When you're carrying concealed, is your accessible in an instant? What if you're seated? Or running? Can you still quickly, safely, easily draw your weapon?
I've thought about this in the past when considering equipment options, but a couple monts ago it all came together on my way to work.....
I was exiting the Inner Loop eastbound at the St. Paul exit. I was in the far left lane stopped at the red light. The guardrail was to my left, a vehicle stopped at the red ahead of me, as well as to the right and behind. Could not drive off if needed. A guy was on the ramp panhandling. I see these guys out here often, and most are passive enough. My window is down slightly, as is my practice so I can hear something coming.... Anyway, the panhandler was approaching cars. At my window, I say something like, "Sorry, can't help." He says something I can't understand and then pulls my door handle and starts to open my door.
Bad idea sir. Because now it's go time.
I immediately do two things: agressively open the door right into him with my left hand and draw my handgun with my right. The door kind of knocked him back so I didn't actually have to be hands-on. I side step out from behind my car door so that I'm now mobile abd have no obstructions between him and I. A very loud clear "GET BACK" while presenting my weapon did the trick. His normally alcohol induced flush-face turned pale white. As fast as his tired legs would allow, he took off toward St Paul.
Someone behind us started honking. I don't know if it was to scare him or me or what.... I do know that there had to be 5-6 different people watching this and not a single 911 call was made by any of them. That is amazing to me.
So, to the point of the post.... Can you draw immediately if needed? If I were to have the NCIS: Los Angeles small-of-the-back thing going, I'm not sure I would have gotten my gun out as quickly. Ankle holster: forget it. When you are going to carry all day, you'll be in a variety of positions so make sure you can draw from any of them. Being able to draw from an open carry at the range isn't reality for CCW.
At a class with MDTS, there was an entire block on drawing from concealment. From under a shirt and/or a jacket. I've spent quite a bit of time on the range at work and have received a total of zero hours of training on drawing from concealment.
Think about it. Practice it. Repeat.
Be safe everyone.