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Mindset

I was disappointed recently when reading an article promoted by pro-gun people about a conceal carry permit holder and how he saved the day.  The saving the day part is fine; it’s wonderful.  The fact that the concealed carrier admitted he never had any intention of pressing the trigger to stop the bad guys is the part that pisses me off.  Had the suspects fought him, he would not be under “hero” status but victim or dead status.

If you have that mindset of not intending to use the weapon you carry, why don’t you just carry a toy?  Better yet, so you are not a liability, don’t carry anything.  This lack of mindset reminds me of most open carriers that I encounter.  Condition white (that means oblivious to things around them), crappy sidearm, horrible holster, and a hope the mere presence of a firearm will stop crime.  Naturally these types have had no formal training and would rather buy more firearms and crappy knock off accessories than invest in any type of training.

concealed carry

If your mindset and decision making is based off tacticool appearances you need to stay home.  Inexpensive options are hardly ever a solution to anything outside of losing money.  A batbelt full of crap is no match to a simple proven sidearm, good training, and the proper mindset.  When I mention proven, I mean it functions and provides a desired performance (which includes accuracy and dependability), not a sample of one, but a sample size of thousands that whole agencies use.

Back to the mindset of our hero who isn’t willing to take a life in order to save a life – if you have in your head a preconceived idea what evil looks like you are already behind the power curve. Think about the world we live in, think about the people who are involved in evil violent action, now open your eyes to the truth – realize the fact that these people include both genders, all races, and all ages.

If you find you are without that mindset, but you want to still carry – it is time for professional instruction.  It is possible Jim-Bob with only an NRA instructor certificate in your town might be able to provide sufficient training to cure this issue, but when is sufficient a standard?  Go beyond sufficient – take a course from a recognized professional instructor who has an extensive background in the skillsets you desire.

Keep in mind there are bad guys meaner than you.  There are bad guys that will outgun you, out think you, out fight you.  Your mind needs to be already set as to what you will do when you need to act decisively.  If you aren’t training, if you aren’t more aware of your surroundings, if you are not using modern proven weapons and equipment – all you are is a liability and a potential victim.


Matt Landfair is a veteran law enforcement officer, firearms instructor, DARC LECTC-1 adjunct instructor in training, and founder of primaryandsecondary.com.

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29 Responses to Mindset

  1. Tug May 13, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    When you live in the desert… why would anyone think that water would NOT be a problem.

  2. Greg May 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    good stuff, good post

  3. Thomas Buonomo May 13, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    Horrible,…what a crock of shit, the choice to shoot or not is a millisecond decision to right or wrong and as such is not to be Monday morning quarterbacked. I’ll use his own reference and guess the shooters “didn’t want to shoot” thought was milliseconds from shooting if the attacker didn’t respond correctly. And if said was to have taken this jackasses advise and not be armed at all Wtf would of happened? This whole article is lacking of conceptual thought.

    • Matt Landfair May 13, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Decisions to shoot or not to shoot are millisecond decisions. If they weren’t the concept of the OODA loop would not be something discussed in close quarters combat scenarios.

      If someone does not have the realization that they may at some point have the need to take someone else’s life in defense of themselves or others – they have no business carrying a firearm. Here is why – they are a liability. How are they a liability? Because they carry a firearm that has the potential to be used against its owner and other innocents. We don’t carry firearms to wound or shoot guns out of other people’s hands. This is life and death. Life and death can be determined in millisecond decisions.

      The incident I was referring to had the legal concealed carrier draw his weapon which eventually scared off a group attacking a third party.

      • Thomas Buonomo May 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

        Mindset is everything… Your presentation in the article presented a shoot first mentality that has way more “what ifs” that end badly for our rights to carry, then your reference of “sheep” carriers.

        I understand what point you were trying to get acrosss, but just because I get it dosnt validate the article.
        I once read about an incident that had a guy jumped in a parking gararge with his ten year old.. Over an Xbox.. The bad guy pulled a knife on him and his kid, he pulled his carry and didn’t shoot. Bad guys ran off, he called the police who arrived promptly and gave him the riot act for “brandishing”…that is till that officer was called to a stabbing 2 levels up in the same parking gararge…this incident shows the consequences of in action quite well,…. In that incident I surly would of shot, threaten my child will have dire consequences.

        I applaud your very level headed responce to my near rant.. Thank you for that, I’m betting you are a very good teacher….if very flawed on this particular thought path.

        Bottom line in this country we have a “right” to firearms….not a requirement of training first.

        • Matt Landfair May 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

          Yes! Absolutely we have a right to arms. The responsible owner of firearms will train and use proper support equipment.

          Every incident (unlawful actions by a third party) you, me and anyone reading this is involved in or witnesses needs to be analyzed while the incident is happening. During that analysis the idea of needing to use deadly force must be recognized. If deadly force is not an option in your mind – a firearm is not a tool that should be carried. Being an option does not mean it is the go to measure – but it is present and it is the most serious.

          Yes, in the incident I described his mere presenting a firearm was sufficient.

          “Gene said he didn’t have it in mind to pull the trigger, and made sure to keep his finger away from it during the altercation.”

          This one incident reminded me of the many people I have spoken to that have openly admitted they would not shoot someone in defense of themselves of others even though they carry a firearm.

          • luvodicus May 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

            We see Police across the country gunning down fleeing, unarmed civilians, and you want to preach about “responsibility” and “training” for Gun owners? In an article about a man who chose to use restraint, and not empty a clip into another individual, no less!

            Would you have NOT written the article, had the gun owner violently, and without discretion, emptied his clip into the suspect?

          • Brandon May 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

            Handguns use magazines, not clips, and you need to scale that paintbrush down a bit there good buddy. The actions of a few bad cops should not determine the way you feel about the entire group.

          • Matt Landfair May 23, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

            The restraint worked as it should – he did good. However – the mindset of not accepting you may need to press the trigger at some point is the failure. If it went south – would he have pressed the trigger to save the other man’s life?

    • Shepherd May 13, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

      Actually you’re missing the forest for the trees. Chances are the person who has a firearm as a fashion accessory or “just because I can” hasn’t put any thought on actually having to use it, it’s not a deterrent to crime some people (like uncle Joe double barrel) think it is

  4. Hillbilly Bob May 13, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    Hell I am ready, we have a wanted murder on the run out in my area of the boonies but I am always looking and thinking no matter where I am

  5. Greenfield May 14, 2015 at 3:54 am #

    But he “saved the day” regardless! No one ever wants to take another life! It’s a shitty decision that has to be made. Take a life of a bad person by saving the life of a good person…in the blink of an eye. I really think you took his comments out of context. We, the concealed carriers, don’t go out lookin for bad people to shoot and kill. But, we all have the will to do what we have to in a situation that calls for it. Some might hesitate. Some might not act. You must be completely sure when you squeeze that trigger!

    • Thomas Buonomo May 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

      I agree with you….and it’s possible I put too much weight in a part of his article that wasn’t ment to be the structure of his statements.

      • Matt Landfair May 15, 2015 at 12:04 am #

        Yeah, that article just reminded me of how often I have heard that and sent me down this path…

  6. frank May 22, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    just think there are gun owners out there that won’t pull that trigger scares me. With all the gangbanger tacial training out there. these days with military training scares me. and if there’s one there’s two there’s three all around you 360 so you really need to watch your back your 6.

  7. Carl May 22, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    Mindset is a BIG part of carry, whether it is a personal belief of some or not. If you carry, at some point in time, some place, some how you WILL be required, by circumstances that will unfold, have to draw and fire that weapon to save your or someone elses life. If you cannot with the utmost sincerety and CONVICTION say that you CAN and WILL take a life, then I agree, leave it at home or locked in the car. We carry for protection, we carry because we have the mindset to keep others from harm, we carry knowing we will most likely get involved in that struggle called life or death, and we WILL percevere over anyone that we encounter. Without the I will survive attitude, you are already, as some one said, behind the power curve. Not if but when the encounter occurs, your mindset must be on surviving at all costs, even the death of another person. There is no other way to carry. Not like the little engine that says ‘I think I can’ we must be prepared to say ‘I can and I will’. Think about it!

  8. luvodicus May 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    “If you have that mindset of not intending to use the weapon you carry, why don’t you just carry a toy?”

    Because responsible gun ownership doesn’t include “Shoot something the first chance you get” Unlike the american Law Enforcement Community, most gun owners believe that the GUN itself is a strong enough deterrent. Don’t believe me? Try continuing to rob someone when they put a loaded revolver in your face.

    • Matt Landfair May 23, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      No one said shoot first. The gun itself is not a deterrent. I am not in the habit of robbing people.

  9. Clay May 23, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    I have no INTENT to shoot anyone. Doesn’t mean I haven’t considered it, nor that I wouldn’t.

  10. Richard Blackburn May 23, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    I truly believe that when and if the time come to defend myself or another I’ll be able to so but if I never have to I’ll that would be great. You should be prepared and trained to use deadly force not gleeful to do so.

  11. Tom Anthony McFadden II May 24, 2015 at 1:23 am #

    best firearm instruction I was ever given by a chief Gunners mate in the United States Navy. He said in a self-defense situation, not combat but self defense, you never make the decision whether or not to pull your gun. You decide to shoot. Once you’ve decided to shoot you pull your gun aim and pull the trigger. If you don’t need to shoot, then there is no need to pull your gun. To me that always made a lot of sense.

    If you are not in fear of your life, and you pull a gun, in most jurisdictions you’re committing a crime. If you are in fear of your life, and you pull out your gun, why didn’t you shoot? waiting to see if the bad guy surrenders, could result in your weapon being taken away and used against you, or for the bad guy to produce his own firearm if he doesn’t have one out already, and shoot you.

    ever since that day, whenever I’ve been in a situation where I thought there could be trouble, my mindset always has been do I need to shoot? Fortunately the answer is always been no, so I’ve never needed to take out my gun except that the range. Hopefully that will continue. But if not, bullets will be on target.

  12. Ryan Jones May 24, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    I agree about the crappy holster and condition white, but the throwing under the bus of civilian open carriers is a cheap shot. You of all people should know the tactics and reasoning behind uniformed police officers open carrying. It’s the same reason why civilians who open carry as well is to give off a level warning to potential criminals they’re not to be threatened.

    I get sick of “tactical operating operator” instructors that condemn other instructors for not being as “elite” as they are it shows a severe lacking of class. In the majority of self defense cases the shooter often has little to no formal training where-in the will to live is stronger than the will of the attacker to commit the offense is more than sufficient to get the job done.

    So while I agree with some of your points, your attitude and presentation is not one I agree with at all and would hope all new and beginning gun carriers to steer clear of your classes for to them your negative attitude is counter productive and a hindrance to learning.

    • Matt Landfair May 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

      Reread – I said “most open carriers that I encounter” – not all. If most open carriers had the training, had the better gear and gun, and weren’t oblivious to their surroundings – open carriers wouldn’t get such a bad rap.

  13. jessica May 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    What it boils down to, for me, is simply this: only carry a gun if you have searched your soul and you know that you are prepared to use it and face all the possible results AND if you have trained sufficiently to be able to control your reflexes and your weapon as you make your best possible split second decision.

    • Matt Landfair May 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

      Jessica your wording is superior to anything I could come up with. I like your version better.

      • blueridgeechoes May 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

        Thank you Matt. I’m glad it made sense. I was shot in the chest in 2013. Lost my left lung but by the grace of God my heart was only bruised. I had no opportunity to defend myself that day. I’m not carrying now. Lots of time at the range and making sure my head is straight before I carry again. I believe I’m ready but I’m in no rush. Carrying allows one to defend oneself but makes us responsible for the lives of everyone around us once we draw that weapon. I’ll take a little extra time making certain my head and my skills are all at their best, then I will carry. I hope none of us has to pull that trigger in a moment of crisis. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, right? Thanks again, Matt.

      • blueridgeechoes May 24, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

        By the way Matt, this is, of course, jessica.

  14. The Team June 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Our purpose should be to stop the attack… if the gun being presented on target, finger on trigger with a loud verbal command (must be mastered too) does the job than great, if that, plus a double tap stops the attack than we go there and if we have to proceed to failure to stop procedures we’ll continue until the attack stops. Don’t carry unless you understand the possible ramifications and are willing to Stop the Attack!

    • blueridgeechoes June 7, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

      Very true about mastering the verbal command. When the adrenaline is pumping is easy to sound shrill, panicked, shaky. Being able to command your own voice is critical. You don’t always need to scream, don’t give multiple options. Enunciate. But none of that matters of you aren’t prepared, properly and thoroughly, to use the weapon. If you haven’t educated yourself, trained extensively, and made peace in your heart with all the possible ramifications, then DON’T EVEN CARRY.

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