I’m in the midst of an article for work on concealed carry clothing for people who work in white-collar jobs. I’m pretty passionate about adapting armed personal defense for the suburban commando. The first article I wrote for Shooting Illustrated was on this very topic, (and it got me my first Instalanche), and I’ve been writing about it since then.
Clint Smith, he of Thunder Ranch fame, once said that a gun should be comforting, not comfortable. This is true… if guns are your lifestyle. For the rest of us, we need to figure out how effective armed self defense fits into our lifestyle as easily as possible.
Note the words “effective armed self defense.” I have a friend who goes around armed all the time. And by “armed,” he means he has an NAA .22 Magnum revolver in his pocket. He’s never done any serious training with it, never shot any drills, and I sincerely doubt he’s put more than a total of 50 rounds through the gun. Despite all of this, he’s counting on it, and his ability to shoot well under pressure, to save his life or the life of someone he holds dear.
Imagine going into Guitar Center, buying the cheapest Casio keyboard they have, and then auditioning to jam with Radiohead.
There has to be a happy medium between the people who insist you should dress like a tactical hobo in order to conceal your Glock 17, three mags, flashlight, tourniquet and whatnot, and the people who think that carrying an underpowered, single-action, five shot revolver around with them for, um, protection.
In many ways it’s easier to get people who aren’t “gun people” to do the other things they need to do in order to stay safe. Gun people tend to fixate on the gun as the solution to the personal security problem, versus other people who are more receptive to things like flashlights, impact weapons and pepper spray as personal security options. Guns solve only one problem, the threat of lethal force at extended distances). Now, to be fair, that threat has rather devastating consequences, but it is just one threat. True safety and true comfort means truly understanding the threats we face, and taking appropriate precautions.
Which is not hard. Pepper spray is cheap, and easy to carry. Books such as The Left Of Bang and The Gift of Fear are easily available at easy to put into practice. Flashlights… okay, look, people. In 2020, there is no excuse. none whatsoever, for NOT having a flashlight with you. They are great models available from Streamlight, Fenix, ThruNiite and a host of other manufacturers. Just buy one, and have it with you ALWAYS.
Being safe is comforting, and there is no reason why we can’t be comfortable while do so. I want a life worth living as much or more than. I want to live the armed lifestyle, and I want to live it style.