[second in a series]

When a person makes the decision to carry concealed, they are making a statement to themselves: “I am willing and prepared to fight to protect myself and other innocents.” This decision is not a trivial one; it may lead to action that results in the taking of a human life. Under circumstances of immediate threat, or “fear for my life”, employing a handgun may be appropriate and justified.

We like to think that we live in a civilized world and the vast majority of time we are not under direct threat of bodily harm from others. Most disputes are minor and easily resolved without violence. However:

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late”. Thomas Sowell


During this civilizing process, young westerners are taught to respect others and let them go about their business unmolested. This conditioning and the accompanying mindset lead to an aversion to harming, much less killing, other human beings. A person carrying concealed must deal with this mindset to a certain degree. The salient point, to me, is that the carrier does not set out to harm others but must be mentally prepared–have the will–to stop an assault if necessary. This will to fight should be established well ahead of time and the concept of “shoot to stop” ingrained in the mind. Also, when the threat has stopped, the shooter must cease-fire.

Once the will to fight is established, the next step is awareness: paying attention to surroundings, who is there, what are they doing, is there a potential threat present? One term for this awareness is being on “yellow alert”. Yellow alert is not burdensome nor paranoid, it is simply enhanced situation awareness. The most positive result of being on yellow alert is that no gunfight happens in the first place. The intended victim (you) can retreat to a place of safety away from the potential threat. Being on yellow alert can also provide added time to prepare for defense if retreat is not an option.

Staying on yellow alert and having the established will to act should be seriously considered when making the decision to carry concealed.

Bob Colvin

Next up: What to do and what NOT to do in the immediate aftermath of a self-defense shooting. Concealed Carry Cliche’s is the first article in this series

[The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Always consult a certified NRA instructor for training in proper gun handling and/or an attorney knowledgeable of local and federal gun laws before making any major decision regarding concealed carry.]