Know what's involved!
Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I do not claim to be an expert, nor do I claim to know everything there is to know about carrying a firearm. What you’re about to read is based simply on personal experience and previous study.
Carrying a firearm for defensive purposes is kinda like pitching a baseball. There are a million ways to do it. Some people are more conservative about it, while others like to throw their changeup low and away on the 3-2 pitch hoping the batter swings for the fences. Ok, ok, enough with the baseball metaphors… all I’m saying is, people are different. Methods are different. Open carry, concealed carry, all the time, part time, IWB, OWB, only at home, leave it in the glovebox… you get the idea. While no one method is “right” or “wrong” (debatable), over the next few days/weeks I’m going to try to provide my objective opinion on almost every conceivable issue associated with carrying a weapon for self-defense. Consider this Part 1.
First and foremost— you’ve got to have the right attitude. Remember that guy in high school that thought he was 10 feet tall and bulletproof? Yeah, don’t be that guy. Remember that guy you don’t remember? I thought so. Strive to be like him. The vast majority of firearm owners hope that they never have to use their weapon. Ever. The best way to avoid that situation is to remain as passive and non-confrontational as humanly possible. Always. Is that difficult? Yeah, it is. Not sure you can do it? Then do the public a favor and stay as far away from firearms as you can get. You’re part of the problem.
I’ve dedicated separate paragraphs to Attitude and Mentality because although they’re equally important, they’re also altogether different issues. Do you have what it takes? No, this isn’t some cheesy recruiting slogan... I’m genuinely asking the question: Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger? To take a human life if necessary to defend yourself or others? I know it sounds like a morbid question, but it’s legitimate nonetheless. Shooting to maim or injure is a Hollywood style myth that is likely to get you killed. If you’re not sure, then please don’t carry a firearm in public until you know for certain. The last thing you want to do is hand a loaded weapon to your assailant.
Finally, you’ve got to understand that carrying a firearm comes with a set of great responsibilities. One of those responsibilities includes being aware of your surroundings. Read each question below, close your eyes, and try to answer the following questions as quickly as possible. No cheating.
- How many people are in the room with you right now?
- How many exits are there and where are the located?
- Is there anyone within arm’s length of you right now?
- Don’t look— is there anyone behind you?
These are questions that you should be able to answer at any point in time. With practice you’ll begin to notice these things naturally, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Practice, practice, practice. Why, you ask, is this important? Watch the short video in the link below. The article has some pretty good commentary as well...
This kid never knew what hit him until it was too late. Had he paid attention, this could have been avoided (potentially). If nothing else, the outcome could have certainly been more favorable. Never, ever, ever let your guard down.
End of Part 1... up next? Choosing your first defensive firearm.