By Paul McCain
Let’s face it, aside from owning the right gun and gear, not everyone is equipped to carry a concealed weapon. With the boom in firearm ownership in recent years, there are a lot of new gun owners. And plenty of first-timers seem to have picked up that first gun as an impulse buy, apparently thinking, “Hey, I’m going to buy me a gun and carry it!” Their friends pack heat so how hard can it really be, right? If you’re too stupid to think through some really important questions before you start carrying, you have no business walking around with a concealed weapon. You need to stop to consider that . . .
There are legal, ethical, moral and competency implications whenever you strap on a firearm. Here are just some of the things you need to be aware of:
If you carry a gun, you need to be prepared to accept the legal consequences, whatever they may be. Are you willing to go through the trouble and expense – both financially and emotionally – of being arrested, charged and tried if you have to use your firearm? If not, leave the heater at home. Can you deal with whatever might come your way when it comes to encounters with law enforcement officials who may or may not understand and respect your state and local carry laws? If not, don’t carry.
When you take on the responsibility of being an armed citizen, you also assume a greater level of ethical responsibility for every aspect of your behavior while packing. You don’t pick fights. You don’t respond to aggressive comments or gestures by going for your gat. You never go looking for trouble. You don’t – ever – drink while armed. And you never brandish it or joke around about carrying concealed. Concealed means concealed…in every possible sense. If you can’t conceal it, do not tote it. You aren’t trying to impress anyone by carrying. Your ethical posture hasto be above reproach when carrying.
Are you mentally prepared to actually shoot and kill somebody? If not, the gun should stay in your safe. If you think you are just going to pull the gun out and wave it around to scare somebody off, don’t carry. If you think you can “shoot to wound,” you have another thing coming.
If the gun comes out of its holster, you must already have decided to kill somebody. Period. There is no middle ground. Can you do that? Have you thought long and hard about what that means? Are you willing to see what a bullet will do to a human body? People don’t always just fall over dead like in the movies. You have to prepare yourself for the emotional trauma of gravely wounding or killing another human being.
If you are going to carry a concealed weapon, you need to be rigorous about safe, competent gun handling. Your heater is always loaded – or it better be. That means you must never ever, under any circumstance, draw it while carrying unless you’re truly in a life or death situation.
You do not pull it out to show to your buddies. You never cover anyone with the muzzle. Your finger should be indexed. You simply do not “play around” with your concealed firearm. It goes in the holster and never comes out, unless absolutely necessary.
And you need to be fully trained in the use of your firearm. Find a competent instructor and take a class. Better yet, take several classes. Just as if you want to get to Carnegie hall, you need to practice, practice and practice some more. You owe it to yourself to get in as much range time with your carry gun as you possibly can. If you aren’t willing to master all aspects of handling your concealed carry firearm, don’t strap it on.
Are you too stupid to handle all of this? Most likely not. But these are just some of the things you will need to consider before you take on the responsibility of concealed carry. Yes, it’s your right, but you need to exercise that right legally, ethically, morally and competently or you’ll hurt the cause of those that do. Got it?