Whats it like to conceal carry? A typical day of the concealed carrier.

So what is a typical day for a conceal carrier?  Like everyone else, we are all different.  But I thought I would share what it is like for me.

Now I will skip the typical boring stuff like taking a shower in the morning or eating breakfast, we all do that.  Getting dressed is where things start to differ.  Most people will take the weather and where they are going into account to how they dress for the day.  I also have to take into account which firearm I will be carrying and the corresponding holster.

So for starters, lets say I am going to work while carrying.  This would require a looser shirt, a inside the waistband holster, and then the S&W Shield.  Also, I would be carrying a spare magazine in a old knife holster.  After I have all that on, I would do a “print check”  to make sure that I am not “printing”.  Now when I get to work, as I exit my car, I always do a quick check to make sure my shirt did not ride up as I got out.  I will do this with my strong side toward the car as to obscure prying eyes.  As I get to my desk, all is normal.  Only thing I need to be careful of is again, is my shirt riding up.  I will check again before standing up as to not make it obvious.  Really at work other than making sure I do not have a wardrobe malfunction, there is not much different than a non-carrying person.  Going to the restroom, I prefer to use the stall.  Its not that I am shy, but just being careful.  Sometimes, clothes will not cooperate and if someone is waiting, they are looking right at your back side as your peeing.  Speaking of that, I also do not like the idea of having my back to everyone that is in the restroom.  Using the stall not only provides privacy, but also would make it more difficult for someone to sneak up from behind.  Now this covers work, where I can legally carry.  They just do not know I am carrying.

I used to work where I could not legally carry.  There I had to lock it in my car every time I entered the building and then retrieve it when I left.  Just another thing to remember when you carry, you may at times have to disarm due to the law.

Speaking of having to disarm.  Most states allow private establishments to post signs “Banning guns on these premises”.  Now not all states are like Minnesota, but those signs do not have the force of law behind them here.  You would have to be caught and refuse to leave when asked before they could trespass you.  That is all it is here.  If you fail to leave when told to, your trespassing and could get sited for that.  So to answer all the questions on how I handle that.  Yes, I carry in those places too.  Most of the time I do not patronize these establishments, but in some cases, I have no choice.  I take the risk of being “made” and have to leave when asked.  If that ever happens, I will leave with no argument.  But to date, that has never happened.

So back to what we are talking about.  So after work, everything is pretty typical.  Drive home, say hi to the kids, maybe make dinner.  I am still carrying.  I carry when at home.  So one could see me in the kitchen making spaghetti and I am armed.  So when its time for bed, as I am getting undressed, I lock my pistol in the lock box next to the bed.  Then it starts all over the next morning.

So if its the weekend, I may change it up a bit.  Depending on the weather, I may use a outside the waist holster, and carry my 1911.  Again I am carrying a spare magazine in that same knife holster.  Usually when I go out carrying in this way, I would be wearing a jacket.  If its warmer, no jacket, but I would be using the IWB holster with my shirt covering it.

The point to all this is that there are some adjustments to your life when you carry everyday.  At first, it seemed like you were always conscious to “appearing armed”.  After a while, you begin to notice how oblivious people are.  Everyone is not looking at your waistband wondering if you are armed.  It will take another conceal carrier to notice typically.  The general public does not pay close enough attention.

Now “Carry On” my friends.

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Terrorist are not coming, They are already here. You prepared?

Well this was an eventful weekend.  First there was a bombing in New Jersey, then Manhattan.  To finish it off, a knife attack in Minnesota.  Politicians fighting over what to call it.  Terrorism, not terrorism, bombing or explosion.  It was ISIS, it was not ISIS.  Not coordinated, it was coordinated.  Foreign born terror, not foreign born terror.

So lets get this out of the way right now.  This was terrorism.  I don’t care if they are foreign born or not.  These men were out to kill innocent people.  ISIS claims that the MN attacker was “one of their solders”.  There may not be any direct link to ISIS from the middle east, but these men were radicalized anyhow.  Again they were out to kill innocent Americans.

cover-22

Unfortunately, the bombing in Manhattan was not a shock.  New York is always a target.  The race in New Jersey, that was scheduled to have Marines race in, was a little surprising.  What I think surprised just about everyone is the stabbing attack in St Cloud MN.  St. Cloud is a city of about 56000, north of the Twin Cities.  Far enough away, to safely say it is not a suburb.  This is the upper Midwest folks.  People say that things like this “don’t happen here”. Well it just did, terrorism has officially hit rural America.  It’s safe to say that closing the borders and improving the vetting process is too little, too late now.  The bad guys are here.  We are at the point that we need to protect ourselves the best we can.

That attack in St Cloud also has proven something that the liberal politicians and the media do not want to admit.  A good guy with a gun stopped a terrorist from harming more innocents or killing anyone.  A former police chief, and a current firearms instructor was armed in the right place at the right time.  And he did it right!  Jason Falconer drew is legal sidearm, shot the terrorist till he was no longer a threat.  Jason saved lives.  He is by all sense of the word a hero.  No victims died, only the terrorist was killed.  Jason proved what he teaches in his carry permit classes, a legally armed person can save lives.

There is something else we learned from this attack.  The attacker was a former security guard, had no record other than traffic violations.  He wore a security uniform.  A uniform that most people associate as being the good guy.  He attacked a mall in a city that would not be on target list that most would think of.  He attacked in my back yard.  That is what a lot of people would say is a safe place.

I have been stressing to others for a long time that something like this could happen anywhere and we need to be prepared for it.  None of the politicians wonderful plans would have prevented this from happening.  Background checks would not have stopped him.  The only thing we can do is just what Jason Falconer did.  Be trained, be armed and be vigilant.

The terrorists are not coming, they are already here. Remember you are your first and last line of defense. Be ready.

 

9/11 and the Second Amendment, where we are now.

It’s been 15 years since that fateful day that changed America forever.  And it did change.  In the aftermath, this country saw a unity and patriotism that had not been seen since WW2.  Also, the events that day showed that this country had been complacent, thinking that “it count not happen here”.  The government noticed.  It started to make changes to “keep the homeland safe”  Most of which actually took freedoms away.  The people also noticed, they began to prepare for terrorist attacks.  Some started stock piling food.  The term “Every Day Carry” had new meaning and purpose.  Some started to arm themselves.

Before 9/11, the people that conceal carried did so to protect only from the “domestic” thugs.  After 9/11, they were also carrying to protect themselves from terrorism.  Conceal carriers are now carrying with multiple threats in mind.  They were now looking at capacity and reloading as before they would not consider it.  Revolvers were being replaced by semi-autos.  Six shots may not be enough, now they are carrying 10, 15, and 17 shots with an extra magazine for insurance.  Some have even taken to carrying a BUG (back up gun).  Others are training for something they hope will never happen.

Also during this time, more states recognized the right to carry.  Minnesota for example went from the restrictive May-Issue to Shall-Issue.  The “Assault Weapons” ban from 1993 was allowed to expire.  People started to purchase AR-15s.  So much so that it is now the countries most popular rifle.  There are now over 11 million people with Conceal Carry permits.

Does this all make us safer?  Some say yes, others no.  Mostly depends on their political leanings.  There have been terror attacks since 9/11.  Some have been successful like San Bernardino and Orlando.  However, there had been some that were stopped either by law enforcement or conceal carriers.  But something interesting to note.  While there have been larger scale terrorist attacks in Europe, those attacks really have not occurred here on the same scale.  Of the attacks here, they have been carried out in Gun Free zones. This reminds me of a “rumor” that during WW2, the Japanese did not want to invade the U.S. mainland because they feared that there were Americans behind every blade of grass with a gun.  While it has never been proven that this was really the reason or a deterrent to the Empire of Japan, could it be that it is playing a role now?  Could it be that the 150 million or so gun owners in America and the 11 million conceal carriers are a deterrent to the terrorists making a bigger statement here?  Or may it be the actions of the passengers of Flight 93.  Those passengers, even unarmed, showed that Americans will stand up to terrorism.  Those heroes saved many lives that day.  They truly showed what Americans are made of.

So those of the left leaning persuasion, that believe that government control is the answer to keep us safe.  That is just the complacency that can get us attacked again.  The progressive politicians would like you to believe that if everyone follows restrictive rules and laws will keep our country safe.  They are the ones that have their heads in the sand.  Terrorists and criminals do not follow the rules and laws of the land.  This is why gun control will never stop a terrorist from trying to kill us.  Laws are not a deterrent, but armed civilians, an armed resistance to terror is.

The 2nd Amendment was written over 200 years ago.  It is more important for the security of our families now than at any other time in our history.  When it comes to defending our country from terrorists, the armed civilians of this country IS our militia.  The armed civilian is our last line of defense.

After conceal carrying for 5 years, what did I learn?

I just finished the class for renewing my carry permit.  Here in Minnesota, we have to renew every five years, and part of that renewal is going through the class again and submitting the application.  I was thinking about how I have changed and how the world has changed since I started carrying.

On the personal side, I started carrying at first because I could legally carry.  I had one carry gun and one holster.  As with most carriers, this did not last long.  Soon I was looking for better holsters.  I also changed the way I dressed.  I was shopping for clothing with holsters in mind.  Also, I was educating my family about firearms a lot differently than before.  They soon got used to the idea of me carrying a gun.  My wife got really good at letting me know if my wardrobe was not appropriate for the holster, and if I was “printing”.  Before work, I would get dressed and do the fashion spin for my wife and ask her for a “Print Check”.

Soon I learned that having a single carry gun was not ideal.  My M&P got supplemented by its little brother the M&P Shield.  The more I carried, the more I learned about the gun laws, both local and federal.  I got involved with gun rights organizations. I started researching and following the news with self defense and conceal carriers in mind.

Also during this time, I was a victim of a road rage incident.  Had a rather ugly guy threaten me and even my wife (who was not even there).  I called the cops, never drew my pistol.  This was my first time dealing with law enforcement while being legally armed.  I showed the officer my permit, and he was very courteous. He never even asked to see my gun.  This officer even commended me for the restraint I showed in this situation.  If that ugly dude had only known that the man he was threatening was armed.  He was only one mistake away from getting drawn on and possibly shot.

When I started carrying, I was so worried that I would be “made”.  Now, I have gotten so comfortable, and attitudes have changed toward carriers here, that I have open carried on occasion.  I should clarify that “I” am more comfortable, my wife is not comfortable with me open carrying yet.

Now what I have shared would probably be considered “normal” for a typical legal carrier.  Nothing flashy, nor exciting with exception of the road rage incident.  So what have I really learned?  About society? About gun rights politics? About firearms and gear?  I would say a lot.  I have learned that most people are accepting of permit holders carrying.  I would also say politics have gotten more important.  A politicians view of the 2nd Amendment is the first thing I look for.  I have learned that the politicians that are “anti-gun” are really out for more control over society.  Guns are just the beginning.

How have I changed?  I am more aware of my surroundings.  I am more aware of dangers that surround us.  I am more aware of the anti-freedom forces that exist here.  I am more aware of our rights being so fragile, so close to being on the brink of being lost.  I have an appreciation of our freedoms that I did not have 5 years ago.

What has not changed?  I am still a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a neighbor, an employee, and a gun owner.  I am still a Gun Toting Dad.