What is the meaning of life? The answer is simple for me, happiness! Happiness is a simple concept, it is a state of well-being and contentment. People who question our right to remain armed in a modern industrialized and supremely interconnected society do not understand what it takes to have happiness in life.
In the article “Why you should be trained and armed: or how to prevent a fire before it starts!” I outlined in depth the reasons to be armed, regardless of how interconnected we are or how many police officers we have in the end our health and well being is entirely up to us! To have happiness one must be safe, which means able to defend themselves and have a plan and preparation for everything from fire and floods to losing your job. Living with a defensive mindset is intelligent living and promotes happiness because it allows for a state of well-being and contentment.
My top ten concealed carry tips follow, please understand, you are not going to get a canned response. One thing I refuse to do is give vapid opinions or disingenuous advice. What follows is my thought out approach to concealed carry.
1.Know why you conceal carry! There is a very real moral and legal obligation attached to carrying for self-defensive purposes. You will be held to a much higher standard of care, meaning, your every single move if the need to defend yourself ever occurs will be put through a fine tooth comb and you could be judged in a public forum as well.
In today’s world, it is highly likely you will spend time in jail regardless of your innocence and you will absolutely see a physical monetary cost as well. I carry to ensure the continuing happiness of myself and my family. I carry because only federal politicians and super rich people can afford bodyguards. I carry because I am my own best defense in any situation that may occur. Why do you carry?
2. Understand the laws and all legal implications attached to carrying defensive tools with intent to use them if needed in defense of self. In the United States, you are able to defend your life when you are in, “immediate otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to yourself or other innocent persons”**, it should be noted that if there is the slightest doubt, simply do not shoot.
What is reasonable is most important legally, meaning in New York City what is reasonable may well be having to be beaten half to death, while in Tennessee or Arizona what is reasonable is obvious furtive movements or unimpeded physical access to oneself or another by someone who verbally or physically intends to do you grave immediate bodily harm or cause your death. Furtive movement is movement consistent with the potential perpetrator reaching for a weapon and is not reasonably consistent with any other movement.
Remember, most self-defense cases will at least end up in front of a prosecutor and many will end up in front of a jury, these are individuals who are not your peers. Lastly, a continued education of local and federal legislation, as the law changes quite regularly, is absolutely necessary as well.
3. Mindset is everything. You have to understand if you choose to carry a deadly weapon as a defensive tool you have to be absolutely willing to use it; while knowing what circumstances may require the use of said tool. One does not need to be a trained killer, police or military to understand and utilize simple observational skills which apply to mindset.
4. Situational Awareness is essential. In my article titled “Training your Situational Awareness or dying: which do you prefer?” I outlined specific approaches and needed requirements for maintaining situational awareness. I suggest reading this article as it goes into greater depth than what I will here. I suggest using three color codes to assist with your approach. Yellow = relaxed but aware of what is around you including items of interest, Red = aware of and focusing on the threat or threats, Black = acting with the intent to stop a threat as needed based on obvious furtive movements or unimpeded physical access to oneself or another by someone who verbally or physically intends to do you grave immediate bodily harm or cause your death.
5. Know your tool of choice for self-defense. Hands and feet, pepper spray, knife, firearm, taser or baton whatever you choose to defend yourself with does not matter as much as your ability to use these items without hesitation when necessary which absolutely requires solid regular training with solid instructors or individuals willing to assist you.
Above the training with the tool of choice, it is absolutely essential to understand how your tools work and what it takes to run them. Learn to break them down and clean them properly. If they are bladed, learn to sharpen and care for the steel. For every other tool learn how each one works, what conditions it works best in and test them all!
6. Physical ability is important. Quite simply, regardless of your situation, it is necessary all the time to be able to perform defensive tasks as needed. I am disabled, I have grade V Spondylolisthesis otherwise known as spondyloptosis. My L5 vertebra is now alongside my S1 vertebra, it should be on top of it. This causes serious issues with nerve pain and hindered ability to move well. That being said, I do train regularly and work out as much as I can physically. There is no excuse other than laziness to not do what you can to have the physical ability necessary to use the tools you decide to carry concealed or otherwise for purposes of self-defense.
7. Training is absolutely essential. I do not mean simply taking an NRA class with your local range, which is beneficial as an initial step but does nothing for the overall need to understand basic tactics and movement required to stay alive under combat conditions. Combat is a fight between individuals or groups. Self-defense is combat in its purest sense, which is why you absolutely must have the mindset needed to prevent harm coming to your self and loved ones!
8. How you carry is as important as what you carry. This is an indisputable reality when it comes to concealed carry. If you use crap to carry and by default protect your tools, when it comes time to use your tools you may find that crap has caused you to not be able to defend yourself. There are literally dozens of incidents of malfunctions caused by how someone carried and or a lack of their training. Be safe, be smart and check out my article, “What are ways to carry concealed and what works best?”
9. Medical knowledge is imperative. Without a doubt, you should have a couple hours at a bare minimum of trauma care classes and education under your belt. Additionally, you should have at a minimum one personal trauma kit or like I do a small one on my person and larger in my vehicle with a family sized one at home. My entire family knows how to use and when to apply care in a trauma-based situation. A couple years back my daughter (7 at the time) was involved in a motorcycle wreck with my father.
She kept her cool and saved his life and maintained a clear head relaying pertinent information to the responders upon their arrival only breaking down for a much-needed adrenaline dump and cry when dad, mom, and brother got there. Regardless of the situation, but especially in defensive uses of force the need for trauma care will be necessary. This being said, for legal and safety reasons do not approach a suspect that has been stopped while you defended yourself, rather allow responders to do so.
10. Remember you are carrying to defend not to offend. Never intentionally show anyone that you are carrying and avoid trouble at all costs. Again I cannot stress enough the importance of concealing your carry. In today’s political climate especially, it is essential to remember that police will respond to call-outs where a gun is involved. They will detain or question you and in most cases legally you are required to respond to basic questions. Avoid this issue by simply not exposing your firearm or defensive tool.
There are my top ten concealed carry tips. I hope that you gained some small bit of help from them and should you have any questions at all, ask! As always, thank you for reading and while I may not be able to respond to every comment I will try. Feel free to leave comments and feedback, I learn as always from your insight as I do not know it all and doubt I ever will!
Free the mind and the body will follow
** Serious bodily injury is: An injury that can cause a permanent or protracted loss of a bodily function. Ex: battery acid splashed into your face is unlikely to kill you, BUT it can cause a permanent or protracted loss of your ability to see. Being attacked with a baseball bat could easily cause death or serious bodily injury depending on the manner of its use.