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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