A while back I conducted a short, informal survey with 100 of my former concealed-carry class students.
The questions included:
- Do you carry your handgun every day?
- If not every day, how often do you carry?
- What handgun do you carry?
- How do you carry (OWB, IWB, appendix, etc)?
- How often do you practice?
Sixty-two said they carry every day. This group preferred auto pistols, with only three of them carrying revolvers. All but four carried outside the waistband, and replied they went to the range at least twice a month, and devoted a total of around two hours a week to dry fire.
Thirteen replied they carry three to four times a week. All carried pistols and in every imaginable way, including ankle and cross-draw rigs. This group went to the range one to two times a month, and only six said they did any dry fire.
I was very disappointed in the remaining 25—a full quarter of the students questioned. Most carried a concealed weapon only once or twice a month. They often switched between different handguns as well as how they carried, and practice was almost non-existent. The reasons they gave were that handguns were too uncomfortable to carry, they only carried when going into a “dangerous area,” and they couldn’t find the time to go to the range or dry fire.
Let’s break down the reasons of the third group:
Carrying is uncomfortable. It’s not supposed to be comfortable; it’s supposed to…I’m sure all S.W.A.T. readers can complete this sentence.
Carrying in a dangerous area: Until I get my crystal ball replaced, all areas can be dangerous at a moment’s notice.
Can’t find time to practice: While finding time to go to a range is somewhat understandable, not finding time to squeeze in a few minutes for dry fire is not.
The above are not “reasons,” they are excuses—and there’s a big difference. I feel guilty that, as an instructor, I somehow failed the last group of students by not impressing upon them how important carrying a firearm for self-protection is. It is my fervent hope that S.W.A.T. readers fall into the first group of respondents.
Until next time, stay low and watch your back.