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CONCEALMENT Issue 17 is Now Available

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I’m sitting in my living room in mid-March during what I hope is the height of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. I have 10 rolls of toilet paper, food reserves to last more than a week, and a full tank of gas in my truck. I’m social distancing like a champ and doing my best to not spread two things: coronavirus and fear.

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Both are dangerous, but both are manageable, if not defeatable, with the proper mindset. The mindset piece is the one that I’m most concerned about as I correlate the recent and sudden absence of toilet paper, bread, defensive firearms, and ammunition on store shelves with ranty and aggressive social media posts scolding hoarders.

Before lashing out and shaming your neighbors online for cleaning out stocks of COVID emergency staples, think about the message you’re sending. You’re not only feeding the panic cycle by letting folks know about a scarcity in your area, but without knowing it, you’re also banging flint on steel in a room that’s very slowly, but surely, filling with flammable gas.

Skip the pitchforks and realize we’ve grown accustomed to a model of low-overhead, just-in-time fulfillable inventory for lots of things. While bare shelves might look like panic, it’s not. Panic is irrationally blaming the shortage on Becky and her four-package purchase of two-ply Charmin. That’s the toxic bit that can turn to violence very quickly in a volatile environment.

The basis of a good defensive mindset is recognizing and accurately assessing the threat. We do this so we don’t get into the wrong fight, even if it seems like it’s for the right reasons. I’m glad to see people helping folks in their communities and not giving into the fear and distrust that are more contagious than any coronavirus.

Looking at the bare gun-store shelves in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, one thing is clear: We’re going to have a lot more first-time gun owners. No matter their ideology before the virus hit, we owe it to ourselves to help all these folks become safe, responsible gun owners. Recommend competent training in firearms handling and tactics and leave the politics and told-ya-so out of it.

Hopefully, in five years we’ll look back on the COVID-19 as a watershed event that brought right and left, conservative and progressive, red and blue together in common recognition, that the right of self-defense transcends politics.

Stay safe,
– Rob Curtis

Check out CONCEALMENT #17

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