Dangerous concealed carry practices and misconceptions
The power of the firearm is that of life and death. That's a pretty heavy thing to consider when dealing with real life situations. However, there are some dangerous ideas that creep in. Whether it's somebody trying to rationalize his or her decision to use a handgun or ways to make it “feel better” − here's three concepts that are downright absurd and dangerous when actually considered.
Shoot to wound is absurd and dangerous
First off – there's no such thing. Really. Even with the majority of gunshot wounds in the United States resulting in injury (84,258, 2013 NCIP)injury and not death (32,370, 2013 NCIP), the very idea that shooting at someone with the intention to not kill them is ridiculous.
Worth noting in context, of the thirty two thousand people who died by firearms, over twenty one thousand (21,171, 65%, 2013 NCP) were cited as suicide.
Firearms are extremely lethal – which is why the fundamental safety principle of “never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot” is key. By proxy of a person withdrawing his or her pistol from a concealed carry holster, he has given the clear indication he feels his life is being threatened. Anything less – outside of a firing range or training environment – is unacceptable.
So should he be faced with a life threatening situation and decides to escalate it to lethal force – what point is there in declaring intent as anything other? If the attacker is not fatally injured but incapacitated – great. But unless the shooter can guarantee surgical precision in a life or death scenario (plus have an intimate understanding of the attacker's anatomy and physiology), the idea that anyone could reliably incapacitate a foe with a firearm without risk of death is absurd. More importantly, if that concealed carrier isn't the reincarnation of James Hickok or Wyatt Earp, he's likely going to get himself hurt in the ensuing struggle.
The Police And Firearms Association did a great job explaining why shooting to wound doesn't make sense scientifically, legally or tactically.
Point Blank:Don't fire at anything you don't intend to kill.
No Round in the Chamber
There is a respect that a person fosters for his or her firearm. It's earned. Through practice, repetition, and maintenance, a person becomes well acquainted with his firearm. It's a reliable piece of hardware that gets placed into an inside the waistband concealed carry holster. Has that weapon earned your respect? Have you practiced with it so regularly that it feels like an extension of your body? Do you intend to use it to protect yourself and your loved ones from imminent harm?
Great. Now why would you walk around without a round in the chamber? If you are confident in your pistol's ability to operate and only use it while adhering to the four basic principles of firearm safety – what do you have to fear?
Point Blank: It takes longer to withdraw your weapon and load a round in the chamber than it does to pull, aim, and fire reliably.
Carrying without a holster, pockets and purses
Having a concealed carry permit means the person is allowed, in most cases, to carry a concealed firearm on his or her person. Sounds redundant, right? Well, why would someone entrust his coat or or trouser pockets to securely hold a pistol? Same goes for those who think a ccw purse is a perfectly suitable place to store a handgun. It's not!
The first reason is simple – tucked into the waistline of the trousers without a holster is dangerous. It's not a secure position. Get pushed over or fall down and that pistol has a real good chance of slipping out. Any opportunity to get a gun away from a defender is considered an automatic win for an attacker.
And a pocket isn't much better. If it's just a coat pocket or open pocket, the gun will “show” to anyone looking. More importantly, it's not at all secure. Someone can slip his or her hand into a pocket or purse and remove it without the concealed carrier knowing.
Point Blank: If you're going to conceal carry, use a secure and well designed inside or outside the waistband concealed carry handgun holster. What does matter is that the pistol is fixed to your body.
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.