The Tactical Parent. What It Is and What It’s Not.


Doug has a diverse background, both professionally and privately, in firearms, self-defense, and tactics… but most importantly, he’s a tactical parent. He writes from the unique perspective of someone who’s life involves combining concealment clothing, tactics training, and “everyday carry gear,” with car seats, exploding diapers, and questions like “why did you paint the dog with yogurt?” In our Tactical Parent series, Doug shares his perspective on gear, tricks and tips, defensive tactics, and best practices for parents, grandparents, or anyone who takes an active role in protecting their loved ones.

The Tactical Parent is written from the perspective of a parent who is tactically-minded and who actively seeks to protect their family. While I hope some of what I write will be helpful to those with grown kids, or those without kids at all, the focus of this column is to provide insight to parents who actively seek to protect themselves and their loved ones while contending with the additional complexities of having little ones around.

The Tactical Parent isn’t about “testing gear” to see if it works, or even to test how well it works – the manufacturers already have people for that. It’s also not about comparing gear options to figure out what’s latest and greatest for the covert urban commando/software engineer… at Guns & Tactics Magazine, we have plenty of people who are far more qualified to lend opinion to that than me. The Tactical Parent is not about me being an urban killing machine either and, sorry, but I don’t really have any kick-ass battle stories to tell over a pitcher of beer. While familiar and proficient with many common weapon systems, I’m your typical Glock, AR, and 870 kind of guy.

“The Tactical Parent is about just that – the unique challenges of parenting.”

It’s about the tactical considerations that come when you add the variable of kids. When confronted with a personal defense situation, a solo armed and trained adult has several options. However, tactical parents must be prepared to protect not only themselves but they must also protect those around them who are slower, weaker, and mentally unprepared for a verbal or physical confrontation.

It’s about gear that works well for parents with kids of all ages, who also have neighbors, friends, and family around. I find the gear that serves the purposes parents need and share my thoughts in the column. Let’s be honest – if you manage to don your armor and acquire a rifle to defend against home invasion… you’ll most likely do it in the dark, at night, in your underwear (or less?). We could do a whole column discussing the unique challenges of talking to the police while sporting your armor and your birthday suit (perhaps we even might!)… but at least it’ll be clear to the police who the homeowner is.

The Tactical Parent is about children’s safety and we’ll take a look at best practices to keep your little ones unharmed. It’s about talking to kids about firearm safety, strangers, and age-appropriate tactics they need to know and practice. The Tactical Parent will also discuss raising our little pups to be the next generation of sheepdogs. In general, the Tactical Parent will give you tips and tricks to make your life easier and to help you keep your family safer… and hopefully we’ll laugh a lot too.

I’m glad you found the Tactical Parent and I hope you enjoy it. I’ll do my best to keep it relevant, interesting, useful, and short enough to read while you’re on the toilet. If there are subjects you’d like me to cover, please let me know.


  1. I am looking forward to this column. I am a 7 year veteran stay at home dad of two girls under seven years old. Can’t wait to read every story.

  2. Looking forward to reading this column. I’m interested in your ideas about how to keep firearms easily accessible to me and my spouse, but safe/away from the kids.

    • Thanks John. There are a few different options for doing exactly what you’re asking and I look forward to covering them in the next column post which will cover the “approach” to your question. In subsequent posts I will consider the options available to use within the approach to keeping firearms loaded and available for those whom they should be while secure and unavailable to those whom they shouldn’t. I look forward to hearing your feedback on those posts. The next one should be up early next week. -Doug

  3. I’m glad to find this as well. I have a fair breadth of training in tactics, handling and as an armorer, but ALL of it came before I had kids. There are so many things I’m trying to learn to consider in my daily life being around kids, other parents, all that sort of thing. I find myself very self conscious about printing, and reducing gear (it’s hard to hide a large surefire, two spare mags, two knives, and a full or midsize pistol around moving people, parents, kids). They never notice, but I’m more self conscious about it than I ever was before.

    I also find myself being lazy about gear. It’s hard to gear up and get a two year old under control at the same time. I often find myself skipping things I never would have dreamed of 2 years ago (spare mags? Light?). hah.

    Anyway, look forward to the comment.

    • This is a great idea for a topic and I will cover it in the weeks to come – “our perception of change” when kids and their associates come into play, and the stress of assembling and putting on your full EDC while you have a sweet little 2yo girl who just tore-off her diaper (which, of course, wasn’t just wet) and began chasing her brother with it around YOUR bedroom… true story. 😉 Thanks for the comment and your interest – I look forward to covering this and any other topics you’d like me to soon. -Doug

  4. Just came across your site thanks to a friend’s post on Facebook. I was in LE/Security for 7 years and transitioned out of that about a year ago. I now work in an office/school setting. I also have a 4 month old. This whole “tactical parent” concept has been much on my mind lately and something I was going to recommend to “Trigger Time TV” as a topic. Glad to see it addressed here. Looking forward to catching up on what you have and seeing what’s to come.

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