Archive | May, 2014

Managing Your Increased Responsibility While Carrying Firearms

22 May

When you consciously make the decision to carry a concealed firearm, you are entering a new state of existence that is quite different from normal non-concealed carrying life. Image

On one hand, being in possession of a firearm leaves you better prepared to successfully defend your own life.

On the flipside, you are not even close to having military or police levels of backup, training, and engagement.

Soldiers and officers are trained and carry weapons for their jobs and as a result, the jobs come with all sorts of protection. They are allowed to do things that civilians are not.

Police are paid to engage, chase, and apprehend dangerous people. They are trained to do these things and hardly ever operate alone. As concealed carrying civilians, it is rarely if ever legal or even a good idea for you to pursue someone.

In the course of their jobs, police officers are sometimes required to shoot people. There are reports on the news every week about a police shooting somewhere and details about the resulting investigation.

In the event of an investigation, officers involved are usually put on paid leave pending the outcome, given access to mental health counseling, and have legal representation courtesy of their police union.

They have far more assistance after a shooting than the common civilian, who can quickly find themselves paying thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees. This is before they even have to potentially post a sizable bail.

You cannot operate as a vigilante. Your primary reason to carry a gun in the first place is to stay alive. Focus on doing what keeps you alive and out of prison. Most of the time, this means running or getting away in some form or another.

It is also important to pay close attention to how being in possession of a firearm changes your attitude and perception of your place in the world. Author Cope Reynolds talks about this in his article “Ross Sporting Goods” on USConcealedcarry.com:

“… just because you’re carrying a gun, [it] doesn’t mean that you somehow have new-found powers or that you are any braver or tougher than you were before. If anything, it should probably make you a little more humble.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

This is an oft-mentioned point that bears repeating. Being in possession of a lethal weapon puts you into a much higher tier of responsibility. You must hold your ego in check and abandon all ideas of machismo and tough guy behavior.

Missing this critical step is nothing short of courting disaster.

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Laser Sights: Should You Get One?

1 May

Laser dot sights are tools that allow you to enhance your low light shooting ability. For times when it’s too dark to see, a laser dot will allow you to see exactly where your firearm is aimed.  Image

Laser sights have quite a bit of argument and controversy surrounding them.

Some people see them as unnecessary complications and distractions that take away from basic shooting fundamentals.

Other people are of the opinion that if the technology works, then why not use it? 

After all, being able to project a red dot in the dark can give you a significant advantage in some situations. 

Regardless of how you feel, the fact remains that laser sights should be considered enhancements of your existing skills. They shouldn’t be thought of as a substitute for solid shooting with a pistol that has factory iron sights. 

Another important thing to consider is the issue of shooting at anything you can’t clearly identify. Of course, no two encounters are the same, but if you are shooting at the outline of a person without being fully able to visually identify the threat, you are taking a huge risk. It is a literal shot in the dark.

This is where having a bright tactical flashlight becomes important. A flashlight allows you to illuminate your threat and potential target, and will help remove uncertainties. It will also temporarily blind the other person, giving you the advantage and maybe even the chance to get away. Running is always preferable to sticking around and exchanging shots.

In an interview, instructor author Kathy Jackson gets an expert Marty Hayes to the question of using laser sights in her article “The Importance of Lasers: An Interview with Marty Hayes” on USConcealedcarry.com:

“…because what I do is I recommend people simply train with their sights and don’t really train a whole lot specifically with the laser—because you don’t need to! You train with your sights. If the laser happens to be there at the moment of truth, that’s a bonus. Otherwise you just carry on as if the laser wasn’t there. (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Consider a laser sight to be a tool that can enhance your odds of survival in an emergency. Use it as a training aid and don’t let it become a substitute for basic shooting skills. Batteries can die and unlike the TV remote, you don’t have a couple minutes to change the batteries before carrying on with what you were doing.