GTM Original Blog — CCW

Three Things You Aren’t Taught In Your Concealed Carry Course Posted by Brandon Curtis

By Robert Farago via The Truth About Guns

I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’ve been impressed with the instruction rammed down my metaphorical throat. Tedious yes, but comprehensive; instructors cover everything from how a gun works to the legal use of deadly force to anger management and firearms retention (added in Texas for licensed open carry). Plus live fire! But the classes don’t cover everything. Here are three things they don’t teach you in a concealed carry class . . .

Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid – At Least at First

The first time you strap on a concealed firearm, it feels like you’re carrying a Howitzer. Like you’re wearing a T-shirt that says “I’VE GOT A GUN!” Even in states with a gun-friendly culture (e.g., Arizona), first-time concealed carriers worry that a stranger is going to see their gun and confront them.

Pistol-packing paranoia makes perfect sense. Public speaking is Americans’ greatest fear; we’re hard-wired to be afraid of public embarrassment. (Loss of social status is a thing.) Being “outed” while carrying a gun – especially by someone who’s rabidly anti-gun and/or terrified of guns – is public speaking on steroids. “Oh my God. He’s got a gun! What do you need that for?”

Even if you live in a gun friendly culture, this fear isn’t completely unrealistic. No matter how much you mentally rehearse a reply to gun shamers or prepare for a police response (the police!), the prospect of “armed confrontation” still creates low-level paranoia (and constant checking of cover garments). It’s not comfortable.

Exposure therapy is the only “cure” for this paranoia. More precisely, lack of exposure therapy. The more you carry a concealed firearm without being “outed,” the less paranoia or anxiety you feel. It’s simply something you have to go through; a condition that lasts between a week and a month. The trick: go through it. If you find excuses not to carry daily, the paranoia will never disappear entirely. Or you might eventually abandon the whole idea of concealed carry.

Carrying a gun changes your personality – for the better

Gun control advocates have this strange idea: they believe that carrying a gun makes a person into amucho macho trigger-happy Clint Eastwood wanna-be.

Like so many of the antis’ “arguments,” they’ve got it exactly backwards. Carrying a gun make you lessconfrontational. D’uh. Why would you want to engage in any confrontation when any confrontation could lead to escalation which could lead to a gunfight which is something you don’t want to have? Which you could have, now, because you have a gun.

This confrontation avoidance thought process becomes second nature. You become far lesslikely – if not completely unlikely – to engage in road rage or any sort of argy-bargy with a stranger. Sure there are concealed carriers with anger issues – which don’t disappear when they receive the state’s blessing to bear arms. But that’s not you, a person who took the time to read an article entitled Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class.

Another psychological aspect instructors don’t mention: concealed carry makes you more independent. By assuming direct responsibility for your own safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of other innocent life (optional), you lose your inherent perhaps subconscious dependency on the state’s protection. You realize that you are a sovereign citizen.

I don’t mean that in the terrorist sense of the term (obviously). It’s an understanding that you’re in control of your own destiny in the worst case scenario: when controlling your destiny is a matter of life and death. Which makes you feel more in control of your own destiny at other, less dramatic times.

Don’t get me wrong: firearms instructors talk (and talk and talk) about the enormous responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon. Fair enough. What they don’t tell you is how good, how right that feels. How it makes you a better person.

Carrying a gun is addictive

The only way to tell if you’re addicted to something: remove it and see if you suffer withdrawal. At the risk of giving the antis [additional] ammo to deride Americans exercising their gun rights, I’m going to say it. Concealed carry is addictive.

Anyone who carries a gun on an everyday basis can tell you about those times when they suddenly realize they’re not carrying one. Like when they disarm to go into Whole Foods, forget to rearm and enter a non-gun-free zone. Crap! I don’t have my gun! They’re plagued by the niggling (at best) thought “what if this is the one time I need it?” Which, by the way, can happen.

The paranoia/anxiety of having a gun eventually becomes the paranoia/anxiety of nothaving a gun. Traveling to states that don’t recognize your concealed carry license/permit can be an ordeal for a habituated concealed carrier. There are gun owners who won’t go anywhere where their gun isn’t welcome: local businesses, entire states and foreign countries.

Normally, NGP (No-Gun Paranoia) manifests itself in increased situational awareness: scanning for bad people, checking exits, carrying or contemplating alternative weapons, etc. Gun control advocates believe this behavior indicates some kind of moral weakness or personality disorder. It is, in fact, a normal, natural survival instinct, amplified by carrying a concealed weapon on a regular basis.

I’m sure those of you who carry have other examples of what you didn’t learn in concealed carry class. Please share them below.

WOMEN, MINORITIES ARE REQUESTING CCW PERMITS MOST

The results of a study performed by the Crime Prevention Research Center this month supports reports that concealed-carry permit applications are soaring nationally, but particularly among women and minorities.

According to this story from dailysignal.com, the report says, “In eight states where we have data by gender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men.”

Additionally, the report says, “from 2007 through 2015, concealed-carry permits issued by state and local governments increased by 75 percent faster among nonwhites than whites, according to the report.”

Some wonder if gun rights will shift more women from Democrat to Republican in the future.

“It’s more challenging for me to pick a politician that wants to take away guns or prohibit them in any way,” said JaQuan Taylor, a senior at Georgia Tech, in the story. She's also the president of the college group that advocates allowing campus carry. “I vote for the person more than the party, but I usually vote Democrat because they are pro-education. Since I’ve gotten a gun, I’ve begun to look at Republicans.”

Taylor sees it as a freedom issue, not a left-right matter.

“It seems like with the push for gay marriage, there is a push for freedom in all directions. That’s a good thing,” he said in the story.

Lynne Roberts, the Massachusetts state coordinator for the pro-gun Second Amendment Sisters, said in the story,“Women are voting typically on the Democratic side because over the last two or three generations self-defense and firearms were demonized. Women were told they can’t take care of themselves. That’s changing.”

In this story from nationalinterest.org, billionaire anti-gun activist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety said all increases in recent gun ownership and concealed carry permits are driven by fear.

“The rate of American gun ownership has been in serious decline over the last 40 years, so it’s not surprising that gun manufacturers are desperately seeking to tap into new markets and that they’re using the politics of fear to drive new sales,” said Everytown spokesperson Andrei Berman.

For the full story from the The Daily Signal, go here.

WOMAN OPENS GUN BOUTIQUE FOR WOMEN

Farmville—no, not the online game everyone was addicted to way back in the day—a town in North Carolina, is welcoming a different kind of gun shop. It’s being called a “gun boutique” in this story from wral.com, and the store at the corner of Main and Wilson streets opened last month with the goal of alleviating the intimidation factor many women face when going into a “normal” gun shop.

Study: Concealed Permits Surge 215%

A recently released Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) study shows the number of concealed carry permits in the U.S. has surged by 215%.

The number of permits held nationwide surpasses 14.5 million, which means “6.06% of the total adult population has a permit.”

According to CPRC, there was an increase of 1.73 million concealed permits in 2015 alone. This was 100,000 greater than the previous record of 163,000, set in 2014...

The Top Ten Guns Women Buy

What guns are women buying? Well, we know that each woman can only know which is the right one for her, but here are the top 10 choices women are making when purchasing a handgun which can help to narrow the field of options for you. Remember, what is right for one woman may not be right for another, so when making your choice it is important to consider all of the variables that may be unique to you such as, hand size, recoil sensitivity, location and reach of the controls and their ease of operation. Get to a gun store and get your hands on numerous models and if possible, rent or try these models on the range. Trust me, you will know the right one when you find it. 

I find a number of things very interesting in this list. One, women are primarily buying semi-automatic handguns with a slight majority of them choosing a 9mm. The other fascinating thing is that 3 of the top 10 guns women are choosing are Glocks, which historically has not been known as a woman's favorite brand. These clear preferences help put to rest such myths as; a woman needs a smaller caliber, she should have a revolver or she should have... fill in the blank. You can see by the variety below, that there is NO ONE RIGHT GUN for a woman or any one feature that makes a gun a "woman's gun". Now, I am not nixing revolvers, as both number eleven and twelve came in as revolvers. Many women prefer them and they are the better choice if one's primary mode of carry is in a concealed carry purse. But clearly, women are breaking some of the stereotypes usually placed on them. 

This list was compiled from data collected from  The Well Armed Woman holster sales for 2015.

1. Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm

 

2. Sig Sauer P238 - .380

3. Glock 43 - 9mm

 

4. Glock 42 - .380

5. Springfield XDs - 9mm

 

 

6. Ruger LCP - .380

 

 

7. Ruger LC9s - 9mm

 

8. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

9. Glock 26 - 9mm

10. Sig Sauer P938 - 9mm

Other Top Selling Guns Women Are Choosing

11. Ruger LCR

12. Smith &Wesson J-Frame

13. Bersa Thunder

14. Beretta Nano

15. Ruger SR 22

16. Smith &Wesson Bodyguard .38

17. Walther CCP

18. Ruger SR9C

19. Kahr PM 9mm

20. Smith & Wesson M&P 9

 

Check out our new resource, gun reviews written by women

What To Look For In a Concealed Carry Purse

What To Look For In a Concealed-Carry Purse

 

If you’ve made the conscientious decision to carry a firearm off your body, you’ll want the best bag you can afford. Here are three tried-and-true manufacturers of superior concealed carry bags in the industry. Here are some important design features that these companies include in their lines.

Gun Tote’n MamasFastest Bag Draw on the Planet

In 2008, Kingport Industries, parent company to Gun Tote’n Mamas, rented a booth at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show thinking it would be a perfect venue for its leather luggage and leather goods company, and that buyers would glom onto its leather luggage and new wildlife wallet series. 

“No one bought any of the luggage or wallets, but more than 100 people asked if we could make concealed carry handbags,” said Claudia Chisholm, president and co-owner of the company. She continued, “With so much input at that show, Gun Tote’n Mamas was born and we came back to SHOT 2009 for our real launch.” Chisholm hung the company’s now highly recognizable poster in the booth as the only decoration. It features some of the women of the company, wearing black shades and expressions similar to “Men in Black.”

“I still remember how our poster stopped everyone long enough to see quality and affordability,” added Chisholm, who said the company still uses that photograph as a testament to female empowerment.

Gun Tote’n Mama’s bags offer easy, safe and immediate access to a firearm. “It can’t look like it holds a firearm, otherwise the bag defeats the purpose,” stated Chisholm. “And it must be made with quality materials and constructionsuch as seams that can’t rip and zippers that don’t fail.” Nothing can impede the split-second draw necessity, which means the bag’s body must not collapse over the gun pocket.

The company offers 51 styles in various colors, with 10 of those styles introduced this year. One of the most popular bags, the vintage messenger bag, is co-ed ready and comes in American range buffaloa distressed finish. Watch for a rolling range bag later this year.

With input from acclaimed firearms instructor Kathy Jackson, it sells what “SWAT” magazine has tested, in a field of six other companies, to be the “fastest bag draw” item (GTM 99) on the market.

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