“The Problem: “You finally took the plunge. You bought a gun for protection. You took a class. You got your permit to carry concealed. You are all set—another thing checked off the bucket list of things to do. Is it that easy, or is there more to it?”
(As quoted from “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” in the January 2021 issue of Shooting Illustrated, an NRA publication by George Harris.)
OK, so I guess the expert (Mr Harris) can say what he does in the title of his article, but I certainly don’t want to infer anything about anyone’s mental acuity! Afterall, George is an icon of the firearms training realm.
That said, addressing those of you that are newly armed, or if you are a firearm owner considering concealed carry, there are indeed some questions you should ask yourself…and have answers to!
- What are the legal, medical, social, and perhaps religious ramifications of firearm ownership? Only you can address such issues, however each has it own degree of relevance. The first mandatory priority is that you be fully aware of ALL Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances!
- What is the purpose of you purchasing a firearm? Is the purchase for a real or perceived danger, or is it a “just-in-case” measure? We discuss in our Basics of Pistol Shooting the numerous reasons to own a firearm. Whether it be self defense, or simply for plinking and recreational shooting, there are responsibilities of that ownership you MUST acknowledge. While these are considerable, all go back to the primary issue of SAFETY…safely storing, safely using, safely caring for, and the safety of all that you interact with.
- IF you intend to adopt a strategy of concealed carry, whether that is daily or even occasionally, the absolute first rule of armed personal defense is the Avoidance of a problem before it becomes a problem! You must develop your Situational Awareness of your surroundings at all times, and when confronted with questionable circumstances make all possible means to extricate yourself from confrontation.
My intent in discussing all the above points is not to provide answers to those questions, No, that is your 1st Responsibility! Rather it is to impress upon you the need to adopt a strategy of self-education and self-improvement. Kaizen is the Sino-Japanese term for "improvement", and in business today interpreted as referring to a mindset of continual improvement.
That is the impression I hope to inspire you to adopt. Are you continually striving to be better…better informed, more knowledgeable, and as important, more competent in your firearms ownership?
Get to the range and practice – frequently and routinely.
Seek out additional skills improvement by attending advancing levels of training.
Doing so will hopefully help you become Responsibly Armed!
Check out the training resource we offer both in our classes and in this blog.
Harris led a US Army Shooting team to world champion status before taking on the task of creating and developing to world class status the now well-respected Sig-Sauer Academy in 1990. Following his 21 years with Sig, he now is the principle in his own consulting company and a frequent contributor to numerous publications on firearms related issues.