Tag: Concealed Carry

Is Concealed Carry a Patriotic Commitment?

 

In the last two days of a three-day gun workshop, I haven’t killed anyone yet. Of course, the instructor made sure we took special precautions. But as some of you know, I posted about my dilemma of trying to decide if I should conceal carry. I have discovered through this entire experience that my own thinking was unclear about what concealed carry would mean to and for me, and this workshop has expanded my understanding of concealed carry, its benefits and limitations, and what it would mean for me as a citizen of the United States to carry a gun on my person.

I realized early on that this was a very personal and individual decision. I am a small, senior woman. For a person looking for a victim in a situation where he or she may have a few choices, I could be a primary target. Since there is nothing I can do to change any of those factors (unless someone invents the Fountain of Youth), it was sensible for me to consider those conditions.

What if I Kill Someone?

 

It could be a matter of life or death. That reality struck a chord with me a few months ago, when I received my concealed carry permit and continued my online training.

For those of you who have read my gun posts, you might know that I was prepared to carry a gun on my person. The violence in the streets throughout this country, the shootings and the killings, convinced me that I needed to take my gun ownership seriously and be prepared to protect myself. But the more I saw the training needed to carry a gun responsibly and to minimize the possibility that no one was unnecessarily killed, my ambivalence set in. We signed up with USCCA which offered excellent videos, with a great deal of coaching about the correct responses. I realized that there were multiple scenarios I might find myself in, many of them demanding different responses to an armed person. I might encounter a person in a poorly lit parking garage. I might be eating lunch in a restaurant with a friend. I might be shopping for groceries. Any one of those situations would require that I be alert and prepared to respond so that no one would be killed unnecessarily. And that included me.

The Gravity of Owning and Carrying a Gun

 

On my walk this morning, I was wearing a neon pink t-shirt. As often happens, I approached two women with their dogs; we always exchange pleasantries and I get my dog fix (scratching dog ears). Suddenly one of the women looked at my t-shirt and said, “Isn’t Smith & Wesson a gun company?” I answered yes, and followed with my first stupid comment, “Yes, I own a gun.” She responded, “Oh, you were the last person I would expect to own a gun!” Second stupid response: “I promise not to shoot either of you,” as I walked away.

Okay, okay, I made some foolish comments in a record period of time. First, wearing the shirt publicly wasn’t the best idea, although I often wear it to my workout facility where no one has said anything. Second, after answering that Smith & Wesson was a gun company, I could have smiled and walked away. (Hey, it was 7:00am!) Or I could have said, “Yes, why do you ask?” and been open to a careful but friendly conversation.

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.

Member Post

 

“I think about it all the time,” Ford said of the shootings that plague his community. “That’s why I’m working with a concealed carry instructor and we’re going to go through the neighborhood and we’re going to encourage people to get their concealed carry license because it makes no sense for people not to have […]

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Emily, Kelly, and Lyndsey run through not-so-common questions about the CCW process and what women should know.

Gun Owners Are Being Othered, And We’re Letting It Happen

 

In the wake of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, “bump stocks” became the cause célèbre of the gun control crowd. A bump stock, to be honest, is a rather silly device that attaches to the back of a rifle which allows you to rapidly increase the rate of fire of the gun, letting it mimic the effect of a fully-automatic rifle. Bump stocks specifically designed to get around the restrictions on civilian ownership of fully-automatic firearm that were imposed by the passage the National Firearms Act and the Hughes Amendment, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives decided (at President Trump’s urging) that they made a mistake back in 2010, and such things shouldn’t be in civilian hands.

The fact that you can replicate automatic fire with training and practice, (or even with something as prosaic as a belt loop) seems to be lost on the BATFE, but that’s a topic for another time.

Police Lives Matter. So Does My Life.

 

Matthew Walter suggests in The Week that the only proper response to the (very) questionable killing of Botham Jean by an off-duty Dallas police officer is to disarm the cops.

I think we should consider the possibility of a return to a style of policing in which officers do not, under ordinary circumstances, carry guns or wear black body armor. Bandying weapons around is not the best way to promote respect for the law.

Good Guy With a Gun

 

This past Saturday, a man was shot at Campbell Park in Titusville, FL. He’d gotten into a fistfight with another person, then left, and returned with a gun. When the gunman began to shoot, a bystander with a licensed gun shot him. There were over 100 people at the back-to-school event.

The gunman was airlifted to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The bystander, fully cooperating with law enforcement, was uninjured. Charges weren’t expected to be filed.

Something Isn’t Working as It Should

 

In a few short months, gun owners have gone from counting votes in the Senate to get CCW reciprocity passed nationwide to fighting for our Second Amendment lives.

Gun owners are in a culture war and we’re losing. The forces of civilian disarmament are using the techniques of the anti-smoking movement against the private ownership of guns and they’ve had more success curbing civilian gun ownership with this tactic than they’ve had fighting a political war over the previous 10 years.

Member Post

 

NeverTrumper and Trumpista alike should read this. It’s one of best articles I’ve read (and I have read a LOT of them) on the thought process that goes along with choosing to be your own first responder.  It’s a myth that gun owners despise regulation. Instead, they tend to believe that government regulation should have […]

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Winning the War on Guns

 

Gun owners are winning the war on guns. There is no Federal Assault Weapons Ban in place anymore and there is no reasonable chance one will return anytime soon. Concealed carry (in some form or another) is, in theory, the law of the land in all 50 states. Things are calming down on the legislative front and some of my friends in the gun industry talk about how they look forward to the market getting back to “normal” after the panic-buying of guns and ammo during the Obama administration.

But what is normal? “Normal” certainly wasn’t the time before the Assault Weapons Ban, when “Gun Culture 2.0” was just an idea and “shall issue” concealed carry was the exception, not the rule. For over 20 years, the gun owners of America have either been dealing with the effects of an Assault Weapons Ban, feeling an urgent need to buy guns in fear of another ban being enacted in the near future, and their ability to carry a gun for self-defense was outright banned in a large number of states. Today’s environment for gun owners isn’t “normal,” it’s unlike anything we’ve seen since the Sullivan Act was first passed.

On a national scale, over the last few years, the NRA and other organizations have done an admirable job of defending our natural right to defend ourselves. In the wake of the horror at Sandy Hook, the forces of gun control made a full-court press to re-enact an “assault weapons ban” on a national level, and it failed spectacularly. A bill to validate a concealed carry licenses across state lines has passed in the House, and while its future in the Senate is a little iffy, we’ve started the process of having concealed carry licenses act just like marriage licenses and driver’s licenses do.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud a federal appeals court for striking down the District of Columbia’s policy of requiring a “good reason” for allowing resident to conceal carry their guns.  They also welcome back John McCain and the start of the health care debate but lament how tough it will be to pass a good bill and McCain’s castigation of everyone for the Senate gridlock.  And they marvel at the lack of media coverage as a top IT expert for former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and several other Democratic lawmakers is arrested for bank fraud while trying to leave the country and the FBI looks into hard drives demolished by hammers.

Taking It Off the Streets

 

There’s been a tremendous increase in gun ownership in the past few years, but that gun-buying bubble will pop unless those new gun owners find something to do with their guns other than keeping them unloaded under their beds and hoping they will keep the bad guys away.

A gun is not a magical talisman of self-protection, and unless gun owners practice using their guns on a regular basis, especially under stressful conditions, their ability to use a gun effectively just won’t be there when they need it the most. More importantly, new gun owners need to have a gun near them if (God forbid) they need it to defend a life.

Quite honestly, the firearms training community is not doing a good job at teaching people how to carry a gun. When I went through my concealed carry class many years ago, my instructor said that only one in three people in his class would carry their gun on a regular basis, and now, after learning much more about the reality of firearms ownership in the United States, I’d say my instructor was overly optimistic.

Concealed Carry Dojos

 

Imagine how popular boxing would be if there was no such thing as shadow boxing, the heavy bag, or the speed bag. Instead, rather than have future boxers prepare outside the ring, boxing trainers would plop a pair of gloves onto anyone remotely interested in the sport and toss them into the ring for three rounds the first thing someone set foot in the gym.

Oh, and there’s no coaching from the outside the ropes either, because that’s a penalty for the boxer and coach if that happens. If our neophyte boxer is lucky, he/she will have a chance to watch a few other boxers go at it for a few rounds and figure out the rules of where to punch and what the pre- and post-match etiquette, and if they’re really lucky, they’ll have an experienced pugilist give them tips and pointers before their bout.

Other than that, it’s “Hey, welcome to boxing, kid, now go get into the ring!”

No, You Can’t Defend Yourself (But Nor Will We)

 

Earlier this year, a group of victims sued Cinemark Theaters in a Colorado court for failing to take precautions that might have prevented James Holmes from killing twelve and injuring dozens more in 2012. Via the Denver Post:

“Our belief,” said Ken Citron, one of the lawyers for the victims, “is that Cinemark had inadequate security measures to guard against a foreseeable danger. And, had they implemented proper security measures, this act would have never happened and our clients would have never been injured.” […] [T]he testimony is expected to focus on the days and months prior to the shooting, when killer James Holmes carefully cased the theater and when Citron and other plaintiffs’ lawyers contend Cinemark’s corporate headquarters received broad warning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that movie theaters might be targeted by terrorists. Cinemark never shared that warning with its theater managers, the victims’ lawyers say. On the night of the shooting, the Century Aurora 16 theater had no extra security on hand, no surveillance-camera coverage for large areas behind the theater where Holmes prepared, and no alarm on the exit door through which he entered and began shooting.

Getting the Most Out of Your Concealed Carry Class

 

shutterstock_24882091Gun ownership continues to grow at record levels in the United States, and concealed carry permits are growing right alongside gun sales, reaching record levels last year with no end in sight. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of people who go to the trouble and expense of getting a concealed carry permit don’t carry a pistol on a regular basis. When I went through my CCW class in Arizona many years ago, our instructor said that only a third of us would make the commitment to carrying our gun on a regular basis; I think he was optimistic.

Getting permission to carry a gun and then not actually carrying one makes no sense to me, but I understand why it happens. Carrying a firearm with you day in, day out, makes a big change in your lifestyle. You may have to buy new clothes. You’ll need to change how you act around people. You’ll have to learn a new set of safety rules and follow them diligently. Most of all, you’ll start to see the world in a new way, where decisions that you’ve made in the past seem like utter foolishness now.

These are not easy tasks to accomplish, and our species tends to be resistant to change. However, there are steps you can take before, during and after your concealed carry class that will help you move from the state of being unarmed and unprepared to being ready to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones in a safe, timely manner if (God forbid), the need occurs.

Member Post

 

When posing this question back in December, I had no idea it would be so tremendously influential </sarc>….or even possible? In an environment where one’s means to provide for his/her own safety and personal protection are demonstrably curtailed by State Law or even Local Ordinance, and since police apparently have no such duty, who retains […]

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