There’s a good story by Linda McAlpine in the Daily News today about taking a concealed carry class. The story focuses on the mechanics of firearm safety.
“You are responsible for learning the four fundamental safety rules and following them at all times,” he told the class. “You need to practice them until they become second nature to you.”
That is all good advice. Handling a firearm safely is of the utmost importance. But when you are carrying concealed, the responsibilities compound exponentially. When I took my first concealed carry class in 1996/1997, it was taught by an old cop. There were two things he said that still stick with me.
“If you pull the trigger - right or wrong - it will cost you at least $30,000.”
What he was saying was that even in a justified shooting, it will cost tens of thousands of dollars to fend off possible criminal and civil legal challenges. That’s one expensive bullet.
“Even if you are right, your life will never be the same.”
Killing someone - even when completely justified - is not an easy thing to live with. Like Eastwood said in Unforgiven, “Funny thing, killin’ a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s gonna have.”
I am a passionate supporter of concealed carry, but it is not something in which to engage lightly. Know your firearm. Know your rights. Know yourself.
There was a concealed carry permit instructor in Minnesota named Joel Rosenberg who used to say that shooting someone in self defense was the second worst possible outcome. Very true.
The most reasoned explanation for concealed carry cocerns that I have ever read. ( or guns in general for that matter)
I’m against Concealed carry , But it would be sure make me think the better of it if those 2 statements rattled around in every gun owners head.
Eastwood’s line stuck with me too Owen, but I think it was “It’s a hell of a thing, killin’ a man…” Delivered as only Clint can.
And my fave Clint line: “Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?”
Back on topic, I agree with you 100%. Carrying concealed is not to be taken lightly. Proper training and situational awareness is crucial to making the right decisions when a problem arises. I personally pray that I never need to draw a weapon anywhere besides a gun range. But the reality these days is that bad things can and do happen to good people.