I have been through a lot of carry configurations. I went through the full sized conceal carry mentality.  I went through a mode where capacity was king and I carried as much as I could. I carried a full sized 1911, a Browning Hi-Power, and a Glock 17 to name a few. I have loaded up on defensive knives, folders, fixed blades, neck knives and the like as backup weapons. But as I am assessing situations, and places I frequent, I have changed my thinking slightly and I am becoming versatile in what and how I carry. I have tried to find the perfect balance between concealment, capacity, weight, caliber, and size. Adding that to the probabilities of trouble in the areas I am carrying, and the wisdom and maturity to know how to minimize those risks, I feel perfectly OK carrying smaller, lighter handguns with less capacity for self defense.

On a side note in regards to carrying a firearm, I am not out looking for trouble, I am not out to save the world from evil or intervene when it is not necessary. I carry because I wish to have the means to protect my loved ones and myself from those who wish to do us harm. I understand that there are bad people in this world that do bad things and that no amount of reason or compliance will stop them. I am in shape and perfectly capable of defending myself using just my god given brain, hands, and feet, but sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes more is needed to get your loved ones or yourself out of harms way. I truly believe that is why the writers of the United States Constitution identified and articulated the common man’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We as an individual have the right to live our lives in peace and morality and to defend ourselves if that peace and morality is threatened. We have the right to have access to the correct tools to protect those rights.  I am not an nut or an extremist like the media and other close minded people try to paint firearm owners. I am not violent or criminal. I am simply a man who will protect himself and his family from any and all harm. I refuse to be a victim. That is why I choose to carry. I say choose, because as a free man I have the right to do so, or the right not to, and I respect everyone’s right to choose to carry or not without judgement.

The percentages in my favor me where I live. Even as violent crime decreases nationwide, my area has always been way below the national average per capita and it is getting lower. Places I frequent are below the average. I attribute that directly to the amount of people choosing to arm themselves and refuse to be victims any longer in this country.  I also know the three S’s:  Don’t do Stupid things with Stupid people in Stupid places. I live an honest, crime-free life and I associate myself with like minded people. I am aware of my situation, and if I see trouble, I do not gawk at it, or wait for it to develop.  I move away from it and quickly. It is for these reasons I decided I wanted to carry light. I feel there is no reason to weigh myself down with things on my person or in my pocket. You just cannot be prepared for everything life throws at you. So instead of worrying about that, I take a minimalist approach. I carry what I need to get through the day and I will let life throw at me what it will. I also live in and area where t-shirts and shorts are almost a year round attire. I want to be comfortable and I want to be discrete. So I needed to find a balance.

I researched different products and tried to find the correct tools for what I needed to get through each day. I chose the Leatherman Skeletool for my carry knife. It gets far more daily use than a one dimensional folder ever did.  It is lightweight, takes up little pocket space, and functions as a daily light duty tool. For a light, I chose the Maratac AAA. Lightweight, bright enough for  daily and nightly tasks, good battery life, and as small as a chap stick container. For my wallet I chose a Carhartt front pocket wallet. Light, durable, and small. I do not like to carry things in my back pockets much. I slip my phone in there when walking, or a speed strip or small backup magazine, but otherwise I like them empty. It is uncomfortable to have things in my back pocket, so I only have two front pockets to hold my keys, wallet, knife, and light.  Scaling down was a challenge but I was able to find the tools I needed to function day to day. I also needed to find the tools that could share the pockets together. I needed it all to be small and light.

When I travel to other locations I dress my carry accordingly. I have what I feel is a robust rotation for where I live and travel.

I am perfectly OK with a snub-nosed revolver or a micro nine or even a .380 mouse gun. The average joe citizen is well served with a snub nosed revolver or a micro/mouse gun.  Yes, you can cite examples where more capacity was needed, and I can cite examples of where a rifle was needed. Are you going to carry a rifle around with you every day?  There is a difference between being prepared and being paranoid. You cannot prepare for everything so enjoy the life that you have. For me, enjoying life starts with not being weighed down by accessories. Training is also another thing more important that what you carry. Train often with what you carry.

Overall, I feel I found the best mix of what was important to me. Concealment, capacity, weight, caliber, and size. I still have those full sized handguns, I just use them more sparingly now day to day. I still take them out to exercise them and I have not forgotten about them, they just do not get as much time with me as their smaller lighter counterparts, and that’s the way I like it.

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