The concealed carry of firearms is legal in almost all states. More citizens are carrying firearms for personal protection than ever before. Each of these citizens makes a choice, either intentionally or not. As an armed citizen are they going to be an asset or liability to society? The training required to get a concealed carry license does little to make a person proficient in weapon manipulation.
Know the Law
It can be extremely difficult to know the law regarding the legalities of concealed carry and use of force. Laws vary widely, from state-to-state and city-to-city. This becomes a complex issue when traveling. Know which states have reciprocity with the state in which you reside and will honor your concealed carry permit. If you use a firearm for self-defense, you have to assume a legal battle will follow. Are you prepared mentally and financially for this? Do you have insurance to cover such an event?
Know Your Weapon System
Very few citizens who carry guns for self-defense have extensive knowledge of their weapon system. By “system” I am talking about your weapon, magazines, belt, holster, manual of arms for operating your weapon and how all of these components work together. Your system should be fully integrated with you as its master. Understand that the system supporting your weapon will be a substantial investment, often costing more than your gun.
Know the Dynamics of What You Will Be Facing
Most gun ranges dictate that you stand in a box and shoot forward at a controlled rate of fire and don’t allow you to draw from a holster. This is target shooting, not defensive handgunning. This is not indicative of the dynamics you will face in a confrontation. Unfortunately, most people do not have easy access to a gun range that will allow you to train in a dynamic, tactical environment. You may have to travel to attend a class that prepares you for the realities you will face in an armed confrontation.
Most armed confrontations will be up-close. You must have the ability to fight in order to draw your weapon. Have you trained manipulating your weapon while struggling with an attacker? Are you prepared to engage a threat running around a crowded room with innocent bystanders, including your family, running in front of your muzzle?
Realistic Exceptions of Becoming Proficient
Proficiency takes time, money and consistent, quality training. A lot of armed citizens I encounter buy a handgun for about $600, then spend about $50 on a few boxes of ammo and think they are good to go. The reality of the matter is this. That initial investment for a firearm is just the tip of the iceberg. It takes putting thousands of rounds down range with the proper training to be on your way to proficiency in self-defense handgunning. If you’re going to arm yourself, be prepared to make the investment in training over a period of time and to maintain your skills.
Being an armed citizen carries a lot of responsibility. Before carrying a firearm for self-defense, make sure you understand what is necessary to become proficient in its use in the dynamics of an encounter. The decision is yours. Are you going to be an asset or a liability to yourself and society if you choose to be an armed citizen?