Concealed Carry: It’s Time

 

Shooting a gun never appealed to me prior to five years ago. My attitude towards guns has shifted to a point where it seems natural and necessary to have one.

When my husband pressed me to have a gun in the house, I resisted for a few years. We live in a gated community, and having a gun in the house seemed excessive. I didn’t object to guns, per se, but I also didn’t much appreciate them. Since my husband was so determined to have one, given there has been minor crime in our development, I agreed. His first gun was a Glock 19. It felt heavy and intimidating to me, but I wasn’t going to use it—until my husband expressed his desire for me to learn how to use it, since it was going to be in the house. (Reflecting on his rationale, I don’t find it very persuasive, since I am rarely here without him!) But I finally tried it out at the first gun range which we joined.

The darn thing felt heavy. And the noise in the gun range was unbelievably loud. Even with earplugs and ear muffs, it was disturbing and difficult to tolerate. The trainer recommended a couple of adjustments, like getting my hair off my ears, and the ear muffs fit much better. Still, the indoor range was very loud, and I always jumped at the first shot fired by anyone.

Gradually I found I kind of liked shooting. We bought better ear protection, so that helped my attitude. I wasn’t a total disaster on my aim, but the gun still felt heavy to me. So we decided to buy a Ruger for me. That wasn’t a good idea. It had a kick that I disliked and it interfered with my aim. So I started to use my husband’s gun again, discovering that with my ongoing comfort with the idea of shooting, the weight didn’t bother me.

Eventually, my husband suggested I get my own Glock (and I suggested he get the newer model), and we also found a gun range, indoor/outdoor, closer to home (20 minutes). Long story, short—he now calls me Annie Oakley and I really enjoy the discipline and challenge. Before I go on the range, I always repeat the three rules: assume the gun is loaded; point in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger (when you’re not shooting).

But now the question of concealed carry has come up. A while ago my husband decided he should get one because the time might arrive when a citizen would not be permitted to have one; I thought that possibility sounded a bit extreme. With the latest proposed laws, and watching Republicans cave to ridiculous justifications for limitations on guns, I figured at the very least, I needed to get a permit.

This step and its significance for me is a big deal on a number of levels. I resent having to consider concealed carry because of the stupidity and ambitions of the Republicans. They are not even looking at the data to figure out which existing laws simply need to simply be applied, which new laws will make no difference at all, which proposals will cripple our current rights, and whether gun control is good for citizens and for the country. I resent living in a time when I don’t feel safe, that I have to take more responsibility for my safety, and that my peace of mind regarding my day-to-day life has been compromised (however little), so that I might need a gun. I resent feeling that I may be overreacting to the possible dangers, that I may be becoming paranoid, and that I am acquiescing to a trend.

At the same time, I read some statistics from 2018 (updated since) that made me feel less like an outlier and more in alignment with others who appreciate their Second Amendment Rights and concealed carry:

  • Last year, despite the common perception that growth in the number of permit holders would stop after the 2016 election, the number of permits grew by about 890,000.
  • Outside the restrictive states of California and New York, about 8.63% of the adult population has a permit.
  • In fifteen states, more than 10% of adults have permits, up from just eleven last year.
  • Alabama has the highest rate — 22.1%. Indiana is second with 17.9%, and South Dakota is a close third with 17.2%.
  • Four states now have over 1 million permit holders: Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  • Another 14 states have adopted constitutional carry in all or almost all of their state, meaning that a permit is no longer required. However, because of these constitutional carry states, the nationwide growth in permits does not paint a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry.
  • Permits continued to grow much faster for women and minorities. Between 2012 and 2018, the percent of women with permits grew 111% faster for women and the percent of blacks with permits grew 20% faster than for whites. Permits for Asians grew 29% faster than for whites.
  • Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted.

I’ve made excuses for quite a while to avoid getting a concealed carry permit. I still dislike the idea of wearing a gun or carrying it in my purse. And yet–

It’s time.

Published in Guns
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There are 82 comments.

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  1. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: constitutional carry

    Lots of people don’t like this idea, but it makes perfect sense. Why can’t law abiding citizens carry a hidden weapon for protection without having to get a permit (i.e. permission from the government), when criminals, the mentally ill, and even the insane can and will do so regardless of the law?

    Susan Quinn: Permits continued to grow much faster for women and minorities.

    And with LBGTs. The Pulse night club shootings got the ball rolling in the gay community, but the recent shootings of two black transsexual women in my home state of SC (sadly) might further CWP participation of those who refuse to be a victim.

    Welcome to the club, Susan . . .

    • #1
    • August 11, 2019, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Constitutional carry may be the most reasonable approach, but I don’t see it happening nationwide. Too much fire power from the anti-gun lobby. I wish I could say I’m more than a reluctant member of the club, @stad. Maybe someday.

    • #2
    • August 11, 2019, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. kidCoder Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    Why can’t law abiding citizens carry a hidden weapon for protection without having to get a permit

    Because Open Carry only works for people who are trusted by those they see. Concealed carry is for people who have been trusted by someone else, say, a government.

    Additionally, it’s a reasonable mark, I feel, to require a legal crash-course before you can conceal a weapon in public, like how we have licensing for driving cars in public.

    • #3
    • August 11, 2019, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    kidCoder (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    Why can’t law abiding citizens carry a hidden weapon for protection without having to get a permit

    Because Open Carry only works for people who are trusted by those they see. Concealed carry is for people who have been trusted by someone else, say, a government.

    I think I’d feel more like a target if I could open carry. That’s so reassuring that the government trusts me! ;-) I’ll settle for concealing. Thanks, @kidcoder.

    • #4
    • August 11, 2019, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Old Buckeye Member

    I’m having this same discussion with myself, Susan, for many of the same reasons. Feeling as if the hammer may come down on freedom to own and carry a gun makes me think I’d rather be in the group that says “take it if you can.” 

    • #5
    • August 11, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Qoumidan Member

    I’ve had my concealed carry permit for almost 5 years. I got it before I even got a gun. My problem now is consistently carrying and how to remain concealed while nursing a baby.

    • #6
    • August 11, 2019, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Qoumidan (View Comment):

    I’ve had my concealed carry permit for almost 5 years. I got it before I even got a gun. My problem now is consistently carrying and how to remain concealed while nursing a baby.

    . . . like carrying a baby isn’t tough enough, @qoumidan! I’m encouraged to hear that you took this step, though. Thank you for sharing that!

    • #7
    • August 11, 2019, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    I’m having this same discussion with myself, Susan, for many of the same reasons. Feeling as if the hammer may come down on freedom to own and carry a gun makes me think I’d rather be in the group that says “take it if you can.”

    In addition to getting the permit, @oldbuckeye, do you think you’ll actually carry? Or haven’t you gotten that far in your decision-making?

    • #8
    • August 11, 2019, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. I Shot The Serif Member

    Qoumidan (View Comment):

    I’ve had my concealed carry permit for almost 5 years. I got it before I even got a gun. My problem now is consistently carrying and how to remain concealed while nursing a baby.

    We should talk. I didn’t even consider that problem.

    • #9
    • August 11, 2019, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Qoumidan (View Comment):

    I’ve had my concealed carry permit for almost 5 years. I got it before I even got a gun. My problem now is consistently carrying and how to remain concealed while nursing a baby.

    We should talk. I didn’t even consider that problem.

    I’m not sure that concealing the gun was linked to nursing the baby . . .

    • #10
    • August 11, 2019, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    This is another widely popular and sensible thing that President Trump once embraced, now has fallen silent on. He really needs to review the promises and arguments he made in 2015. Not one word in the Second Amendment position paper on appointing Supreme Court justices, but a whole section on how he, himself has a concealed weapon permit and how it is common sense for that to be reciprocally respected in every state, just like a drivers license.

    He really needs to get his feet back under him and get back on Second Amendment offense, if he wants to win bigly.

    • #11
    • August 11, 2019, at 1:03 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Constitutional carry may be the most reasonable approach, but I don’t see it happening nationwide. Too much fire power from the anti-gun lobby.

    Nope, it’s happening. The latest shootings might slow it down, but the anti-gun lobby couldn’t stop concealed carry either . . .

    • #12
    • August 11, 2019, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    kidCoder (View Comment):
    Additionally, it’s a reasonable mark, I feel, to require a legal crash-course before you can conceal a weapon in public, like how we have licensing for driving cars in public.

    Nope, a right does not require training. Were you required to get a C or higher in English to exercise your right to free speech? No.

    Does the free press require a permit from the government to print or broadcast their news and opinions? No.

    Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. However, freedom of travel makes it hard to deny someone a driver’s license because travel is essential to earning a living.

    No homeowner is required to have a “crash course” in OSHA regulations before moving into their house.

    Look, learning gun safety isn’t rocket science. Learning to shoot well can either be done with lessons (the fastest and best way) or with practice. If I choose to use my one iron (yes, I have one) for self defense, I shouldn’t be required to take golf lessons . . .

    • #13
    • August 11, 2019, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. EB Thatcher
    EB

    Stad (View Comment):
    Lots of people don’t like this idea, but it makes perfect sense. Why can’t law abiding citizens carry a hidden weapon for protection without having to get a permit (i.e. permission from the government), when criminals, the mentally ill, and even the insane can and will do so regardless of the law?

    No, it doesn’t make perfect sense. We have a right to drive cars, but we have to learn how to drive and get a license. People drive without valid driver’s licenses, but we don’t stop requiring them.

    I have had a concealed carry permit since my 20’s (in 3 different states.) I’m all in favor of the 2nd Amendment. But guns can kill people – that’s kind of the point. I like the laws in Texas and Florida because they require a class in the state’s law and a proficiency test – then a background check to be sure you aren’t a convicted felon. Those are sensible requirements.

    I’m not sure of the law in Georgia. It’s been over 20 years since I lived there and had a concealed carry permit. At one time, Georgia law did allow open carry without a permit. That’s because a concealed weapon is potentially more dangerous. If you see someone with a gun strapped on, you can usually decide to “be somewhere else.”

    • #14
    • August 11, 2019, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. EB Thatcher
    EB

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    do you think you’ll actually carry?

    I haven’t always carried. But a few years ago, a man walked into a theater in Lafayette, LA and started shooting. This hit me because my best friend from college lives in Lafayette. If someone in that theater had been carrying, there might have been fewer innocent deaths.

    I have carried ever since because you can’t ever say to yourself for sure, “Well it won’t happen today.” Of course, this doesn’t address the locations that post “No guns allowed.”

    I don’t carry into those places because there have been cases in Florida where those signs invalidated a “self-defense” defense. Florida law does not allow you to use self-defense if you are in the process of committing a crime. Sounds logical – if 2 drug dealers shoot each other, they aren’t allowed to claim self-defense. Same thing if you are robbing a store, etc.

    There have been a few cases where a “zealous” prosecutor used the fact that the store had such a posted sign to claim that the person who defended themself was committing a crime and so could not use that defense.

    • #15
    • August 11, 2019, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Qoumidan Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Qoumidan (View Comment):

    I’ve had my concealed carry permit for almost 5 years. I got it before I even got a gun. My problem now is consistently carrying and how to remain concealed while nursing a baby.

    We should talk. I didn’t even consider that problem.

    I’m not sure that concealing the gun was linked to nursing the baby . . .

    It is though, just because of all the moving around of clothes when nursing. Some of the laws don’t seem to make much distinction between flashing a gun by accident while hooking up a baby or something and brandishing. And many of the ladies around where I might be out in public and irrationally afraid of guns. It has to be accessable to be of any value to carry and also well hidden.

    • #16
    • August 11, 2019, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Stad (View Comment):
    Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. However, freedom of travel makes it hard to deny someone a driver’s license because travel is essential to earning a living.

    A car can be a lethal weapon requiring knowledge of how to operate it and the rules of the road in order to minimize the likelihood of harming others. Why should it be any different for another lethal weapon: a gun. 

    • #17
    • August 11, 2019, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Western Chauvinist Member

    I’m on the same path, Susan. Just visited my first gun store today and tried out some 9mm pistols. I’m a rank amateur, so Mr. C and I plan to join a private range and take some lessons. Once I get enough experience under my belt, I’ll consider going for the CCP. The more of us responsible, liberty loving people who carry, the better. It is time.

    • #18
    • August 11, 2019, at 4:21 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Qoumidan (View Comment):
    It is though, just because of all the moving around of clothes when nursing. Some of the laws don’t seem to make much distinction between flashing a gun by accident while hooking up a baby or something and brandishing. And many of the ladies around where I might be out in public and irrationally afraid of guns. It has to be accessable to be of any value to carry and also well hidden.

    Thanks for clarifying, @qoumidan!

    • #19
    • August 11, 2019, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    Driving a car is a privilege, not a right. However, freedom of travel makes it hard to deny someone a driver’s license because travel is essential to earning a living.

    A car can be a lethal weapon requiring knowledge of how to operate it and the rules of the road in order to minimize the likelihood of harming others. Why should it be any different for another lethal weapon: a gun.

    I think that our intention in buying a car is not to use it as a lethal weapon. When we buy a gun, our intention is to use it for just that purpose, if we need to do so.

    • #20
    • August 11, 2019, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I think that our intention in buying a car is not to use it as a lethal weapon. When we buy a gun, our intention is to use it for just that purpose, if we need to do so.

    My point was that a car could be a lethal weapon without knowing how to operate it and the rules of the road. You have taken the time to learn how to use your gun without harming yourself or others unless provoked, and I maintain that gun permits should be issued subject to the process you went through to learn how to use it. We were robbed several years ago, and the policeman told me he had seen many instances where a homeowner was hurt because he didn’t know enough about using a gun while the robber knew all about it.

    • #21
    • August 11, 2019, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I think that our intention in buying a car is not to use it as a lethal weapon. When we buy a gun, our intention is to use it for just that purpose, if we need to do so.

    My point was that a car could be a lethal weapon without knowing how to operate it and the rules of the road. You have taken the time to learn how to use your gun without harming yourself or others unless provoked, and I maintain that gun permits should be issued subject to the process you went through to learn how to use it. We were robbed several years ago, and the policeman told me he had seen many instances where a homeowner was hurt because he didn’t know enough about using a gun while the robber knew all about it.

    Absolutely right, GWW! I know people who never got lessons (a neighbor for one) and he scares the daylights out of me. He brought out the gun once, loaded, to show to us. Never again.

    • #22
    • August 11, 2019, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    One factor that contributed significantly to my decision to get my WA State CPL (concealed pistol license) was this: a right that is not practiced by the people becomes a “right” taken away by the government, on the grounds that “it’s not needed anymore, and has become outdated.”

    As regards the 2A, I believe that training (i.e. being “well-regulated”) is entirely appropriate. However, that training must remain a local obligation: town, cities, counties. The separate states provide the legal framework, and the Federal government has no role at all. I suggest this will contribute to the re-establishment of a true militia system, leading to, “a new birth of freedom” in our county. 

    • #23
    • August 11, 2019, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Bryan McAllister Coolidge

    Thank you, @Susan Quinn. One additional safety rule, especially in the context of carrying concealed, is to be mindful of what is behind your target. Bullets are designed to go through things [Capt Obvious, statement]. Over-penetration becomes extremely important – including bullets passing through the aggressor against which one is defending him or herself. If I shoot at an invader in my home, that bullet may find unintended destinations as it breeches walls, and passes through my house and into neighbors’ homes. They have to do that to accomplish their intended purpose, so be mindful.

    When I bought my first handgun, a friend of mine who happens to be a police officer agreed to come to my house and walk all of my family members through firearm safety and operation instruction – largely, to remove fear by educating everyone.

    I do have my concealed carry permit, and I did take instruction. For me, one of the more powerful aspects of the training is the reminder that with the use of mortal violence comes significant costs. But, I also make regular trips to the range to stay comfortable with the mechanics, as well as make use of snap-caps to work on steady trigger pull with dry-fire practice. I strive to maintain skill and improve the likelihood of putting rounds on the intended target.

    As for firearm selection, Susan, I have found the two best ways to find the right fit are to make a lot of friends who shoot, and thereby gain direct and indirect exposure and reviews on different models, and to also rent from the local range. Fit and feel become apparent with experience – weight of the trigger pull, double-action vs safety, grip, recoil, ease of cleaning, etc.

    Finally, I try to tactfully bring up my new hobby with friends, and through those conversations, to find opportunities to invite people without experience to go with me to a range. Becoming acquainted with the firearms, as well as the people and safety procedures at the ranges I visit, typically helps to dispel fear and misinformation. [Yes, for example, I try to jump on to the misinformation about semi-automatic rifles, as quickly as possible, e.g. AR does not stand for ‘assault rifle’ or ‘automatic rifle’, my AR-15 is not a machine gun, etc.]

    • #24
    • August 11, 2019, at 9:07 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    One factor that contributed significantly to my decision to get my WA State CPL (concealed pistol license) was this: a right that is not practiced by the people becomes a “right” taken away by the government, on the grounds that “it’s not needed anymore, and has become outdated.”

    As regards the 2A, I believe that training (i.e. being “well-regulated”) is entirely appropriate. However, that training must remain a local obligation: town, cities, counties. The separate states provide the legal framework, and the Federal government has no role at all. I suggest this will contribute to the re-establishment of a true militia system, leading to, “a new birth of freedom” in our county.

    Love this approach, Hoplite. As well as your comments on using our rights. Thanks!

     

    • #25
    • August 12, 2019, at 5:53 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Bryan McAllister (View Comment):

    Thank you, @Susan Quinn. One additional safety rule, especially in the context of carrying concealed, is to be mindful of what is behind your target. Bullets are designed to go through things [Capt Obvious, statement]. Over-penetration becomes extremely important – including bullets passing through the aggressor against which one is defending him or herself. If I shoot at an invader in my home, that bullet may find unintended destinations as it breeches walls, and passes through my house and into neighbors’ homes. They have to do that to accomplish their intended purpose, so be mindful.

    When I bought my first handgun, a friend of mine who happens to be a police officer agreed to come to my house and walk all of my family members through firearm safety and operation instruction – largely, to remove fear by educating everyone.

    I do have my concealed carry permit, and I did take instruction. For me, one of the more powerful aspects of the training is the reminder that with the use of mortal violence comes significant costs. But, I also make regular trips to the range to stay comfortable with the mechanics, as well as make use of snap-caps to work on steady trigger pull with dry-fire practice. I strive to maintain skill and improve the likelihood of putting rounds on the intended target.

    As for firearm selection, Susan, I have found the two best ways to find the right fit are to make a lot of friends who shoot, and thereby gain direct and indirect exposure and reviews on different models, and to also rent from the local range. Fit and feel become apparent with experience – weight of the trigger pull, double-action vs safety, grip, recoil, ease of cleaning, etc.

    Finally, I try to tactfully bring up my new hobby with friends, and through those conversations, to find opportunities to invite people without experience to go with me to a range. Becoming acquainted with the firearms, as well as the people and safety procedures at the ranges I visit, typically helps to dispel fear and misinformation. [Yes, for example, I try to jump on to the misinformation about semi-automatic rifles, as quickly as possible, e.g. AR does not stand for ‘assault rifle’ or ‘automatic rifle’, my AR-15 is not a machine gun, etc.]

    Excellent advice, Bryan! We’ve had safety training and practice every two weeks. 

    • #26
    • August 12, 2019, at 5:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Stad Thatcher

    EB (View Comment):
    We have a right to drive cars

    Show me the Constitutional Amendment.

    • #27
    • August 12, 2019, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Stad Thatcher

    EB (View Comment):
    But guns can kill people – that’s kind of the point.

    And so can a hundred other items.

    England has been going through a horrible case of knife violence. To me, this shows violence will happen regardless of the tools used to carry it out. We always talk about the root cause of violence, but we never do anything about it. We go after the tools instead. This is like treating the symptom, but not the root cause – the disease.

    • #28
    • August 12, 2019, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Pony Convertible Member

    EB (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    do you think you’ll actually carry?

    I haven’t always carried. But a few years ago, a man walked into a theater in Lafayette, LA and started shooting. This hit me because my best friend from college lives in Lafayette. If someone in that theater had been carrying, there might have been fewer innocent deaths.

    I have carried ever since because you can’t ever say to yourself for sure, “Well it won’t happen today.” Of course, this doesn’t address the locations that post “No guns allowed.”

    I don’t carry into those places because there have been cases in Florida where those signs invalidated a “self-defense” defense. Florida law does not allow you to use self-defense if you are in the process of committing a crime. Sounds logical – if 2 drug dealers shoot each other, they aren’t allowed to claim self-defense. Same thing if you are robbing a store, etc.

    There have been a few cases where a “zealous” prosecutor used the fact that the store had such a posted sign to claim that the person who defended themself was committing a crime and so could not use that defense.

    I generally ignore “No guns allowed” signs. My thought process is I would rather be alive in jail, then be dead. Heaven forbid I ever have to pull out my gun, but if I do we are past the point of laws and rules being a concern.

    • #29
    • August 12, 2019, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Stad Thatcher

    Bryan McAllister (View Comment):
    make use of snap-caps to work on steady trigger pull with dry-fire practice

    One instructor said to work on a steady trigger pull, and a good, steady aim will naturally follow.

    • #30
    • August 12, 2019, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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