Live a more dangerous life

One of my favorite driving roads outside of Sioux Falls has an amazing corner on it. It’s like a wee-baby Corkscrew, almost, because you start going up a shallow hill, and then right after it crests there’s a shallow right hander followed by a banked left. It’s a great corner. When I’m driving with gusto, I know that the best way to take the corner is to keep my foot in right up until I hit the crest, the go hard on the brakes as late as possible. But that’s scary, because I’m essentially accelerating up a blind hill that I can’t see the road on the other side of.

But I do it anyway, because it’s fun, because it’s exciting, because the experience of telling my fear to “shut up” and brake late before the bend adds more to my life than not doing it. I don’t always drive this road, and I don’t always drive it hard, but when I do, I want to go for it. I don’t want my attitude to be one of fear.


I say this, because I’ve become more aware recently of a trend online among gun people, specifically CCW people. It goes along the lines of “I won’t go to That Place, because That Place bans guns.” They’re not saying it as a political statement, but rather a statement of not wanting to go someplace that doesn’t allow guns, or would frown upon the discovery of a gun. Whether it’s a place that actually has a “no guns” sign, or a friend’s party where you don’t want to be seen carrying, it’s the same thing.

That’s what got me thinking about the car analogy. Is driving in a spirited fashion more dangerous than plodding along at 45 mph studiously observing the speed limit? Certainly. It’s also a hell of a lot more fun. Is going to a movie without your gun more dangerous? Probably. But the question is whether or not you’re depriving yourself of a certain richness of experience because you’re not allowed to carry your gun in That Place. I would much rather spend the evening with some great friends having a good time without being able to carry than the opposite. But that’s my choice.

Luckily, there is a bit of a compromise solution: pocket guns. Going somewhere but can’t really carry a full size service pistol, but still want to be armed? Pocket guns man, pocket guns. There is a glut of great pocket pistols on the market right now, and they can really make it a lot easier to carry a gun when you’re going to a place that may not be cool with you having a gun. The real point of this article isn’t to convince you to carry a pocket pistol, though. That is probably a better solution than not carrying a gun, and lord knows I love a good pocket gun. But rather I want people to remember that there’s more to this life than carrying a gun; and when you start to define yourself by the fact that you carry a gun, you run the risk of losing out on some neat life experiences. I carry a gun…most of the time. But I also do lots of things where I don’t carry, like go to beerfests in the park. Because beerfests in the park are pretty awesome.


  1. Love it. I can’t get over the attitude. I’m not going to alter my life and what I choose to do just because someplace doesn’t allow weapons (heck, I lived in California and spent plenty of time in the backcountry where firearms were strictly forbidden). As both pro and anti gun people tend to like to forget: a gun is simply a tool. It’s not the only tool, it’s just a handy one for some circumstances. Don’t have a hammer and need to pound in a nail? I think you can figure something out. Can’t have a gun? Look for other tools to do the job.

  2. I generally won’t go somewhere with a gun that I wouldn’t go without it.
    If I thought I was going to need the gun somewhere, I probably wouldn’t go there.

  3. If it was only my life on the line, I’d probably brake deeper into blind corners, too.

    With guns, on the other hand, it’s just because I’m cranky that way. 🙂

    1. I thought long and hard about adding the caveats about “don’t drive like this when there are other cars around and whatnot” – I live in South Dakota, after all. There was actually a radio spot that said 85% of all fatal accidents in SoDak are single car rollovers on rural roads.

  4. If a movie is showing in two theaters, and one doesn’t allow CC, guess which one I’m going to.

    But if it’s only showing in the no-guns theater, I’ll still go unarmed. It’s really not that big a deal. Unless it’s Highlander 2, in which case I’m going to walk out anyway.

  5. Having lived in Illinois, I have learned to savor the danger of going about unarmed. I basically need to rely on my Krav Maga and…you guessed it….my ability to not go do stupid things with stupid people in stupid places.

    One of these techniques I use more than the other, and I’ll leave you to ponder which…

  6. Unless it’s a courthouse or a place with a metal detector……It’s called concealed…Have Fun, Carry on (concealed that is)

  7. I spent a summer in Mitchell, SD and I think there was an actual hill there… But the corkscrew (at Laguna), on a bike you don’t go right-left, you just throw it down the hill, left over the rumble-stripes – at least Kocinski did when he won 250GP in ’89.

  8. Caleb, my friend, for a guy worried that he couldn’t come up with content today, you seem to have hit this one out of the park.
    “But rather I want people to remember that there’s more to this life than carrying a gun; and when you start to define yourself by the fact that you carry a gun, you run the risk of losing out on some neat life experiences.”

    PREACH IT, brother. We are who we are, even if we step into a place where we can’t fully express ourselves. I’ve a couple of friends who have stated loudly that they will never fly because of the restrictions on arming themselves. What a pity, because it’s awesome to see new places. I say this as a guy who generally is armed if he has pants on.

    Let’s be multifaceted, and define ourselves in OTHER ways, too. The guy who defines himself by his guy tends to be a bit of a dick.

  9. I moved to the Seattle area about a month back. Coming form Maryland I was excited to finally get a concealed weapons permit. I have a appointment to get printed this Friday. Everyone I know in Maryland is jealous that I”ll be able to carry all the time.

    As a single man I have been frequenting places that I don’t think I am legally allowed to carry in (as I understand WA state law I can’t carry anywhere that just serves beer/booze, it has to be like a restaurant style place.) and so I have been questioning how much I am really going to be able to carry. I can’t carry at work, I can’t carry when I’m out and about being single guy trying to date.

    Some people would say well just don’t go to those places but I am 31 years old and first the first time in my life I live somewhere where I can finally date a lot so yeah I’m going to do that. Hopefully I won’t get shot or mugged in the process but if I didn’t take those risks, if I just stayed at home or only went to places I could carry what’s the point of living here?

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