Is concealed carry a lifestyle? Have you or are you considering changing your lifestyle? Concealed carry is a lifestyle because it is not something that should be taken lightly. It is something people should learn about, embrace, participate in, and grow with. Carrying a gun is not something you just “do,” like driving a car or cooking lunch. It is something that requires thought, training, obligation, and commitment.
Choosing to carry a gun means you are accepting the responsibility of protecting yourself and your loved ones. This lifestyle is complete with its own peer groups, activities, and even language.
How will you dress?
“Is concealed carry a lifestyle?”
In order to effectively conceal a firearm, you have to select appropriate attire. You must dress to your chosen firearms. This means wearing looser fitting pants if you choose to carry in an IWB holster. If you are wearing a suit, there are options for carrying OWB or in a shoulder holster. This makes it necessary to keep your jacket on at all times.
There has to be a blend of your present wardrobe choices and the new ways of dress to accommodate the firearm you decide to carry and method of carrying it. Consider how you will carry your gun and how easily ( or not) it will be to draw that gun if necessary. Always remembering that it must be hidden from the normal view of anyone you come into contact with.
T-shirts will be worn much looser than normal, and a cover shirt will more than likely be left untucked ( unless you choose a tuckable holster). I have been known, at times, to wear a t-shirt with a cover shirt left untucked and unbuttoned. Ankle holsters can be worn effectively under pants with a “baggy” leg, but usually only as a backup weapon. You can see from this that you may have to change the way you look or, at least, modify your look.
You’ll change some of your behavior patterns
“Should I be carrying here?”
Are you frequently in an environment with large crowds of people? Do you get right in the middle of the crowd? This may change as well. You’ll be more aware of your surroundings, referred to as “situational awareness”. When you go into a restaurant, you may ask the hostess for a particular table or booth based on the proximity to the entrance or another exit. You should be constantly aware of the fact you are armed and, therefore, trying to position yourself to either avoid troubles or prepare to defend yourself.
My lifestyle changing experience
When I began my interest in carrying a gun for defense, I found myself reading all I could get my hands on about handguns, how to use & carry them, and how to get training. Then I gathered the information needed to acquire a concealed carry permit in my home town. After I got my CCW, the first thing I did was join the US Concealed Carry Association. I knew that if I was to ever use my gun I was going to be in for the fight of my life in the legal system, and I wanted the protection of someone bigger that myself.
I first began carrying concealed when I was a distributor with Mac Tools in Southern California. I was called to some rural areas that were known to be high-crime sections of the desert. Having a valuable cargo and large amounts of cash with me, it was somewhat necessary to have the ability to protect myself.
It’s worth noting, too, that this decision to carry a firearm didn’t affect me alone. My family was also aware of the hazards I faced, and my wife was concerned with me being armed all the time. It’s something she got used to very quickly, however.
I carry my firearm everywhere I go now. I’m always looking for the “gun free zones” where I might get into trouble just having a gun on me. Like when I go to the post office or the doctor’s office, etc. Ther are lots of places that don’t allow weapons to be carried on their premises. Post offices won’t even allow guns in the parking lots.
You will need some training
Is this what you want?
The training you get for acquiring the CCW is extremely minimal compared to what you really need to perform to the capacity needed for self-defense. In Calif. and most jurisdictions around the country, CCW training is limited to basic gun safety, handling of the gun, and just a little marksmanship.
All they really want to see is that you know how to handle the gun in a safe manner and shoot it without hurting yourself or the folks around you. They expect you to further the training later on as your time and finances dictate. I joined a local gun club where I could use the range for practice and buy the accessories I had to have.
The real training can be quite expensive. I purchased training at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. There are many gun training academies and schools all around the country, and most of them are fine schools with excellent instructors. I have heard of a few not so good training facilities, but most are pretty good. Just look around in your area.
If you can get the time for travel or vacation time, I do recommend Front Sight. I got world class training and had a blast doing it.
Just look around in your area. If you can get the time for travel or vacation time, I do recommend Front Sight. I got world class training and had a blast doing it.
After your initial instruction you’ll want, or need, to get ongoing training since this is mostly what is called “muscle memory” training and it is “perishable”. Muscle memory fades with the lack of use, so it’s imperative you continue training as long as you are planning to carry a gun.
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Mark Walters of “Armed American Radio“. In this piece, I believe he is right on point.
“There are a few things we must come to grips with in our own minds. First and foremost we must realize that evil is real, that it exists among us and that we can’t legislate it away or stop it with a sign any more than we can wish it away. The fact of the matter is that there are bad people who live among us who do bad things to people like us.
They don’t care that you may have just found out that you are pregnant, that you are finally graduating college tomorrow, or that your family depends on you for their livelihood. They will rape you, kidnap you, rape you again, and then burn your body and toss you over a bridge…sometimes for no more than the change in your pocket.
Once you have accepted that reality and understand that bad people do bad things regardless of what area of town you live, work, or play in, then you are ready to take the next step in actually living an armed lifestyle: Refuse to be a victim.
Refusing to be a victim isn’t actually as easy as it may sound. Simply saying that you refuse to be a victim won’t quite cut the mustard. It requires action on your part. It requires that you spend money, get your gun and a permit to carry it.
Depending on where you live, getting your permit may require you to search for a qualified instructor and actually disrupt your normal day to day routine to take the necessary classes as required by your state. In other words, it actually requires action on your part and includes hours spent training and the funds to do so. It requires sacrifice.
Now you have realized that evil exists, you have taken the necessary steps to obtain your permit and a weapon. You have made the decision not to become a victim and that requires you to make a commitment—not a partial commitment, but a total commitment. Think about it. You have accepted that evil exists and decided that you do not want to become a victim, but unfortunately for you, evil chooses the time and place.
It is incumbent upon you to be prepared, and being prepared to meet evil and defeat it requires a total commitment to be ready if and when evil strikes wherever you may be. This can only be accomplished by being armed wherever you are, every day; all day without ever taking a break and that requires you to live an armed lifestyle”.
[ Mark Walters is a NRA certified instructor, co-author of the book “Lessons from Armed America,” and a vocal Second Amendment activist. He is the nationally syndicated host of Armed American Radio, which airs Sunday evenings at 8-11 pm EST (5-8 pm PST) from coast to coast. Mark encourages fans to write him at [email protected]. Visit him at www.armedamericanradio.org ]
So the question remains; Is concealed carry a lifestyle? Is this what you want?
If you are considering becoming a Responsibly Armed American, please do your research. This is not something you should take with a “grain of salt”. It is serious business.
Please leave your comments and suggestions below. I would appreciate hearing from you. And thank you for being a part of my life.