Why do you concealed carry?

20120719_carry_MTAC

Everyone that carries concealed (or open carries for that matter) chooses to do so for different reasons and everyone needs to decide for themselves what those reasons are.

At the beginning of most concealed carry classes the instructor will ask “Why are you here?” and the responses will likely included…

  • “I don’t want to be a victim.” – Most Common
  • “I want to be able to protect my family.”
  • “I there has been an increase in crime in my area.”
  • “I want to feel safe when I <<do something>>.”
  • “I want exercise my right.”

Alternatively stated there is almost always some stimulus that increased their awareness of a threat and they decided that they wanted to take action to protect themselves or others from that threat… or because they can.

For me it was a combination of all of the above.

Why I carry concealed.

My father is a retired police officer, and a fairly assertive one. He was well known for aggressively pursuing the most dangerous criminals in the city and even many police officers refused to mess with him. I was taught early that there was bad in the world and that I needed to be prepared to deal with it.

In high school, I didn’t worry too much about being liked and didn’t rely on others much. I kept my car stocked with what would be called a “Get Home Bag,” water, road flares, jumper cables, proper tire changing gear, changes of clothes to be prepared… but I also had a locking gas cap to keep the tank from being tampered with and a demolition bar at reach for protection. Until I had kids I thought that was enough and that I could deal with anything threat I might face.

Since I focused on being self-sufficient and hadn’t worked to develop close friendships, I had never considered the impact that my death would have on others. Whoops.

Once I had a wife and children I began to consider how I would feel if something happened to them. How angry I would be that they would be deprived of a long life and how I would be deprived of spending time with them and watching my children grow. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…

If I were killed they would be deprived of a loving husband, a loving father and I would still be be deprived of spending time with them and watching my children grow.

Still that wasn’t enough to cause me to act.

My wife is a pediatrician and was VERY anti-gun and we had small children. I should have pressed it, but I didn’t.

Then in November 2008 an event occurred that I perceived to be the biggest threat to our liberties in my life time (I was 17 in 1994 so the AWB didn’t affect me) and I wanted to do something to be counted as showing my support for the constitution and applied for my CCW.

Still I wan’t a shooter and actually borrow a Ruger 22/45 from the instructor to take my test… but it was a step.

As I thought about my new rights I decided that I needed to learn more about the responsibilities that went with them. I began talking with my father, reading forums, and blogs and buying every book I could find on the topic.

As I read I began to identify risks that I had never considered, I became more aware of the crime in my neighborhood, I began locking my doors more, I started looking for exits and I started noticing people… All of those people have families and loved ones, and kids… Those kids had smiling faces… and that made me smile. At the park someone could be hiding around that tree… Hey look there is a tree, I hadn’t noticed that… or the squirrel that lived in the tree.

As I became more aware of my surroundings I began to notice all of the great things I had always taken for granted and ignored. Whoops.

At this point I wanted to learn to shoot, but I still had a very anti-gun wife which took some time, discussion and an attempted break-in to convince her. [Read Introducing your reluctant wife to shooting and self protection for more on this topic]

From there I purchased a safe, a 1911 and a Milt Sparks holster for carry… before adding my 1st Glock 19 and an MTAC which I found easier to carry and it developed into this site here.

Wrap-up

Sometimes people that carry concealed take for granted the reasons the carry. They focus on gear and tactics and ignore the reasons that made them decide to carry in the 1st place. This may make people that are just considering carrying feel that they aren’t ready or that they aren’t like “them.”

Obviously this is wrong, the experienced carrier is just clear on their why so they don’t talk about it much. It also shows some vulnerability that isn’t “cool” on the tactical forums. I think it does a disservice.

Take a moment to consider your “Why?” and if you are willing share it in the comments below. Hopefully it will show other that they have the same fears and reasons for carrying.

Comments

  1. Anthony says

    I used to be very afraid of handling guns. To be clear, I was not afraid of the gun, but of handling them myself. This arose out of an experience I had when I was 6 or 7 with my Dad’s .30-06 Ruger M77. It wasn’t until about 15 years later that I enjoyed a shooting activity. That was shooting clays with my uncle. We went a few times, and I wasn’t too bad. In another 5 years I had graduated from college, gotten a real job, and was living on my own. I had contemplated getting a CCW permit previously because I like the idea of independence, and being able to take care of myself. But it wasn’t until I had gotten married to a lovely woman who owned a few guns already, and was also interested in getting a permit that I decided to proceed. She means more to me than anything else, and if I can protect her, or myself so that she doesn’t have to live without me, it will all have been worth it. And that doesn’t mean I have to actually get involved in a shooting to do so.

    I guess I had more to say about it than I thought. I’ll stop here except to say that my reasons for carrying were crystallized for me by Massad Ayoob when I took his MAG40 class this past September. I strongly encourage anyone who does carry to seek out at least the classroom portion of that instruction. I found it invaluable.

  2. teebonicus says

    No man should ever allow his wife to deny him the ability to go armed. If you have kids, then keep your self-defense gun on your person at all times, and the rest unloaded and locked up. But never, EVER allow anyone to stop you from being armed.

  3. Memo says

    I was a badass for many years then age slowly took away those physical traits. When that happens being a mental bad boy doesent cut it anymore.

  4. Alan says

    I carry for many reasons. I don’t want to be a victim, I want to have the choice to run or stand my ground, I want to defend my family and/or friends if it came down to it, The Knock out game. What if SHTF while I was on the road? If my car broke down in a “bad” part of town.

  5. James says

    I want a means to escape from or prevent harm, when all other means are unavailable or exhausted. This is why I arm myself. The calendar may change, but human nature doesn’t.

  6. John L. Beavers says

    I can’t say exactly why I carry, other than a sense that as a Man a
    and a American I should always be armed. A sense that there are bad people, evil people in the world and that we should always be prepared to deal with them whatever may come. The best commentary on carting concealed and mindset I have ever heard was by Kyle Defoor of Defoor Proformance, its on you tube its more than worth the five minutes.

  7. Ed says

    I carry because of several reasons:

    1. I can.

    2. I am aware. Self, family, friends and other human beings do not deserve predation, yet predators thrive until halted.

    3. I realize that when something bad happens, you do not have the luxury of waiting for a police officer to arrive and intervene.

    4. I would not be able to bear the thoughts that would arise if something bad happened and I was totally unprepared to deal with it to minimize the impact. Perhaps it is the upbringing that taught me about sins of commission and omission – what I did and what I failed to do. Unfortunately, many of us are hung up on the poor translation from the Hebrew in the Commandment “Thou shall not kill” without understanding that a better translation would be “You shall not unlawfully kill” or “You shall not murder”. Killing in self-defense, defense of others, warfare or capital punishment is justified.

    5. I understand the difference between improbable and impossible. It is improbable that you will need to draw a weapon and to shoot an attacker. However, it is impossible to predict whether you ever will or not need to. As an example of this thinking, I travel with a portable fire extinguisher in my automobile. It is improbable that I will ever need it for myself or others. But I know that I have used one to extinguish an engine fire on someone’s automobile. They were pulled over on a very rural two-lane highway in farm country and standing watching their automobile burn because they lacked the tool necessary to stop the fire – a fire extinguisher. Did it make me a hero? No. I was just better prepared than they were to deal with this improbable but not impossible event.

    I never want to be in a situation that requires me to respond with a weapon. However, I understand that this may be unavoidable despite my best efforts.

  8. EmmyP says

    I carry because I feel obligated to every day. I feel obligated to do so because I have the skill and ability. Because I have the skill and ability, I would be failing my fellow citizens if I were not able to meet force with force to prevent loss of life or limb during a violent encounter. And ultimately because I do not choose the time, location, and circumstances of a violent attack – only the violent criminal does.

  9. says

    Years ago I was on the receiving end of an armed robbery where I worked. The feeling of crawling on the ground with a gun pressed to the back of your head is one I won’t forget and don’t want to repeat. That is why I bought my first gun. But, then I lived in Illinois. So. Concealed Carry was never an option. Fast forward several years and we moved to Kentucky. I took a homeowner’s gun safety class at a local range. One presenter was a local judge. The experience was great and the local folks showed a lot of respect for gun owners, something I had not experienced in Illinois. A policeman friend of mine convinced me to get my CCW license. Listening to Tom Gresham and Michael Bane podcasts convinced me to actually carry. A right ignored is a right lost. As I get older, I am more aware of my vulnerabilities.

  10. John says

    If you are physically and intellectually capable, it is every individuals responsibility to care for themselves.

    Please get the appropriate training! Most CCW classes aren’t enough. There are so many great facilities and teachers out in the world today there’s no excuse to not get training.

  11. JMD says

    My journey toward concealed carry has been a long one. I grew up in an anti-gun household in a liberal state. I was taught to be nonviolent. Guns just weren’t a part of my life.

    As a teenager, my best friend’s father took me and his son to the range to earn our rifle shooting merit badge. I was hooked. He also shared with me some “Gran’pa Jack” booklets from JPFO, which debunked many of the “facts” about guns I had been taught all my life. I wasn’t sure if they were true, but they planted the seed.

    Years later, as an adult, I became very interested in preparedness. I became fascinated with natural disasters, emergencies, and other events that could seriously threaten my life and well-being. I stocked up on water, non-perishable food and equipment and read all I could about preparedness. And of course, a big part of preparedness involves being prepared for physical violence. I began to entertain the idea of getting a gun.

    Fortunately my wife was on board with both the preparedness and the guns. When she became pregnant with our firstborn, we started shopping around and got a .22 and a 12 gauge. After saving my pennies for a while longer I bought an AR-15. We wanted to get a handgun, but we live in NY state and had an onerous process to contend with.

    One day I was called in for jury duty and served for a case involving weapons possession. It opened my eyes to exactly how common it is for thugs living only a few miles away to carry around pistols. A short time later the husband of a friend, high on bath salts, destroyed their house and nearly killed his wife. She stayed with a mutual friend until he started casing their house, at which point she came to our place for a few days until she was able to flee the state. This event made me re-evaluate our home security situation and I fast tracked our applications to obtain NY pistol permits.

    The permits took ten months to process. By the time we had them, Obama had been re-elected and Cuomo was threatening draconian gun legislation in response to the Sandy Hook Massacre. We bought what we could and await the day when we will be able to upgrade our permits from “sporting use only” to full carry. We’ve still got a lot to learn, but we’ve come a long way.

  12. says

    I went through a lot of the same steps you did.

    I was not a big “gun guy” until my wife’s grandpa gave me his shotgun 1 month after we were married ,for Christmas, and got me into shooting clays with him (love it). With being newly married, and the new shotgun, that quickly took me into asking the question; “now i have a wife how can protect myself for her, and also how do i help me protect her when we’re out”? So i purchases a Ruger SR9c, and 3 other friends all signed up for a CCW class and all became carriers.

    I also bought the Minotaur MTAC Holster, and love it. it’s so easy to forget you have it on your person.

    Keep Safe! Love The Blog!

  13. Pitt says

    Why I carry:

    1. I’m former LEO, so I know firsthand what happens to people who aren’t prepared to deal with criminals.
    2. I’m black. Historically, black people have strong motives to protect themselves and their familes. Can you say KKK.
    3. I’m of a preparedness mindset. If something like a Katrina event was to happen to me, I want to be able to survive and defend my belongings until true help arrives.
    4. I’m both conservative and libertarian and politcally aware. Meaning I want a small government that leaves me alone and stays out of my business. It also means that I understand why the Second Amendment was put into the Constitution.
    5. I’m black. Criminal statistics show that black males between the age groups of 15-35 are the most likely to be murdered in this country. Furthermore black on black crime is rampant in this country which means that another black man is far more of a threat to me than some robe wearing klansman or some idiot from the Aryan Brotherhood.
    6. I’m married and a real man should do whatever is necessary to protect his wife and children.

  14. Ardent says

    I’m paraphrasing a quote from a source I don’t recall but it sums up why I carry quite nicely.

    I carry because I’m a reasonable person and expect you to be too. Negotiate with me in good faith and I’ll help you do anything reasonable you suggest. I carry because sometimes unreasonable people would attempt to force someone to do something they stringently disagree with. I want to remain reasonable and for everyone else to do so too. For so long as I am armed you can negotiate with me, but you can’t force me to do what you want, you can only force me to fight you to the death, yours or mine. I prefer that option to being forced to do things I would not do, and that is why I carry.

  15. Jill Hulsey says

    I will be carrying when my Illinois cc gets in my hands…1) I’m a woman I understand that I will not have physical upper hand..2) I’ve had to provide a safe home with being a single mother..3) it’s my right and being an instructor for the NRA and conceal carry other women need to learn not to be scared like I have been..

Trackbacks

Speak Your Mind