To Carry or Not to Carry: What thinking did you go through?

To Carry or Not to Carry: What thinking did you go through?

This is a discussion on To Carry or Not to Carry: What thinking did you go through? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In this thread, let's discuss the thinking that you went through prior to carrying. What questions did you ask yourself? What was the rationale behind ...

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Thread: To Carry or Not to Carry: What thinking did you go through?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    To Carry or Not to Carry: What thinking did you go through?

    In this thread, let's discuss the thinking that you went through prior to carrying. What questions did you ask yourself? What was the rationale behind each answer?

    For me, I spent two years of training, both in the classroom and on the range, prior to considering actually applying for a CHL and carrying. My thinking was as follows:
    • Could I responsibly maintain control over a firearm at all times? Yes, I believe so. I dedicated myself to become accurate enough at 10yds to avoid hitting the proverbial "three-year old child" in the background under all conditions. I refused to apply for a CHL or carry until I could reliably strike a moving target at 10yds distance within two hand-spans' (~15") diameter, during drills with simulated stress. I have a lock box in the car. I have a safe at home, anchored to the building.
    • If my life were threatened, could I take a life in self-defense? Yes. I resolved to not allow my life to be taken without a serious fight. Nor the lives of my family members. Not ever.
    • Could I withstand the scrutiny of the follow-on investigation such a situation would incur? Yes, I believe so. I'd have no problems with the questions, nor the delving into my rationale, my past.
    • Could I handle the likely financial repercussions, if I were to be either criminally charged or sued in civil court? Not a chance, actually. So be it.
    • Would the likely ramifications alter my decision making, as to defending myself in a life-threatening situation? No. Not at all. I don't believe I would have any problem doing so, if justified.
    • Would the risks alter my decision making, if faced with a third-party needing protection? Given the legal climate in the states where I have lived, absolutely. My carrying and self-defense is just that: self-defense, for me and my family. Now, that doesn't take into account situations that explode right in front of me. That would depend on circumstances, but likely I would defend to the degree I could, if a clear case of defense.
    • Could I carry daily? Yes. Though there have been many days across the past 10+ years that I have not carried, it has been relatively rare. I have altered my mode of dress to allow good concealment. I have selected weapons to work within my lifestyle and mode of dress, so I'm very unlikely to have excuses. I carry everywhere allowed by law.
    • Would I be willing to alter my lifestyle to accommodate being armed? Not much, really. Though, I have found a few simple measures go a surprisingly long way, including: planning ahead; specific seating arrangements; selected venues, avoiding ones without a physical layout conducive to self-defense; selected times, avoiding time+place combinations that raise the little hairs on the back of my neck. No problems so far.
    • Could I fit a firearm into a tiered approach to self-defense? Yes, of course. Adjustments as noted above are the first form of defense, followed by passive tools such as locks, alarms, discreet video cams for surveillance and recording of transgressions by perps on the property. Lastly are active defenses: cell phone, pen/paper, knife, firearm. The knife and firearm, of course, are definitely last-resort items, to be used only in situations requiring lethal force. Haven't needed anything beyond the passive tools and cell phone, so far, save once (drawing to stop a two-perp attack in a parking lot).
    • What would I do if faced with X, Y, Z, ...? Yes, I've been through extended mental, range and role-playing preparations for dozens of scenarios. I've done lots of reading. I have participated in IPSC shooting events. I have shot on several live-fire, moving-target ranges that simulated elevated stress levels and targeting of BG's vs GG's. (No Simunitions, though.)
    • Mindset? Never forget to bring my brain and keep it switched "on" (aka, never bring only a gun to a mind fight). Never assume anything. Never be unprepared. Never be unthinking. Never give up, if pressed. Never stop training.

    That's how I addressed my preparations. It involved lots of discussions with folks in the know, several courses from well-respected firearms instructors and legal experts. It involved a lot of thinking through the situations, and the legal and financial realities. While I am not an attorney or LEO, I am about as well-prepared as I know how to be, within the confines of my time and finances. But, I also know that I am a relative noob, that there are more points to be learned, and that the landscape is always changing.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; September 28th, 2006 at 01:41 AM. Reason: Color me "grammatically challenged."
    Aceoky and QKShooter like this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: Why the Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    The only difference that I have with your list is I made the decision about if I could take a life (if need be) years before when I was in college for Criminal Justice. To this day if I'm asked could I kill if I had to, I deflect the question because most sheep get freaked out if I tell them the truth, even after explaining the necessity of having to make the decision before hand.

    With my Criminal Justice training I know how to be a good witness and can give a good decription while doing two other things at the same time (a small mircle being a guy). There are times I have friends talking to me when I'm scanning the room when I go to orange, for some reason it torques them off, even if I explain it's what I was trained for.
    manolito likes this.
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

    Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton

  3. #3
    Member Array AceRider's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    CCW9, what classroom training did you take?

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Smack in the middle of wealthy on one side and dirt poor on the other
    For me I just saw CCW as a natural progression. I've studied multiple styles of martial arts since grade school so it only made sense to add to my tool box so to speak. Learning self defense (whether H2H, gun, knife, whatever) is like adding tools to a tool box. The more you add, the more options you have when you need to reach into that toolbox when a situation comes up later. The only big thinking had to do with searching myself to make sure I was willing to take on the responsibility of the potential of taking a life to secure mine.
    shockwave likes this.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Making ammo.
    I didn't think about it. I just did it. Guns were a lifestyle for me since I can first remember. Not having one around makes me feel weird. Right now I am in school and can't carry. I feel very vulnerable.

    Carrying a gun is a no-brainer. IMO, you overthought. I don't need that much justification to myself or anyone. There wasn't much thought process involved. I am amazed that you put that much thought into it. Here was my thought process: Do I want to carry a gun? Yes. Can I drop the hammer on someone and take a human life? Yes. Then I set out and got my permit. That simple.
    9MMare, voodoo304 and Taurahe like this.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

    Probably the only home based FFL that doesn't do transfers.

  7. #6
    Member Array birdman's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    SW Florida
    At some point I realized if I had the skills and the tools to defend myself and CHOSE not to do so, then I was partially to blame for my condition if I were maimed or killed by a thug (i.e. I made a conscious decision to not protect myself.) I couldn't live with that so I carry on a daily basis.


  8. #7
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Having spent 55 years of my life with no option to carry (UK) and yet, being ''into'' guns and shooting for many of those years - it was, once a feasability, not a decision that needed much further analysis. I would have been carrying already 40 years had I had the legal means.

    All the aspects of mental mindset, liability and even training were pretty much set in stone long ago. I have always felt the need and wish to be able to take full responsibility for my own and family's safety but with the suitable tools. I did at least have for many years a gun available in my home.

    When I started carry five years ago nearly, I set about self imposed extra training routines and then later got my NRA certification in all disciplines so as to help other folks on the way.

    The necessary changes to lifestyle thru carry had minimal impact - I am lucky that ''dressing around carry'' is easy for me and any inconvenience is incidental in order to achieve the goal.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  9. #8
    Member Array KMBRTAC45's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    The valley of the sun scorched earth(Phx,Az)
    I am with Freakshow10mm, guns have been part of my life as long as I can remember. From the age of about 5 yrs old I've been shooting guns(BB guns to start), bow & arrow around 6 or 7 yrs old, shotguns & rifles around 11 yrs old and hunting around 13 yrs old. So handguns were the next logical step. As for concealed carry the question was: To baaa or not to baaaaaa ?
    NRA Life Member USCCA Member

    Freedoms Precious Metals:Gold, Silver and Lead

    "You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you'll find me in a pile of brass."~~ Tpr. M. Padgett

    Kimber Tactical Pro II w/EE over 2000 rnds NO MALFUNCTIONS

  10. #9
    New Member Array RGUARD's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    For me it was my daughter. When she was born the rules changed.
    My Wife and I always had an understanding that if we were faced with trouble we would try to get away as best we could and hoped that was a good enough plan (weak, I know). But with my daughter we might not have the option to "run away" or jump out the window if someone breaks in the house, for the first time I was faced with the concept of having to defend and hold my ground.
    Well naturally given my Ninja training has slipped (that's a joke by the way :p ) I might not be able to fight off or disarm an intruder/attacker. This means if I am going to be able to do this job right I will need to either take up ninja training (simply don't have the time or detirmination) or I will have to look into getting a gun and at least a basic level of training.
    Now don't get me wrong I am not new to guns (been around themall my life and well trained in their safe handling) but I still took the classes and went to the range with others and got proficient enough to make me feel safe enough to carry.
    So I have a gun I like and feel proficient and comfortable with. I don't carry all the time (I am working on it) but I have no reservations about my decision and feel very much safer in my home and now see the true futality in hoping the police would be able to come solve all my problems.
    P.s. The guns are all locked up and my carry gun (when not on my person) is by my bed in a "finger reader" safe.

    My $.02
    DetChris likes this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array afeazell21's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Central Texas
    I decided to carry because of personal safety to myself and family. You never know when you are going to be in a situation that you are going to have to make a split second decision to safe your life or someone elses.
    9MMare likes this.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Prescott, AZ
    After what happened to my friend (read the other thread "Why did you start?"), it was instant-on. I had always enjoyed guns and Boy Scouts had exposed me to the fun side and dangers of them many years ago... One of our scout masters hit a watermelon from about 50 yards with a 30.06 a few times. We were all pretty stunned...

    I always knew I wanted to carry because I believed in personal responsibility and watching over the people that cannot do it for themselves.

    Now, I have a lot of younger buddies at school who want to get their CCW's and are really excited about shooting and getting into it. Every time they tell me they want to get their CCW permit I shake their hand and congratulate them on their choice. Then I ask them if they would be willing to kill someone in self defense.... Then I throw out a few difficult situations they might be faced with (Bank robbery, stranger yelling for help, etc). One changed his mind. The rest have given the ideas a lot more thought and made the hard choice. You should see their eyes when I let them know about the Supreme Court cases and police officers....

    I wish I could post more about the train of thought I went through, but it was just like a switch flipped in my head.
    The Gunsite Blog
    ITFT / Quick Kill Review
    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    For me it was a matter of trust.

    Do I trust LE to be at the right place at the right time?
    Or do I put that trust in my self?

    Me being LEO, do your self a favor always trust your self at all
    times. "We can not be there when it happens"
    911 system gives people a false sense of security.

    Also it was a lifestyle, shooting, hunting, camping with my dad and brothers at an early age.

    My dad made sure that we were adverse in all aspects of life.
    From taking the fish off our own hooks to cleaning our own kills.

    And I thank him every day that he did.

    I guess it boils down to , how prepared are you - to do the
    things it takes to get it done.
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    I turned 21, back in March, and bought my first handgun for plinking. About a month later, I had a personal encounter with a drunk, and only then did I start carrying, for the safety of myself, and my loved ones. I went out and purchased a good firearm, belt, and holster, and I started practicing at the range to get proficient. I confirmed that the firearm I planned to use for CCW, was in fact reliable, and I could trust my life with it, and I now carry it on me, all day everyday. I still plan to acquire my CCW permit so I can avoid the background check upon purchasing a firearm, and if I want to travel to other states that honor the Alaska CCW permit. I use the forums as a learning tool, about the different scenarios, and carry options. I've definitely learned alot, reading this forum, as well as other firearm forums.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    ccw9mm, I figure it like this. The real question that we all have to ask ourselves is this >>>>>> Your in a darkened area. You hear someone say,"hey MF,gimme all your money or I'll kill ya".

    You start your draw. Suddenly the lights come on and at 15 feet in front of you,you see a 12 year old,blonde,blue eyed girl with freckles,and she has what looks to be a pistol pointed at you.

    You got mindset?? Shoot her then.

    To me, this will be our WCS. Good luck to us all. ---------

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ View Post
    ccw9mm, I figure it like this. The real question that we all have to ask ourselves is this >>>>>> Your in a darkened area. You hear someone say,"hey MF,gimme all your money or I'll kill ya".

    You start your draw. Suddenly the lights come on and at 15 feet in front of you,you see a 12 year old,blonde,blue eyed girl with freckles,and she has what looks to be a pistol pointed at you.

    You got mindset?? Shoot her then.

    To me, this will be our WCS. Good luck to us all. ---------

    How did a 12-year old girl get such a deep voice?

    Seriously, if that were to happen I would likely die. I could not bring myself to shoot a kid, gun or no gun.

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