The process of becoming someone who regularly carries a firearm is fairly simple - buy a gun, learn how to use it, and (depending on your state) get a permit to carry.
While those are the basic steps, there's another aspect to concealed carry that a lot of people don't think about right away. Developing the right mindset for carrying is just as important as learning to be proficient with your firearm, and it's best to start down this road at the same time or before you start carrying a gun.
What does having the right mindset mean? It means really thinking through what it means to carry a gun and adjusting your mindset to match the fact that you may have to use your firearm to save your life. These are some of the things to consider that will help you develop the right mindset for concealed carry:
Understand Local, State, and Federal Laws
If you are regularly carrying a firearm, you need to know, and more importantly, understand the laws apply to you. This is not an optional step and it means studying those laws and perhaps even reading up on some cases to see how the laws were applied in a court of law. We understand that there are quite a few laws that seem confusing or even contradict other laws, and that makes it even more important to have more than a passing knowledge of the laws that will potentially come into play if you ever use your firearm in a self-defense situation.
If it sounds like a lot of work, it might be for a short period of time. It may even seem like you're back in school at times. The good news is there are sources that can help you get the information you need to know, we recommend starting at handgunlaw.us to find information about your specific state.d
Make Practice and Training a Top Priority
To help shift your mindset, take a very honest look at your skills. Are you able to draw, fire, and accurately place a shot in 2 seconds or less? Can you place your shots accurately at distances between 5 and 25 yards? Once you find the areas you need to improve, create a training plan and start working on the skills that directly relate to carrying concealed. After you feel comfortable with your competency, work on expanding your skills in other areas. Those who have a concealed carry mindset understand that you're never done training - there's always something you can improve.
Avoid the Fight Until You Can't
Have you ever heard the saying "you always win the fight that didn't happen?" Regardless of your skills and abilities, it's best to avoid any situation that's escalating - if you have an out, take it. Using your firearm should always be the last resort and you need to make sure there are no other options are available before making that decision that will likely change your life.
Once you've made the decision to fight, be prepared to do whatever it takes to prevail and to survive. The will to survive is an important part of mindset and something to be consciously thought through and worked on, regardless of who the assailant is (young, old, male, female etc).
The most important thing in making the decision to fight is the willingness to do whatever it takes to stop the threat and ensure your survival.
It's not necessary to wait to start carrying until you've fully developed the right mindset, but it's important to make it part of your journey. When you're deciding if you want to carry concealed, start working on your mindset and you'll develop the mental skills (along with the physical skills) before you know it!