It’s been said that nothing worthwhile is easy and living the concealed carry lifestyle is no different. Of course, there are many steps along the way: obtaining quality training, choosing a firearm and holster system, meeting all the legal requirements, and choosing the proper mindset for carrying a firearm for self-defense, just to name a few. One of the most important decisions you can make from the start, however, is to make a commitment to safety, organization, and training.
The first topic in any basic pistol course is basic rules of firearm safety. These rules must become your absolute standard every time you are handling a firearm. You must insist on the highest standard of safety from anyone around you as well, whether at the range, in your home, or in the backyard at a neighbors house. We all pay the price whenever unsafe habits are allowed to continue. Set the example for all those around you and call out anyone that deviates from the established rules. As with any self-defense or athletic endeavor, having the right safety gear is important as well. And don’t forget about safe storage of your firearms, especially if you are on-the-go and need to switch over to a less-lethal self-defense option so you can roll the dice in one of those awesome “Gun-Free” zones.
If you make a point to keep your firearms clean and your gear organized, you minimize your chance of getting overwhelmed by all the information you’re soaking up – the rules of safety, shooting fundamentals, range etiquette, cleaning requirements, etc…. Most importantly, the more effort you put into keeping your gear ready to operate, the more likely you are to grab it and go to the range. And, that’s what it’s all about, right? The shooting is the fun part. It is a wise idea to invest in a quality range bag that is capable of holding all your shooting gear and cleaning supplies in one spot. Any bag worth its spot on the line will have a large compartment for your gun(s) and magazines and multiple side pockets for storage of ammunition, eyes and ears, tools, cell phone and other items you haul around on a regular basis. This American made bag (the one pictured at the top) has all of these features and comes with three individual gun cases plus a magazine mat that comes out to double as a shooting mat.
Statistics show that many people take a basic pistol class, get a concealed carry permit, and then stick the gun in the safe, where it sits waiting for an emergency to arrive. Even scarier, many people carry a firearm every day without training on a regular basis to keep basic skills sharpened. These mistakes ignore proven facts involving muscle memory, brain function and stressful situations. Like anything else, without practice your muscles will forget easily and your brain will struggle to pick up the slack. In high stress life threatening situations, you are left to depend on nothing but your reflexes and proper reflexes are ingrained every time you touch your firearm. Make a commitment to do it right. At a minimum, get to the range at least once every month to work on live fire training. Many elements of proper technique, such as your trigger press and sight picture, can be developed using dry-fire drills at home. Get to work and have some fun!