The Biggest Failure in CCW Is…

… getting people to actually carry their guns after they’ve qualified for their permit.

Let’s face it, it’s an unnatural act to carry around the weight of a full soda can (or more) on your hip. People complain about the weight of their cellphones (get off my lawn); imagine how they’d feel about carrying a full-size 1911.

A big part of why people fail to carry their guns is mindset: They think they’ll carry a gun “only when they might need it”. This is, of course, insane, but that’s a fight we’ve been fighting for years, and we’ll keep fighting that fight far in the future.

But for those of us who do carry on a day-in, day-out basis, we forget just how WEIRD it felt carrying a gun around the first time, and we need to come up with better ways to ease people into carrying on a regular basis.

Part of the problem lies, I believe. with how CCW instructors are licensed. Most, if not all, states require NRA Instructor Certification to be a CCW teacher. That’s fine until you realize the NRA curriculum for concealed carry kinda… sucks. Also, most indoor and outdoor ranges don’t allow drawing from a holster, which limits practice opportunities. People aren’t used to carrying around a loaded handgun on their hips because there is nothing in-place for them to get used to such a thing before, during or after they get their CCW: There really isn’t an on-ramp in-between a booth at an indoor range or a stall at an outdoor range and carrying your gun every day, and that needs to change.

A solution might lie in how the class is carried out. I’ve sat in a bunch of CCW classes from a variety of trainers, and typically, you get your class time, you shoot your qualifier (if needed), you receive your Microsoft Word Template certificate of training, and you go home. Do you, at any time, actually put a gun in a holster? Nope. That part is talked about, but never actually done, in-class. The physical reality of carrying a gun is as much a part of a CCW class as the physical reality of cooking is to someone watching a re-run of “Good Eats“. I’m not really sure what the full solution to this might look like (yet), but there has to be someway of integrating not just the theory of CCW into a class, but the reality as well.

If we want a nation of safe, responsible armed citizens (and we do), then we need to make certain that the citizenry is, you know, ARMED. The more we can do to get people’s guns out from under their beds on to their hips, the safer we’ll be.