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1. Standing still and shooting at static targets prepares me to defend myself.
Let’s be really, really clear on this.  Standing still and shooting at static targets is fun.  It’s a great way to start, and a useful method of checking fundamentals and equipment.  It is not, however, a useful metric for preparedness to defend yourself.  In a defensive encounter, the person(s) attacking you will certainly be in motion, and that changes… EVERYTHING. 
Don’t fall victim to the lie that going to a gun range and putting rounds on paper in a sterile environment is actual training. Seek out courses beyond watching social media posts and videos.  Get time in with your handgun under instruction and find out what you can and cannot do.

2. I can assume that the best possible scenarios will happen to me.
One of the things I see often as an instructor is that many people assume that on the worst day of their life, the best possible circumstances will unfurl in front of their eyes.  I have actually heard students at the beginning of a course declare their confidence that the person attacking them will be unarmed.  This is but one example of many ways that citizen defenders believe a lie that says that as an armed citizen, you will always have the upper hand.  As a starting point, what would you do if your dominant hand were injured, bloodied, or being used to keep a loved one safe?  Start there - and keep thinking.

3. My handgun is a magic wand.
Drawing a firearm can invite more conflict, stress, and sense of endangerment to bystanders, and to you as a defender.  Being able to produce a firearm does not make you a wizard with a magic wand. Your firearm possesses zero magical abilities to control anyone’s behavior.  The only factor that has the greatest chance of impacting the outcome of your defensive encounter is your mindset.  Are you prepared with a plan?  If that plan fails do you have another one?
4. I’ll have time to chamber a round.
I won’t waste much time on this, but chances are no, you will not.  John Correia from Active Self Protection says it best - if you carry without a round in the chamber, you are choosing to start your defensive encounter with a malfunction clearance.  Simply put, planning on having both the time AND the ability to chamber a round in time to defend yourself is putting yourself at risk.

5. The most important feature of a defensive handgun is being small for concealment.
Should you face a situation where you need your handgun, the moment you put into action, the only feature you will want is CAPABILITY.  Sure, small size can make for easier concealment, but I strongly encourage you to consider that we don’t buy handguns to be able to conceal them.  Rather, we conceal handguns so that we can use them to defend ourselves on the worst day of our lives.  To be able to defend ourselves, we need to have tools that work best under less-than-ideal scenarios.  A longer barrel means more accuracy and greater sight radius.  A wider, longer grip can mean better control when our fine motor skills are diminished by stress.  Instead of thinking about less capacity for concealment sake, try considering each round as another opportunity to defend yourself and those you love. Get the handgun you’d actually want to have with you to defend yourself, and then figure out a way to carry it. A great source for carry gear that I personally use is Tucker Gun Leather.

What are some of the other lies that you think folks believe about concealed carry?  Leave a comment, and let’s talk more.