Is Concealed Carry Right for You? Essentials to consider

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Concealed carry is not right for everyone.

Concealed carry is not right for everyone. And no, I won’t try to convince you that it is! Carrying a gun is a huge responsibility and each law-abiding American needs to make the decision for themselves as to whether it’s right for them. However, if you are considering getting your concealed carry permit, here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:

1. Where do you stand morally?

The act of defending yourself with a gun is commonly described as, “stopping the threat.” I recommend thinking carefully about what that means to you and decide if it fits into your moral compass. The bottom line is: Are you willing to end a person’s life in order to save your own? Next, think of someone you love – possibly a spouse, family member or child who depends on you for protection. In a life or death situation involving that person, are you willing to use lethal force? Granted, this is a worst-case scenario and there are many situations that could stop short of that. (For example, just knowing you have a gun could send a criminal running.) It’s important to remember that shooting someone should be a last resort, but if it comes to that, you need to be mentally prepared. If you have doubts about your ability to “stop the threat,” you probably shouldn’t carry a gun.

2. Are you willing to invest time and money?

Shooting is not like riding a bike. In order to stay sharp with your gun-handling skills, you must practice. It’s not necessary to spend large amounts of time training, but at the same time, competence does come at a price. You would do well to ask yourself: How much time am I willing to spend on taking a concealed carry class (and, if necessary, basic firearms training), as well as doing the necessary reading? How much time am I willing to practice at the range? Monetarily, am I willing to set a budget for a concealed carry class, permit, gun, practice ammo and possibly a range membership?

3. How Situationally aware are you?

 It’s good to be relaxed, yet alert to potential threats wherever you go. Given the use of deadly force should be a last resort, your ability to detect and avoid a threat is key to any self-defense involving a gun. To get an idea of how situationally aware you are, here are a few essential questions to reflect upon:

  • In a restaurant, do I tend to sit in a place where I can see who enters the room?

  • In an unfamiliar environment, do I make note of where the exits are?

  • When walking to my car at night, do I look ahead to see if anyone is loitering by my vehicle?

If situational awareness is not a skill you’ve already mastered, don’t worry -- with a little help and effort, you can improve quite quickly. A simple Google search on how to increase situational awareness will bring up many resources.

4. Do you know the laws?

In the event of an attack, you would need to assess the threat and decide quickly whether or not lethal force is necessary AND whether or not you’re legally justified to use it. So it’s important to have a prior understanding of the law regarding gun use. Not only can laws vary from state to state, but they can change periodically. It’s the responsibility of the permit holder to keep up to date with these changes. The best place to monitor any changes would be on your state’s website. Here is an online resource I like to use: On this site, you can search for information about your state’s gun laws -- also, a link to each state’s website is provided.

So, what do you think?

Is concealed carry for you? It’s important to remember that society needs people who are willing to stop violence. “Good guys” with guns stop “bad guys” with guns. If the responsibility of the concealed carry lifestyle is something you’re willing to take on, then I want to encourage you to step forward in your journey toward making yourself and those around you safer!

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