People very often refer to concealed carry as a “lifestyle”. I’m not sure I can agree with that.

A lifestyle is a behavioral pattern which expresses how someone sees him or herself, and how they want others to see them. Their activities, opinions, and even how they spend their money are all reflected in their lifestyle. In other words, their lifestyle is the dominant feature of their existence; it defines them. 

A lifestyle is all-encompassing. By admitting to a lifestyle, one is saying “this best expresses who I am, and I will devote my time and energy to maintaining it”.

Seems a little silly to me to say that a gun on my belt justifies that level of involvement.

You are what you wear?

After all, is there a “wristwatch lifestyle”? A “shoe lifestyle”? How about a “boxer shorts lifestyle”? I don’t think so (though I’ll admit I haven’t looked. There are some things I’d rather not know.) To me, it’s crazy to think that someone would allow their lives to be defined by an article of clothing or a fashion accessory.

My concealed firearm no more defines me than my choice of socks does. I’m not about to let one of many possessions have that amount of sway over my life!

What’s worthy of the term?

What does define my life? I’m comfortable with saying that my quest is to make my life safer, to be more resilient, to be better able to deal with adversity (in all its forms) — and then to share what I learn with others.

Much of what I do every day, from researching and writing to cutting firewood and feeding the chickens, revolves around those goals. Because preparedness touches on, and is affected by, just about every area of life, I’m comfortable saying that it is my lifestyle.

Part of preparedness happens to be self defense, and part of self defense happens to be carrying defensive tools; one of those defensive tools happens to be a concealed firearm. Having a preparedness lifestyle allows for concealed carry, but it also allows for first aid kits, fire extinguishers, a pantry, keeping my car’s gas tank full, having firewood stocked for the winter, and growing a garden.

Just carrying a concealed handgun doesn’t necessarily allow for those other things. 

What’s really important?

By allowing a firearm to be a “lifestyle”, one is saying that it is the most important thing in their day. Since it’s the most important thing, all the rest of those preparedness activities and items may or may not get the attention they should. (Judging from the people I meet, they usually don’t!)

I know some people are probably tired of hearing me say this, but the firearm doesn’t keep you safe. It simply gives you one way to extricate yourself from a situation that’s gone horribly wrong. What does keep you safe is all that “other stuff”, the things and behaviors that prevent an incident from starting in the first place. Once the gun comes out, the incident has already deteriorated past the point of prevention.

I’m all about prevention as a strategy. That’s worthy of a lifestyle.

Proper perspective

To put it more succinctly, making concealed carry a lifestyle is the tail wagging the dog. The prepared lifestyle allows for concealed carry, but the opposite isn’t necessarily true.

Don’t let people assign you to their tribe without your consent. Concealed carry is a tool, not a lifestyle.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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