Back when I played second baseman for my high school baseball team, my dad used to remind me to “always think about what you’ll do if the ball comes to you.” I think this advice is relevant when talking about concealed carry, too. That is, have your actions already figured out before you encounter trouble.
What would you do if a mugger steps out from behind that concrete pillar, or if that car rolling slowly toward you and your family has an armed gunman inside planning to fire on you? Do you have something in your hand—groceries, for instance—that would prevent you from quickly accessing your weapon? If you fire and miss, or the shot penetrates the target and travels through, do you run the risk of striking an innocent bystander? How would you overcome these challenges? Those aren’t considerations you want to make via a snap decision while under extreme duress.
This is by no means a suggestion to adopt a paranoid perspective on life—you know, rocking yourself in a corner as you contemplate what multitudinous dangers await you if you leave your home. But training yourself to automatically run through every eventuality you can think of regardless of where you are or when can save your life.
If there’s one thing we can glean from past public shootings, it’s that location doesn’t matter. It can be a dark alley in the middle of the night or a heretofore-peaceful neighborhood restaurant at noon. Because of that randomness, you must do two things: Make sure you’re always carrying your weapon (a .22 in hand is always better than a .45 in the trunk), and keep your head on a swivel. Complacency can get you killed.
What considerations run through your mind when you slip on your holster?