Obligation To Carry Concealed

Best way to carry concealed.

To the concealed carry permit holder, you have a very important responsibility. The responsibility to carry a handgun is not one that you should take lightly, it is a key factor in deciding whether or not you or your family will be safe and at the same time whether or not you will take a life. Guarding your family and ending the life of a bad guy is not a choice you should make with the same amount of thought as to what you are going to watch on TV tonight. This should be something that you are clear in your mind of the reasons why, and the possible ramifications of your choices.

Why Carry Concealed?

There are a lot of reasons why an individual would choose to carry a concealed handgun but they almost all boil down to personal security or protection. Why else would you carry a firearm that is capable of killing someone unless you were prepared to use that amount of force to do just that? If you weren’t willing or able to pull the trigger, there would be no need to carry would there?

Carrying a concealed firearm should be done with the full intention that one day you may need to draw your weapon, point it at the threat and pull the trigger. If you don’t understand this basic fundamental and more importantly, are prepared to do just that, you should not be carrying concealed in the first place.

For me, the motivation behind carrying concealed was not because of a threat on me or my family. I had no out of the ordinary experiences in my past that made me fearful for my safety or the safety of my loved ones. I look at this from a practical standpoint. I think Wayne LaPierre summed it up nicely in response to the outcry over the Newton School shootings when he said, “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I agree completely.

It wasn’t a school shooting that convinced me to carry either, but Wayne’s comment resonates perfectly with my own philosophy. As a legal carrier of firearms, it may come down to me standing in front of a “bad guy” with a gun. I don’t view this as a preordained destiny from God that I would be placed in any situation like this, but if I am, I want to make sure I am prepared. If I am in that situation, I will accept the responsibility of being the good guy who potentially stops the bad guy.

Obviously my family’s safety was first and foremost in my mind, but like school shootings, or church shootings or mall shootings, I believe that the more legal, responsible people we have with firearms, the safer everyone else would be if a bad guy got it in his head to harm people.

Never leave home without it.

I know a couple of people who have their concealed carry permits, but they never have their weapon on them. When I ask why, it is usually one of two responses. Either they laugh and say, “I don’t have to worry about anything here do I?” or that the firearm is bulky, doesn’t go with their outfit, not easily concealed, etc.

If you have a permit, you should carry your firearm everywhere you go. I have mine with me even sitting around the house in my sweatpants. Why? Because you will almost never foresee the time and place you will need it. Leave it at home one day and the church you are attending may be paid a visit by a lunatic who wants to meet God, really. Have that firearm in your bedroom and someone may kick down the door while you are watching American Idol. You never know, so it is your duty and obligation to carry your firearm with you at all times. How are you going to protect yourself or anyone else if your concealed carry is under the bed?

When should you use your weapon?

Carrying concealed, as I explained above, is not to be taken lightly. If you are carrying, you must think through the possibilities and potential threats, escalation and your actions.

Let’s say you are a woman and you are work evenings at a retail store. When you leave at night, you may have to go out into a dark parking lot or a dark alley. Maybe this isn’t in the best part of town, maybe it is. Regardless, there is a chance someone could approach you on your way to your car, but you are carrying a concealed handgun. Out of the corner of your eye you see a man walking towards you. He is mumbling something that you can’t quite make out and he is closing the distance between you and your car. As he gets closer he is still mumbling and you see a knife in his hand. What do you do?

Every situation that you could possibly face is different so there is no one size fits all answer to using lethal force. As we saw with the George Zimmerman case, there was much arguing and heated debate over the “Stand your Ground” law in Florida. First, you should know the laws of the state you are carrying in, but a general guideline is that your life must be in jeopardy before you can justifiably kill someone. You can’t kill someone who is being rude or talking too loudly in a movie theater, or who stole your parking spot. This is life and death we are talking about so there can’t be any grey area.

If you do have to use your firearm, the police will be involved and they will be scrutinizing you very carefully to ascertain whether or not the person you shot (just like George Zimmerman) was a real threat. If they decide that you killed someone who didn’t deserve to die, guess who goes to jail?

One fallback you have is that the simple fact you are carrying, may be a deterrent. Without shooting anyone you can let them know that you will, if need be. Drawing your firearm and having it pointed down at the ready position (down) is a first step. Forcefully warning your attacker that you have a gun and you will use it may defuse the situation. They leave, you are both alive and you don’t go to jail.

You must play out scenarios in your mind and make sure you understand what you will do in various situations. You want to clearly deal with the threat if you are ever forced into that reality.

Why does all of this matter?

In order to be prepared, we look at a lot of different aspects of our lives, possible threats that could impact us and make plans for how to mitigate the pain or suffering we would go through in the event that any of those threats come to pass. Carrying a concealed firearm, just like storing food for an emergency is one type of survival preparation. You carry survival kits for when your car breaks down in an emergency. You carry a Get Home Bag if something happens and you need to make it back home, right?

Carrying a concealed firearm is what you do if you are planning to survive a bad guy trying to kill you or someone else. If you have foresight to get your permit, carry a weapon and have thought through the ramifications of deadly force, you have a duty to yourself and the other good guys around you to have this with you and be prepared to use it.

  1. Great post. I’m sure many, if not most, of the anti-gun zealots never even consider that such reasoned thought behind the decision to carry a weapon is possible for your average “gun nut”. I’d take it a step further. If you are even considering the purchase of a weapon for home or personal defense, not necessarily to carry, you should have the same thought process as someone with CCW. If the reason for the purchase isn’t strictly for hunting or sport-shooting purposes, you have to be prepared (mentally and tactically) for the moment when you could be called upon to use your weapon against another human being. Even the act of shooting to kill in self defense carries a price many do not appreciate. Taking a life, for whatever reason, has a profound effect. Once you have crossed that line, there’s never any going back the way you were before.

  2. Pat,
    I am an Active Duty member of the Army, have had a Florida CCP for several years, but also live on a military base. (I have a Florida CCP because I am a Florida Resident and based on the reciprocity laws, I can carry in the multiple states I’ve lived.) My issue about always carrying has to do with living on base, where I can’t. I have carried the pistol secured in my vehicle until I leave base, then stop and carry concealed. Of course I have to do the same in reverse when I come home.
    What, if anything, do you think about legal concealed carry on military bases for those of un in the Military?

    1. Keith,

      Thanks for the question and before I reply let me say thank you for serving.

      When I was in the Army, I didn’t have my CCP, much less a handgun and it was probably better that way. The military taught me a lot and forced me to mature a good deal, but I still needed a little time to be honest. Even with some maturity, it wasn’t until a good bit after the military that I purchased my first pistol. So, if I had the same brain I had now and was in your shoes, what would I do?

      You are in a special circumstance with your line of work that most of us don’t have to worry about. I am not talking about a workplace that says you can’t carry concealed, because just about every “regular” job in an office or retail establishment has the same rules. The difference is that you have to go through a checkpoint every time you go to work. I don’t have to worry about that. Because of that issue, I would agree with what you are doing right now as the smartest way to handle this. I also have a son-in-law in the exact same boat as you. He has his weapon concealed every time he is off base, but at work, he doesn’t carry.

      Now, do I agree with that? No. In fact I think it is incredibly stupid to trust men and women with million dollar equipment that is supposed to kill people, but not a handgun. You can have access to a lot of armament, but not a legal handgun. One of my pet peeves when I was in was guard duty. One of our responsibilities was to guard the motor pool and it was always with a rifle that had no bullets. I guess I was supposed to use harsh language if someone came along.

      Any citizen in my opinion who has met the criteria for legally owning and carrying a firearm should be able to without further restriction.


  3. Reading this reminded me that we really do live in an alternate universe up here in Canada. Here no one is allowed to carry a handgun anywhere, concealed or not, unless they have a job that requires it. You aren’t even allowed to shoot on your own property, you have to belong to a gun club and get a transport license to allow you to carry the firearm from your house to the club, in a locked box, unloaded, with the ammunition stored separately. There’s a fairly straightforward review here: http://www.howtogetagun.ca
    Similarly, Canadians aren’t allowed to carry concealed knives for self protection either. So if I want to keep a knife in my purse and go out in public with it, I’m committing a crime. So I guess I’ll have to stick with my pens and keys 😉
    Most Canadians don’t think about this being a problem at all; after all, it’s only “bad people” and security guards who need to carry weapons, right? We also forget that we’re all subjects of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Canada, and I think these two things are very much connected.

    1. Thank you for commenting Emily,

      I have been to Canada on a couple of occasions, even hunted there once. On one hand you have such a healthy hunting heritage, but on the other you have some draconian laws. I know they are making efforts to get this changed in Canada and the fairly recent repeal of the long gun registry are promising signs.


  4. Dear Sir,

    I sincerely hope that one day, while you are aimlessly watching television with your weapon in your sweatpants, that it goes off. Only then do I believe that you will realize the validity of almost every study published concerning gun safety; the increased prevalence of firearms does nothing to reduce crime rates, yet it does dramatically increase the chances of accidental death or injury. By carrying always, and encouraging other untrained civilians to do so, you dramatically increase the risk of harming yourself, others, myself, or my children. One only has to look to countries in Europe or Asia to see that, even though they have incredibly prohibitive gun control, their crime rates are similar to ours and yet their level of gun deaths is microscopic compared to those in our country. You, sir, are a danger to our society and I sincerely hope that Darwinian evolution runs its course before you force the world to bear your similarly moronic children.


    Joe Reason

    1. Joe,

      I always welcome comments even from people who disagree with what I have written. Good one on the sweatpants…

      What I don’t understand is why anyone who seems to hate the thought of us peons having firearms, would hope for death to those of us who legally and lawfully carry them every day. It might be different if I said words to the effect of “I sincerely hope that one day you are mugged and your wife and children are raped and finally murdered in front of your eyes. Only then will you realize the validity of carrying a firearm for self-protection”.

      I do not say that though and never would because that would make me a total asshole.

      I don’t care if you do not want to carry firearms, that is your right not do so, but to wish for injury on anyone who is simply living within the rule of law seems to fly in the face of your (I am assuming here) peace loving nature.

      I have never advocated anyone carry without receiving proper training. I have trained with my firearm and was in the Army where I received much more, but simply believing that “civilians” aren’t worthy of carrying firearms is a ridiculous argument also. You do realize that police are civilians also, right? Are firearms OK if we “civilians” have been trained? Do you only hope the people who have them on their person are shot? Do you wish the same on any criminals or would you like them to be rehabilitated instead of punished?


    2. well i think the fact he is wanting another human being to shoot themselves says alot about his humanity. The gun studys he claims are bogus. I have carried a weapon since I was 12 and lived on a farm. I have never shot myself or anybody else. I had to shoot dog packs, snakes and hunted for food. If he feels that bad about other humans, then he can live in a city where the democrats want people just like him. Chicago is one city and DC is another, they have really strict gun laws i am sure are to his liken.

      1. Thanks Christopher. I don’t think there is any hope reaching people like Joe above. Funny, they will be the first to scream about how the police aren’t protecting them when it goes south.

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