Earlier this week, I introduced open carry and some of its associated benefits and drawbacks. However, the concealed carry alternative has its own list of pluses and minuses. This article will briefly introduce some of these for your self defense considerations.
One of the main upsides of concealed carry is the fact that it is not plain to a would-be assailant whether or not someone has a firearm on their person. Generally, attackers look for targets they feel will be easier to overtake so that they can get what they want from the interaction without much difficulty. When someone with a concealed carry piece finds themselves in a self defense situation, oftentimes the sight of the attacker’s chosen prey brandishing a firearm is enough of a counter-threat to end the exchange before it escalates to violence. In a similar vein, there are some who have told me they prefer concealed carry because of the additional security it provides their firearm; it’s much harder for an attacker to disarm an victim they do not know is armed. Another advantage to carrying concealed is how those who don’t openly display their firearm draw less attention from those around them. If a carrier’s firearm is effectively concealed, they don’t arouse discomfort or suspicion from those who are opposed to firearms or uninformed about the laws regarding carrying firearms. For those who don’t wish to be disarmed, there are some places where concealed carry is the only option because open carry is forbidden. In circumstances such as these, the myriad of concealed carry options (in-the-waistband, ankle carry, purse carry, etc.) allow permit holders several solutions for accommodating their self defense tools.
Arguably, one of the main drawbacks of concealed carry is directly related to its concealing function; covering one’s self defense pistol necessarily adds an impediment to drawing said handgun from its holster. Concealed carry holster designs often compromise comfort and ease of concealment with ergonomics of use. As a female, I have found more difficulty in effectively concealed carrying when using holsters that are more efficient for draw due to the fact that the curve of my waist makes a pistol holstered on my hip protrude in a way that it doesn’t for straight-waisted males. My anatomy is more accommodating for a holster that allows the pistol to “tuck” into the curve of my hip, usually around the 5 o’clock position. This means that I must reach behind my back in order to draw my concealed pistol from its IWB holster, rather than the quicker, more comfortable 3 o’clock position that I use with my OWB open carry/competition holster. The element of inconvenient draw is more pronounced with less traditional concealed carry methods (such as neck carry, ankle carry, or thigh carry, for example).
The need of covering a concealed carry piece detracts from the ergonomics of its operation, but with training and practice, a well-concealed carry firearm can be just as effective as one carried openly. In addition, concealed carry offers piece of mind to those who wish to carry a firearm without drawing attention to themselves. In some instances, the greatest benefit that concealed carry offers is the ability to carry a firearm at all because open carry is prohibited, as is the case in the state of Texas. Carrying one’s self defense implements inconspicuously can factor into making a carrier more difficult to disarm as well as affording them the element of surprise were they to find themselves in a self defense situation. In fact, surprising an assailant by countering their lethal threat with your own may even be enough for them to decide to abandon you for easier prey.