So you have a pistol and a concealed carry license, and you know how to shoot… you’re good to go, right?
Not so fast! You may be a capable concealed carrier, but do you know how to carry safely? Too many people have no or a bare minimum of safety and self-defense training. Without proper de-escalation and situational awareness training, and especially legal instruction, you may cause more harm than good, even if your intentions are the very best.
Here’s some disturbing stats from USCCA:
Frankly, I’m getting tired of having to write columns about road rage. You’d have thought that, as it becomes widely publicized and as more and more citizens are legally carrying guns for protection, most people would be less inclined to let their emotions get the better of them. And you’d expect that those of us who do carry firearms would be particularly aware of the potential consequences.
Apparently, that has not been the case. A 2006 study by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found that “drivers with a firearm in their vehicle may be more prone to anger, and more likely to engage in aggressive driving than those who did not have a gun.”
“Across all demographics and regions, gun carriers were more likely to make obscene gestures at other drivers, aggressively follow them or both,” the study concluded.
OK, that was 2006. What about now? Disturbingly, even over just the last three years (2014 – 2016), there has been a steady increase in all types and categories of road rage involving firearms:
Does this mean that people who carry concealed are more violent people than a non-armed person? We don’t believe that any more than you do. But what it DOES mean is that every action of a concealed carrier matters, and impulsive actions can cause much more harm than those of someone who is not carrying.
The solution to this problem is simple: education, education, education. It is the responsibility of each person who carries concealed firearms to ensure that they are always learning, always vigilant – both for dangerous external situations, but also for internal ones. Simply acquiring a concealed carry license is not enough – without continuing to ensure constant learning and training, there is always the possibility of causing a disaster, rather than preventing one.