When I talk about concealed carry with serious concealed carriers—those that bother to learn all applicable laws, take formal training classes from professionals, invest in quality equipment, train as regularly as they can, and carry frequently—situational awareness always comes to the top of the topics of conversation.

Those concealed carriers who live in Cooper’s “condition yellow” with their heads on a swivel, constantly scanning for threats and proactively acting to avoid potential threats rarely get into situations where they have to put their hands on their concealed weapon, much less draw it. Situational Awareness is everything, and all but the most desperate or deranged criminals will turn away from someone who makes eye contact and moves confidently as if they know what they are doing. Your body language goes a long way towards saying to the criminal, “this is not someone to be taken lightly,” without you saying a word.

But merely slapping a gun in a holster under your coat doesn’t make you a competent concealed carrier, any more than buying a car makes you a safe and competent defensive driver. People who carry a concealed weapon but who lack good self-defense training (which goes beyond mere marksmanship training) are simply targets with a bonus prize.

A New Orleans man is now recent living proof of this sad reality.

A man was attacked Monday evening on Henry Clay Avenue by two assailants who beat him and took his concealed weapon, New Orleans police said.

The victim, a man in his 40s, was near Henry Clay and Coliseum around 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22, when he was approached by two attackers who hit him with a gun, according to the initial NOPD report. They then “put him face down on the ground, frisked him, and stole the victim’s concealed weapon,” the report states.

I’m going to go out on a limb and make the educated guess that the victim was a “smart phone zombie” who was eyes-down into his mobile device  or his music and who never saw the potential threats until it was far too late to take a proactive action.

Proactive actions such as crossing the street or putting an obstacle (for example, a parked car or telephone pole) between himself and his attackers would have served to either thwart the attack, or at least would have forced the attackers to commit and telegraph their intentions early. He would have had time to confirm that he was a target for criminal action, and would have had time to take cover and if need be, draw his weapon.

Instead, this clueless and unaware gun donor walked cluelessly into an ambush and put another gun on the street for criminals to use against good people.

Don’t just carry a gun.

Learn armed self-defense, in which situational awareness, not your sidearm, is the most important part of your defensive arsenal.

If you aren’t going to honestly dedicate yourself to being proactive and engaged in self-defense and committed to situational awareness, leave your gun at home.