First off, as a former police officer, I am a big fan of Concealed Carry. I am concerned at the lack of training and discretion a lot of CWP Holders show. I have seen veterans and current military with no concept of OPSEC (Operational Security) or Need To Know. Having a CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit) doesn't make you an instant bad ass, cowboy, or member of the Big Boys Club. Hopefully what it does do is help you to be prepared to survive a bad situation that you cannot avoid and to look after your family at the same time. NO ONE except a spouse, roommate, or a police officer in the performance of his or her duties needs to know you have a CWP, a gun, what type of gun you have, or where it is. The only exception would be the owner of a private residence (In South Carolina, check your local laws) if you are requesting permission to enter.
In South Carolina, pointing a firearm (at someone) is a felony with a ten year imprisonment penalty. Presenting a firearm (opening your jacket, pulling up your shirt, etc) carries five years. If you show or tell the wrong person your firearm, several things can happen. Among them are; 1) They'll know to hit you from behind with a brick instead of to step in front of you with a knife. 2) They're a little crazy, mad at you, jealous of you, want to bounce your girlfriend, or owe you money and they call the police and say, "Joe Patriot just pointed a Glock 17 at me and said he was going to kill me! He's here now with the gun!" The police show up, have exigent circumstances, draw down on you, ask if you have a gun, and lo and behold, its a Glock 17! Guess who is going to jail?
If someone gets the draw on you during an armed robbery, do you really want your dumb ass buddy saying, "Do something, Joe! Shoot the sumbitch!". No one needs to know.
There are people who will rob you to take your gun! Don't give up your tactical edge. Get rid of the Glock Hat, Gadsden Flag T-shirt, and NRA decal on your car. Don't advertise and don't make the police more nervous than they already are!
That said, there are a few things, IMHO, any CWP holder should carry besides a firearm and extra ammo.
1) Their CWP (You can't legally carry without it on your possession in most states)
2) Handcuffs or Zip Ties (Many a police officer has been killed by a dead guy. If you have to shoot someone, handcuff them, even if they appear deceased! If you had the right to defend yourself, then you have the right to make a Felony Citizen's Arrest.)
3) Cellphone (If you have to use your firearm, and have to leave the scene to call the police it makes things a lot more difficult)
4) Illumination (Basic Firearm Safety: Don't shoot what you can't see and positively identify. A good tactical flashlight works well to disorient an aggressive person as well as as an impact weapon, Kubaton, or on pressure points. I recommend a Fenix Tactical LD22.
5) ICE (In Case of Emergency contacts. We don't always win and sometimes we win on the streets and still go downtown).
6) Bug Out Bag with First Aid Kit including blood clotting agents and large bandages (You might not save your assailant on the street, but trying might save you in court).
[I]©Rock Cowles. www.PreparationMForum.com[/I]