In light of the TV segment I did yesterday morning for ABC’s morning news show, I thought I would post this article which was very well received on my other blog, Women of Caliber (which suffers a great deal of neglect on my part for the last 6 months.)
I once read a comment by a reader on another blog authored by someone simply named “Syd.” It was stirring and motivating to me, but in some respects
it was also un-relatable to me as a woman. I felt that it was very indicative of many of the reasons why sensible people do carry a firearm, but I felt that it needed some insight spiced with a tad bit of estrogen. *grin*
I run into a lot of women with some very strong feelings against the use or presence of firearms in their life and frankly, such a view concerns me. It concerns me because I know that such a view is usually the result of the feast of misinformation that is so prevalent in our nation and most of the world. One doesn’t have to look very far in the mainstream media to see a firearm vilified as the cause of nearly every ail which assaults us today. So I wanted to share the softer side of guns, from a female standpoint.
Is there a softer side of guns? Yes, there is. In fact, that very scenario was verbalized yesterday by the news reporter, Emily Clark, after we took our first break. She let out a sigh of relief and said “Whew! You are GOOD! I’m so relieved to hear you speak so well and look so nice in your pretty black coat.” I instantly knew what she meant by that comment. A) She gets to interact with a lot of folks on the fly; and whether they can communicate clearly for the television audience is a gamble. B) There is certainly a rational reason to be concerned about how a female gun instructor might come off. The stigmas are reinforced at every single gun show I go to. There’s definitely no shortage of un-feminine looking women or over-the-top looking women who are desperately in need of a make-under and the display of a little less skin—in my opinion. Thank goodness she didn’t feel I fit that type-casting.
Anyway, without further delay, here’s the article. I hope you enjoy it!
I carry a firearm to ensure my children are educated about firearm safety, not the victims of some other child’s (or adult’s) ignorance. I know that the best way to teach a child about firearm safety is to remove the air of mystery from it and to truly educate them about the “when’s”, “why’s”, and “how’s” of a firearm. I know that if I am not educated on the use of a firearm, then should I ever come across one in the hands of an innocent child, my ignorance may add to a dangerous situation instead of eliminating it.
I carry a firearm because I know what looks good on me—confidence. Possessing the ability to defend oneself has an amazing affect on a person’s confidence. The opposite of confidence is fear. I’ve discovered that the consequences of any fear in my life is the masking and smothering of many wonderful attributes such as kindness, love, and charity. When I’m more confident, I’m a much better person to share with everyone else in my life.
I carry a firearm because I don’t trust my “gift for gab.” As great as I am at talking to complete strangers in ideal circumstances, it’s unlikely to do me any good against someone who is intent on causing me harm. I find a great deal of research that says a firearm is a much stronger negotiator than I could ever hope to be.
I carry a firearm because I am a mother (or an aunt, grandmother, sister, etc)—a calling which I take very seriously. As a mother I have no other more critical responsibility than to take care of myself AND those who are entrusted to be in my care. If something should happen to myself which might threaten to eliminate me from this earth and my influence upon my children—or threaten to remove them from my arms of love—then I must be sufficiently skillful and armed in ensuring that this does not take place. If some harm does come to my children, it will not be because I could not overcome my own fears or my own foolish prejudices. I cannot stop everything awful from happening to them, but I can ensure that I am the best prepared to stop most. Only then are my hands clean before my Maker, knowing that I truly did my best to protect them. In doing so, not only do I raise my children well, but I give them a chance to do the same with their own.
I carry a firearm to help the nation in which I live and raise my family to be strong and secure. Protection of a nation begins with protection of an individual. What good is it to send my husband, father, brother or son off to fight in a war—whether it be in a foreign nation, or one against the crime in our cities—if I’m not willing to do my part to protect our nation as well? This nation is strong only because of our freedom. I carry a firearm to ensure that I get to keep my freedom when someone else may attempt to usurp it.
I carry a firearm because I know my physical limits. While I may run the equivalent of several miles every day with my busy lifestyle or begrudgingly work out to strengthen my muscles, none of this prepares me sufficiently for a violent encounter. Whether I like it or not, the prospect of a 6’4”, 280 pound, drug-crazed criminal acting upon my freedom is realistic. I also know that a good right hook or a kick to the groin, however well planted it may be, may be just the additional bit of anger my assailant needs to kill me. That’s 100% unacceptable to me—unacceptable that the criminal’s actions against me could eliminate my freedom to live. Thus a firearm may be exactly what I need to stop the assailant. I’m not willing to gamble with the use of weaker forms of defense. I fight back to win unequivocally, not to be haunted by doubts afterwards--wondering if I could have done better or if I have done enough.
I carry a firearm because I prefer my close encounters to be about love, not fighting. As such, I prefer to never have to remember the alcohol and drug-induced breath, or the color of rage in the assailant’s eyes, or the feel of his powerful fists against my head. I prefer to let the bullet do the fighting for me. I believe I will be much saner after such an instance.
I carry a firearm because I hate waiting and wondering. I know the number of police officers who work in any community at any given time. I know that the number of criminal acts outnumber law enforcement an average of 10 to 1. Thus I choose to wait on 911 only after I’ve done my part to ensure my safety instead of relegating my safety to the insurmountable odds that someone else can defend me in my time of need.
I carry a firearm because I am an independent, living, breathing woman--not a statistic. As such I refuse to be weak, afraid, and naïve. I insist on mastering my domain by asserting my time and talents to take responsibility for my own safety and peace of mind. Too many women are statistics of crime, not acts of strength. I simply don’t feel the term “statistic” properly describes me, yet I know that the only one that can stop this false impression from perpetuating is me.
I carry a firearm because as a woman, I’m all about being prepared. I never let my gas tank go down below half, never open my door to someone I don’t know, and I never give out my credit card number to someone I didn’t call…just in case. If you were to look in my purse right now you would see band-aids (that have been in there forever…just in case) lipstick, face powder, hair brush, and hair spray (even though I leave my home properly made up—it’s all for “just in case), more cash than I would ever think of using in a day (just in case), a fuel credit card even though I don’t believe in using credit—just in case, and a small sewing kit with safety pins…just in case. Suffice it to say that I rarely use my “just in case” items, but I sure hate being without them when I need them. If you were to delve further into my handbag you would also find a knife, an Asp, red-dyed pepper spray and a firearm with a spare mag. Yup, you guessed it…just in case.
I carry a firearm because as a woman I have the privilege of giving life. That’s right. I don’t carry a gun to take life, but to ensure that the privilege of creating a life is fully available to those who make the choices to live.
And that is exactly why this woman carries a firearm.
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Very well said. I carry a weapon to even up the odds against some perpetrator bent on harming me or those I love. Without my weapon the odds on on the perpetrators side. They pick the time,place and reason. I AM UNKNOWING BUT I DO HAVE A SURPRISE AWAITING FOR THOSE THAT MAY FEEL LUCKY BUT REALLY ARE NOT.
Your comment about the 6'4" 280# individual is over stated. When I was a probation officer and endeavoring to arrest an individual, he ran. We were in our offices. Me and one other officer, both 6+ feet and well over 280 could not bring this 5'4" emotionally charged male to the ground in the tight confines of the hallway. He had the shorter leverage and was so up on adrenaline we could not bring him down. One of the other officers sprayed him with pepper spray, new cans I had just issued, and got all three of us. This angered him more and impaired our breathing and sight. Finally I was able to get low enough to trip him to the ground and cuff him. Story short, the hand to hand and the pepper spray only made things worse. Even on the floor cuffed and sprayed, he continued to fight. It is this individual who worries me and the "tactics" that are to save us. Had this been a smaller person fighting our flight risk, they would have been seriously hurt.
Actually, I used those specifics due to personal experience. I was not about to wrestle with the guy. The threat of a firearm is all that was necessary.
Yes, yes, yes, beautifully written & absolutely right on. Speaking from a retired correctional officer/ maintenance supervisor at a state prison.
Thank you for the article. I don't own a gun but will definately get on(I get a bonus for work in April). Our police dept. is VERY good in our community but would still take at least 15 minutes to get to our home and we live in a major city. Also my Daughter was mugged a couple of months ago at Kroger's parking lot(this is an upscale neighborhood) by a crack addict. He punched her and she fell to the ground,grabbed her purce and ran. My son-in-law heard her scream, caught up with the guy and beat the c**p out of him. Men in their cars got out and surrounded them so the guy couldn't run away. The police arrived and knew the guy very well. The officier said he would go away to prison for a very long time this time.
I am very proud of my son-in-law!
We live in Michigan. I don't know how it is where you all live, but our State is in deep financial trouble ~ as is our County ~ as is our Township. Our police, on the state, county and local levels have all been affected by layoffs. What does that mean to us? Longer emergency response times. And the criminals know it! Our yard light went out and we have delayed having it repaired. (it was repaired yesterday!) It was pitch black out there ~ we live in the middle of nowhere, 1200 feet off the main road. Three nights ago our dog went crazy barking at 2AM. She was at the front door. Whoever was around the house left quick. But what if they didn't? What if there were more of them than of us? What if they were armed and intent on breaking in? We have a 22 rifle and a revolver purchased last year. I told myself when I bought it I would immediately take training in how to use it. I didn't. Stupid, stupid, stupid! That is being rectified immediately! Thanks for the great article; I agree with every word of it.
My son open carries everywhere and will not shop at a business that has a sign that says no weapons allowed. He has gone back to his car, locked up his weapon and returned to the store to talk to the manager politely. He is appalled at the lack of understanding he runs into! He has even had customers call 911 when he was in a grocery store doing his shopping and had a women scream "He has a gun!" two different times. So when the police show up, they high-five my son and ask how he's doing. The woman who called the police was livid ~ "aren't you going to arrest him? He has a GUN!!!" Pretty sad when said police officer had to explain the 2nd Amendment to her...
Frankly, I'm just pleasantly surprised that a police officer actually knows about 2nd amendment rights. Remember the return vet in NV Costco who was killed on site in front of lots of people for carrying a firearm CONCEALED in accordance to his permit.
Nevada CCW holder here. The Eric Scott shooting was tragic, but his actions upon being confronted by police and the fact that he had 7 different drugs in his system at the time did him no favors. Concealed carry means just that, keep it concealed.
I have yet to see any evidence supporting the drugs in his system nor any of the other suppositions presented.
Regardless, a Concealed means Concealed.
My husband and I purchased our weapons two years ago. Got the kind with a red laser so I don't even have to spend much time aiming! Just put the red dot where you want it to do some good! I even pack it in my purse to church every Sunday. Believe me, if I had to use it, I would. I'm not about to give away my or my loved ones' freedom. Life is too precious. Loved your article.
I now carry all the time.........I was botn and raised in San Francisco.....then moved to Alameda/Oakland......Now that is where u need a cwp....moved to Montana.....not much need here.....now...the gangs are moving in to my close city Great Falls........our Sheriff here will give out cwp's all day.......to people that look right.....any help is 30 to 60 minutes away......we have to take care of ourselves......I have been shooting close to a thousand rounds a month (22') just for practice.....,.,we all should.....when bad stuff happens.....,you breath so much differently, you go to a sort of inner shock.......and you shake.....your common sence goes to "duh" an your reflexes are so much slower.......if they even work.......We all need to work with this.......some of my friends and I have been doing.......what you might call "drills" or sneak attacks.....I have been doing so much better.....perhaps this is wrong......BUT we are really working on being prepared.......I now have the food, the cooking devices.....and am working on the skills......with help from my friends......
P SS Wish you would let us all know when you are doing a tv program.....TLC,I know that you have done a few TV spots as of late....please if you can.....clue us in....
Razr, sometimes I'm lucky to get 2 days notice. This one was like that. I found out on a Sat. and they were here on Monday. Regarding TLC, it's filmed but hasn't aired yet. Who knows. It might not even air. That's how the big wigs work.
73 year old granny,
I am impressed that you get it, but you do need to practice even with the laser sight(red dot)on your firearm. The assailant usually does not stand still for you. Be safe!
I'm actually a fan of a non-laser shot. It's more practical for all possible solutions. It's why I teach a quick-draw response using muscle memory and mind stabilization. You can quick-draw and shoot and hit a target the size of a quarter 8 feet out when I'm done with you. That way you can act quickly, bring no harm to anyone else, and decisively handle the scenario with a minimum amount of chaos or disruption. It's safer for all this way without giving up one's position.
I am hoping to purchase a gun in the near future. WE went to a gun show in November and my husband joined the NRA, Me next!
In Texas we have conceled carry. I just got mine. I still remember the Luby's Cafeteria massacre. A young lady sitting with her parents eating lunch with a crowd of people when a truck comes right through the glass window a guy gets out of the truck and starts shooting people.The young lady watched her parents die while her revolver sat in her car (because Texas didn't have a conciled carry law she often took it with her illegally for protection but decided not to bring it in.) She has said many times she would have gone to jail (for shooting the man with an illegal fire arm) for the rest of her life, if it would have saved her parents.
While working in a bank, I had the opportunity of being robbed 5 times in 5 years. And if I was carring a gun - IT WOULD NOT HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE TO THE MAN STANDING IN FRONT OF ME. A gun in your face, or the threat of one gives one a different view of things. I have a gun and I know how to use it BUT it does not make me any more a self assured women than if I didn't own one.
What's so sad about this post is you're bringing up ONE single isolated scenario as if it should be the primary consideration for whether or not a woman should have a firearm. Good grief! People like that do more harm than good for our society today. It's a shame.
My 69 year old girl friend was visiting a friend on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. She lives in the country where some roads are narrow. On the way home, she saw a car coming towards her and pulled over to let it pass, but to her shock, 3 men jumped out shouting "Hey boys, lookie what we got here, lets have some fun". My girl friend could not get her windows up, doors locked or car in reverse, she was too shocked and scared. Two of the men separated and approached her car from both sides and were about ready to open the door when she looked down and saw her purse wide open with her gun laying on top. Without thinking she pulled it out and pointed it at the man nearing her window and told him to stop or she would shoot, he yelled "she's gotta a gun" and turned away as did the other 2. They all hurriedly got back into the car and drove away. She sat there shaking and realized she had save her on life and that no one, absolutely no one was coming to her rescue, it was up to her. If she didn't have that gun, they would have killed her and it would have been days before anyone even knew she was dead, hurt or missing OR where to look for her. SO we all carry guns now, evil exists and it is everywhere. Being 69 years old didn't matter to those boys, she was female and alone - easy prey. Yes she said she would have shot them if they took one more step. None of us want to own a gun or use it, but the world changed and we have to be able to take care of ourselves - get a concealed carry permit and learn how to use that gun and any other gun that might become available. PRACTICE, don't keep it locked in the glove compartment or in the backseat or leave it at home. This is a true story ...maybe you can learn something from this, it still chills me to the bone.
Hey I won't make any decisions for anyone not there to witness. I'm guessing most folks are told in a bank. Push the alarm give them a bag full of money and dye. I'm guessing you wanted a threat to go away and not use a gun or lethal force. That's okay If you aren't good with lethal force I'm good with that. I may think you are wrong, but you may think I'm wrong as well. How about pepper spray?, Tear gas perhaps it your son or daughter being dragged off in a van? But what if the bad guys won't go away? Perhaps you are good on offering up your sons and daughters to rape to keep the peace. While not having sons or daughters, I don't think I could offer up kids to placate your pacific tendencies.
Do you live in a gated community? Are your kids bussed or go to private schools? Where do you live if you are so much smarter than us rubes please give us example. I'm kinda slow so please show us a great Urban area school and city.....
Dang girl! I love the way you simple laid out the reasons why you carry a firearm at the same time giving all women reasons to carry a firearm.
I agree that it is important for kids to be well educated about guns so that they don't make stupid mistakes out of curiosity.
This is an amazing post.
I am a Vietnam era veteran, who was a Military Police officer in the 70's.
At the age of 19, I had never seen or touched a weapon until then. I shot expert the very first and was placed on the combat rifle team. Hee, hee. I was fascinated.
Now, this “fluffy, perky little gramma” is planning on being certified later this year to teach “Utah Concealed Carry”, along with my husband in our state. Because I believe women need to understand it's o.k. to defend ourselves and our families.