Last Update: 11/14/2017

Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the Van

idiot girl is looking right down the barrel of a pistol!
Top question I get is: "Do you carry a gun?" Why!? Ya think van life is like livin' in Somalia or some shit? No, it ain't. And no, I don't. Here's 3 reasons why ...

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3 Reasons I Don't Have a Gun for Van Life Self-Defense

1. Most Likely to Shoot Myself

Lookin' at the stats, my chances of dyin' by gunshot suicide are way, way higher than gettin' murdered by a stranger at my van. How much? More than 4500 times more likely!!!

Vanholio has a history of depression. Serious, lifelong depression. As a male, that ups his odds a blowin' his brains out to 1 in 14 (7%).

Flip side, murder by a stranger ain't as common as ya think. Chance of gettin' murdered is 1 in 18,989 (0.53%). But most a the time folks is killed by friends and family. Less than 30% a them murders is by strangers in pursuit of a crime. Reduces my odds a gettin' snuffed ta 1 in 63, 297 (0.16%).

Sure, I recognize that the numbers might boil down differently in my particular case in a particular situation. But 1 to 4500 that I'll blow my own brains out vs. otherwise gettin' murdered is a big, BIG fuckin' margin!!!

2. Probably Can't Shoot a Man Anyways

I seriously doubt my ability to use a gun effectively and wisely under combat stress. In other words, I'll probably either freeze up or miss.

Did you know that most folks can't shoot another human bein'? It ain't that easy. It goes against our nature.

Years a battlefield statistics back this up. It takes training to overcome our innate resistance to killin' and to be good with that gun in a fight.

Now, there's a tiny percent a folks that can kill without blinkin', no trainin' needed. But as Vanholio can't watch a man get kicked in the balls without flinchin', he probably ain't one a them.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman covers a lot a the facts behind this in his now-classic book, "On Killing." Lindy Beige hits the highlights in the video at bottom.

Vanholio don't have that training to shoot good and shoot to kill. And as he don't like the loudness a guns, nor the expense, that ain't gonna change anytime soon.

3. Prefer Prevention Over Confrontation

Look, whether you carry a gun or not, surely you don't want trouble. You know the old sayin', "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Vanholio does a lot to avoid trouble in the first place. When alone, I park the van in somewhat hidden locations, if I can. I got a loud little dog with sharp ears. I avoid any peoples and situations that gets my hackles up. I take other measures, too.

The point is: Gun or no gun, in vanlife there's a lot you can do to avoid ever gettin' to that dangerous, final confrontation. The best way to win a gunfight is never to have a gunfight.


  1. Even though I have a gun, it's unloaded and locked away, so it's as if I don't have one. I'll probably sell it some day when I'm strapped for cash. There has never been a time in my 65 years when a weapon was necessary. I'm at a point in my life where I'm contented, where I have no grand things I'm hoping to accomplish, and where I'm not afraid of dying. So if someone wants to kill me, hell, it beats decades of my body and mind deteriorating until I go of natural causes. Besides, nothing I own, no amount of material goods or money, is worth another person's life. You want my van and all my worldly possessions it contains? That would suck, but not as much as killing someone over stuff.