Like many of us, I believe in the right to defend myself and my family. But in the event that an actual situation occurs, am I ready to do what it takes? Let’s take concealed carry as an example. I’ve shot guns of all shapes and sizes my entire life, but I’ve never carried one for self-protection. With all of the random acts of violence beginning to stack up over the years, I’ve felt compelled to be prepared in case that randomness happens to find me one day.
First step was achieving the Concealed Handgun Licensing (CHL). I signed up and was fortunate to be taught by one of our good friends, Jeff Kyle, because who better to learn from than the expert! The physical execution of the target shooting was no issue. Then we started in on the laws and the information required to pass the test. The more time that passed and the more legal information that I poured over, the more I started to question whether I was truly ready to not only carry, but to act if necessary. Not to mention, endure the consequences of my actions, however those might unfold.
Let’s step back for a second. I am not ex-military. I am not trained in self-defense. I am a husband and a dad of three kids that feels the need to be mentally and physically strong and trained in order to defend myself and my family. From my perspective, if you break down the entire cycle of what it means to conceal carry into three parts it might look like this:
1) The weapon – the right weapon to carry, for you, that you can handle, get to, maneuver and more or less shoot accurately.
2) The action – the ability to understand the situation, to assess the risks, to access the weapon, and to pull the trigger.
3) The post mortem – dealing with law enforcement, being arrested potentially, knowing what to say and not to say, who to call, interacting with family and friends, living with the fact that you took a life.