Guns for Beginners: Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class

I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’ve been impressed with the instruction rammed down my metaphorical throat. Tedious yes, but comprehensive; instructors cover everything from how a gun works to the legal use of deadly force to anger management and firearms retention (added in Texas for licensed open carry). Plus live fire! But the classes don’t cover everything. Here are three things they don’t teach you in a concealed carry class . . .

Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid – At Least at First

The first time you strap on a concealed firearm, it feels like you’re carrying a Howitzer. Like you’re wearing a T-shirt that says “I’VE GOT A GUN!” Even in states with a gun-friendly culture (e.g., Arizona), first-time concealed carriers worry that a stranger is going to see their gun and confront them.

Pistol-packing paranoia makes perfect sense. Public speaking is Americans’ greatest fear; we’re hard-wired to be afraid of public embarrassment. (Loss of social status is a thing.) Being “outed” while carrying a gun – especially by someone who’s rabidly anti-gun and/or terrified of guns – is public speaking on steroids. “Oh my God. He’s got a gun! What do you need that for?”

Even if you live in a gun friendly culture, this fear isn’t completely unrealistic. No matter how much you mentally rehearse a reply to gun shamers or prepare for a police response (the police!), the prospect of “armed confrontation” still creates low-level paranoia (and constant checking of cover garments). It’s not comfortable.

Exposure therapy is the only “cure” for this paranoia. More precisely, lack of exposure therapy. The more you carry a concealed firearm without being “outed,” the less paranoia or anxiety you feel. It’s simply something you have to go through; a condition that lasts between a week and a month. The trick: go through it. If you find excuses not to carry daily, the paranoia will never disappear entirely. Or you might eventually abandon the whole idea of concealed carry.

Carrying a gun changes your personality – for the better

Gun control advocates have this strange idea: they believe that carrying a gun makes a person into a mucho macho trigger-happy Clint Eastwood wanna-be.

Like so many of the antis’ “arguments,” they’ve got it exactly backwards. Carrying a gun make you less confrontational. D’uh. Why would you want to engage in any confrontation when any confrontation could lead to escalation which could lead to a gunfight which is something you don’t want to have? Which you could have, now, because you have a gun.

This confrontation avoidance thought process becomes second nature. You become far less likely – if not completely unlikely – to engage in road rage or any sort of argy-bargy with a stranger. Sure there are concealed carriers with anger issues – which don’t disappear when they receive the state’s blessing to bear arms. But that’s not you, a person who took the time to read an article entitled Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class.

Another psychological aspect instructors don’t mention: concealed carry makes you more independent. By assuming direct responsibility for your own safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of other innocent life (optional), you lose your inherent perhaps subconscious dependency on the state’s protection. You realize that you are a sovereign citizen.

I don’t mean that in the terrorist sense of the term (obviously). It’s an understanding that you’re in control of your own destiny in the worst case scenario: when controlling your destiny is a matter of life and death. Which makes you feel more in control of your own destiny at other, less dramatic times.

Don’t get me wrong: firearms instructors talk (and talk and talk) about the enormous responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon. Fair enough. What they don’t tell you is how good, how right that feels. How it makes you a better person.

Carrying a gun is addictive

The only way to tell if you’re addicted to something: remove it and see if you suffer withdrawal. At the risk of giving the antis [additional] ammo to deride Americans exercising their gun rights, I’m going to say it. Concealed carry is addictive.

Anyone who carries a gun on an everyday basis can tell you about those times when they suddenly realize they’re not carrying one. Like when they disarm to go into Whole Foods, forget to rearm and enter a non-gun-free zone. Crap! I don’t have my gun! They’re plagued by the niggling (at best) thought “what if this is the one time I need it?” Which, by the way, can happen.

The paranoia/anxiety of having a gun eventually becomes the paranoia/anxiety of not having a gun. Traveling to states that don’t recognize your concealed carry license/permit can be an ordeal for a habituated concealed carrier. There are gun owners who won’t go anywhere where their gun isn’t welcome: local businesses, entire states and foreign countries.

Normally, NGP (No-Gun Paranoia) manifests itself in increased situational awareness: scanning for bad people, checking exits, carrying or contemplating alternative weapons, etc. Gun control advocates believe this behavior indicates some kind of moral weakness or personality disorder. It is, in fact, a normal, natural survival instinct, amplified by carrying a concealed weapon on a regular basis.

I’m sure those of you who carry have other examples of what you didn’t learn in concealed carry class. Please share them below.


  1. avatar Gregolas says:

    1.2,&3, all true.

    1. avatar William says:

      Yes they are and this is a very good article.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I agree the best article that was not user submitted in a long time. A lesson I learned from the above, don’t shop at whole foods.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          I agree with almost everything in this article, except the mention about disarming to go into Whole Ripoff Foods. I have no plans to disarm myself so I can shop in a store based on the stuck up concept of overpriced organic foods (most of which are not truly organic) just to fall in line with the co existent theme to organic foods of disarmed sheeple. No thanks.

          Where I live quality gun friendly grocery stores are aplenty.

    2. avatar Richard in WA says:

      I’m in the new-concealed-carrier camp and definitely feeling #1, and agree, the more I expose myself to the reality of CC, the more comfortable and less paranoid I’ve become.

      Most of the time my wife can’t even tell I’m carrying; how are these clueless strangers going to notice?

    3. avatar MrApple says:

      I agree with all three.

  2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Carrying a gun isn’t any more addictive than carrying a purse or wallet…

    If I forget my wallet at home and rush home to get it, it’s because my insurance card, licenses, money, etc. are in it. Not becuase I’m addicted to it.

    The reaction ha by taking something out of your life isn’t the best measure of addiction to said something.

  3. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    Carry concealed makes you more photogenic when posing with Demanding Moms.

    1. avatar Robb says:

      Winning comment. Thread closed.

  4. avatar Azman says:

    Addictive? No.

  5. avatar Rokurota says:

    Carrying a gun makes you more aware. You realize you’re the only person on a bus or in a cafe not head down over his phone. Far from stressful, it’s very quieting.

    1. avatar OODAloop says:

      ^^ THIS! ^^
      If you’ve ever been in a higher educational environment between class changes, it’s nothing but a huge collection of hunched over, pajama-wearing, code-white pod people walking completely unaware to their next class. Knowing that you’re one of the few folks to see what’s going on around you is very empowering. It’s a wonder more goblins intent on doing harm in these sorts of gun-free zones aren’t more successful.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        They’re probably just watching their Smart Phone screens in case the school texts out an “ACTIVE SHOOTER! HIDE IN A CLOSET!” text message while they’re en route to their next class.

  6. avatar RetMSgt in Pa. says:

    “Like when they disarm to go into Whole Foods…” My local supermarket sports gunbuster signs at its entrances. Okay, so I’m not allowed to open carry like I normally do there. However, concealed means concealed. Just saying…..

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Can anybody with better Google-Fu or YouTube-Jistsu than me find an article or video where a “Gun-Busters” (love that) signed business has turned nasty or pressed charges against an armed patron who stopped a bad guy in their establishment? That would be interesting.

  7. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

    Yip, happened just happened to me yesterday. Had a last pet in the morning for an elderly, pure white deaf pit bull. I was distracted wondering if I would have a repeat of “hiding in plain sight” pet, I’d experienced earlier in the week. It’s where when you enter the client’s house and the pet is not in usual places. Finally found him in the laundry room, where in the 8 years been sitting for him, he’s never hung out there. Once rush of relief at finding him was over and had fed, gave him his pills, some treats and a good rear end scratch, was heading to my car, noticed I had not pocketed my EDC. Holy sh*t, what the h*ll? Oh right, remembered, had left it on my laptop, by my fanny pack, usually pocket the handgun, then strap on fanny pack. But in this case I had already put the pack on, last thing I do before heading out. Tried to tell myself, not a big deal, is a really nice upscale neighborhood. But although violent crime is down, crazy is still around, especially of the road rage flavor, reason I initially got a CHL in the first place. Got home and slipped handgun into my pocket. All was right in my world again. Here is the lesson I learned, keep to your routine, it’s called a routine for a reason!

  8. avatar Julio says:

    A lot of anti-gunners assume that we carry out of fear. On the contrary, I feel “safer” when carrying (or at least confident in my ability to protect myself, my family, & possibly others).

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I believe the correct term is “less afeared”.

    2. avatar MeRp says:

      To play devil’s advocate here: if you feel safer (or less ‘afeard’) while carrying, doesn’t that imply that you feel less safe (or more ‘afeard’) while not carrying? If so, then you are carrying to relieve a sense of fear; ie you are carrying because you’re afraid.

      Don’t get me wrong; I see the practical, real world, reasons for having actual concern (fear) that something could go wrong. However, your counter doesn’t actually counter the argument that you are replying to.

      I think a better reply would be: “You’re right; I’m afraid that any given day could be one of those rare ‘bad days’ where someone attempts violence against me, and I want to be prepared for that eventuality. Having a gun is one aspect of that preparedness.”

      1. avatar John F Willis says:

        I keep a fully charged fire extinguisher, in good maintenance and readily accessible, in my house. Do I live in fear of my house catching fire? No, but if it does, I know I don’t have to worry about not having a fire extinguisher to put it out…Make sense? Now, If I carried a fire extinguisher around town with me, just incase I suddenly burst into flames and need to be extinguished, well, that’d just be silly. I carry a firearm around town with me because I know there are bad people who think and calculate about harming others. I’m smart enough to know that I am one of those “others” that they may want to harm. A firearm offers me a way to resist with as equal, or greater force (Depending on efficiency) as his, and NOT become a “statistic”…so yes, there is a certain comforting feeling about that. Wouldn’t you agree? Luck (and life) favor the prepared.

  9. avatar jandrews says:

    I first began carrying in NC where concealment requires a permit but open carry does not. Thus I OC’d for a couple months before acquiring my CHP.

    Im glad it happened this way – I now live in AZ but I carry both open or concealed depending on circumstance and feel comfortable with either. #1 never really applied to me, but the other two are spot on.

  10. avatar Brian says:

    Concealed carrying makes me play “Where’s Waldo”, or more like “Where’s Walther”. I find myself scanning other people for telltale bulges and outlines in shirts, pants, ankles. Not staring, just quick glances. Here’s the surprise. What I notice most is how strange it feels to do that kind of scan, and realize I never looked that way for clothes anomalies before. Doubt anyone who doesn’t carry is looking. So unless it is very obvious, like uncovered or fell to the floor, no one is noticing. Probably texting or thinking about their next text.

    1. avatar OODAloop says:

      My kids have been very good at this sort of game. Mostly I assume it’s because their peepers have been (until recently) at about the same height as an adult male’s waist. We make a game out of spotting concealed carriers and finding all the entrances/exits in the buildings we’re in.

  11. avatar miforest says:

    Good article. I overcame my fear of public speaking with practice. I highly recommend it . once you get over the fear it can be fun.

    thanks to the educational effect of Open carriers, most police now know that the presence of a firearm is not
    a screaming emergency , absent any other complaint . I carry concealed , and print like the wall street journal , but to my surprise nobody has noticed.

    I just finished a long trip by car, and after checking legalities of each state along the way, pocket carried the whole trip and nobody noticed , or at least nobody said anything to me about it . If they do I plan to remain calm and tell them I have a permit. if that doesnt work I will follow lord humongus’s advice and walk away.

  12. avatar Katy says:

    I like the three things in the article, but I’m curious what course RF is talking about.

    So I finally decided to get my CHL at the beginning of Oct and took my class about a month ago. The instructor didn’t talk at all about how a gun works and punted the anger management/ADR portion of the class to a printout of the slides that we were “supposed” to read while taking the written test. You could have skimmed that material for the couple of questions on the subject without reading anything. I was kind of bothered about both of those things, but I understand that they aren’t a beginners handgun class. To their credit, they did go a lot into the use of deadly force laws in TX and all the different things we need to keep straight.

    What really chapped my hide, though, was the response when I asked about the impact of the upcoming open carry laws – that isn’t the law yet, so I’m not going to talk about it. That, more than anything else, was bothersome. He’s going to get more and more questions as we approach 1/1/16, and to punt on the questions from some people who likely won’t get their cards until after the new year and all of us who are taking the class after the legislation passed is a disservice.

    I don’t plan on open carrying unless in a forest, it just isn’t my bag, and don’t mind recommending the guy to those like me. If you ever plan on OC, though, I’d steer you far away. As it is, the only upsides to the guy is that he is relatively cheap ($69/bring your own ammo) and has a class every day. Otherwise I would have gone and tell people to go to Athena just down the street ($100/ammo provided) or Cane Island in Katy ($75/bring your own ammo).

  13. avatar James in Florida says:

    My wife is far less pro gun than i am, i remember the first time she gave me a good morning hug at the coffee pot as i got ready to head out for the day.
    Her hand bumped up against my concealed and she seemed to hug me harder that morning knowing that ive taken that responsibility to protect our family and business.
    She didnt say anything but has been far more comfortable with me carrying everyday.
    She knows the world can be a not so nice place.

    1. avatar Colton in TN says:

      When I first got my carry permit my wife would get aggravated at the extra time it took me to get dressed, and the constant checking and asking her if I was printing. She didn’t care that I carried, but thought i was doing it for fun.

      Now she stands there as I holster waiting to tell me if I’m covered before we go out. She knows that in dark parking lots and other sketchy places to walk slightly behind and to the left of me. She has more than once fixed my shirt in public, and knows to be unnoticed about it. She even wants to get her permit once she becomes better with her 9mm.

  14. avatar pres stone says:

    i wouldn’t say its the concealed carry thats addictive, its the damn guns!! i just can’t stop thinking about getting more. the older the better.

  15. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I am pretty sure that in the last CC class I took the instructor did mention the first two things.

  16. avatar BStacks says:

    You forgot crapper carry 🙂 I have volunteered to demonstrate(with a bathing suit on under my pants) at a friend’s next class.

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Limalife/Melody Lauer on YouTube addressed it in a video once also.

  17. avatar 'Liljoe says:

    Good article!… For those of us with no buttocks, what system have you found to keep your pants up? (I’m thinking carry suspenders)

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      A tightly cinched belt or pocket carry.

      1. avatar 'Liljoe says:

        Tried, still feel like they are falling down… Thinking suspenders 🙂 haven’t tried ankle carry yet either

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          I would never use “ankle carry” except for a back up weapon.

    2. avatar MeRp says:

      I got suspenders; I got some that are meant to be worn next to your skin, since I usually do not tuck my shirt. They do take some getting used to, but they absolutely increase the confidence level regarding pants dropping off the butt. You still need a good carry belt, though, for the stiffness.

    3. avatar Sprocket says:

      Being afflicted by congenital noassitosis, I had similar problems. I’ve found the 5.11 belts with the internal stiffeners to be a great improvement.

    4. avatar John F Willis says:

      I too suffer from the effects of “Noassatall Syndrome”. Was wondering the same. For now, (Whilest carrying), I just pause every four or five steps and pull em up as best I can. 🙂

  18. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    All true although I wouldn’t call carrying addictive. You carry because you are aware stuff happens and when you can’t you realize if stuff happens you are more vulnerable.

    On the situational awareness thing, you can’t be 100% aware 100% of the time. If you try you will burn out and be worse off. There are just too many things to do that reduce your attention. The key to understanding SA is to do trade offs between risks, environment and tasks. You can be heads down on your phone in a static environment after you have assessed the threat. For the most part the threat will be zero. You reassess the risk when something changes. The more dynamic the environment the more aware you have to be. I think most people have internalized the concept.

  19. avatar Don from CT says:

    One of the things I tell my students is that if carrying a gun doesn’t make you more law abiding and more likely to run from a fight, then you should reconsider your decision to carry a gun.

    I’m not in any way that this person should legally forfeit their natural right to self defense. But merely that they should do a self assessment. Just because I believe that it should be legal for everyone to carry a gun, doesn’t mean that I think everyone should carry a gun.


  20. avatar glenux says:

    I was not paranoid AFTER I started carrying a gun.

    I’ve always been paranoid. Joke.

    I was always vigilant for suspicious behavior in crowds before I started carrying gun.

    I am Self-Conscous of inadvertent exposure of my weapon.

    i am on the watch out for purse snatchers and car jackers because they don’t carry placard signs displaying their intentions.

    But I just like watching other people.
    I think they are fascinating creatures.
    I’ve been accused of never meeting a stranger.

    I am not addicted to carrying a gun any more than my other EDC.
    My EDC: Wallet, pocket knife, cell phone, pocket flashlight.
    I am not ashamed to say I was a Boy Scout and I learned to be prepared.

    I am ALWAYS vigilant of law enforcement and stay out of their way so they can do their business and I try not to attract their attention.

    And even thought they don’t know it, I’ve got their back.
    I’m no hero. I am just a guy.

    P.S. Even though I do not believe gun ownership should be mandatory any more than owning a car, I do believe that Sun Safety Training and Drivers’ Ed should be mandatory.
    Call me a Fascist.
    Fire Safety Training (with Fire Extinguisher) and CPR was mandatory in my last place of employment.

    There a many anti-gunners out their because they are the ones who are paranoid because they have never even handled a gun.

    One of my fiercest anti-gunner friends jus asked me to show him how to shoot a gun.
    What do you know?
    There is hope in the world.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Fascist! (Just kidding)

      “I do believe that Sun[sic] Safety Training and Drivers’ Ed should be mandatory.”

      I also believe that both of those classes should be mandatory – in a high school setting, and required for graduation.

      They should not be mandatory before carrying any weapon, as RF and I have pointed out on MANY occasions, since both a requirement of mandatory classes AND a requirement for a carry permit are both unconstitutional infringements of the Second Amendment. To believe otherwise IS fascistic.

  21. avatar PeterC says:

    Absolutely true, all three. I’ve been carrying concealed, with or without official sanction, since I was 15, which was a helluva long time ago. Carried in high school in MA, in college in NYC and even on and off post while in the Army in VA. Never an untoward incident. As the man said, concealed is concealed.

  22. avatar Art out West says:

    I started out pocket carrying a P3AT. Nobody noticed. I’ve moved up to pocket carrying a 642. Nobody notices. I have even occasionally pocket carried my Glock 19, and nobody noticed (but those were pants with big pockets).

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    “Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid – At Least at First”

    I don’t know about paranoid, but it certainly seems to make newbies self conscious. That’s why the Wally Walk has become an important right of passage.

    What’s the Wally Walk? Well, you tool up using your chosen concealed carry method and walk around your local Walmart. Bend, stretch, nod to the nice policeman, buy some ammo and targets, flirt with the chubby checkout person, whatever. After an hour in Walmart, self-consciousness seems to melt away.

  24. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Not only is carrying itself addicting, so is shopping for an ever-better carry rig. Which will never, ever stop, regardless of money spent, until someone comes up with a .50 BMG pistol that weighs less than 12 oz loaded with 20 rounds, is easily concealable and accurate one-handed at 1000 yards. And a BBQ holster with silver buckles and velvet accoutrements.

  25. avatar explainist says:

    I grew up in a white trash ghetto. 14 of 18 households that had kids were related. the other three families lived at the at highway end of the dead end street, we lived at he dead end.

    all of the related families had jailbird relatives. Uncle Fred, fresh out of Marquette, comparing notes with Uncle Bob fresh out of Jackson. between convicted felon relatives and Future Felons of America neighbors, I am quite accustomed to scumbags.

    when I carried an S&W 686 while playing intrepid outdoor photographer in CA in the 80s and 90s, creepy weird scary people came out of the woodwork. creepy weird scary people by my standards would be utterly terrifying to most people. it’s like they were magnetically attracted.

  26. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    It’s as though the antis throw a dart at the wall, then go draw a bullseye around it. Except, instead of colors and numbers, their makeshift dartboard consists of various slanders against carriers.

    If they already perceive carriers as timid little mice, then the reason they carry must be to assauage their paranoia and leave them to be meek in peace.

    On the other hand, if they already perceive carriers as twitchy, little hotheads, then the reason they carry must be because they want to threaten, bully and blast away anyone who gets in their way.

    When you factor in that much of what the antis believe carriers to be, is actually what they know themselves to be, then the whole murky mess takes on a pathetic, comic air.

  27. avatar foo dog says:

    Good points, RF. Thanks.

    Looking forward to experiencing this when CCW is allowed for self-defense, after Peruta vs Gore makes it to SCOTUS in 2035 or so.

  28. avatar Roymond says:

    Good article.

    Just one thing: mandatory training isn’t an infringement: it comes under the Article I Section 8 authority over the militia given to Congress, which by extension applies to the states. Hamilton and others used the word “discipline” in the sense of “trained in arms”, so the authority to discipline the militia includes the authority to mandate training.

    No, it isn’t being mandated for everyone, but I don’t see that as being required under the granted authority. No, it isn’t very comprehensive, but it’s a huge step over no training at all. No, it isn’t the same everywhere — and that’s one big issue I see (the biggest being that it’s an unfunded mandate; there should be a federal tax credit of say $75 available every other year for basic gun training).

    A well-regulated militia is one whose members are safe and effective in the use of arms, and not just on the battlefield. Everyday gun discipline is part of that well-regulated status.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The protections guaranteed by the 2A don’t only apply to members of the militia. They apply to all citizens. Mandatory training is infringement on the right to keep & bear arms.

    2. avatar MeRp says:

      The relevant (to training) part of Article I Section 8 is:
      “The Congress shall have Power … To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

      So, Congress has the power to PROVIDE FOR organizing, arming, and discipling militia. This doesn’t give them authority to make a mandate for training, but only pay for training (and guns!). They only have authority to govern the ones that are employed by the federal military. The individual states have authority to train militia (which, presumably, could be interpreted to include the un-organized militia; ie almost all men), but, once again they can train them, but the way it is tied to Congress’ ability to pay would seem to indicate that the training should be paid for with money from the Federal Gov (and, perhaps, State taxes). This is all about rights that the government (Federal and State) has.

      As for tying that to a separate right; the right of the people to keep and bear arms; nothing in any of that does. Anyone who is considered a member of the group “people” (which COULD be limited to citizens in good standing, perhaps) has the right to keep and bear arms.

  29. avatar DaveC says:

    Here here pres tone – it is the guns that are addictive. I have the same problem. Is there a Gun Buyers Anonymous group anywhere?

    As for disarming to go into Whole Foods…I do my best to NOT patronize businesses with gun buster signs posted, i.e. 7-11 stores. However, there are time you do not have a choice, like entering a bank or a hospital. Not much you can do there.

    And since I work for the federal government I cannot carry at work either. I actually work on an installation so can’t even bring it and leave it in my vehicle. No, I do not feel withdrawals from my weapons. I do not get the shakes or the DTs. But I do not feel weird when I do carry, and I have never felt paranoid. Perhaps it is my military background I have to thank. I will say that I only recall one time when I was OC and I received a bad reaction. I went into this small country diner for breakfast and the other patrons sure did have a worried look when I took of my jacket. But most other times its almost like people are overly friendly, saying hi and being really nice. I have been asked if I think by OC it makes me a target. I say no because I believe it serves more as deterrent. OC or CC, either way I will confirm it does have a tendency to make me more aware.

  30. avatar Kitty Taffer says:

    “Sovereign citizen?” Excuse me?

    Please do not associate me, or other carry license holders, with those lunatics who think obeying the law and paying taxes is optional. The rest of the article was great, but that was jarring.

    1. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      Settle down ma’am, you’re just reading too much into it.


    2. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Sovereignty in the United States does, in fact, lay with the citizenry our at least that is the design. This is why all taxation must start in The House: The house members are directly elected by the people and their job is to represent the interests of the people in their districts.

      The “sovereign citizen” movement is actually based in truth even if most of the folks associated with it seem to be tantrum throwing children. I trend to avoid the phrase both because of the people you are referring to and because people like yourself see the phrase alone and dismiss anything else from whoever said it.

      As for taxes, no, they are not optional. However, in the language of the 16th amendment wages and salaries are not “income”, since you have traded time or effort of exactly equal value for it, there is no profit to be taxed.

      In fact it took 30 years for it to be applied to wages or salaries and then the withholdings tax was passed as an attempt to mitigate inflation during WWII.

      But make no mistake about it, ultimate sovereignty is supposed to flow from us, literally you and I, and people are meant to be sovereign over their own lives but not over others, that is cashed subjugation. This is why government is meant to be limited here, so it cannot be used as a tool of subjugation.

      Of course, nothing works perfectly, but despite the blatant violations by .gov the seeds of those ideas are still preventing much worse abuse than we would see otherwise, I think.

  31. Carrying a gun forces me to be sure that even the most trivial action I take is legal and justified at the time. Doesn’t matter what it is. When I’m armed I don’t do the normal 5mph over the speed limit, I don’t do california stops, I don’t change lanes without signaling. I become a more law abiding citizen. I don’t want to risk my ability to be armed at any cost and committing any crime while armed is just a bad plan with major repercussions.

  32. avatar Dustin says:

    “You realize that you are a sovereign citizen.”

    I didn’t realize there was a terrorist version?

    1. avatar James Lee says:

      That’s how we are supposed to feel as educated subjects

  33. avatar Joe-in-NC says:

    So very true, I don’t agree with everything Robert says but he was dead on in this post. Bravo!

  34. avatar Pete Shaw in Virginia says:

    I experience that feeling of going from legal to illegal frequently as I drive across the country. For example, I start in Virginia and move into West Virginia. Legal. Then I cross into Maryland, illegal. Back into West Virginia, legal again. Then through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, legal. But uh oh, here comes Illinois, blatantly illegal. Finally I reach Wisconsin where I’m once again….oh, wait. Wisconsin only recognizes non-resident Virginia permits…I’m still illegal. So dumb.

  35. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    To some extent I disagree on the paranoia of the forgotten gun for daily carriers. When someone carries daily and including home carry, a person becomes acclimated and used to that gun being part of them. It’s important to remember that humans are creatures of habit.

    Just like leaving home without my wallet, which rarely happens, I feel naked without it. The times I have left the house and forgot my gun, at some point I find I’m missing that element of my daily routine. If a person carries a flashlight in their pocket every day and they leave without it, they are going to be uncomfortable over that missing element.
    Yes we must recognize that a gun is our safety net, our last line of defense. But it’s not much different than suddenly realizing your insurance lapsed and you have none as you drive down the street.
    I have left the house and forgot my wallet, but remembered my gun. Not only did I not have a drivers license on me, but not one of my CWPs That was very VERY uncomfortable for me, much more uncomfortable than just forgetting my gun.
    I would MUCH rather have my wallet and no gun, then my gun and no wallet.

  36. avatar James Lee says:

    Every time i walk past cops i feel like my cover garment is not there. I have to constantly fight the impulse to adjust my clothing, seriously. Been carrying for a long time

  37. avatar SelousX says:

    #4: A sudden, yet abiding fondness for camp or bowling shirts. ?

    1. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

      What you need is one of these.

      Excellent work-shirt, and relaxed sizing makes for a great cover garment.

  38. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    The three things they didn’t teach me in MY CC class were, in order:
    1: Anything
    2: Of
    3: Value

    I was hoping for a class that was about the legal side of carry in my state. Instead we got a lot of very basic information (this is a “revolver,” here is the “cylinder,” here is the “hammer,” here is the “grip…”) and then a reiteration of the rules of firearms safety. Good information sure, but nothing you wouldn’t get in a hunter’s safety class. Pretty much the Level 0 of firearms instruction.

    Then it was over.

  39. avatar tyler says:

    The day fear of people seeing my gun ended was the day a macho tow truck driver was telling me that no one messes with him because he carries a glock (thinking to myself, “oh wow, aren’t you so badass”) He then went on to tell me “you should really think about carrying a gun someday”. I said “maybe someday”. Little did he know I was pointing a gun at him under the table…. J/k, But really, I was carrying a glock 19 with two spare mag and he had no idea. From that day on I know for sure that people cant even tell I’m carrying. Not to mention as I get older I could give a shit less if people see it or not.

  40. avatar Ed says:

    This was a good article. My son and I were confronted while having dinner in a gun friendly state and we are both ok with it happening because we learned from it. There are people out there that have absolutely no respect for your constitutional right and don’t mind getting in your face about it. Keep your cool, start your phone video camera, and ask them to leave. If they keep up the confrontation, inform them that they are disturbing the peace and that you have plans to call the police in and to press charges. Do not be argumentive or combative, but don’t let them dominate the situation and follow through with your claim on what you will do. Think about these situations and how to handle them before the situations actually happen. I am not an expert on this, but that is how I plan on handling a similar situation like the one we had. People like this are the type to call gun owners “angry people” but the truth really is, they are the ones who are the “angry people”.

  41. avatar ADM says:

    Aye. At the risk of sounding like a hippie, I’ve found that I’ve become very “zen” since I started carrying. Stuff just doesn’t get to me anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I got angry about something, whether inwardly or outwardly, while I was carrying.

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