I’m going to step into some potentially perilous waters with this post, but so be it. In light of the recent, horrific tragedy that took place in CT, I’m going to put forth the idea of being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
If you’re an advocate for more gun restrictions then you’re part of the problem. If you advocate law abiding citizens being able to carry guns–especially in schools–then you’re part of the solution. The reason why I say this is because every bit of data, every rational, intellectually honest perusal of the evidence backs me up. I won’t go into the details but I will point you to here. Larry Correia, in this lengthy post, does an excellent job of articulating why I’m right. I’d also encourage you to peruse here, here, and here. Yes, it’s Wikipedia, but before you get all bunched up, they provide sources. Also, for a reasonable take from the left, go here. For further enlightenment go here. You could spend a few hours at Gun Cite and be better off for it.
If, after reading the above links, you still cling to the notion that disarming law abiding citizens is the answer, it means that you are incapable of reason and therefor part of the problem. I’m not interested in you. I’m interested in reasonable people who are willing to be part of the solution. I’m interested in those who are willing to take responsibility for their personal security and the security of those around them. If you’re not willing or able to do that, I hope that you are supportive of those who are. That, too, is being part of the solution.
So, are you willing to be part of the solution? Good, here goes.
If you’re familiar with and own firearms, and are properly trained in how to SAFELY use a firearm, get a concealed weapons permit if the area in which you live allows it. Admittedly, some jurisdictions are pretty lax in what qualifies one to carry a concealed firearm. So, if you decide to get a concealed firearms permit, please be aware that you should do some training beyond what may be legally required no matter how experienced you are; unless your background includes relevant training. Enroll in a defensive/tactical gun class taught by a qualified instructor. If you get a concealed carry permit, take the time to go to the range and regularly shoot the gun you plan to carry. In fact I’d recommend putting several hundred, perhaps a few thousand, rounds through any gun you plan to carry. You should be so familiar with that gun that every aspect of its functionality is second nature to you. Even then, you should be shooting your carry gun regularly.
If you’re not familiar with firearms but feel you may want to carry a gun, definitely enroll in a novice gun safety course (some places will rent you a gun for the course) or if you know someone who is knowledgeable, have them take you shooting. I highly recommend that you DO NOT go buy a gun and then wing it. If you do that, you’re going to be part of the problem. Remember, you want to be part of the solution.
If after your initial shooting experience you decide that you want to be a gun owner, do not go in to it halfcocked (pardon the pun). Also, remember that if you’re buying your first gun, you need to think about what it will take to secure that gun in your home. If you have no way of securing the gun in your home, don’t purchase it until you do. Yes, that means that you may have to fork over the cash for a safe at the same time that you fork over the cash for a gun. If you have a gun and no way to safely secure it, you will be part of the problem. Don’t be that person.
Now that you’ve purchased your gun, purchased a means to securely store it, and gone through a novice gun safety course enroll in a defensive/tactical gun class. After that, shoot your gun regularly. I’m not talking every day or even every week. A couple times a week would be ideal, but even a couple times each month would be adequate. Hell, once every couple of months would probably do after you’ve become familiar with your gun. The more the better, though. The bottom line is that if you’re carrying a gun on you, you should be putting rounds through it fairly often.
What to buy?
How the hell am I supposed to know that? Everyone is different. I’d recommend going to a range that rents guns and shoot several different ones. If possible, have someone knowledgeable go with you and shoot their guns. If you’re getting a gun to carry, think in terms of how easy it will be to conceal, your hand size, etc. I know a lot of people will carry different guns depending on the season or weather. I’m not one of those, but that’s just me.
For my everyday carry, I carry one of these:
A Smith & Wesson M&P40C. It’s a great, compact concealed carry gun in a .40SW caliber.
The holster in which I carry it is made by Tommy Theis:
For me, it’s a great set up. It’s compact, comfortable, and I’m able to conceal it quite nicely. This is for me, though. It will most likely be different for you.
My wife’s gun is this:
It’s a Glock 26 9mm. It’s a great little gun that is easy to conceal.
Now, I’m not saying that you should go out and buy these particular guns if you’ve decided to become part of the solution by acquiring your concealed carry permit. I’m just noting what works for me and for my wife.
Carrying a concealed gun can present challenges for women that most men wouldn’t even think about. Face it, most men are–how to put it–fashion challenged. We don’t have a problem with picking up a pair of pants from the floor and schlepping a loose fitting t-shirt. Granted, you don’t have to go with baggy clothing to conceal a gun properly, but it makes it easier. For women, however, they’re most likely not going to want be stuck with baggy pants and Tommy Bahama shirts. Most women are like my wife in that they want to wear more form fitting pants and shirts. You know, that feminine look and all. Trust me, it’s possible for women to conceal a gun and still wear the clothes they want. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below.
See what I mean? Hell, there are even concealed carry options for women like The Flashbang. Think it’s cheesy? Well, check it out in action:
One thing that I would highly advise NOT to do is carry your gun in your purse. The reason is that it’s too easy to set the purse down and have it away from your immediate control. Also, purses can and do get snatched. My opinion is that the gun should always be carried on the body. That’s me, though.
If you don’t want to carry a gun that’s okay. You can still be part of the solution by supporting the rights of those who want to. Trust me, the more good people who are armed, the safer it is for those who aren’t armed.
Another way of becoming part of the solution has nothing directly to do with guns. It has everything to do with your frame of mind. More specifically, eschewing the victim mentality that seems to permeate our culture in our modern era. Let me explain it this way: I spent a few years training in Krav Maga, a self defense system developed by the IDF. I’m not going to go into detail concerning Krav Maga or any other martial art. As far as technique goes, Krav Maga does nothing else that most any other martial art doesn’t do. A punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, an elbow strike is an elbow strike, etc.
The one thing I will say is that a basic premise of Krav Maga is, if attacked, to go from a defensive posture to an offensive posture as quickly as possible. Training and drilling from a disadvantaged position of being attacked and then turning it around to become the attacker is huge in Krav Maga. Trust me, it’s counter intuitive to, when physically attacked, go from the defender to the attacker. But it works. If you are physically attacked by someone and you curl up into a ball and do nothing but cover and try to keep from being hit, you’re embracing a victim mentality, and you will most likely get your ass beat. If you are attacked by someone and you, as quickly as possible, attack back, you will be in a much better position. If you’ve trained and drilled in some nasty techniques like gouging eyes, biting flesh, grabbing balls, throwing elbows, picking up whatever is handy, etc., you’re going to be in an even better position to stop the attack.
But, as a culture, we’re conditioned to cower and embrace the victim mentality. Hell, in fact we are encouraged to do so.
Recently, the following video has been making the rounds:
Everything about this “public service announcement” encourages people to embrace a victim mentality.
The fact of the matter is that, as a culture, we should be encouraging people to take responsibility for their own security and for the security of those around them. John Whitman of Krav Maga Alliance said it best:
I don’t have any advice for others. Here’s what I’m going to do: train more, not just in Krav Maga or firearms, but in any crisis-related skills. I want to get my friends and family to train more. I will widen my circle of people who are healthy, capable, and aware of their surroundings. I’ll encourage those around me to have some plan of action in a crisis. Doing this, I will not solve every problem, but as a group, we might help prevent or lessen a few tragedies.
Like it or not, the human condition being what it is, there will always be those who walk among us who will do harm to others. No law, or banning of anything will ever change that. Law enforcement is not, and can never be, in a position to provide personal protection for everyone. The reality is that we are responsible for our own security and safety.
And to close this post on being part of the solution rather than part of the problem: