When you carry a pistol for 27 years, professionally, it becomes more than a habit borne out of necessity, it becomes essential if you want to walk without a tilt to your strong hand side. Seriously, it becomes completely second nature for the vast majority of us and very occasionally is pressed into service again. In order to take advantage of certain US Code provisions regarding concealed carry by retired LEO’s, we also qualify with our firearm, courtesy of our old departments, annually. Carrying a pistol should never be taken lightly.
Since retiring 20 years ago, I have relied upon my concealed carry pistol once, to dispatch a horribly injured deer on US 65. It would suit me just fine if I never fired a pistol at a human being, thus protecting my perfect record of having never done so on duty. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for a shotgun. I am talking police duty here, not combat in Vietnam where I was tasked with shooting at people. For the record, a number of bad guys have stared down the muzzle of my sidearm in arrest situations.
The NRA, an organization from the devil’s den according to gun hating liberals, prints monthly stories of citizen involved armed encounters. These often tragic encounters are seldom reported in main stream media as they tend to validate our constitutional right to carry for self protection. Although I strongly support concealed carry, I am not and will never be a proponent of open carry. You see, I taught handgun retention professionally and know how easy it is for a trained or otherwise lucky individual to take a gun away from an untrained individual. Open carry, in my opinion, serves no valid purpose and is, in most cases, counter productive. To each his own and I do not wish to debate this point with my friends who feel otherwise.
I have osteoarthritis. It does not preclude me from drawing and firing, as my grip is still more than adequate. It does, however, preclude me from loading magazines with any degree of efficiency. Operating the slide on most semi-automatic pistols is also a chore as my individual finger strength is hampered by 70 years of living very actively and old Arthur again. To this end, a well known gun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, has developed a new semi-automatic pistol designated as the M&P 9, Shield, EZ. This is a pistol for folks like me whose hands are not what they once were. The serrations on the back of the slide are deepened and extended out laterally to permit easy gripping and racking. The serrations on the front of the slide are simply deepened which greatly facilitates racking from the front. The real key is in the magazine’s construction. In the photo, you will notice two small keys, one on each side of the carrier. I cannot load a Glock magazine to capacity, arthritis again, but can easily pull these keys down and charge the magazine on this pistol. That is why the pistol is designated “EZ”. The pistol is a 8 round, single stack (gun talk for one stack of bullets) that is light and easy in the hand. It is chambered in 9mm Luger, a powerful and popular personal defense caliber. This is a new pistol for old guys that I mentioned in the heading.
I do not recommend carrying a concealed weapon for everyone. The responsibility is significant and your mindset has to be within certain parameters. The liability that accompanies pointing a pistol at someone that you might shoot is far more significant than might be imagined. This being said, protecting one’s self is also a lawful right and our world is very challenging. I have seen a pistol lend dignity to many vulgar situations that might have ended badly. To this end, there are hundreds of firearm choices out there and no one size fits all. I simply feel this new pistol is worth considering if your hands are somewhat compromised.
Have a great weekend. If you are not a firearms oriented person, thanks for reading and give the shooting sports a look. It is a hoot!
Have a great weekend!