There is an incredible range of what situationally aware, 2A-practicing Americans consider reasonable daily carry, or EDC (every day carry). Some people carry only a flashlight. Others carry a flashlight, primary pistol, back-up gun (BUG), extra ammo, knife, multitool, pepper spray, oxygen bottle, taser and inflatable life preserver. How is an average law-abiding American citizen to decide what is right for them?
The answer is actually pretty simple- it is largely driven by your personal situation and level of training. What do you typically do and where do you go during daylight hours? What about evening hours? What types of threats are you most likely to encounter? If you don't know already, get familiar with the crime statistics in your area. This way you can have some confidence in what you can expect. These are all ways to determine a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
Don't carry items you are unlikely to need. I recently purchased a tactical flashlight. It serves a very specific purpose: to provide a light source if I'm asleep and wake to the sound of a possible intruder. Other than this scenario I can't think of a time in the past 5 years where I needed a flashlight during daylight hours. Guess what is not a part of my EDC? Yes! The flashlight stays near my bed because I don't need it elsewhere.
Extra ammo is a common area of debate for EDC. The facts tell us that:
- private citizens reload during a gunfight 1/2 of one percent of the time
- the median number of shots fired by a private citizen in self defense is 2
- although multiple conspirators were present 36% of the time there were no cases where drivers or lookouts acted as reinforcements after defensive shots were fired
Although it is not incredibly common (the stats above underscore that) I plan and train to defend my self and my loved ones from a home invasion. for me this equates to home carry with a goal of neutralizing 3 threats while I am under traumatic stress levels (remember that your skills decline by 40% when you're under traumatic stress).
Using simple math that works out to a need for about 12 rounds to accomplish 2 A-zone hits on 3 separate attackers. Although the odds are against needing all 12 rounds, this is what the hypothetical situation calls for, assuming that I am perfect and that everything goes exactly the way I anticipated. That standard capacity 15-round mag doesn't seem very excessive now, does it?
Think over your situation and don't gear yourself up like a mall ninja, Gecko45. Sometimes I carry a pocket knife with me, other times I do not. You should apply similar levels of scrutiny to very part of your EDC.