Pistols are becoming smaller and more reliable, making them far easier to carry. There are so many choices these days in holsters it almost boggles the mind. Every year a new purse, bag or other device designed to conceal a firearm comes out. These ever-increasing options bring about an ever-increasing complexity when it comes to deploying the weapon—something many simply fail to consider.
It becomes incumbent upon the responsible concealed carry holder to ensure they can safely deploy their firearm. To quote Voltaire, “with great power comes great responsibility.” In this case, that responsibility is to properly train yourself to safely remove your firearm under the stress of an actual application.
Many would contend there is no greater power than the ability to potentially take life—something a pistol is certainly capable of doing. On the other hand, if properly deployed it can save lives. A recent incident in Salt Lake City is a perfect illustration: While walking through the parking lot of a grocery store, a CCW holder observed a stabbing in progress. The safe and proper deployment of the citizen’s firearm not only stopped the aggression, but also held the suspect in place until officers arrived. That may be as close as you get to the ideal use of a concealed firearm for protection of others. The victims survived, the suspect was arrested, and the concealed carry holder was uninjured. There is certainly no guarantee similar incidents will be the same, but practicing a few things can certainly help.
1: Choose Your Pistol Wisely
Choose a carry pistol that works and can be accessed when necessary. All the convenience in the world is pretty useless if you cannot get to it when you need it. Decide up front whether to carry a pistol for comfort or protection—if you are going to carry a pistol for protection make certain it will actually protect you.
There is a trade-off here, as you need to be able to access your pistol. The best concealment may not facilitate access. You really need to take some time and figure out where to carry your firearm so it is not visible yet still remains accessible. That is going to take some trial and error, but carrying a firearm for protection is all about compromises and tradeoffs.
It is important to understand the “best” place to carry your firearm for use may not be the most convenient. Carrying your pistol in a bag, purse, or other item off your body is convenient. Having a pistol in your glove box is really convenient, but it is useless unless you are sitting in the car. All of these devices add time and complication to drawing your pistol, both of which lessen its effectiveness in the real world. If you are prepared to use your pistol the best place to carry it is on your person. The best way to carry it on your person is in a high-quality holster.
4: Where To Carry?
For most your strong side hip is the most accessible carry position. It also allows flexibility—something that can be problematic with a pistol in the front of your pants, a shoulder holster or other more convenient spot. It is faster, more secure and safer to remove. If you decide to carry it elsewhere make certain you practice, practice, practice. Either way, carry it in the same place all the time. Time is something you seldom have a ton of in these situations, especially time to “find” where you decided to carry your pistol that day.