I was looking at a Gallup Poll Article from November 2021 which discussed Americans' reasons for owning firearms. The organization which has been conducting this poll for decades found a noticeable change in the primary reason given for gun ownership. If you've been paying attention over the past 5 to 10 years, that reason shouldn't be a surprise.
Here is how Gallup summarized their findings in the article [emphasis added]:
Although U.S. gun ownership has remained relatively stable over the past 20 years, crime protection has surged among gun owners as the reason they own one. The vast majority of gun owners now say they purchased a firearm to protect themselves against crime. While crime protection has been a commonly cited motivation for owning a gun in the past, it was nowhere near as dominant a reason as it is today, and not much more common than other reasons such as target shooting or hunting. -Gallup
Gallup Poll Results—
When Gallup conducted the same poll back in 2000 and 2005, 67% of the participants said crime-protection was the main reason for owning a firearm. In 2021, 88% cited this as the reason.
Why Does it Matter—
Most of you reading this would say, of course, I own a gun because it's a great self-defense tool, and you're right. It isn't the only tool, or even the best tool in every situation, but a firearm is a great equalizer and effective when used correctly.
If most people own a gun for self-defense purposes, it's probably a safe bet to say the vast majority of people who carry a gun do so for the same reason. The only other reason I've heard people cite for carrying a gun is because they want to exercise their Second Amendment right to do so. By and large, if someone carries a gun, it's for self-defense.
This matters because not everyone who carries a gun for self-defense, does it every day. So why not? What is the reason someone would recognize the value of carrying a gun for self-defense, but then not do it all the time?
Our company conducted a poll of thousands of students, trying to get an answer to this question. Here is what we found.
According to our poll, there was one major reason given for not carrying a gun regularly, and then three other reasons tied in second place. The top reasons given for not carrying a gun everyday are:
- Difficulty Concealing/ Physical Discomfort 30%
- Couldn't Establish the Habit 17%
- Employer Doesn't Allow it 17%
- Too Many Places Prohibit Guns 17%
The top reason should not be a surprise, as it seems like people are always struggling to find a holster and method of carry that doesn't suck. I actually think not being able to establish a habit of carrying has a lot to do with the trial and error of finding a comfortable way to carry the gun concealed. The more comfortable it is to carry, the easier it is to do it regularly. What the results led me to conclude is that nearly half of the people who don't carry their gun every day would probably do it, if they could figure out a way to do it more comfortably.
How to Carry More Comfortably—
I've been on a concealed carry journey for over 15 years. So much has changed over that time, and if I knew back then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of discomfort and struggles. And a ton of money and time wasted on sub-par holsters.
Besides knowledge, more concealable guns, concealment gear, especially holster design, has come a long way. Today, concealing different guns is easier and more comfortable than ever.
If you're one of the many people who struggle with concealment and comfort, don't give up. A great place to start would be this course called Holsters, Concealment and Carry Positions. This course has a great deal of information on different methods or positions of concealed carry, but also what to look for in a holster and why some holsters seem to conceal better and more comfortably.
Some Reading Material to Help—
Over the years, we've shared some of the things we've learned in articles published on the site. Here are just a few you can check out to get started:
- Carry Positions Infographic
- Appendix Carry
- Dear Gun Industry Please Stop Carrying Backwards Behind The Hip
- Consider a Larger Gun for Concealed Carry
- Attributes of a Safe Holster
In Conclusion —
Carrying comfortably takes some trial an error. Even if you have a great holster, you still need to take time to adjust the holster for optimal comfort and concealment. Armed with good advice and knowledge, maybe you can save some time, money, and frustration in selecting your concealed carry gun and holster set up.
What is something about concealed carry you know now, that you wish you knew when you started? Leave your experience in the comment section below.