Take What I Can Get

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One of the side effects of my leukemia treatment is that I have lost about 30 pounds, and about 4 inches on my waist. As a result, I can actually carry a pistol in a shoulder holster without having to do some kind of sick judo move on myself just to get to it.

Now, if I decide to, I can carry my father-in-law’s old Beretta. Nice.

Who knows what’s next.

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EDC as a Lifestyle

I was reviewing my blog, and as it turns out, in the years I’ve been writing this, I’ve never done a post on my everyday carry. This seems strange to me, since most of it hasn’t changed in a long time.

To start with, I’ve carried a pocket knife for as long as I can remember. Starting in about the 7th grade, I carried a Boy Scout version Swiss Army knife, up until about the time I graduated from high school. Yes, in those days we could carry a knife with no comment from anyone at school. I even had a teacher borrow mine once or twice.

I changed knives in college, and then went back to the Swiss Army knife you see above, in 1992.

I added the Leatherman tool a few years ago after I received it as a gift. I particularly like it because it’s got tools I can use, like pliers and a file. But the thing I like best is that it doesn’t have a blade, so the TSA lets me take it on an airplane, and so when I travel without checking bags, I’ve got something, at least.

In the same vein, I’ve carried a flashlight for my whole career. As a chemical engineer, there are many times every day when I needed to be able to see something in a shadow or in the dark, and I started carrying an explosion proof flashlight. I still do, only this one is 200 lumens, and uses AA batteries. I keep about 6 rechargeable batteries in rotation, and when the last charged set of 2 go in, the other 4 go in the charger overnight. When I travel, I always carry a spare set of batteries, and I keep a set of 4 in the Get Home Bag.

Next is my wallet. All I carry in there is my various ID – driver’s license, Weapons Carry License, insurance cards, and the like – and my credit cards, and a few business cards. I haven’t carried cash in my wallet since I was in college, and when I do I carry it in a different pocket than the wallet. This has to do with avoiding pickpockets.

In fact, I always carry these things in certain pockets, for a reason. Here’s where:

Right front: cell phone, knives, car keys, cash, and a pen.

Left front: wallet, flashlight.

Left rear: a handkerchief.

Note I don’t carry my wallet in a back pocket, so I can avoid pickpockets. I also carry my wallet on the left side, so if I’m asked by a policeman for my ID, I’m not reaching on the same as my pistol.

I also carry my flashlight in my left pocket, so I can draw it and go to a Harries or other flashlight hold.

On a similar note, in my car I keep my insurance card and registration in a folder on the back of the driver’s side sun visor, since I can’t promise that I haven’t just been to the post office, which would mean my pistol is in the glove box. Again, no sense drawing attention to anything I don’t have to.

Now we get to the most recent addition – a pistol. In the summer I carry Liberty, my G19, IWB at 3 o’clock.

In the winter I mostly carry Bruce, my G17, on my belt OWB at 3 o’clock, with an open shirt or jacket or fleece vest over it.

Year round I carry a G17 magazine with a plus-2 extender on my left side at 3 o’clock.

So there you have it. Nothing that isn’t part of my life, for quite a while.

Having said that . . .

I will likely add a medical pack in the near future, now that Linoge has shown how to put it all in a cell phone case. Stay tuned.

Concealed Carry Evolution – Making it My Life

I have been carrying a concealed pistol over 20 years now, and I was recently thinking about how different my technique and attitude is today, versus when I first started carrying. It occurred to me that those changes did not happen all at once, but have evolved over time.

I first got a carry permit in Alabama in 1993. In those days, to me, not only was concealed carry a novelty to me, so were guns in general. In those days, I admit I carried when I thought I needed to – to “bad areas,” late at night, or when I felt threatened. I was always aware that I was carrying, and I’m sure it showed. I was always apprehensive.

I also had not done much practice drawing from concealment, and a lot of times I carried in the small of my back. Now I know, for sure, that this is about the worst place I could carry, as I’m not able to draw smoothly there. In retrospect, it’s possible I carried there so I wouldn’t be always fondling the grip or holding my arm out.

Slowly, though, I started to change. I bought some new holsters, and I started practicing. By the time I moved to Arkansas, I was carrying more often, now at 4 o’clock usually. But I know I was still apprehensive when I carried, and I certainly didn’t carry all the time.

At this time, what I wore was dictated by whether I was carrying or not. Generally I would wear some kind of jacket and my shirts may or may not be tucked in, depending on my mood.

But now, I can tell things have changed. Because I’ve made it my life.

Now, just about all my wardrobe has shirts that don’t get tucked in. I also have a lot of vests that I wear when the weather allows, whether I am carrying or not.

The biggest difference is that I almost always carry, unless there will be enforced prohibition against it. That means I don’t carry into an area that prohibits it, where they are checking me for it, like sports events, government buildings, and the like. Other than that, I’m carrying, even at home, or at friends houses. I’m carrying now.

But what about other locations that prohibit carry? Well, since Georgia law means that if I do carry there, all they can do is ask me to leave, let’s just say, I may or may not be carrying – you guess.

And why do you have to guess? Because, over these 20 plus years, I have gotten to where I can carry without you being able to tell.

I now carry almost always at 3 o’clock, and I use a belt holster with cover, unless that’s too obvious, and then I use an IWB holster.

Sometimes I carry openly, but, as my readers know, I reserve that for certain times, such as gun rights group meetings, or when I’m working in the yard.

And I’ve also gotten a lot more comfortable with carrying, to the point that I don’t touch it, or play with it, at all. A lot of this is because of my holster, and because my belt fits.

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So, how did I get to where I am? The best way I can describe it is that I learned to live with carry. I stopped thinking it was Something Special, that it was Something Different.

My advice – learn to live with concealed carry. Get a gun that fits you, and a holster that fits you, and carry. Make it your life, because it could save your life.

 

The Real Solution for National CCW Reciprocity

CCW is racist

Last week, the Attorney General in Virginia decided to cancel reciprocity with 25 other states. The uproar around the country among gun enthusiasts was considerable. This brought up, once again, the issue of a national reciprocity law, which, as I pointed out, would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.

Now, in no way was that post meant to suggest that I am not a fan of universal reciprocity for carry permits. In fact, I believe that insofar as a government has the right to place prerequisites on the exercise of my civil rights by requiring that I obtain a permit to do so, then no government has the right to decide that the decision of any other government is null and void in its jurisdiction.*

But, given that the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate carry permits, or the carry of guns, how then do we accomplish this?

I mentioned in my last posting that one argument cited for government mandated reciprocity is the Driver’s License system. After all, they argue, since my driver’s license is recognized by other states, my carry permit should be as well. While I agree with that premise, most people who argue this route don’t realize that this is the result of an agreement between the States, not because of any law.

What, then, should be our answer?

For me it is simple: abolish the carry permit system altogether.

Why? Because it’s unnecessary, under any understanding of the Second Amendment.

And yet, states require carry permits, and most of us think nothing of it. In fact, we make a big deal of it. “Look at me!” we rejoice. “The Government has acceded to grant me its begrudging permission to exercise a right already guaranteed under the Constitution!”

Naturally, the anti-gunners will argue that without a permit system any criminal would be allowed to carry a gun. How would we be protected from such a thing?

And yet, it should be obvious that criminals carry a gun now without permits. The law does not change their actions, because, by definition, they are criminals.

So, how do we get the permit system revoked?

Unfortunately, we white Americans are going to have to be honest about our white forefathers, and be honest about how it all began – as a way to keep guns out of the hands blacks. So to make the permit system go away, we have to show how racist the whole system was, and how that discrimination carries over to today, by allowing the government to know just who owns guns.

Think about how effective this would be, to tie in the carry permit system with the images of Jim Crow, the Confederacy, and the KKK.

Can we do this? Yes. Will we do this? I don’t know, but I hope so. Because, honestly, it is the best route to national reciprocity – by making every American equal.

At last.

 

The Right Kind of Reciprocity

On Wednesday, Governor Wayne LePage of Maine signed a law making Maine the sixth State to not require any permit to carry a concealed weapon.

As I have stated before, given the patently racist nature of gun permits in America, we should take advantage of the current public outrage against anything remotely discriminatory, and push for an elimination of all permit requirements.

At least this is a start. Well done, Maine.

Using A Hot News Item to Advance Gun Rights

FlagsGiven today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, many are calling for using the same argument of 14th Amendment guarantees of equal protection under the law to push for national reciprocity for concealed carry licenses.

While I have pointed out previously that a national law requiring reciprocity would be unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment (and I won’t go into that argument today), I can see where a 14th Amendment argument might have some merit, provided the result isn’t that they then say that we must adhere to the most stringent carry licensing requirements. And don’t think the left wouldn’t make that argument.

But my point today is that while we need to strike now to take advantage of the hottest news item, let’s go one step further, and take advantage of the slightly less recent full court coverage of America’s new-found abhorrence of all things Confederate.

It should be obvious to anyone who studies the history of gun control in America, but the current concept of licensing concealed carry goes back to the Jim Crow era in the South, following the war. So, we should strike while the anti-racist iron is hot, and demand a repeal of concealed carry licenses altogether. 

If we are going to take advantage of a hot news item, let’s go all the way. Demand equal protection under the law, without government interference, and take it to its logical conclusion.  Anything else is a waste of a good opportunity.

The Bad News About a National CCW Reciprocity Law

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

From time to time I read about proposals for a national law requiring reciprocity of concealed carry permits between the states. The most recent example is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.

Sadly, I have some bad news about this proposal, and about a national CCW reciprocity law in general: It would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.

Consider:

Nothing in the US Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate the issuing or honoring of concealed carry permits issued by the States. In fact, nothing in the Constitution addresses concealed carry permits at all. Therefore, Congress has no authority to order the States to honor permits from other States.

Now, let me say that I am in no way saying we should not be able to carry a concealed weapon. And, I am not saying that my Georgia Weapons Carry License should not be honored in other states. However, the method by which this is accomplished is the issue at hand, and the current proposal doesn’t pass muster.

As an intelligent American, you know this to be true, even if you wish it were not.

There are several camps out there who make arguments that we should support this unconstitutional law. Let’s take a look at one.

The Driver’s License Argument

“The law should force States to honor my carry permit, like it forces them to honor my driver’s license.”

This claim, unfortunately, is based on ignorance. The honoring of drivers’ licenses is the result of an agreement among the States called the Driver Licence Agreement.  Does that sound familiar? It should, because that’s what currently regulates reciprocity of carry permits – agreements between the States.

Why not a law? Because nothing in the Constitution gives Congress authority over licensing drivers, and at one time, we actually paid attention to the Constitution.

Thank God.

Think about it: the Federal government already will retain highway funds from States, unless they institute laws it agrees with, and mandates, like the right speed limits, or the right drinking age. Federal control of drivers’ licenses would open us all to such abuse as we can only imagine.

And if you follow that line of reasoning, you can then cut off the next line of reasoning for federal carry permit reciprocity: “Why don’t we just pass a law (or amendment) giving the feds authority over carry permits?”

Oh.

My.

God.

That, my friends, leads exactly where you think it leads.

Now, I know this is a big disappointment to a lot of people. Believe me, I wish we could have it, too, but I am not willing to give up my Constitutional rights for something I want, and you shouldn’t be, either.

As always, I welcome your reasoned discussion on this issue.

 

 

Coming tomorrow – the answer to CCW reciprocity.