How Do You Carry?

How do you carry?

If you’ve ever spent any time on social media sites related to concealed carry or prepping, you’ve probably seen countless arguments for and against carrying a handgun with a round ready to fire.  Most of the arguments against the practice claim it’s a safer way to carry for people new to firearms or it can’t accidently fire if there isn’t a loaded round.  On the surface these are valid points, but they have some very critical flaws.

You can’t possess a firearm without tremendous responsibility.  I’m not saying everyone that possesses a firearm is responsible and therein lies the heart of the problem.  You are legally and morally responsible for every single round fired from your weapon, whether in your possession or not.  Every single round has the capability of ending a life, intentionally or otherwise.

From this point forward, in this article, so as not to create confusion a firearm will mean a handgun or pistol.

People should carry a firearm for the defense of themselves and people around them.  Period.  But it’s not that simple.  Let’s say you’re walking down the street in the middle of the night and someone starts following you.  You hear them, you see them, they’re gaining ground on you.  Your heart starts to race.  You get shaky.  You get scared.  You get tunnel vision because of the adrenaline coursing through your veins.  Maybe their talking smack, yelling profanities, yelling threats.  What do you do? Do you walk faster?  Do you run?  Do you duck into a crowded business?  Do you turn on them and yell back?  Do you fire a warning shot?  Do you shoot at them?  What do you do?

There is no one correct answer because every situation is different, fluid, dynamic.  In every case, regardless of the laws in your community you have a moral responsibility to escape the conflict.  Many places, but not all give you the legal authority to stand your ground in defense of life and property, but not every place is the same.  Not every encounter is the same.  Do you know the difference?  Castle Laws don’t give you the right to kill.  They simply don’t generally require you to run away.

What does this have to do with how you carry?  Loaded or not?  By loaded I’m mean ready to fire.  You draw, you pull the trigger, a life is changed.  Some people say they are not comfortable carrying loaded.  They are afraid the firearm will “go-off” on its own.  It won’t.  And if it does, you as a responsible person are not doing your part.  You should never carry a firearm that doesn’t work the way it is supposed to.

You see, when you carry, like I said before, it’s for the protection of yourself and those around you.  When you decide you need to draw a firearm in public you have decided you must stop an attack immediately.  You must be ready to pull the trigger.  Note I said be ready, not simply pull the trigger.  The sole intent is to stop the encounter.  To stop your life from being ended.  To stop another person’s life from being ended.  The threat may stop when they see your weapon.  You can’t shoot.  Maybe they continue to attack, you shoot, they stop or retreat.  You must stop shooting.  The attack is stopped.  If you continue to shoot, you have now become the threat, the aggressor, the felon.  Everything you do from this point forward will be held against you.

When you draw your firearm, it must be ready to shoot.  You don’t have the luxury of time to make the weapon ready.  In the time it takes to make the weapon ready you are either killed, disabled, disarmed, or at the very least give the prosecuting attorney an argument for intent which is the basis of a felony conviction of attempted murder.  Why?  Because the time it took you to make the weapon ready was time you could have used to do something else.

Do yourself, your family and anybody that may ever encounter you right.  If you choose to carry a firearm for protection.  Learn how to use it.  Practice with it.  Learn how to carry it, how to draw and re-holster.  Obtain quality gear.  Don’t go for the fashion show or what’s trendy.  Gun stores often have ranges where you can rent different models and see what fits.  Find something that works for you and get a holster appropriate for the weapon and how you’re going to carry it.  Get a holster that doesn’t interfere with the trigger when re-holstering but stays in place when you’re drawing.  Practice, practice, practice.  You can dry fire most modern pistols without damage or you can get snap caps to protect the firing pins.  Learn how to draw without your finger hitting the trigger.  Always carry in a holster of some sort.  Don’t just jam it in your pants or in your purse.  You need to prevent the trigger from being activated before you are ready to take a life.  That’s what a good holster does.  It keeps the firearm where it’s supposed to be and protects it from the “junk” that may be around it.  When you carry, carry the same way, in the same position all the time.  Carry the same firearm all the time.  If you do change firearms, make certain they function the exact same as the others you carry, and their holsters work the same way too.  In the heat of the moment you don’t have the luxury to try to remember if you have your 1911 with it’s slide lock safety or your Glock with just a trigger safety or which holster you’re using.  Is it your Alien Gear kydex or is it your Blackhawk Serpa?  Consider how you’ll react if you’re attacked in your car.  Can you get to your firearm as quickly while belted in as you can while standing?  You need to be able to.

Responsible carry calibers range from .38 to .45.  Anything less can be troublesome in reliability.  Anything more is unnecessary.  9mm’s can over penetrate and have unintentional consequences, .45s make recoil too hard for some and stovepipe.  Practice with your gear.  If it isn’t 100% reliable, find something that is.  If your gear ever misfires, figure out why and fix the issue.  Get professional instruction.  Go to a class and get your concealed permit.  The instructors share a wealth of knowledge about local regulations at these classes.  Eliminate the excuse that you’re not comfortable carrying with a round ready to fire.  Eliminate the excuse that it is safer to carry without a round ready to fire.  You are the safety.  You are the reason it fires.  If you don’t think it’s safe to carry loaded, then you’re the reason it isn’t safe.  You can fix that reason.  It’s your responsibility.

It’s your responsibility.  How are you going to carry?

Cpt. Will Sweatfield

CMM Desoto

Trust Your Freedom, Not The Press

Our news has changed over the years. What we read has not only changed but where we read it has as well.
Older Americans will remember sitting down at the breakfast table with the morning paper. That is a thing of the past. Newspapers are going under in most markets across America. Television and the internet have taken over. So much has changed and many want to know why.
When asked about the news being different, most point to the agenda of one side or the other. Liberals blame conservatives and vise versa.
“People want unbiased news and can’t seem to get it.” said Jessica Wettig, a former Journalism student who chose not to pursue a career in the field. She went on to say, “It’s common knowledge that certain news sources are more liberal or conservative and people don’t trust them.”
Kylie Price, a former University Journalism instructor, thinks all news is biased and always has been. She said,”I think people gravitate toward the voice that validates theirs.” That could be a huge reason readers and viewers trust the media they encounter. Trust seems to be a large problem with our news these days. Why is trust given so easily? Kevin Hunsperger, WSIL NEWS 3 in Southern Illinois, imparted this on the subject,”I think part of it is the fact that anyone can become a “journalist” It’s not unlike people who offer legal, medical and educational advice on social media and the internet without having the background or training to do so.” Every blogger, vlogger and internet star can say something one day and it be almost set in stone the next. Even when some of it is comedic in nature, some will take it as gospel. Hunsperger believes another problem is there’s no sourcing or fact checking a lot of the time. He thinks alternative sources are fine, but wonders if they truly vet who they’re interviewing. How would we know the information they are providing in the article or video is accurate? We really can’t. Anyone can write a blog or post a YouTube video. Which media is the best or worst? Price said,”I wouldn’t say internet news has become more biased than print or broadcasting, for I think all media outlets can be biased.”
It all boils down to what you like. Today’s people like it all. Conservatives tend to not trust any of it and liberals seem to believe everything. Some have said a little personal fact checking could fix both sides.
The fight for ratings or sales in the information business has been going on since early on in America. With Muckrakers (defined by Wikipedia as those who investigates and exposes issues of corruption) getting great readerships in the early days, the competition began to build among local markets. Leading to the Yellow Journalism (a pejorative reference to journalism that features scandal-mongering, sensationalism, jingoism or other unethical or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or individual journalists- Wikipedia) starting soon after. American readers in search of information as well as entertainment fanned the flames of the war between the newspapers in New York. The war for sales, ratings and popularity has been going on since way back when. Politicians have been using the press and media to sway voters from day one. But not until President Ronald Reagan(R California) did it explode into the circus it is today. The movie star brought political sensationalism to the American television news. Jimmy Carter(D Georgia) never had a chance. The world was hooked on the TV waiting for more news about the presidential race. Carter had many fine qualities that would has swayed thousands of voters if they had looked his records up. They were blindly following the media of the day. The ability to do research and make an informed decision is one of the reasons we have the election system we have. The founding fathers studied multiple governments and read many historical documents before deciding on our election process. Our individual thoughts, ideas and choices are what make us a free country. Trusting media outlets and not excercizing our GOD given decision making skills has put us in a terrible spot.

2nd Lt. Matthew Griffin, CMM

What If?

We like to think we’re ready, that we’re prepared for anything the world can throw at us.  We learn primitive skills, we gather supplies, we learn to do without the most basic conveniences progress has afforded us.  We carry tools with us everywhere we go to survive whatever we think might happen.  We know how to make safe water to drink from most any source.  We know how to make fire and shelter.  We can move a group through the wild and find a specific place using just a map and if we need to, we can protect ourselves from most… or so we think….

No matter how prepared we are.  No matter how heavily armed we may be.  No matter how strong, or vigilant, time and time again we see that people intent on doing harm will do so.
You see it’s not enough to train or prep.  It’s not enough to stock up on food, ammo, weapons and gear.  It’s not enough to have a plan for when SHTF.  Any moment of any day, you can be targeted by someone you may never see.  These attacks come swiftly, from hiding, from behind, and most recently, from high above.
Now whether you believe the official narative about the Vegas massacre or not.  Whether there was a lone shooter or a group.  Whether it was a depressed man gone mad or a government cover-up, it doesn’t really matter.  The scenario shows us just how vulnerable we are to evil.  Evil thrives on chaos.  Chaos is fueled by fear & confusion.  Nearly 600 lives were affected that night and nothing a patriot in the crowd could’ve done would have stopped the shooting.
At nearly every large public gathering, steps are taken to ensure good, law-abiding citizens are disarmed and for what?  For the protection of the people around?  Since when has a law-abiding citizen ever been a risk to the safety of others?
But let’s say, in the case of the Vegas situation, that people were not disarmed.  Would the outcome had been different?  Honestly, no.  The shooter was too far away, concealed in darkness and had an overwhelming advantage of mass hysteria on his side.  So what do you do when you’re truly helpless?  What do you do when nothing you can do can stop the rampage?
Live with your eyes open.  Maintain a constant state of suspicious alertness.  Always search for the answers to “What if?”.  If you’re able, get training, be armed, be ready.  Sit with your back to the wall, eyes on the door.  Plan escape & concealment, know where cover is.  “What if?”  Do you stop the madness?  Do you help the helpless flee?  Do you simply hide then run away when your opportunity presents itself?  “What if?”
Do you stop living?  No.  Stop going to the night spots you grew up in?  Maybe… The world is an ever changing and dangerous place.  It’s alright to avoid dangerous areas.  It’s alright to live a safe life.  You don’t need to go looking for a reason to be in a fight.  You don’t need to go looking for trouble.  Eventually, it will likely find you, one way or another, you’ll find yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in… “What if?”
Driving down the highway, “What if?”, shopping at the mall, “What if?”, walking in the park, “What if?”, praying in a church…….
“What if?”
Cpt. Will Sweatfield
CMM Desoto