I bought a Sig. and some bullets.
This is a discussion on How much prep for carry? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I bought a Sig. and some bullets....
Since Missouri was kind of a "late comer" to the issuance of concealed carry permits, I've had over 25 years of studying lethal force issues, shooting classes and over 8 years as an armed medic on a swat team before Missouri passed CCW.
I have an extensive library of lethal force and carry books, tapes, articles, some trial case studies and the like as well as being a certified law enforcement combative and defensive instructor as well as lots of tactical training with the swat team before I got my ccw permit. I've also studied the law extensively and dissected actual shootouts. I studied the psychological effects of being involved in lethal encounters and learned about natural physiological aspects that effect the human body and the brain in which you have no conscious control over during a lethal encounter. An amazing and fascinating study that if you are not prepared to deal with it could very well cost you your life or your freedom. Effects or phenomenon such as amaurosis fugax, auditory exclusion, tachypsychia, as well as the effects of tunnel vision and cognitive dissonance can become serious problems in allowing you survive the gunfight altogether or being able to explain what happened to your attorney or investigators in order to keep you out of prison.
When I acquired my ccw permit it was merely a natural extension of what I have trained and studied for well over 25 years. I've been sort of a sponge for lethal force training. I treat it as kind of a religion in such that I study, respect and honor the tenants of learning all I can regarding lawful use of lethal force in defensive situations.
I would say that is definitely not the norm, but after experiencing a couple of life changing events, it started as a slight interest and for several years became pretty consuming.
A lot of people choose to fly by the seat of their pants and hope for the best. They play the odds and will deal with the consequences later, not even knowing what the consequences are. What ever floats your boat. Ignorance is bliss some say. There's also a saying that "You don't know what you don't know until you know it."
Loosely translated it means that when you are ignorant of something, you are not even aware of how much you don't know.
I would not recommend the flying by the seat of your pants approach to carrying a gun and deal with the consequences later. Seek out as much information as you can and that you can afford.
There are those who will spend $1,000 on a gun, $200 on a holster and nothing on education. Very dangerous people as far as I'm concerned. You brain should be your best weapon, not your biggest hindrance.
Not saying I'm right, just what I believe based on my experience and the wisdom of others who have gone before me. I'm also not saying my training and education will guarantee I survive a lethal encounter. But hopefully it gives me more tools in my defensive tool box that I can draw on to overcome and defeat my attacker and allow me to stay out of prison.
Surviving the battle is job one and staying out of prison is a very close second. With what goes on in prison these days, the prospect of doing 10 years for manslaughter because of something I should have known about is not a prospect I want to consider. At my age, I'd just as soon be killed in the initial gunfight than go to prison for 10 years. There are some things worse than death.
I may reconsider that if the time comes, but that's my general feelings right now.
Stay Safe and learn all you can. CCW should be a lifestyle and not just a means to an end.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
I guess as a corollary to the original question, how many people would change how they started carrying by taking more time, getting more training etc.? While I feel that the 2A is very important (unlike some people these days who think it has lost its meaning in the 21st century) I think that the responsibility is still awesome and should be taken very seriously (by more people than we currently have on our side).
Rabbi Mermelstein's articles? Very interesting articles from a pro-2nd Amendment Rabbi.
Concerning the OP's question:
It took me a while to be comfortable with carrying all the time. I had my permit for 9 months before wising up and buying a holster. Prior to that I was carrying in a faux Daytimer, but only when I knew I would be in a bad part of town.
What woke me up was when my sister, her hubby and my 2-year old niece were held at gunpoint by a carjacker. This happened in a up-scale part of town, just 2 miles from my parent's home. My folks were in the restaurant waiting for them to arrive. I wasn't with them as I was working. Since then I vowed to do what I could to carry all the time.
I bought a IWB holster and gun belt (already had a selection of guns) and began by carrying around the house and on simple errands. I also wore to work, my bosses are very understanding. I, like a lot of newbies, was paranoid about people looking at me. I became more aware OF people looking at me. I would say that feeling left after the first 2 weeks. I have my routine now, get out of the car, straighten outer shirt, if it's windy, right hand in pocket to keep shirt from blowing open. I have no qualms with carrying now.
Funny thing is, I bought one size larger in pants and shorts, and since then I've lost 20 pounds and couldn't return them. heh. I'm headed into Comp-Tac tomorrow so they can add holes to my belt.