CCW Information Overload? Trust But Verify

Sometimes the best advice comes from experts who don't call themselves experts.

posted on November 18, 2022

As a longtime gun owner and shooter, I am trained on how to operate a handgun. But proficiency in shooting is a perishable skill, so I am diligent about regular range time and, when it’s not possible to get to a range, I add in plenty of dry-fire practice. I will never be finished training.

Since my home state recently began enjoying a “shall issue” status, thanks to the Bruen SCOTUS decision, I’ve begun sharing my journey toward an everyday carry (EDC) routine, which includes seeking out the optimal gear—i.e. holster or other carry methods—for my personal situation. This mission has been more challenging than I had imagined, and I am getting an education beyond what I had anticipated.

Like many of you, I have turned to the internet for research. The volume contained on any subject, including firearms and training and gear, continues to astound me, to include thousands of articles published by the esteemed NRA Publications. I feel like I have read, absorbed and ignored more information on EDC than I have in a lifetime of classic education on all other subjects combined!

I have become adept at separating the wheat from the chaff, or at least what my gut tells me. I have good instincts. And although they have their place, for the most part, highly produced, highly scripted videos strike me as too commercial. They can be entertaining and contain tidbits of good information, but I get very distracted by the Hollywood spin many put into them. In doing this research as an editor of a resource many women turn to for solid, legitimate advice, it gave me greater perspective on which information is worthy of sharing with the audience.

But here's the guiding principle I follow when taking in information on the web: Trust but verify. Although President Ronald Reagan did not coin his signature phrase, it is largely attributed to him (ironically it pertained to Soviet Union nuclear disarmament). I was an impressionable young person when I first heard him say this, and it has served me well through my entire life. So as I discover a product I think I might like, I buy it and try it. I’m not looking for handouts to sample and review; I want the average customer experience so I can explore the product without bias or pressure. I will be including “a few of my favorite CCW things” in an upcoming post, so stay tuned.

As for whose information to trust, sometimes that takes experimentation too. Experts are experts for a reason. Essentially, they’ve perfected their craft or science enough to share with others. Ironically, the people I tend to trust usually aren’t the ones who post blogs boasting about how much they know. It is the experts who claim not to know everything who draw me in. Because those folks know, too, that training is forever. As Tessah points out in this Langdon Tactical Discover Discussion video “What Information Should I Follow?”, even doctors and nurses are required to undergo training throughout their careers, which can span many decades. After all, techniques improve over the course of, say, 30 years or more. Don’t you want the EDC products that may help you save your life be the best they can be too?

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about this fantastic video series, Aimee Langdon, Sarah Hauptman (PHLster Holsters) and Tessah (Armed & Styled), are everyday women who have gone down the same path to everyday carry as many women, and tell their stories in an authentic, unscripted voice. I am very comfortable trusting their information, ironically, because they don’t claim that they know everything, they merely impart what they have learned.

—Ann Y. Smith, Editor in Chief

Top image: PHLster Enigma Holster, courtesy Armed & Styled

More on Women & CCW:

We've Got Your Six (& Your Five, Seven and Even Your 12:00)
Transitioning From Occasional Carry to Everyday Carry
Is Your Chamber Empty?


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