the ever-increasing number of states instituting concealed carry
statutes these days, interest in the subject has burgeoned to perhaps
its highest point in recent history. And, due to escalating concerns
about home, vehicle and self-defense in our troubled times, record
numbers of citizens are availing themselves of the concealed carry
Easy. They do it because they realize that regardless of how hard
the police try, they can't really protect anyone; only pursue and,
hopefully, eventually apprehend the perpetrator.
numbers show this conclusively. There are just too many crimes being
committed for the police to be able to effectively intervene at
the time. And the best solution to the problem is the concealed
weapon. With it, the element of surprise is on the side of the intended
victim. Study after study shows that the perpetrators of violent
felonies like murder, rape, armed robbery, et al, do not expect
their victims to be armed. Instead, they expect their projection
of force, often deadly force, to do the trick, to paralyze their
intended victim into submission.
advise never to resist, but the facts show that this is highly dependent
upon the crime and not a universally legitimate rule of thumb. For
example, if you're a passenger on a commercial airliner being highjacked,
then being passive and following the instructions of the high-jackers,
at least initially, is a good idea. However, if you're a rape or
armed robbery victim, the statistics show an extremely high probability
of your being seriously injured or killed no matter what you do!
In instances like this, passiveness is therefore no guarantee of
police officers such as narcotics agents and detectives have long
carried their weapons concealed, because they, too, realize that
the element of surprise is important. They need to circulate unobtrusively
among the citizenry to do their jobs and the visibility of the gun,
along with the other tools of their trade, prevents this. In fact,
although their life-styles are unquestionably different from the
average citizen, they do share an important common denominator --
when the need for the weapon is evident, its need is extreme. In
other words, when they need their concealed handgun, they need it
are quite a few ways to effectively conceal a handgun, but there
is no one way which guarantees the best combination of concealment,
weapon accessibility and resulting acquisition speed and wearer
comfort. As the old saying goes, "there just isn't any such
thing as a free lunch!" There is always a compromise involved
in carrying any kind of concealed weapon. So, in order to give yourself
the best possible combination of these critical elements, you should
first consider carefully the following issues:
For what contingencies are you carrying your weapon? Under what
circumstances will it be used? For example, are you primarily concerned
with only personal defense or are your needs more widely based,
as a plainclothes policeman's might be?
What is your life-style? Do you travel in an automobile much of
the time? Do you remain seated most of the day? Do you spend most
of your time in an air-conditioned environment?
Do you spend most of your time in a high-density personnel environment,
e.g. crowds and so on, or do you go about your daily routines in
a more rural setting?
like these are important because they "set the ground rules"
for the determination of what kind of concealed carry best fits
your needs -- and, naturally, you can't determine this until you
first define -- really, clearly -- define those needs. They also
determine what kind of weapon and ammunition you use, as well as
ancillary equipment like holster and spare ammunition/magazine carriers
and, quite literally, the way in which you'll use it.
speaking, shoulder holsters and crossdraw rigs are especially suited
for those who spend much of their time sitting down. However, with
the shoulder holster, there is a caveat -- due to its harness eliminating
most of the air flow through your clothing, it tends to be somewhat
uncomfortable in temperate climates and is thus at its best in an
air-conditioned environment. Many who wear crossdraw holsters fail
to place them sufficiently far back for them to clear the point
of the hip, thus preventing the holster itself from remaining clear
of the pelvic-thigh joint, which is not only a potential safety
hazard (since the muzzle of the holstered gun is pointed directly
at the joint) but results in a binding effect that makes sitting
down a drudgery.
holsters remain perennially popular, but in truth offer limited
utility in that they allow only limited access to the weapon and
are, as a result, slow to utilize in comparison to most other holster
designs. However, viewed realistically, we find that most of the
time, they're used by police officers to carry a second gun, which
would only be utilized in the event of them losing their primary
firearm -- in short, in an act of desperation. Ankle rigs also have
another drawback. Because of their very concept, they limit the
size and weight of the weapon carried, which usually results in
another problem -- the use of guns chambered for cartridges that
lack sufficient stopping power.
do women carry firearms in holsters attached to their waistbands.
In fact, the very shape of the female makes this an unpleasant task,
because it causes the gun to point inward, toward the torso, making
rapid weapon acquisition and presentation nearly impossible. Instead,
the ladies carry their guns in other ways, the most common of which
is the purse (surprised, guys?). Here, however, there's a very real
need to insure that the purse is either intended by design to carry
a firearm or, if not, at least exhibits a compartment within which
it can be carried.
having seen what the interior of most purses looks like (!), it
should at this point be added with alacrity that, whichever is chosen,
the compartment should be kept free of any items not directly related
to the weapon itself. Scarves, car keys, compacts and other female
paraphernalia absolutely must be kept in some other part of the
purse to avoid interference with the weapon should it be needed!
the issue of weapon security versus acquisition/presentation speed
is discussed, and legitimately so because it's an important issue.
However, before you can determine which type of holster is right
for you or what specific design within a given type best fits your
needs, be sure to consider the weapon you intend to carry -- a heavy-framed
S&W .357 or .45 isn't much fun to cart around in an ankle holster
all, remember that they alone cannot "do the job" for
you if, once the gun is presented, you don't hit what you shoot
at or if you fail to operate within the criteria defined by law.
Moreover, with the increased civil liability hazards we face these
days, many seemingly insignificant issues like sights, ammo selection,
trigger pull weights, holster security devices, et al, all require
careful consideration. To provide yourself with the best possible
self-defense "package," a clear understanding of tactical,
criminal and civil liability is essential.
do yourself a favor and "go to school," a well-known,
reputable school, taught by equally well-known, acknowledged expert
instructors, and learn all you need to know to stay out of trouble.
There is much, much more to the subject of self-defense handgunning
than just weapon handling and shooting.
of course, as the old adage goes, "practice, practice...and
practice some more." After all, your life and, nowadays, your
assets as well, depend on it.