Many individuals perceive those who carry a firearm as unsophisticated heathens with IQ’s in the area of baseball score. The majority of folks I mix with certainly do not validate this image but once in awhile there’s that one person who tends to fuel the poor stigma.

A few years ago, my wife and I were invited to a neighbor’s barbecue. My neighbor had invited a number of people, including his brother-in-law, who was a police officer. There were people of all ages including children and it seemed like a nice group. The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that my brother-in-law was walking around with a holstered pistol on his hip with no shirt or jacket covering the firearm. He seemed to want everyone to know that he was “packin’.” Police officer or not, I felt this was in poor taste due to the variety of guests and the fact that it was not his party.

I think we all need to be extremely discreet with our concealed carry. The common question among many people is why would anyone carry a firearm? These are not only the liberal politically correct set, but also many people who simply are not firearms enthusiasts. Many people think that personal protection is something the police do… `not realizing that the police are usually reactive.

Discretion Is An Option

Non-firearms people would be shocked by some of the people that carry. Many successful, refined, sophisticated, licensed-to-carry folks are very careful and aware that they could be the focus of some miscreant.

Take, for example, a grandfatherly retired man who is always very calm and laid back. He is also the head usher at his church, and his parish priest recently asked him why he always stands at the back of the church with his back against the wall? He replied that due to the terrorism threat, he feels it might be prudent for him to be in a position to observe the entry. The priest asked if he was armed, and he replied “absolutely”. Then the priest just nodded.

Even some people that are around guns and concealed carry individuals sometimes question firearms carry. A retired law enforcement friend and I were talking one evening about concealed carry and the wives were listening in. My friend’s wife said she didn’t mind him carrying but didn’t know why he had to carry to church. They frequently go to a restaurant after church and then sometimes go shopping, etc. We pointed out to her that if he didn’t carry to church he wouldn’t have a firearm with him later.

Once, I was driving my oldest grandson to a basketball camp. He, of course, is aware that I work as a private investigator. He asked if I carry a gun? I answered that I did. He then asked, “Does grandma know?” His mother (my daughter) was raised around guns, but being a little princess never had any interest in firearms. She and her husband do not have an anti-gun philosophy, but apparently through society, school, friends or the media, my grandson developed the idea that carrying a firearm might not be acceptable to his grandmother.

I feel considerable attention should be given to properly concealing your firearm both for security and for social sensitivity. Some feel that it is next to impossible to carry in some situations without telling half the world you’re armed and they may be correct but let me discuss some ideas.

Customize Your Carry

In my business, having a firearm on my person or at least available is a comfort level I desire. Most of the people I am in contact with are benign, but you never know when an encounter can turn ugly.

A .45ACP is generally my choice and I can usually conceal one very well, but extremely warm weather can be a challenge. Thank the Lord for Tommy Bahama, Ocean Pacific and the other manufacturers of Hawaiian type shirts. Shorts or jeans and a tee shirt are great attire in the summer. A tee shirt that is not tucked in will hide a firearm very well. Shorts with a belt help to prevent the shorts and firearm from ending up at the knees. Elastic waistband shorts with a cord tie can also work well if the waist cord is tied tightly.

If the particular tee shirt isn’t as loose as I would hope, due to my ever-expanding waistline, I carry a smaller thinner firearm. It’s nice to have several to choose from. At times, a casual vest works well. Some carry in a fanny pack, but I have never been enamored with this type of carry–it’s obvious when some wearing fanny packs carry, because they sag. The assumption that they are probably packing is always confirmed when they are carrying their wallet in their rear pocket and keys bulge from their side pants pocket.

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