There is a saying that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I believe that this is true in many different facets of life. It could mean having a medical kit inside of your vehicle. It could mean having a fire extinguisher inside of your home. I mostly think of this when incorporating a firearm into your daily routine. In this blog post, I will talk about the many different aspects of the prepared mindset. I will preface this by saying that you are NOT or should be NOT looking for a gunfight while lawfully armed in public. The entire reason that I carry a gun daily is to ensure that I get to go home. People carry guns for different reasons, I carry one for my personal protection and the protection of others. Having the proper mindset is critical, it could mean the difference between life and death. Another important part is how a mistake could lead to incarceration. The majority of Americans who carry a gun for self-defense are law-abiding. Some studies have shown that concealed carriers are the most law-abiding part of society. They commit less crime than off-duty law enforcement. If this is you, THANK YOU!! Keep up the good work, you are part of the solution.

When it comes to developing a prepared mindset, training is extremely important. We cover this heavily in our Oregon and Utah Concealed Carry classes. We hope that the students leave with all of the information that they need to start this journey. I always consider it a journey rather than a destination. As society changes, as technology improves. So will all of us, hopefully. It is important to never stop learning and to continue to grow. Being a prepared citizen is empowering. When you are prepared, there isn’t a situation that you cannot handle. We always want to be an asset to society, not a liability. Part of the preparation comes down to always being habitual with your actions. What I mean by this is that you do the same thing every day. Part of what I do daily is an acronym, POGO. Pants on, gun on! Once dressed and ready to leave I can leave confidently knowing that I am prepared to be in public. Being prepared is so much more than carrying a gun though. You have to be aware of your surroundings and know how to exit the building if there is ever an emergency type of situation. One thing that is important to remember is that 94% of all mass killings happen in Gun Free Zones (GFZ.) Gun Free Zones are killers and I highly encourage you to carry into those locations, where allowed by law. In Oregon, private businesses CAN restrict your ability to carry into their locations, but it is policy and not the law! Carry your gun into those locations!!

In my daily routine, I incorporate my firearm, a blade, a flashlight, basic medical, and a few spare magazines. This is all held securely on my person on a Kore Essentials belt and my gun is retained inside of a Phlster Floodlight 2 IWB holster. I have been running this setup for several years now and trust my life with it. I do carry a full-size Glock 17 handgun. Not everyone will carry a gun this large, but I chose this size for its capability. It holds a lot of bullets and has a red dot and weapon-mounted light on it. I had to adjust my clothing to properly conceal it but am happy that I made the change. Basic medical is also part of the prepared mindset. Statistically, I am more likely to need a tourniquet than my firearm on any given day. It could be a car wreck or other type of casualty event in which I might need to render aid until the first responders arrive. Being prepared for anything is an asset. It depends on where I am going and what I am doing affects the level of preparedness that I incorporate. I do realize that my handgun is not the end all be all. There are times that I do incorporate an AR15 into my daily routine. When I travel I do bring extra gear. Security is important though, if you are going to incorporate a rifle, keep it hidden and secure at all times. Never leave a gun in your vehicle, period. Your vehicle is NOT a gun safe. This is the fastest way to arm criminals and is against the law!

Another part of the prepared mindset is how you set up your home. Your home is your castle, what are you doing to set your home up for defense? This can take a few different forms. Do you have water stored? Do you have 3-6 months of canned food stored? Do you have enough toilet paper? The toilet paper one is a crazy one but, it was wild to watch how people reacted to the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. Do you have enough ammo? Do you have a quality handgun, that can be concealed or used to defend your family? Do you have a semi-automatic AR15-style rifle and a pump action shotgun? These are all important components to helping secure your home. Standard capacity 30-round magazines are a must as well. Don’t ever let the government tell you that you have to have an arbitrary limit to be able to defend yourself. The criminal will have 30!! If you have all of this, it is a good baseline for being prepared. I also have a network of trusted people who share this mindset. As society continues to devolve preparedness and being free from governmental interference will be an asset to your family. The government is not your friend, they are not your caretaker. Being independent and self-reliant is the only true sign of liberty.

In closing, if you “stay ready, then you don’t have to get ready!” Adjusting your mindset and your lifestyle to one of being prepared will help you live closer to the way our founding fathers intended for you to live. It is not going to be ever any safer, the cops are not coming, and you are on your own. Do you have what it takes to thrive? Developing that prepared mindset is critical for your safety. Until next time. Be Safe!