While I was going through my emails, I saw a number of questions about concealed carry and my thoughts on different aspects of the subject. I would like to address some of that here. What follows is merely opinion and observation.
Anti-gun people like to paint with a pretty broad brush when they characterize pro-gun folk. Those of us who are in the gun community know that there are a lot of different points of view on many aspects of gun ownership and rights. Some people are 100% against any background check system, and others have no problem at all with it. Some people get upset over the lack of concealed carry reciprocity (where if a person is allowed to concealed carry in their home State, they can do so in every State), others see that as a State’s rights issue. So the idea that pro-gun people agree on everything and can be painted one-and-all with the same brush is asinine. Anti-gun people will disagree with everything that follows, and about half of the pro-gun people will as well. And that’s okay. A difference of opinion isn’t the end of the world.
The First Time You Carry
I have a friend who told me that he only carried once. After getting his license, he carried one time and was so nervous the entire time that it wasn’t worth it. So, after getting my license, I wondered how I would feel the first time that I stepped out with a gun.
To my surprise, I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt confident, but that is a normal state for me. It was awkward getting into my vehicle, but only because I was unsure where the IWB holster was going to be as far as catching the seat or where the seatbelt would come across, etc. I got a really good holster (more on that in a bit), so the feel was comfortable. I did have thoughts wondering if people could tell that I was carrying. The Texas summer is brutal and so there was no real option to wear extra layers or a vest to hide the printing. My Wife assured me that it wasn’t obvious.
So my advice on that first carry is to relax, you aren’t doing anything wrong, provided you are following the law. Enjoy it. After all, self-defense is a human right.
Get a Good Holster
Spend a little money. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but don’t get a $5 nylon and velcro holster. I bought the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5. My gun isn’t ideal for concealed carry. It is a little bulky and blocky. But with this holster, I walked around in complete comfort and went unnoticed. The belt hooks on the holster are strong and very well designed. One of the first tests I did on the holster was to place the gun in it, turn it upside down, and shake it to see if it would let the gun fall out. It didn’t fall. Now, at my age and history of injuries, there is no chance of me doing cartwheel kicks as part of my self-defense plan, but it is good to know that the firearm shouldn’t fall out of this holster. I am happy with the design and craftsmanship and can recommend their products.
Comfort and breathability are important, but not necessarily deal-breakers. However, this holster is comfortable and did not cause extra sweating at all, due in large part to the quality materials used in production.
No, Alien Gear is not paying me to say this. They are awesome, even without paying me for my recommendation.
The first time I went out I was driving down the road with a gun in my lower back. And it kinda just dawned on me that in an emergency, I would need to unbuckle and turn pretty far to access my defensive weapon.
Not a good plan. So I made a mental note to not leave the weapon in the holster inside of the vehicle. Under Texas law, it is legal for it to be inside the vehicle out of sight. If you are exercising the right to open carry, under our law it must be in a holster attached to the waist or shoulder. No appendix carry in the waistband of your pants, it must be holstered like a proper gentleman would carry.
But you need to be able to access it, otherwise, why bother to carry at all?
Anyhow, that is my two cents on the topic. Let me know your thoughts, email or comment.