I am absolutely fixated on solving the “Beyond the 1%” problem that Karl Rehn first described a few years ago. The fact is that very few of the people who take the time to go through a CCW class go on to carry a defensive firearm on a regular basis, and even fewer take any training after their concealed carry class.
This vexes me, because when I went into my first concealed carry class (lo these many years ago) I had the attitude walking into the door that yes, I would carry my gun as often as I could. That was my attitude coming into class, and it’s been my attitude ever since.
The problem is, people are motivated to get a CCW permit. They have a reason to do it, and the follow through on that motivation. However, it takes discipline to take the next step. Carrying a firearm and having a defensive mindset is a day in, day out thing, which means that your habits are gonna need to change.
This involves two things. The first thing is, you’re going to have to WANT to change your habits. We’re not cops, we’re not required to carry guns as part of our jobs. The second thing is understanding how we alter our habits. It’s not a “make a clean break and change everything all at once thing,” it’s a step by step process:
- Identify Cues. Something has to trigger a habit, and a cue can be anything.
- Disrupt. Once you know the cues, you can throw old habits off track.
- Replace: Swap out the old habits with new ones.
- Keep It Simple: Make a bunch of small changes rather than one big change.
- Think Long-Term: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither are your habits.
- Persist: When in doubt, keep doing it.
I’d also add “Be accountable to someone else.” Don’t carry a defensive firearm just for you, do it for the other people in your life. They would miss you if you were gone, and you would miss them if they were gone. Build around that, and start to make the changes you need to make in order to live a happier, safer life.
And yes, the title of this post IS a Doobie Brothers reference.