The Deadly “Cs” of Concealed Carry

You may have seen the YouTube video clip I am about to describe. It involves a law enforcement officer in a classroom with an “unloaded” Glock 40. He stands in front of a room full of students, sharing his message of firearms safety (with gun pointed toward the ceiling and finger on the trigger), and states, “I am the only one in this room professional enough — that I know of — that carries a Glock 40.” Then he swings the gun toward the floor and near his thigh, and we suddenly hear a loud “BANG.” Next, we witness said officer (with way more than just wounded pride) hobbling around and asking if everyone is OK … and clumsily explaining that an “accident” like this could happen to anyone and that no one should ever play with guns.

Yes, if you are wondering if you heard that right, this man shot himself in the leg in front of a room full of students … while giving a gun-safety lecture. I don’t know what was going on in this gentleman’s mind when he passed the muzzle over his leg and pressed the trigger, but I do know that his actions demonstrate why it’s imperative that we follow safety rules thoroughly, all the time. To help remember this, I propose that we eliminate the dangerous “Cs” of concealed carry. While we certainly hope people are capable, competent and confident when using firearms, there are a few “C” words that we need to recognize and avoid.

Comfortable: The word comfortable can be helpful up to a point. It’s fantastic when someone can manipulate a firearm with the ease of skill, experience and training. And it’s great when someone knows and understands firearms enough that he or she feels normal and secure. But the “comfortable” attitude we need to be aware of (and concerned with) is when the respect for firearms is gone or when the healthy fear of guns is no longer there. In my opinion, we should never be too comfortable around guns. When we are comfortable, we often get relaxed, and when we get too relaxed, we can become lazy. Having firearms around and choosing to carry a gun is an important responsibility that should never be taken lightly.

Complacent: This “C” word occurs when people believe they know so much about guns because they’ve worked with firearms for so long (or… *insert whatever reason or excuse here) that they don’t really feel like they need to think about it very much anymore … or at all. As the dictionary defines, this over-confident attitude shows “smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements” and occurs when people feel “so satisfied with [their] own abilities or situation that [they] feel [they] do not need to try any harder.” This is a dangerous pride that can swell and spread, quickly smothering safety and caution. And for this reason, complacency needs to be addressed and extinguished as quickly as possible.

Careless: Most people would probably consider this deadly “C” the worst of them all, since it’s a complete lack of concern that results in people doing really dumb stuff without even thinking to avoid harm or error. Whether born of simple ignorance or blatant negligence, people who are careless with firearms can cause serious danger to themselves and/or to others. And undoubtedly, we cannot allow carelessness to persist.

Perhaps some of these “C” words may seem more extreme and dangerous than others, but they are all equally as intolerable. Safety should always be everyone’s priority — no matter your background, your training, the type of firearms you own or the way you carry your gun. And safety should certainly be evident as you support the responsibly armed lifestyle and share it with others.