Friday, January 30, 2009

Gun Info Carry Bleg. . .

Ok, I know out of my 2-3 readers most of you carry . . . .

Question. I am looking to start carrying. Every time I go to do it I feel “weird” for lack of a better term with the gun on me.

How does one get over this? Did you start carrying around home just to get use to the feel or did you jump in with both feet and start to carry all over?

I also signed up for a Concealed Carry magazine so I can start to read up and learn more about this. Did you take any classes beyond the one needed for your permit?

The idea of defending myself is not really a problem as I hold a second degree black belt in one form of Karate and will get my brown belt in another next week. I guess I keep telling myself that I don’t need the gun as I can deal with things hand to hand. . . . but I know that is wrong. I don’t want to deal with a knife or gun hand to hand if I can avoid it and it seems silly not to carry since I have the permit. I also feel the way the country is going crime will go up so I need to be ready to protect my family when we are out and about just like at home. . .

This is MA, so I am trying to overcome years of brainwashing by the state I know but any useful comment on how you may have done it would be a great help -

6 comments:

Hecate said...

If carrying is uncomfortable or weird-feeling, maybe a different holster is in order. While I agree a gun is meant to be more comfortING than comfortABLE, if it's flopping/digging/ whatever, you eventually won't want to carry it at all.

I carry at home anyway and did so long before permitted concealed carry was legal in Nebraska. It did kinda get in the way at first, but I eventually found which holsters work best for each set of circumstances.

As for training, you can't ever get too much. I have a lifetime membership at Front Sight and take frequent local training classes with instructors trained at Blackwater, Suarez, and others. If I go too long without a tune-up, I start feeling like I'm getting sloppy. These are highly perishable skills. Not to mention that my retired-prosecutor attorney says documentation of ongoing training is a good thing if I ever have a DGU.

Sailorcurt said...

I second Hecate if the problem is the gun being physically uncomfortable.

If you are talking about emotional discomfort, that will ease with time.

It feels "weird" because you've been conditioned to feel that way. When I first started carrying concealed, I felt like I was always printing and everyone in the world could see it, think I was a bad guy and call the cops.

I realized that my fears were unfounded when I started carrying openly on a regular basis and found that most people don't even notice an openly carried firearm, let alone one that's concealed.

One of the big challenges I had was with my friends. They all knew I was a gun owner and shooter, but many didn't know that I carried regularly until I started carrying openly. It made a few of them uncomfortable at first. Basically, I convinced them to think of me as their built-in protection system when they were with me. That helped and eventually, they all got used to it. Their acceptance (and that of my wife...who was raised a liberal and was a bit resistant at first) made a huge difference in my comfort level.

The only caveat I've got is that after you begin to get comfortable with it (both physically, and emotionally), be very mindful of what you are doing. I've gotten so used to it, that I don't even think about it sometimes. I've caught myself thinking about going to Naval Station Norfolk or Little Creek for one thing or another and had to realize that I couldn't because I was armed.

It would be a bad thing to not be thinking about it and get a felony rap for carrying somewhere that it's not allowed...In my opinion.

JD said...

Thanks for the info. It is not a comfort issue as much as a mental one I think. I don't want it to be so comfortable that I forget it is there. . It seems to be more of a mindset and as Sailor said, I feel like folks will know and here in MA that is not good. . . .

Jay G said...

JD,

I'd wager this is probably 90% MA effect, 10% physical discomfort.

The greatest carry rig in the world isn't going to make a 1.5-2lb. weight magically disappear. The only way to get used to it is to carry as often as possible. Or get a nice lightweight hammerless j-frame you can toss in your front pocket...

Beyond that, you'll learn to come to grips with your fear of discovery - I've been carrying in MA (legally, of course!) for nearly 15 years. I **STILL** worry about printing, getting "made", etc. And I'm pretty darn careful...

Linoge said...

Since the problem seems to be more mental/emotional, I have this to say:

I received my carry holster one day, and spent most of it fiddling with it, pushing the pistol in and drawing it out to loosen up the leather a little, and fitting it on my body. Then, once I found where it fit comfortably on my frame, I looked at it, and decided, "Ok, let us see how this works." I went to Kroger, grabbed a few things, and came home.

I grew up in a family with no firearms, and, to be honest, carrying a firearm with me on a daily basis was something that took a little while to get used to. That first step was a large one, but once I did it the first time, the next time was not so bad. Sometimes, you just have to start doing something, and then, once that inertia starts rolling, you are good to go.

Thankfully, in TN, losing concealment on my firearm is not a crime, though the training I received in Florida (where it is), as well as my being concerned about "scaring the white people", did cause me a bit of consternation about showing off the ebil blackness strapped to my hip. I still keep it concealed, but the worrying about accidentally exposing it did bother me for a while.

The short and sweet - pick somewhere innocuous, strap on your pistol, and head out. Come home, and see what the verdict is.

cw said...

There's an inevitable period of sorting out what holster and mode of carry works best with your particular weapon, body type, clothing and so forth. Most people are a little overly aware of carrying at first, but you get used to it.

Don't be overly concerned about printing. Most people aren't very observant.

Training is a good thing to do, as is getting involved in IPSC or similar practical shooing competition. Regular realistic practice is important too.