Mark Walters, host of Armed American Radio, says if you are going to carry “Carry on, carry often, and carry everywhere!” If you have made the decision to conceal carry, do you have an EDC (Every Day Carry) Kit prepared and ready to go? If you're wondering what should be in your Kit, here is some advice from Kevin Michalowski, editor of Concealed Carry magazine:
• Firearm of your choice
• A holster for your firearm
• Spare ammo so you can shoot repeatedly to stop an attacker; your goal is not to kill them but to stop their aggressive actions so you can get away. It has been proven that it may take 3 or 4 or 5 or even more shots to stop an attacker, especially someone jacked up on drugs. And you could be facing multiple attackers, too
• Alternative weapon such as pepper spray that will give you some distance and allow you to get away; expect some over-spray and never use in a crowded room
• High intensity pocket flashlight can take away a would-be attacker's element of surprise if you spot them first and shine a light in their direction
• First aid kit for a gunshot wound in case you or a loved one gets shot
• Cell phone to call 911 and get law enforcement and/or medical help coming your way in an emergency
Many people disagree about having an EDC. Some say that carrying all these things shows your intent to be aggressive. For example, if you shoot an attacker and must later face a judge and jury for your actions, will having had these items make YOU appear the aggressor? Will it seem you left the house that day "looking for a fight" or wanting to use lethal force? Will the jury consider the fact that you had less than lethal options on your person that you could have used instead of a firearm?
Some experts say that pepper spray gives a huge false sense of security when dealing with bad guys intent on causing you bodily harm or worse. Some insist pepper spray should only be used by those who are trained to use it properly. An alternative to pepper spray might be a small knife.
Probably the best advice anyone can give regardless if you are carrying or not is to be aware of your surroundings. Stay alert. Next best piece of advice is to be trained. Learn how to properly use what you carry, or do not carry it, firearm included.
Did you know that any shooting incident in which a firearm was discharged at a school infrastructure, including incidents of shootings on a school bus, is tallied as a "school shooting" even though all circumstances are not the same? Whether on the campuses of K-12 public schools or private schools, or colleges and universities, and even if the incident is a person who intentionally shot him or herself in a suicide or suicide attempt, or no one was injured at all, all of these occurrences are classified as "school shootings." When lumped together, it appears as if there is a tremendous number of tragedies.
The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Delaware Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed 10 children. There were several reported school shootings in each decade of the 1800s between 1850 and 1890, most were disgruntled students (and a few parents) killing the teachers. Interestingly, there were very seldom reports of mass or multiple school shootings during the first three decades of the 20th century— these incidents were again usually more one-on-one between a teacher and a student, and many were outright accidents; the unfortunate and deadly result of children playing with guns or accidental misfires.
The mid- to late-1970s is considered the second most violent period in U.S. school history. There were about two dozen shootings, including the Kent State University incident in Ohio when Armed National Guard Soldiers opened fire on unarmed students who were protesting the Vietnam War. Four people were killed on that college campus that day— May 4, 1970. In the 1980s, a few school shootings were related to sports— a student being kicked off a team for one reason or another, or an altercation during a game. In the 1990s, the number of incidents increased, as did the number of victims involved in an individual shooting. (source: wikipedia.org)
Some of the biggest news stories of the 21st century have been related to school shootings. In February 2000 at Buell Elementary School in Flint, Michigan, 6-year-old Dedrick Owens, the youngest school shooter ever, shot and killed a classmate. So far, in the first 14 years of the 21st century, 195 deaths and many more injuries have occurred as a result of school shootings. The very latest incidents both occurred this month. On June 5, three people were shot inside a hallway in Seattle Pacific University in Washington. One student died. The gunman was tackled by a student as he was reloading his shotgun, and arrested at the scene. The suspected shooter is identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra. Five days later in Troutdale, Oregon, shots were fired at Reynolds High School. A 14-year-old freshman, Emilio Hoffman, was killed, and a physical education teacher was injured. The gunman, 15-year-old Jared Padgett, exchanged gunfire with police officers and then Padgett committed suicide.
When researching this topic, you'll find that most school shooting incidents end with the suspects committing suicide. Most kill themselves on school property immediately after killing or injuring others, but a few perpetrators that have been arrested and sent to prison took their own lives while in jail.
When can you use deadly force to protect yourself? What constitutes legitimate self defense? What happens when a husband has a Concealed Carry Permit but it is the wife ends who uses a firearm inside the home to protect herself and the kids? Ask any number of people and you are likely to get a wide variety of answers. But many will just be guesses. The truth is, the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is the leading authority on your rights and responsibilities as an armed American. Their mission is to educate, train, equip, and insure its members.
A membership in the USCAA offers many, many benefits including:
Whether you've been carrying a gun for years or you're just thinking about it, the USCCA offers a 100% risk-free, Bulletproof Guarantee. Go ahead— confidently activate your membership today and take a closer look at what true peace of mind looks like.
If you live in states such as Arizona, Vermont, Alaska, and parts of Wyoming where you don't need a permit, you just carry a gun, and you don't want to travel outside your state with your firearm, you probably don't pay much attention to reciprocity laws. For the rest of us, however, it's good to know that Republican senators are supporting legislation that would allow people with state-issued permits for concealed weapons to use the permits in other states with concealed-carry laws.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2014, introduced Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, would require states to respect other states' permits much in the way each state respects the drivers' licenses of those who are not residents. "Second Amendment rights shouldn't stop at the state line," said Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, of Mississippi, a co-sponsor of the legislation. "It makes sense to allow law-abiding gun owners to take their concealed-permit privileges with them to states that also allow concealed-carry permits."
Right now, there is such a patchwork of laws across state lines and it's very frustrating and time consuming to keep them all straight. For example, if you live in Wisconsin but drive to Tennessee with your firearm, you are committing a felony by traveling through Illinois with your gun. This just seems plain silly. Why should anyone have to give up their rights to self-defense simply by driving through another state?
Nationwide, an estimated 8 million to 10 million citizens legally carry guns, a jump from about 20 years ago, when the figure was less than 1 million. As the number of people seeking concealed-carry permits continues to rise across the states, lawmakers are seeking a national standard that is enforced much like drivers' license laws. Some groups oppose such national measures. It's not that they wouldn't love for concealed-weapons permits to have reciprocity in all states, but some fear that if the federal government enters this jurisdiction, it may well be able to regulate this jurisdiction and prescribe regulations on people who have a permit, forcing such a tremendous amount of training or liability insurance and all kinds of other pains and horrors. Good point.
By and large, the vast majority of people who apply for a concealed-carry permit and who are carrying a firearm legally are not the people who are going to be committing crimes with a firearm— whether in the state where they live or a state they would drive to or through. The aim of responsible Americans who own guns is to level the playing field. In the unlikely event that they are attacked, they can meet force with force.
Have you ever left your car door or the front door to your house unlocked, even for a brief time, because you trusted the security of your small town? Have you ever been so engrossed in watching your kids at the park that you never even saw that guy sitting on the nearby bench? What about when you've had to run into the convenience store for a quick minute and never focused on anything except where to grab the milk or diapers?
Everyone knows that "bad" people can be found everywhere—big cities and small towns. We all know that bad things can and do happen unexpectedly, even to good people. And we know that it's nearly impossibly to be on guard 365 days a year. But the absolute biggest mistake we can make is thinking that the things we read in the paper and the things we see on the news won't happen to us. The the six most dangerous words on the planet just might be: It will never happen to ME.
It's understandable that we all would rather give in to a false sense of security that sometimes lulls us, instead of keeping in mind that bad things can and do happen. And they can happen to YOU. But as responsibly armed Americans, we must train ourselves to adopt the combat mindset, to ignore the little voice in our head that tells us it's okay to leave our guns at home. A wise man once said, "There is no safety in denial."
Don't wait for a wake-up call―or worse―to shake you out of your comfort zone. Don't let down your guard. Instead of thinking it will never happen to me, instead think "It might happen to me. And if it does, I'll be ready!" Carrying a concealed weapon is one of the easiest ways to change the equation―to be prepared for the moment someone threatens you or the ones you love
Since the tragedies took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (December 2012) and at Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado (July 2012), there has been a significant increase in the number of concealed carry permit applications. Although you often don’t hear about these types of increases until a major event occurs, such bumps in the number of gun sales, background checks and applications for concealed carry permits have been on the rise for years. Before Barack Obama was elected in 2008, there was a strong rise in gun sales simply due to the fear that new gun legislation would be passed during his presidency.
Following major mass shooting incidents, such as Sandy Hook, the Virginia Tech Massacre (April 2007), Columbine High School (April 1999 in Columbine, Colorado) gun sales have increased. It would seem that the emotional reaction towards purchasing guns and obtaining concealed carry permits during these tragic times reflects the tendency of Americans to be quite protective of their 2nd Amendment rights. It appears that the right to bear arms is important, but perhaps not acted upon until there is a perceived threat to limit its scope. These rises have occurred despite some cities and states instituting new gun control legislation.
While the Second Amendment guarantees the rights of citizens to protect themselves with the use of firearms, it has not stopped many cities and states from trying to pass more legislation to restrict the ability of citizens to buy weapons. In fact, the reaction against such legislation in Colorado has been quite strong and more people are banding together to help protect their Constitutional rights to carry legal firearms. The reaction has not been limited to Colorado, as other states also have seen a rise in the purchase of legal firearms.
Today, many thousands of law-abiding citizens have concealed carry permits and carry a firearm for their personal protection. Rules and regulation vary by state, but in order to get a concealed carry permit anywhere, a thorough background check is completed. Most violent incidents occur without immediate police protection around, so having a weapon for self-defense can save a life or prevent a bad situation from escalating. Deciding to conceal carry is a very personal choice. Whether it’s having a weapon in your holster at all times to defend yourself or your loved ones if need be, or you just want the ability to carry a firearm as guaranteed by the Constitution, more and more men and women are opting to apply for a concealed carry permit. To view each state’s concealed weapons permit information click here.
The other day a friend called me to ask for some pointers on how to improve his shooting accuracy.
“That depends,” I told him. “What kind of gun will you be shooting?”
“A handgun,” he responded.
“It still depends. Will it be for target practice or tactical? Drawn from a concealed carry holster or while on the move? Are you using a sight or a laser?”
The point I was making is that there are so many variables when it comes to shooting that each situation is different.
1. Take a deep breath. This will be especially handy if you’ve been running or on the move. Take a deep breath to calm yourself. At the bottom of your exhale, hold your breath—only for a second— and take the shot. If you wait too long, you’ll begin to wobble. Practice doing this a few times to get a feel for the rhythm of your breathing.
2. Steady as she goes. Keeping your gun steady is a must. Depending on the situation and location, such being out in the field, you can use a tree branch or rock if they are available. Our lean against a wall or doorframe if inside a building.
3. Stay focused. Focus on the front sight. The human eye isn’t capable of focusing both near and far at the same time so your best bet is to line up the sights with your target but keep a keen eye on the front sight.
4. Leave a fingerprint. Aim your index finger at this article right now and pull it like a trigger. Do you see how it angles first to the left and then to the right if you are right handed? Using the pad of your finger and gently drawing the trigger straight back reduces movement.
5. The element of surprise. DON’T anticipate the kick. Let the gunshot surprise you. Hand your buddy a gun with three rounds in it and tell him you’ve loaded five. Watch to see how much he flinches on the fourth shot. This takes practice but will tremendously improve your accuracy .
There are many other shooting tips, but nothing takes the place of practice. Practice these tips until they are part of your normal shooting routine, and always handle firearms safely.