Running With Your Gun: FAQ

Readers, if you live in or around Upper Dublin or Abington township, Pennsylvania, do the authorities a favor and keep your eyes peeled for a lost handgun. Because one is missing.

Apparently an unnamed woman lost her gun during a run there last weekend, "in the Ardsley and North Hills sections," and dang if the police can find it. They've looked three times.

An Upper Dublin police officer, who spoke to, had this to say:

"It appears the gun was misplaced."

Well, these things happen. Especially to newbies.

I assume that this woman is a newbie, because advanced runners know that you should always duct-tape your handgun to your palm before leaving the house. Hands get slippery with sweat, especially during warm-weather runs, and holsters just aren't that reliable when you're bouncing up and down, as during a run or while waiting at an intersection for the WALK sign. Holsters are a poor idea for other reasons as well. (See below.)

So we can't blame this woman, really. But we can endeavor to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again. How? With education, that's how.

While we wait for the Pennsylvania woman's loaded handgun to turn up—I'm sure someone of some age will find it and pick it up sooner or later—let's review the basics of running with a gun. 

Q: Should I carry a firearm when I run?
A: Absolutely. 

Why? Turn on the news! It's a dangerous world. Threats lurk everywhere. What if you're attacked by a "thug" on your run, or an ISIS? Or a Zika virus

How can a gun protect against the Zika virus?
You can shoot it.

You can't shoot a virus with a gun.
Really? Check the Constitution.

How should I carry my firearm while I run? Just, like, in my hand? Or what?
Carrying your gun in your hand at all times is optimal, because what if you need to shoot something immediately? Do you really want to have to reach all the way down to a holster or waistband before you're able to provide yourself and those around you with protection? 

On a related note, when holding your gun during a run be sure not to swing the arm holding the gun. Keep it, and the gun, pointed straight out in front of you. Just in case.

Better still is to continuously and slowly rotate yourself, arm and gun outstretched. This is called "light-housing" and it gives you a full 360 degrees of protection. Though it can be tough to do while running.

But what if I need both hands while I'm running? To text a friend, for instance?
In cases like those, I guess you could keep your gun in a holster for a few minutes. Your funeral.

What are your thoughts on bras with built-in gun holsters?
They're OK, though women can usually carry them off better than men.

If I'm wearing a bra holster, should I ever try to "adjust" it?

While running, what's better—"open carry" or "concealed carry"?
As stated earlier, for maximum readiness your best option is to "hand carry." With duct tape. But this is not always feasible.

The open vs. concealed question is a matter of some debate. Open carry advocates say that the very visibility of a firearm will deter crime while also advertising your love of Freedom and disdain for Tyranny, and definitely won't make you a target for Bad Guys who want your gun and, while you're at it, whatever cash you have plus your phone. The concealed carry crowd argue that it's best to hide your gun so as to keep the Bad Guys guessing.

An increasingly popular solution is to "open carry" a realistic-looking fake gun while concealing your real gun. This way, if a Bad Guy grabs your gun it will result in confusion and dismay, and while he is standing there scratching his head and wondering what's going on you can produce your real gun and shoot him in the face.

Score one for justice! 

OK, so what if I'm running with my gun duct-taped to my hand but I need to stop and pee?
You'll have to manage with one hand while waving the gun around with the other. (You are especially vulnerable to threats while urinating.)

Can't I just carry some scissors with me, and some extra duct tape, so I can remove the tape before I pee and then re-tape it afterward?
Carry scissors while you run? Are you crazy? That isn't safe.

What else can I use my gun for while running?
A gun is a surprisingly versatile tool, like one of those Leatherman things that dads get for Father's Day. In addition to keeping Bad Guys in check, runners can use their guns to:

  • Shoot down drones
  • Crack nuts
  • Signal for help if lost in the wilderness
  • Start impromptu races
  • Open stubborn energy gel packets
  • Shoot any other guns they find lying around on the ground, to render them harmless

Do these tips apply to other outdoor fitness enthusiasts as well? Skiers, for instance?
Yes. Yes they do.

Happy running, runners. And be careful out there.