The smells and the feeling of fall is in the air. I love this time of year, not because of pumpkin spice, but because of heavier clothing and full size guns. In the summer our clothing is lighter. I find myself carrying a smaller, less capable handgun. They are easier to conceal but, lack magazine capacity and barrel length. I find myself carrying a RDS(red dot sight) equipped Glock 48 in the summer. I typically have 3 mags with it, which equals 31 rounds of 9mm. I use a Phlster Pro series IWB holster. It is very comfortable and concealable. As the seasons change and the clothing gets heavier I switch to a larger framed handgun. I use either a Glock 19 IWB or a Glock 17 OWB. This increases my magazine capacity and my effective range. Gun free zones are a killer and it’s important to be armed in these situations where it is allowed by law. There was a law that just went into effect, here in Oregon, that makes it more challenging for concealed carriers. Make sure that you keep up to date with the current changes in law. It’s important to note that the new law will only effect the law abiding, there is no criminal penalties for actual criminals.

When I switch from the smaller handgun to the larger frame. The holster, belt, and clothing act like a system. They all work together to ensure proper concealment which helps me be more covert in public. My being armed in public is MY choice and none of anyones business but my own. I choose to be armed for my safety and the safety of others. Law enforcement is overwhelmed and not always readily accessible. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our families, not theirs. Being prepared and properly equipped is key. While I’m not a fan of pumpkin spiced lattes, I am a fan of changing my tactics with the seasons. As is it gets darker earlier we have to be able to set ourselves up for success. On any given day, when I’m out in public. I have a high quality handgun, a couple of magazines, a blade, a flashlight, and a tourniquet. This is all kept on my person and within easy reach. I would normally have everything set up on the side of my body that the accessories will be needed. Right side has my gun and my blade. On my left side I keep, a spare magazine, a Surefire Stiletto Pro flashlight, and a Cat 7 TQ. My holster is held securely with a Kore Essentials ratcheting belt. I really like this set up because I can easily adjust the tension of the belt. This helps keep my handgun secure and discretely close to my body. This ensures that I don’t “print.” Printing is when the casual observer can see the outline of my handgun though my clothing. I failed as a concealed carrier if this were to happen. I use a Phlster Summit OWB to secure my handgun. All in all this is one of the best setups that I have used in all of my years as a concealed carrier and as an instructor.

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My favorite types of clothing are hoodies, or other longer styled shirts with a Northface down vest. It keeps me warm and breaks up my handgun well. Plus all of the pockets help me keep extra necessities close and within reach. My activities and where I go dictate the gear that I have with me. I normally have a AR pistol, mags, and medical kits within reach in my vehicle as well. This is all part of the process of being a prepared citizen. My handgun would give me the opportunity to get to my AR in an emergency situation. I also have a plate carrier with level 4 ceramic plates with me as well. Some might think all of this is overkill, others think very similarly to myself Our society is ever evolving, crime rates are soaring across the country and we are all put in a vulnerable situation. It is time to think about what you do daily that potentially make you a target. Situational awareness is key to avoiding potential violent encounters. A violent encounter increases the probability that you will need to use your firearm in a defensive manner. Noticing a potential threat and getting out of the situation is key to deescalating a violent attack. Sometimes you won’t be able to avoid it, so know how to deploy your “tool” of last resort in your defense. It’s scary to think about taking someones life in defense of your own, but is a serious question that you need to ask yourself. Male bravado typically says “yes” I can do it, without necessarily understanding the ramifications of your actions and how they can effect your family.
There will most likely be two battles in the aftermath of a defensive shooting. One will be mental, the second, most likely will be legal. Just because you believed you acted in lawful self defense, doesn’t mean you will be exonerated in a court of law. There is concealed carry insurance available that will help with liability and legal fees. It might be a good idea to check into. I don’t endorse it, I have it. I hope to never have to use it, but like my firearms. They are there if I need them. So in closing as the weather changes so can your carry options. Whatever that you decide on, train with it and always have it on you when in public. The life you may save might just be your own. Until next time. Be safe!