I would like to start out by saying that in the carry community we suger coat things far to often. I am going to get into a few of the things I think are sugar coated. This is my list. Im sure others will have things to add.
We see questions all the time in forums and blogs as to what type of weapon we should choose and why. Well here is something to consider. Pick a gun that fits your hand, that is controllable for YOU and no one else. Once this had been obtained, train, train, and train some more with that weapon. If you are going to carry this weapon, make sure that it is a quality firearm. (Brand to me, doesn't matter) Just make sure that you can run the gun. So when the question is asked, and the response is "get a glock" do your own research, shoot multiple firearms, pick your gun based on you, not what others may think. Advice can be double edge sword some good, some bad. Remember when someone offers their advice its what they like, or what they know. It may be good for you, it may not be, pick your gun based on you.
In a perfect world we would all carry a service caliber, however some folks do not have that option. Choose what fits your needs. If you are recoil sensitive choose a smaller caliber. While a .22 is not the best defense option, if its all you can handle, then by god, use it. People do not like getting shot. If you shoot someone(bad guy) he will not like it, even if its a .22. We really need to get over ourselves with this. In capable hands any firearm will work.
To clear somethings up. I do not think everyone should carry a .22. I believe everyone should carry a service caliber, however, some people may not be able to do that. We need to understand this and ask the proper questions to make sure that we are helping, not just pissing on someones parade. So if grandma or your petite wife or sister cannot handle the 9mm or .380. Put a .22 in their hand. It may say their life someday.
We hear it all the time, Shoot to stop the threat. What does this mean. Well it means, that we are to shoot the bad guy until he stops being a threat. Does that mean, kill the bad guy? Yes and no. We are trying to make center of mass shots, shooting them in the head, shooting them multiple times. What part of this is kind, gentle or even polite in nature. Its not. So stop kidding yourself, shooting someone in defense of your life or a loved ones life, means (if you did your job) that the bad guy will die. You should prepare yourself for this result.
This is the most important part of conceal carry in my opinion. Why? You might ask. For the most part, a CCW holder is a good person. They abide by the law, and do not want to hurt anyone let alone, kill somebody. We need to prepare our minds for the worse case scenario. That being, killing someone. (bad guy) To many times in our quest for knowledge this gets sugar coated. You do not want to kill, just stop the threat. In stopping the threat chances are that the bad guy will die. Meaning that you KILLED them. Get this in you mind now.That you are willing to do this to defend you and your loved ones. If you cannot do this, then do not carry a lethal form of defense.
You must be willing to fight with greater violence than the person trying to do you harm has. You have to have the fight in you to do this. Conceal carry is not a game. Its not about the latest gear, or the best gadget to make me a super hero. Its about protecting you and your loved ones and using your mind to do this. Remember your brain is the best tool in your toolbox, so use it.
If you are physically able to train, you should be doing so. Even if you are not physically able there are things you can do within the context of your life.
Your conceal carry class was not training. Yep I said it, and Ill say it again. Its not training. It is a safety course. It is made a requirement by the state government to ensure that you do not shoot yourself and to make them feel good. It is not the end of what is needed. To be honest, it is barely the beginning. If you are going to carry a lethal form of defense, a gun, you owe it to yourself, your family, and society to know how to use the dam thing. Additional training, by quality instructors is were you need to start. I understand, money, time, the ability to get it done. That aside, some of these instructors make videos. You can learn a great deal from the videos. They can get you started, and you can train along with the videos. I would prefer to see people in the classes with the instructors, but face it, some folks just do not have the means to do it. What ever you do, stop kidding yourself about the conceal carry course, it is not all it is cracked up to be.
All of the above being said. I feel that I have just scratched the surface. Im sure some will take objection to what I have written, and that is fine. I am not the end all be all. Being a firearms instructor and seeing the questions that come from people, along with talking with other instructors we kind of agree, that the sugar coating has to stop. I have starting do this in my classes as well in my everyday dealings with the non-carrying public...