Concealed carry with a bad back

A Taurus PT145B in a Fobus Compact Paddle hols...

A Taurus PT145B in a Fobus Compact Paddle holster, SP11B. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I was born with two vertabrae in my lower lumber that are fused together.  I then went into the army at age 20 and quickly turned that birth defect into a full fledged back injury.  One vertebra was cracked and a couple of disks were herniated.  Unfortunately, I could never get the army docs to do anything more than give me pain meds and muscle relaxers.  These just alleviated the pain for a short time.


So, fast forward twenty some years and now I have to be very careful with my back.  I do all that I can to keep it under control.  Concealed carry presents some unique problems for a damaged back.  I’ve tried various carry methods and have found that way that works best for me.  So, I thought I would share my experience with you.  I would like to hear your tips as well.


First, pants that fit just right or snuggly are a no-go for me.  A belt is out of the question.  The pressure that is created by right sized pants or a belt is quickly unbearable for me.  The pain starts in my back and hips and then will quickly extend into my legs.  Given enough time the pain will go up into my shoulders as well.  Not fun.


So, with no belt it becomes a challenge to wear a waste that is loose enough and still carry.  Joe Q Public doesn’t like the presence of a gun.  He/she definitely doesn’t like a guy with a gun and his pants at his ankles.


One of the best carry methods for me is loose fitting waist with suspenders.  This keeps all of the pressure off of my back and transfers the weight to my shoulders instead.  If the pants are accommodating enough I can go with an IWB holster.  Something like those made by Alien Gear Holsters are my favorites for this because they spread the weight over a larger area.  This tends to reduce or prevent pain at one point.


The other method that I’ll go with is an OWB holster like the Serpa’s.  I use my Serpa with the waste band attachment rather than the belt.  Again, it tends to spread the weight of the pistol over a larger area, instead of just one spot on a belt.


I’ve tried an ankle holster and it works for a very short amount of time.  Then it becomes an issue of uneven weight on my body.  I tend to avoid this method if possible.  I’ve wanted to try a shoulder holster, but they are typically a little more costly and I don’t want to spend money on something that may not work.  I’ve already spent enough money on holsters over a few years that I could have used the money to buy a whole new gun.


What carry methods have you found to be the most comfortable for an extended period of time?  Does anyone have any experience with a belly band holster?




My toughest day as a cop


Rape (Photo credit: Valeri Pizhanski)


I have PTSD, so I’m no longer a police officer.  But, the memories of those times and others stay with me.  I was pretty ticked last night after an online discussion with someone who was telling me how bad guns were.  I make bullet jewelry and she was slightly bothered that I was promoting gun use.  Actually, she was the second person who made that accusation to me yesterday.


So, let me tell you a short story from my police years.  I still remember clearly my hardest day.  I’m sure you’re thinking it was a shoot out or something similar, but it wasn’t.  My toughest day was centered around an interview with a victim.  She had been out jogging at night and was attacked and raped.


The tough part was having to interview her.  I had to ask those questions that I knew would hurt her.  The ones that would force her back into that moment.  Make her relive it.  Make her feel the shame and embarrassment of telling a stranger about the worst day of her life.  She had to tell me the intimate details of a horrific event in her life.  An event that brought her shame and fear that she did not deserve.  I will never forget the looks on her face.  The pain she felt reliving it.  I will also never forget how disgusting I felt asking her those questions.


That was my toughest day.  Having to reopen wounds and probe that memory to get the information I needed to do my job.  I hunted for him night after night and sometimes when I wasn’t on duty.  I became angry at myself for not being in the right place at the right time to save her.  The rape happened on my shift.


Do I wish she had had a gun that night and that she had shot him?  Yes!  I would have much rather responded to a shooting of a rapist than to have done that interview.  She did not get assaulted because I wasn’t doing my job.  It didn’t happen because their weren’t enough police on the street.  It happened because predators do not work in the light.  They don’t operate normally where they can be seen.  They prey on the weak.  They are not strong.  They are cowards, but they’re still dangerous.


Don’t tell me that law abiding people should not be armed.  That they instead should be dependent on the government for their protection.  There are too many evil people roaming any given city on any given day for the police to affectively deal with them.  I’m not bashing the police.  As I said, I was one.  But there aren’t enough men and women with a badge to protect us all.  Defend yourself.


Why do gun owners feel guilt?

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab...

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab frame (with magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I watched a video on youtube this morning from Mr. Colion Noir.  He had a great point that I hadn’t really put into concrete thought or words.  Because of current social waves I was feeling that the fact that I own a gun was something to be hidden.  Almost something to feel ashamed of, or guilt.


But why?  I have done everything required by law in order to own a gun.  I’ve had training, extensive training, in its use.  I’ve had training and practice in safety practices.  I feel a strong desire to protect my family and those that may be around me.  So why do I feel any guilt?


I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I fell into the trap that has been created by those that are antigun for a variety of reasons.  I let the words of a few get into my head.  A vehicle is as deadly as a gun, but yet I feel no guilt for driving.  Knives can inflict great bodily harm and death, but one of our kitchen drawers are full of them.  Gasoline is highly flammable and explosive, but I go to the gas station with no permit from anyone.  No background checks.  No concealment requirement to carry a gas can to the gas station.


I can drive less than a mile from my house to Target.  For much less money than one gun and no government permits, I can buy bats, knives, hammers, screw drivers, rope, etc.  All of these items can be deadly weapons.  But, I feel no guilt and society doesn’t try to give me any.


So, why is there gun guilt?


Alien Gear Holster Review

Alien Gear

Alien Gear

I’ve been looking for a new concealed carry holster for a Ruger LC9.  One that would be light weight, but still sturdy enough to hold up and, most importantly, comfortable to wear.  I’ve seen several online ads for Alien Gear holsters as I’ve been looking around.

Honestly, my favorite holster is a Blackhawk Retention Holster.  But, it’s not an inside the waistband carry and therefore it’s difficult to conceal.  I have one for a Glock 27 but it doesn’t get used very often because of the bulk.  Anyone that’s carried a pistol in their waistband for any length of time knows that it can be quite the uncomfortable experience.

I like the Versacarry holster because of its light weight and small size, but it comes up lacking when it comes to keeping the pistol in place.

So, with that all said I decided to try an Alien Gear Holster.  They’re inexpensive, below $30.  And, at first glance it appears to be durable.  The back is a pliable leather, the waste band clips are steel and the holster is molded kydex.  Steel bolts connect everything together.  It’s very light weight.

I gave it the ultimate test for me.  Will it stay in place and not pull my shorts off when I’m wearing athletic style shorts.  Answer:  It passed the test.  Granted, if I was running, jumping, etc, then the athletic shorts probably don’t have enough strength to hold it up.  But, that’s a problem with the clothing, not the holster.  It was very comfortable to wear.  Doesn’t move unless the clothing it’s attached to moves, and held the pistol securely.

Obviously, I’ve got more to do to make sure that it’s all that they say it is.  But, at first glance I’m impressed.  Here’s there web page if you want to take a look:  .  One last thing, no, I don’t work for Alien Gear nor do I get anything if you buy one of their holsters.  This is just my opinion post.

What is a gun free zone for?

lawsuit lotto

lawsuit lotto (Photo credit: Shira Golding)


My wife showed me a window sign from a store today that stated it was a ‘gun free zone‘.  What exactly does that mean?   Does anyone really believe that such a sign is going to deter a criminal that is coming in to rob or murder?  Or, is it just a legal statement meant to protect the store from lawsuits in the case of a shooting.


I thinks it’s the latter.  I really have a hard time believing that any company believes that putting a “no gun” sign on a door or window will stop a bad guy from carrying out their misdeed.  Who in their right mind thinks that a sign will stop a criminal?  There are already laws, police, and prisons for handle such things and crime still happens everyday in every place.


I believe a business or store displaying these signs is going for two things.  First, they are trying to cater to a specific clientele.  They believe that anti-gun people outnumber pro-gun people.  So, they put up a sign that gives an anti-gunner a false sense of security.  Or at least it tells them that “hey, anti-gun dude or dudette, we put up a sign.  You’re safe here and we’re on your side.  Now buy our stuff.”


Second, and probably closer to the truth.  A business puts up one of these ‘no gun’ signs to try to protect themselves from a lawsuit.  Here’s the scenario in today’s America:


A person goes into a store or restaurant with their child.  An idiot comes in to steal or kill and uses a gun, most likely illegally obtained, and pulls the trigger.  Patrons and/or employees of the business are hurt or killed.  It’s totally wrong in my opinion, but sometime afterward a family member of one of the victims will file a lawsuit against the business for failing to protect their injured or killed family member.  It goes to court and somehow a judge or jury decides that in the name of political correctness the business is liable for failing to provide adequate protection for its customers.  Unfortunately, these kinds of idiotic lawsuits are allowed to go on everyday for this type of situation and a million other reasons.


So, are these ‘gun free’ signs helpful to the public at large?  No.  They are a gimmick used for the reasons I stated above and no other.  The most unfortunate thing is that lawful gun owners, many of whom believe it is their duty to protect those around them, will not be around to stop an insane person from doing their evil deeds.  Gun free patrons of the business will have to hope that they can hide long enough for the police to arrive.


If a ‘gun free’ business were to say they are a gun free zone, and then hire more than one armed guard to be in the building during all open hours, then by all means put up signs to your hearts content.  Because the business has provided a replacement for a citizen with a weapon.  But, this is not or at least rarely going to happen.  If it does happen, you and I are going to pay for it with higher prices.  Again, this scenario is a win-win for the store.  They’re able to justify charging more and have reduced their liability to fraudulent lawsuits.


In closing, this is what I will do when I come upon a gun free zone.  I will take my gun and my business elsewhere.  If the business did hire armed security, do you really believe that they have gone out and hired the best of the best?  I think not.  They consulted with their attorneys and then hired the cheapest security they could find.  After all, if they hired highly trained security, then they might as well take their chances with a lawsuit.  It might cost less in the long term.  So, do what you want.  If you believe that the political statement of a gun free zone is worth your life, then go for it.  If you believe that it is your right and responsibility to be prepared to protect yourself and those around you, then go to a business that actually wants you.



Bullet jewelry therapy

I have a couple of hobbies to keep my brain working and for PTSD therapy. One is going to the shooting range. The other is making things out of the shell casings. I made these ear rings today.


Why I won’t carry a 22 as a defensive gun

English: Subcompact Glock 26 with tritium nigh...

English: Subcompact Glock 26 with tritium night sights and aftermarket Pearce-brand grip extender in 9x19mm Parabellum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been going back and forth on which gun I should carry as a defensive weapon.  By the way, yes I have a carry permit, have gone through all of the background checks and have years of experience with various guns.

I know all about how a 22LR does not have the stopping power of larger rounds and all of that.  Honestly, in most situations, the mere presence of a gun is a reliable deterrent to crime.  I also have a Glock 27 which is obviously heavier than my Ruger SR22 and the weight difference was making me lean towards the .22 for everyday carry.

Up until today, I had never had any misfires on the range with the ruger.  I always use higher quality ammunition in it and have never had a problem.  But, today I had three fail to fires.  I simply pulled the trigger a second time on each of these and they fired.  But, do I want to trust my life or the life of others to a possible failure when it counts?  I do not.

I love my .22 at the range.  It’s fun to shoot and the ammo is cheaper.  But, it will no longer be a carry weapon for me.  My Glock has fired a lot more rounds without ever failing to fire.  That is the dependability I need in a possible life or death situation.  So the .22 will still go to the range quite often, but that’s it.  Only the Glock gets to go out with me when I’m not heading to the range.

Maybe some kind soul will buy me a Beretta Nano to cut down on the carry weight.  🙂

Which came first? The violence or the gun?

History of handgun carry permit laws, 1986-pre...

History of handgun carry permit laws, 1986-present. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Let me clearly state my position on guns.  I’m a gun owner.  I’m a former soldier and police officer.  I have a concealed carry permit in the state of Georgia which means I had to submit to background checks.  I own my guns legally.  I believe there is a need to be prepared to protect myself, my family and those in my community.  I’m also a member of the NRA and  I have never had to shoot a human being, and I don’t want to.


In the current gun debate, there is a lot of talk about stricter gun laws.  I agree that everyone who purchases a gun of any kind should have to submit to a back ground check, this includes at gun shows.  I believe that if an individual has already gone through the process to obtain a concealed carry permit, they have already gone through a very rigorous background check.  I agree that those who have been found to be mentally dangerous should be restricted from owning a gun.  I agree that convicted felons should not be permitted to own a gun.


I don’t believe that most of the current gun laws being debated will have an affect on the violence in the United States.  Looking at the gun and not the violence is a mistake.  A big mistake.  We, as a nation can debate gun laws, knife laws, bat laws, frying pan laws and any other potential weapon laws until the end of time and still not address the matter at the heart of the issue.


What’s at the heart of it?  The question that should be in public and government debate is why is there so much violence in the first place?  The method of violence will never matter unless we first look at the cause for the rise of violence in our country.  Of course, I have an opinion on the matter.  I believe we have turned our back on God in almost all levels in our country.  To even make this statement, there are many who would label me as intolerant.  How dare I suggest that there is one true God and that we are suffering the consequences of turning from Him as our guiding force.  But, it is what it is.


It’s a situation that could not be any clearer.  Look back on the short history of our country and trace the problem.  It’s fairly easy.  Let me quickly address one of the first arguments many have to this.  Yes, our country was founded on Christian principles and yes we have abandoned those principles on the basis of political correctness.  Yes, many Christians throughout history have made some pretty horrendous mistakes.  But, many more have given their lives to change their world for the better through the power of Jesus.


For some reason that is unknown to me, we are refusing to look back at our path and see where we may have gone off the rails.  Instead we pretend that because we spent a few years in a college somewhere, that we now have all of the answers to problems that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time.  I am truly baffled by the fact that our government and society is refusing to look back to see where we went wrong or where we should go from here.  If you are driving to a place you don’t know, no normal person would just keep trying new directions until they finally end up in the right place, if that ever happens.  No, you look back at your map or gps and figure out where you took the wrong turn.  Once you know that, then you can figure out how to adjust course to get back on the right path.


God is our gps and we have thrown Him out the window along with the map(the Bible) and decided that if we just keep driving and turning then we will make it to our destination.  This sounds like a definition of insanity to me.