A lot of people carry concealed every day and simply do not understand the responsibility that comes with carrying a weapon. They understand the fundamentals behind it, I mean they know they have a weapon and most know and respect the rules and regulations associated with carrying. However are you doing it right?
Are you carrying correctly and safely? You need to consider the fact that you MIGHT be carrying the means to defend yourself should the threat arise, but have you really prepared for that?
If you are carrying concealed you need to hit the range and often but there is more you need to focus on. So here are 3 areas of focus that every concealed carrier should consider:
- Wearing the Correct Clothing
- Preparing for when it’s real
- What happens when it’s real
It does you no good to have the highest speed holster, tactical weapon, and expensive defensive loads if you cannot get to your weapon when you need it the most. You need to think about what you are wearing, beyond its ability to conceal your weapon. It’s good not to print yourself and show off that you are armed but you also need to be able to draw so don’t get clothing that will get in the way. I like to wear a lot of button-up shirts, un-tucked. I make sure the shirt is not too long that it is in the way. I make sure my pants fit well on my hips and that I am able to remove my weapon easily from its holster. Which leads us to the practice phase.
Practice, practice, practice. I cannot stress this enough. You need to drill that muscle memory into your head. I know a lot of people that carry concealed and spent a lot of money on fancy holsters and bought the wrong clothing. They invested the money, but not the time. Take them out on a range, in a controlled environment where there is little threat of metal meeting meat, and see for yourself. IF you are carrying concealed, you need to train like you fight. You need to carry your weapon as you would every day, in the condition you are comfortable with, and you need to practice drawing and firing from that. You need to practice that until you are bored, and then you need to practice for another two hours after that.
Muscle memory DEMANDS repetition. You need to have your body perform a task tens of thousands of times before it becomes second nature because when it’s real you will simply have no time to think. Once the fight or flight has kicked in and the two way firing range situation has begun, the suck factor increases with your heart-rate. You start to breathe heavy, your voice goes up several octaves, you sweat, your heart-rate increases from a resting pulse to over 140, your vision begins to become more focused to a tunnel-like state, and your hearing becomes sharper despite what is going on. As the adrenaline surges through your body it takes with it your ability to turn thoughts into action unless you have your body trained to respond.
In every situation that I have felt the need to have a weapon to deescalate a situation, I have no real memory of drawing the weapon. I have a thought “I need my weapon” and generally by the time I’ve processed that thought I have a weapon in my hands. That comes from clothing not being in the way, training, and the ability to understand the situation while remaining calm.
That is the key to surviving and winning a gunfight, is staying calm. It does not matter how fast and accurate you are if you cannot get to your weapon to put rounds on target when you need it most.
So if you carry, carry CORRECTLY. Train, know your limits and focus on them until they become strengths.