Choosing to carry a concealed handgun is an important decision that comes with both benefits and liabilities. I have found the benefits of concealed carry outweigh the reasons not to.
But why should you carry a handgun, let alone carry it concealed?
I have carried concealed for many years and have a lifetime concealed carry license.
If you are new to concealed carry, you probably wonder why others do it and their experience. I was the same.
After thinking about why I have for all these years, I came up with these six reasons. Some are obvious, while others you may not suspect.
Our team has over 25 years of experience in concealed carry, military experience, competitive shooting, and range safety officer experience. We have taken over 150 hours of training in firearm safety and concealed carry topics.
In our series of guides, we will go through everything you need to know about concealed carry. Consider this the beginning of your journey with us.
What is Concealed Carry (CCW)?
First, let’s briefly cover what concealed carry is.
Concealed carry is often short for “Concealed Carry of a Weapon” or “CCW.” The weapon of choice is almost always a handgun of some type.
There are two basic ways to carry a handgun, either concealed or open carry.
Concealed is just as the name implies. The handgun is concealed so that others cannot see it easily. This is typically done with a holster worn on the body and concealed by some type of garment.
Open carry is the opposite. The handgun is in plain view, usually in a holster on the belt. Many of the same concepts can be applied to open carry, just without the concealment part.
Depending on the state you are in, neither one of these methods or both may be legal. In some states where only concealed carry is legal, you must keep your handgun concealed when in public at all times.
In general, we recommend concealed carry over open carry. I feel that open carry draws too much-unwanted attention and can cause me to become a target of criminals. Someone can simply call 911 and say there is a “man with a gun,” which can cause all sorts of issues I don’t want to deal with.
Concealed carry provides all the same benefits without these downsides. Concealed is the way to go.
The Benefits of Concealed Carry – My 6 Reasons
Let’s get into the reasons I carry concealed.
1- Self Defense
The first reason is the obvious one. The biggest reason most people carry concealed is for self-defense. Violent crime has become more and more common in all areas of the country. It can happen to anyone at any time. Even in small rural towns, you hear of someone being assaulted often.
While the exact number of violent crimes is unknown, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has two reports that provide the clearest view. They take not only the stats from the FBI (UCR SRS) but also from a survey collected from victims who do not report violence to the police (NCVS).
Cutting through all the jargon, we see that out of every 1000 people, four to seven are victims of violent crime every year. That is a staggering number when you think about it.
Carrying a concealed handgun is just another tool that you can use to avoid injury or even death from a violent crime. However, it is just that, a tool.
A handgun will not make you invincible or provide a bubble of protection around you. Many other pieces must be put into place as well.
Our series of guides will give you all the pieces that you need.
2 – Protection Outdoors
If you spend a lot of time in the woods like we do, you know that safety from wild animals can also be a reason to carry a weapon.
This mainly depends on where you are, but much of the US has a large population of bears, mountain lions, and other animals that will attack under certain circumstances.
I know the feeling of waking up in my tent and hearing something prowling around. While I usually have bear spray, an air horn, and take other precautions, having a weapon ready as a last resort is not only comforting but can save a life.
Many times, while hiking and camping in remote areas, I find it is safer to have a concealed handgun than to not have one. In a survival situation, I can use gunpowder to start a fire as an additional tool to my Bushcraft skills.
Violent crime can happen anywhere, and shouldn’t be ruled out in the woods. Not to mention, my wife makes me watch all of those horror movies where… never mind.
3 – To Protect My Family
It goes without saying that I carry concealed weapons not only for self-defense but to protect my family as well. But it goes a little deeper.
As we have seen all over the news lately, violent protests happen daily. As we discuss in our civil unrest preparedness guide, once the authorities are overcome, violence can spread quickly. And this is just in normal conditions.
If a widespread emergency, natural disaster, or something even worse occurs, having the knowledge that I gain from my concealed carry training will be one of the most valuable things I can have.
The mindset studies, handgun knowledge, range time, safety experience, and ammunition knowledge from concealed carry are a huge part of emergency preparedness.
If I have to hunker down at home during a prolonged power outage or evacuate to a remote location, I know I will be able to protect my family.
4 – It Gives me Peace of Mind
The confidence gained from the wisdom I have learned as I train to defend myself and my family is a huge benefit to my daily life and mindset.
I mentioned in one of our recent newsletters that the stoics often performed what they call premeditaro malorum. This is basically an exercise to list your fears and how you plan to respond. This helps to eliminate stress and panic when emergencies do arrive.
This exercise is a cornerstone of my emergency preparedness plans. Many items on my “fears” list include defending myself and my family. Concealed carry helps to give me peace of mind that I have this fear covered. In the end, it reduces my daily anxiety.
5 – Concealed Carry Cultivates a Hobby
Concealed Carry gives me an outlet from everyday life to cultivate a hobby.
Why is this important?
The stoics talked about how important stillness is in life. I found that if I am constantly being bombarded by the news, social media, alerts on my phone, and all the other things I have to do, my mindset goes to hell. Literally, it gets very negative.
So, how is concealed carry a hobby, and what does that have to do with stillness?
Very simple, the training.
Concealed carry is a big responsibility, part of which is training. Once I took a few classes, I took what I learned to the range. From training at the range, I took what I learned to competitions. Once I started competing, I started to reload my own ammo. I then got my range safety officer certification.
Not everyone has to take it to this level. I found the concentration that is required is a great way to bring some stillness to my life while at the same time being a benefit to my overall preparedness.
6 – It’s a Challenge
Learning a new skill is a challenge. Challenges are important to keep our brains in optimal condition. Studies have found a clear correlation between learning, well-being, and health in adults.
Learning the process of drawing, aiming, and firing a handgun is a huge learning experience. It takes fine motor skills, decision-making, and coordination, shakes them together, and throws the element of time in there with them.
And it is not only training with my handgun but keeping up with the current laws, practicing situational awareness, and being safe.
I have found over time that the entire process exercises my brain, body, and my entire being.
Looking back, that initial feeling of an explosion occurring in my hand just inches from my face when I pulled the trigger seemed so chaotic.
Now, after years of training and carrying concealed, that exact same explosive sequence of events has “slowed down.” I’m sure you have heard that saying in sports and may have wondered what that means and what it feels like.
I can say it is very gradual and takes time and discipline. But once you realize that the explosion going off in front of your face is not some big scary thing, it brings the satisfaction that you overcame a challenge.
And that is rewarding just in itself.
Join Us In Your Concealed Carry Journey
The entire Defend section of Survival Stoic is dedicated to concealed carry, home defense, and preparing to defend your family. We will not only cover the info you need to know but also get into the mindset side of preparing for that day we hope never comes.
Go back to the main Concealed Carry Guide