Concealed Carry sucks but I won’t let that stop me. We all know the benefits of carrying concealed. Here are a few.
- The element of surprise.
- Weapons retention.
- Not making people around us feel uncomfortable.
- Not drawing unwanted attention to ourselves.
- Peace of mind.
- Less chances of police contact.
So what sucks about it then?
Let’s start with clothing options. If you are like me, I choose to carry as much gun (frame wise) as I can get away with. Getting a good solid first grip on the gun is super important when it comes to draw stroke and when we start talking about recoil management bigger is better. That being said micro guns/sub compact guns are out of the question when it comes to EDC (Every Day Carry). Compact models such as the Sig P320, Glock 19 or the M&P Compact are good choices for me. All three of these models can be a little bulky. I have dresser drawers full of shirts that are a little too tight for me to rock my P320 without people being able to read the model number on the grip through them. Depending on your profession you may not be able to dress around your lifestyle but for me my clothing choices are affected by my carry style. The above dilemma is compounded for women. Women can rarely get away with one setup if they like to dress like women. When female students ask me how I think they should carry I refer them to other women who have more expertise in this area. I do always encourage them to carry on their person though.
Next is law. In Colorado it is legal to have a firearm in a bar. You can even have a drink as long as you are not intoxicated but for me this is setting yourself up for big problems. If shit hits the fan and you are involved in a defensive handgun shooting, good luck in court. Also, if you get pulled over and the LEO smells alcohol and you disclose you have a firearm things may get awkward for you. This is another situation I choose to avoid so now I am the guy who meets up with friends but is too square to have a drink. There are occasions where I will make the decision to not carry and go have some fun but they are few and far between.
Responsible gun ownership: This may mean different things to some of you but for me it involves a lot of training, range time and ammo. If you make the decision to carry in public then you should be proficient at your skill. This can get expensive and time consuming. Please see my previous blog posts “Do Not Be a Gun Owner” and “Intentional Training”.
Before you know it you EDC grows past a firearm. You will soon realize you should be carrying a spare mag, a light, a knife and at the very minimum a tourniquet for medical emergencies. Concealed carry can in fact suck and is a big responsibility. If you decide this lifestyle is for you and you are willing to put in the time and deal with some of the draw backs of carrying a firearm the world can use some more self-defenders.
I can remember meeting up with a few buddies to go shooting one day and we brought out everything we had to shoot. I was managing an FFL at the time so I brought out a few pieces to test fire as well. It almost felt as if I was rushing that day to make sure I got to shoot each and every gun. At one point I remember saying to myself “This is so f*@#n stupid.” Don’t get me wrong, I love a day of freedom just as much as the next guy. However, it was this pivotal moment that I realized that if I’m not shooting to get better then what’s the point? Yes we had fun shooting with absolutely no goals that day but with each round that went down range I could not help to think I could have used that ammo to perfect my skill.
So what are you training for? Are you going to the range with a plan? Are you working on marksmanship? Draw stroke? Shooting with movement? Speed and accuracy drills?
Do you have a training partner? It really pays off to have one! My partner and I alternate shooting sessions and courses of fire. My days are usually more skills based and his usually consist of more dynamic training and stress induction. Having a partner also allows you to get a little competitive and it’s nice to have another set of eyes watching for mistakes and opportunities for you to improve. Your partner can also record you shooting and you will be able to critique yourself.
My advice is to pick a few things you want to work on. Find specific drills that will help you improve. Come up with a plan for that day and stick to your plan. Once you are satisfied with your training efforts if you still have the energy then you can break out everything else for “fun”.
Warning: Some of these ideas may be offensive.
Disclaimer: I am pro 2A and believe it is everybody’s right to be able to bear arms. What you do behind this right is where I have a problem.
OK, you bought a gun (or 15). Congratulations! You are now a gun owner. You took the cheapest most convenient CCW class you could find. Awesome, now you can carry. Now what? Time and time again I run across a person who fits the above description and that’s the end for them. I used to be one of these people. It’s true, it is our right to own and carry firearms but do not stop here.
Would a boxer buy gloves and just keep them around with him just in case one day he was going to have a fight? Absolutely not! He would train with them and become as proficient as possible so when that day came he would have his hand raised. If you are carrying a gun around with you then you know the stakes in your fight are much higher than a win or loss. It is life or death. You will not rise to the occasion. You will rise to your highest level of training.
We are also responsible for every single round that leaves our chamber. If you are the type that goes to the range once or twice a year and are not putting shots exactly where you want them, what makes you think that you are going to have well placed shots in the MOST stressful situation of your life? If you are missing your target you are hitting something else. It would be a terrible thing if that something else was another innocent bystander.
We are seeing more cases in the news of unjustified shootings. Legal concealed carriers not knowing their laws and taking lives of others over some pretty cut and dry situations. These incidents give us all a bad name. Gun control is in the spotlight enough as is. Do not give these anti gunners more ammo for their cause.
Shooting is a perishable skill. Get some good solid training from multiple sources. Hit the range frequently. Get into a dry practice routine. Challenge yourself to become better. Get some medical training. Know your state and local laws. Be an ambassador to the lifestyle. Just please, do not settle on being a gun owner.