The concept of “everyday carry,” or EDC, is something that many in the firearms community understand. After all, for us, our EDC may consist of the staples such as keys, a cell phone, a wallet, and a pocket knife, it also often includes a firearm and reloads. Many of us talk about our EDC guns, after all.
To be fair, not everyone who is into their EDC stuff are gun people. Some live in areas where it’s virtually impossible to carry a firearm for whatever reason. Others just aren’t interested in guns. Still others can’t legally carry because of past unlawful behavior. Regardless of why, guns aren’t a part of everyone’s EDC.
But the communities still have significant overlap.
Which might just be why progressive-hatebox Vox has decided to target the EDC community. They opted to do so by trying to imply some degree of sexism.
The Boy Scouts in particular have been praised and criticized in equal measure for promoting a vision of rugged manliness that is inextricably tied to this idea of readiness, as reflected in their longtime motto, “Be prepared.” But while many admit that traditional Western concepts of masculinity certainly contribute to the popularity of the subculture, /r/EDC users like Sean S. (who asked that we not use his last name) stress that your personal choice of carry is ultimately a very intimate decision that says more about a person and their vocation than the community as a whole.
“The intimacy is important because I know that what I’m carrying is not completely to the taste of someone else,” he says. “It’s my carry, which fits my needs and meets my standards.” (Others agree: For example, when Hayes started working at a bank after a stint as a mail carrier, he changed his EDC completely, dropping from a backpack full of outdoor gear to just a handful of items that could fit in his pockets.)
That said, not everyone is entirely happy with the community’s stereotypically masculine overtones. Although several subjects pointed to their mothers’ seemingly bottomless purses as inspirations for their EDCs, others, like Kevin Diale, feel that the subreddit can be somewhat hostile to women. “When you see people post problems that they bump into as a woman, like not enough pockets on pants, you get folks who crawl out of the woodwork and wave a pair of niche work pants marketed to women and try to invalidate them,” he says.
Holy crap, really? Pointing out a solution to a problem being complained about is trying to invalidate them?
This is why I’m growing to hate people, just so you all know.
Notice, however, the overall criticism here isn’t that EDC is unnecessary or that it’s not useful. Not, the tone makes it clear that the problem is that it can be related to hypermasculinity. In other words, a good EDC kit allows them to meet any potential threat, be it manmade or something else.
The post goes on to poke directly at the gun aficionados within the EDC community.
hough not everyone in the community is interested in firearms — Diale in particular was turned off at first by all the talk of carrying guns before realizing that the community was more about general-purpose tools — some members take it to extremes. For example, Frank says he often sees some gun enthusiasts in EDC spaces repeat the refrain “one is none,” which reflects their belief that carrying at least two firearms at once is the only way to ensure their personal safety. When I bring up the example of my father, who has never once used any of his guns to shoot anything more threatening than the squirrels invading our attic, Frank admits that the focus on “readiness” can seem a bit at odds with the white-collar lifestyle of some EDCers — including himself.
“I have a very comfortable life in LA, and I get to walk to work, and everything’s super safe,” he says. “I carry a knife, but partly for my job. But the community is super-focused on that. Like the guys who carry two guns, how often do you need to use one gun? Never. A lot of it is those guys preparing for any situation, a bit of masculine cosplay, trying to be that person.”
Sure. LA is “super safe,” which is why their crime rate is 20 percent higher than the national average.
Frankly, it sounds like someone is engaged in a little cosplay, but it’s not the guys with the guns.
To be clear, I’m not someone who carries a backup firearm with me. I get the thinking, but it’s just something I don’t do. Instead, I make sure my weapon is in proper working order and trust that my G19 will live up to its reputation as a reliable firearm.
But not everyone is willing to do that. I get it.
Yet the idea that carrying is somehow “masculine cosplay,” including putting that in an article on EDC, is nothing more than an attempt to get a dig at the very people who made EDC explode in popularity. That would be the gun folks who carried guns but also carried other useful things with them in case they were needed.
What we’re seeing is an attempt to try and shame EDC people, to pressure them to push away the gun owners in their midst. They don’t want to be accused of “masculine cosplay,” so they should push those that are engaged in that sort of thing away.
The problem is, 2.5 million people use a firearm to defend themselves each year. Just because old Frank there hasn’t doesn’t mean someone else won’t. It’s not “cosplay” if it’s for real.
But I wouldn’t expect anyone at Vox to understand that. They’re typically much more familiar with the non-fat soy lattes from Starbucks than in anything that might remotely be tied to possessing testosterone, and that includes EDC and guns.