According to author Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D., concealed carry is not for folks who lack good judgment and restraint. Even a right must be exercised responsibly, and carrying a gun is a grave responsibility. If you go armed and act stupidly, you may lose your right to carry, or worse. Follow these ten tips to make intelligent choices and carry responsibly, from Eimer's new book, Armed—The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry:
Five Dos of Intelligent Concealed Carry
1. Be AWARE—Being AWARE entails being Alert, and Willing, having a good Attitude, being Ready, and being Even-tempered.
- Be Alert. You need to watch your 360, so you can see trouble coming in advance. Action is faster than reaction, so if you see trouble coming, you can stack the deck in your favor. That might mean just leaving.
- Be Willing. You need to be willing to do whatever you have to do to survive a lethal force confrontation. You need to be willing to use deadly force if you find yourself in the gravest of extremes. This would be when you believe your life or some one’s under the mantle of your protection is in imminent danger as a result of your being confronted by a person (or persons) who is presenting an immediate and unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm.
- Have a good Attitude. Be thoughtful, willing to learn, humble, and reasonably friendly. Lawful concealed carry is for the good guys and gals.
- Be Ready. A gun will do you no good if you are not ready. Being in a state of perpetual readiness entails being alert and aware, so you can observe what is going on around you. You have to be observant to a level you notice something out of the ordinary. Once you observe something is out of kilter, then you will orient to it in order to rapidly analyze the situation and decide what to do.
- Be Even-tempered. You mustn’t be impulsive, angry, or rash. These qualities do not go together with carrying a gun, nor do they go along with thinking clearly or rationally. Remember that we carry a gun for self-defense, not to intimidate or punish.
2. Be Invisible—You do not want to draw unwanted attention to yourself. It is best to go unnoticed. Be polite. It is better to dress plainly dull and boring than it is to dress spicy and exciting. Good people who go unnoticed are less likely to get in trouble. Also, do your best to avoid “hot spots.” These are places where hot-tempered people become butt-heads, such as bars late at night and political rallies or confrontations.
3. Know Your Equipment—If you are not intimately acquainted with your gun, holster, and other accessories, how will you be able to operate it all smoothly and efficiently in an emergency? The idea is to drill and practice regularly with your equipment, so that its deployment becomes second nature. If you are a musician, you get to Carnegie Hall through practice. If you carry a gun, you get to survive though practice.
4. Practice Safe Gun Handling—Guns are dangerous. Always handle them with a focus on safety. That means you should (a) always handle all guns as if they are loaded, (b) never point a gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy, (c) keep your finger off the trigger in a stable “register” position at all times, unless your gun is on target and you have made the decision to shoot at that moment, and (d) positively know your target and what is around and behind it.
5. Know The Laws—Ignorance is no excuse for the law. Sure, the laws can be confusing, especially in anti-gun-rights, heavily gun-controlled states, such as New Jersey. But you need to know what they are. If you break the law and are caught, you can lose your gun rights.
Five Don’ts of Intelligent Concealed Carry
1. Don’t Be Impulsive—Impulsiveness and guns do not mix. It’s like mixing drugs and alcohol. If you cannot control your aggressive impulses or your rage, you probably should not carry a gun. Hot heads get in trouble—add a gun, and you have the makings of a news flash. You must learn to stop, think, and act appropriately.
2. Don’t Advertise—Don’t let people know what kind of gun you’re carrying, where you are toting it, or even that you are carrying at all. You don’t want anyone to have the drop on you. You want to retain the element of surprise—your trump card. If you want to advertise for your favorite gun manufacturer, become a gun writer or apply for a PR job in the firearms industry.
3. Don’t Develop “Gun Courage”—Have you ever heard of “canned courage?” Have you ever heard of anything good coming of it? “Gun courage” is destructive. Never think you should go anywhere with a gun (unless you have no other choice), where you would not dare to go without one. We do not carry to intimidate, except to intimidate a violent criminal into finding something to do other than preying on you.
4. Don’t Ever Lose Your Gun!—Practice sound weapon retention. You cannot afford to lose your gun. If anyone other than someone you authorize gets their mitts on your gun, you are in for big trouble! So, carry in a secure retention holster. If you have trouble with this, consider pocket carry. It is the easiest way to securely tote a concealed handgun out of sight.
5. Don’t Become Complacent—Complacency is bad for your health. Don’t rest on your laurels. Shooting is a perishable skill. So practice regularly. Inspect and clean your guns regularly. Stay vigilant to your surroundings. Survive.
To read more, check out Gun Digest's new book, Armed—The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry. (*Get free standard U.S. shipping on your order by using promo code INSIDEGDB.)
Authored by Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D., a noted psychologist with a dedication to teaching skills for staying armed and alive, Armed is the thinking gun owner’s bible. This comprehensive volume breaks down not just the tools and tactics, but the mindset and choices a law-abiding citizen must go through to become self-reliant, alert and legally armed.
With comprehensive overviews on the gear that works and when it works, less-than-lethal rescue options, and common-sense solutions to everyday personal security problems, Armed—The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry is the one reference book that every truly responsible gun owner must read from cover to cover.
*Promo code fine print: Items which ship directly from the manufacturer do not qualify for free shipping.)
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