In the coming weeks and months, as part of your membership in the Patriot Privacy and Security Society, I will discuss the proper way to carry, conceal, and, if need be, use a handgun.
As a private detective, I carried a concealed handgun for many years both professionally and privately.
With the recent mass-shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., the usual advocates of draconian gun control laws and critics of concealed carry laws are out in force.
As freedom loving Americans, it’s our duty to be strong defenders of the Second Amendment. As defenders of the Second Amendment, we need to raise our voices in support of the right to be armed and we need to demonstrate that we can and will carry weapons in a responsible manner.
As you may know, I live in Colorado – a state that is not unfamiliar with mass-shootings. The most recent mass-shooting was in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Just as has happened following the Navy Yard shooting, the Aurora shooting resulted in calls for increased gun control.
At that time, I wrote a column for my local newspaper discussing the shooting and concealed handguns. To begin what will be an ongoing conversation about guns in the Patriot Privacy and Security Society, I want to share that column with you today.
Please read the column and send me your thoughts and questions by emailing me at [email protected] I’d like to use your comments and questions as the basis for future advisories so that I address the issues that matter most to you.
Here is what I wrote after the Aurora movie theater mass-shooting:
Aurora and Concealed Handguns
The killing of 12 and wounding of 58 moviegoers in Aurora by alleged gunman James Holmes has reignited the debate about gun control — including whether citizens should be able to carry concealed handguns. The debate should be put to rest. After all, if a man won’t abide by the laws against murder, he won’t abide by gun control laws.
In the past 30 years, the overwhelming majority of states, including Colorado, have legalized the carrying of concealed handguns. Currently, the legislative trend is toward further reduction of existing state restrictions on concealed handgun permits and increased permit reciprocity between the states.
To date, more than 6 million Americans have availed themselves of their right to carry a concealed handgun. As expected after an incident like the Aurora mass shooting, there will be an increase in the number of Americans purchasing weapons and seeking permits to carry guns.
Carrying a gun brings a tremendous responsibility — the responsibility to assure yourself that you have the maturity and competence to be in possession of a deadly tool. Make no mistake, a handgun is a deadly self-defense tool and one that I carried for a number of years during my career as a private detective.
From the day I decided to carry a gun, I set personal ground rules that went beyond what the law required to obtain a concealed handgun permit. I followed the rules until the day I stopped carrying a weapon. Those rules included but were not limited to:
1. At the outset, three months of weekly gunfight training with a combat firearms instructor.
2. After the first three months, monthly range shooting and quarterly gunfight training.
3. Keeping the gun completely concealed at all times.
4. Never informing anyone that I was armed.
5. Never consuming alcohol while carrying a gun.
6. Storing all guns appropriately at home or work.
My self-imposed rules are not unique among those who routinely carry guns. Most everyone who carries a deadly weapon quickly realizes doing so is a responsibility and, indeed, a burden. There never was a moment that it wasn’t in the back of my mind that I was armed.
On more than one occasion I walked away from situations that, had I not been carrying a gun, I might have allowed myself to engage in a confrontation. Twice, I was physically assaulted while working. During those fights, my paramount concern was ensuring that my gun remained holstered and concealed so the assailant wouldn’t attempt to grab it.
If you’re considering obtaining a concealed handgun permit because of the events in Aurora, wait a month. Let the emotion of the moment pass. Then, do an honest appraisal of your need for a concealed weapon. Be forthright with yourself about whether you will invest the time and training needed to carry a gun competently and responsibly.
If you decide to move forward in the permit process, enroll in a firearms training class that goes beyond what is required for the gun permit. Find the best instructor you can. Go shoot. Shoot a lot. Shoot under every conceivable circumstance. Get to know your gun like the back of your hand.
After you receive your permit and you are carrying your weapon, keep training. If you stop training for more than several months, stop carrying your weapon. You owe it to yourself. More important, you owe it to those around you should the day come that you must employ your weapon in self-defense.
Bottom line: With few exceptions, law-abiding Americans have the right to carry concealed handguns for self-defense. The Aurora massacre won’t change that reality, nor should it. But, the right to carry a concealed handgun brings the responsibility to train in the proper use and handling of that deadly weapon.
Be safe and secure,