Thoughts on Preparation vs Paranoia Among CCW Holders
By John Ross

Copyright 2007 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

Many people have expressed the opinion that CCW holders who carry guns at all times are paranoid. One of my students asked me the difference between preparation and paranoia. I thought it an excellent question.

My definition of the difference between preparation and paranoia is the degree of disruption of your life in comparison to the likelihood of the threat.

Case in point: Seat belts. People with a million miles of experience that have never needed a seat belt still wear them every time they get in the car because they only take one second to put on. Why not have the protection if the inconvenience is only two seconds per trip?

Conversely, if you were to don a helmet, firesuit, and Nomex gloves EVERY time you drove somewhere, and you drove the same places I do, I would call that paranoid. If you drive in Formula One races, I'd call it the only sensible thing to do.

Back to CCW. Some so-called experts tell you to "dress around the gun."

I totally disagree. Look at your life, thinking about all the things you do and how you dress for them. Then find a carry method that is compatible and COMFORTABLE with your life.

You don't want to be relegated to wearing jackets or loose Hawaiian shirts if your normal dress is tucked-in Polo, short sleeve, or dress shirts in the summer and tucked-in flannel shirts in the winter. You don't want to chuck all your jeans so you can buy big-leg pants to make ankle carry possible.

Your carry method should be like your shoes. You can tell that you're not barefoot right now, but your shoes are comfortable enough that you seldom think about the fact that you have them on.

People have accused me of being paranoid for carrying at least two and often three guns at all times that I am clothed. My carry method takes about 20 seconds extra time when I get dressed in the morning, and stays on until bedtime, with enough comfort over 16 hours that I forget the guns are there. It works with all my existing clothes, unmodified. The guns are NEVER exposed, no matter how I reach for high objects, bend to pick up low ones, cross my legs, etc.

Twenty seconds every morning is a TINY cost to pay for a LOT of capability in different scenarios. The peace of mind alone is invaluable.

Find a method that doesn't require you to modify the way you like to dress and the things you like (or have) to do. That's preparation, not paranoia.

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