Concealed Carry Challenges in an Era of Protests

A concealed carry pistol in a holster
With the rising crime rate and potential for terrorism, you should consider carrying.

I’ve carried a concealed weapon for more than 20 years.  I made up my mind that very first day that I would kill rather than allow myself to be killed.  I also accepted the fact that I would willingly die to protect my family. 

Over the years, I took training classes from nationally recognized experts in handguns, self-defense, shotguns for home defense, urban carbine, tactical medicine, and the legalities of using lethal force.  I also studied martial arts.  I honed my shooting skills at in competition like IDPA, USPSA/IPSC, and three-gun matches.  There were years where I fired more than 10,000 rounds.

Over time, the gear has changed.  I’ve switched out guns and holsters as technology evolved.  I’ve upgraded tactical flashlights as LEDs got brighter.  I changed ammo and calibers to use that best meet the changing FBI criteria.  I’ve carried .38s, 9mm, .40, and .45, sometimes two at once.  I own body armor, both concealed kevlar armor and rifle plates in an external carrier.  I’ve got a shotgun by my bed, and once AR pistols with arm braces became legal, I upgraded my car carry to an AR pistol.

But one thing that has never changed is my commitment to the original premise: I am still prepared to kill anyone who seriously threatens me, my wife, or my children with death or grave bodily injury.  I am prepared to die to protect my family.  I’m prepared for other consequences as well, which is why I have USCCA insurance.

Over time, I’ve had to decide if I would shoot someone who broke into my house (yes, if they appeared to be a threat or were headed towards my kids’ bedrooms), threatened a co-worker (it would depend on the situation) or tried to carjack me (yes, because that is usually a deadly threat).

New Times Call for New Questions

Thanks to the recent changes in our world, I now have to ask myself a whole new set of questions.If you carry concealed, you should do the same.

Here are some questions that gun owners, and especially those that choose to concealed carry, should consider:

  • Would you shoot people rather than let a crowd drag you out from your vehicle?  Take a look at the scene below which illustrates that you may not be able to drive out of it.
  • If you were enjoying dinner with your spouse or significant other and a bunch of protestors started harassing you, what would you do?  Would your reaction change if they started to physically assault you or your partner?

  • If protesters with Molotov cocktails threw that at your place of work or your residence while you were inside, threatening your life, your livelihood, and your home, would you shoot them to stop the attack?

  • If a large crowd of angry protestors surrounded the house and started to break in or to shoot at you or your house, would you affix your 100-round drum magazine to your AR and defend the place?  In that case, would you defend your next door neighbor if he were attacked in the same fashion?

  • Would you band together with your neighbors to protect your development or neighborhood from roving crowds of supposedly “peaceful” protesters?

  • If you heard protesters were coming to your town, would you strap on your gear, grab your rifle, and head to Main Street to be a visible deterrent and possibly end up in a situation where you might be the next Kyle Rittenhouse?

  • If so, under what circumstances do you stand their calmly, making a show of force with your gun slung and an empty chamber?  And what does it take for you to upgrade your readiness and chamber a round?  Do you let the other guy fire first?

  • Do you change your behavior as a result of riots and protests?  Should you avoid downtown? Stop going out to dinner?  Do you make sure your wife and kids are home by dark?  Do you move to an area that has not had riots?

  • At what point are you willing to take up arms to defend your way of life?  If the ballot box and the jury box fail, are you willing to turn to the cartridge box to ensure our country stays true to the principals laid down by our founding fathers?

  • If the law calls for you to register your weapons, will you comply?  What will you do if the government wants to confiscate your weapons?

The time for gun owners and people with concealed carry permits to consider these questions is now.  Give them careful consideration and reach your conclusions now so you can react appropriately if and when the time comes.

Everyone is entitled to their own answers.  What I decide to do in a given situation may differ from what you decide, and that’s OK.  Everyone’s situation is different.  The important thing is to not be caught in a quandary when the time comes but to have a plan and execute it.

Consider What you Carry

Given the current situation with mob violence, with increased tensions, with more anger on the streets than we have seen for 50 years, you should ask yourself if the gun you are carrying is sufficient.

Maybe you felt fine going around with a 5-shot snub-nosed revolver.  Ask yourself: Is that sufficient today?  Will five shots get the job done?

Traditionally, the answer has been yes.  In many confrontations, just presenting your weapon and showing the grit to use it may be sufficient to avoid the situation.  If firing is necessary, two or three shots is often all it takes, but those statistics are from confrontations between individuals, not one man and a mob.  Mob violence is a different story and you may need to defend yourself from multiple attackers coming at you from multiple directions.

For many, a small revolver has been the ideal concealed carry weapon. That may be changing.

You may find that going about your business at home a 5-short revolved or a 6- or 7-shot subcompact pistol is sufficient.  If you leave your house, perhaps a larger or additional gun is a smart call, or consider having a dedicated car gun.

In addition to thinking about what you carry, think about who else is carrying.  If you frequently travel with your spouse or a buddy, discuss some what-ifs and know what you will each do if you are suddenly attacked.  It is better to present a united front in the face of aggression.

Sometimes Trouble Finds You

I am all about avoidance.  After carrying concealed for more than 20 years, I am please that I never had to shoot anyone, and this is largely because I avoid trouble.  I don’t make midnight runs for fast food.  I don’t drink in bars.  You won’t see me on the corner buying illegal drugs.  I stay out of high-crime areas.  I don’t drive a fancy car, wear an expensive watch, or dress like I’m worth a million bucks.  These days, I stay away from places where protests are likely.

Springfield XD pistol
High capacity pistols provide more rounds than subcompacts and revolvers.

I know many of you want to be the gray man.  You want to go about your business without drawing attention.  The less someone knows about what is on your hip or in the gun safe at home, the better.  I’m fine with that. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, trouble finds you.

Unfortunately, the time may be coming when being the gray man or staying below the radar is no longer possible, for as Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

We are all gun owners.  Gun owners need to stick together because no one else is going to stick up for us.  The NRA is in political and financial trouble.  The same weak-on-crime prosecutors that let protesters go with a slap on the wrist for throwing fire bombs at cops would love to lock you up and throw away the key, even for what is clearly justifiable homicide.

At some point, gun owners may have to act.  My advice is to be ready. Train occasionally, both with live ammo and dry firing.  Take your personal security seriously. I also recommend that your read Unintended Consequences by John Ross.

Concealed Carry Challenges in an Era of Protests


  1. You mentioned USCCA insurance. Ive considered it but hesitate for this reason: could a prosecutor make a legitimate case that because you chose to purchase this kind of insurance, it shows you are of a mindset that you are willing to kill someone, expect the possibility of a trial, which means you are inherently more violent than an “average citizen”? Honest question. I’d welcome your feedback.

    • Here is my thinking, but keep in mind that I am not an attorney:

      A prosecutor could also argue that you bought a gun because you want to kill people or that you carry hollow point ammunition because you want to make your gun more deadly. The counter argument, of course, is that you bought a gun to protect yourself and your loved ones, and hollow point ammunition is more likely to stop an attacker before they can kill you.

      Your lawyer will counter the insurance argument by asking you questions like this: Do you have car insurance? Is it because you plan on crashing into someone? Do you have homeowners insurance? Do you expect your house catching fire?

      I would argue that having concealed carry insurance makes me a responsible gun owner. I think having bumper stickers or signs that say “I don’t call 911, I reach for .357” or “forget thee dog, beware of the owner” or irresponsible online posts in which you make extreme threats like “we should shoot all _______” are higher risk than having insurance from USCCA or one of their competitors.

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