The 5 C’s of Concealed Carry

A gun belt holder

In the wake of the 2020 riots, millions of Americans rushed out to buy their first firearm and also signed up for classes on how to use them. Additionally, many current gun owners who had put off getting their carry permit finally decided it was time get their carry permit, and concealed carry classes filled up! Unfortunately most Concealed Carry classes are very basic and include nothing more than gun safety, shooting fundamentals and an overview of the laws in the respected state. In these type classes there simply isn’t enough to cover other very important aspects such as mindset, decision making skills, the combative aspects of fighting with a firearm, and the physical, financial, emotional and social aftermath of a self-defense defense incident. So, here are the 5 C’s of Concealed Carry that were probably not covered in your class, but that I think are even more important than the gun, caliber or gear you carry.

The 5 C’s of Concealed Carry

1. Considerate – When carrying a firearm, every encounter is an “Armed Encounter” and therefore an armed citizen should be a polite citizen. Incidents like Roads Rage are all to often instigators to so called “self-defense” incidents. However, when prosecutors review your case they are going to want to know more than just the details of the shooting. They are going to want to know what led up to the shooting. Did you start or escalate it? Does your past show a pattern of being a hot head? Do you have a habit of posting insensitive or inflammatory comments on your social media accounts? The prosecutor may go back YEARS to try to paint you as a bad tempered vigilante who was just looking to start a fight.

2. Confident – Be aware of your surroundings and carry yourself confidently. The best way to ensure you win a violent encounter is to avoid it altogether. Study after study show criminals choose their victims on how easy a target they think you will be, and how likely they are to be able to get away without getting caught or injured. If you can see a potential threat early and avoid it, or convince the criminal you won’t be an easy “hit”, the less likely they are to target you.

3. Competent – Be proficient with your firearm and know the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. While your CCW class may have covered shooting fundamentals and the laws in your state, the small number of rounds you fired on the range are no where enough to internalize the techniques you learned in class to a level of automaticity. Even Police Officers who are regularly required to qualify with their firearms, miss their intended target about 80% of the time in a gun fight. As a civilian, you are legally responsible for every round that leaves your gun. And no matter how much time you spend on the laws, it is not enough to cover the wide range of laws from other states, all the legal issue surrounding the justified use of force, or the legal process you will endure after pulling the trigger. For those that are serious about understanding the law of self defense, I would suggest you consider a class like Massad Ayoob’s Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement which is 20 hours of classroom in immersion, or at the very least get his book or audio book on Deadly Force.

4. Cautious – Avoid putting yourself in dangerous areas or situations! To paraphrase the great John Farnam, “Don’t go stupid places, with stupid people, at stupid times, and do stupid things.” In addition to situational awareness and avoiding potential threats, it is also a great idea to not put yourself in a situation where there is an increased risk of danger. If you know that going to a “bad” part of town after a certain time, puts you as risk of a violent encounter DO NOT TO GO TO THAT PART OF TOWN. While carrying a gun is a legitimate option to protecting yourself and/or your family, it should NEVER BE a reason you insert yourself into dangerous situation that you didn’t have to be in.

5. Calm – Remain calm in any situation to avoid letting your emotions escalate a situation, or hamper you from prevailing in a violent encounter. The ability to remain calm, cool and collected is imperative. In John Hearne’s course on Who Wins, Who Loses and Why, one of the biggest factors in prevailing includes the ability to remain in emotional control. If you loose your cool, you loose your emotional control and less your ability to respond to the issue at hand. Emotional Control accompanied with automaticity are the two biggest factors to being able to defend your life.

So there you have it. The 5 C’s of Concealed Carry. I understand these are not the flashy gun and gear topics that most people want to read about, but I truly believe that if you possess these 5 qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm.