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Thread: Concealed Carry Presentation - Help me review

  1. #1
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    Concealed Carry Presentation - Help me review

    I've been asked to give a presentation on the "serious" aspects of concealed carry. This will be for a group of first time folks who haven't made the decision to carry yet but are considering it.

    I'm not going to mislead you, the first part of this presentation hammers pretty hard on the BAD aspects of carrying for self defense because we (the presenters) feel it's important that the students understand the full implications of carrying for self defense.

    What I think I need the most help with is adding to the "Because there are benefits" part at the end so it finishes up on a positive note (in spite of the dire warnings that come before).

    In my mind "it might save my life" is really the only benefit I need, but others might want more so any help with this rough draft would be appreciated.

    (let the critique begin, I'm open to any and all comments).

    Ze

    Firearms and Self Defense
    (To be used with the slideshow “Firearms and Self Defense_Serious Business.ppt”)
    Prep Notes: Have the following available.
    • The slideshow “Firearms and Self Defense_Serious Business.ppt”
    • Computer and projector to show slideshow
    • Some sort of whiteboard or easel and marker

    [slide # ?] Introduction

    [slide # ?] Fun and Competition vs. Self Defense.
    • Firearms sports are FUN.
    • Challenge of shooting targets
    • Fun of competition
    • Sense of accomplishment
    • All of that is great, HOWEVER, that is not what we are here to discuss today.
    • Choosing firearms for self defense is a completely different topic with enormous ramifications.

    [slide # ?] Thinking About Self Defense
    DISCUSSION: Why did you decide that having a firearm for self defense might be a good idea? For that matter DO you think it’s a good idea?

    Common Responses
    • I’m a woman
    • I’m small
    • I’m afraid

    [slide # ?] Ramifications of carrying for self defense.

    [slide # ?] Warning, Graphic Images.

    [slide # ?] Choosing to Carry.
    • Choosing to carry is an intensely personal decision and should not be taken lightly.
    • It means that you now have the capability of using lethal force to stop an assault but what does that really mean?

    [slide # ?] You may have to wound someone. (gruesome photo #1)
    • It means you may have to wound someone or cripple them permanently.

    [slide # ?] You may have to kill someone. (gruesome photo #2)
    • It means you may have to KILL someone.

    [slide # ?] You may have to do this to another human being. (gruesome photo #3)

    • It means you may have to do THIS to another human being

    [slide # ?] Give yourself some time.
    • No sane person goes looking for the results we’ve just seen
    • But you MUST face the reality that THIS is what using lethal force for self defense really means
    • Give yourself some time to consider the thought “Even if my own life were in danger, could I actually kill another person”
    • Carrying a firearm is NOT for everyone
    • There is no shame in a “NO” answer, it simply means that you should stick to “fun” gun uses like target sports and that you should find other options for your personal protection.

    [slide # ?] Some alternatives.
    • Pepper Spray
    • Tasers

    [slide # ?] Costs of carrying for self defense.

    • Even if you never, ever, need your firearm, choosing to carry for self defense will entail some significant and ongoing costs in both time and money .
    • obtaining a reliable and suitable firearm
    • obtaining suitable carry equipment (Belts, holsters, etc)
    • Getting training with your firearm
    • maintaining your skillset (toss in a drawer and forget is no good)
    • obtaining a method of securing your firearm (a safe or gunbox)
    • getting any permits/licenses required by your location
    • learning and UNDERSTANDING the laws of your state/locality
    • knowing what to do if you run into, for example, an overzealous or uninformed police officer

    [slide # ?] Additional costs.
    • In all probability you will be amongst those who NEVER need their firearm. However if you do need it you may face other, additional, costs even if you are perfectly justified.
    • Arrest and (at least briefly) jail
    • A lawyer/ legal fees (assume $10,000 or MORE)
    • Possible retaliation
    • Humiliation and persecution (especially by the media)
    • Personal shame and guilt that you crippled or killed someone (so called survivors guilt)
    • Counseling

    [slide # ?]Have I scared you yet? GOOD! Because…

    [slide # ?] This is SERIOUS BUSINESS!.
    • You take on some serious responsibilities when you choose to carry for self defense.
    • Part of why some folks are so against it, they can't shoulder the burden and can’t comprehend that others would be able to.
    • Examine your “high risk” behaviors (irresponsible drinking, drugs, etc.) Such behaviors have no place in a “carry” lifestyle.
    • No room for horseplay, EVER.
    • You will face prejudice and antagonism, and you will have to deal with it, there is no room for your temper.
    • YOU MUST GET TRAINING, to keep you and those around you safe
    • and so you have any chance at all of properly using a firearm under stress.
    • Nobody just gets in a car and drives, you get training first.

    [slide # ?] Why would anyone carry?
    • With all of the stuff we’ve gone over you are probably wondering “good Lord why would anyone carry”?

    [slide # ?] Because there are Benefits.
    • Like any safety equipment, you’ll probably never need it but if you do your life may depend on having it.
    • How else can a 98lb woman face off a 300lb rapist?
    • In a crime situation the only people guaranteed to be there are the criminal and you. (no cops)
    • Hardly a magic wand and some serious shortcomings but still the most effective self defense tool right now.
    • Knowledge that you are taking responsibility for yourself

    [C'mon group, help my poor addled brain with more benefits]
    Last edited by ZeSpectre; February 18th, 2009 at 02:18 PM. Reason: minor edits to content
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  2. #2
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    This came up at a party I was attending recently. The hosts know I usually have a pistol on me and two of them usually ask if I'm "strapped" or "packing" at some point in the evening. Since we usually share a couple beers I've always truthfully answered no and explain that I won't drink if I have a gun with me. They appreciate that principle.
    However, I think they're uncertain how they should feel about my carrying. The strapped and packing terms imply they aren't sure how to approach the situation and are searching for a tactful way to ask.

    The last time I was over I was quietly and privately asked why I carried a gun around. I set up my answer this way:
    I've more recently started following news of crime in the area and it now seems less safe than I originally assumed (sparked by the armed robbery of a friend)
    If you take the time to practice and become adept with a pistol and carry it safely in a holster, it presents very little risk
    good judgment is necessary though, so I don't carry when that could be impaired (e.g. drinking)
    There is also little risk of being mugged or assaulted, but the consequences can be incredibly severe
    So I ultimately the judge the situation as low-risk but with huge negative consequences, and that's enough to tip me onto the carry side.
    By design, this reason left the host feeling justified in him not carrying, either due to perceived risk or unfamiliarity with a firearm.

    My girlfriend was also asked why I carried by the host's roommate. She explained by saying that I see a kind of virtue in being self-reliant about my own protection... I like her answer better because I think its easier for people to relate to.
    This satisfied the roommate once they were assured that I was very even tempered.


    So we offered arguments based on cost/benefit analysis (low risk of hefty consequences) and quality of character (virtuous people are stable and safe, yet prepared)

    In your presentation I'd put more emphasis on shooting to stop the threat, versus shooting to wound or kill. It's a tool that can get you out of a very bad situation, but most of self defense is not allowing yourself to get to that point.
    I try to describe it by contrasting getting in a car accident vs nearly being hit. You're aware for a couple moments that an impact is unavoidable, and it's only when the crash happens that a seat belt is helpful. But even a near miss, or having a friend get hit, will make you wear it every time you drive.

  3. #3
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    In your presentation I'd put more emphasis on shooting to stop the threat, versus shooting to wound or kill.
    I understand what you are saying, and why, we cover the "shoot to stop" in another lecture. This one is intended to hammer home the "if you shoot someone they may die, are you ready to take responsibility for that?" question.
    (Something almost none of the intended audience has even considered).

    Believe me I intend to go in depth about the "shoot to stop" philosophy.
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    Hope I'm not too late...

    My suggestions:

    Be sure to have pics of people enjoying their firearms in the beginning.

    End on a high note -- get back to the happy pics. I'd use some of Oleg's pics, especially ones that have a caption.

    Follow the "6-6-6 rule" with presentations. I don't know if the way you presented the info here is the same on the slides, but I was taught that you would not use more than six bullets (heh) on a slide, with six words per bullet and usually six slides total. Slideshows are purely there to help (outline) your speech and you don't want to overwhelm them with visual data.

    Great outline, BTW.
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  5. #5
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    Sage, good points.
    The lecture isn't for a couple of weeks so I have plenty of time to "polish" things up.
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  6. #6
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    Good work. I would suggest you add:

    general inconvenience as a cost (issues of complying with varying laws in varying jurisdictions, places you can't carry, occasional social inconveniences)

    a slide balancing benefits and costs

    Note that the ability to carry allows a choice -- not all those who can carry will choose to carry everywhere and always.

    Close with a slide that leaves the question open to thought... that will help stimulate discussion for a Q&A if you can have one.
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    I would suggest mentioning that shooting is one of the few competetive sports where your training and competition can be carried into old age. I'm 64 and shoot a lot, not as much competetive any more, but I was a cop, and have shot a lot competetively over the years. You can shoot IDPA or even olympic trials as long as you can see the targets and keep up your skill level.

    I also do martial arts, and unlike those skills, shooting converts quickly into "life preservation skills" if you practice them correctly. As a skilled MA teacher, I'm the first one to acknowledge that an armed attacker is a definite threat... trained in MA or not. If the attacker has a firearm, unless they are within reach, my MA skills are useless. I can, however, drop a BG within 35 yards without too much trouble with my pistols.

    The justifications for carrying weapons is growing... the drug war in Mexico is moving this way, gangs are becoming more prevalent, and home invasions are on the steady increase. If you add carjackings, and normal burglaries and robberies... there's plenty of reason to "strap up" and keep weapons handy... and it's not just "seedy" neighborhoods where these incidents are happening.
    The declining economy and society is leading to a lot of incidents in all areas of our towns and cities.

    You might mention keeping up with crime statistics as well. I did a little digging into ours, and found out that our county had 23 murders last year... 17 of them were in my zip code.... reason enough to lock and load, and be on guard. If you're making the case for self protection, also make the case for self preservation. Of course, everybody's neighborhood hasn't deteriorated like mine has, but regardless of the history, the circumstances of our society are beginning to affect us all.

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  8. #8
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    good, good, thanks!
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  9. #9
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    Just one man's opinion here.

    It sounds like you're teaching driver's ed. Scare the crap out of the youngsters before they ever touch the wheel, generally by showing the picture of the stiff with a rear view mirror post sticking out of his skull.

    Personally, I don't go for this method of teaching. The worst case scenario isn't the every day scenario - all it takes is a couple problem-free experiences to convince the average carbon unit that they've been misinformed. Frankly, it sounds a little bradyesque to imply that carrying necessarily leads to a body count.

    It took me a long time to get over the stigma of carrying, to gird my loins and realize that exercising my human rights is in no way worthy of scorn. Not that I think you're implying that - I just think that so far the emphasis is on the bad of guns. Heck, it took me almost a year after getting my permit just to carry concealed.

    I don't think a simple presentation can turn a sheep into a free man, but I think you should at least put the idea out there, that we're meant to be something other than what everyone tells us to be every minute of every day.

    I think that one gruesome photo is enough... and that you should replace the other slides with safe handling.

    Again, just one man's opinion.
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  10. #10
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    Beatnik,
    got the same advice from several folks on another thread as well. In retrospect I've concluded that while I do want to make the point about what carrying lethal force -could- mean, I am going to tone it down a bit.
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  11. #11
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    You should emphasize the collective or social benefit that comes from concealed carry. There are plenty of stories to tell of good citizens who have stopped lethal threats to others using their CCW. Cite the statistics that (a) show how many times a year firearms are used to defend or thwart crime, and (b) suggest that crime is lower in states with CHL's. Drive home how "An armed society is a polite society." Be open in acknowledging that carrying a firearm is not for everyone, and that it is indeed a serious business in which one is taking on a responsibility to others around you, to come to their aid if the circumstances and one's abilities permit.

    It is not just about personal defense. It is about making the communities we live in safer places. The statistics for (a) I mention above are not specific to CCW. They include, probably mostly, guns kept in homes and businesses for self defense. I would feel safer knowing that every single house in my neighborhood is populated by people of the gun culture. I would feel even more safer knowing that when I'm out in public, a significant number (better yet a majority) of people around me are armed. That is all because I trust the "average person" or "common man" to act responsibly in all their affairs. The anti-gun culture is based on distrust and elitism. How one feels about guns often says a lot about how one feels about society generally.

    I would probably tone down the gruesome parts a bit, and balance it out with an emphasis upon concealed carry as an act of responsible citizenship. You do need to emphasize the importance of anyone who owns a firearm for self defense to think seriously about the responsibility that entails and whether they are willing to accept responsibility for taking the life of another person. But that is not limited to concealed carry. That goes with keeping a gun an home for self defense as well. So try to show that concealed carry is just a natural extension of considering the role of firearms in society as a whole.

  12. #12
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    I'm new here, but will offer another facet of concealed carry to pass along. I've been carrying now since 1996. I remember the first days and weeks where I would be self-concious that my pistol was "printing" and people surely must know what I had in my pocket. It was all in my head, but it does take some getting used to, having to relocate everything that you've always carried in a particular pocket, and now use that pocket solely for the pistol. I bought several brands and styles of holsters and all the under-the-shirt style of deep conceal rigs. I hated all of them and kept wondering what the hell I was doing. I eventualy became most comfortable with the nylon Uncle Mike's pocket holster, and never looked back. Putting my pistol in my pocket in the morning has become just as natural as carring my wallet and money. Do advise your class that in the case of a pocket holster, there must NEVER be anything in that pocket with the gun; no keys, no lottery ticket, no nothing. No matter what weight of pistol you decide is best for you, it will take time to become comfortable, and to realize that people are not looking at you. Be safe, and be a good citizen.

  13. #13
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    One perspective you may care to add that works fairly well for me is to portray to some extent the pistol as a safety device or precaution, much like automobile seatbelts and kitchen fire extinguishers.
    Perhaps the listener has never used (fully) their seatbelt, but most folks wear them anyway on the slim chance it could be a life-saver.
    Hardly anyone has a home fire, but lots of people have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
    It's common sense.
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    Don't forget John Lott...

    His work is definative on the use or presence of a gun in the prevention of crime. His statistics demonstrate a marked possibility of over 2Million times annualy where guns (without being fired) inhibit or prevent crime. This must be balanced with the negative aspect of "weilding" etc. But the stats are spectacular, just the power of the "presence" of a gun. Most folks who are ignorant of firearms are completely overwhelmed by the "power" of a gun, no matter the caliber.
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  15. #15
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    One benefit, for me, is it gives you the option to use lethal force in self defense. It doesn't require you shoot anyone, ever, but it allows you to choose. In my mind it runs parallel to the 1st amendment, in that you aren't required to speak out about politics or attend church, but you have that right and ability.

    Without CCW, you loose the ability to maintain your liberty or life. You maintain the right to life the entire time you're being attacked, but rights are only effective if you can physically maintain them.

    I don't know your audience, but, if you've got some poli-sci or pre-law majors in there, that might get some thinking and talking.

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    IMHO if you are going to use gruesome images of the results of a self defense shooting there need to be balancing photos of the gruesome outcome for those unable to defend themselves. An equal number of crime scene, morgue, hospital and grieving family members photos would need to be shown or the presentation is biased to the benefit of the criminal.
    The results of self defense with a firearm can be ugly, but not defending yourself or loved ones may be worse.

  17. #17
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    Ze, is it done yet? You could post it for us......
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  18. #18
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    When it's done I'll post a link.
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  19. #19
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    Perhaps the potential dangers of using less-lethal ammo could be mentioned - and from both perspectives:

    1. It's unable to stop an attacker

    or

    2. People shoot when they legally shouldn't, resulting in a fatality.

    Also, perhaps stress the fact that safety-procedures are a lifetime-commitment, not something one does for a few weeks and then stops.
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  20. #20
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    Also, perhaps stress the fact that safety-procedures are a lifetime-commitment, not something one does for a few weeks and then stops
    Yes I like that point.
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  21. #21
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    Balance ... especially in the graphic picture department ... match one to one.

    Also use references to reported incidents where the victim(s) of a crime were needlessly injured or killed. Use references to mass shootings. Use references where legally armed citizens thwarted criminals.

    Emphasis on the negatives that can come with carrying a gun for defense, or even using one ... is important and you need to do it, but strive for balance.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeSpectre
    Quote: Also, perhaps stress the fact that safety-procedures are a lifetime-commitment, not something one does for a few weeks and then stops

    Yes I like that point.
    I mention it because (I'm sure you've read the thread) of the young married couple where the husband, despite having gone through a hunters' safety-course only a few weeks prior, screwed-up and shot his wife in the shoulder with his shotgun, killing her.

    Before then, I had never thought that someone would just... stop doing his checks.
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  23. #23
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    Carrying for self-defense (requires a permit in TN) and keeping a gun at home for self-defense ("an absolute right" in TN) is a freedom of choice matter after weighing all pros and cons. ZeSpectre's presentation sounds pretty well balanced to me.

    I know of four self-defense incidents in involving women. These were protection at home, so are relevant to self-defense but not to carry.

    o One involved a woman chasing off four men.
    o One involved a woman holding off two men at gun point while she escaped.
    o One involved two women chasing off a home invader and detaining his accomplice at gun point for arrest by responding officers.
    o One involved a woman chasing off one man (stronger than her but unarmed).
    o Two incidents were reported to police, two were not.
    o In three instances, there were no legal repercussions.
    o In one instance, the woman went before a judge who tossed the charges.
    o In one instance, the home invader and accomplice went to prison.
    o In no instance was there retribution after the fact by the attackers.
    o Weapons used: .22 semi-auto rifle, .25 pistol, .357 revolver and .22 semi-auto rifle.
    o Shots fired: none with no woundings or killings.
    o Two of the women owned the gun they used; two used guns that belonged to friend or relative.

    So to me John Lott's argument ("vast majority" brandishment-only self-defense and no positive reporting of self-defense by the news media) rings true but Tom Smith's argument (Kleck's data that 40% of self defenders are women can't be true because women are only 20% of gun owners) klunks. Since 40% or more of households own guns, then women who don't own guns often have access to guns owned by others.
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  24. #24
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    I'm hoping to put the "final polish" on this over the weekend. If I get it finished I'll put it up for one more review and see what you folks think.

    I appreciate the input, one should never EVER edit/review one's own work so thanks for helping me past the blind spots.
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  25. #25
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    At the permit class I took with my wife, the instructor played a 911 call where a woman was reporting that an intruder was breaking into her home. She told him that she had the police on the phone, and the intruder's voice was heard to say "I know," and then the call ended.

    The police arrived 23 minutes later to draw a chalk outline around the woman.

    That was all my wife needed to hear.

    Hope you use a couple of Oleg's posters, and good luck.

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