Alright — I am going to embarrass myself quite a bit here in hopes of imparting unto you, especially our more casually-carrying readers, exactly why good carriers are always vigilant.
When I was 21, and had just gotten my concealed carry permit maybe a month and a half ago in my glorious home state of North Carolina, I just about blew my head off because I paid absolutely no attention to where my firearm was when using the bathroom.
Now, using the bathroom while carrying concealed is not the most fun thing in the world, and in fact, articles on the subject were some of the first things I read on this website before I became a staff writer.
I wish I had read them before what my friends call “the incident.”
At the time, I was what I now like to call a “lazy” concealed carrier. I carried a tiny little Davis Derringer in .32 ACP not because I liked the caliber, the feel, or even the concealability — which is the whole point of a little firearm like that in the first place.
I liked it because it was easy.
Gosh, it was so easy to carry. Although many people have said many times, rightly, that the best carry firearm is the one you’ll actually carry, you have to have some confidence in the self defense tool to which you are entrusting your life.
I mean, come on, even non-carriers could surmise that much.
“Lazy” is not an attitude you aspire to when carrying, and I’ll tell you what, it can bleed over into other aspects of the carry, such as situational awareness, which you are about to see.
Armed with my lazy attitude and cheap firearm, I went to use the restroom in my home and, without getting too personal, I was sitting down rather than standing up.
I didn’t notice that the derringer had slipped out of the little mini-pocket I kept it in and was slowly making its way out of my half-off pants and to the floor.
Everyone here can agree I’ve been pretty stupid up to this point — right? Right.
Here’s where it gets worse.
I finally do discover that something is amiss right as it makes its final departure from the pocket to the floor, where it is about to land right on its hammer and go off, and what do I do?
I lean over to try to catch it.
Seriously, it’s like I was trying to come up with a “How Not To” story for this page.
When that gun went off, the projectile shot up just a couple inches in front of my face and put a lovely hole in the ceiling.
Being bad at concealed carry almost killed me.
It was a couple weeks and several long conversations with firearms experts I respect concerning what went wrong and how to improve before I attempted to carry again, and you better believe that lazy attitude was nowhere to be found, and neither for that matter was that derringer.
Where does that leave us?
Concealed carry is a great thing, and if you can manage it, it really should be a daily thing. It serves to empower law-abiding citizens in the face of external threats to their lives, homes, and families.
But just because it should be a daily thing does not mean it should be a casual thing. Not once ever.
Take it from the guy who narrowly avoided a premature face-to-face conversation with the Almighty.
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