Today we’re talking with Jeff Gonzales, a very well-known firearms instructor and former U.S. Navy Seal. Today we’re talking about Every Day Carry, or EDC. I think that makes Jeff stand alone as a subject matter expert on EDC. He is also the president of TRICON and Trident Concepts, an awesome training institution. With his school , he delivers courses all over the country. He is also the director of training of The Range in Austin, Texas.
We’re talking about EDC and quality of life.
Back in the day, not that long ago, running around as a Navy Seal, you have full kit on. You have lots of buddies with guns, you have air support and all that stuff. But now it’s the concealed carry gun that’s the “go to” for you.
You’ve established yourself as an industry subject matter expert on concealed carry. Our members always want to know what folks are carrying. I think I know, but what is the “go to” gun make, model, and caliber that is carried by Jeff Gonzales on a regular basis?
Well, Adam, that’s a good question. I have to answer that question with this. It depends on what I am doing. To me, teaching the concealed carry modules in E3 Firearms Association, we want them to know this.
We want you to live your life and we want you to be armed while you’re doing it. A lot of times, people will try to go about it the other way. They want to be armed. Then they just want to try to make do in their life. You really destroy quality of life when you have that approach.
Instead of having to take a step back, I want to live my life. I want to do these things that will bring me happiness in my life. But at the same time I want to be armed while I’m doing it.
Think about it from that perspective. Then you really start to see what we call a three-gun system.
This is where you will have a primary, a secondary and a backup. Now, not everybody can achieve that. But that’s what you ultimately will need to consider. You need to put some thought into that.
Your primary will be the gun that you’re going to grab 50% of the time.
50% of the time, the gun I grab will be a compact pistol. Most of the time that is a Glock 19. Because, right now, the Glock 19 is the gold standard when it comes to concealed carry.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ll have concealed carry classes. Inside, the overwhelming firearm platform in that class is a Glock family member. Then of the Glock family members, the most common one is a 19. So that’s my primary.
Here’s where we get into a conundrum many people have.
There is what we call a range uniform, and your normal street walking clothes.
When you show up for a class wearing a range uniform, that’s not what you normally wear.
If that is what you normally wear, then you need to understand you’re not maintaining low visibility. We want to always have that low profile so that we’re not attracting unwanted attention.
As soon as you can get away from range uniforms, and start wearing everyday normal street clothes, now you start to run into problems. “Well, can I really actually get away with that?”
Now let’s also add to the equation the the American workforce. Workers spend a lot of time in a workplace. We’re lucky in our case, our workplace is a very gun-friendly workplace.
I can get away with a lot of things. Which means I can take liberties. Regarding how I carry my load out, simply because I work in a gun-friendly location.
Yet so many people across America work in non-permissive environments. These make it really tough for them to choose the type of firearm they would be willing to run the gauntlet with. Some workplaces prohibit firearms completely. In these cases, you’re subjecting yourself to everything from termination to loss of pay, and loss of position.
The consequences are severe in a non-permissive environment. You have to be very smart about that. That’s one of the reasons why we have a three-gun scenario.
Because of this, my secondary is the gun I typically wear when I have to be in a much more discreet scenario. I consider “your workforce” kind of environment. Which is going to be a smaller gun. I’m talking more like a micro of some sort.
Most of the time it’s a Glock 43 or a Glock 42 carry. Now that the 365 is out, I’ve been putting that to task. It’s just hard right now. There are not a lot of good holsters for me to be able to carry it. Especially in that deep concealment mode. But we’re getting there. We’ll start to see a lot more holster options that would support that type of thought process.
I talk more about the circumstances that you might consider carrying a backup gun. There are a lot of reasons why.
If you’re a uniformed officer, most of the time you will have a backup gun. You might work in a high-risk environment. There are a lot of times where people will carry backup guns, there are a lot of good reasons for it.
The reasons being, not having access to your primary. Or if you’re to injured or losing your firearm. I mean your primary in general, one that I feel is very valuable for the everyday concealed carrier. What we call a “gun pass”… meaning I’m going to take the gun I carry, my backup gun. Then pass it to my loved one.
This means my significant other, those who get a gun pass I trust. I’m not passing it to a stranger. I’m passing it to somebody that I intimately know can handle the firearm. Someone who can be supportive in the situation that we’re in with that firearm.
The backup gun for me is a five-shot revolver.
You’d be hard-pressed to beat a five-shot revolver as a backup gun. It really is one of the other things we talk about with the backup gun, when we talk about numbers. Like you hear the term EDC, Every Day Carry thrown around, it’s like the new tactical. Back in the day, everything was tactical. Nowadays, everything is EDC. To us, EDC is very simple to define.
For us, EDC is defined as 80% of the year.
Of 365 days, 80% of that is about 270 days. Of those 270 days, you’re carrying 80% of the day, or I should say 80% of the waking hours. So 15 hours of waking hours, means that’s 12 hours a day. So for 270 days a year, for 12 hours or more each of those days, you have a firearm on you. You have a gun on you.
That is EDC. Everything else is not.
It’s not just convenience, carrying when you feel like it. It’s not carrying because you know people don’t really understand that you’re carrying a gun in an EDC status. Not because you don’t know when a bad thing is going to happen. We’re not talking… “you know what? I’m going to carry a gun today.” I just feel like it. Whatever the case might be.
That’s not the approach that you need to have.
When we get to that EDC level, one of the things you learn is work to carry a gun for that intensity. For that level, that duration you know, to doing that every year for multiple years, decades if you will. You really come to appreciate what you carry.
Then when you come home, the last thing you want to do is continue to carry that full load. So if you’re carrying a primary gun and you have a spare magazine, you have a flashlight, you have knives, you have medical gear, too.
You have all these extras you normally carry on EDC, when we do come home. You really don’t want to carry all that in your house. But you know there’s still the necessity to deal with an immediate threat within your home. That’s again where I think a backup gun is priceless.
A five-shot revolver in the front pocket of a pair of running shorts is easy to get away with in your home.
What we’re also trying to do is encourage more people to physically be armed within their home. Access to a firearm in your home does not constitute being armed. There’s a difference.
When you have small children in your household, you have to be respectful of unauthorized access. You have to secure those firearms. Having the gun on you. Especially something that’s a lot lighter and smaller and easier to just walk around with. Without feeling the burden of carrying so much gear.
The other nice thing I have to say about the Glock family is that the polymer frame makes that gun much lighter than several of its contemporaries. When you’re carrying at that intense level, ounces to pounds makes a difference.
I’ll tell you what Jeff, when you say five-shot revolver, my heart melts a little bit because I’m a huge fan of a J-Frame and I carried one almost every day for probably about 20 years.