PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE TRADE-OFFSCOMPROMISING IN THE WORLD OF CONCEALED CARRY TIM SCHMIDT The world is full of trade-offs: those things — as you’ve likely experienced a time or two — that you have to give up in return for other things. The idea is that some things cannot truly coexist; they require what Merriam-Webster calls “a balancing of factors all of which are not attainable at the same time.” Some of these trade-offs are pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things. If you don’t turn down that third helping of lasagna and garlic bread, for example, you might end up on the couch in what’s commonly known as a “food coma” for the rest of the night. But maybe you only see your maternal grandmother once a year and have decided that your favorite of her homemade meals is worth a few hours of feeling uncomfortable.Other trade-offs require a bit more foresight and scrutiny. If you want to live out in the country, for example, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that it’s going to take longer to reach help — or to have help reach you — in an emergency. But maybe that improbable worst-case scenario is something you’re willing to accept in exchange for the view and the sense of peace from your back porch. Indeed, some of life’s trade-offs are so inconsequential that you probably don’t even think twice about them. Others are a lot more complicated — even having implications that can mean the difference between life and death.And so it goes too in the worlds of firearms and self-defense. If you want a gun that’s small enough to carry in your pocket, for example, it’s probably only going to hold between five and seven rounds. But if you want a gun that can hold 16 rounds, it’s probably going to require a different and perhaps more uncomfortable mode of carry. And there it is: the trade-off. Size is just one thing you must think about when you’re selecting, training with and carrying a gun that might someday save your life. There’s also caliber, capacity, action type, safeties, sights and more to consider — along with another whole slew of more-personal attributes: how the gun fits in your hands, for instance, or how well you can manage its recoil or how quickly you can get it out of its holster. When it comes down to it, you have to decide what you are willing to give up in order to get something else. If you want the added security of a manual safety, it’s going to take you more time to get your gun into action. If you want to carry your gun in a purse, it’s going to require that you be 100 percent vigilant about where that purse is at all times. And if you want the confidence of knowing you’re ready to use your firearm as an absolute last resort against an imminent, unavoidable threat of death or great bodily harm, it’s going to require that you make the time to train with that firearm. Remember, in the world of concealed carry, despite all the choices about which gun to choose and what ammo to feed it and whether to carry it on your belt or in your pocket, two factors matter more than any others: That you have your gun with you when you need it and that it works when you need it to.The rest is up to you. “ INDEED, SOME OF LIFE’S TRADE-OFFS ARE SO INCONSEQUENTIAL THAT YOU PROBABLY DON’T EVEN THINK TWICE ABOUT THEM. OTHERS ARE A LOT MORE COMPLICATED — EVEN HAVING IMPLICATIONS THAT CAN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH.