As a veteran, licensed security officer, and concealed carry instructor my favorite response when I ask the question "Why don’t you concealed carry?" is "I don’t need to carry a gun, that’s what the police are for". For a lot of people, carrying a firearm on you most of the time sounds like overkill. Here are my 5 reasons to reconsider concealed carry.
17:10,000 / 10
Based on people’s answers to the above question it’s apparent that many folks feel comfortable relying entirely on law enforcement officers to swoop in and save the day when something goes wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for police officers and all they do, however my biggest problem with this mentality is a simple numbers game. Based on 2015 statistics, medium-to-large cities (50,000+ citizens) in the US only average about 17 officers per 10,000 citizens. In addition, the average 911 response time nationwide is about 10 minutes. In some situations that may be fine, but what if you’re in one where it’s not?
Police Officers Support Concealed Carry
In 2013 PoliceOne.com surveyed more than 15,000 active and retired officers around the country. One of the questions they asked was, "Do you support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable?". The response was an overwhelming 91.3%, "Yes".
When asked, "What are your thoughts when you get a 'shots fired' call involving an armed citizen?", one SWAT officer responded, "I would rather process a shooting scene where the suspect got shot than an innocent person. In active shooter situations I pray that someone is carrying, so they can engage the threat and possibly save lives."
Carrying a Gun Makes You Extra Careful
Many of the people I’ve talked to who carry concealed firearms say that when they carry, they have increased situational awareness. In order to defend yourself, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Carrying a gun gives you a reason to have heightened awareness of what’s going on around you. You become more alert and more aware of your surroundings.
Concealed Handguns are Proven to Deter Violent Crime
The number of concealed carry handgun permits nationwide has more than tripled since 2007 while murder rates have dropped about 25% during this same period, according to a report from the Crime Prevention Research Center. According to CPRC President John R. Lott, data shows that these two statistics are directly related.
You Don't Have to Carry it On You
A lot of the people I talk to that have concerns about concealed carry are concerned about carrying a weapon on their person. They think that they have to buy a waistband, underarm, or ankle holster and carry a big, bulky .45 like a bad 80’s cop movie. I completely understand not wanting to have a rigid holster in your waistband and carry a gun that can knock you on your ass. There are all sorts of options for carrying your concealed weapons these days that negate this stereotype. I, for instance, keep my Springfield Armory 1911 EMP 4 in an Outlaw sling pack. This allows me to use a simple, soft hook and loop holster like the Shadow Shot to carry my pistol out of the way while still leaving it easily accessible in case a situation presents itself. There are a ton of CCW bag options out there, from small bags like the Posse, to purses and clutches, to large bags that will accommodate an AR15 pistol.
I could list many more reasons that I think people should consider carrying a concealed firearm, but ultimately it’s a personal decision that needs to be made after doing your own research and assessing your potential risk level.
One last thought though. There is one thing I constantly teach in my classes...preparedness. Having a concealed carry firearm, and knowing how to use it, is just one additional step in being responsible for your preparedness and the safety of your and your loved ones.