Given that string of epic #winning and making long-standing disputes moot points not worthy of the most trivial shooting range small talk, we’re going plow into the surf and turn a few more sacred cows into delicious double bacon burgers with extra cheddar.
You know what I’m talking about. The absolute, universal, irrefutable truths. The ones that, if you don’t jump onboard the Kool Kids Express and adopt, will certainly get you "killed on the streets." If violating these tactical axioms doesn’t result in your early demise, you’ll at least get a nasty case of irritable bunion syndrome, and no one needs that (again.)
1. The Mandatory Tourniquet Carry Law
Unless you’re a habitual watcher of The Real, then you know that 2017 was the year of the tactical tourniquet. Thanks to Executive Order 14,791, all gun-industry writers were required to fabricate no less than 3.2 articles per week extolling the virtues and necessity of carrying 912 tourniquets on their person at any and all times. It’s not as severe as it sounds at first read. For example, when you’re in your own home, you only need to carry seven.
I get it. I really do. Tourniquets save lives. Often times, they’re the only way to prevent someone from bleeding to death from a severe extremity wound. While the odds of getting shot are pretty low, the odds of you being a first responder to an auto accident at some point are pretty high. So, it’s a good idea to have and know how to use one.
But being an uber-gun writer, I wasn’t satisfied with the minimal tourniquet requirement. That’s for wannabes. I’m aspiring to be an operator that operates operationally at the highest op-force level during my daily operations. That’s why I pack not only a tourniquet, but Hemorrhoidal Ligators, a Cysto-Tur Tray, and a couple of iron lungs in my daily kit. Hey, you never know what you’ll need out there. Oh, and henceforth you will refer to me as Captain Gastroplasty.
2. You WILL Appendix Carry
I’m going to lay some life-saving math on you. You’re welcome - in advance. Most people, with some practice, can draw from concealment and fire an aimed shot in about 1.5 seconds, give or take. Those who carry in the appendix position can perform the same actions in 1.39 x 10(-23) picoseconds. If you’ve forgotten your scientific notation, that’s about the speed at which gun-owning actors get shunned from Hollywood tofu-tasting parties.
So, what if the muzzle points at your junk? A little fear will keep you alert. Uncomfortable you say? Take more Advil. You prefer to carry an 1873 Winchester lever-action rifle? Suck it up and make it work. Take some water pills or have your intestines removed to make space. If you’re gonna run with the chichi commandos, you’d better be carrying your gun at the one o’clock position. No excuses.
3. The Wrong Holster Will Shorten the Life of the Sun by 300 Million Years
If we lived in a perfect defensive world, we’d drive tanks to on our daily errands. The blow-out ammo storage compartment will easily hold two weeks worth of groceries, and it’s tall enough that you won’t break the baguettes. You would be perfectly safe from car accidents and would never have to worry about a road rage shooting again. In fact, the only downside that I can think of is that the treads are kind of rough on speed bumps and none of us wants to get on the wrong side of a dispute with the neighborhood association. Other than that, what’s the downside?
I raise this example to make the point that everything is a compromise. There are lots of folks who insist that your concealed carry holster needs to have a reinforced mouth that allows one-handed reholstering. If not, the Jupiter will most certainly plummet into the next 4-H Cattle Pageant. Whether you’re choosing a belly band, pocket, or low-profile IWB, there just might be deliberate compromises you have to make. You might ask those folks why they don’t carry a rifle instead of a handgun. Oh yeah, they’re making a compromise, too. They can’t easily carry a rifle into the Stop ’N Rob without inadvertently inviting the local SWAT team, so they’re choosing a less-powerful firearm that’s more discreet.
So back to holsters. If you use a holster that requires two hands, is that a potential drawback? Sure it is. On the other hand, one-handed reholstering after a defensive encounter is something that you’ll probably never have to do. If you do, and can’t use two hands, there are other alternatives. For example, lay your gun on the ground and stand on it until the police arrive. Just saying.
As for training, your compromise solution won’t work so well at a class where you’ll need to safety reholster a thousand or more times. No worries, you can practice your concealment routines at home later.
4. The Wrong Sights Will Prevent You From Hitting Water From a Boat
If you choose the wrong sights, meaning those not capable of supporting consistent shots onto 3x5 index card from 67 yards, you will die - twice - in your next urban combat encounter.
Forget the fact that your eyes may be aging and that you can see oversized sights better and even without glasses. Forget that in a defensive encounter, your target will be moving as fast as they can while trying to kill you. Forget that you will be moving as fast as you can trying not to get killed. You’d darn well better have the right precision sights so you can hit that randomly moving two-inch target from the other side of the mall or else you’ll be banned from the Kool Kids Kustom Sight Society.
5. What Government Agency Uses Your Gun? None? It Sucks and You Suck.
If you’ve chosen a certain make and model of carry gun and later come to hear from the Shooting Sage Society that your choice is wrong because the Austrian Jagdkommando or some other three-lettered agency didn’t choose your gun, there’s a good explanation for that. Agencies did try your gun. It’s just that it failed so miserably that they all died. Just kidding. It was only most of them that were killed during testing, so the evaluation program was quietly shut down.
Unless you regularly do HALO jumps from 35,000 feet into the Arctic Ocean from which point you swim 1,116 miles under 34-degree water, you just might have different equipment requirements for your carry gun than the FBI, Delta Ninja Seal Commandos or the South Carolina Municipal Parking Authority. That’s OK, too, provided that your gun doesn’t fall apart during daily carry and is capable of shooting reliably when you need it.
6. Using the Wrong Lube Will Turn Your Gun Into a Brick
If your gun lube doesn’t require application by heating your weapon to 147.23778 degrees in a vacuum chamber, cause a molecular reaction with steel which creates a microscopic layer of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup filling to reduce friction, all while smelling like Grape Skittles, then you’re using the wrong lubricant product. If your gun doesn’t corrode within the first nine days of use, it’ll probably fall apart when you next draw it from the holster. Get with the program before your handgun is rendered completely inoperable.
The Bottom Line
We gun folk tend to get really binary about, well, just about everything. If you don’t do X, Y or Z in just this way, you’re wrong, you’ll die a horrible death and Justin Bieber will lip-sync Nicki Minaj songs at your funeral.
Everything is a compromise. If it weren’t, our preferred concealed-carry guns would be M256A1 120 mm smoothbore main guns mounted in an M1 Abrams tank. Since I haven’t yet found a decent IWB holster for that and carrying extra M1028 120 mm shells is hard on the back, some concession is usually in order.
There’s nothing wrong with making deliberate middle-ground decisions, provided you make them with both eyes open and full knowledge of the pros and cons of your choice. If your circumstances cause you to stray from the path laid down by the Kool Kids Society, that’s OK, provided that you’ve carefully thought through the pros, cons, and alternative actions that might be required. Unlike Wheel of Fortune, there’s rarely a single correct answer for every circumstance. So, go ahead and solve the puzzle on your own Pat.