Daily Routines and Sticking with Them
Some of us live off of routines, others just fly by the seat of their pants. Some of us incorporate disciplines and some of us don’t. If you’re going to carry daily (highly recommended), you’re going to have to create a routine and maintain this discipline.
When you’re going to carry a firearm, you’ll have to get into a daily routine from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. So what does this routine consist of? Each one of us are going to have different routines and different schedules, but I will share mine with you. If you’re new to carrying concealed, try my routine, then adapt and modify as you see fit. Out lifestyles are going to be different. There may be only adults in your household, there could be children of different ages (and don’t forget their visiting friends), you might have a relative or friend living with you, each one of us are going to have different life-scenarios.
You’ll have to take a look at those whom you are surrounded by. Do they know that you carry? Do you need to keep your concealment a secret from those in your household due to their ages (children), maybe their fearful of a firearm in the home, or maybe their anti-gunish. There could be other reasons why you don’t want others to know. Maybe you have someone who likes to gossip a lot. Whatever the reason, you should start here first in deciding whether or not you’re going to keep it completely concealed at home or not. Remember, you don’t want to frighten someone in their own home. This should be a safe place for them.
Once you’ve made your decision to carry in front of others at home or not, you will need to set up a routine around those in your home and while you’re outside your castle visiting the lands around you.
If you’re not living alone, you will need to set up some household rules while you have a firearm in the house. If you have children, they will need to be trained on firearm safety. The adults should also be trained. You should also do some in home training so you don’t accidentally shoot a family member because you thought they were an intruder. People have shot their loved ones by accident because there was no training around having a firearm in the home.
For example, a young teenager snuck her boyfriend into the house, the dad heard noises in the middle of the night, he came downstairs, he heard someone and thought he saw someone hiding in the dark. He gave verbal commands but got no response. When the figure moved he shot at the moving silhouette. Afterwards he discovered he shot his own child. They were afraid of getting caught with a boy in the house so they didn’t want their parents to know. There was another similar situation to the story above, but the boyfriend was shot and killed instead. So it is imperative to have some kind of training with family members. They need to understand communication is key and avoid situations like these.
You also need to find a place to keep you sidearm while your sleeping. Is it easily accessible? Will it be loaded? Will it be in a safe? Do you know the four universal firearm safety rules? Are you going to follow them (you better)? Have you practiced retrieving it while in bed (training yourself with an unloaded firearm) just in case there is an intruder in your home? Once you’ve made your decision on where to keep your firearm, it’s time to set up your daily routine.
My firearm is next to me while I am sleeping. I do not have the firearm in the bed with me since this can be very dangerous. It is within arm’s reach and safe from wandering hands. My clothes are also laid out and ready to go for the next day. The gun belt is on the pants, with the holster attached, my concealed carry permit is in my shirt pocket, along with my every day carry (EDC) attached to their designated locations. I am ready just in case I have to jump into my clothes, I can holster my sidearm right away and head out the door in case of an emergency (like a fire).
When I get up in the morning, I take my clothes and my sidearm into the bathroom, take a shower (with my sidearm within arm’s reach) and this is the start of my daily routine. Why have your firearm in the bathroom? People have been shot in their own bathrooms by intruders, even while they were taking a shower. I am not creating a lifestyle of living out of fear, it’s just the logical thing to do. You’re in your birthday suit, taking a shower and if something happens, it’s nice to be prepared – just in case. Nothing more. If I am in the shower and hear a family member screaming for help downstairs, then I am ready to go just in case someone has entered our home and a loved one is being threatened. It’s no different than having a pair of shoes next to your bed and some clothes just in case a fire breaks out. You can be ready in an instant for whatever trouble there is and escape with clothes on your body and footwear to get safely out of your home. Having a sidearm next to you all the time is no different, you’re just preparing yourself for any possible danger.
After I am dressed and ready for the day, I will have my firearm holstered and head out the bedroom door. Now depending on your family, you may have your firearm concealed or out in the open. I keep mine concealed all the time. Reason? Just in case an intruder enters through my door or I get ambushed. I want the element of surprise on my side and not have my sidearm become a target for the intruder and we end up fighting for it. If they think I am unarmed, I am not a threat to them and my chances of survival are much better. So it’s up to you how you want your firearm, hidden or not.
When I am about to go somewhere using my car, I put my firearm inside my vehicle holster. I would highly recommend getting one. Get one made out of hard plastic or kydex. Also have it mounted and make sure it’s unmovable, even after a car accident. You want something solid and easily reachable within seconds. You don’t want it in the glove compartment, inside your console, underneath your chair, placed unsecured between the seat and center console, etc. It should be in your hands within a second in case you need it in an emergency.
I also incorporate the memory techniques used in the book “Way of the Concealed Carrier”, which has been very successful. I have never left my sidearm behind by accident. It’s easy to get distracted and leave your sidearm behind and realize “Oh Shit!!, it’s in my vehicle”, then you have to run back to retrieve it. Yes, it does happen to most people at least once in their life, especially if they are new to carrying. The technique taught in the book also helps us old timers (seasoned life-veterans) to remember to grab our firearm when exiting the vehicle. Basically, its full proof.
For the rest of day, you’ll be carrying. You may have to put up your firearm and lock it up in the safe in your car since you may be visiting establishments that do not allow firearms. This may be part of your routine, like going to work since they may not allow firearms, but it’s okay to have one in your vehicle. ALWAYS lock up your firearm while it is left alone in your vehicle. Do not hide it in the dash or console. Criminals break into vehicles looking for such items. Making it difficult to access your firearm is best when its locked in a safe and it is either bolted or cabled to your vehicle. This makes removal of the firearm very difficult and time consuming.
When it’s the end of the day, I’ll head home. I will continue to carry inside the house until I go to bed. When its bed time, I will put up my firearm, still loaded and reachable within seconds while I am in bed.
Just stick to the basics, do your routine daily and it will become second nature after a month or so.
Some of you may use public transportation or ride around on a bike. There won’t be much change, except you cannot lock up you firearm in a safe or mount it on your bike. You may have a different routine where you may have to lock it up in a public locker if you are going somewhere that does not permit firearms. You may consider carrying a lock for your firearm so that if you do stow it away, no one can use it against you or others. Remember, depending on your state, some public transportation may not allow firearms. So you may hit some roadblocks, but you’ll have to think out of the box on what to do for those situations.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed”!!!