During a break at this past Concealed Carry Tactics class we had a discussion on quality of life and how carrying concealed factors into that idea. Many folks carry concealed and live, I choose to look at differently, I live my life and carry concealed.
The ostrich syndrome
What does that really mean? It means a lot of folks limit their concealment options and by limiting their concealment options they reduce the ability to truly carry concealed. As part of the class students line up and everyone gets a chance to view the concealment system. Usually we do this standing, sitting and kneeling to give folks a perspective of what they really look like when they are carrying concealed. The funny part is how often folks really think they are concealed when they are just covering up a bulge.
Comfort, first and foremost
It goes further than just equipment selection, there is a mindset that goes with carrying concealed that must be honed over years and the real key to carrying concealed is being comfortable. The more comfortable you with your concealment package the more competent you will be and the more competent you are the more confident you will be in public. Part of developing that comfort is just doing it, doing it as often as you can and that starts within the safety of your own home. I recommend that you make it a practice of carrying in your own, yes there is the enhanced security that carrying concealed will bring, but the real advantage is how you go about your daily life and the impact that carrying concealed has on your activities.
One trick pony
I find it interesting how many questions we get from prospective students about why we ask for a primary, secondary and backup holster system. Many will comment how they only have one system and they are good to go. Yet, when we see them in class and we peer review their system it can have a surprising effect. One student commented how we all know each of us is carrying concealed. True and you should expect that as more and more folks take up the art of concealed carry. More and more people will be looking, dressing down folks in public. So, if you can truly carry concealed with limited and I mean limited visual presence then the average American will be completely unaware.
Diversity, embrace it
A major take away from the Concealed Carry Tactics class aside from the training is the acknowledgement of the diverse skill you have to have to truly carry concealed under a variety of conditions. From everything to perceived threat conditions, equipment requirements, to the weather and even to social settings. Each of these offers unique challenges that can be independent, but even overlap.
So, even if you think your “super special do it all” concealed system is the end all be all I would strongly encourage you to diversify. Get good at carrying in a variety of conditions and with different systems. Streamline your actual concealed carry techniques so they transcend all these challenges. In the 2.5 decades I have been carrying concealed I am still working hard to reduce my visual presence and so should you.