Proper Mentality for Carrying Concealed Weapons
Everybody has the right to protect themselves and their family from harm – gun or no gun. However, those who can have a concealed carry firearm are in a unique position to be able to protect themselves and their family with the power of a fully loaded handgun. That truly is unique when we look at everywhere else in the world where the common citizen is not eligible to wield a firearm much less conceal it legally on his or her person.
Protection of Self
This concept of the right to personal self defense was established on the federal level by the 1973 federal court decision in the United States v. Peterson. Since then, it's been precedent that each person has that legal right which is then metered out into the finer details of state law. However, there is also natural law. Because the courts don't willingly acknowledge that concept – we'll leave it out of this article for now.
In a nutshell, protection of self means exactly that. The person must perceive clear and imminent danger to himself. The second the person with a concealed carry fire arm deviates from that in an incident, the murkier the justification becomes. The murkier the justification, the more costly the court proceedings, the greater the risk of loss of significant amounts of money and the ability to hold a concealed carry permit.
Protection of Family and Property
The legal precedent to defend one's family and property has been set forth by state law. On the federal level, there is no precedent for the defense of one's family or property from perceived imminent physical danger. However, for the forty-six U.S. states which have implemented a version of the Castle Doctrine, it explicitly states that no person has a duty to retreat from an attacker.
- Opening introduction of the bill amending New Jersey Statutes, Title 2C, Chapter 3
Thus, in states where the Castle Doctrine applies, this can extend a defensible perimeter anywhere from the workplace (Hawaii) to even defending unallied third parties (Iowa). This is where the murky legal gray areas exist and part of what prompted so much public debate regarding the Zimmerman case of 2013.
Murky Legal and Ethical Questions
Up to this point, we've just discussed grounds for legal homicide. The reason is because as someone with a concealed handgun in either an outside the waistband holster or inside the waistband concealed carry holster – any use or wielding of a firearm can result in injury or death if not properly handled. This is where the right mentality comes in. Through proper training and understanding of the dangers of firearms and people, the concealed carrier is placed in a unique opportunity to assist himself and others out of potentially lethal situations.
This is especially important to realize when situations like this man who attempted to stop an assault and battery in Texas occurs. A man saw another man assaulting a woman and pulled his concealed carry firearm out. While he was successful in stopping the assault, local police were quick to encourage that it's better to observe and report on a third party assault and battery than join into the conflict with a loaded weapon.
Is this mentality helpful or potentially harmful? Do you have any experience in the matter? Let us know about it in the comments section below.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.