The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"SUMMER CARRY versus WINTER CARRY"
Should you have different carry rigs and pistols for different types of weather? Join us this week to learn why this concept has no business in the Effectively Armed Citizens repertoire, and how it can be disastrous habit.
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Note: 100% accuracy on text transcription is not guaranteed.
This past week, I was part of a discussion among some clergy and churchgoers regarding church security. This particular group of individuals were concerned over the recent decapitation of a Catholic priest in France by two Islamic terrorists, and they were discussing ways to harden their respective congregations.
Before long, a middle-aged man spoke up, saying that he was a retired police officer, and that he was in favor of active or retired police officers being allowed to carry concealed handguns in church. I was pleased that someone else brought up the issue rather than me, and I was especially pleased when, after looking around and seeing that most of the church leaders for these various congregations agreed with his proposal, he went a bit further, and said, “In fact… I know this is a sensitive issue, but in my professional opinion, I believe we should allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry handguns in their churches because I usually find that they are just as responsible as we ex-police officers are.”And, he went into the most common arguments against gun free zones and the deterring effect the presence of “good guys with guns” offers.
It was a nice conversation, and as a side note I found that, interestingly, the church leaders were almost all in favor of allowing private citizens to carry concealed. It was instead the non-Guardians within the group, the regular churchgoers who didn’t carry concealed, who were the most uncomfortable with what was being discussed. Even though I do not believe very many modern Christians have a firm grasp on what it means to be martyred as a Christian or to trust solely in God for physical protection - which, though deeply flawed are the best arguments I personally could come up with for resisting the idea of allowing concealed carry in churches – many of these regular churchgoers still have somewhat of a revulsion to the idea of guns being in church.
I’m not sure why, which tells me that I’m either far more rational than they are, OR I’m far more calloused. When I suggested that throughout their days outside of church that they probably come within 10 feet of a loaded handgun four or five times every day, several of them said that it didn’t change their concern. Anyway, that’s a side note. Here’s my point for today:
I later had a private exchange with this retired police officer, because I’d hoped I’d found a kindred spirit. I asked him: “So, what do you carry?” He said, “Well, right now I carry a snub-nose .38 in an inside-the-waistband holster – BUT,” he said. “BUT – as soon as the weather cools down and I can wear a jacket in church again, I’ll be switching back to my full-size duty gun, a Sig P226.”
And this is what I want to focus on today, because this whole concept of winter carry and summer carry doesn’t jive with what I’ve learned is the most effective recipe for armed self-defense. So, I have a few points I want to make.
First, most crime happens in the summer months. Depending on the average temperate of the city in question, and depending on the type of crime you’re researching, crime surges during the summer months can sometimes be twice as high as crime levels during the winter months. And so based on this alone, if we’re going to carry two different guns concealed, we should carry smaller guns in the winter, and bigger guns during the summer. However, the concept of ‘summer carry and winter carry’ isn’t a position of logic; it’s a position of convenience. Because the fact is, most people who carry differently during the winter will agree that they WISH they could carry their winter gun all year.
Well, the reality is that they usually CAN carry their winter gun all year, if they’re willing to make some concessions in other areas: namely, comfort and style. Personally, I would like to be able to wear tighter jeans, and to not have to cinch my belt so tightly. I’d like to wear button down shirts that I could tuck into my pants and look like a professional for a change. However, this attire just doesn’t jive with what I choose to carry and how I choose to carry it. To carry a full size GLOCK 17 as a 160lb guy, at best during these 90 degree Michigan summer days with 80% humidity, I can wear a loose fitting polo pullover with heavy weight khaki pants. These are sacrifices that I choose to make; not everyone needs to make them. As I say often: we carry concealed to live, we don’t live to carry concealed. I go to an extreme because I want to lead from the front and show that this type of setup IS possible.
Second, I often find in people who fit into the winter carry / summer carry concept that during the summer, they are resorting to carrying guns that really are at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of effectiveness. For example, the Ruger LCP and guns like it, or a .38 j-frame and guns like it. I’m not trying to sound arrogant… but there’s not a gunfighter alive who I would hesitate to take on in a force on force match beyond 6 paces, if he had a snubby .38 and I had my GLOCK. I would roll over them, I guarantee it.
And in a church, what are we preparing for? Certainly not the average crimes, which usually occur at contact distance – but instead, we’re carrying in case there’s a premeditated murder, right? Either a mass shooting, bombing, or a sadistic situation where someone marches to the front of the church during service, with the intention of shooting or butchering the pastor. And unless I could step up behind one of these perps as they walk by me and fire into the back of the head from a foot or less, I wouldn’t trade my GLOCK for a j-frame as the tool for any of these applications. And as much as I’d cringe to be forced to carry a j-frame, I’d be even more peeved to be stuck with a Ruger LCP or even a GLOCK 42. At that point, I would feel as if I were gambling to do anything other than a magazine full of neck shots from point blank range.
So, my point with this winter-carry / summer-carry issue is this: As usual, you need to just know what you’re giving up when you make any decision related to concealed carry and self-defense. You need to know that with your “summer gun”, if it’s a single stack .380 or a j-frame .38, you probably aren’t going to be much use against a threat who is standing halfway across the church, firing into the crowd. Don’t get me wrong, emptying one of these guns toward him might buy a few people the opportunity to escape, but speaking in terms of the thermodynamics concept we explored a few months ago, these types of weapons – and especially those cartridges - aren’t designed for those situations. They just don’t provide you with that much offensive pressure. Not like a subcompact or compact size double stack 9mm or .40, in which you have 12 or 15 rounds per magazine.
With a “winter weapon” like this, carried year-round with a second magazine, you have 20 or even 30 seconds of combat time at your disposal. That’s 20 seconds of firing to suppress, sprinting in and closing distance, and then firing to destroy. 20 seconds – I can’t think of a church building large enough to where 20 seconds isn’t going to put you into close enough proximity to take a shooter down, IF that is your goal.
So, again. If “being armed” is your goal, carry anything you want. But if effectiveness is your goal, follow me and ditch the winter carry and summer carry concept, and instead find a combat quality 9mm or .40 S&W that you can carry year round, in the same carry position, so that you and your muscle memory and your training can work together to yield for you the most effective result in lethality potential.