I once wrote an article for SHOTGUN NEWS that was titled "I Carry a Gun; Maybe You Shouldn't," the gist of which was that if you failed to look at all the issues surrounding concealed carry in advance, you're likely to end up one of those thousands of people who leave their carry gun in a drawer at home, because it's a pain in the butt to strap the thing on.
I think it's fair to list several of the myths about concealed carry, weapons choice, carry systems, etc., and see if we can poke some holes in them:
MYTH: I need to carry a larger caliber gun because of the higher potential for a one-shot stop.
REALITY: One-shot stops are the province of rifles, not handguns. Given that fact, the question becomes how quickly can you place multiple shots in the "kill" zone? Forget a .45 ACP — I know people who can run an S&W .500 Magnum loaded with mid-range loads like a staple gun, but the real question is, can you? Assuming multiple shots are going to be necessary in a self-defense situation. how quickly can you deliver those shots with your caliber of choice? Faster is better.
MYTH: I'm going to change the way I dress to accommodate my gun/carry system of choice.
REALITY: No, you're not, because for most people the way they dress on a daily basis is a function of their external lives rather than personal choice. In other words, we dress the way we need to dress for our workplaces and our perceived need to be accepted within our social strata, and it is EXTREMELY hard to change within those contexts. Secondly, we have the whole issue of an "installed base" — we already own lots of clothes, and replacing them is often a lot of money. What often happens is the new CCW carrier ends up with 2 Hawaiian shirts and a pair of 5.11 "tactical" cargo pants that eventually join the gun in staying at home.
MYTH: Everyone knows an IWB is the best carry system for most people.
REALITY: I would add, "for most people who look like Clint Smith or Ed Stock." Not most people who look like me, or my Sweetie (who has a waist and breasts) or 80% of the rest of the country.
MYTH: Anything else "everybody knows..."
• On a bet I once walked through the middle of a police convention wearing a front-mounted fanny pack sagging from a big gun in it...nobody even gave it a second glance.
• A photographer's vest doesn't scream "gun," it screams "tasteless," which is just fine with me.
• Mouseguns bad? Better a mousegun than no gun...I have Real World experience on this point.
There's lots of others, but I gotta go to work!