Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Carry A Concealed Gun

All Americans should be able to walk into a store, buy a gun, buy some bullets, insert the bullets into the gun, place the firearm on their person and walk out. Just like that. Of course, I would NEVER suggest that criminals or mentally challenged people should be able to buy a gun. Protecting the weakest members of our society from the strong is what separates us from despotic governments and/or total chaos. Or so I’m told. Anyway, a concealed weapon a bit like Furry Fandom: if you don’t understand, it it’s not for you. I repeat: a hidden gun is not for everyone (although God knows we have enough of them to go ’round). Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t carry a gun . . .

1. Your Threat Level is Low

Guns are dangerous. As you mother would say, you can put your brains out with one of those things. That said, if guns weren’t dangerous, they wouldn’t be much use. There’s only one good reason to take the risk and carry a gun: the danger of not carrying a gun is greater than the danger of carrying a gun.

Good luck making that calculation.

To complete a personal threat assessment you have to crunch more variables than Apollo 13′s flight planners. (And we all know how that turned out.) You have to consider your income level, neighborhood, the monetary value of your possessions, your known and unknown associates (i.e. your associates’ associates), your travel habits, recreational drug use and on and on.

And then what? Determining when your risk level justifies a concealed weapon is about as easy as determining when it’s time to give up blue jeans or blond hair dye. Have a look around. Plenty of middle-aged people missed that moment by decades.

Some people come at the “to carry or not to carry that is the question” question from the lightning bolt perspective. They understand that encountering a threat necessitating a firearm is less likely than getting hit by a bolt of lightning. But they want to be prepared for the worst. Especially when it comes to their family.

As is their right. Who am I (or you or the government) to ban concealed carry because the risk of a spree killer taking out someone’s progeny is a thousand times less than the chances that their child will be killed or seriously injured in a car accident? As far as I know, not one of the framers of the U.S. Constitution was a statistician.

Then there’s the other side of the equation: the danger posed by having a gun on your person and, thus, around your house, hotel room, car, etc. Gun control folks have this one right: you can’t have a negligent discharge from a non-existent gun. Common sense says concealed carry increases a firearm’s inherent danger by upping palm time with your weapon (so to speak).

Your gun storage and handling skills, or lack thereof, are key to our calculations. Will you put your gun away in a locked safe EVERY TIME? Will you ALWAYS check the chamber EVERY TIME you handle the weapon? Will you KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER AND THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION 24/7?

Again, you may not be the best person to make that call. Show me someone who says “I’m unsafe around guns.” Someone? Anyone? Bueller?

As I said at the start, I’m not in favor of deferring this “shall I carry concealed?” decision to the police or a duly elected or appointed member of our federal, state or local government. But if your threat level and/or firearms experience are both minimal, give serious thought to not carrying a concealed weapon.

2. You’re Not Prepared to Train

If you’re beginning to get the idea that concealed carry is PITA that requires significant commitment, true dat. Not shooting someone you shouldn’t shoot in the normal process of storing and handling your weapon is just the half of it. The other half is not shooting the wrong person if you DO use your gun.

Or shooting the right person in the wrong place. Or not shooting the right person soon enough. Or too soon. Or not being able to shoot anyone because you forgot to take the safety off. There are dozens of ways to screw up a gun fight. And lose.

Training is the only way to minimize your potential F Ups. I’m not talking about standing still and firing a gun at a paper target. For example . . .

In a gunfight, the first best hit wins. Logic says you’ve got to actually get your gun out from your holster, in your hand and aimed in the right direction. So why aren’t all these concealed carry folks practicing their draw? I have yet to see a civilian practicing drawing their carry gun from a concealed holster at the American Firearms School.

Bottom line: if you’re not going to train the how, what, when, where and why of concealed carry, maybe you shouldn’t do it.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about the right to bear arms. Hundreds of thousands of poorly trained people do it every day. I’m entirely open to the possibility that it may be better to have a gun than not—even if you’re clueless on the gunfighting front.

But it may not. People tend to get pissed off when you shoot them. Cops aren’t the only ones who get shot with their own gun. You could shoot yourself.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. If you’re not prepared to do the concealed carry thing well, given the risks, maybe you shouldn’t.

3. You’re pro gun control

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has not one but several armed bodyguards. As does New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Both staunch advocates of gun control have helped their supporters get otherwise unobtainable concealed carry permits. That ain’t right.

Nor is it right for someone who believes in gun control to carry a concealed weapon. It’s the worst sort of hypocrisy—the sort that has life-threatening consequences for other people.

You gotta walk the talk. Otherwise, your whole belief system is a complete and utter sham. You have no credibility whatsoever, on anything, ever. Just like a politician. You wouldn’t want that would you?

As for those who espouse gun control lite—favoring only those gun control laws that don’t exclude them from concealed carry—try again. Before you strap on a deadly weapon, use your experience to gain a better understanding of the purpose of the Second Amendment, and the motivations of those less financially or intellectually gifted than yourself who seek to exercise their right to bear arms.

At the end of the proverbial English day, a concealed carry gun is an enormous responsibility. In many places in these here United States, you have the freedom of choice. Carry or don’t carry? Don’t discount either possibility.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

18 Responses to Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Carry A Concealed Gun

  1. avatarskidmark says:

    OK, at least one of your reasons makes sense. Although why anyone would actually be pro-gun control is something I just never figured out.

    Your reason #1 holds no water, unless you can get everybody who might present some sort of threat of death or serious bodily injury to schedule an appointment with you. It's not that the overall threat level is low – it ought to be if society is operating properly. It's that on the one unscheduled occassion you run into you will need it right then, right there, not some time in the future. It's like wearing your seatbelt, or the spare tire in youur trunk or the fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You do wear your seatbelt even when you are not planning to crash you car, don't you?

    stay safe.

    • avatarpatented says:

      I’m not arguing with anyone, I only read this because my girlfriend is determined to get a ccw and reason #1 is exactly why I think it’s a bad idea. Its the risk vs reward equation, just like the article is talking about. Playing the odds is what I live by and unless I plan on walking around in the woods or camping in northern Michigan where I live, the odds of ever needing a gun is so minimal that it’s almost embarrassing to be carrying one. The odds of forgetting to put it away and our kids getting ahold of it or an accidental discharge is extremely unlikely, but still much more likely than any scenario that people daydream about being in, people seem paranoid and full of shit, unless they live in a terrible neighborhood, only then would I think that it’s a valid choice.

  2. avatarskidmark says:

    Part #2 of my comment – Reason #2 is just so much hot air. If you think that cops train a lot, you are very sadly mistaken. They may fire for qualification as much as twice a year, but train? Not likely, beyond their academy days. It has been determined by various surveys (see John Lott and Mas Ayoob among others) that those who own firearms train more often than police go through firearms requalification. And even if they never trained, how does that enter into the dynamic? Cops have a "hit ratio" of less than 15% and are always being held as the exemplars of those who know how to shoot. As for your comment that you have never seen anyone at the American Firearms School draw from a concealed holster – have you inquired to see if there is a policy prohibitting it? Many ranges do not allow "draw and shoot" because of perceived liability issues. Those who are serious about their firearms training find ways and places to train exactly as you suggest they should.

    In closing – kudos for noting that it is as important to know where and when you should not shoot as it is to know how to shoot.

    stay safe.

  3. avatarDuran says:

    I own a pistol, I have a ccw, and I carry. just last week I put 200 rounds though my pistol practicing my draw.

  4. avatarJake says:

    I’m not even going to touch the first two, because I’d be here for an hour or more picking your invalidities apart word for word, sentence by sentence. But on the topic of the 3rd repugnant argument you offer the more sensible majority of the world a peer into the lesser side. GUN CONTROL is not whatever any one person feels it is. That’s like saying they know what’s best for everybody. The method of pleasing the majority is finding an order that works effectively for more people with different situations. Not just yours. What do you consider gun control? Not carrying, only certain people carrying, not owning, only carrying with proper training, evaluations, or just abolishing the 2nd amendment? I can’t wait to find out how this fits in to your scheme of life, I always like hearing what anti-CCW folks have to say, but especially love hearing from those with strong feelings and weak thinking capabilities. Let me strap in and hear what you have to say, this is going to be great!

    PS. – I like how you address your readers with your points as if you knew them personally, but neither of your 3 arguments apply to the likes of myself. You don’t know who is willing to train, who is knowledgeable with firearms, who is stable to own or carry one, and you also don’t know how I feel about guns in general. Maybe you’re pro gun control, but everyone’s views as I’ve stated before differ on the topic of gun control.

  5. avatarMatt says:

    Plain and Simple, a well trained and well armed citizen is a criminal’s worst nightmare. It’s time America to stand up and protect yourself.

    I work as a corrections officer and I never my house without my sidearm. I conceal carry my weapon as not to frighten anyone.

    1 Your threat level is low? Guess that depends on what you do for living and where you live.

    2 Training? I have to qualify to carry my weapon at work. Guess I don’t really have to say much more. Carrying a gun means continual training and practice!

    2 Pro gun control? Gun control is hitting what you aim at!!!

    Just remember folks. People kill people, not guns.

  6. avatarcody says:

    i dont beleive that people should have the right to conceal their weapons, like you said ” a hidden gun is not for everyone”. i dont belive that anyone has the right to hide their weapon. its dangerous, its wrong, and anyone/everyone is at risk and has the right to know if you have a gun on you or not. if you have a gun, it
    should be either on your belt or strapped to your thigh and in plain sight.

  7. avatarKyle says:

    Cody! Next time please use common sense before you make such an uneducated comment using on your own fear-based opinion. If concealing weapons was outlawed, the only people concealing weapons would be the criminals… and they would all know who to avoid. Use your brain!

  8. avatarrob says:

    first off, I work for the federal government in a law enforcement position and can honestly say that the only individuals that train enough to shoot in any situation may be the army or marines. Navy, airforce, and most law enforcement agencies only have to shoot and qualify semi-annually. In such case, many ccw holders train far more often than law enforcement and probably more safe to carry than many law enforcement officers. In addition, most people do not want or cannot handle people carrying their firearm in the open. For example, the state of Colorado has open carry which many individuals choose not to open carry because of panic or the fact that many Americans are basically sheep. In all honestly most people do not really want to know the truth.

  9. avatarLarry E. Stewart says:

    I am 69 years old and was a Sniper in Viet Nam for 25 months and I have had CCW for well over 45 years I shoot on a regular schedule as I do all my own reloading and I have been trained here in the states also which I feel is important not to carry or to carry is a personal choice for me will carry period and if you who do not don’t call me when your life is in danger you are responsible for it not me……

  10. avatarjeff says:

    Hi – Belief in gun control is not a binary switch … Yes or no. I use guns all the time. I hunt with semi-auto shotgun and bolt action rifle. I plink with a .22 and occasionally carry a 9mm for self-defense when I feel I need to. At the same time, I don’t believe we need 100 round clips. I don’t believe we need fully auto machine guns. Most likely you don’t believe in everyone owning hellfire missles? If so, you believe in gun control too. As a nation, we should calmly argue and find the limits of gun control.

  11. avatarbobby says:

    Your first argument doesn’t even make sense for the police. There are many police officers that go their entire career without ever firing their gun on the job. So maybe we should just do like England and have most police men go unarmed…..you know just to play the odds safe

  12. avatarMcurrier79 says:

    Threat ratio? Let’s see…
    2 daughters – double check
    Granddaughter – great big bold font check
    Non-gated neighborhood – check
    Not agoraphobic (look it up!) – check

    Criminals don’t just rob in low income neighborhoods, middle-class and upper-class are just as likely to be robbed. Nor are hookers or drunk college girls the only women to be raped. And I might as well add that it’s not only women that are raped. You wanna talk about doing the math? Try looking up the statistics. Where you live has nothing to do with it, nor does where you travel. Sharon Tate lived in a nice house in a nice area, she was an actress and her husband was a director, Manson and his women still killed her and her friends (who traveled to her house). David Berkowitz killed in middle-class areas. Bundy killed at random but mostly college students. Gacy… Sure, have a clown come to your sons bday party and Gacy comes back and kills him. Let’s see, Pedro Lopez is most likely mowing someone’s lawn in the US, hope you don’t have any daughters.
    Basically, what I’m saying is there is always a threat, it doesn’t matter what color you are, what class you are, or where you travel. You can’t say do the math and not actually do the math. John Douglas, a former chief of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit did the math and he said, “A very conservative estimate is that there are between 35 and 50 active serial killers in the United States” at any given time. That’s 1 for every state… Your state, my state, his state and her state.
    You do your math and choose not to carry.
    I’ll do my math and I choose to carry.
    One of us will change our minds before we die, and I’m telling you, I’m being buried with mine on my hip.

    • avatarMcurrier79 says:

      2.
      My carry class was taught by a former military man and a current police detective who was a former competition shooter. He practices his draw in the mirror daily and urged us to do the same and I do! I practice standing up, sitting on my couch, laying in bed and sitting in my truck. When I’m shooting by myself, I also practice my draw from multiple positions laying down on the ground. I’m right handed but carry cross-draw due to a shoulder injury (that and doc holiday was my favorite western character when I was a kid so cross draw actually feels more natural since that was how I played with my cap gun as a kid). So when I practice drawing with my left hand (bad should gets real bad easily so I practice as if my shoulder is injured) and it seems easier since the gun is already on my left side. I generally go thru several hundred rounds each time I go. I have several hand guns so ammo recently hasn’t been as much of a pita to get enough of, I start with my carry and end with my carry using my other guns in between. The desire to shoot is part if owning a gun but it increases when you carry. Follow it and you get plenty of practice.

  13. avatarMcurrier79 says:

    I do agree with 3. Politicians who are anti 2nd ammendment should not have armed security.
    I am pro get the government away from my guns. I agree with the limitation of mentally ill people, alcoholics, drug addicts, rapists, child molestors and stalkers being able to own firearms. But to limit law abiding citizens from owning a certain type of gun or a certain capacity magazine is rediculous!

  14. avatarreal man says:

    Guns are for cowards and men with a micro penis. Real men use their brains.

  15. avatarjames tekirk says:

    Its just pure logic. You carry a gun because it can make the difference between being a victim and being alive. You carry a gun because the mere fact that you could possibly have a gun reduces crime overall. You carry a gun because you have seen alot of movies where you think “Man, if they only had a gun they would be fine”. You carry a gun because you have something to protect. Did you know you are 6.5 times more likely to be accidentally shot by a police officer than a concealed carry holder? Did you know that when a mass shooting occurs, the average kill count is 14. When a concealed carry holder is present, that average drops to 2.5. Did you notice that mass shootings occur almost exclusively in places where concealed carry is not allowed? Civilians with concealed guns are a stabilizing force and anyone who disagrees, please just do a little research on places where they have taken away civilian weapons. Crime rates skyrocket as a result.

  16. avatarJB CUSTOM LEATHER says:

    I have been a firearms instructor since 1959, shot copetition since 1973(L.E. disciplines), I have been teaching CC classes in Missouri since its inception. I have come to the conclusion(my opinion) that many of the people who carry should not be carrying at all. This includes “some” LE people as well. I get a mix of of all kinds, ages, and mentalities. Unfortunately some do not have enough common sense to come in out of the rain and want to carry a gun. In my class the prerequisite is some firearms, handgun experience at least. Do people lie, boy do they! As soon as they hit the range to qualify, and our state qualification is a joke in my opinion. Some due to age or physical impairment cant handle or shoot a handgun(both revolver and semi in our requirements). They do not know how to load or unload a gun. They do not shoot, practice and still want to carry a handgun in the general public. If you try to talk them out of carrying they get insulted and angry.I have that right. True, but they have an obligation so they can be safe and not get themselves hurt or killed by someone else or their own hand.One other thing, the law does not require them to take a refresher and requalification once they take the initial course(8hours). Range time and qualifications is 40 rounds each gun. 20 to practice and 20 to qualify(15 hits on a B-27 target(anywhere) out of the 20 rds) to qualify, no time limit. They can borrow a gun if they dont even own one to use.Any calibre. Some come out with guns they own and have never fired, dont even know to load or unload it.Dont know if it has a safety or not(semi-autos). Difficulty in loading magazines, or cant load them at all. Some do not know how to open the cylinder on a revolver to load it, and they want to carry. I offer beginning classes as do many of the gun ranges, for safety, as well as shooting skills. Very few take it before taking the regular CC class.
    Some states-Utah, for one does not even require range time.Go figure. I believe in the 2nd ammend rights and am not by any means anti-gun, but some real changes need to come about for concealed carry guide lines and restrictions. People come in all different shapes and sizes. Age effects us all sooner or later. Being able to carry and use a firearm should be considered the same as driving a motor vehicle(some cases as evidenced in the news about uncalled for deaths and injuries related to age)should be tightly governed.As long as money is involved and politicians have controll on our laws and restrictions and public opinion that may effect their careers things will go on as usual. Carry and stay safe and shoot straight.

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