I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends regarding carrying multiple firearms. My friend is a big proponent of the “Two is one and one is none” philosophy and, as you can guess, he carries multiple firearms. Meanwhile I generally only carry my Glock 30SF. Carrying a gun or multiple guns is really an issue of risk mitigation.
The reason I carry a firearm is to give myself a fighting chance should another individual wish to initiate violence against me or mine. When I assess risk I determine that the chance of being violently attacked is greater than any detriment inflicted on my person from carrying a firearm. In all seriousness I’ve been carrying a firearm for so long that I don’t even notice it’s there. My holster prevents any sharp corners on my pistol from poking me and the most discomfort I get when carrying is sweat buildup under my holster in the summer (which I generally mitigate by switching to an outside-the-waistband holster and covering it with an untucked shirt). I also carry two additional magazines on my person because the risk of a magazine failing or being attacked by numerous assailants is higher than the discomfort of carrying the additional magazines (I wear 5.11 Covert Cargo pants that have two pistol magazine pouches in the front concealed pockets so there is no discomfort wrought from carrying additional magazines). What I generally don’t carry is an extra gun.
I do own a backup gun, a Ruger LCP, but carry it mostly in the front pocket of my coat during the winter (I wear a military surplus Swiss greatcoat in the winter and am unable to quickly access the Glock 30SF on my hip). There are also a few occasions where I’ve carried my LCP because maximum concealment was my primary concern (one case was at my grandfather’s funeral where the sight of any firearm would have caused unnecessary hysterics as many members of my extended family are hoplophobic). Needless to say my LCP gets quite a bit of use, just not as a backup gun. I haven’t found a method of carrying a backup gun that doesn’t involved discomfort. While I recognize there is a risk of my primary firearm failing so catastrophically that is becomes entirely useless it is fairly low. Glock pistols (along with most modern combat pistols) are generally known for their reliability. The chances of me being attacked are low but not low enough that I forego carrying a firearm. The chances of me being attacked and my carry gun failing are extremely low and I can’t justify the added discomfort of carrying another pistol for such a low risk.
During our conversation my friend admitted that the risk is low but asked if it was low enough to bet my life on. It is. There are other risks that are so low that I’m willing to bet my life on them. I don’t carry a rifle because the risk of being attacked by individuals clad in body armor is quite low, much too low to justify lugging around my LR-308 everywhere I go. Speaking of body armor, I don’t wear any. The risk of being shot do not outweigh the constant discomfort I would have to suffer if I wore body armor 24/7.
Life is risky and we must each assess the risk we face and mitigate it as much as we feel necessary. Some people feel the risk of being attacked and having their primary sidearm fail is high enough to warrant carrying a backup gun. Soldiers in foreign countries believe the risk of being shot is high enough to justify wearing body armor at all times, even in the desert. Most people seem to believe the risk of getting into an automobile accident are high enough to warrant wearing a seat belt. Ultimately we much each assess the risk we face and determine what methods are justifiable to mitigate that risk. There are no right or wrong answers and you and only you know the risks you face and what measures are justifiable to mitigate it. Gun control advocates make the mistake of believing they know what is justifiable for other people. They believe the chances of being attacked are so minor that nobody is justified in carrying a firearm. Are they right? No, because they do not know what risks each individual faces and therefore cannot know what is and isn’t justifiable to mitigate those risks.