people are persuaded (or even bullied) to purchase a gun that’s not for them. Or they make the mistake of buying the first gun they shoot or the one that just feels good in their hands. But there is so much more to it than that! Rent first. Practice. Try several types. Note what you like and what you don’t like or what worked or didn’t work. And then try them all again!

You’ll need to consider the style, the size, the weight and the caliber of the firearm that best fits you and your lifestyle. Revolver or semi-automatic pistol? Large frame or compact? The answers to those questions may decide the best caliber, or the caliber may help you refine your choice even more. Also, be sure to consider any physical concerns or requirements you have that could affect the way you carry, manipulate or fire the gun. As an example, folks with smaller hands may not be able to properly or comfortably grip a larger-sized gun. Or, those who suffer from arthritis may not want to worry about racking the slide on a semi-auto. You may also want to narrow down your selections based on your own experience level with firearms. If you’re comfortable and proficient with most guns and with the way they function, you may be drawn to a gun with more bells and whistles, perhaps with a de-cocker and a thumb safety or maybe even a laser sight. Others, still, may prefer the simplest, easiest and most basic tools the gun world has to offer. Any end of the spectrum — and anything in between — is just fine, as long as it works well for you.

All in all, just don’t let someone else — no matter what his/her intentions may be — convince you that you must have a bigger caliber … or a 1911 … or the gun he/she happens to like (or just wants to get off his/her shelves). You need to be comfortable … and able! You need to carry the gun you can shoot accurately and consistently.

As simple and as trivial as it may sound: It needs to be your gun.