Why did you start carrying concealed?


I started carrying after an unnerving situation when my kids were little. We were visiting the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago - just the kids (then 6 yo girl and twin 4 yo boys) and me. The kids were tired and restless as we waited for our train home and I could feel all eyes on them - well almost all eyes. There was one guy who was obviously watching my bag.

I didn’t care if he took the bag - leftover snacks and a couple of souvenirs would have been easily replaced. But when his attention turned to my daughter, my heart raced. I had no way of truly defending my daughter in that situation. I wasn’t prepared and that had to change.

After that spring break trip, I enrolled my kids in TaeKwonDo and learned how to defend myself as well. I took my CC class and got really familiar with my gun.

My kids are much older now and are all black belts. I have no doubt they can make a valiant effort at their own self defense without a gun (they’re not old enough to carry yet). And I’ll be there to train with them when they get their CC.

Why did you start carrying?


@Marie I started carrying for a similar reason! My kids were young and I loved to travel with them (still do, but they’re older now and can defend themselves and me if needed :wink: ).

I had the pleasure of doing the Citizens’ Academy in the city I was living in and shot my first handgun with that group. I had shot long guns before with my grandfather, dad, and brother. But shooting a handgun was a whole different experience! And I loved it!

The officer I was working with had me shooting a Glock - and I stuck! Then he let me shoot his Sig Sauer P229 and I was in love! My first gun was a Sig :smiley: and I haven’t strayed too far in other gun purchases.

Knowing how to defend myself multiple ways (I’m also a black belt in TKD) is super important to me for my family’s safety. I recently adopted a German Shepherd puppy - he’s going to be tactically trained, once he finishes potty training :smiley:

I love helping others learn how to defend themselves and to become comfortable with guns. There’s nothing like it!


Very good reason. Protect one’s life and family at all cost.

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I never believed in carrying a firearm. I’ve always believed in our God given right to protect yourself. I started carrying after suffering a massive stroke at 27 Y/O. I then realized I no longer had strength, speed or balance for physically protecting myself or my family anymore. Since, I’ve got my license to carry, educated myself and family and get as much training as possible. Personally I’ve never felt more secure when it comes to protecting myself, family and if necessary others.


Wow! That’s young, @ShawnT. I’m so glad you’re able to protect yourself and your family!

What would you suggest to others who are in the don’t believe they need to carry mindset?


Search for the best instructors you can find. They all offer something, not all offer exactly what your looking for. Dangerous situations cannot be ignored nor can they be controlled, every individual acts on their own will. Perfect example. My Mother doesn’t believe you should own a firearm unless your a LEO or military (active duty) a week after I purchased my first firearm, an older woman was robbed at gunpoint at the same drive thru ATM at the same bank I go to, around the same time I’ll usually go to the bank. You cannot predict everything that’s going to happen. Look for what classes you can find in your area and always be open to opinions and learning.

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Did your mom change her mind after that robbery?

My mom isn’t thrilled that I carry, but I’ve gotten her to go to the range with me and shoot. She understands how much I train and that I’m very serious about carrying and being safe. It definitely helped her to see me shoot and to shoot the gun herself.


@Dawn, she was still a little skeptical. I asked her honestly during a conversation about it. If we were in a store, standing in line at the register with 1 maybe 2 customers ahead of us, and someone pushed through brandishing a gun. Would you feel safer knowing you were with someone that was carrying and had evidence, or standing there in a deadly situation when nobody had a means of protecting yourself or others? That question alone changed her mind about me owning and carrying a firearm. Now it’s getting her comfortable with the idea that I teach my son about them and he knows how to unload the magazine, clear the chamber, disassemble, reassemble, load the magazine and put a round in the chamber.

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Great way to shift her thinking, @ShawnT! How old is your son? How long have you been teaching him about guns?

Would your mom be interest in going to a range with you to learn more or would that make the nerves worse? My mom went with my partly because my uncle wanted to go and she refused to let her brother show her up (Shhh… don’t tell her I said that!) :laughing:

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@Dawn, my son is going to be 11 in 5 days. I started teaching him when I got comfortable with myself and firearms.

I have tried getting her to go to the range with me, she’s more nervous with the firearms themselves. Eventually I’ll just surprise her and go to the range when she’s with me.


That’s awesome! My kids love to shoot as well. Now I just need to have them clean the guns after we shoot :slight_smile:

I’d make one suggestion about taking your mom to the range, find out when the range is the quietest and take her then. There are days when the range is crazy busy and loud - and those days still make me a bit jumpy when I’m shooting. :unamused:

There’s nothing quite like having someone shooting a Desert Eagle in the lane next to yours to blow your focus. For us it’s a great training tool to learn to tune out the distractions in a stressful situation. To a newbie, it could be very unnerving.


@Dawn, I definitely hear you on the Desert Eagle. A few months ago I was at an outdoor range getting setup and,talking to another person when someone decided to start shooting one of those hand cannons without checking if everyone was ready to go hot. Even outside those things are loud without an earplug in. The ringing only lasted a few minutes though.


Hello everybody. My name is Caleb. I’ve been conceal carrying for a little over a year now. I first got my CHL December 2017 a couple months after the tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada. An incident like that never should have happened. There is too much crap going on in the world today and people need to be prepared for it if it happens. I’ve been a USCCA member since last January and I love being a member. They are a great company and are terrific people. Since that time they have taught me how to not only recognize potentially dangerous situations but to remain more situationally aware of my surroundings.

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Welcome, @Lakerfan34 We’re so glad to have you here! You never know what is going to happen, so being prepared is definitely important!

Can’t wait to continue the discussions going on here!


I started carrying a few years ago due to the neighborhood I was living in at the time and having a 2 and 4 yr grandchildren living with me, plus I’m also a dog trainer so from time to time I have to go into some same neighborhoods. Well one day upon going into one of the shady neighborhoods to access a dog I might get hired to train, I was being approached but a very shady person that was making me feel uncomfortable, at that time I was only carrying mace/pepper spray. Well to make a long story short, the dude was high on something and the mace/pepper spray didn’t stop him, thankfully I was still close enough to my car so I was able to leave the area, from that point on, was when I starting carrying and gotten a conceal permit prior to carrying, since that, (its been about 3 years now) I only had to draw my firearm once…thank god! But now I feel more safe!


I’m so glad you were able to get away, @Lisa! It’s amazing that pepper spray doesn’t stop some people! And, unfortunately, we’ve seen that shots don’t always stop someone either - it all depends on the person and the situation.

I may have to message you about some dog training tips! :slight_smile:

Welcome to the Community!


Hi Dawn,
Yes I was surprised to hear that not everything stops everyone all the time either! The 1st time I had to draw my firearm for other than target practice was due to a neighbor sending out his pit bull that was trained to be a fighting dog, (don’t get me wrong, I love ALL dogs and have a pit bull myself but she’s trained to be gentle and loving and she’s also in training to be a service animal) but this dude sent out his pittie to attack myself and I while we were walking our dogs, once I said, “stop, please call your dog off, I am armed and will defend myself if I have to” He didnt call off his dog even though he seen me placing my hand to where I was conceal carrying my firearm, once he realize I did draw my firearm and than called off his dog. I was glad I didnt have to fire cause I love ALL animals but I felt threatened for not only my own safety but for the safety of my son and my dogs. I was also very glad that I watched some of the uscca online training videos to help me make the right choices and doing it the right way!!


Pit bulls are awesome dogs - I have one myself and she’s so gentle! It’s terrible when their owners aren’t as kind and loving as the dogs can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that the dogs can protect their owners, but it has to be trained well to know when that is.

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I started carrying concealed for two reasons: I was legally able to and my mother was buying herself a CC gun. From there, it’s blossomed into a pursuit of being ready for most anything.

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I have a pitte mix ! I Rescue animals and used to volunteer for a pitbull rescue. The gut microbiome has been linked with aggresive behavior in people and dogs! Off topic, but they now have gut biome tests for dogs and cats and also fecal transplants.

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