Preparing For a Concealed Carry Class


Whether new to training or a veteran to the discipline, there are a few simple things to do in order to improve your overall experience. They are three areas you need to focus on when preparing for class. Notice how I said focus, there are other areas you should put some attention to, but these are the big ones. The first is to review the course information, paying particular attention to the required gear list. Then, go over your logistics. The when and where are what I’m talking about. Last preparation for the class is to double check your gear and plan for some contingencies.

Know the Course Material

Drawing from concealed in the real world

Every school is a little different, but they will all usually have some type of course description. Some students will use this solely as their criterion for decision. Others will have “shopped around” through internet searches or word of mouth. I encourage you to know what you need, not what you want. For instance, if you need a better understanding on the drawstroke. Find an instructor who is known for doing an excellent job on the subject. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what you need, you don’t know what you don’t know and that is perfectly acceptable. Have a broader goal in mind, to expand your knowledge base for example.

Review the Gear List

Read through the course description, all of the available material. If there is something you don’t understand, then do a little research. If there are terminal objectives or goals of the class, do they meet your needs. A good course will be well thought out and have an agenda or curriculum. The curriculum will guide the student towards the terminal objective through enabling objectives. All the information is important, but probably the most important is the required gear list and in this case the importance of your concealment carrying system. A lot of times, students will think of this as a suggestion. It is not, it is a list of required gear to ensure you have the best chance of doing well in the class. Don’t convince yourself you do or don’t need something. Read the list, even print the list out and check each item to make sure you are good to go. Think of this as an IQ test, can you follow simple instructions. Then at class, it is nice to be prepared and of course to not be “that guy.”

Do a Map Study and Plan Your Route

Logistics are a big thing to me. The old saying, “amateurs argue tactics and professionals argue logistics” is incredibly accurate. Start by knowing where you are going and how you will get there. Give yourself a little fudge factor on day one just to cover your basis. Don’t just know where you are going, but know the surrounding area. For instance, are there eateries near by or are you going to be packing a lunch or snacks. Something else to consider is how long is the commute. After a long day of training I suggest you consider the drive home. Be extra alert when going home since the fatigue of the day can affect your situational awareness as you drive home.

Get Your Eyes On Everything

The final preparation for your class will be to review your gear, like literally lay it all out and get your eyes on them. It is one thing to go over the required gear list and say to yourself I have that in my range bag. Only to realize you took it out to clean, replace or repair and failed to return it to your range bag. Some items are less important, a flashlight is not essential to a day light course. But a magazine pouch can make or break your experience in the class. Go over each item and ask yourself is this ‘thing” good to go. Has it been cleaned, or maintenance recently. Are there fresh batteries in use or am I running on empty. The devil is in the details so really go through the list.

Have a Plan and a Backup Plan

Think about the essential items. Your handgun for instance. Even though I have done a good job of picking a reliable model along with routine maintenance, things do break. Having a backup on standby has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. Spare magazines are another example. If you have the minimum as prescribed in the gear list that is great, but what if one of them goes down or you leave it in the hotel. There’s a myriad of reasons, so planning is key. Contingencies can go beyond your gear to your plan. Any physical activity will take its toll on your energy level. If you are planning to get lunch nearby, but all the local places are packed and you have to make a decision between being late or skipping lunch you might consider packing a lunch or some snacks.

Holsters, Be Prepared

Weak Side Carry 2
Be prepared with good, quality holsters

When it comes to our Concealed Carry classes there are three main failures from the gear list. The first is not having an “on the waistband” or OWB holster. You may try to justify you don’t need it because you have an IWB holster. That would be a mistake. The purpose behind the OWB holster is to start from a known and safe condition. Before we dive into the deep end of drawing and holstering from concealed, we have to ensure you have well developed and safe drawstroke from the lowest risk condition possible. That would be open carry, on the waistband.

Bring All The Required Clothing

The second mistake would be in failing to have all of the required clothing. In this class, you will be forced to work from a variety of cover garments. Not your favorite or go to, but a wide array to ensure you are prepared. It never fails, there is always that one person who thinks they know better. Trust me, you don’t. Bring all the clothing listed. Even if you don’t have something on the gear list for whatever reason you can probably borrow it from a family member or friend. Most of the items are pretty normal, but if you don’t have a rain jacket and you don’t want to buy one, they ask around to get a loaner.

Have an Open Mind

Last mistake we see often is when students fail to have an open mind. It doesn’t matter what you think or know, be open to new ideas. If you say to yourself while reading the gear list I don’t need this or that you would be demonstrating someone who has a closed mind. Don’t be that guy. Instead it should pique your curiosity. You should be wondering what are we going to be doing with that and why. Curiosity is your super power as a student. It is the single greatest characteristic that leads to expanded knowledge base. Back it up by understanding the why you are doing something a certain way or why you don’t do things a certain way.

If you take the time to review the course material paying attention to the required gear list, you have the best chance of succeeding in class. Or at least you won’t be held up because you don’t have this or forgot to bring that. Knowing the logistics will help you ensure you are not late or miss any course material. Some instructors will not allow you to participate if you miss the main emergency and medical plan brief so don’t be surprised if you have to sit down initially why the rest of the class trains. Double check and even triple check your gear. Have a system so you make sure you have all the gear you need and it is centrally located so when you load out early in the morning probably in the dark you don’t leave that one bag on the work bench. These are not just suggestions, they are observations over decades of training to help ensure you as the student have the best chance of success in our training classes.

Froglogic Podcast EP #59 Jeff Gonzales – 2nd Amendment Advocate – Master Firearms Instructor

Froglogic Podcast

Since the beginning of the Pandemic over 17 million guns have been sold throughout America. In addition to this staggering number, another 5 million NEW gun owners have been added to the rosters of legal gun owners. Rough estimates suggest that there are anywhere from 350 to 420 million guns now existing in American houses, automobiles, apartments, concealed underneath clothing, and in the hands of criminals. The Froglogic Podcast is honored to welcome CEO of Trident Concepts and director or training at the Range in Austin, Jeff Gonzales to this week’s show. Jeff is a former Navy SEAL and Government contractor who’s been teaching tactical firearms training for the past 25 years. Rut and Jeff are long time friends and teammates. In this episode these two frogmen explore the importance of the 2nd Amendment, quality firearms training, increasing crime rates, and the future of guns in America.  Don’t miss this insightful and educational show. HOOYAH

Award-winning Podcast Host, David Rutherford ignites his Froglogic Podcast by answering life’s greatest questions regarding the human condition. Listen to this former Navy SEAL Medic, CIA Contractor, best-selling author, and World Series Champion motivational performance coach, give his unique and profound insight about the world as he sees it. For more information about David please visit or to seek out your truth please visit his online training company at

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Our Rights and Responsibilities of Gun Ownership | JEFF GONZALES

Gun ownership is such a polarizing subject. And, with the increasing gun ownership in America combined with the tension and friction we’ve seen between people, it’s only going to become more so. That said, gun ownership is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution but that does not absolve us of the responsibility we, as gun owners, have to be safe and make ourselves proficient with our firearms.

Today, I am joined by former Navy SEAL, Jeff Gonzales to talk about both our rights and responsibilities as gun owners. We also cover recommendations for new firearms owners, how much time needs to be dedicated towards training (including training without having access to a range), why the beginners’ mindset will help you become a more proficient gun owner, and metrics for improving your accuracy and effectiveness should you need to use your firearm.

Want maximum health, wealth, relationships, and abundance in your life? Sign up for our free course, 30 Days to Battle Ready.

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Safety Vs. Preparedeness

Safety vs. Preparedness

Adapting To Your Enviornment Is The Key

As we start to come out of what I call the “great, big stupid” how will you adjust or adapt your carry loadout. Since most of us are creatures of habit, you probably adjusted your loadout with a view of safety vs. preparedness.

Downgrading For Comfort

In the beginning, things got pretty bad. It is not difficult to believe how a pandemic can bring out the worst in the human species. At the time my primary carry was a sub-compact pistol. I had evaluated my situation against potential risks and felt comfortable with this lighter loadout. Summer time in Texas can also have a reason for the frame downgrade. It is nice to carry something lighter when you are wearing less clothes and sweating more in general. I have discussed it before when it comes to selecting your primary carry firearm, the specific characteristics. One of those characteristics is a 10 round minimum magazine capacity. A huge bonus is many of today’s modern sub-compact pistols easily accommodate this requirement.

safety vs. preparedness Upgrading For Preparedness

So, from a preparedness point of view I felt ready to handle the most likely scenario I could face as a private citizen; aggravated assualt or robbery. The pandemic changed all that almost overnight. Or at least when consumables and supplies started to be in short supply. I opted to upgrade to a compact frame. My rationale was wanting to reduce the chances of having to reload along with hitting faster, further away. It was about a year I had been carrying the sub-compact so it was quite the change. I went back to a heavier loadout, literally and felt it every day for at least a month. Given the new situation, I felt I needed to up my preparedness to match. What I find is many people are creatures of habit. How many else found the situation evolving a reason to re-evaluate their carry loadout in order to be more prepared? Not as many as I thought as I discussed it with students in the classes we were running at the time.

Time Is Never On Your Side

Another way to look at safety vs. preparedness is from a safety or access point of view. It should go without saying that unauthorized access to firearms in the home should be a top priority. This is where safety was something to consider. Once the pandemic was in full swing, we see violent rioting in major cities. Still to this day in fact. When the threat of moving to the suburban areas was announced, many took it seriously. Investments in extra fire extinguishers and other fire retardation options became a top priority. Along with keeping a long arm handy. By handy, I mean at the ready. In my home I have no children or grandchildren, not yet at least. So, keeping firearms at the ready was an easy decision. On top of keeping them in strategic locations they were all in condition one. Should I have to defend my home from an organized group of violent rioters who intended to burn my dwelling time was of the essense. Hence, the upgrade from safety to preparedeness.

Back To A Lighter Loadout

These were a few examples of what I did over the last 16 months to adapt to the new situation of safety vs. preparedness. Those of you who carry a single loadout always, did you feel compelled to change. Those who carry on the lighter side might have, but what about those who carry on the heavier side always. Did you make any changes? Now the threat has somewhat diminished I plan to lower my level of preparedness at home. Preparedeness now is less important than safety. Time will always be an unknown, but at this point it doesn’t trump safety. As for my carry loadout, I have already dropped down to a sub-compact frame for about half the time I’m carrying. I imagine within a month or so, it will be the majority of time. Especially as we reach the peak of summertime.

Nothing should be set in stone when it comes to your personal safety plan. When necessary, you should be ready and able to adapt to new situations as you face them.


Making Bad Decisions

Bad Decisions Are Still Bad Decisions No Matter The Intention

There is nothing easy about performing under stress, particularly when that stress is the difference between life and death. I think it is about time we moved away from making bad decisions that feel good and work towards doing the hard work towards better performance.

Making Bad DecisionsDon’t Compound The Crazy

My biggest complaint about the craziness we are seeing is the terrible decision making. The vast majority of politictians and community “leaders” are the last people who should be making suggestions outside of their area of expertise. In many cases, they do not know thier ass from a hole in the ground. I tempered that statement quite a bit. But, it is absolutely true. They are not the best people to making decisions that could negatively impact their communities becuase they are incapable of seeing the big picture. I’d really like it if they all grabbed a giant cup of shut the hell up.

Stay Out Of The Way

One of my favorite presidents, in fact role models as a kid was President Theodore Roosevelt. One of my favorite quotes from him was “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” This is not happening in the vast majority of our large cities and metropolitan areas. The problem is how can you take credit for something if you don’t get involved and how can you deflect blame if can’t point fingers. My sincere wish is to see better leadership who seek out the true experts on the subject in question. They seek council because they are not ego driven. They listen because they recognize they don’t know everything. But most important, they make the right decision…not the popular decision.

Being Able To Look Far Enough Forward

What I have seen done to our law enforcement is an embaressment. I have tried to affect positive change in my sphere of influence, but it is hard to make macro changes at the micro level. When I get pulled aside and asked a question as it pertains to my ares of expertise I take it seriously. I’m objective in my response knowing the information I provide is important to informed decision making. I strain my answers through two filters. What is reasonable and what is sustainable. Often times, I can provide plenty of responses that are reasonable. The real problem is what is sustainable. If you have been in the business long enough you realize it is not about the beginning, it is about the end. Too many times I have seen programs developed that sounded good on paper, might have been executed well in the beginning, but over time became unsustainable due to a variety of reasons. Most of those reasons should have been clear enough for the decision makers to see, but often times they fail to look far enough down the road.

Infinite Levels Of Stupid

Recently it was brought to my attention how a law enforcement department was pursuing a new program to “shoot to incapacitate.” I could write volumes on how bad of an idea this is, but it will fall on deaf ears because there is a lack of true leadership. Leadership, that doesn’t cower to public opinion. That fails to put the welfare of their subordinates as well as the public as a priority. To use deadly force for any other option other than deadly force is mistake that will have ripple effects across so many different lines. The reality is asinine policies such as these will gain attention. This attention will feed their faulty decision making matrix. Breeding belief in their plan, despite so many opposing views. There is no good outcome from these types of feel good policies. There is only the public at large continuining to suffer and loose faith in their elected officials and public servants.

You Get Out Of It What You Put In

Again, when I look at this decision I look at it from a macro level. The biggest question I have is how do they intend on implementing this program along with how do they intend on sustaining. We already know law enforcement suffer from a lack of training. Firearms qualification, whatever the interval is often repurposed as training. Rather than address the issue, standards are adjusted. I get how hard it is to run any type of qualification program where failure to qualify could be dismisal. It shouldn’t matter the outcome. When I think about this policy or other similar policies I have three questions. How much resources do you intend on allocating to ensure success? How will you define success? What are the consequences for failure?

My intention was not to draw a disparging light to those who are undertaking one of the most important jobs within our nation. My intention was to voice my frustration in the hopes of preventing this type of leadership making bad decisions from taking root elsewhere.

Lessons Learned From A Snowstorm, Part 1

Now Is The Time To Learn From Our Mistakes

As many of Texans emerge from a historic snowstorm there are a lot of questions to be answered. Questions might not be the best word, lessons learned is probably better.

A Big Lesson Is Being Prepared

Lessons Learned From A SnowstormOne of the most important values I pass down to my sons is independence. The importance of being independent across a broad set of subjects. Freedom is not free, it comes at a cost and in this case it is about being prepared. I have lived by the Boy Scout motto of “be prepared” ever since I was a Boy Scout. I’m deeply saddened I did not try harder to encourage my boys to join. Again, there is that freedom. I gave them the choice and tried to help them appreciate the values they would learn at an early age. It is hard to compete with the digital age these days so unfortunately they missed out on what I remember as a wonderful experience. Lessons learned for me at that early age was planning for an unknown or unknowable event.

Being Independent Means Being Prepared

When it comes to being prepared I find it to be the single most important survival skill you can develop. It is such a broad subject and rightfully so. There are many different needs, individual needs that must be taken into account. Over the years I have amassed an inventory of various emergency or survival provisions. I will admit, they are probably outdated compared to some of the new offerings, but something is better than nothing. The biggest lesson learned is how important it is for us ALL to be prepared. The best strategy to reduce the overall impact of any natural disaster, civil unrest and other calamities is to be prepared as a society. This level of independence is hugely liberating for sure, but it boils down to survival and keeping your family safe.

Maybe I Wasn’t As Well Prepared

I’m not going to say fortunately, but we have had a few rehearsals to get ready for this past event. The biggest being the pandemic we are still managing. It forced us to take a hard look at how we will survive. While there are several really good books on survival, what they all will probably say is you need to have food, water and shelter. Not necessarily in that order, but these represent the bare necessities to survive. I want to share some of my lessons learned on these three essential elements from this past snowstorm. How I learned I might not have been as prepared as I thought I was in my head. Part of this had to do with a degree of procrastination. I knew I should update some of our emergency supplies, but I really didn’t get around to it until we were knee deep, literally knee deep in snow. My biggest suggestion is don’t wait for a disaster to start preparing. Lessons to be learned is quite frankly to learn from the mistakes of others. Remember when Noah built the Ark.

Cooking Food Might Have A Different Meaning

When it came to food, we were pretty well stocked. Between dry goods, dehydrated foods and frozen foods I had a pretty good supply. The problem was more about how long the frozen foods would last. The silver lining of having freezing temperatures is storing your perishables in coolers outside. Luckily, we had two coolers for various types of foods to help ensure they stayed the coldest the longest. Food that didn’t need to stay frozen, just cold went into one and frozen food in the other. We would allow nature to defrost the food during the day to be cooked at night. Cooking the food was another huge lesson learned. While I have plenty of camping and backpacking supplies. Periodically function checking all your cookware and lighting options provided more lessons learned. I think it had been about 5 years or more since I powered them up. The lantern was a no joy, but the stove gave us a good day of cooking. It was later replaced with a smaller backpacker stove for the rest of the ordeal. I got lucky on the fuel, I had stored each of them with fuel along with a small supply bottle with fuel. It probably would have given us a couple of days of service. My propane bottle was low or close to it and there were none to be had so having an extra on hand will be a staple again. All the pots and pans I have for camping are great, but they are not ideal for cooking real meals. We had to adjust to the idea of maybe some burnt or over cooked items. Probably one of the most under valued survival skill is the ability to start a fire. I had plenty of lighters and matches. I fell in love with my old Zippo lighter again, but having enough fuel to refill them is something to consider.

Water Is Life

When it came to water, I keep a modest supply on hand. What I’m really glad to have on hand are water coolers and jugs. We filled those up the first time the power went out trying to plan for the worst. A lesson learned from the past was the importance of potable water. Things like purification tables or purifiers are another important staple in your survival gear. Bottled water is something I keep on hand in low volumes so clearly they would not have been enough and we used them more for personal hygiene. I have kept a water purifying pitcher on hand for years, but what I didn’t have in high supply were the replacement filters. All told, this gave us probably 15 gallons of drinkable water with the ability to boil and purify water for some time. One of the things I learned on a mountain expedition a long time ago is the importance of moral in tough times. If moral drops the survival rates can also drop. One of the best things you can do to boost moral is a tasty beverages. I had plenty of water tablets I use to give plain water a splash of flavor and they were a big hit. Probably the biggest hit came in the form of hot coffee. Do not underestimate the healing powers of a good cup of coffee.

Shelter And Staying Warm & Dry

Shelter is a bit misleading, but really it is about staying warm and dry. Our house did a good job, not the best, but still good enough. Little things like keeping doors shut, putting towels around window sills and external doors are great ways to keep some heat in, but you have to plan to be cold and dress appropriately. It is no secret we don’t get cold weather here often, like almost never. Naturally many were unprepared for those cold temperatures. Again, my camping gear really paid off. Sleeping bags are a great addition to the linens and sheets. The problem is you are not always in bed, or at least you shouldn’t be in bed too much. Part of surviving is keeping busy, finding work. You don’t have to go to the extreme of cutting down a neighbor’s tree for firewood, but you need to keep a little bit of activity going. It is good for the mind and body. I also had a very deep inventory of expedition level cold weather gear. It brought me great joy to see everyone in the house toasty warm during some of the coldest hours. A lesson learned was I have so much. I finally had a reason to go through it all and I’m going to be getting rid of almost half. If this happens again, I know my household will be well prepared with half of that loadout.

There you have, some initial thoughts on surviving this past snowstorm. In part two, I’m going to go over some observations about being in the the thick of it with little to know preparation.

Proactive Planning and Preparing

Planning and preparing

Planning and Preparing Like a Professional

Even the worst plan executed in a timely manner with conviction is more than likely enough to resolve a real world problem. Don’t discount the importance of proactive planning and preparing.

Holiday Shopping Planning & Preparation
(Photo by Getty Images)

Planning At The Last Minute

When I talk about planning and preparing it comes across as a complicated event. It really isn’t as complicated as you might think. It becomes easier the more you practice. Your planning doesn’t half to be as if you plan on storming the castle gates. What is more important is the practice of planning on the fly. Yes, you probably will sit down and lay out a bold and detailed plan about how you will go shopping during the Christmas rush. You take the time to study where you will park, what stores you will avoid, the route you take to your objective and how much time you will spend on target. But, once you get there, you need to adapt and adjust your plan in real time.

Full Dress Rehearsals 

Preparation is the right hand to planning. All the planning in the world will do you little good if you don’t put the time to prepare. Your preparation is where you learn how well you planned. One of the biggest lessons I learned in my Naval career was the importance of rehearsals. How we would spend hours, sometimes days planning. We would conduct a full dress rehearsal then return and debrief. Before I knew it, the original plan was barely recognizable. It had been altered as a result of the rehearsal. Without these dirt dives as we called them you fail to account for the obvious that were overlooked in your planning.

Failing To Plan Is Planning to Fail

During our planning we would come up with contingencies for just about everything. Every stage of the operation would have a multitude of backup and redundant actions. There were always three options that were related to the mission; minor, major and catastrophic. As we reviewed our plan, we would discuss a minor problem and how to react. Then a major problem that might require additional resources and lastly a catastrophic issue that could result in mission failure. You probably don’t need to go that in-depth into your planning and preparation for Christmas shopping. You should still consider three options. There are a lot of different outcomes and it is impossible to plan for everything. The least you can do is anticipate some of the more obvious ones.

Movement Is Life

Running is a natural survival instinct. It has served our species for a very long time. However, running for the sake of running is not often ideal. On top of that, how good a shape are you in and what is your responsible cargo. You may find running is not your best option, but it is still an option. Better to think of running as moving, we want to move and preferable move with a purpose. I’m moving to get out of sight, or moving to get to cover.

The Reasons To Move

There are a lot of reasons to move, one of the big reasons is to move out of site. When we discuss the difference between cover and concealment a lot of times we over emphasize cover. We also forget cover is always temporary. If you can find a way to obscure your location it might be the best option whether it will stop bullets or not. If they cannot see you, they may not know to shoot in that direction. Whenever possible, always be looking for your next piece of cover. Where can I move to next that will help me get further from danger.

Fighting Is Not Always The Last Option

Your movement and your cover may have only bought you time. The hope is it allowed you to shift the balance in your favor. Maybe you are in a better position to defend, maybe you have extended the distance making it less effective. Whatever the case, you are always trying to make your situation better. However, there may come a time when your movement and cover no longer increase your survival. Now it is time to fight. While seemingly a last resort, fighting can be utilized during movement and from cover. The hope is when all of your options have been exhausted you have a better position to fight from to increase your survival.

As I move through this world, I’m creating hasty plans at every turn. Whether behind the wheel, walking the dog or in my own home. I have a hasty plan that considers movement, cover and fighting as the most likely options.

Subcompact Shooting Situations

Are subcompact pistols hard to shoot?

Recently, my oldest became of age to purchase and carry a handgun. My guidance to him had more to do with the bigger picture than a freeze frame.

Enough Gun

Since his primary goal for purchasing a handgun was concealed carry I advised him to consider the subcompacts platforms. He probably will not be able to afford another pistol so picking one to fulfill the primary mission was key. It was important to consider his most likely enviornment; which is mainly work, home, family and friends. In these situations, he stands a higher chance of a robbery or assault. Passing along situational awareness trade craft will hopefully help avoid the vast majority of these situations. Little things like avoid distractions, pay attention, look at people’s hands to name a few. The real question was whether his subcompact choice would be enough to handle the most likely deadly force encounter.




In a recent class I had one student attend with a subcompact handgun. I don’t see this often, particularly with first time students to our classes. I think those who feel it is a good idea do so because it falls into “train like you fight” mindset. Aside from them being more abusive in a high round count class they are challenging to shoot. I’m confident had the shooter attended with a compact or even full size framed handgun they would have seen far superior performance. It is true, the subcompacts are challenging to shoot. Don’t mistake that for harder. What I mean is they are less forgiving and require more focus for longer periods.

Don’t Be Lazy

The recent family range trips have focused more on his new carry handgun. Having learned the fundamentals on a full size frame it was time to apply these fundamentals from the subcompacts. In particular are two areas you need to pay extra attention to when seeking peak performance shooting subcompacts; crush grip and powerful mount. There are a few other areas you could always seek improvement, but these two are the ones that will make or break your performance. Ironically, these are also the areas I see performed poorly when shooting the full size frames. A better way to put is the shooter is being lazy.

Lock In The Grip

Things are pretty easy when you slow fire, but the moment you step it up to rapid fire you want your crush grip locked in like a vice. Of all the shooting errors I see, a consistent, vice like grip with pressure applied to the proper contact points have greatly improved shooters performance. We spend a good deal of time at the 101 & 201 class covering and reinforcing this subject. During the recent drills I noticed the difficulty to quickly apply follow up shots with the smaller frame. The moment we talked about the crush grip we started see faster splits on multiple shots. The secret is squeezing both pinkies hard, like really hard.

Stay Tight & Engaged

I also noticed his shooting mount was a bit loose. We want tension through the arms into the shoulders and upper back. While there are points of diminishing returns I remind folks those diminished returns usually still have a positive outcome. Keeping the wrists, elbows and shoulders tense helps to create a solid kinetic chain. Again, coupled with a crush grip the powerful mount will help keep the sights within the shooter’s sight box. This will promote sight tracking; which will lead to rapid follow up shoots.

It is a joy to watch my own kids develop into safe and competent firearms owners. I’m blessed to be able to guide them on their own journey.

Time Waits For No One

There is so much changing within our industry and literally almost overnight. One of the biggest changes is how training is perceived and tied directly to its importance.

Defining The Outcome

I will be the first one to tell you training is essential to being a competent firearm owner. Before we get too far down this rabbit hole it is important we define a few terms. Starting with competent. Competent is defined as having the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to do something successfully. Essential is defined as absolutely necessary or extremely important. Lastly, training is defined as teaching a particular skill or behavior. With these as our anchors it makes it easier to talk about the state of the industry. With so many new gun owners it is difficult to expect them to see the importance behind my opening statement. I see this difficulty being divided into three main reasons; not knowing they need training, not believing they need training and ignoring the fact they need training. Which ever reason it all amounts to the same outcome, less competent firearm owners. The real question is so what, is that really all that bad.

The Direct Proportion

Truthfully it is not. There are thousands of people who will go their entire lives without any formal instruction on safe firearms usage and they will be just fine. They may not be the best prepared, but they have made their choice based off one or more of the reasons listed. One of the biggest obstacles we are facing within this industry is expressing the value behind safe training. It may seem obvious to many of us, but we are quickly becoming the minority. I’ve talked about the investment of time, talent and treasure towards developing a skill, any skill and firearms training is no different. There is a level of competency associated with time invested in said skill. It is a direct proportion relationship meaning, the more time invested the more competency achieved.

Pistol 101

Many are still not convinced investing time in a skill is needed. The vast majority of new gun owners I speak with have no interested in attaining a high level of competency. They are hard pressed to value a modicum of competency. This situation exists for lots of reasons, but time is one of the biggest reasons. What if we could convince the masses they could achieve a minimum level of competency with a minimal invest in time. People are usually turned off to the idea of training if it appears a complex, burdensome or time consuming task. What if we defined the lowest level of competency (101) and the time investment amounted to one to six hours of formalized training.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Three to four hours makes it more palatable to the new firearm owner. It would achieve what we all want with minimum investment. I define basic 101 skills as an understanding of fundamentals and initial practical application. These skills would be learning firearm safety rules, basic firearm operations and basic marksmanship. That is it. Could we ask them to learn more? Of course, but would they be willing is the question. If this represented the minimum to satisfy the requirements to be a competent firearm owner then everyone should be happy. There will always be people who don’t believe they need training, then some who don’t believe they need a lot of training, then some who once exposed to competent (there’s that word again) training develop an interest in pursuing further training.

As we move into this next chapter in our country’s history we need training on these essential skills to obtain a minimum level of competency. In a sense, all we can do is be supportive and available to offer help when asked.

Gun Free Workplace

The ability to protect yourself requires three key elements; awareness, ability and preparedness. All are important, but ability, having the tools available, will be essential.

Be Prepared

If you are aware of your surroundings and can see bad things developing you are potentially solving the problem before it is a problem. Your taking action to avoid has accomplished one of the greatest feats in the tactical world. If you are aware, but cannot avoid this moves us closer to preparedness. How well you prepared will be on display through your response and actions. If you are aware and have prepared, but lack the ability it may all be for not. The way I define ability is the tools to to defend against a violent attack. There are many different tools at my disposal, but probably the most efficient tool with be a firearm. Having a firearm to defend against a violent attack will move you closer to altering the outcome in your favor.

The Long Game

When you are lacking a firearm it does not mean you are unarmed, it means you do not have a firearm. It becomes increasingly important to have other abilities to defend your life. While the list is vast, it still will be challenging to effectively alter the outcome in your favor. So, why would you voluntarily go to a location where firearms are prohibited. Many places such as this exist in our daily lives, but none more important than our workplace. The average American will spend a disproportionate amount of their lives in the workplace. As young adults, once we enter the workforce it is pretty much the landscape until retirement.

Its All About Balance

Getting to retirement is the goal. Choosing a career path that provides for your family while at the same time fills your passion to create or belong is the balance we all hope to achieve. It may not start off there in our young adult lives, but if we can keep it in the back of our minds it will be a part of our decision making process. It may mean we end up working in a non-permissive environment for many years until we can find a better path or it may be our only path is through an NPE. It is challenging to stay true to your beliefs of awareness and preparedness when you have no ability. My suggestion is to tread lightly and keep in mind your decision could have long standing consequences.

The Best In The Business

If you are going to pursue ability in an NPE then your skills have to be on point. Not just your ability or concealment skills, but your awareness and preparedness skills. Carrying in an NPE is by far the most challenging skill set to develop in the concealed carry world. Most have no need and therefore have no thoughts. Those who might often forgo in an effort to avoid trouble. Those who do represent some of the best at discreet carrying. When I have talked with these individuals, we share some common observations. The biggest one being compromise. We compromise on the firearm we are going to carry as well as the location we choose to carry to achieve the highest level of discretion. The firearm I choose to carry is not ideal, but it works quite well. The location is also suboptimal, but it affords me longevity. It allows me to do this day in and day out. What this means is I have a whole different subset to my concealed carry skills that afford me the ability to carry in non-permissive environments.

Carrying in the workplace is not easy and it comes at a steep price where I have to divert time, talent and treasure. In the end, it is worth the challenges to achieve the status of an armed defender versus an unarmed victim.

Trident Concepts
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