WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY? A Little About Me And Why I Started Doing This

I don’t have a military or law enforcement background. I shot my first gun at summer camp when I was a kid, but didn’t start shooting with any level of frequency until high school.

About Me

I bought my first handgun on my 21st birthday, and started carrying almost immediately. Like most folks out there, the only formal instruction I had (or thought I needed) was my state Concealed Handgun Permit class.

A couple years after that, I was exposed to my first formal “tactical” shooting class, and it started to crystallize the need for continuing education.

For a time, I was your typical “gun guy”. You’d regularly find me in 5.11 pants. I thought that you HAD to have a full sized pistol, at least one extra magazine, a tactical folder, and a backup gun in order to be “prepared”; anything short of that and you clearly didn’t take your safety seriously. Well when you’re working at a gun shop in your early twenties, it’s easy to get away with that kind of thing, because your lifestyle and social circles allow it.

Like most folks, I matured and evolved. During that evolution, I also pursued additional training, and came across some other great resources in the form of blogs & podcasts. They started helping me understand what’s really important, and where I should direct my training efforts.

Fighting Shape

Fast forward a few more years, my hobbies are now fully entrenched in personal protection: I’m taking a couple training classes ever year, I’m at the shooting range regularly, I start getting into BJJ, and I’m improving my physical conditioning to get into “fighting shape”. I’m what you’d consider reasonably competent with a firearm. Not winning any awards, but definitely part of the 1% that Karl Rehn talks about in some of his writings.

Then, I find myself confronted with what felt like a pretty significant challenge: all the content I’d been consuming, all the YouTube videos, all the articles, all the gear that’s being advertised to me through various channels is all geared towards casual street clothes! My world were colliding. My chosen lifestyle was now conflicting with my chosen profession, and something had to give. The chosen profession was what funded all the gunday funday stuff, so that meant I’d have to find a way to work the gun into my daily life, and not live my life around carrying a gun.

My understanding and proficiency of both style and self defense have progressed significantly over the past several years, to the point where I feel I’ve managed to strike the most effective balance between the two. My hope is that this is enough of a shared experience that others can benefit from my trial and error.

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."