By Sammy Reese
A letter to the editor from a reader asked about carrying concealed, while also dealing with wranglin’ little kids from baby-sized up through toddlers. His concern was all the bending, stooping and picking up could indeed cause his hidden gun to print or become dislodged in the daily juggling process.
The letter brought back memories of when my wife and I would venture out with our first baby. I’m pretty sure we had enough gear for five or six kids even though we were just going to the park for just a few hours. Every new parent goes through the process, and by the time number two is a few weeks old, the process is streamlined into something more manageable.
When my firstborn arrived I was carrying a 1911 IWB, a spare mag on my belt and a J-Frame in my pocket. This was my off-duty load-out every day and everywhere I went. I made sure I always had on a proper cover garment, and when I was carrying a baby or gear, I did it on my left side to keep from accidentally exposing my gun or having a little one use it as a foot rest. Was it difficult to manage at times? It sure was, and then some, but I chose to go armed to protect my precious cargo, so I made adjustments to how I dressed and how I moved around.
I’m not going to tell you what you need to carry and how you should carry. The decision of what and how is a personal one and must fit your lifestyle. It may take some modifications but there’s a way to go armed and not risk exposing your gun.
From an early age my kids were taught gun safety and concealed carry etiquette. My son has an amazing eye and is probably the best I know at catching people printing. “Dad, check out that guy. I can see he’s carrying a Glock.” My kids knew I was a cop — there was a police car parked in the garage so there was no hiding it. I taught them being a police officer or carrying a gun isn’t always cool with everyone you meet so we don’t talk about it. It took some time, but they caught on.
I made sure there was no mystery concerning the guns and all the gear, so they never felt the need to seek out and “play with” any of it. I also took them to range and exposed them to as much as possible.
While out and about I taught them to hold my left hand and to not tug on my shirttails. While driving in the truck I started playing games with them to put their heads down and hands over their ears — when I said “Ears!” — it was a fun game with a practical side. My plan was, if a carjacker wants my truck and it was just me — it’s all theirs. But if my kids were strapped into their car seats, my plan wouldn’t include giving my precious cargo to the carjacker so things were going to get noisy.
This changes everything when it comes to managing
your concealed-carry gun situation!
When I was a cop my plan for dealing with most issues off duty was to simply be a good witness. As an armed citizen, I still follow the same rules. Yes, I carry my gun but I’m not planning on getting killed trying to be a hero. I have thought through what I would do if X, Y or Z happens. Almost all of those immediate actions were null and void if I was with my family. Evacuating them to safety or protecting them was my only mission — and it should be yours, too.
Trouble has a way of finding us, even if we do our best to avoid it. If you’re prepared for every possible scenario you can think the odds are tilted in your favor — but they still might not be. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods of carry, and if you have to downsize the gun you carry or modify how you carry so you can transport the baby and the ruck full of bottles — then do it.
If you have questions about carry options or problems you need to work out for your concealed carry strategy, shoot a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get it. If I don’t know the answer we’ll figure it out one way or another.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index