We had originally toyed with a subtitle for the Armed: The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry book that read, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Concealed Carry. Alas, we went with what appears on the cover, but the original thesis behind this book is still there, and that is the thought that goes into carrying concealed.
When I started in the firearms business, I was hired as counter help at a busy retail gun store and indoor handgun shooting range, in Northern Virginia. While we sold a little bit of everything, the majority of guns going out the door were handguns. Sure, some were to regular shooters, but we had just as many newbies buying their first firearms for target practice, for shooting in the then newly formed IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) competitions, and, most assuredly, for home-defense and personal protection.
Remember that feeling you got when you were buying your first car, that gut-punch moment when you realized how much money you were about to commit your signature to. It made you want to run out the dealership door and go back to riding a bicycle. At least for a moment.
That same kind of reality hits first-time gun buyers. That’s why I liked working with them the most. There was always a moment when the gravity of owning something that could so surely kill another human overcame the excitement of punching holes in paper or winning a match.
I was ready for it, calmed them by saying that owning a gun simply required a new set of habits, just like when you’d learn to first drive a car. At first you had to force yourself to remember to check your mirrors before you backed out of the driveway or switched lanes. But, after a while, the glance in the mirror became habit. Guns should be no different. Force yourself to check the safety, an unloaded chamber, where the muzzle is pointed, etc., and after a while, that conscious practice becomes habit, too.
And when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon on you each and every day, those habits need to be ingrained, almost subconscious, almost auto-pilot.
When I was assigned as his editor and first talked to Dr. Bruce Eimer, author of Armed: The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry, I knew this would be a winning book. Bruce thought the same way I did—practice good gun habits and concealed carry tactics until they become automatic, and they’ll be. Be aware of what you’re doing with a concealed gun (any gun) and the people and situations around you when you carry all the time, just like you’re aware of the cars around you and what they’re doing on a four-lane freeway.
It’s this very unique approach to thinking about your guns, your body, your surroundings, and your daily concealed firearms carry habits that sets this book on concealed carry and self-protection apart from the many others on the market. Do you really know what is a justified shooting? Are you truly prepared to pull the trigger if it all “goes down?” Do you have any concept of what is likely to happen to you mentally, physically, and socially if you are involved in a shooting?
Bruce answers these questions and many more—there’s mounds of useful advice on smart carry holsters, mouse guns, and other self-defense tool, plus lots of info on everything from self-defense techniques and home security issues to various self-defense laws and CCW reciprocity.
This should be mandatory reading for legal gun owners everywhere, for anyone who values their life and that of their loved ones—for anyone who values human life overall. Essential reading all the way around … which means our title is pretty spot on after all!
Click here to order Armed: The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry from GunDigestStore.com for 35% off retail.
About the Author: Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.
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