We are currently living in uncertain times. The economy is slowing, inflation is out of control, and a part of society feels like they are above the law. This is in part because of a few things that are working against us, the law-abiding gun owners. We have law enforcement at capacity, all while being understaffed. Crime is rampant. Drug abuse in public is common. Have you ever thought about what this all means for you and your family? Well, unfortunately, it could eventually lead to a matter of life or death. This might seem outlandish for some but for others, this could be a reality. One of the most important parts of this equation is the preparation that is involved. Many, in society today carry a firearm concealed while in public for their personal protection. These responsible citizens are often demonized by those who would rather trust their safety to the government than take personal responsibility for their safety. While we understand that it can be an intimidating situation, training can help you feel more comfortable and understand the big picture when it comes to concealed carry.

When I talk about concealed is concealed. What I mean by that, is that you incorporate a gun in your daily routine. It is concealed so no one can see it. It truly is a lifestyle change. You have to modify your behavior. I find myself, when in public, that there are situations that I avoid. The best “gunfight” that you can ever get in is the one that you can avoid, period! Those who have chosen to carry a gun in public for defensive purposes should know that a Concealed Handgun License is not a permit to “kill.” It only allows you the opportunity to conceal a firearm in certain areas for defensive purposes only! I don’t put myself in certain situations while in public because how if the situation escalates, the likelihood of me needing to go to my firearm goes up dramatically. I carry a gun to mitigate risk, part of that is the situational awareness I need to avoid conflict. There could be a time when I could not avoid a threat and having the ability and capability will be important.

Handgun with optical sight and safety check indicator.Part of my daily routine includes carrying as big of a firearm as I can comfortably conceal. A larger framed firearm will be easier to grip, control, and shoot effectively. This will help the rounds go where they intend. A larger framed firearm will also contain more magazine capacity. I would rather always have too many bullets, than not enough. Especially if my life was in danger. Life is expensive and bullets are cheap, comparably. As you become more proficient as a concealed carrier your gear will change. You will figure out what works and what doesn’t. You will make changes to your EDC (everyday carry.) My EDC consists of a quality belt, holster, firearm, extra magazines, flashlight, blade, and a TQ. Every piece of kit serves a purpose and a function. Depending on where I am going is what I am bringing with me. If I go into an urban environment like Portland, I bring more than I would if I were going to a local grocery store. It all comes down to your comfort. What I do may not work for you. That is ok! The whole point is to make the habit habitual. It is better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have one.

A few things that are important to remember are the whole point of concealed carry is that no one knows that you are potentially armed. I try to not wear gun-type shirts. It is not because I am ashamed. Truthfully, I am a loud and proud gun owner. I just choose to dress covertly to not draw attention to myself, not out of fear. I just try to limit my exposure to potential conflict. That being said, posture is an important component of concealed carry. I put out a vibe, mostly that I am not approachable, possibly guarded. I am a friendly person, I just choose to be left alone. When I am in public, I am personable but go into with a plan. I get what I need and I get out. I always know where the egress points are or exits, just in case. Sometimes a good plan could help you when a panic sets in. The benefit of training is that I know how my body is going to react in a crisis. Your adrenaline will dump and you will most likely lose your fine motor skills. Your gross motor skills will have to take over. This is where training will pay dividends.

It all starts with that first Concealed Handgun License class. This is a class that we offer frequently. In this class, we talk about common guns for concealed carry, holster selection, and all applicable laws for Oregon. This class will help prepare you for the important parts of incorporating firearms for self-defense. Rome wasn’t built in a day, this process will take some time. It will maybe take you getting out of your comfort zone for a short time to grow as a person. I promise you that it will be a liberating experience. I feel so free when I’m in public. I know that I will be not subjected to the will of a criminal because I can say NO! That is true freedom, my friends. I’m not advocating any sort of violence here, I’m simply stating that all responsibly armed citizens must protect themselves or others. We must all adhere to all local, state, and federal laws. You can a complete class schedule on our calendar. Get signed up, you won’t regret it. Until next time. Be safe!!