A few MDTS Concealed Carry Considerations
Why are you carrying a pistol?
Are you carrying or want to carry because you just got a new handgun and just want to “strap it on” for the day? Are you carrying because it’s your god given right? Are you carrying because you want to be ready to protect yourself, your family or someone else? Maybe today is the day a guy walks into your store, the office you work at or the mall you are shopping in with your wife. WE don’t get to choose when bad things happen; the criminals, emotionally disturbed, active killers and terrorists do.
If you have a concealed carry license and choose to carry your firearm or even a personal defense knife for self defense it’s important the only people who know you are carrying is you, a partner or a family member. The information you present, via how you dress, walk, consistent physical actions (like always adjusting a holster when get out of the car), all give you away to the watchful observer. There ARE watchful observers; other CCW holders, police officers, soccer moms and even a criminal or two.
Think like the bad guy
If you carry concealed, a handgun or perhaps a personal defense knife, do you display an overt signature of readiness to those in your environment? Have you considered what information you present to those observing you? If you were a criminal, looking at potential victims, what intel would you look for? How would you select the victim? Does a gun or knife scare you or are you used to seeing such everyday tools of your trade? Will a handgun taken off an unconscious victim fetch a good price down the street? Can that pocket knife this person has be used to assault someone else you have had your eye on or does the gang need weapons?
Type of clothing?
How they walk – do they exhibit signs of some type of injury?
Do they display signs of readiness or possible resistance like the pocket clip of a knife or a bulge under a shirt or coat?
Do they continually touch a certain area around the waistline?
Which is the victims dominant hand?
Concealed, open or a little of both
The image we present to those in our environment is key to successful or unsuccessful concealed carry of any personal protection tool. This image can be broken into (3) categories:
1) Covert – you understand the how, what and why of concealed carry and practice it every time you go out.
2) Overt – you consciously choose to display a force option. This is what Law Enforcement officers do, this is what some advocate as a means to “discourage” criminals from selecting you, this is what open carry advocates do to demonstrate their 2A rights (I will leave that issue for others to discuss).
3) Ignorant – NO IDEA how, what or why to conceal carry and shouldn’t be doing so.
Some Generalized Guidelines for Practical Concealed Carry
*Elements of these guidelines adapted from Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts Principles of Concealed Carry
Remember – “Possession does not equal proficiency” – Clint Smith
- Carry your gun! It is useless if you don’t have it when you need it
- Dress around the handgun and check yourself prior to exiting a safe area
- Limit cover garments to one layer over concealed handgun
- One of the few elements we have absolute control over in a fight is the equipment we bring to it, choose wisely
- Firearms must be reliable, serviceable, ready and accessible to both hands
- The firearms manual of arms should be relatively simple; it may not always be you utilizing it (i.e. wife, son, daughter)
- Mechanical safeties, slide stop/release, de-cockers should be accessible when operating one handed WITHOUT compromising the final firing grip, strong & support sides
- Ammunition selected for carry must be reputable, factory loaded defense cartridge compatible with shooter and firearm
- Holsters should be rigid, secure, familiar and compatible to the carrier’s personal and environmental circumstances
- At least one illumination tool, a spare magazine and an edged weapon should be available and accessible to both hands
- As a general rule, primary tools (tools you rely upon to protect your life i.e. – firearm, defensive knife) should be carried at the hips forward. Secondary and tertiary gear carried hips rearward
- Situational, environmental and physical awareness AND proper concealment are the primary means of handgun weapon retention, you retain the handgun not just the holster
Is that all?
No. The gun, the holster, on body, off body, body type, belts, environment, placement, mode of dress….. the list goes on.
There is a lot more to practical concealed carry for personal protection but probably the most important question you need to ask and ask every time you “gun up” is – Why am I carrying? We all have our reasons and they are all correct, for us. However, it imperative to remember that your perception of the world, the people around you, may not be the same perception they have. What you see as a “display of rights” may be an invitation for violence or selection. Readiness for any situation includes awareness, willingness and preparedness and they all apply to practical concealed carry.