I occasionally get the question, “What do I need to learn for carrying a concealed handgun in public? Here is my recommended list in no particular order of importance. That varies from student to student.
- Learning to press the trigger without jerking/snatching/anticipating! It never ceases to amaze me how many shooters are burdened with this habit. You know – crawl, walk, run – and this is definitely a crawl problem.
- Operating the handgun features, such as the safety, magazine release, slide release, or revolver cylinder. This includes clearing malfunctions and reloading.
- Learning how to shoot at bad guys in a public area without harming innocent people in the area.
- Visualizing and mentally practicing scenarios daily during down times such as waiting in lines, waiting to use the ATM, or waiting in vehicles.
- Practicing shooting while in stressful circumstances, such as competitions or force-on-force training.
- Practicing being aware of your public surroundings. This coincides with #4.
- Learning how to respond to bad guys while seated in your vehicles or seated in restaurants.
- Practicing shooting at moving targets.
- Learning to move quickly while responding to a bad guy. Moving helps ensure life and those who stay anchored to the spot are more likely to die. Moving to cover is even better if you can.
- Finding and practicing with a holster or carry setup that works for you and conceals the handgun adequately. (Hint – It will probably not be a cheap holster.)
- Having the courage to realistically determine when you will need to switch to a mounted red dot sight because your eyes no longer can see the front sight. (This happens to nearly everyone as their eyes age.) And then doing it by purchasing a quality red dot sight (which can be a green dot sight as well) and having it professionally mounted on your handgun.
- Learning to shoot someone only when you need to kill them. Forget all that nonsense about “stopping the threat” or warning bad guys to stop. Prosecutors and courts will quickly remind you that your handgun is a deadly weapon, only to be used to prevent death or serious harm. Deadly weapons kill people. That’s why they are called deadly.
I probably missed a few, but that is a good start for those of you who sincerely want to do it right and develop a fighting chance of prevailing against those bad guys. You will not be able to learn all this from YouTube videos! Spend some money and take some classes from experienced, reputable instructors. And then invest the time to practice. We all could benefit from more practice.