CCW Reading List

3 Essential Books on Concealed Carry

by Drew Beatty

Part of the arsenal of any lawfully-armed citizen should be a library of books to enhance mindset, tactics and skills. Books written by authors who have been there, have trained others, or are subject matter experts provide the best education. Below are three books I recommend to help the lawfully-armed citizen stay sharp.

Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense – Massad Ayoob

Massad Ayoob is an authority on the armed citizen’s right to self-defense. He is a law-enforcement officer, trainer, expert witness and trial consultant. His newest book, Deadly Force: Understanding your Right to Self-Defense is a summary of what he teaches with the Lethal Force Institute and the Massad Ayoob Group.

It is imperative to know the legal parameters when carrying a firearm. If you are involved in a defensive shooting, how will you show that you are actually the victim and not the perpetrator? What are the legal traps you need to watch out for? What should you say and when? All of these questions are addressed in this book. With plenty of case-study scenarios, the material presented here is essential to the exercise of your right to carry.

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence – Rory Miller

This book is a deep dive into mindset and strategies that will change your outlook on any potential violent encounter. If you have made the responsible decision to be your own first responder, it’s important to look at the preconceived notions we may have about violence. When reality doesn’t mesh with those preconceived notions, it can actually get us killed.

In this eye-opening book, Miller distills violence down to the essence of violent acts and violent perpetrators. He offers first-person analysis of types of thugs and lunatics he encountered in his years as a corrections officer. He also includes an extensive bibliography of books that have informed his viewpoint. I’ve read this book 3 times, and continue to come back to it and recommend it.

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence – Gavin de Becker

Fair warning: Mr. de Becker is anti-gun. Read this book anyway. He presents the reader with tools to turn fear into actionable information, and to recognize exactly what that “hinky” feeling is trying to tell you. He is an expert in the field of predicting violent behavior, and gives you strategies to see what’s coming before it occurs. Subjects such as intuition, interactions with strangers, and date rape, are all covered in detail with real world examples from the author’s personal experience. I’ve given this book to my teenage daughter to read. It’s that important.

The old adage is “knowledge is power.” It’s true in the case of personal self-defense. The more you know – the better armed you are with skills and knowledge – the more likely you are to avoid a deadly encounter, or survive one that’s unavoidable.

Drew Beatty is a 50 year old husband and father, and a lifetime resident of the great state of Colorado. He is a long-time firearms enthusiast as well as a strong advocate for The Second Amendment.