“I’ve decided to start carrying a concealed weapon. What do I need to know?”

“I’ve decided to start carrying a concealed weapon. What do I need to know?”

People new to the concealed carry lifestyle, and there are hundreds of thousands more every year, can find themselves overwhelmed with the all of the options and are swamped with so much information, good and bad, that they can make poor choices.  Many don’t even know where to start, other than by throwing themselves at the mercy of whoever is behind the counter at the local gun store or, possibly even worse, the Internet.  (As an aside, the words I have come most to fear on the firing line are, “I’ve been shooting all my life”, followed by, “I was in the military.”)   So informed, many buy a gun, holster, cleaning kit, possibly attend a four hour class and think themselves ready to responsibly exercise their right, but they haven’t really examined the issue from the essential foundation.

Know Yourself

The most important thing to know and understand regarding concealed carry is…you.  Are you willing and able to commit mentally, emotionally and financially to armed self-defense?   Distilled, are you capable of inflicting potentially lethal wounds on another human being, and are you prepared to face the consequences of that action?  Internet bravado aside, the answer to that question forms the core of the decision to carry a weapon.

Know Yourself

Can you keep your cool over a parking spot dispute, “road rage” incident or a “what are you looking at” confrontation?  Are you easily offended at the behavior of others, and publicly comment on those actions? Do you seek confrontation?  Do your friends participate in that sort of behavior? If so, I think you should reconsider carrying, or change your approach to life.

Know Yourself

What would you do if you saw a man yelling at a woman, and even striking her?  Would you intervene in an armed robbery?  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get involved in these circumstances, I am saying that you should consider them before they occur so that you will have a  model to make your decision at that moment.

Know Yourself

Can you afford to purchase a suitable weapon and gear, along with good, relevant training?  Are you responsible enough to own, securely store and if necessary, employ this weapon?  Can you commit to a practice regimen that includes not just drawing and shooting, but of just simply talking to people in contentious circumstances, agreeing to disagree and walking away.  (Yes, I’m saying you need to practice that.)

 Know Yourself

Are you physically capable of carrying the weight incurred by an effective pistol in a manner in which it could be accessed quickly and used decisively?  If your equipment isn’t comfortable, you won’t carry, so what’s the point?

The Bottom Line is that the right of self-defense is inherent for all free men and women, but carries with it immense responsibilities and forces questions that only YOU can can answer.

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