“Remember the first rule of gunfighting … have a gun.” – Col. Jeff Cooper
Concealing a firearm is a pain in the ass. I mean a royal pain in the ass. Those who choose to conceal carry know this all too well. There is a sadomasochist nature in trying to keep a piece of steel and/or polymer hidden. It is an abusive relationship between comfort and concealment. It is a balance of concessions, as the gun you carry is often not your favorite nor the one which you shoot the best. You will find yourself constantly comparing your current carry gun to others on the market and debating the merits of the two. When you do choose a firearm you then find yourself cycling through holsters to find a reasonably cozy and practical option. You are in a constant state of flux and always open to selecting a better option.
After you have chosen the combination of gun, holster and carry method you become fiercely loyal to it. Once your functional layout becomes a habit, it becomes second nature to equip it each day. Without any additional thoughts, you find yourself putting on your gun each morning along with fresh underwear and deodorant. It becomes a necessary part of your life. It is a tool you dare not go anywhere without. You feel as ready as you can be if danger comes. You train as much as possible with your chosen tool and have developed a relationship with it. You may own multiple firearms, but that one is your go to carry gun. You’re always aware that it is there, but it doesn’t consume your every thought. It is an old friend that is ever present.
Then it happens. You arrive at a location where due to local laws or regulations you are not permitted to conceal carry. Standing outside of that location an internal dialogue erupts. Do you ignore the sign and rules or do you proceed? Does the current situation and environment allow an easy and safe way to remove your firearm? What happens if this is the day you really need that gun? My friends and family usually know what it means when I go to back to the car before I enter a facility. If questioned I usually utter the phrase “Excuse me while I disarm.” I remove my handgun, secure it and return to the party I came with. As we proceed I try to not make a big deal out of it, but it is. Not getting into the politics involved, I hate being unarmed. If I am awake, I generally have a firearm on me or close. It is my choice and I do it safely. When I am forced to remove it, I feel exposed. I am very aware that I do not have a pistol on or near me. I find myself hoping that this is not the day I will desperately need an effective means of defense. The day is overshadowed by “what ifs” instead of “what ares”. The entire experience never as enjoyable as it could be. I would feel much better if this place allowed me to carry and I know I am not alone.
My final thought is this, if you own a business maybe you should rethink that no guns allowed sign. It has an effect on your customers, but many will never voice this. Most will quietly cooperate, but I highly doubt they will frequent a place that doesn’t allow them to conceal carry. It is a heavy decision for me to remove a firearm and enter any establishment, no matter what wonders lie behind those doors.
“Carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be a comfort” -Clint Smith
Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.