Who should carry and when?

As a concealed carry instructor, I typically ask my students at the beginning of class what motivated them to get their concealed carry permit.  There are half a dozen common answers including having more choices in methods of transport, supporting their second amendment rights, learning the laws concerning the use of a firearm, and self-defense or defense of family.  The ones who state they are there for self-defense typically expound to declare that they are too diminutive or too old to fight off an attacker, but one rather burly gentleman gave me a little insight to what life may be like as an obvious force to be reckoned with.  He stated that if someone was going to attack a man of his stature, they would likely forego the non-lethal options like fists or a knife.  They would be a fool to attack him with anything but a firearm.  He knew that his only defense against a firearm would be a firearm of his own.

We have traditionally encouraged women and disadvantaged men to be prudent and equalize their handicap with a firearm, but until this student enlightened me, I had never considered the dangers of being big and strong.   This leads to the second topic that often comes up in class.  When do you plan to carry?  Many students admit that they are not willing to make the commitment to carrying daily, but just as many will state they plan to carry when they go to dangerous places.  One of our most important sections in class is about conflict resolution.  One of the key principals we teach in this section is that a conflict avoided is a conflict won.  To this end, we advise avoiding dangerous places which would suggest that these people would never carry if they follow our advice.

Unfortunately there is no map of the dangerous places and even if there was, I seriously doubt the criminals would abide by the boundaries of the map.  Criminals understand that the element of surprise always works in their favor so to truly avoid being a victim you need to adopt the mindset of preparing for WHEN you get attacked rather than IF you get attacked. As Major General James Mattis once said, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”  This advice may sounds a little over the top, but it does instill preparedness and awareness.  Ultimately, being prepared and aware is the root of avoiding being a victim so as you sharpen your skills and make changes in your life to be safer, these need to be your fundamental basis.

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