With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 past us it is only natural to think about the three thousand people that were murdered on that beautiful fall day in New York City. And when you compound that horrible tragedy with all the other tragedies that have been perpetrated upon us by crazed gunman in our primary school systems, universities, malls, restaurants, churches, trains, military bases, etc., you begin to realize that the business of going about our daily lives in safety is, for all practical purposes, gone. Yes, our day-to-day chores are still carried out in a carefree manner by millions of Americans, but they do so without any thought for their own self preservation or have the slightest desire to learn how to survive in a post 9/11 world.
There is no ultimate solution to surviving a crazed gunman spraying bullets from an AK-47 while you and your wife, just moments earlier, were blissfully enjoying breakfast at the local IHOP. But if you have an interest in firearms, and especially if you have a CHL, you have just obligated yourself to seriously begin thinking about creating a survival mode of thinking—you do have a sense of self preservation. Don’t you? I know I do. We are all going to leave this world someday, but we would all like to leave due to natural causes and not by lead poisoning. On that, I’m sure, we can all agree upon.
In a post 9/11 world, carrying concealed is, for me, no longer an option but a duty to protect myself and my love ones from unwarranted harm. It is a right that was granted to all of us by our Founding Fathers when they gave us the Second Amendment; they said: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Even though this was written in eighteenth century English and style, its meaning and intent is as clear to me as if it was written in today’s vernacular…We free Americans have, as stated above, an individual and inviolably right to arm ourselves when necessary in order to protect our country, our lives and our property.
For those of you who believe in concealed carry, I suggest you read the volumes of books that have been written on this subject to determine what you can and cannot do, especially as this pertains to the specific laws in the state that you carry in. As for me, these are my convictions about concealed carry and a starting point for many of you to consider and build upon.
Conviction 1: CARRY CONCEALED. It’s the law. Know the law. Let the law work for you. Not against you. This is one of the primary rules to follow when you’re a CHL holder. You have now obligated yourself to be knowledgeable about the law, not what you think the law should be under this or that circumstance. The onus of carry concealed is heavy; but not as heavy as being ignorant of the law. This is one area were “hearsay” and “I though” can be life changing experience of the worst kind.
Conviction 2: Carry 24/7 if at all possible. Become familiar with the extra weight on your person…the knowledge that your weapon is secure but quickly reachable if necessary. But most importantly, never convince yourself that today is the day that I can go without my sidearm. After all it’s a beautiful fall day…what can possibly happen?
Conviction # 3: Public Carry. Don’t carry a firearm in public if you are not mentally and physically prepared to use it should you find yourself center stage in your worst nightmare.
Conviction # 4: Carry an adequate firearm / caliber. But let’s be practical about it. If we knew we would be in a fire fight before day’s end, the 12 gauge shotgun would be my weapon of choice. But since we don’t know how our day is going to end, a more useful sidearm would be in a caliber no smaller than a .380ACP. But if smaller gun / caliber are absolutely the only choice that is open to you, than a .22 rim fire or .25 ACP is better than nothing. You might consider backing up that small caliber gun with an adequate volume of pepper spray.
Conviction # 5: FIREARM FAMILIARITY breeds confidence. Train in every aspect with your concealed weapon: shooting with two hands, strong hand and weak hand; drawing from different holster positions, especially from the sitting position; and don’t forget to end every practice session by shooting the actual ammo that you intend to carry. The recoil from a .38Sp. wad cutter is not the same as the recoil from a HP .357 Mag.
Conviction # 6: Use Common Sense. If you have CHL you more than likely have the intelligence to use it and your weapon wisely. I strongly advise you to acquire as much knowledge on this subject as possible as you literally carry the power of life and death. So being responsible is not an option.
What I have started here has not been finished. It would be an understatement to say that I have just scratched the surface. This topic is too important to let it go with just these comments. We still haven’t touched upon specific firearms and their calibers, personal protection ammo, holsters and almost holsters, clothing, practical practicing, and the law (not a treatise on gun laws but just hitting on the big topics, such as: should I retrain a lawyer before I leave my house?)
Pax vobiscum (Peace be with you.)