ConcealedCarryClass OC 2

Three Things You Aren’t Taught In Your Concealed Carry Course


By Robert Farago via The Truth About Guns

I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’ve been impressed with the instruction rammed down my metaphorical throat. Tedious yes, but comprehensive; instructors cover everything from how a gun works to the legal use of deadly force to anger management and firearms retention (added in Texas for licensed open carry). Plus live fire! But the classes don’t cover everything. Here are three things they don’t teach you in a concealed carry class . . .

Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid – At Least at First

The first time you strap on a concealed firearm, it feels like you’re carrying a Howitzer. Like you’re wearing a T-shirt that says “I’VE GOT A GUN!” Even in states with a gun-friendly culture (e.g., Arizona), first-time concealed carriers worry that a stranger is going to see their gun and confront them.

Pistol-packing paranoia makes perfect sense. Public speaking is Americans’ greatest fear; we’re hard-wired to be afraid of public embarrassment. (Loss of social status is a thing.) Being “outed” while carrying a gun – especially by someone who’s rabidly anti-gun and/or terrified of guns – is public speaking on steroids. “Oh my God. He’s got a gun! What do you need that for?”

Even if you live in a gun friendly culture, this fear isn’t completely unrealistic. No matter how much you mentally rehearse a reply to gun shamers or prepare for a police response (the police!), the prospect of “armed confrontation” still creates low-level paranoia (and constant checking of cover garments). It’s not comfortable.

Exposure therapy is the only “cure” for this paranoia. More precisely, lack of exposure therapy. The more you carry a concealed firearm without being “outed,” the less paranoia or anxiety you feel. It’s simply something you have to go through; a condition that lasts between a week and a month. The trick: go through it. If you find excuses not to carry daily, the paranoia will never disappear entirely. Or you might eventually abandon the whole idea of concealed carry.

Carrying a gun changes your personality – for the better

Gun control advocates have this strange idea: they believe that carrying a gun makes a person into amucho macho trigger-happy Clint Eastwood wanna-be.

Like so many of the antis’ “arguments,” they’ve got it exactly backwards. Carrying a gun make you lessconfrontational. D’uh. Why would you want to engage in any confrontation when any confrontation could lead to escalation which could lead to a gunfight which is something you don’t want to have? Which you could have, now, because you have a gun.

This confrontation avoidance thought process becomes second nature. You become far less likely – if not completely unlikely – to engage in road rage or any sort of argy-bargy with a stranger. Sure there are concealed carriers with anger issues – which don’t disappear when they receive the state’s blessing to bear arms. But that’s not you, a person who took the time to read an article entitled Three Things They Don’t Teach You In Your Concealed Carry Class.


Another psychological aspect instructors don’t mention: concealed carry makes you more independent. By assuming direct responsibility for your own safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of other innocent life (optional), you lose your inherent perhaps subconscious dependency on the state’s protection. You realize that you are a sovereign citizen.

I don’t mean that in the terrorist sense of the term (obviously). It’s an understanding that you’re in control of your own destiny in the worst case scenario: when controlling your destiny is a matter of life and death. Which makes you feel more in control of your own destiny at other, less dramatic times.

Don’t get me wrong: firearms instructors talk (and talk and talk) about the enormous responsibility of carrying a deadly weapon. Fair enough. What they don’t tell you is how good, how right that feels. How it makes you a better person.

Carrying a gun is addictive

The only way to tell if you’re addicted to something: remove it and see if you suffer withdrawal. At the risk of giving the antis [additional] ammo to deride Americans exercising their gun rights, I’m going to say it. Concealed carry is addictive.

Anyone who carries a gun on an everyday basis can tell you about those times when they suddenly realize they’re not carrying one. Like when they disarm to go into Whole Foods, forget to rearm and enter a non-gun-free zone. Crap! I don’t have my gun! They’re plagued by the niggling (at best) thought “what if this is the one time I need it?” Which, by the way, can happen.

The paranoia/anxiety of having a gun eventually becomes the paranoia/anxiety of not having a gun. Traveling to states that don’t recognize your concealed carry license/permit can be an ordeal for a habituated concealed carrier. There are gun owners who won’t go anywhere where their gun isn’t welcome: local businesses, entire states and foreign countries.

Normally, NGP (No-Gun Paranoia) manifests itself in increased situational awareness: scanning for bad people, checking exits, carrying or contemplating alternative weapons, etc. Gun control advocates believe this behavior indicates some kind of moral weakness or personality disorder. It is, in fact, a normal, natural survival instinct, amplified by carrying a concealed weapon on a regular basis.

I’m sure those of you who carry have other examples of what you didn’t learn in concealed carry class. Please share them below.

Categories: Beginners Guide, General
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Berry J Griffin

    All three were covered in the class I took.

  • Shotski0

    I’m way past the initial paranoia. But there are a few other things your instructor probably didn’t address. 1. Public restrooms are now, more than ever before, a last resort… 2. My pistol/s determine what I can wear, or at the least, I have to account for comfortably concealing my weapon… elastic band shots and sweats are no longer “relaxed” attire. 3. If I have to get something off the bottom shelf, I now bend at the knee. 4. I now actually think about what hand I am carrying my bags/keys/etc. so I don’t end up unable to draw should the need arise. Like you said, I am now completely non-confrontational. I’ve heard it said, “an armed society is a polite society” and I can attest, that is absolutely true!

    • Sig_Sauer

      I agree, for me NOT to be carrying is now un-natural. When we go to the movies, we know where to sit and the number of rows to the exit. Going to dinner we request where to sit, that allows us to see the entrance. Coming home, I always enter the home first with nothing in my hands. My wife, she also carries, and I practice “what if” situations. Does this make us paranoid, no, it makes alert and aware.

      I was buying a part for my snowblower, while waiting to pay there was a cop standing next to me. He paid, as he turned I said, be safe out there”. His reply, “glad to see you’re carrying” and walked out the door. We have open carry and my 1911 was holstered on my hip.

  • Bill Kelly

    I’d call this article “Four things …” because the independence that you mention in the second section is a bit different from the tendency to avoid conflict.

    I also believe that the tendency to avoid conflict comes in part because there’s no longer a need to posture to avoid battle. When someone isn’t armed, he has a greater need to project an image of aggression to deter someone who might be looking for an easy mark. If someone is armed, there is less need for the same deterrence. If someone attacks, the armed citizen has the gun for protection.

  • gvw3

    What I learned is the gun I bought to carry was to big and to heavy. I ended up having to buy another gun that I could comfortably carry all day long.

    • trebor86

      Nothing wrong with having to many extras if you ever use yours in aa self defense shooting, police will immediately take it fromyou.

  • Spawn_of_Santa

    “Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid” – does it??? I never experienced that…strapping on the first time at the tender age of 17 at the 10th MP Bn it felt perfectly natural to me…in fact, 30 years later, I feel weird when I don’t carry.

    • Jim Allen

      I think that statement was lost on you. It went way over your head.

      • Spawn_of_Santa

        I think you shouldn’t be a snippy little bitch. It’s unbecoming.

        • GLOCK 26

          And these are the types of guys who represent responsible gun carriers! ? Smdh

    • Clive

      So, you were concealed carrying as a civilian before you were legally allowed to own a gun? Or, did you miss the point so you could brag about yourself? The latter, me thinks.

      • Spawn_of_Santa

        WOW… did you miss; “17 at the 10th MP Bn” You do comprehend 10th MILITARY POLICE BATTALION.

        There’s also NOTHING about concealed carry…just about carrying.

        Did you just miss that? Or are you a dumbass? The latter, me thinks.

        • Clive

          LMAO! I love how you question my reading comprehension while not even remotely getting my point. He was 17 and in the military. As you said, not even remotely comparable to civilian concealed carry. Also note that tahe words “concealed carry” appear in the title of this article. But, thanks for the childish outburst! It was humorous.

          • Spawn_of_Santa

            Ahhhh, you got caught being stupid and now you’re going cry and deflect… I have a 20 month old grand niece that does the same thing.

            What does the article say little man? What does it say? “Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid”

            What did I comment on??? Come on, I know you can do it… I know you can… No? “Carrying a Gun Makes You Paranoid” – It doesn’t say “Carrying a gun AS A CIVILIAN ONLY…” or “Carrying a gun CONCEALED…” It says “Carrying a gun…”

            I said that I never experienced that. I made NO COMMENT about anything else.

            But you have to be a snippy little queen because you can’t read for comprehension. The state of education today is fucking sad…

            Go get a bottle, and change your diaper.

          • Bronation

            The title says “three things you aren’t taught in your concealed carry course.” So any carry metioned in this article should be assumed to be concealed unless otherwise stated.

          • Spawn_of_Santa

            And I stated otherwise. Quit being a whiney little bitch if you don’t have anything constructive to add.

          • onfireinky

            Get real stop making soldiers like me look bad read the title and admit you are wrong.

          • Spawn_of_Santa

            You’re making yourself look bad by being a whiney bitch. And I’m NOT wrong. You simply are a douchebag who got caught being stupid.

          • onfireinky

            Im not whining your being a blue falcon.

    • Tim Osmond

      10th Bn C Co. OSUT Ft McClellan Alabama 1986. Small world.

      • Spawn_of_Santa

        I was there in 1985… Crap, I don’t even remember what company…to much water (or alcohol) under that bridge. VERY small world.

        • Tim Osmond

          Have you had any weird health issues? McClellan was shut down because a chemical plant had been dumping dioxins over 40 years into the drinking water, it was found in everything, dirt, dust, air, water, trees, all the vegetation. McClellan is on an EPA Superfund site for hazardous waste cleanup. The whole base is contaminated.

  • I think the part that says “well regulated militia…” infers some training. And not carrying makes me more paranoid!

    • trebor86

      If it wanted to infer that it should have said so. Because they may also have meant for the peoples right to posses arms, whether trained or not.

      • “Well regulated” means some measure of regulation, and as it applies to a militia, that means training.

      • LynRob7

        The Second Amendment calls for a well-regulated militia …. Which means capable, trained, knowledgeable, and possessing arms therefore the right to possess arms shall not be infringed by the govt…(the term “regulated in the vernacular of the founders does not mean govt regulation)

        • trebor86

          Where does it call for that. To me it is only referred to as the reason for the right, not defining who the right is limited to

  • Varian Wrynn

    Quoting: “I oppose mandatory firearms training. It violates our Second Amendment protection against government infringement on the right to keep and bear arms.”

    This is 100% INCORRECT!!!

    Let us recite the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” First part: “A well regulated Militia” means a group of citizens that train on a regular basis, hence, “regulated.” I’m not making this up – look it up in history books. BTW – this is a point of instruction in the history I teach for Project Appleseed – Arizona.

    Mandatory training was a fundamental part of bearing arms. It’s not now, and it should be – there are too many idiots out there with guns.

    • Bob Curtis

      Right. But the training (“regulation”) should be supplied by the state (while the arms are supplied by the individual, or the community). The states are falling down on their end of the deal.

      Furthermore, while self-defense is indeed a right, the 2nd Amendment does not protect that right in specific. While as a side effect it protects our ability to keep arms, the right of self-defense itself is instead covered by the 9th and 10th Amendments (“bearing arms” has a distinctly military connotation, not a self-defense one). As such, there should be no training requirement for the carrying of arms for self-defense. But there should be training provided by the states for our participation in state militias.

  • xteeth

    Evidently you aren’t taught that the most likely person to be injured with your gunz are you and your loved ones. How do you put it? Nuff said.

    • pest

      Funny. I have a very large family & have known thousands of avid and not so avid gun owners. The study you site is nonsense. But just to be cautious, I suggest you dont ever eat bacon or similar meats (the recent bacon study scare).

      The only gun injury I know of in all these people: a cousin had a tiny injury to the tip of a finger while manually disarming an assailant. He didn’t even need to shoot him.

      Go troll some where else.

    • James Mcmahon

      Sorry, moron, those “statistics” you apparently read (probably on the Huffing and Puffington Post) are cooked. In addition, your use of “textese”, or whatever compelled you to put a “z” on the end of the word “gun” proves your ignorance.

    • trebor86

      That’s because it’s a statistical person. Not a real person.

    • Bruce Boelter

      No, I would put that as, “stupid said”.

  • Dan Weymouth

    Very good article. I personally am all for the CC class. Simply because as I went through my own class last summer. Many of my fellow classmates had either 1. Never owned, let alone carried a pistol before. 2. Were very full of the wrong kinds of teaching. 3. Completely unaware of day to day carry habits. That being said, Man the holster industry needs to come out with some easy to take off holsters. Say on an average day, I have to disarm at least 2-3 times just driving about taking care of business. No firearms at the bank. So off it goes. Ok your sitting in your car. peeling off your holstered pistol, and trying to put it away without every customer in the lot staring at you. Diddo the same thing going to the post office. One gas station or another. Ya some of these places I can get around. But I gotta go to the bank. I gotta go to the post office. Anyway I think you folk see the point. I also suspect I am not the only one. So any good ideas for a paddle holster that’s easy to pull off while sitting in your car? Ya I know good luck with that. Still laughing about the public restroom one. Ya. Went to the can. and my britches plus 3 pounds of pistol plus 2 spare mags all went THUD. Ughum.

    • Barefoot in MN

      drop pants, place gun in pants, do your business, reverse. (saw a cute Youtube video on this dilemma)…but yeah, dis-arming & re-arming in the course of the day does make for some uncomfortable calisthenics. Try being female & armed; our carry positions tend to be really deep. And our state requires us to have any handgun in a vehicle, be emptied of ammo and put in a LOCKED container that is not accessible from the front seat. Add the increasing number of cameras placed in public spaces… &yeah, it gets interesting.

      • Pat

        Thank god the state I am in allows CCW holders to have a loaded gun in the vehicle. But yeah, once you start carrying you will notice what places don’t allow it and will stop going to them as often.

        • Bruce Boelter

          Or just keep it CONCEALED.

          • Pat

            most of us do, but here in OH we understand that if we DO ccw in an establishment that does not allow it, we can lose that CCW. I don’t agree with it, but most law abiding CCW holders at that point prefer to take our business elsewhere.

          • Bruce Boelter

            The only way you could lose your CCW, is if someone finds out you are carrying. The only way that can happen is you pull your weapon. The only way that should happen is if you need it. If you need it and don’t have it, you’re dead.

            I’ll take my chances with the jury.

    • Bruce Boelter

      It doesn’t say you can’t wear your holster in those places. Just remove the gun and lock it in the car.

  • treegthemonsoon

    Wow. That hit the nail on the head. I have had NGP ever since I moved on base. It’s a shame the military can’t carry on base. Fort Hood would have been a 5 shot max event if we were. The powers that be teach members of America’s Armed Forces to hide in ther offices in an active shooter scenario. We are trained to fight America’s wars. We have sufficent training to engage an active shooter on site… Just not the equipment.

  • TMacP

    For those with problems with their conceal carry (weapon too large/heavy for their ‘CC Clothing’, like I had with my PPK in my CC Vest, I found that a Kilt Sporin was the best solution. It hooks on your normal pants belt loops and if you have to remove it (like going into a bank or other restricted place), it can be easily put into your car discretely (especially if you have a lockable glove box!). No, I have no attachment to the company or anything like that, it was just my easy solution to carry without the normal ‘holster’ issues. While it might not be for those that demand their ‘quick draw’ requirements, it is a bit more discrete and for me at least, it lets me carry easier. (Look up under: AmeriKilt, American Kilt Sporrin for $19. Like I said, I get nothing from them, but they have a sturdy cloth pouch with clips that will carry easily on your belt loops!)

    • Hagfan

      I don’t know about that one man..That kilt sporran is awfully close to a fanny pack. lol And you know what they say about fellas who wear those babies. ;) What ever works pal.

  • Tboltdon

    Never read an article that was more on the mark. I’m 75 years old,( to old to take a whipping)with a bit of a short fuse. Got my CHL 5 years ago, carry 24/7. I somehow developed enough confidence to walk away from a confrontation. Great article.

  • Feeling the need to carry a gun everywhere is, by definition, paranoid. And you could also get that feeling of serenity with serotonin reuptake inhibitors, with less hassle.

  • TRStrunk

    I’d like to clear something up. First I am a Concealed gun licence carrier and very very pro-gun. But the 2nd amendment does not give anyone the right to conceal carry. It only gives you a right to bare firearms. “Right to have and BARE arms” Key word being “BARE” Don’t believe me just look at the definition of “BARE”. Here’s a link. See for yourself.

    Now I have no problem having to qualify to conceal carry and no one else should either. I’ve seen enough people in the gun store who really aren’t even aware what end of the gun is the business end.

    As long as the process is affordable so even a min. wage earner can afford it. The time to get a CCW is just a few weeks and not months/years, and to qualify to just have to know the basics of the firearm and the local laws and demonstrate that you can fire the firearm rabidly w/o losing control then I really have no problem. Last thing I want to have out and about is some person with a gun with little to no common sense. Yep< I'm talking Hillary and Sander supporters.