It must be the end of the world or pretty damn close, but I’m clarifying a point I made years ago. Yes, the convenience of taking a holster/gun combination on and off has too much appeal not to expand further on the subject.
A Way of Life
I can recall a student once trying to convince the class and me they preferred a certain holster because it was easy to take on and off. It was a paddle holster and terrible design at that, but what rubbed me the wrong way was the blase attitude towards carrying concealed. It appeared this student was being inconvenienced to carry so anything making it easy was high on their list. A limited view point from my end, but not without justification. The student’s gear in question was commensurate with their comment hence the comment. What became a blanket statement for me was carrying concealed is not about convenience. This statement lacks a complete understanding of the big picture. For the seasoned practitioner, yes it is no longer a matter of convenience, it is a way of life.
The Revolving Door of On/Off
With the concealed carry world exploding it became apparent we would see many new students to the art. It is still the most popular class I teach on the road. What has changed is how I approach the subject of convenience. When convenience can increase safety then I’m a fan. When carrying in the early days it was a complete event to get all jocked up with my carry gear. As I carried more I learned what worked better and discarded the rest. There was also the volume and intensity that carrying everyday brings to the table. I learned quickly if I could easily take the holster/gun combination off I greatly reduced the chances of having a negligent discharge in my home. There were days, when if I were my poor front door I would have felt more like a revolving door.
Gun Safety, it is a Thing
Protecting the trigger from unauthorized access is a central tenant to good holster selection and safe gun handling skills. Something I observed overseas was gun handling skills like anything done over and over can be reduced to rote memorization of movements without truly performing the procedures. Fortunately, I was not required to follow the same rules, but I witnessed several close class around the clearing barrel. It is basic math, increase the likelihood of the event through volume and you increase the likelihood of the accident. Handling the gun in a safe manner is a habit, but have you ever made a mistake? Now add all the other life events thrown at you on a daily basis and you can see my point.
The Simple Solution
Being able to take the gun/holster combination on and off virtually eliminates the possibility of negligent discharges during the doffing stage. It can still happen of course, but the times you are handling the gun are fewer and typically you are paying more attention. These days, if I don’t keep the gun/holster combination ready to go at the very least I will check the gun then holster. Once safely holstered I attach the combination to my body. When I get home, I remove the combination and if necessary separate the two where one goes into the safe and the other into my gear box.
There is a time and a place for convenience, if it enhances safety it is something to consider. If it can reduce the opportunity for a mistake then it is something to be considered.