Tactical Jerk

This is all I need

If like me, you’re a fan of classic cinema then you are no doubt familiar with Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”.

While there are several iconic scenes in the movie, the relevant one to this article is where Navin is writing settlement checks and goes on his famous “This is all I need” rant:

I see a lot of concealed carriers getting caught up in similar thinking.

All they need is this pistol.

And this spare magazine.

And this red dot.

And this tactical knife.

And this med kit.

And this backup gun.

And this pepper spray.

And this handheld flashlight.

And this weapon-mounted light.

All of a sudden you have someone that works in accounting or IT that’s carrying a load out that rivals what you find on a police officer’s duty belt!

It’s easy for newcomers to the concealed carry lifestyle to find themselves caught up in this cycle of gear acquisition, especially when driven by the mantra “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it”.

There are, however, practical limitations to that thought process, otherwise, we’d all be running around with rifles and plate carriers.

Many of my friends and mentors are fond of an expression coined by the late Pat Rogers “Mission drives the gear train”

If your job is to run towards the sound of gunfire or to detain people that really don’t want to be detained, the equipment necessary to do that looks very different than the toolset needed to “break contact” (to steal a line from Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor).

This is challenging because it requires a really objective, self-aware analysis of your needs and risk profile. It’s much easier to just whip out the credit card and buy another solution.

If your lifestyle realistically supports carrying all that equipment, that’s awesome. I won’t sit here and tell you that you’re wrong, or that there’s even a better way to do it. Unfortunately “optimal” and “practical” are sometimes in opposition. Don’t let your desire to be “ready for anything” override your needs and reality.


The Suited Shootist
Alex Sansone took his first formal pistol class in 2009, and has since accumulated almost 500 total hours of open enrollment training from many of the nation's top instructors including Massad Ayoob, Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, Gabe White, Cecil Burch, Chuck Haggard, Darryl Bolke, and many others. Spending his professional life in the corporate world, Alex quickly realized incongruities between "best practices" in the defensive world, and the practical realities of his professional and social limitations. "I've never carried a gun professionally. I'm just a yuppie suburbanite that happens to live an armed lifestyle. Having worked in the corporate arena for the last decade, I've discovered that a lot of the "requirements" and norms of gun carriers at large aren't necessarily compatible with that professional environment. I also have a pretty diverse social background, having grown up in the Northeast, and there are many people in my life that are either gun-agnostic or uncomfortable with the idea of private gun ownership. This has afforded me not only insights into how we are perceived by different subcultures, but how to manage and interact with people that may not share your point of view without coming across as combative or antisocial. This is why my focus is the overlooked social aspects of the armed lifestyle."