Concealed Carry Considerations
By Michael Scott
It is challenging for anyone new to concealed carry to separate the bad information from the good, so let’s start with the basics. There are seven major areas that should help guide your decision to carry a concealed handgun.
Those of us who choose to carry a concealed firearm recognize that the world is a dangerous place and are determined to protect ourselves, our family and other innocents when there is no other choice to be made. The decision to carry must be complemented with a commitment to act responsibly and accept the natural consequences that result from use of a firearm.
There will be legal consequences if you are involved in a self-defense shooting. While this topic may be briefly covered in concealed carry classes, you have the absolute responsibility to understand your state’s rules, regulations and requirements pertaining to defensive use of a firearm. Don’t learn about the laws that affect your freedom secondhand. With rights come responsibilities. Know what these are and be vigilant about staying current because laws change.
Training, skills and mindset
Train with a qualified firearms expert as a first step but know that even the best technical training is not enough. Before you can resort to the use of deadly force, you must be certain about what situations legally and ethically require it, and be committed to action when faced with one of these situations. Be confident about your legal, ethical and moral stance before you resolve to carry a gun.
Where, How, and When
We don’t pick and choose when to buckle our children into their vehicle safety belts. Once the decision to carry has been made, treat your firearm like the safety tool that it is. As long as it can be concealed on your body in a safe and secure manner, carry everywhere it is legal to do so, all the time.
Gallons of ink have been wasted on this topic. What type, make, model, caliber, size, action…? Fundamentally, none of that matters. Your gun should fit your size and strength, be reliable, use commonly available ammunition and be capable of a rapid reload. The rest is personal preference. When you need a gun, any loaded and reliable gun will do.
Many gun owners have a box full of unused holsters. Why? Like clothing, holsters are perceived as personal accessories. You can avoid this by recognizing up front that a holster must perform four main tasks: 1) safely secure the gun on your person, 2) conceal, 3) enable a one-handed draw and re-holster, and 4) be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods in different situations.
Sights and Lights
Handguns are notoriously difficult to shoot accurately. The lives of others depend on you being able to hit what you shoot at and nothing else. Everyone, even expert marksmen, can benefit from a dependable laser sight. In some cases, having a dedicated light attached to the handgun can be a good thing, but a laser sight should be viewed as an essential requirement.
Michael Scott is a writer living in southern Colorado. He retired from IBM in 2010 as a project manager, and is now occupied with writing on firearms, especially concealed carry and Second Amendment concerns, current social issues and works of fiction. He is a published author of the historical novel, The Q Fragments, and is currently at work on a second novel.
Michael was raised in a succession of small Texas towns, joined the US Navy where he spent eight years on active duty as a fire control technician working with various weapons systems ranging from the .45 cal Model 1911 through ICBM submarine based systems. After the Navy he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with the University of Oklahoma, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1976. Before IBM he worked as a technical trainer with the Postal Service, a computer programmer, technical writer, lumberjack, stage hand, computer consultant, sound and road manager with a jazz band, IT help desk manager, project manager and program manager with IBM on multi-million dollar contracts.
Currently Michael and his wife are living quietly in a very small town, keeping in touch with family, writing, chasing deer out of the yard, and staying involved with the community. Michael has taken a vow to fly fish more this year and get out to the range more often.