You bought your gun, you have a great holster, you know the laws, and how to effectively use your gun. You are ready to start life as a concealed carrier! Right? Well… maybe not. Something that can be overlooked is your mindset. What is mindset? Mindset is defined as a mental attitude or inclination. It’s a person’s way of thinking and their opinions. A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations—the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. It’s important to have the proper mindset to be prepared to use your gun in self-defense. Mastering the mechanics and practical use of a firearm does not mean you are mentally ready to use it in self-defense. Having a “concealed carry mindset” can help you to avoid dangerous situations and help you survive if you find your life is being threatened.
Having a concealed carry mindset boils down to 3 important statements:
I will protect myself.
I’m able to justify using my gun for self-defense.
I’m committing myself to a concealed carry lifestyle.
CONCEALED CARRY MINDSET: I will protect myself
You don’t buy a gun for the first time just to buy a gun. You have a reason, an extremely important reason. Self-defense and self-protection. Now, you may think that is the end of it. “I want to protect myself” seems like a very simple, albeit powerful, statement. However, you have to truly mean this statement and all that it entails. You have to be able to answer yes to a few critical questions I always ask women who are new to gun ownership or concealed carry (Could You Use It?). By realizing that you have a responsibility to protect yourself and survive, you will begin to create a concealed carry mindset.
This first concealed carry mindset statement can’t be achieved on its own, you have to understand and accept all of the ramifications of taking a life in self-defense when you commit to a concealed carry lifestyle.
CONCEALED CARRY MINDSET: Justify using your gun for self-defense.
The next statement is “I am able to justify using my gun for self-defense”. What does this mean? This means you are willing to use your gun against an attacker, potentially taking their life, in order to save your own or a loved one’s life. This is not something to accept light-heartedly. You need to be ready to live with the fallout of taking a life. Even when it is justified, it is not easy to live with taking a life in self-defense. Think about the legal ramifications. Are you ready to fight in a courtroom to justify your actions? Think about the social effects. Are you ready to lose friendships and possibly family relationships? Of course, I feel that the risk of these consequences are worth saving my life, but you too have to come to this same conclusion. If you cant, that is ok. Every person is different. There are other non-lethal tools you can look into to utilize and any tool is better than nothing.
If you aren’t ready to use your gun in a life and death situation, you are not ready to carry a gun. The concealed carry mindset starts with the deep will to survive. The concealed carry mindset also has to include the willingness to do what you have to in order to survive. I am not saying you should WANT to use your gun, the goal is to avoid using it at all costs but if you NEED to use your gun you have to be prepared.
CONCEALED CARRY MINDSET: Commit to the concealed carry lifestyle.
The next part of the concealed carry mindset is all about commitment. Carrying concealed is not a hobby. If you have this mindset you naturally want the ability to protect yourself everywhere you are every day. You wake up, get dressed, put on your holster, and holster your gun. note: some holsters require holstering your gun prior to attaching the holster to your body There are going to be times that you cannot carry due to laws that prevent you from carrying in certain locations, or engaging in certain activities. However, when you can carry you will carry. Commit to changing your wardrobe if you need to and commit to finding the best holster for your body and clothing style. for your gun.
Something that you may not consider when thinking about this lifestyle change is the necessity of situational awareness. You are committing to carrying your gun every single day AND doing your best to avoid any dangerous situations. You might think that this is obvious, but you may be surprised by the lack of situational awareness many have. Do you ever leave a store and immediately start checking your phone? Or do you check your receipt, dig in your purse for your keys? Not preparing to exit and not being alert to your surroundings could prevent you from noticing danger. Being ready to defend yourself is only half the battle. You must also do everything in your power to avoid potential threats.
Concealed carry lifestyle also means having a commitment to continued learning, training, and education. Do not become complacent in your abilities and knowledge. Know and keep up with the laws in your state and train and practice often! If it comes time to use your gun, being rusty could mean the worst. Holster draw practice, dry-fire, and live-fire practice are essential to your concealed carry lifestyle.
HOW DO YOU GET THE RIGHT MINDSET?
Now that you know what the concealed carry mindset is you probably want to know how to form that mindset. As with most things, it is all about practice! Take the time to look into yourself and ask the necessary questions. Are you ready to use your gun in self-defense? Are you ready to change the way you dress and the way you move to accommodate a gun and holster? If not, you need to get to that point before you can begin to master the mindset.
You will need to practice carrying. Get used to the feel of the gun and holster on you until NOT wearing your gun just doesn’t feel right. Practice situational awareness at all times. If you don’t avoid dangerous situations, then you will be more likely to have to use your gun and that is the last thing you want to do. Play games to improve your awareness skills. When you go out, see what kind of small details you notice about people, count the number of hats in view. What would you do if something were to happen? Games like these can exercise your mind, strengthen your skills, and maybe give you the edge that saves your life.
FINAL THOUGHTS: CC mindset means total commitment.
You need to commit to life as a responsible gun owner. You need to commit to the fact that you are now your first line of defense. Commit to being the best self-protector you can be. Take gun ownership and concealed carry seriously. Using your gun is never the goal but you must be prepared to do so if you are in a dangerous, life or death situation. You must also commit to continued learning and education. Never allow yourself to become comfortable in your knowledge and always be willing to learn more, train more, and practice more. Owning a gun is not enough.