3 Things We Can Learn from the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

On any given day, people in the United States are free to exercise their faith without fear of punishment. Participating in any type of religious service generally puts people’s minds at ease and gives them a sense of comfort and belonging. Unfortunately, for the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, PA, Saturday, October 27, 2018 was filled with fear and sadness instead of hope and happiness. What began as a joyous morning quickly ended with several people injured, including four police officers, and the senseless murder of nearly a dozen people.

No Warning = No Defense

Robert Bowers, the gunman who frequently shared his anti-Semitic views online but who was unknown to law enforcement, entered the Jewish synagogue and indiscriminately opened fire from the back of the room. Bowers had made no prior threats to the synagogue and had no criminal record, which makes this tragedy something that all individuals should bear in mind.

Random Violence Can Happen Anywhere

Eleven individuals lost their lives in the shooting and several more were injured in what has been called “likely the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history.” Bowers’ actions qualify as a hate crime, an offense couched in a bias against others for one reason or another, and according to Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, “[Bowers] went into that synagogue deliberately intentionally not just to harm the individuals who were there but to terrorize the entire community.”

Faith-based hate crimes are nothing new, but in 2016, there were nearly 1,300 incidents pertaining to religion, which means individuals are at greater risk when engaging in their religious beliefs outside their homes. Couple this with the fact that most places of worship do not have a preparedness plan or armed personnel standing by, and the need to protect yourself becomes crystal clear.

Gain Control By Being Proactive

Leaving politics aside, it’s imperative that communities, congregations, and individuals adopt a plan to protect themselves in the event of a tragedy. While the Tree of Life Congregation had no such plan or policy in place, many other religious groups do. For example, many Kansas City synagogues have off-duty law enforcement present during Friday evening and Saturday morning services. Some keep their doors locked around the clock but give members access via a key fob. And security cameras are always rolling at Congregation Beth Torah.

As a CCW holder, or someone potentially seeking to carry on a daily basis, taking responsibility for your own safety just makes sense. With religious hate crimes accounting for 21.1% of all hate crimes in 2016, there is a one in five chance that the place you worship may be victimized. Carrying your legally issued firearm safely and discreetly gives you an advantage should something unexpected occur even within your own congregation. Talk with the elders in your church to see how the community can work together to keep one another safe. There’s still no guarantee against spontaneous violence but being armed and prepared may ultimately save lives.

~ ~ ~

Concealed Carry = Clothing + Equipment + Training + Practice. It’s just math.

5 Reasons Why People Choose to Carry Concealed

Why People Carry Concealed

The reasons for carrying a concealed weapon are as diverse as people themselves. No two individuals make this decision for the same reason, but many agree that carrying a weapon is both a right and a form of protection. With anti-gun sentiment at its peak, it’s important to understand why many people choose to carry concealed.

“To avoid being a victim” – There’s no way to know when you’ll need to draw your weapon, but you can’t protect yourself if you’re empty-handed. Ed Combs, the associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, feels leaving home without his gun means “making the concrete decision to be unprepared for emergency lifesaving.” Combs has been both a deputy sheriff as well as a teacher and believes that “[stacking] the deck in favor of personal safety, public security, and civilized society” is better than living dangerously. Fear is not a factor in his decision but his weapon and training have prepared him for the worst case scenario.

“Because I’m a realist” – Many CCW holders describe themselves as being realists. Having lived through a variety of situations, they’ve developed an awareness that situations can turn dangerous in a blink of an eye … and being able to respond just makes sense. Many of them carry day in and day out while wearing customized apparel to safeguard their weapon. It gives them a form a protection and preparedness in case a real-life scenario unfolds.

“Because it’s a right, as well as a responsibility”Joe Kurtenback, the managing editor of American Rifleman believes that “the decision to lawfully carry a firearm is not made lightly, and it is a decision that must be remade, and recommitted to” every day. Like Mr. Kurtenback, many CCW holders feel that protecting themselves is their responsibility. Law enforcement can only do so much, and when time is of the essence, being able to defend yourself or stop a criminal from harming you is vital.

“To level the playing field” – Many people, especially women, choose to carry as a way of getting on more equal footing with would-be attackers. Stereotypes aside, women are often victimized because of their size and physical strength. A firearm changes that dynamic. Women aren’t alone in this reasoning, though. Many men also agree that the odds of surviving a dangerous situation are greatly improved by a person’s ability to engage and potentially neutralize a threat.

“To prevent something bad (or worse) from happening” – The world is far from perfect, and the nightly news reminds us that the unthinkable can happen anywhere. A concealed weapon doesn’t necessarily eliminate that threat, but the person carrying one is more prepared for a negative encounter than most people. Being a gun owner doesn’t mean you’re prepared to carry one on a daily basis but being a CCW holder means you’re ready to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the innocent people in harm’s way when necessary.

~ ~ ~

The majority of men and women do not carry a gun out of fear. They don’t carry one to feel powerful either. In fact, most of them hope they’ll never be required to draw their weapon at all, but they all agree that being able to protect themselves is a priority, a responsibility, and a right.

Holster Drawing Practice … Because Every Situation Is Different

Remember the first time you rode a bike? Probably not, but chances are, it didn’t go perfectly until you learned to coordinate your arm and leg movements while balancing on two wheels. After mastering those things, you learned how to negotiate streets, cars, and other people … and all of that took lots and lots of practice.

Repeated practice ultimately gave you the skill and confidence to ride without thinking about each and every motion. This is exactly the type of muscle memory you want to achieve BEFORE encountering a dangerous situation. Target practice at a shooting range helps you focus and aim, but the best way to become better at drawing your gun is to do so when it’s not a crisis.

The question is … what is the best way to become comfortable and confident enough to draw your weapon in various situations? Here’s a list of things to consider as well as recommendations for getting better results when looking to improve your holster drawing skills.

Materials

  • The unloaded gun you plan to carry most often (or a blue gun)
  • A conceal carry holster (the one that works with most of your apparel)
  • An extra empty magazine (double- and triple-check this before proceeding)
  • Various outfits
  • Non-explosive “dummy” ammo, optional

Directions

  1. No ammo or dummy ammo only. Rather than risk an accident, always check, double-check, and then triple-check your firearm to make sure it is unloaded. This goes for the extra magazine as well. If you’ve never used dummy ammo before, you may want to give it a try. It allows you to go through each motion seamlessly and accurately, just as in a real-life situation. With dummy ammo, you can actually fire and reload without harming the firing pin in your weapon.
  2. Pick a private environment. Practicing in a realistic way helps you think on your feet but practicing in front of an open living room window may scare your neighbors and result in unexpected consequences (like a 9-1-1 call or worse … someone else pulling a weapon on you).
  3. Practice in appropriate clothing … and add variety. Unless you wear the same clothes day in and day out year round, plan to practice in various outfits. In a home invasion robbery, break-in, or off-duty scenario, you’ll probably be wearing casual, loose-fitting clothes. While this type of draw doesn’t require you to move your clothing out of the way or to keep your actions from being noticed, reaching for a waistband holster may tip off the suspect. On the other hand, if you’re wearing a suit or sport coat when a criminal points a gun your way, you’ll need to pull your weapon without attracting unwanted attention. Doing so in an ordinary suit may be difficult, but a Cacharme blazer is designed to hide your firearm, so you’ll look like you’re simply reaching for your wallet. Finally, if you prefer to carry using an ankle holster, retrieving your weapon will require a lot of physical movement.
  4. Work on efficiency. Drawing your gun in an emergency requires speed and accuracy. Since time will be of the essence, don’t build extra time into your practice. Short, precise, instinctive movement is the goal. In most cases, you won’t have the luxury to take your time, so practicing in advance can make a big difference.

Ready to increase your response skills? Try practicing from a seated position as if you’re looking at your phone. Since the unexpected can also happen anywhere at any time, you may be carrying something, like a briefcase, umbrella, or even a bag of groceries. The more creative you are in your practice sessions, the more prepared you’ll be if you’re required to respond.

Improve Your Gun Handling Skills for Concealed Carry

If you have a CCW permit, you probably already know what we’re going to say. The difference between theory and reality is huge. Carrying your weapon on a daily basis offers you more safety. In a crisis, though, you have to know how to draw your gun properly. While your CCW training probably included shooting drills, how much time have you spent learning how to draw your weapon from your holster, pocket, or waistband? Probably not enough. Since many gun ranges don’t allow you to practice drawing your weapon, here are some tips to help you train effectively in your own surroundings.

#1 Invest in a Blue Gun – If that term is new to you, blue guns are simply plastic or rubber models that are designed to feel exactly like your weapon of choice. You can’t fire them; you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else, and they’re made just so you can practice drawing without using your own weapon.

#2 Always Practice Ammo-Free – When you’re ready to practice with your own gun (or if you opt not to buy a blue gun), it’s essential not to use a loaded weapon. Be sure to empty the chamber and the magazine. Don’t just look at it. Physically examine it completely to make sure it’s empty, and then check and double-check it. Never take shortcuts when it comes to safety. Triple checking beforehand becomes natural with extra practice and will ensure you never harm anyone, including yourself or your family.

#3 Get Familiar with Your Clothing and Holster Choices – Practicing in the same clothes you’ll normally wear when carrying makes good sense. It means your weapon will always be in the right place when you need it. Follow these additional steps when practicing:

  • Remember to clear your clothing. In a crisis, you won’t have time to unbutton your pocket, so don’t build this into your practice. You have to be able to draw on instinct without thinking about it.
  • Practice acquiring your gun properly, pointing it toward your target, and getting your sight placed properly. If you have trouble retrieving your weapon, it’s time to rethink your choice of clothing. A custom concealed carry jacket or blazer can give you better control and access when drawing your gun.

#4 Eliminate Mistakes in Advance – You’ve heard us say this before, but it’s worth repeating. Practice makes perfect … or as close to perfect as is possible. You’ll never know if your clothing or holster interferes with your ability to access your weapon unless you practice. Learning those downsides in advance is vital.

  • Frequent practice will help you spot weaknesses that may make it harder to draw your weapon correctly. If you’re using a holster, make sure you’re able to keep your trigger finger aligned with the frame of the weapon. Anything that gets in the way or forces you to grip your gun improperly can lead to disastrous results.
  • Make sure you can bring the muzzle out without brushing it against your body. Adrenaline runs high in a crisis, and you don’t want to make a mistake.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques, increase your skills by setting your smartphone’s alarm to randomly go off during your practice session. This will force you to think on the fly while using the best form possible. Ultimately, precision and preparedness will give you the advantage in a crisis.

Armed at School—The Changing Landscape of Guns on K-12 Campus

For many students and teachers, summer vacation is now just a fond memory. Getting ready to go back to school has always included buying supplies and new clothes, but the campus environment that most of us remember has changed over time, and today’s educators and administrators face a challenging and difficult question:

Should weapons be allowed on campus?

For many people, the answer comes easily. There are advocates for both sides, but they also share a common belief: students and teachers should not be afraid in the classroom. Since the issue is arising on a daily basis in schools across the country, we felt you deserved a more in-depth look at what you may or may not be hearing on the daily news.

Armed School Marshals on the Rise

In 2013, just six months after 20 children and 6 adults lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the governor of Texas enacted HB 1009, the Protection of Texas Children Law, creating school marshals, a broad “new category of law enforcement officer[s].” Since then, two additional laws permitting school marshals in public two-year junior colleges as well as private schools have been enacted. Even with these changes, which are intended to make Texas schools safer, the number of schools utilizing the program is surprisingly small. In fact, Texas school districts employ 700,000 people statewide, but “only 71 [people] were certified as school marshals between the law’s inception [and August 10, 2018],” not even 1% of the Texas school employee population.

School Marshal Training Far Exceeds CCW Required Training

While obtaining a CCW permit in Texas requires only a few hours of firearms instruction plus online or classroom study, the marshal program training can only be described as extensive. Most training programs require 80 hours of training conducted by law enforcement officers, yearly multi-day refresher courses, target practice, hands-on weapons training, practice scenarios for active shooter engagement, and instruction regarding the use of lethal force as well as safeguarding possible victims. Many potential marshals have already undergone the requisite background check, written exam, and shooting tests that are required in order to get a handgun license in the state. These programs go above and beyond to ensure that armed individuals are able to engage appropriately without harming others.

Identity Unknown

As other school districts grapple with making similar decisions, the Texas school marshals have one key thing in common – their identity is unknown but often clearly announced via signs on school property warning that employees are armed. While parents and even other teachers are dissatisfied with such anonymity, this approach affords the marshals a level of safety and protects them in cases where a shooter does his or her homework and targets a specific environment. For marshals, the element of surprise is vital.

On- or Off-Body Carry

For school marshals, weapons must either be kept in a locked safe or carried on-body. There are no other options. Many campuses have biometric (fingerprint scanning) safes containing a weapon, bulletproof vest, and ammunition, but on-body carry continues to offer the quickest response, so choosing appropriate work apparel that safely holsters a weapon and keeps it at the ready can mean the difference between defusing a situation quickly or losing time attempting to retrieve a weapon. For marshals in educational or administration roles, a customizable concealed carry suit coat, blazer, or sport jacket is a worthwhile investment. It ensures the weapon is not only one you’re familiar with and shoot regularly, but that it is instantly available.

~ ~ ~

As the rest of the country grapples with whether or not to arm teachers, it’s easy to see that the school employees in Texas are not flocking in droves to take up arms. Rather, they are proceeding cautiously on an individual basis. But Texas is far from alone in adopting such measures. Most people would be surprised to learn that there are currently 19 U.S. states that allow “anyone with permission from [a] school authority” to carry a weapon on a K-12 campus. Lawmakers and citizens may continue to butt heads on this issue, but America is quietly changing legislation to protect its own.

The Trouble with Gun Free Zones

In many ways, a gun-free zone sounds like a dream come true. Businesses would be less prone to violent crimes because firearms would be nonexistent, and “suicides, unintentional firearm injuries and deaths, and mass shootings” would be minimized if not eliminated altogether. That’s the theory anyway. But what sounds good in theory doesn’t necessarily translate to reality. Such is the case with gun-free zones (GFZs). Our lawmakers’ hearts are in the right place, but when we consider the mindset of a criminal, it’s easy to see why theory and reality don’t always align.

A Practical Definition of a Gun-Free Zone

Most citizens recognize that weapons are not permitted in certain places. The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act, originally enacted in 1990 and revised and reenacted in 1996, means even if you have a CCW permit, you may not be able to carry your weapon “within 1000 feet of any K-12 school,” depending on the rules in your state. Other federal laws make carrying your weapon illegal, especially on federal property, including federal buildings, courthouses, prisons, post offices, military bases, and national cemeteries and their parking lots. Other locations like airports, bars, and hospitals are also on the list in most states. And depending on where you live, other buildings are designated as GFZs, like the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, CA, a county building, where the 2015 terrorist shooting occurred.

The Trouble with Statistics

Try to find irrefutable evidence connecting mass shootings and gun-free zones, and you’ll come up empty-handed. Arguments are made on both sides of the aisle regarding a correlation, but the truth is, the data is fuzzy. Part of the problem stems from the way things like “gun-free zone” and “mass shooting” are defined. There isn’t a set definition, so it’s difficult to discern if GFZs are targeted by criminals.

A Law Is Not a Guarantee

The law assumes that everyone will follow the rules, but when or where has that ever happened? In this case, thinking like a criminal makes sense. Most people follow the law because it’s the right thing to do, but someone looking to commit a crime doesn’t think that way. A criminal hopes to break the law without getting caught or without being harmed. A gun-free zone may, in fact, become a target due to the lack of potentially armed citizens who could respond and intervene.

Imposed Vulnerability Without Advanced Protective Measures

If you work in a gun-free zone, you have to depend upon others to protect you. But what if additional protection is nowhere to be found? “Louis Klarevas, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, defines ‘gun-free zones’ as places where civilians are not allowed to carry guns, and [where] there aren’t armed personnel stationed on the property.” By being forced to give up the right to arm yourself, you’re literally giving up your self-protection rights!

The Inevitable Delayed Response

In most locations, when a crime takes places, there is a lag between the crime itself and law enforcement’s response. Our officers do their best to get on scene as fast as possible, but if you’re allowed to carry your weapon and are in a situation to use it to minimize a threat or defend yourself and others, you may be the first line of defense. You have the ability to change the outcome of the event, especially when wearing Cacharme’s Concealed Carry Blazer, which keeps your weapon handy and undetectable. In gun-free zones, this isn’t the case. You have to wait for someone else to intervene (or get creative by using whatever objects you have at your disposal). If we’re not carrying, who’s protecting us?

The Element of Surprise Is a Deterrent

Conflicting data aside, the element of surprise should still be a factor in this argument. Certainly, there are gun related crimes where specific targets were sought that have nothing to do with mass shootings. However, the fact remains that knowing there may be someone armed in the vicinity that could stop an attack has some merit. In some GFZs, CCWs are still not permitted, but as the laws continue to evolve (as the demand for CCW permits increases), criminals will be less able to pick targets where they won’t be confronted by someone carrying a firearm.

~ ~ ~

While we’d all like to believe that a law of any kind will make us safer, rule breakers don’t care one way or another. What’s going to happen will happen and being able to assume the worst and prepare for it makes good sound sense. We don’t know for sure if criminals specifically seek out GFZs to commit crimes, but the justification for carrying securely and discreetly on body remains the same: it gives you an opportunity to protect yourself and others should an incident arise when you’re in harm’s way. The GFZ element may not be a factor, but it certainly takes away a level of protection that you could have otherwise had if allowed to arm yourself legally.

10 Concealed Carry Mistakes You Can Avoid

Carrying a concealed weapon affords you an extra degree of safety, but we all make mistakes. Whether you’ve just started carrying or have been doing so for years, it never hurts to revisit the top 10 mistakes you can avoid just by refreshing your memory. Some of these common slips can compromise your ability to remain anonymous, but others could result in costly consequences. Read on and see what you need to be more diligent about.

  1. Education Problem #1: Inadequate Training – Depending on where you live, the requirements regarding gun safety will vary. If you’ve taken a course designed to teach you about hunting safely, those skills won’t necessarily translate to carrying a weapon on your person. To be sure you’re really prepared for real-life scenarios, research different courses and really focus on those with informed instructors and core subject matter. Completing a course quickly isn’t the goal, so beware of courses that promise quick training without in-depth content.
  2. Education Problem #2: Ignorance of the Law – After receiving your CCW permit, you’re expected to carry responsibly and know the laws that govern your area. This means understanding when and where you carry and whether or not you’re in a “Stand Your Ground” state. Setting time aside to understand the firearm laws where you live or travel is time well spent.
  3. Education Problem #2: Not Testing Your Ammo – When a self-defense situation arises, are you certain your gun will protect you and your loved ones? There are several types of self-defense ammo, and learning which one your gun feeds most effectively is key. You also need to practice shooting with that same ammunition. The old phrase “practice makes perfect” really applies here. Don’t wait until you need to fire your weapon to find out if your ammo is a good fit.
  4. Clothing Problem #1: Dressing Discretion – Carrying your weapon on a daily basis means adjusting your wardrobe to accommodate your gun comfortably. You don’t have to dress like a tourist in a beach city, but you do need to keep your weapon in mind when buying clothes. Dark colors like navy blue and black are naturally slimming, and they also hide the outline of your firearm much better than light colors like white and tan. And if your daily apparel includes a sport jacket, consider one designed to your exact specifications, including a holster insert for your specific weapon.
  5. Clothing Problem #2: Printing – This one seems like a no-brainer. Who would go to the trouble of getting a CCW permit only to give themselves away by letting their weapon show? When you first begin carrying, you may be ultra-concerned about people noticing your weapon, but if you’ve been carrying for years, you might not be as diligent as you should be. Seeing the obvious outline of a gun through your clothes is bad enough, but what if you simply reach for something on the top shelf at the grocery store and inadvertently expose your weapon? Chances are you’ll be doing some serious explaining to the police if someone witnesses that error and panics. It only takes a few seconds before leaving the house to double-check that your weapon is fully concealed.
  6. Holster Problem #1: Comfort – There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a holster, but the best advice is to try before you buy. Holsters are available in all types of material and equally different price ranges. The best holster for the money is the one that holds your weapon properly and feels comfortable on. You may even want to invest in a few different ones depending on the apparel you’ll wear over it. After all, an uncomfortable holster is simply a waste of money.
  7. Holster Problem #2: Checking/Fingering Your Weapon – Speaking of comfort, the trouble with an ill-fitting holster is that you may find yourself checking it repeatedly throughout the day to make sure your weapon is still in place. While that sounds like a good idea, if you’re constantly tapping your fingers against your gun, you’ll be tipping off others to the fact that you have one. It may take time to get accustomed to not checking its position but learning to keep your hands off it is essential.
  8. Holster Problem #3: Slipping – Even on a good day, things go wrong. You may have the perfect holster and still occasionally experience a situation where it slips out of place, and you need to readjust it. Before you do, hold everything. You cannot do this in a public place without drawing attention to yourself in an obvious way. If you need to adjust your holster, simply head out to your car or into a locked bathroom stall. Discretion is key and with security cameras everywhere, you must be extra careful.
  9. Consistency Problem: Carrying Sporadically – Think of all the things you do on a daily basis. Most of them become second nature over time, which is how you should view carrying your weapon. The more frequently and habitually you carry, the more ingrained these tips will become … and you’ll be less likely to make a mistake. Also, there really are no truly safe places anymore (as if there ever were). You may be called upon to protect yourself anywhere at any time … and your weapon is your protection.
  10. The Ultimate Problem: Thinking Irrationally – Every responsible gun owner hopes they never have to defend themselves. A CCW is a form of insurance, but how you think about carrying also impacts your behavior. Being prepared for the worst makes sense, so doing everything in your power to avoid an altercation should also be a priority. Your weapon does not make you invincible, so keep your eye on the big picture: out of sight and out of mind until you’re left with no other choice.

We hope you found these tips insightful. Please share our article with those you love who are either new to concealed carry or could use a quick refresher. Thanks for reading!

The Ins and Outs of CCW Insurance – Learn How to Protect Your Assets Now

Over the years, you’ve likely paid thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for various types of insurance. You insure your health, your car, and your home. If you carry a concealed weapon, you may also be in the market for CCW insurance. Several states have “Stand Your Ground” laws, which protect citizens from being sued in civil court when they’ve lawfully engaged in a self-defense situation.

While we hope you never need to fire your weapon in self-defense, it’s important to look into your options for protecting your family’s financial assets in the event you’re ever involved in such an occurrence. Civil suits can drain your bank account quickly, so having an insurance policy in place can make a huge difference if you ever need it.

The Need for Protection Is Real … and Growing

With CCW permits passing the 16 million mark in 2018, the need for additional monetary protection is very real. Should you ever need to defend yourself in a criminal suit, even if you prove you acted lawfully, the possibility of someone bringing a civil suit against you remains high. And here’s where things get expensive. If the person you shot or his/her family chooses to pursue a civil suit, you’ll need a good attorney … one who sympathizes with gun owners and supports the Second Amendment, not just in theory, but in practice. Sadly, these services come with a high price tag, so it’s vital to decide early on whether or not you need additional coverage.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a policy:

Find Out What Coverage You Already Have, If Any

If you own a home and have a homeowner’s policy, it may have coverage for self-defense built in already. Then again, it may not. Chances are good that this wasn’t one of your primary concerns when you bought the original policy, so contact your insuring agent to see if you’re already covered. Coverage varies by company and by state.

Consider Your Potential Risk Level

Many insurers offer multiple policies because individuals have different needs. If you only carry occasionally, you may not need the highest level of coverage, but there’s a caveat to consider here: as with other types of insurance, the higher the premium, the more comprehensive the coverage. While you may pay more in the short-term, the more you pay for coverage, the more your insurance company will potentially pay if you’re ever in a trial situation. Weigh the cost against the likelihood of being sued in a civil suit. Consider the premiums, which range from $13 – $50 per month, as well as your own state’s position on self-defense lawsuits. If your state generally rules against CCW owners, then the premium may be worth paying.

Know What, When, and How Much Your Insurer Will Pay

This is a biggie. Standard protocol for many insurance payouts is to reimburse fees after a not-guilty verdict is handed down, but there are companies that offer advance payments, so be sure to consider all options within your price range. Check to see if the policy you’re considering will pay for bail, the upfront retainer for an attorney, expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, or psychological support (because a self-defense scenario will have a long-term impact on your life). You should also ask if the insuring company has a network of resources and legal experts that they can recommend if needed since you’re unlikely to have a qualified attorney in your own network.

Be Prepared to Carry Some of the Burden (aka the Debt)

If the ruling doesn’t end in your favor, and we hope this isn’t the case, be prepared to cover everything yourself. Even with a favorable outcome, your legal expenses could exceed your plan’s maximum payout, which means you’ll be responsible for payment.

~ ~ ~

Even if you already have a CCW insurance policy, keep close tabs on your state’s laws, especially where Stand Your Ground laws are concerned. Laws are always in flux, so make a point of checking your coverage whenever you notice a change in the law.

Disclaimer: Cacharme assumes no responsibility for error, misuse, or misunderstanding of/in the above material, which is for informational purposes only.

Improving Your Odds as Gun Violence Is on the Rise

Every single day around the world people go to work to both make a living and a difference. For the writers, editors, and support staff at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018 was no different. There was a life spent informing the public by reporting the news. But, when Jarrod Warren Ramos barricaded the Gazette’s back doors then shot out the glass doors leading into the newsroom, five hard-working people lost their lives. Instead of writing the news that day, they became it.

Depending on who you ask, workplace violence comes as a shock or as a sobering reminder that despite your surroundings bad things can and do happen. In the tragedy in Maryland, the shooter’s long-held grievance against the way the Gazette portrayed him in a 2011 criminal harassment complaint compounded with his failed defamation lawsuit against them in 2012 led him to make written threats against the paper, which he ultimately escalated with violence.

Fortunately, law enforcement’s rapid response and arrival on-scene made a critical difference in Annapolis – but as history has shown us, this is not always the case, and being personally prepared and possibly armed inside a building during such an event can have a positive impact on the outcome.

A Sad, All-Too Common Occurrence

Despite the perceived level of safety we feel in most situations, even the most benign environment can change in an instant. Most of us opt for careers based not on their relative safety but on our skills and interests. When President Trump issued his statement regarding the tragic workplace shooting at the Capital Gazette, he reminded everyone, businessmen and security personnel alike, that, “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.” And therein lies the problem. We “should” not have to work in fear of an attack, yet, there is no guarantee that we won’t be confronted by one.

For most of us, the last place we’d expect to fall victim to violence is the workplace. Being in a professional environment has, in many ways, lulled us all into a false sense of security. How prevalent is the threat? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, “there were 500 workplace homicides in the United States,” the highest number since 2010. What’s worse is the number of fatalities incurred by men in the workplace, which is a staggering 82%.

The Victims Aren’t Who You’d Expect

Historically, there’s no set statistic that shows who becomes a victim in a shooting situation. Oftentimes, the shooter has a connection with either a person or the company that he or she targets, but upon entering the facility, the victims are generally those within the shooter’s immediate range. If you don’t have security personnel at the ready, then a shooter is likely to injure more people in the direct area where no response is anticipated.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled data that shows certain occupations are at greater risk. For example, in 2016, 79% of all workplace homicides were gun-related, and “first-line supervisors” (aka managers) as well as police and sheriff’s patrol officers neared the top of the list.

Carrying On-Body Is A Great Line of Defense

As safe as your workplace may seem, the unexpected often occurs, which makes the need for personal safety a priority at all times. Laws for carrying in the workplace vary greatly, and your employer’s company policies must be followed to avoid penalty, but if policies permit you to have your weapon accessible and on-body during work hours, you’ll be better prepared and able to draw it in a timely manner with precision. Unlike a briefcase, where you’ll lose precious time trying to locate your weapon, on-body carry enables you to respond instantaneously when a crisis occurs.

How to Improve Your Chances While Protecting Yourself and Others

If you’ve been authorized to carry a concealed weapon in your state, then you know the difference carrying on-body can make. Clothing choices, however, may hinder your comfort and make printing a problem. Cacharme’s Concealed Carry Blazers are designed to address both needs. The blazer’s lining acts as a tactical vest, and the custom inserts cradle your firearm of choice. Unlike a briefcase or backpack, these blazers are designed to make precision access effortless, making it safer to draw your weapon in a crisis. You can even unbutton your jacket while keeping your weapon completely concealed.

You Must Prepare for What You Can’t Prevent

Just like having an earthquake preparedness kit or emergency rations in your vehicle, you should and must prepare for the unknown in any given location. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been more than 30,000 incidents in 2018 – and the year is barely half over. Events like the tragic Maryland shooting show no sign of ceasing, and when the unexpected occurs, having the ability to potentially intervene and protect yourself and others is more than wishful thinking. Safe, comfortable concealment offers peace of mind as well as protection and the ability to potentially reduce a tragedy.

Off Body vs On Body Carry

As a professional, you may be looking to not only protect yourself, but also those around you during work or personal activities. Having the option to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) is tremendously beneficial, but legal policies, accessibility concerns, and basic comfort all play a role in whether or not you have your weapon on your person or in another location. If you’re trying to decide if conceal carry on- or off-body is the best choice for you, here are some things to keep in mind.

Legal Concerns

State and local laws vary widely, so it’s important to know what is allowed in a given environment before you make a decision regarding on- or off-body carry. Some offices explicitly prohibit carrying on-person; others permit off-body carry in a briefcase, for example. Either way, you must abide by the rules.

State laws can also be problematic. Clutching a concealed weapon can be construed by some statutes as “brandishing.” For example, Arizona law forbids people from “placing [their] hand on a firearm” unless they believe “that physical force is immediately necessary” to prevent themselves from harm. Even in the absence of an immediate threat, gun owners may instinctively grab onto their CCW or tap on it, reflex gestures that carry significant penalties, including jail time and/or fines. 

Accessibility

If you’re carrying your weapon off-body in a backpack, briefcase, or satchel, you’ll lose valuable time acquiring your weapon and responding when needed. This becomes even more problematic when there are other items sharing the same space as your weapon because you’ll be unable to quickly and effectively draw it when necessary. Personal items such as briefcases and purses are also targeted by thieves, and if your weapon is inside, they’ll get it along with your laptop and daily essentials.

By opting for a Concealed Carry Blazer, you’ll have the assurance that your weapon is properly housed for quick precision access. The lining of the garment also serves as a tactical vest and has ample room for a firearm paddle, holster, and magazine holder. These garments also make it safer to draw your gun quickly because it will always be in the same exact position and location.

Comfort

Professional attire can be cumbersome all by itself. Add in the weight and placement of your firearm, and carrying it off-body sounds very appealing. In order for your CCW to be effective, it can’t be visible through your suit coat, nor should it attract attention by adding bulk, which can happen if it is placed in an awkward position.

Cacharme’s Exclusive 1 Concealed Carry Blazer gives wearers easy access to their firearms without sacrificing style and professionalism. These blazers offer both maximum safety and comfort.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, the choice will always be yours, but restrictions will often play a role on a day-to-day basis. While it may be difficult to draw your gun off-body initially, repeated practice and multiple strategies can ensure a rapid response in dangerous situations. You should also be mindful of the possibility that an assailant may gain control of your weapon if you can’t carry it directly. With Cacharme’s customized professional apparel, you’ll be stylish, comfortable, and most of all, safer with your weapon securely and discreetly stowed.