5 Things Gun People Say That Make My Blood Boil [Updated]


A few Jacob Pet Peeves are going to come out here today. There are a handful of things that I hear often in the gun community that are either out right wrong or tend to communicate the wrong message. Here are a few that I really don't like.

Because Its My Right

I often hear people justify stupid actions by saying that it is their constitutional right. I may have the right to do a lot of things but that doesn't make it smart. Walking into a bank with my AR-15 may very well be legal (depending on the state and bank) but that certainly isn't a good idea and justifying a bad idea by claiming it is your right doesn't make it a good idea.

Shoot to Kill

I've heard this one straight from the mouths of fellow instructors in the industry. People seem to operate under two false ideas. First, that in order to stop a deadly threat one must administer death. Second, that if you don't kill your attacker they will get up and file a lawsuit and therefore their life isn't worth as much as the potential cash you may have to forfeit in the lawsuit. Neither of these are healthy or accurate ways of thinking.

Sometimes in order to stop a threat one must kill, but the objective isn't to take life … the objective is to stop the threat and deep down inside a decent human being should hope that won't mean killing people. So yes, by all means, fire the gun to stop the threat and if they die so be it; but that doesn't mean you go into the fight with the objective of killing.

You should also know that dead people file lawsuits just as well if not better than living people. My estate attorney sues people on behalf of dead people all the time. If you think that killing someone will prevent their estate or their living relatives from filing a suit against you then you have been misinformed. If that isn't enough to convince you I would also encourage you to find a news story from the last ten years in which a citizen acting in self-defense was successfully sued for their actions. These horror stories of the 80s and 90s don't happen anymore because most states and courts have evolved to prevent them.

The Vehicle Is an Extension of The Home

People in the community love the concept that one's car is an extension of the home and thus all the rights we have in regards to our firearm in the home are the same in our car. This is rarely the case. In most states laws that govern vehicles are unique and different than those that govern dwellings. Sometimes there are things that are the same between the two but don't take it for granted that everything is the same.

Just Separate The Guns From The Ammo

Another myth born out of years and years of lawful citizens traveling within and across state lines with their firearms. Far too many of my students have learned “somewhere” that they just need to separate the gun from the ammo in the car and that will make it legal to transport anywhere. Not necessarily the case.

The laws from state to state vary considerably about what you may or may not have to do in order to legally have a firearm in your car with or without a valid and honored permit. The Firearm Owner Protection Law (FOPA) does allow in article 926A that one can transport a firearm from one state to another so long as the firearm is unloaded, not readily accessible from the passenger compartment, and within a locked container (other than the glove compartment or console). That doesn't say/mean separating the gun from the ammo and while that may help achieve the goal, by itself it may not suffice.

Sleep With The Gun Under the Pillow

Some people seem to justify sleeping with the gun on the nightstand or “under the pillow” because they feel the time it will take to get to a safe, open it, and retrieve the firearm is far too long when seconds count. I'm understanding that each person does have a different home situation. Not everyone has young children running around like I do but I'm prone to believe that there are enough awesome and quality firearm storage systems out there that this shouldn't be a real issue. You can buy gun safes today that mount in mattresses, behind night stands, under beds, and behind picture frames and mirrors. I would think there would be a better balance here between safety and availability.

Do you think I'm wrong? What else do you hear people say that drives you nuts?

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Ed Waynick on October 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    At the start of every CHL class I provide the student with a 4 X 7 sheet of paper and give them the following scenario: “You are unjustifiably being attacked by an assailant. You fear for the loss of your life. You fire your handgun one or more times and each shot hits the assailant. What do you want the results of those shots to be.”

    The response usually will be: “Kill him,” After the class I ask the same question. The answer will be, “Stop him” or “Stop him from hurting me.”

    I wish all instructors would avoid the word “kill.” Only 007 is licensed to kill and he is a Brit.

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Ed, thank you… and thank you for the chuckle at the end with the 007 comment as well 🙂

  2. Robbie Seal on October 16, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Great article. I too have a pet peeve with the “open carry anywhere I want because its my right, Merica!” crowd. I guess I was raised wrong. I just find open carry, especially with a rifle, to be an “in your face” type of move. Kinda like a facial tattoo, except more rude.

    I firmly believe in the right to be able to defend yourself, but think it is very well supported in a concealed configuration. It might be your right. That does not make it right.

  3. Jeff Bruehl on April 7, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I always teach that a bad guy with a gun loves the good guy openly carrying his gun because he now knows who to shoot first. It is your right but to open carry but I believe concealed may give you a better chance.

  4. oldmansmith1957 on April 7, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Here in Texas we can open carry, but for me I would be to uncomfortable
    just the thought of someone taking it from me and not being able to do any
    thing to stop it,at lease being concealed they do not know I have it to take it.
    thanks for being there for us.

  5. Brenda s. on April 7, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Im also not a fan of open carry. It is very “in your face” to use the above posters phrase. It takes away your advantage. It unjustly makes everyone nervous. When open carry first passed we had young men, and a few young women, everywhere with all measure of firearms on their hips and in their hands- imagine hand on grip pointed towards ceiling, looking every bit the gangster. So no one knew if they were there to rob the place or just open carrying, even places that are federally protected from those carrying firearms, such as places that sale alcohol. It was very unnerving as most often they blatantly had no training in handling a firearm. Very dangerous.

  6. Texas#1 on April 8, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    I recently completed a LTC class, and let me just say: just because you can carry, doesn’t mean you should. Some of my classmates had zero firearm train ing prior to the class. One even picked up his/her brand new pistol THAT morning!

  7. Nancy Henry on April 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the article and great responses. I wrote and taught a personal safety class with my late husband in conjunction with our gun store and his gunsmithing. We always taught safety first… first retreat (if possible) and then shoot to stop the threat. We covered a lot of what is taught today through CCC and the NRA. The only time we suggested open carry was in bear country or out riding on BLM land…. and in our store ? Most people we taught ended up with a firearm, but there was one exception. She would have been more likely to shoot herself than an intruder. Every person has to look at their individual circumstances.

    • JOHN W on April 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts, Nancy. as a firearm instructor and as a training counselor the first step for me is to AVOID, second retreat, and third defend if necessary. The safest way to deal with a gunfight is to not be there. Going to confront people who are looking for trouble is a major step to being unable to claim self-defense in court if you use your “firearm.”


  8. Nancy Henry on April 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Oh – the thing that makes MY blood boil is calling the firearm a ‘weapon’ or a semiautomatic an ‘automatic.’ Semantics, people!!

    • Joshua Gillem on April 10, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for the comment. I think many of us who call a firearm a “weapon” are folks who served in the military. I know that’s what we called them in the Marines when I was in. It was either a Rifle, an M16, or a weapon. Thanks for the comment.


  9. Gundog on April 10, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Regarding “The Vehicle Is an Extension of The Home”, in Missouri, it is. This is our Castle Doctrine:

    RSMO 563.031. Use of force in defense of persons. 2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person…unless: (2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person.

    Just FYI.

  10. Gundog on April 10, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Regarding Open Carry, here are my thoughts:

    If I am carrying openly:

    1. If walk into an armed robbery, I’m the first person that will be shot.

    2. Too many people with Hoplophobia.

    3. Someone could come up behind me and say, “give me y9ur gun” – goodby gun.

  11. Paul Russell on April 13, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Many of my friends open carry regularly and defend their right to do so. (In AL, we may OC without a permit.) Their argument is that OC may well cause a ne’er-do-well to choose another target for his criminal activity, since most (but not all) BGs are more interested in money and stuff than they are in gunfights. Also, I’ve never seen anyone accept their challenge to show evidence that a BG shot an OCer first before committing another crime. Personally, I prefer the element of surprise as an additional weapon in my arsenal.

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