We have the human right to defend ourselves. Let’s say you have met the all the legal requirements to carry a firearm in public. You’ve joined ranks with 12 million other US citizens who carry. Let’s discuss the next steps. What is morally required of you to be a responsible gun owner now that you have your permit?
Since concealed carry is a right, I’m not advocating for stricter legal requirements. I want you to carry. I’m asking you to think about the practical responsibility you assume. What comes next after you have the government permission slip?
Many states require a simple course in basic firearms safety to receive your license. That means you were told how to safely handle a gun.. at least once. I hope you remember those rules. I want you practice them because firearms handling is a perishable skill rather than an abstract idea. Being safe with a firearm is a matter of developing safe habits.
There are additional skills you should develop that go beyond safe handling of a firearm. That doesn’t mean that you ignore or “outgrow” the safety rules. It means there are skills you need to effectively defend yourself and those you love. I’m not saying this as some high speed ninja-competitor, but rather as an old, slow, self-defense dinosaur. Here are a few of the skills you need, now that you carry concealed.
You need to be able to quickly and safely present your firearm from a concealed holster. You don’t have to be up to competition standards, but you have to develop your skills so you can smoothly present a firearm without thinking. You need to present from concealment even if you often carry off-body in a purse or bag. Presenting from concealment is a very different activity than methodically shooting a gun from a bench at a shooting range.
You need professional training.
A professional instructor explains and demonstrates presenting a loaded firearm from concealment. The instructor watches as you demonstrate the skill. The instructor gives you feedback before you practice on your own. Learning is easy IF you are willing to be corrected and learn from your mistakes. “Presentation” is neither required for most carry licenses, nor should it be. Then again, that license in your pocket isn’t much good if you can’t safely and quickly present a loaded gun.
Speed or Accuracy, or a Little of Both-
Experience shows that physical attacks happen quickly. Most of us can shoot quickly or accurately, but not both at the same time. Some shooting exercises push you to shoot accurately. Others, train you to shoot fast. Developing your skills is only part of the purpose of these exercises. More importantly, they should help you recognize when accuracy is paramount or when speed is most important. Your answer in a particular situation might be different than mine.
Shooting in Close-Contact and on the Move-
Most self-defense incidents occur at a distance of under three yards and take less than three seconds. That is far different from the target shooting we’re used to. We should be moving as we draw. If the distance is close enough, we should not need to align the sights of our handgun for the first close-in shots. We didn’t learn about close-contact shooting in our concealed carry classes. But this is the typical situation we’re likely to see in a self-defense situation.
Shoot Under Pressure-
Using lethal force for self-defense will be stressful. Stress also makes fools of us all. We can learn to handle measured amounts of stress as we shoot. Forget the Hollywood or military idea of training with an instructor yelling at you. At first the stress may be as simple as shooting while an instructor watches your performance. Later, it will involve shooting under the pressure of a clock to record your time.
Move, Shoot, and Look Around-
Criminals don’t want a fair fight. They don’t fight one on one. The average number of attackers is 2.3 That means we have to look for the other guys after we present a firearm. It is hard to take our eyes off a threat. That is why we practice moving to a safer position and looking around. You have to look behind you without waving a gun around.
Make Simple Compromises and Shoot-
We don’t always get the fight we want, but we have to meet the challenges we’re given. We have to learn to shoot the gun one handed because we might be holding onto a loved one with our other hand. We might not have time to put a child into a safe place before we defend them. Are we suddenly disarmed because we picked up a baby?
We normally practice shooting while we stand upright, but we’d really rather be crouched behind a concrete column or kneeling behind a planter. We are likely to be attacked at night so it is important to learn how to hold and use a flashlight while we’re also holding our gun. The advantage of these defensive positions might be enough to end the fight before it begins, so it is important to learn and practice them.
These are a few of the skills you want to have now that you have a license to carry concealed. None of these skills take great athletic strength or speed. All of them require practice. They are easy to learn from a good course. One of the best things about taking a training courses is meeting other responsible firearms owners who take training and practice.
Don’t you want to be one of them?
Democrats urge Obama to adopt more Clinton gun control after the terrorists attacks in France.. because gun control worked so well in France. That is why we need mandatory firearms registration here in the US.
Any excuse will do for the anti-rights gun-prohibitionists.
I think we scare the elites. Today, average folks like us can get our news from a thousand different sources. Unfiltered by the mainstream media, we witness the growing corruption between government and crony businessmen. We see the growing gap between what the mainstream news tells us and what we see with our own eyes. We continue to live our own lives despite that government collusion and media corruption. We can’t be bought. For the most part, we can’t be pushed around. Our independence frightens the dishonest political and business elites. They want us disarmed. They want us disarmed for their benefit, not for ours.
The elite media and Democrat politicians have been working on disarming us for a while. First, they distorted the news stories about gun owners. When that didn’t change public opinion, the elites lied to us. That is why the news about armed self-defense seems so contradictory to the real world we see around us every day.
At first the media used a propaganda campaign of selective silence. The media covered the rare stories where a crazy murderer killed innocent people. Millions of us watched that story as it played for hour after hour and day after day. In contrast, only a few thousand people saw the many stories where a local shopkeeper defended himself and his customers with a gun. That media bias left us thinking that our guns were only used to kill innocent people.
The gun-ban crowd called for more gun laws after each tragic incident of public violence. We were told we would finally be safe if the anti-gun politicians pass one more law. We already have 23 thousand laws regulating gun owners, and our experience says we are not safe from violent criminals. In short, they lie. They lie that criminals and crazies obey gun laws.
You probably saw the evidence for yourself if your friends or your family were victims of crime. We are told that the police will protect us, but the police arrived long after the thugs were gone. Maybe that was when you began to notice the few local news stories that talk about citizens using guns for self-defense. If you are like me, then those news stories caused you to question the media’s distorted perspective on the armed citizen. The stories of violence in the mainstream media stopped making sense to me.
Time and again, we saw public violence in a location that was called a “gun-free zone”. Rather than make us safer, these “gun-free zones” became a feeding ground for thieves and crazy killers. Democrat politicians said the solution was to create more and bigger “gun-free zones”. That answer might satisfy the mainstream media, but record numbers of us decided to buy a gun. We got our carry license rather than depend on a plastic sign that says “no guns allowed”.
We saw their gun control fail. We saw the highest rates of violent crime in our Democrat cities, the same cities with the strictest regulations on honest firearms owners. Their gun control failed so the anti-gun elites had to invent their own facts.
Anti-gun billionaires paid university professors to write reports. They said you should be disarmed for your own good. As an example, the professors claimed there is an explosion of violent crime with a gun in schools. To make that claim, they had to include any crime within the 1000 foot “gun-free zone” around any school. That covers kindergarten through college, and they also added in pre-schools and daycare centers. Today, those “gun-free zones” covere most of our major cities. The professors counted an old man’s suicide attempt as a school attack if it happened somewhere in that gun-free zone.
Violent crime has fallen according to the FBI, but the gun-prohibitionists invented new definitions to show increased violence at schools. They lied to us. Again, our experience doesn’t match what we see on the news.
The anti-rights billionaires also funded departments of public health at major universities. These paid academics said guns are a public danger. They had to torture the data to reach that conclusion. Even with those hired experts, the gun prohibitionists couldn’t buy all the people all the time. The government’s own Center for Disease Control shows that accidental gun deaths have continued to fall even while gun ownership has soared.
The anti-gun billionaires hired their own public relations firm. They created an entire news organization to publicize their purchased research. That is particularly important since it lets the mainstream media evade responsibility when the anti-gun news report is later discredited.
The news media is supposed to protect democracy by honestly reporting news. Since the media is so biased, we have to find the facts for ourselves. Be skeptical of the media when their reports don’t match what you observe with your own eyes. The media is for sale, and they slant the news.. particularly against gun owners.
Many dead after Muslims attack western hotel in Africa. Don’t worry. Hillary Clinton said we are not at war with Islam. (But Islam is at war with us.)
Security forces have reportedly begun a counterassault on a hotel in Bamako, Mali, where gunmen took dozens of hostages and killed at least three people Friday. Source: Mali hotel attack: Gunmen take hostages at Radisson Blu in Bamako – CNN.com
Here is a clue for you budding social scientists- The answer you get depends on the question you ask. There are many ways to determine gun ownership in the United States. Each method involves assumptions. Each gives a different answer.
We could take a poll where we ask a few people if they own guns. Next we extrapolate our findings to the entire population. Based on that raw data from a recent general social survey, gun ownership might have fallen. We assume the poll accurately sampled gun owners. We also assume people answered the poll honestly. We can test that assumption by taking another poll where we ask the respondents if they would tell us the truth about owning a gun. It turns out that many of us won’t tell strangers about owning a gun. There are good reasons to provide false answers saying we own a gun when we don’t, and to say we don’t own a gun when we do. We don’t know how those biased answers changed with time. Are we more trusting or less trusting than we used to be?
A second way to estimate gun ownership is to look at the government forms that must be filled out when a gun is sold through a gun store. Most gun owners submit a background check form when they transfer a gun. We can look at the number of background checks each month and judge trends. That assumes that the fraction of new gun owners who go through a background check is consistent over time. Some firearms transfers do not require a background check in some states. Those transfers can include exchanges inside a family, and exchanges from person to person if the buyer and seller have already passed a background check and have their concealed carry license. We see a growing number of background checks conducted each month. There will probably be 2 million background checks next month. That implies more of us own guns than ever before.
The anti-rights groups who want to restrict gun ownership say the opposite. They say those two million guns all went to a declining number of gun owners.
It turns out we can test that claim too. Some states require extensive records each time a gun is sold. We see that the number of gun owners has increased sharply in those states. My colleague Dean Weingarten collected data from gun control states like Massachusetts and Illinois. In Massachusetts, the number of gun owners increased 66% in the last five years; In Illinois, the number has increased about 75%, from a little over 1 million in 2010, to 1.8 million in 2015. That data says more of us own guns than ever before.
Illinois and Massachusetts are states where gun ownership is heavily regulated and where the gun culture is actively suppressed. I assume gun ownership in the rest of the United States has grown even faster. We see more women and more minorities owning guns. We also see a growing number of urban gun owners. In short, we see more gun owners in every segment of society. That is a good thing.
I looked at this article about the strength of the French and British police force. France can put 278 thousand armed police on the street in an hour. That sounds like a lot until you realize that France has a population of 66 million. That is about one armed policeman per 200 people.
The numbers in Britain are one in a thousand.
For comparison, I looked at some of the larger states in the US. I combined them to a population of 71 million. What surprised me is that they had 3.2 million citizens licensed to carry a concealed firearm. That means about one armed person in 20 are on the street right now in the US. That is in addition to armed law enforcement. That means a terrorist is 50 times more likely to meet an armed victim in the US than in England.. except if the terrorists attacks a “gun-free zone.”
That raises two questions.
Would you rather be in Texas or in England if there were a terrorist attack?
If there were an attack on US soil, why should we disarm and become like Europe?
As I watched the news, I saw a lot of sympathy thrown at France after the terrorist attacks. I don’t believe the newscasters wearing their long faces. I see too many people who say one thing when there is fresh blood on the floor, but who really side with the jihadis the rest of the time. Whose side are you on?
-You’re for the terrorists if you repeat the lie that Islam is a religion of peace. Islam is a fundamentalist religion of conquest. It has bloody borders all around the world. I’m sorry if that fact bursts your happy rainbow view of the world.
-You are for the terrorists if you said jihad is caused by man made global warming.
-You are for the jihadis if you think the US should welcome muslim immigrants, but reject christian immigrants.
-Jihadis are funded by national governments. It shouldn’t surprise you that supporting those governments also supports the jihadis. I am referring to governments like Iran and Saudi Arabia. I’m sorry if that interrupts your previously scheduled handouts coming from American politicians.
-You’re for the jihadis if you say that fundamentalist Iran has the same values as the United States. Iran might have the same values as President Obama, but that is not the same thing as having the same values as the American people.
-You’re for the jihadis if you’re against every activity that ensures our physical security here in the United States. You can’t hate jihadis if you also hate the border patrol, hate immigration control, hate the police and hate armed self-defense. All borders matter, just like all lives.
-You are for the jihadis when you ignore the war on western governments by Islam. Sorry, but they have declared war on us. It is that simple. No one ever said liberty was cheap or convenient.
-You’re for the terrorists if you want a weak US military. Jihadis want us dead because our government does not dictate we follow sharia and islam here in the US. The jihadis and their supporters need to die until they see the futility of this war. The US military is the best tool for the job.
Let us be clear, most of the people we see in the news are actually for the jihadis. They mouth sympathetic apologies after showing French massacres but they do nothing to stop murdering Muslim jihadis. These political apologists are not for France or the free world. They are for themselves.
Meanwhile, President Obama is busy studying the situation to be sure who could be behind the attacks in France.
You and I know that elections have consequences.. like the repeated murders of western christians by jihadi terrorists.
A tip of the hat to Dr Michael Hurd