The Top 5 Fears of Concealed Carry
Fear is a lot like pain as it helps us stay alive. Without pain we would never know if we were physically hurting ourselves and consequently hurting ourselves to the point of dying.Fear operates along those same lines as it helps us keep ourselves alive and maintain self-preservation. However some fears can get out of hand and sometimes prevent us from self-preservation.
Here are what my top 5 fears of concealed carry were before I started carrying
5. Negligent / accidental discharges
If you recall from my previous blog post “Why We Conceal Carry Everyday” you will remember that I had a negligent discharge at the age of 13. I say negligent and not accidental because I pulled the trigger.
However that negligent discharge scarred me for a very long time, for the next 17 years in fact. As I mentioned in the “Why We Conceal Carry Everyday” post it wasn’t until my fear of losing my family became greater than my fear of firearms, that I was able to overcome my fear and begin carrying a firearm every day.
Overtime I began studying the basic principles of gun safety
- Always treat a gun as if it’s loaded
- Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction
- Don’t put anything in front of the barrel that you’re not willing to destroy in that millisecond
- Never pull the trigger unless you’re prepared to fire the gun
I beat these basic principles of gun safety into my head over and over again until I created an OCD like habit of following them every time I handled a firearm. After I was able to handle a few firearms and practice gun safety over and over again I began to feel more comfortable with the idea of owning a firearm. I did this by going to my local gun range and renting firearms to handle in a safe place under the instruction of a range officer.
The Right Gun
One way to prevent accidental / negligent discharges is to purchase the right type of firearm.
At first I thought I wanted a gun with a manual safety however I knew that wouldn’t protect me from negligent discharges because the gun that I had the negligent discharge with when I was 13 years old had a manual safety and I knew that this would be more of a hindrance in a self-defense situation.
So I decided to purchase a striker fired 9 millimeter firearm that did not have a manual safety but had other safeties included.
I purchased a Gen 4 Glock 19. After studying how the firearm operated I knew that there was no way that the gun could discharge unless the trigger was pulled. Because of all the internal safeties and the trigger safety.
The Right Holster
Another way to prevent accidental / negligent discharges is by purchasing and using the right holster. I found that by buying a holster that properly protected the trigger and properly retained the firearm without the need of a lock or strap would greatly diminish the risk of an accidental discharge.
4. Being harassed by others
Once I was able to get over my fears of firearms themselves I had another fear lurking in the back of my mind which was the fear of what other people would think about me with a gun.
None of my friends owned or shot firearms, and neither did any of my nearby family, and with a new baby I further worried that they would give me a lot of grief for buying a handgun for concealed carry.However this wasn’t the case, everyone seemed to congratulate me on taking the next step in protecting myself and my family. It was almost like they were glad that I did what they were afraid to do.
Aside from my family I was worried about losing some of my friends even though I didn’t have very many friends to begin with. But for some reason all of my friends seemed to jump on the bandwagon and purchase guns for themselves as well.I actually ended up making more friends than I’ve had in 10 years just from purchasing a firearm and showing other people what it’s all about.
Another fear that was lurking in the back of my mind was how I would be judged in public if someone spotted my concealed carry gun.However after a couple of months of carrying every single day I realized that people are far too busy being inwardly focused on themselves to notice if I had a bulge sticking out of the back of my shirt.
It’s almost like everyone in existence is in zombie mode 24/7. It’s almost like I don’t even exist which is awesome because I don’t want them to notice me.
I guess being labeled is something that none of us want, but all of us get. None of us want to be labeled as a paranoid prepper. And some of us don’t want to be labeled with a particular political affiliation or a particular religious affiliation.However it does seem that the majority of gun owners fall under certain religious groups and certain political affiliations. But that doesn’t mean that the want to be labeled that way
Now I don’t know if I caused anyone to label me with a political affiliation or religious group and honestly I don’t really care anymore but a lot of us have that fear of being labeled.
Arizona is one of four states that allows constitutional carry. That means if you are legally allowed to purchase a firearm then you are legally allowed to carry a firearm concealed.
I could go and apply for a concealed carry permit which would give me some additional freedoms such as reciprocity among states and the ability to conceal carry on tribal reservation land but other than that there’s no need for a concealed carry permit in Arizona.
Now one may argue that if you have a concealed carry permit and you were in a self-defense shooting that having the CCW permit would go in your favor in the court of law. In which case I must say I do agree with them.
I still remember the first time I was pulled over while carrying my firearm. I was actually more excited than fearful because this was the first time that I had been pulled over while carrying a gun and I was anxious to see how the whole ordeal would go down. I was pulled over for doing about 20 miles over the speed limit on a highway. When the officer pulled me over it was around 10 o’clock at night so I put my hands on the steering wheel turned on the dome light and rolled my windows down.
When the officer arrived at my window he informed me that he pulled me over for driving a little fast and asked me if I had any weapons.
I informed him that I was carrying my side arm at the 4:30 position on my right side and my wallet was on the left side. I then asked him how he would like to proceed so that he feels most safe.
He informed me that during his traffic stops he asks that I give him the firearm while he goes and runs my driver’s license and that he would return it to me unloaded. So he instructed me to slowly draw my gun from its holster. I informed him that a round was chambered and to handle with care.
When he returned back to my car after running my driver’s license he returned my firearm and ammunition and began asking me what type of ammunition I was carrying, he seemed very interested.I told him what it was and we begin to shoot the shit about various types of firearms and different types of ammo.Before I knew it he let me off with a warning. So that just goes to show that here I am a thirty-year-old guy being pulled over without a concealed carry permit and the cop didn’t even bat an eyelash. Needless to say that alleviated my fears of law enforcement
1. Having to actually use the weapon in a real situation
I think that this is probably the number one fear of anyone who conceal carries every day. We often worry that if we do have to use our firearm will we be counter sued by a slick attorney. We want to make sure that if we do draw our weapon to use it that we are in the right. We also want to make sure that if we are in the right in to use the firearm that no one else is injured by our bullets. Because our goal isn’t to hurt others but to stop others from hurting us or our family.
The only real way to learn the best practices is to take multiple training courses and practice drills. Drills such as when to pull our gun and when not to pull our gun. When to fire our weapon and when not to fire our weapon and what to say to the police and what not to say to the police.And with that said I encourage all of you out there to go and get as much training as possible with your concealed carry firearm. Learn all of the laws in your state and municipality that you possibly can. So that if you ever do have to use your firearm for self-defense, then you can be certain that you made the right choice.
Before I began carrying concealed the other 4 fears we’re just exaggerated fears that were created by other people’s opinions and the media. After carrying everyday for the past year I will say that the only real fear that I have now is actually having to use my firearm in a self-defense situation.
I hope this post has cleared up a lot of confusion and fears that you may have had with concealed carry and I hope that it serves you well. I hope that if you are on the fence about purchasing your first gun that this article helps aid your decision.
As always take care of yourself and God bless you.