All across our state, thousands of citizens are joining the ranks of law-abiding individuals who are exercising their right to concealed carry. There is little debate that contradicts data exposing increased levels of senseless violence threatening the peace in our neighborhoods.
Whether you are a current CCW holder, or are considering the merits of taking the necessary steps to obtain your permit, understand that your training and preparation is a continuing process. It pays to keep in mind that as an armed citizen you assume an increased level of personal responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
Consider for a moment that I have concealed carried professionally and as a law-abiding citizen for well over 38 years. In that time, I have explored just about every conceivable means of carrying a firearm on-body for personal protection. This experience has led me to recognize two important practices—aside from marksmanship and developing the mental mindset to fight and win—and I ‘d like to share them with you.
The first practice is Consistency. This involves finding the manner of carry that works best for your livelihood and sticking with it. I have a spent a small fortune over the years experimenting with holsters of every option and feature imaginable and have the footlocker to prove it. Fortunately, that money was not entirely waisted because I have determined what works best for me and frequently use my now retired holsters as training aids when instructing concealed carry classes. Consistency is achieved when the firearm is always where you expect it to be and you are able to present it in a smooth, yet deliberate manner.
You too will have to invest time and resources before developing the degree of confidence needed to suit up with the firearm of choice and approach each new day with constant vigilance. Hopefully, the epiphany arrives before dipping into the vacation fund.
Next up is Communication. While issuing verbal commands to someone acting against you in a threatening manner may be all that is required to deescalate the situation, there is another form of communication to consider. Concealed carry practitioners must avoid the cascading pitfalls associated with subliminally telegraphing—or communicating—to others that you are carrying a concealed firearm.
Occasionally I find myself sitting in a parked car or some other static location, and because I practice situational awareness, I pass the idle time watching people. On practically every occasion I will spot someone carrying a concealed firearm; tugging at a waistband to reposition it to a more comfortable position, or just reaching for it as a personal reassurance that it didn’t get left behind in the men’s room, I suppose. If the good guys recognize from a distance that you armed, could the bad guys do the same?
The often heard notion of deliberately communicating to others that you are armed serves as an equally effective deterrent to becoming a victim, is unfiltered non-sense. Unless you have trained for countless hours to acquire the skills needed to retain your firearm when attacked by multiple assailants, you are inviting a false sense of security. Keep it hidden to avoid compromising your safety.
Consider also that a professional gambler learns to avoid “tells” that communicate to others at the gaming table that he is holding a winning hand. Your training practices should help you achieve the same level of discretion.
Don’t approach your decision to legally arm yourself as a game of chance. Train to win.
Carry On and Carry Often