Or as I should say, everyday everyday carry, as I’m not working in a office right now.
I update and change what I carry as experience and training demands. For instance, I’ve recently increased my tactical trauma knowledge, and so carrying an actual tourniquet on me is more of a priority. Also, using the PHLSter skeleton holster for my Shield in a training class and in a few matches has shown me that it’s just not right for me, so I’ve changed up my holster game as well.
Bandana, wallet, keys, lighter, 9mm Shield with MagFix baseplate and MagGuts +1 follower.
And yes, all of this either fits on my gun belt (I’m using a Wilderness Tactical Instructor’s Belt these days) or inside the pockets of my jeans, and all of it conceals with an un-tucked t-shirt (although the gun does print a bit, I must confess). In particular, I really like the Ten Speed pouch for carrying a tourniquet, as it’s about the same size as my pistol reload and a breeze to conceal under my shirt, and the MagGuts follower allows me to have 9+1 in my Shield, which is a nice comforting thought.
First off, it looks like the Self Defense Association is no more. Their website has nothing but a parked domain and their social media hasn’t been updated in over a year.
Secondly, the USCCA isn’t advertising their Silver introductory-level plan anymore, but it is available if you ask for it.
Thirdly, Texas Law Shield has increased their nation-wide coverage to the point where they’re available in 19 states, and have re-branded themselves as “U.S. Law Shield”.
Finally, the NRA has toned down their marketing of Carry Guard insurance quite a bit. It’s still out there, three levels down on the Carry Guard website, but the current push for Carry Guard seems to be more about the training they offer than it is about their CCW legal insurance plans.
Which is, all in all, a good list. The only thing that non-attorney me might add to that list is the importance of “First Dollar” coverage that kicks in from Day One, versus coverage where you have to pay and then you get re-imbursed by your plan.
Do you have easy access to a half-million dollars or more in loans to cover your upfront costs? I don’t.
If you carry a firearm, I heartily suggest you spend a few dollars and sign up for a self-defense legal coverage plan of some sort. It just makes too much sense. I’ve had a number of friends get in serious legal trouble due to their defensive use of a firearm, and you don’t want to go in front of a judge with a public defender whose legal knowledge is probably limited to defending actual crooks in a court of law. Instead, you want someone who knows how to the defend the truly innocent, and that is going to cost money. Lots and lots of money.
You carry a gun because you planned ahead for a lethal force encounter. Get a legal plan to prepare for a battle inside the courtroom.
* Coverage for CCW Safe includes bail, criminal and civil trial attorneys’ fees and civil damages.
** Do I really need to say that I am not an attorney and that this is not legal advice I’m giving out here? If so, I am. Figure it out for yourselves, and go talk to a lawyer about this stuff, because it’s a good idea. I, personally, have ACLDN and am a USCCA Affiliate.
I can sort of understand the concept of safety as a feeling. While it’s true that safety is a reality that has nothing to do with how you feel, the fact is, it’s up to us to become aware of that reality. Either you are safe, or you are not, your emotions have nothing to do with it. Granted, there are degrees of safety. My famly is pretty secure from a home invasion or a hurricane, but if a meteor hits the Gulf of Mexico, we’ll be turned into instant flotsam and/or jetsam.
Strangely, that possibility does not keep me up at night. Go figure.
Tom Gresham posted this on Twitter awhile ago, and while the sentiment is good, the execution is often weak.
The lesson from test pilot Bob Hoover is to think through every possible self defense scenario you can imagine, and come up with a plan. Then, when it happens, you don’t have to create a plan. You just do what you have already decided is needed. Train, practice, imagine, Train.
“Every possible self defense scenario” is a little… vague. I probably won’t have to defend against shuriken-throwing ninjas any time soon, but dealing with a road rage incident that spirals out of control too quickly to escalate it?
Staying safe is not just self defense, though. I’ve seen many, many car accidents and a fair amount of car fires, that’s why I carry a go-bag with me in my car and a fire extinguisher in my trunk. I’ve lost track of how many situations I’ve been in where a bright, powerful light was more handy than the sidearm on my hip. I lock my door right after me as I enter my house. I have a tourniquet on me when I leave my house. When I get out of my car in a parking lot, I look around before walking to my destination. My cell phone is rarely below 50% charge, and there’s usually at least a half a tank of gas in my car at all times. These are simple things that each have their own plan and are not gun-centric. What they do, though, is get everyone thinking about what to when things go bad, and that’s the pathway that leads to an armed, responsible citizenry.
Speaking of gear bags, my family made a trip up to Orlando a few weekends ago to do our usual round of theme park visits. We did something a little different this time, though, and went to the Florida Mall to visit the M&M’s store, because my wife loves those candies*. I like ’em too, but not as much as she does, so I sat outside the store on the bench for 15 or so minutes today, waiting for my wife to complete her pillaging of the store. I took that break as an opportunity to do some people watching and see how many guys passed wearing backpacks, sling bags or man purses.
Now granted, this is a tourist area so men will probably be carrying around a lot more stuff with them than if they were at home, but in that 15 minutes, I counted 12 guys of all shapes sizes and colors carrying some form of pack or bag. Bags ranged from school backpacks (8 guys) to a full-on purse (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) to three guys wearing sling bags, one of which was your typical tactical gear bag.
It’s interesting to note that the guy with the tactical bag looked hipster-ish rather than Hayley-ish, with glasses and hoodie and the whole hipster uniform.
I have no compunction against carrying around an extra bag to hold all my extra stuff, probably because I carried around either a laptop bag or a camera bag** for over twenty years. Whether or not a gear bag/camera bag/tactical man-purse is appropriate to carry around with you depends on the context of where you are. For instance, I have never seen a murse in a grocery store, but I see them all the time in tourist-y areas. I don’t see them in movie theaters, but I do see them in coffee shops. Also, keep in mind that the increasing use of iPads, Kindles and other small tablets means that more and more guys are carrying those gadgets around with them to use them outside of the house, so you’ll see man-purses in places you normally wouldn’t like in church or in restaurants.
Your first option should always be to carry your essential gear on your person, but if that’s not an option, or you feel like you need a little more gear than normal, a man-purse might not be a bad option.
Just leave the leather purse with the chrome clasp to your wife, okay? 🙂
* I don’t know why she has to obsess about those and not obsess about guns like normal people do. ** Domke or GTFO. Seriously, if you shoulder-carry your camera gear, they are the best, bar none.
I spotted a guy in church this week carrying a black sling bag covered in MOLLE straps, (probably something like Mapedition or similar). The guy carrying it stood out not only because he was carrying a bag, (here are other guys in the crowd doing that) but by the fact that he was 6′ 1″. 210-220 pounds, ridiculously fit and had a short, military-style haircut.
In other words, he looked like a cop or something similar. He was DEFINITELY not fitting in with the rest of the crowd.
There are people who can get away with carrying a military sling bag and not look like they were setting up to invade Fallujah: He wasn’t one of them.
Now I have no doubt that the Maxpedition bag was useful and handy and probably had enough gear in it to stop a small army in its tracks. However, if his intent was to look like just another worshipper in church, he failed. Maybe a little less Tier One and a little more Pier One might be in order when walking around in civvies.
Those are good stories and they definitely need to be told, but the defensive/competition world has no equivalent (yet) to the good ol’ hunting story, where it’s you and your friends and family going out into nature and something Hemingway-esque* ensues, and the story winds up being told thru a sepia filter and read aloud in Sam Elliot’s voice.
Those are good stories of happy times, and they reinforce what I’ve been saying for awhile now, that the very best day possible in Gun Culture 1.0 is a day spent outdoors that culminates in harvesting one of God’s creatures.
The very best day possible in Gun Culture 2.0? Nothing happens. You live your life as you normally would, because Gun Culture 2.0 is mostly about avoiding injury and death and there is just not a lot of good stories to be told about going to WalMart and nothing happening. Yes, there is still the competition element to the new gun culture that has a slightly different “best day,” but we’ll pick that up at a later date.
* Just not in a “Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” sort of way.
A couple of interesting videos came across my Facebook feed last week. The first is from Saddle River Range, a very nice “guntry” club in Texas, showing off their new live-fire, virtual training system.
The second is Max Michel shooting the new Auto Target system by Action Target.
We are moving away from the “go to your booth, hang up your target, send it out, shoot it, bring it back” experience of the traditional indoor range into something that’s a little more stimulating, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Mostly importantly, that trainers realize they are not training student to be exactly like themselves, but rather, they are training students who can adapt their techniques to their own lifestyle. If your methods work only for you, you are not training students, your are raising up disciples.
How many of the assumptions we make about what makes an “effective” carry pistol are based on what is actually effective, and how many of those assumptions are based on what we ourselves are comfortable with and designate as being a minimum requirement for our classes?
Now, to be fair, there is a BIG logistical element at play here. Speaking as someone who regularly takes a 9mm Shield to training classes, it kinda sucks having to swap out mags twice as often as a Glock 17 user, and it only gets worse when I train with my LCP. Also, having just put 1600+ rounds through an LCP and watching its reliability FLY downhill after round 500 or so, they’re just not meant for, say, a Gunsite 250.
But that doesn’t meant that people who own them can’t be trained to a point where they can draw and hit a target at self-defense distances in a reasonable amount of time.
It just means ain’t nobody going to Rogers with an LCP.