Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Concealed Carry Mistakes Review

There are many mistakes you can make in your life. Most are not life threatening. Some are more serious. Making the decision to take control of your own security is a big decision and a big responsibility. In that decision if you decide that carrying a gun is part of that security there are some things you should learn. Most of them are safety oriented. Never be found not being safe. Making the choice to carry a gun also demands that you decide if you can take a life. Do you want to deal with that? If you do not, or cannot, DO NOT carry a gun.
If you have done all that is necessary to be responsible and have decided to carry a gun there are some things you should know.

Here are some things you should never do if you carry a gun.

1. Ignoring the 4 firearm safety rules.

(1. All guns are loaded, 2. Don’t point the gun at anything you don’t want to destroy, 3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the guard until you intend to shoot, 4. Be sure of your target and beyond.)

Some people think that in a stressful, defense situation that safety is no longer an issue. That is completely not true. In fact it’s directly the opposite. If you’ve committed yourself and have drawn that gun, you are responsible for every round. There is more chance for a problem than ever before. You must be sure of your target. Is that guy actually a threat? You must be sure. I’m not saying take 5 minutes and try to figure it out because you don’t usually have 5 minutes. Although, historically, you would have some time. Most confrontations are not lightning fast. Being responsible for each round makes it your business to be safe always.

2. Firing warning shots

Just as was mentioned in the first 2 items, you’re responsible for your rounds. A warning shot is just foolish. You have many options with that gun drawn. You can reholster. You can give verbal commands. You can watch your attacker run. There are many other things besides pressing the trigger. Don’t fall into the trap that now that you’ve drawn your gun you don’t have any options but to shoot.

3. Not securing your weapons

My firm belief is that children should be taught proper gun safety at an early age and to shoot later. But weapons (guns and others) should be secured if you have children in your house. Your children may be trained but their friends are probably not. Your kids may be trained but grand children or other visitors may not be. I was too confident in my children’s training and in my storage practices. My guns were seldom loaded but not really locked up. Lock them up. Use quick access vaults for defense weapons or carry your gun. Having your gun in a purse or bag is enough security unless the bag is locked.

4. Choosing convenience over safety

I’ve carried for many years and have been involved in gun training for several years. I thought I’d seen everything but occasionally I’ll see something new. There are many ideas in how to carry a gun. There are some holsters that do not protect the trigger guard. I even have some of these although I don’t use them for everyday carry (EDC). My EDC holsters always protect the trigger. I’m not an idiot and I know how to handle a weapon. But I don’t “tickle the tigers tail” with my gun. Too many have shot themselves accidentally because they thought they had a safe gun. Do not do these things. Be safe and responsible. If you have to change your clothing choices then do what needs to be done. You can’t be complacent! Your gun can be your life.

5. Carrying “Tucked”

Do I have to really go through this? Do not do it! The safety issues are too numerous to write here. Retention comes into play also. If you carry in your waistband you’re asked for a problem.

6. Point and Shoot/Practice

If you do not practice shooting without aiming you will probably not hit your target. Actually you should practice every part of the carrying process. Drawing and re holstering should be practiced. Shooting from all kinds of positions too. If you incorporate dry firing into your practice program all of these things can be practiced easily. But go to the range too. Don’t expect to remember everything about your gun and shooting if you haven’t done it in a month. I love to shoot and have been for some time. I can tell when I haven’t been to the range. I go two to three times a week. You need to plan your own training program.

7. Overestimating your skill and underestimating your attackers

The most dangerous habit a concealed carrier can get himself into is assuming he knows more than his opponent. Most people in the United States will be able to live their lives without being the undue victim of gun violence or gun crimes. For the very few who will deal with it – siding on the side of caution is always the right move. Never assume anything about your opponent or the situation you find yourself in. Judge it critically, quickly, and always move towards the option that promises safety first. Prepare and train for uncertainty and never assume an enemy will act like a paper target – these are good steps towards avoiding overconfidence as a concealed carrier.

8. One magazine

Carry a second magazine. The odds are you won’t need it but if you did it would be good to have. Most events do not require more than 5 shots. But it’s always better to be prepared.

9. Inserting yourself into conflicts

Self-defense is a necessary down side to our lives. Defending someone, other than who you’re with, is an idea you will have to decide on. Often it’s not a good idea unless you can see bodily harm actually happening. Even then, you must be careful. Doing the right thing can land you in jail. I’m not saying a life is not worth that, but be extremely careful about inserting yourself into a conflict. A police officer will tell you that one of the most dangerous situations they can go into is domestic violence. The same goes for you. There are also legal ramifications.

10. Not carrying

I’ve known many people who have a concealed carry license but rarely carry. This is a personal choice but if you go through the cost and time of a concealed license why wouldn’t you carry? Or, if you only carry on occasion. I don’t understand this. I can see forgetting your weapon at home because it takes a while to get in the habit of carrying. I sincerely hope you are not put in a position to need a weapon and that happened to be the day you didn’t want to carry. You take a chance by not carrying. Carrying is a commitment besides a responsibility.

These are just some of the mistakes that I’ve witnessed to someone just starting out in concealed carry. There are probably more that I did not list.

Get licensed, get trained, practice, and carry always.

Semper Paratus
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