I carry a gun every day. It’s not my job, I don’t get paid extra for being a gunwriter that actually carries a gun. I choose to carry, the same way I’d choose to wear my seatbelt or not jump off a bridge. But the problem with carrying a gun is that it creates a lifestyle choice – there are tools that I carry because I carry a gun. So let’s take a look at all the things I do carry, and where I can minimize that payload when necessary.

My Gun

My EDC has been for the longest time a Ruger SR9c. It’s an odd choice to be certain, but I’ve put a ton of rounds on the platform and I trust this gun with my life. In terms of size, it’s right in between a Glock 19 and a 26, which means it’s light, slim, and easy to carry. That’s a big plus, because it means I’ll have this gun when I need it.

Spare Magazine

Here’s an item I don’t always carry. I do when I can, but not all manners of dress and events are conducive to having a spare 17 round magazine in a pouch with me. I have mixed feelings about a spare mag, because for some reason while I can rationalize the decision to carry an actual gun, I will look at a spare magazine and think “if I can solve the problem with my first mag…” Your mileage may vary, so choose accordingly.

A knife

This is by far the most useful thing I carry other than my wallet or cell phone. I use a knife 2 or 3 times a day, because I live in a world full of cardboard boxes and tape. A knife works a lot better than car keys to open boxes, and like I read somewhere “I can’t cut an apple with a j-frame.”

A flashlight

Almost as useful as the knife! Plus, a flashlight can often go places that a knife can’t go like baseball stadiums and football games. I’ve really enjoyed having 200 lumens of Surefire goodness with me leaving sporting events at night. We’re visual creatures, and being able to illuminate threats can create a psychological advantage for you.

A cell phone

This is the most useful tool I carry. It doesn’t matter where I’m going, I don’t leave home without it. And don’t think for a minute that your phone can’t be a self defense tool. In fact, it should be your first tool; because the ideal self-defense incident is the one where you see something and call 911 while you get out of dodge.

Carrying a gun is a serious decision, but so is everything else that goes in your pockets. Choose wisely, because the things we carry with us can make a huge difference.