CCW Self Defense Mindset Will Keep You And Your Family Safe
Having a concealed carry permit, being a daily carrier, and regularly training with your sidearm are all very important to staying alive. With those pieces in place, let's discuss five more parts of what composes a self-defense mindset necessary to survive confrontation.
Complacency kills. When you stop paying attention to your surroundings, you're letting your guard down. Just because it doesn't reach back and bite us in the rear 99.999% of our lives doesn't mean that 0.0001% isn't any less horrific and lethal. That's why step 1 of maintaining a self-defense mindset is staying aware of your situation.
1. Observe ingress/egress routes – be aware of where they are and how you can get to them.
2. Be a people watcher - You don't have to stare at people to observe them. Simply keeping aware of them in your periphery is the first part of detecting a threat before it escalates.
3. Stay accountable for your party - How many do you have with you? Can they move quickly at a moment's notice? It's important to always stay aware of who's in your group and fairly assess their limitations so you can work with them if something bad happens.
Flight Beats Fight
You win 100% of the fights you're never in. Sometimes people get overly confident when they have a firearm in their concealed carry holster. A firearm is an emergency parachute in the event of a sudden failure. It is not a magic fix-it patch for danger. No matter how many magazines you have, no matter how good of a shot you are – there's always somebody better than you and the worst way to find out is be stuck in a fight with him or her. (That being said it is still a good idea to keep extra magazines in your mag holster)
That means not wandering into a combat zone but avoiding it altogether. If you're able to get out of a dangerous situation before it turns dangerous – you're chances of survival (and that of your group) just went up significantly.
There is a rare instance where a fight is coming down the pike and there ain't nothing that can be done about it. When you see someone so rearing hot that he looks like a bull in a china shop, see point #2. When possible, try to de-escalate the situation.
In the Marine Corps, there are clear rules of engagement in place prior to the justification of deadly force. In the regular world, there's only the law that governs the land. And where the law is “Stand Your Ground”, you're under no legal obligation to back down. However, if there's anything you can do to avoid having to use deadly force, please do.
That said: there is no such thing as a warning shot. Don't waste bullets on sending messages.
Escape, Evade – Live To Fight Another Day
Using your conceal carry firearm in self-defense is a very rare thing. If you do, the last concept in your mind should be that you're fighting one man. The attacker you see may be only one man, but who knows who's behind him? Your job is to fight your way to successful escape. That means getting your family out of harm's way – not making some heroic last stand.
Out in the public world, a violent scenario is never cut and dry. Even if it turns out to be a lone attacker, always make your first priority securing your loved ones.
If deadly force is the only way to negotiate a situation, don't mess around. Deadly force is authorized whenever you or your family are in clear and present danger. The attacker doesn't have to be armed – he just needs to demonstrate a clear intent to do bodily harm or injury to yourself or family members.
Do not use warning shots. That is a negligent discharge. If the pistol is coming out of the inside the waistband holster, it's because it's time to use it. Never put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to fire.
Do you have any other points you'd like to bring to the table from experience?
Tell us 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.