I’m saying you can carry a larger gun concealed — every day even. To be clear, I’m not talking about one more powerful or in a larger caliber. I’m talking about a handgun physically bigger than the pocket micro mini subatomic ultra-compacts all the rage these days.
Humans are naturally confident, bordering on arrogant. In our minds, we’ve got all the correct answers, and for those situations we haven’t yet experienced, we assume we’ll make the right choices on the fly. We’re awesome like that.Gunfighting schools, on the other hand, are a force created by the universe to expose and counterbalance our genetic hubris. These diametrically opposed forces of nature are like gravity and orbital velocity — the reasons our hunk of rock topped with flawed humanity doesn’t crash into the sun or zoom past Pluto.
The parking garage was darker than normal. That light at the top of the stairwell was busted. No surprise, if the public bathroom on the ground floor is any indication, maintenance in the city’s public parking garages takes a distant second place to fixing that pothole at the end of 2nd Street. No reason to panic … yet. Nothing unusual about the light being smashed given the copious scrolls of graffiti on the walls.
Winter is here, so for me, it’s outside-the-waistband (OWB) carry season — at least some of the time. While I generally make more use of Kydex for IWB carry here in the humidity capital of the world (leather can get sticky on the draw when moist, and yes, I hate that word), the cooler months offer an opportunity to easily conceal a full-size pistol with classic OWB leather.
It seems all the “cool kids” are carrying concealed in the appendix position these days. You know, the guys with beards, high-speed, low-drag instructors and all manner of serious gun folk.
So, is it a “tacti-cool” fad or a responsible and effective method of everyday concealed carry?
Some people are naturally observant. I’m not one of them. My wife can sprint through a crowded airport on a holiday weekend wearing noise-canceling headphones and then proceed to describe everyone there, who has middle seats on their next flight and which of their kids are taking violin lessons. On the other hand, I could trip over Jabba the Hut playing “I Am the Walrus” on a set of kettledrums and not notice.
What’s the moral of the story? I have to work at situational awareness. No, I mean it. I deliberately have to “switch on” when I’m out and about or the world will pass me by while I remain blissfully unaware. As a result, I’ve had to learn and develop some techniques and hacks to help me spot potentially dangerous anomalies and lifesaving opportunities during my daily travels. Maybe some of these strategies will help you too.
Tom McHale is an author and Editor of American Handgunner magazine. He’s published seven books to date, most of which focus on Second Amendment-related topics, concealed carry, personal defense, and guns and shooting. During the past 10 years, Tom has published nearly 2,000 articles across a variety of publications.