This is a discussion on NEW Carriers - A Little Nervous???? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've just started carrying again after not carrying regularly for close to 20 years. Biggest adjustment for me has been comfort. I have a great ...
I've just started carrying again after not carrying regularly for close to 20 years. Biggest adjustment for me has been comfort. I have a great IWB holster, but need to adjust my wardrobe a bit (bigger waist for more room for the holstered gun). Years ago, I mostly used a fanny pack to carry and that was easier, and probably a bit less obvious than it would be today!
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Train in some way. Practice holstering a drawing with an unloaded gun with no ammunition in the room. Like others have said belt and holster are key, don't skimp. Never be in a hurry to holster. Loose clothing in the trigger guard is as dangerous as your finger. The next best thing to full on tactical and/or force on force training is participate in IDPA or USPSA. It is the only affordable way I know of to regularly practice moving, drawing and shooting at the same time.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
Honestly, it should make you a tad nervous, but that will pass the longer you carry it. I think about the responsibility that rides on my hip every day. It isn't taken lightly, nor should it be. I'll also echo what others have said about being nervous without it.
Thank you for posting this question. As a female new to concealed carry and owning my own firearm; it's a lot to think about. The responsibility alone is major factor much less worry if I am doing it right, can anyone see, etc... I will start carrying soon but I'm nervous just thinking about it. Glad I'm not the only one and that it doesn't make me not fit to carry.
"A man without a horse ain't but half a man.
A man without a gun ain't no man a'tall."
~ Old Texas saying
~ Circa 1870
When I first carried I was very "aware" of the fact I had a loaded gun on me and was nervous that someone would figure out I was carrying. After a while, I stopped worrying about other people noticing. Having quality holsters are very important and carrying around the house before getting my permit made it easier for me when I first carried in public.
I've only been packin' for about 6 months (several times on a good week, with the frequency increasing steadily), so I still feel a bit of apprehension here and there. I think that it's a good thing, and merely shows that we are aware of our responsibilities and take them quite seriously.
Armed And Harmless
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
- - Sir Winston Churchill, 1941
As others have said, I was a bit nervous when I first started carrying. It does get easier. Once you have the right carry rig for you, your energy should be concentrated on becoming more comfortable with the idea of carrying. Really, the only way to accomplish this is to, well, carry. You will soon reach a point where, although you will keep in mind the responsibility that goes along with it, you will feel much more comfortable with it, and as some have said, you will probably being to feel "naked" without it.
When I started out I was extremely self-conscious about it and, while I didn't really have any in-trepidation about carrying loaded (I did that around the house for the couple of months it took to get the license), it felt to me like it was so visible, even though it wasn't. Now, I don't worry even if it may print a little. Most people aren't looking and, if they do look, a cell phone will come to their mind more often than thinking - oh, he's got a gun. But it takes just doing it to get comfortable with that. And, as others have said, don't get complacent.
I use a Sticky Holster and every time I pick up my gun in the holster to put it inside my waistband, I feel to make sure that the safety is on before going further. If I didn't have a safety, I'd still be fine (my first two didn't have them) but since this one does, I check as it is just one more thing to try to keep from having an accident. But when I'm wearing it, I hardly think about it anymore, but when I'm not, I feel barren. I had to take it off and put it in the trunk when going over to Washington to apply for my WA CWP (I live in Oregon and have my Oregon CHP) and I felt more nervous then and made sure I had my OC Spray handy.
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Ruger LCP in Desantis Pocket Holster (backup)
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If you are a bit nervous use your reflection in windows and security monitors to check your gear. Then you see what everyone else does. Also works for scanning behind you. If I have to bend over & get something I "shop" til I can get the item with no one near me to spot a print or reveal. Or get my wife or daughter to block for me. A little forethought can save some grief.
Another tip. Name your gun. When you're out with family & your spidey sense goes off, ask " Have you talked to _______ lately. " That's our code for going to Orange.
We have different gifts, each according to the grace God has given to each of us.
I particularly like this part of the season where I "semi" open-carry. I use an OWB and just have my jacket or flannel shirt open, but covering it. If I get uncomfortably warm, I will got ahead and disrobe the covering garment - but then I feel a little bit more nervous having the firearm out in the open. When I'm not the only one (like an open carry gathering), it feels a lot more easy.
I've yet to see one person remind the OP that ALL guns are loaded at ALL times. You should use the same care and safety conscious gun handling skills whether it's on your person or in your lap being handled. It really is that simple.
Former US Army SFC
LTC-Class A HC: MA
AG License: RI