You are a consistent follower of Rule One, so you always carry a gun. And since you are not merely a gun owner, but instead are actually prepared to defend yourself, you also follow Rule Two, and have trained sufficiently (and have kept in training sufficiently) to have at minimum a solid grounding in the fundamentals of shooting and gun-handling while also acquiring the requisite knowledge of the law with respect to use of force, and use of lethal force.
So what’s the third Rule?
It’s quite simple, really, even though this is the situation where the largest number of people will create the most ridiculous rationalizations to defend their emotional investment in a piece of equipment.
Rule Three of Concealed Carry: Carry the most effective tool that you can.
So, you are following Rule One. You have a gun, concealed, on your person. So, what’s the next rule? What’s the next most important thing?
Have the basic knowledge and skill to use it properly. That’s Rule Two.
Some people are probably scratching their heads and saying “why was ‘Have A Gun’ Rule one when you aren’t requiring anyone to know how to use it?” Simple—if you don’t have one, what skills you have with it won’t matter. And more importantly, plenty of people who have no formal training or practice with firearms have nonetheless competently defended themselves using firearms.
I know that if you read articles or forums posts written by me, you will see phrases like “any caliber from 9mm through .45acp will work equally well” and “at least shoot a 9mm” crop up often. There is a large, robust set of of research data showing those calibers, through handguns, will be functionally effective in the same manner to the same degree and can, in general, be relied upon to cause self-defense “stops” given adequate accuracy on the part of the shooter.
Does this mean I believe anyone who carries a smaller caliber than that isn’t going to be able to defend themselves? Continue reading