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Myths & Misconceptions of Concealed Carry - Training Series


Beretta Tomcat for conceal carryThere are many myths and misconceptions regarding concealed carry in the United States. Some are related to efficiency of equipment like handgun selection, holster selection, defensive ammunition and tools for training. Others are connected to gender stereotypes and socio-economic norms. Personal responsibility, a commitment to relevant training and legal considerations are other areas that we all should continue to be mindful of. Physical strength and the strength of the human will to survive are additional topics for discussion. There are many areas that we will explore together through this series. In this segment, I would like to establish a baseline grounded in truth and focused on choices.

Beretta Nano in holster

The commitment to conceal carry is a very big decision and one not to be taken lightly. It is a lifestyle choice similar to your commitment to health, exercise, working hard in your job or to support your household. It is a willful choice that must be made with careful consideration before you begin. Unlike many of life’s learning opportunities, drawing your firearm to stop a life threatening situation, or failing to, is not something that you want to look back on with regret realizing that you were not really prepared. This is one aspect of your lifestyle that requires research, knowledge, mental preparation as well as the cultivation of the physical skill set necessary to optimize your ability to navigate a critical dynamic incident. This decision demands your full attention on the front end because without due diligence, you may not have an opportunity to look back and evaluate what you could have or should have done differently. There may not be a tomorrow for experience to lend itself to. Some decisions are final.

My father always taught me to “begin with the end in mind and think it all the way through.” This has proven to be worthy advice in many areas of my life.  It was and continues to be applicable to my daily decision to carry my firearm for the protection of myself and others. The everyday choices we make in life directly impact the quality of it. How you choose to protect your life and those you love is one of the most important factors to consider. Choices require an analysis of the pros and cons. Some require research and the counsel of those who are subject matter authorities. There are in addition moral considerations and matters of responsibility for our actions that come into play. Choices have consequences both positive and negative and our goal should be to position ourselves as advantageously as possible for a successful outcome. Though there are no guarantees and we cannot control everything, we each have a responsibility to ourselves and those that depend on us to give the time and attention to detail where personal safety and well-being are concerned.

A common misconception about the choice to conceal carry is that having a firearm is enough. There is a serious differentiator that needs to be addressed.  Checking the box on simply buying a gun and carrying it with you every day is a dangerous place to stop in the process. Unfortunately, many people take a required class or just simply fill out the necessary paperwork required to legally carry and stop there. An overview of these decisions can be found in one our most successful white papers: The 10 Most Important Things to Know About Conceal Carry.

Many don’t realize that there is so much more that goes into this choice. Getting the permit and the tools are just a part of the process. If you were going to build your own home for the first time, would you just apply for the building permit and then buy the tools and supplies without really understanding all aspects of how to build successfully? That’s a simple example, but in reality concealed carry is much more than a simple concept or a perceived easy solution to making you feel safer. Feeling safe just because you have a gun is a serious misconception. I always tell the men women and families that I train a simple key phrase: “Feelings are not Facts. Just because you feel safe, does not mean that you are safe.” This applies to many aspects of personal protection, but with regard to concealed carry, there is an important differentiator here. Before you make the decision to carry a gun there is work to be done on the front end that has nothing to do with the actual gun itself.

Your mind is your primary weapon. Your ability to navigate a critical dynamic incident is directly impacted with the pre-loading of your decision making paradigm. The boundaries that you predetermine include proximity to a threat, how many verbal warnings will you give if any, the legalities involved, if you are alone versus if you have a family member with you, how many threats versus how many rounds of ammo do you have, how to determine the greatest threat if there are multiples or if a person that you know or love become the threat to you. These are just a few examples of things to think through and train through while preloading your decision making paradigm. Taking yourself through the mental preparation of “what to do if” and “if this then that” is a fundamental means of preparing to navigate those situations more successfully.

Realistically none of us can prepare for every possible scenario. But what we can do is prepare our minds with informed, pre-loaded decisions about what choices we are willing to live with. Being as prepared as we can be in advance helps to minimize the negative after effects or potentially fatal effects of not being ready.

I encourage each of you to think about where you are in your mental preparation for defending your life. Your firearm is a tool to be used as an extension of the decisions and preparations you make in advance. If you believe that in your hour of need or moment of truth that somehow the skills and fortitude to act without hesitation will somehow miracle themselves into your brain and body, you are taking a big risk with your life and those you intend to protect. Are you willing to accept the consequences of that decision? We will discuss more on this topic in future posts and will explore this topic in more depth. For now, think about how much time you have dedicated to mental preparation. How seriously do you take your physical training regimen? What changes need to be made? Are you really ready?

This series is designed to address some of the common misconceptions surrounding concealed carry that pertain to both men and women. Each topic presented is done so with hopes to stimulate your mindset, perceptions, training habits, purchasing considerations and overall belief system surrounding this life preserving commitment to your personal safety. Whether you are a seasoned concealed carrier, or just starting to consider it as an option for personal defense, my goal is to bring you relevant perspectives to lend insight into this all important aspect of your life.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

The Consequences of Using your Firearm for Self Protection


I want to talk about ending a life. Can you do it? Are you ready to make that decision? Are you ready to pull the trigger?

Every time I check my hadngun before I carry it, the thought goes through my head that I might have to use the weapon in self defense and potentially end a life.

I have two guidelines I rely on when it comes to self defense. I don’t remember where my guidelines came from. I have heard them repeated often in one form or another for a long time now, but ever since I owned my first gun these two points have been my guidelines when it comes to self defense. They are:

  • Never draw a gun unless you intend to shoot.

  • Never shoot unless you intend to kill.

I am not an expert, but I think these are two very important guidelines for anyone with a conceal carry permit.

If you have to draw your weapon then it should only be in a situation where you are ready and willing to shoot and shoot to kill. If you are not to the point in an altercation where you are so scared for your life that you are willing to use a lethal response then you weapon should stay in your holster.

This is something that I believe a lot of people who have their conceal carry permits do not realize or understand. I am afraid that a lot of people, especially those who are new to the gun culture, do not have a complete understanding of this concept.

The simple fact is that, if you draw your weapon to scare or wound, then you don’t need to be drawing your weapon; or, if you draw your weapon, it should only be to pull the trigger and put three rounds into the bad guy. End of story. If you carry a weapon and think that you can use it to scare a bad guy away or wound them but not kill them, you are, in my opinion, fooling yourself and it will most likely get you or someone you care about hurt or killed.

I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid that there is a segment of the conceal carry culture that has not really considered the implications of just carrying a weapon or the implications of using their weapon in self defense and the full repercussions of a lethal or even a non-lethal outcome.

If you shoot someone, there will be legal, psychological and possibly physical consequences.


We can practice at the range weekly, but we need to also be just as mentally ready to respond to a threat as we are physically ready. If we are not ready to pull the trigger, put two to the chest and one to the head and accept the consequences of that action then we are not ready to carry a concealed weapon.

Everyone who is part of what they call the “Gun Culture” needs to do more to mentally prepare people to carry a concealed weapon and to educate permit holders of the implications and consequences involved. I think we all would benefit from more information, education and dialog about this topic.

There are quite a few ranges and companies that offer real-life scenario classes that run conceal carry permit holders through the wringer with scenarios that show them how you will really respond to a threat versus how you are supposed to respond.

I have not been through any of these classes. I hope I get a chance to some day. I think that they would be very beneficial.

So... are you ready to draw you weapon and kill the mugger who just shoved a pistol in your spouse’s face demanded that you give him your wallet? Is that life worth the $48 you are carrying? What are the chances of them shooting your spouse if you draw your pistol? Will the mugger shoot you anyway if you hand over your wallet instead of drawing your gun?

Can you live with the fact that you killed someone?

Have you even thought about it?

Are you ready?


You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

The Truth


By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest contributor

A recent post on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page on “Why we carry a firearm” created quite a stir and evoked an awesome amount of passion. One word kept smacking me in the face. That word was TRUTH. What frustrates the law abiding, good American citizen is the avoidance and mistreatment of what is the truth in the typical anti-gun conversation.  

Not all of the words below are mine, but I will write them in the first person as my reasons for carrying a firearm are the truth for me personally. Therefore no one can argue with me as what is true for me, is mine alone. However, I do not own these truths, they are not new and I know that for millions of firearm owners these truths are what lies at the heart of their choice to arm themselves. 

“Truth is tough.  It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.”  
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Who can argue with the truth? If we align ourselves and can clearly communicate what is true then it perhaps becomes more difficult for those that simply want to argue. To effectively explain our choices, we must arm ourselves with articulate words of truth and then, simply stand on them.  
I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot people, I carry a gun because I refuse to be a victim. 

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government, I carry a gun because I realize the limitations of government to protect me. I carry for emergency self defense when there are no better options left.

I don’t carry a gun because I am paranoid, I carry a gun because, sadly, there are very real threats all around me.

I don’t carry a gun because I am an evil person, I carry a gun because I’ve lived long enough to see the evil in this world and to accept that I am prey to those who are evil.

I don’t carry a gun to compensate for anything, I carry a gun to equalize the battlefield. My physical size and strength can’t even come close to that of an attacker.

I don’t carry a gun because I am angry, I carry a gun so I don’t ever have to hate myself for not being prepared and protecting myself or those I love.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it, I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people, I carry because I am trained to do so, safely.
I carry my gun, because it is my right to do so... responsibly. 

“If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out” Oscar Wilde

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

My first time with Beretta

(by Aaron Spuler - guest contributor)

I was introduced to the Beretta 92FS by Lieutenant John McClane during the holdup at the Nakatomi Plaza in 1988 (Die Hard). I was eleven at the time. I'd shot plenty of guns on a fairly regular basis with my uncle, but my firearms knowledge was not that large. I did, however, know what I liked. The Beretta 92FS was a highlight of the film. Who can forget the scene at the end when John has it taped to his shoulders and shouts “Happy trails, Hans” as he pulls the 92FS out and takes down the last two terrorists?

I was reacquainted with the Beretta 92FS three years ago while taking the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing course. Another individual at the course had a Beretta 92FS and achieved a perfect score during the live fire exercise. I told myself then that I would get a Beretta 92FS of my own one day...

I have to say that the 92FS is my favorite handgun to shoot out of all that I own. I have trained my wife on all of my handguns, and the Beretta 92FS has become her favorite as well.

What was your introduction to Beretta?

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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