Women: No More Excuses

 

Last week we made a trip to the gun range for the first time in weeks. I nearly forgot how empowered I feel when I hold, aim, and shoot a gun. Especially because I practice regularly and shoot pretty well. But then I remembered that in spite of having a concealed carry license, I still am not carrying.

I read an excellent article in the NRA magazine [unfortunately behind a paywall] that was specifically directed to women who are reluctant to conceal carry. It was spot on in describing the primary reason women don’t carry:

What I’ve found is the training differences are not related to our strength, size or mechanical ability. Though these challenges may be in evidence, I’ve seen women overcome them all. And it’s not that there isn’t enough equipment designed for women. These days, plenty is made to accommodate us.

One of the critical differences, and indeed the biggest hurdle for women, is our mindset. More specifically, our traditions, our evolution and our societal mores that set many of us up with deep-rooted notions that run counter to good personal defense.

I could identify with some of the excuses the author listed, too. And they are just that—excuses. Yes, I live in a quiet, gated community. Yes, the protests in Central Florida have mostly been peaceful. Yes, the odds of my needing to have a gun on my person are slim. At least, they were slim. I’m not so sure if that’s true anymore

It took a long time for me to work up to agree to my husband’s buying a gun. I thought he was paranoid. He felt it was important for me to at least be familiar with the gun. Gradually I gave shooting a try; it was frighteningly powerful and noisy. With practice and training and a good set of ear protection, I began to enjoy the experience. I felt a new confidence, particularly in my ability to protect myself and my home. But if I am out and about, a gun sitting in a locked box in my bedroom is not going to do me a single bit of good.

Where would I need a gun? Who knows? At the dry cleaner? At a restaurant? At the grocery store? The truth is that if I’m not armed, I am helpless in the face of an armed adversary.

As I watch the violence spreading throughout the country, it finally may be time to carry.

Published in Guns
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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    There was an interesting YouTube video of a young woman who conceal carries. One day she was with her children in a park and she saw a man approaching. He stopped nearby and sat on a bench. She picked up her children and left, but realized that if he had approached them with ill intent, she had no protection. That’s when she decided to carry.

    • #1
  2. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    I have had a concealed carry permit since I was in my late 20’s.  But I tended to only carry when I thought I was going through a “bad” area or some similar reason.

    Then in 2015 in Lafayette, LA (where my best friend from college lives), one Sunday night a man walked into a movie theater and opened up.  Three people were killed and nine were injured. If anyone in that theater had been armed, the toll could have been less.  

    My friend wasn’t there, but because of my personal connection to Lafayette, it really hit home.  I started carrying every day from then on.

    My permit expired right after my surgery and the shutdown, but I am renewing it this week.  I won’t be able to carry it on my person until I get my new license (several weeks), but in Florida you do not need to have a permit to have a gun in your car.  So I guess that is the next best thing.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman.  When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle. 

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman. When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle.

    I originally had a Ruger because it was lighter, but the recoil was bad. I’m small but like my Glock 19. I plan on carrying it in a purse; I don’t think it would be comfortable on my person.

    I hope others will make suggestions, too. Thanks for asking, @hoyacon.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    EB (View Comment):

    I have had a concealed carry permit since I was in my late 20’s. But I tended to only carry when I thought I was going through a “bad” area or some similar reason.

    Then in 2015 in Lafayette, LA (where my best friend from college lives), one Sunday night a man walked into a movie theater and opened up. Three people were killed and nine were injured. If anyone in that theater had been armed, the toll could have been less.

    My friend wasn’t there, but because of my personal connection to Lafayette, it really hit home. I started carrying every day from then on.

    My permit expired right after my surgery and the shutdown, but I am renewing it this week. I won’t be able to carry it on my person until I get my new license (several weeks), but in Florida you do not need to have a permit to have a gun in your car. So I guess that is the next best thing.

    Thanks for the feedback, @eb. I’m still a bit nervous about it.

    • #5
  6. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman. When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle.

    Sig 38. I have a medium sized hand and it feels comfortable. I prefer my S&W 45 for range control and accuracy and stopping but the size and balance of the Sig suits me. Glove box or purse. 

    • #6
  7. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman. When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle.

    I had a Glock 19 for years (9 mm). 9 mm has good stopping power.  And my shooting scores were generally pretty  good.  However, a few years ago I got a Kahr CM9.  It shoots 9 mm but is a smaller gun and I found that it fits my hand better. It also fits in a pocket holster (depending on your pocket) and in my purse. As an added benefit, my shooting scores went up.  So it seems that the Glock was a little too big for me.  

    • Overall Length: 5.42″
    • Width: .9″
    • Height: 4″
    • Weight: 14 oz (unloaded)

     

    • #7
  8. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    My Kahr also fits well in a Vera Bradley Mini Hipster Crossbody purse.  (11 different patterns)

     

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman. When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle.

    If recoil is a problem, a .22 caliber may be a big help; at least for gaining proficiency. I think the sharp recoil of a typical 9 mm is very unpleasant compared to most .38’s — or even the .45, which, although heavier, is not nearly as sharp as the 9 mm.

    • #9
  10. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    If recoil is a problem, a .22 caliber may be a big help; at least for gaining proficiency.

    For practice, a .22 might be okay.  But I would not depend on it for self-defense.

    My sister dated an Atlanta police sergeant and he told her about a call he went on one evening. A man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and attacked her and her new boyfriend. They shot him 6 times with a .22. He hacked the two of them to death with a butcher knife and drove himself to Grady Hospital – with six rounds in him.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    EB (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Always interested in suggestions for my spouse about suitable concealed carry guns for a woman. When she shot at the range, using a variety, recoil was somewhat of an obstacle.

    I had a Glock 19 for years (9 mm). 9 mm has good stopping power. And my shooting scores were generally pretty good. However, a few years ago I got a Kahr CM9. It shoots 9 mm but is a smaller gun and I found that it fits my hand better. It also fits in a pocket holster (depending on your pocket) and in my purse. As an added benefit, my shooting scores went up. So it seems that the Glock was a little too big for me.

    • Overall Length: 5.42″
    • Width: .9″
    • Height: 4″
    • Weight: 14 oz (unloaded)

     

    EB, how is the recoil? I have a Ruger LC9S–it has a bad recoil for me.

    • #11
  12. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    EB, how is the recoil? I have a Ruger LC9S–it has a bad recoil for me.

    I didn’t find it appreciably different from the Glock.  But, of course, I was used to the Glock. It’s possible that the recoil is not just a factor of the calibre, but also of the gun design/brand.

    I haven’t shot a .45, but Andrew has and he said that for a given gun, he has found the recoil in a .45 to be more than a .9mm.

    The next time we are here and the weather is good, we should go to the range together and you can try the Kahr to see what you think. @susanquinn

     

    • #12
  13. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    EB (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    If recoil is a problem, a .22 caliber may be a big help; at least for gaining proficiency.

    For practice, a .22 might be okay. But I would not depend on it for self-defense.

    Agreed, but it might work for a start to gain confidence.  Isn’t .22LR ammo also very cheap for practice purposes?

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m surprised that no women have voiced objections to guns or to carrying? Am I that persuasive?

    • #14
  15. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m surprised that no women have voiced objections to guns or to carrying? Am I that persuasive?

    I think that the trendy term is “influencer.”

    • #15
  16. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I have never owned a gun, and never really wanted to.  But I am becoming convinced.

    Where would I start?

    I live in NYS, so I think handguns are hard to get, or get permitted for.  I may be wrong about this.  I live in upstate NY – Ithaca.

    Rifle or handgun? Or both?  Money is not an issue (within reason).

    Then I should get training, and practice.  What would you experts recommend?

     

    Hmm. Actually this might be a better question in a members-only post.

    • #16
  17. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    I have never owned a gun, and never really wanted to. But I am becoming convinced.

    Where would I start?

    I live in NYS, so I think handguns are hard to get, or get permitted for. I may be wrong about this. I live in upstate NY – Ithaca.

    Rifle or handgun? Or both? Money is not an issue (within reason).

    Then I should get training, and practice. What would you experts recommend?

    I’m no expert, but I’d find a reputable range in your area and enlist in a beginner’s course on use.  These courses often have actual monitored range time at their completion.  Money well spent.

    • #17
  18. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m surprised that no women have voiced objections to guns or to carrying? Am I that persuasive?

    You are persuasive, AND the times we live in have changed just within past weeks.

    I have no objection to carrying a gun if I know how to use it.  Question in my mind is can or will the gun owner use it when it counts.

    I also think having something (insurance?) to get a lawyer, etc. would be a good idea for if/when people have to use a gun these days.  Seems like it’s the law-abiding citizen who loses their shirt (and freedom) rather than the criminal.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    There used to be a company called Carry Guard that provided insurance and guidelines. NY threatened insurers who wanted to use Carry Guard, so policies were cancelled. I don’t know if anyone else provides it. Carry Guard‘s guidelines were very helpful if you end up shooting the gun. And probably most important: don’t shoot unless you have to!

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    I have never owned a gun, and never really wanted to. But I am becoming convinced.

    Where would I start?

    I live in NYS, so I think handguns are hard to get, or get permitted for. I may be wrong about this. I live in upstate NY – Ithaca.

    Rifle or handgun? Or both? Money is not an issue (within reason).

    Then I should get training, and practice. What would you experts recommend?

    Hmm. Actually this might be a better question in a members-only post.

    We started at a gun/store range, to try out various guns. We also practice at a range every two weeks. In addition to getting private lessons, we went to a week-long workshop at Hillsdale College. That was hugely helpful, because they limited the group sizes. BTW, I’m no expert! But I try to be a responsible gun user.

    • #20
  21. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    EB (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    If recoil is a problem, a .22 caliber may be a big help; at least for gaining proficiency.

    For practice, a .22 might be okay. But I would not depend on it for self-defense.

    My sister dated an Atlanta police sergeant and he told her about a call he went on one evening. A man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and attacked her and her new boyfriend. They shot him 6 times with a .22. He hacked the two of them to death with a butcher knife and drove himself to Grady Hospital – with six rounds in him.

    It’s all about placement; thus, proficiency. Or, if you’re Joe Biden, just shoot’em in the leg.

    • #21
  22. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    There used to be a company called Carry Guard that provided insurance and guidelines. NY threatened insurers who wanted to use Carry Guard, so policies were cancelled. I don’t know if anyone else provides it. Carry Guard‘s guidelines were very helpful if you end up shooting the gun. And probably most important: don’t shoot unless you have to!

    We have a membership with US Law Shield. It offers legal assistance and defense as well as courses.  Thankfully, we have not had to use it, so I can’t give firsthand info on it in that situation.

    I recently heard of a company called UCCA, US Concealed Carry.  They also offer legal assistance and courses, but I don’t know anything about them other than what is on their website.

    • #22
  23. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    It’s all about placement; thus, proficiency. Or, if you’re Joe Biden, just shoot’em in the leg.

    Frankly, in a situation where I had to defend my life, with adrenaline coursing through my veins, I would not give any bets on placement.  But if you hold the pistol with both hands and put several 9 mm rounds in their center mass (a large area to target)  you have a very good chance of stopping them.  A .22 just doesn’t have that power.

    • #23
  24. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    If recoil is a problem, a .22 caliber may be a big help; at least for gaining proficiency. I think the sharp recoil of a typical 9 mm is very unpleasant compared to most .38’s — or even the .45, which, although heavier, is not nearly as sharp as the 9 mm.

    The S&W EZ 380 is another possibility.  It’s a medium size gun, and the 380 recoil is less than a 9mm.  Modern 380 ammo is a decent choice for self defense.  The other big advantage of the EZ for people with less hand strength is the design of this firearm with less stout springs.  Racking the slide takes much less effort than other guns like it, and the magazine is designed to make reloading easier, requiring far less hand strength.  

    S&W has now come out with an EZ 9mm, but I have not seen that one.

    • #24
  25. Wiscosotan Member
    Wiscosotan
    @AlanMartinson

    Lots of good questions.  For some more in-depth discussion on firearms, I would recommend the Ricochet group The Firing Line.  There are people there who love to answer questions about all things shooting-related.  You don’t have to be an expert to join.

    • #25
  26. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Just read this article in The Federalist about Minneapolis cancelling their contract with city police.  I think it’s spot on in its predictions for what will happen.  Only wealthy will be able to afford security, and alternatives to police are less accountable — not more.  Lord help them…without intervention that place will become Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. with women and children and the poor to middle income (which will disappear) bearing the brunt.

    All the more reason to own and know how to use a weapon.

    • #26
  27. Wiscosotan Member
    Wiscosotan
    @AlanMartinson

    Susan Quinn:

    Where would I need a gun? Who knows? At the dry cleaner? At a restaurant? At the grocery store? The truth is that if I’m not armed, I am helpless in the face of an armed adversary.

     

    That’s the main point of it.  You don’t know when you might need one.  When I’ve gotten into conversations with people about carrying, one of the questions they ask is “why would you need a gun when you go to _____?”  My response is:  how do I know when I need to wear a seat belt when driving? 

    Another thing I hear is “I will only carry when I go somewhere that I think I might need it.”  My response is:  then don’t go there.

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    There used to be a company called Carry Guard that provided insurance and guidelines. NY threatened insurers who wanted to use Carry Guard, so policies were cancelled. I don’t know if anyone else provides it. Carry Guard‘s guidelines were very helpful if you end up shooting the gun. And probably most important: don’t shoot unless you have to!

    My Carryguard policy expired yesterday.  As usual, it was the left and liberals government officials putting a legitimate insurance option out of business:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nras-carry-guard-comes-under-fire-as-murder-insurance/

    I think Lockton still has firearm owner’s insurance, but it’s not backed by a secondary insurer.  I’ll check into it, but I betcha @kevincreighton has all the information.  Kevin?

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    There used to be a company called Carry Guard that provided insurance and guidelines. NY threatened insurers who wanted to use Carry Guard, so policies were cancelled. I don’t know if anyone else provides it. Carry Guard‘s guidelines were very helpful if you end up shooting the gun. And probably most important: don’t shoot unless you have to!

    My Carryguard policy expired yesterday. As usual, it was the left and liberals government officials putting a legitimate insurance option out of business:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nras-carry-guard-comes-under-fire-as-murder-insurance/

    I think Lockton still has firearm owner’s insurance, but it’s not backed by a secondary insurer. I’ll check into it, but I betcha @kevincreighton has all the information. Kevin?

    Jerry has researched further and USCCA seems to have good policies with excellent alternatives. We originally consulted Kevin, and unless things have changed, the company he went with offered less. But he’s a very knowledgeable guy and was instrumental in my interest in guns!

    • #29
  30. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    I went through the whole very long process for a gun license in MA my sophomore year in high school (too young to go for the version that allows concealed carry), and now live in the UK, where I’m not even allowed to have pepper spray. It’s genuinely disturbing to see how vulnerable I am as a single young woman living in a city, and knowing that, however much I try to improve that situation in terms of knowing how to defend myself, I’m still at a disadvantage in comparison to someone who either choses to illegally carry a knife or has brute strength and size on me. I was assaulted on public transport, and followed by my attacker, and the best thing I could do to try to prevent anything worse happening was be on the phone with a friend until I reached my destination, so that he could call the police if he heard something before I told him I was safe.

    • #30