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Purpose & Philosophy of a Concealed Carry Handgun

“The purpose of the pistol is to stop a fight that somebody else has started, almost always at very short range.” – Colonel Jeff Cooper

Colonel CooperColonel Jeff Cooper was a United States Marine who pioneered the “Modern Technique” of handgun shooting, which are still being taught today. Cooper’s “Color Code of Awareness” is still being taught in law enforcement and military communities around the world. He is also the founder of the famous Gunsite Academy in Arizona. It’s safe to say that Colonel Cooper knew a thing or two.

Let us dive into this quote a little bit deeper. Handgun calibers are not great fight stoppers. Many in the military community view the handgun as the weapon used to fight your way back to a rifle. If one had a choice, a rifle or shotgun would be a more advantageous weapon to bring to a gunfight. All that being said, carrying a shotgun or rifle every day is often both impractical and illegal. We are then left to defend ourselves with the handgun.

Cooper’s quote speaks volumes about the mentality of the armed citizen. We carry a gun to “…stop a fight that somebody else has started…” The concealed carry gun is a last defense weapon used to terminate a threat.

Being armed citizens, most threats will occur within bad-breath range. The handgun excels in these short ranges and diminishes in power and accuracy at longer distances. Therefore, our training must be conducted with this in mind.

What does it mean to terminate, or “stop” a threat? Simply that – make it STOP! If that means the would-be attacked flees at the sight of the weapon, then the threat has been stopped. If it means a single bullet wounding the attacker and the fight stops, so be it. If it means multiple lethal gun-shot wounds terminating the life of the attacker, then the fight is stopped.

The importance is to focus on “stopping” the fight, not killing the attacker. The attacker may die as a result of the injuries sustained during the encounter, but the focus is on using such force to terminate the threat, not terminating a life. Again, the attacker may die as a result of the fight, but the mindset must be focused on applying necessary force to “stop” the fight.

In the world of concealed carry, we use whatever force is necessary to “STOP” the threat (or fight as Cooper calls it). This doesn’t mean “shoot to kill, not to wound.” It simply means that we must train to recognize threat levels and use whatever force is necessary to stop the threat as described above. We must go away with the idea of killing in self-defense. The mindset and training must be conducted around constantly analyzing the threat and applying force as necessary to terminate the threat. If the only option is a lethal shot, then that is the equivalent force needed to “stop” the threat.

The lessons from Cooper’s quote?
1.) Carry a gun.
2.) Train with the weapon frequently and at close ranges.
3.) Understand that the handgun is a “last defense” tool used to “STOP” a fight that someone else started. The definition of “stop” is not kill (although death may be a by-product of such force used).

Speak Your Mind

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Concealed Carry Almanac proudly serves the concealed carry community in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and Appleton, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia and Pittsburg Pennsylvania, and all individuals interested in or that already have a concealed carry permit.

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