This is a statement, exclaimed in varying degrees of "excitement", that I've heard several times in recent months.
It is uttered either in awe, with a request for Dear Husband to teach them too, or in shock and disapproval. Complete disapproval. With the question of, "Why on Earth would you carry a *gun*? You have children! I would never want a gun in MY home/ possession." (Insert dripping, cutting sarcasm to that sentence for the full effect.)
Hey, toting a piece is not for everyone. In fact, if you can not use it, then you do not need to have it. I promise you- I am NOT going to tell you endlessly why you NEED to carry a gun. If you are not comfortable with a firearm, then you do not need someone preaching at you otherwise. (And all I ask in return is that YOU do not preach at ME about how Evil Guns Are. OK? OK!)
My response to the question of why I carry a gun varies. Some days, depending on the mood I'm in and the person who has asked the question, I'll be a smart ass and say, "Because I tried carrying a cop, and he was just too heavy. I've a bad back you know, and adding that extra two hundred pounds just brought me to my knees." I can actually build a whole conversation around that subject, stating several reasons why the police officer did not enjoy being toted around, as much as I did not like the toting. (Not close enough to donuts, I'm bumpy when I limp, the kids are too loud/ rowdy, airsickness.... etc.)
A standard reply for me though is a policeman can not be everywhere at once. My personal safety and the safety of my family and my sons is my RESPONSIBILITY. The average response time for a 911 call here is over 10 minutes. When seconds count, I don't HAVE minutes to wait.
I was asked not too long ago by a local trauma nurse (after her shock at the fact that Yes, I Do Carry A Gun,) if I could actually use it to SHOOT someone.
She was taken aback by my answer.
There was no hesitation on my part- I looked her square in the eye and said strongly: "YES!"
Her eyes got huge and her jaw cracked on it's way to the floor.
She stared at me. Kinda like I had two heads, or if she was deciding I was a psychotic killer or not. I had to explain to her my feelings on responsibility. And that I felt NO Bad Guy had the RIGHT to take away my life, of the lives of my family members. Ever. I explained I would not be shooting merely to kill the Bad Guy- I'd be shooting so that I or my own might LIVE. She then asked if I would shoot to wound.
I asked her if she thought it would be a smart move on my part only to wound the Bad Guy, pissing him off further, and giving him the chance to come back at me and do more harm. Took her a little while to mull that over, and she never did really have an answer for me.
Look- it's like this.
I carry so that I don't have to rely on someone else coming to help, because by the time someone else gets there, I'm liable to be dead.
I carry so that I can defend my sons, and my husband, my dog, cat, and horse. "Stuff" is one thing- stuff can be replaced. Family can't. And no one but NO ONE is going to lay hand on my children and live to tell the tale.
I don't carry because of a Bad Ass Image wish.
I don't carry a gun to "get my way".
I don't carry a gun to show toughness.
I hope and pray that I never, ever have to draw and use my weapon. But I also hope and pray that if I do, my aim is true and lives can be saved.
Why do YOU carry? What questions do YOU hear? Mr. Daddy, guys, chime in here too please. It seems that guys like you and my Dear Husband don't get the "guff" we ladies do about packing, so I'd like to hear your perspective on this as well.
I do not "carry" a gun, but I have guns in my home. I live in a safe area and don't really feel threatened. That said, I would empty all 15 rounds into anyone who came into my home meaning harm without hesitation. I too have people say "I just can't believe you have guns". I certainly don't think it's for everyone, but being the daughter of a cop, I know how to use a gun and when it would be appropriate to do so.
I carry but almost nobody knows I carry. It never really comes up and I don't bring it up.
I do think it's funny though, my hubby and his friends will talk guns and his friends ask " Your wife lets you have guns? Wow! Mine won't!!"
i guess that is also sad though because of the fear that those wives have they don't have a viable way to protect themselves.
When I go to the range I usually have my .22 Walther. When I see machos come there and try to show their wives how to shoot for the very first time with his .45 I will usually try to introduce myself and my Walther to her. Once I let her shootthat cute little Walther I see her relaxing and accepting and dare I say it? Having more fun!!
Sorry, off the subject... but my hope is that the ladies realize that there is nothing to be scared of.
First, I'd like to take issue with Linda's comment. There is no such thing as a "safe area". There are only areas with less crime than others.
As to the question in the post, I no longer carry for religious reasons; however, I have had a CHL in the past. My main carry pistols were a Glock 23 and/or a Rossi .357 snubnose. Fortunately, I never had to make use of them.
Like Finski, I tried not to advertise the fact; and, as a result, didn't have to answer many questions on the subject.
Personally, I feel the bigger issue, especially for women concerned with defense issues, is not whether or not you are prepared to take a life but whether or not you are prepared to do what is necessary to avoid being in situations where you might have to. Are you willing to focus on your surroundings and be aware of potential dangers before they become dangers? Are you willing to stop talking and put your phone down so you can hear as well as see (there is also the fact that speaking/listening distracts us visually as well as aurally)? Are you willing to take a longer but safer route to your destination?
As I was saying to The Queen last night, everything can be used as a weapon. The best weapon of all is an engaged and prepared brain.
I agree with Mrs Mom - if you're not comfortable with the thought of a gun, then don't carry one.
Linda, doesn't it frustrate you when people say that? Like there's a "type" to own a gun. Makes steam come from my ears.
Finski, I love that you're willing to take time to make other women at the range comfortable. I see this happen a lot, where the man wants to teach his little lady to shoot and then tries to give them a gun that's too big to start with.
K, you know I'll always agree with you on situational awareness and the fact that anything can be used as a weapon. I think I've stated it before (and know Mrs Mom has)...the greatest weapon we own is the one between our ears.
All very good comments. I would like to point out, though, that a .45 is an acceptable gun to teach someone to shoot with. In fact, for many women (GunDiva) a slimmer 1911 fits in the hand much better than a double stack 9mm or even some .22's.
I'm not really familiar with the Walther of which Finski speaks, but I suspect just having a woman there to take away some of the machismo of a a man trying to teach her makes any given female more comfortable, not necessarily the .22. I could be wrong ( I am penis-equipped), but I bet a friendly female stranger that *gasp* enjoys shooting probably goes a long way toward making a newbie feel more comfortable. Of course it could just be the gun....
Deejo- you bring up an excellent point. I have "odd" hands. Gloves for women never fit right- my hands are too wide, fingers too round. Gloves for men fit fine through the palm/ width, fingers are not too tight- just too long. Finding a pistol to fit my wide palmed short fingered hand was interesting. (But it let me play with a LOT of guns, which rocked!) My little Plan B ARCUS9 works- for now.
Linda- I have to agree with K.Erickson on there is no "safe place." Trouble finds us all too easily, all too quickly.
K, I've not "met" you yet in the blogosphere, but your reply leads me to realize, I need to post the story of how this blog came to be. And WHY it came to be.
Finski- keep on keepin on teaching other ladies!!
On the subject of concealed carry..... I'm not one to put a whole lot of effort into concealing my gun. I don't carry a purse (cause I used to always forget and lose the darn things,) and I'd really rather have something ON me, in easy reach should I need it.
Maybe it is partly due to the area we live in.
Maybe it is partly due to a preference to heading off problems.
Another contributing factor is my body "type"/ build/ shape. It does not lend well to comfortable concealed carry. At. All.
I've been carrying in waist band lately, and I'm not sure I like it. I prefer to mount Plan B on my hip, and drop my shirt over it. What one might call a very casual conceal.
Yeah, I think there are a lot of people who just don't understand gun ownership. If a person is responsible with a gun, there is no reason not to own one. As a side note, when I say I live in a "safe" area, I don't mean that it's a crime free area. I agree there is no such thing. But the response time of the PD is amazingly fast, and we have had 1 murder in 20 years. Still, I agree wholeheartedly that being aware is the most important aspect of self protection. If it "feels wrong" don't take a chance. Ever.
Fascinating conversation... didn't realize that women would typically get more guff for carrying.
And now that I realize my husband's been frequenting this blog, I figured out why he suddenly decided to PACK A GUN EVERY SINGLE TIME HE WENT OUTSIDE (insert hilarious laughter here).
Oooh he's gonna be peeved when he reads that, ha ha.
I can tell you that the most shocking moment with my mother was when I was 11-12 years old and someone was attempting to break into the house. She instructed me to hand her a gun and pointed it at the doorway.
I was absolutely shocked when she said she would fire if someone came in.
Now that I'm a mother, I understand.
(And now that I have a redneck husband, I TOTALLY understand!)
And just as a tangent to the side conversation: awareness of surroundings has always been a HUGE deal for me with my deafness. My father (law enforcement) taught me to carry my keys as a weapon, look all around me, take stock of my surroundings before entering and exiting vehicles, etc.
So right - it is the best thing you can do for your safety, regardless of carrying a gun.
Wow, some very good and insightful comments...
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