Blog 6/19/2013 - Because I carry, I'm good right?

So I carry a gun every day, I’m good right?

Not exactly, but you are off to a good start.  You have made the choice to integrate a firearm into your everyday plan, which was a good choice.   A firearm is a tool of last resort and let’s be honest, the chances of you actually having to use are slim to none.   Thank God.

So what’s going happen in between less than lethal  and the tool of last resort?  
  1. Simply walk away.  The attacker is looking for a fist fight.   Simply walking away will defuse the situation.  Always remember to watch your 6 (or your back).
  2. Pepper spray\stun gun\Taser:  This is a great solution for the attacker that you believe just wants to rough you up but doesn't want to cause severe bodily harm. If you do deploy a Taser, its ideal to get the probes as far apart as possible.  This will cause a greater reaction.  Civilian tasers pulse for 30 seconds.  Drop the taser and get out of the area as quick as possible and dial 911 as soon as its safe.
  3. Pocket Knife\Firearm:  If you are this far along you know that you will have to meet force with force.  Remember that introducing a firearm in a confrontation at arm’s length could be detrimental to your health.  Use the pocket knife to stab them, retreat, then fire at center of exposed mass unless the threat has been neutralized by the knife.

These responses are based on YOU.  No one can tell you what situation warrants what level of force.  You and you alone have to determine if your Life, Limb, or Sight is in danger and act accordingly.  

This leads us into “What should I carry as part of my everyday protection plan?

Just carrying a firearm isn't enough.   A firearm isn't like a Gerber multi-tool that will get you out of any situation and PLEASE don’t use it as such.   Some other accessories that are recommended are:

  1.  A good flashlight.   A Small 20$ Flashlight like this ONE is a great choice.  It’s brighter and smaller then a mini mag.
  2. AMMO.  The 5 to 20 rounds your handgun will hold may not be enough.   Make sure you carry an extra mag or speed loader with you.  They are pretty inexpensive like this ONE
  3. A quality knife.  Quality doesn't mean big bucks.  You can get a quality assisted opening knife for around 30$.  I carry a Kershaw similar to this ONE
  4. A smart phone.  Why a smart phone you ask? Well you can install apps on it like MAPS, Red Cross First Aid Guide, NOAA Weather Radio, A Police Scanner, Etc.  Oh and you can dial 911.
  5. A quality carry belt.  These belts are often Kydex reinforced and will hold a good amount of accessories.   Belts run between $50 and $200 like this ONE
  6. Pepper spray.  You can get a key ring canister that doesn't take up much room.  Sabre Red makes a very small key chain sized device that is gel Vs. Spray.   Less contamination and better effect.  It can be found HERE

So now we have a bunch of cool accessories and know that we have to choose carefully on what to use when, but how do we practice?

You need to practice these skills under a higher than normal stress level.   Stress and a gun typically don’t go hand in hand.  The last thing you want to see is a stressed out criminal with a handgun.   When training you need to train like you are fighting.   Punching a 10 ring out of a target isn't good self-defense training.   You need to be able to hit the 10 ring with the bad guy shooting back at you.  “You have to train like you are fighting and fight like you training”(Source: Unknown).

You can accomplish this by taking part in shooting sports like IDPA, IPSC, or taking some tactical type training from some of the well known training groups.  Shooting sports won't help a tremendous amount in a tactical situation, but it will help the rounds strike true and improve your gun handling skills under stress. These sports also give you the opportunity to do a "Functional Reliability" test on your equipment.

Remember, your CPL Class was a licensing class that brushed on self-defense and many other topics.   There is a lot more for the concealed carry permit holder's to learn.   If you wish to continue with the NRA line of classes you can check out Personal Protection Outside the Home.  It’s the next class in the series of self-defense classes.

Carry On!

--Joe