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The Seven Secrets Of Concealed Carry - Secret Number Five

The Seven Secrets Of Concealed Carry

5: Learn How To Defend Yourself Without Your Gun

One of the things that law enforcement officers learn is how to respond to varying levels of real or implied violence. This response used to be called a threat matrix and it had specific responses to specific actions, and while such things have fallen out of favor with the police and been replaced with more flexible concepts, the idea that your response should be tailored to the perceived threat, is pretty much absent when it comes to "civilian" (i.e. non-uniform-wearing) gun owners.

I spent a few years in the dojo learning Wado-Ryu karate. Karate taught me that the appropriate response to a threat was a punch, kick or block. When I'm in a firearms training class or shooting an IDPA match, I'm learning that the appropriate response to a violent threat is a gun. Very, very few instructors are integrating the worlds of armed and unarmed threat response for, and those that do are teaching it as an advanced course to be taught after their students have learned other techniques like accurate aimed fire.

However, let's look at how an armed violent encounter progresses. In his ground-breaking and well-respected study on defensive firearms usage, Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University broke down what happens when firearms are used to defend a life.

  • Fifty-four percent of the defensive gun uses involved somebody verbally referring to the gun
  • Forty-seven percent involved the gun being pointed at the criminal
  • Fourteen percent involved the gun being fired at somebody with intent to stop the threat
  • The offender was wounded or killed in only 8 percent of incidents studied

All that range time, all those classes, all those IDPA matches have a 14% chance of being useful. Tactical and self-defense trainers tend to poo-poo the idea of verbal warnings and using a gun as an intimidation tool, but the fact is, criminals are lazy, and prefer easy prey versus hard targets: Nothing says "failure in the victim selection process" like a 9mm pointed back at the crook. Learning how to use the POTENTIAL of violence is as much a part of self-defense as the actual violence itself, as is learning to AVOID the potential violence to begin with.

A personal note: I lived for 30 years in the Phoenix, Arizona area and developed a passion for Mexican food. The best tortillas, the best carnitas and the best salsa weren't to be found in the Phoenix suburbs that were full of transplanted Midwesterners, they were to be found in the cocinas, barrios and bodegas in the west side of town.

However, because of number of events such as our porous southern border, you were also likely to find yourself in the middle of a violent gang war in those areas during the dinner hour. So what did I do? I didn't go to the west side at night, and put up with lousy Mexican food instead.

Duh.

"Don't go to stupid places to do stupid things with stupid people" should be your mantra, as it negates the overwhelming amount of opportunities you might need your gun. After all, the easiest fight to win is the one that didn't happen.

Next Up: Carrying Concealed Means Carrying Concealed. Unless it doesn't.

Secret #4: Become A Peacemaker Without Ego

Secret #3: Know How to Operate Your Defensive Firearm and Train With It Regularly

Secret #2: Don't Make A Lifetime Commitment To The First Gun You Carry

Secret #1: Make the Commitment to Carry Whenever and Wherever You Can

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