Ladies and Concealed Carry

As you may have heard by now, female membership in the NRA for 2013 is already up over 40% compared to last year and NRA general membership grew by 100,000 in just 18 days immediately following Sandy Hook. The NRA and NGR (National Gun Rights) are two of the major players in helping keep our 2nd Amendment alive and well. Then you have several law enforcement officials speaking out against new laws recently passed in their own states. The largest contingent is that of the Sheriffs of Colorado. The Sheriffs of 62 counties have now banned together and have written a letter to their govenor stating they will not enforce these new anti-second amendment laws he signed into effect back in April.

So, since more of you are learning, practicing and living a more protected and vigilant life I am sure you are looking for any means possible for carrying. Or, if you do not carry yet, what options are available to you? A couple weeks ago I posted the question on my FFT Facebook page… “To all the ladies who carry out there… if you holster, what do you use? If you don’t holster, how do you carry?” I recieved two really great responses… Thank you Whitney and Tammy! I also find it interesting that on June 4th Forbes on-line posted the article “Concealed Carry For The Ladies”. Ha! A very mainstream (and conservative I might add) magazine/website, mostly geared toward business and finances, discussing concealment options for ladies. See the article here… Concealed Carry For The Ladies.

Lets discuss concealed carry options for women. Women have the option of carrying in a multitude of different ways. They can, of course carry just like men, depending on their attire, weather and/or occaision. Multiple options are available… inside the waist holsters, outside the waist holsters, purse holsters, purses with handgun concealment compartments, bra holsters, t-shirt holsters, ankle holsters, etc. In my research I came across a series of Youtube Videos posted by “TheWellArmedWomanTV” . Carrie Lightfoot, the owner, has done a great job of presenting several options for carrying. If you go to her Youtube channel you will see her discussions on purses, ankle holsters, waist holsters, “summer carry”, etc. These videos are definitely worth taking a look at. Then, you have SoulSurviorX2, she is defintely a little more on the lighter side, but still very relevant. You can see one of her videos here… SoulSurvivorX2. There are several different designs when it comes to carring in a purse. I certainly would not be able to tell if someone was carrying or if it was even a concealed carry purse. Here are a few samples below:

A concealed carry purse from Gun Goddess, one from Gun Tot’n Mamas and then we have a concealed carry fanny pack from 5.11.

Purses

Looper Continue reading

Advertisements

Happy Mother’s Day…Now Carry On!

Mama

Today is definitely one of the most quintessential of all of the U.S. holidays, in my humble opinion! Mothers are given a day to be honored and showered with gifts, cards, love, special meals and “time off” from some parental duties and maybe even short little vacations. I am honored to have so many friends that are great moms! But, I count it an enourmous privilege to be able to teach moms and daughters, of all walks and ages, gun safety, gun mechanics, how to shoot and how to shoot better with time and practice! You have heard (ok, or read) me say this dozens of times… I am giving a woman the ability, the strength, the courage and the committment to act in a positive way on their inate desire to protect family, friends and themselves from potential danger.

A week ago I had the opportunity to volunteer at the 142nd NRA Annual Meetings here in Houston. On the last day I was a Range Safety Officer for the 3-gun airgun shoot at the NRA Youth Day.

Yahoo NRA Pic # 3

I had the privilege of working with kids from teens all the way down to 4 year olds! It was so much fun… I don’t know, maybe for me more than the kids! But so many mom’s thanked me for teaching their little ones how to shoot. To a few of the moms I whispered in their ears, “now it’s time for you to continue you on with their training”! Sure, these were “just” airguns, but, we treated it just like any other range and treated every gun as a loaded gun! You have to start somewhere. It was great seeing mothers (and fathers) bringing their kids out and giving them the opportunity to learn. This is great parenting!

I am going to give you a few quotes from some of the women I have recently worked with as well as someone who I hope will become a lasting friend in the industry, a daughter/mother firearms instructor team out of Michigan. I will start with Whitney and Cat. They own Applied Firearms Defensive Skills near Grand Rapids, Michigan (http://www.myafds.com/home).

Mother Daughter instructors

Whitney and I have communicated back and forth a few of times in the last several weeks. She was kind enough to give me a statement from her mother Cat on why she made the decision some time ago to carry. Cat says, “I bear arms because it is my constitutional right to do so. I carry because I refuse to be a victim. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, there were 83,425 forcible rapes in the United States reported to law enforcement in 2011 alone. The Intel available on this and other violent crimes is nothing short of staggering.
I also consider this right a tremendous responsibility. Said right requires me to act in a safe and prudent manner for the well-being and protection of those around me. I would encourage all who choose to exercise this right to go above and beyond any minimum, stipulated requirements and really take their ongoing training seriously…their own life or someone else’s may depend on it.” Do Cat’s words sound familiar???

Then we have Rene, my neighbor and good friend, who asked me some time ago to help her learn to shoot. She has two small children and is a stay at home mom. She wants to get over her fear of guns so that she can feel comfortable being able to defend herself and her family. She told me that she may never fall in love with firearms the way I do and I told her that that is absolutely just fine… what counts is being comfortable and in control of the firearm so that she can have the confidence in herself that she can control any bad situation.

My long time friend Courtney is just getting into guns. She made the decision a couple years ago that with all the travelling she does and being at home alone, that she should have protection. She is very excited about getting more training, learning about different firearms and becoming better at the mechanics of shooting! Her confidence is inspiring!

Another one of my long time friends, Catherine, lives in Boston and is moving back to Houston. With all that happened in Boston recently she called me and said “when I get back to Houston you are going to teach me to shoot”… she said she does NOT want to be a statistic! She eventually wants to be able to get her CHL so she can be protected all the time.

A former high school classmate and very long time friend of mine who lives in Tennessee, Kim, recently made the decision to get her CHL. What struck me about Kim is this conversation we had. She said the following… “I live in a good neighborhood. We know a lot of our neighbors. It wasn’t like this when we first moved here, but now we have to lock our doors all the time. Crime is creeping out this way.” Kim… practice, practice, practice!!! And hopefully I will set up an NRA class out there for her and her friends soon.

Danielle and Emily… they are family to me… daughter and mom! They would do anything for me and I would do anything for them! Her mom has been shooting for years. She stopped for awhile but we are getting her back into the swing of things. Emily has a slight disability but let me tell you.. I pitty the fool that tries to take advantage of that disability!!! I have been teaching Danielle to shoot since she was 16.. she is now almost 22! She can definitely handle herself and now wants to be an FBI agent!

One last story… my realtor and friend, Amy… she had a very frightening experience not long ago which convinced her that it was time to learn to shoot a handgun and get her CHL. She is bringing a whole team with her and we will get them all trained and comfortable to the point of being confident in their own abilities to be able to defend themselves. Amy is my inspiration for the Focus Forums I am now holding around town once a month to help answer questions about guns, safety, guns with kids in the home, concealed handgun licenses and anything else they want to ask but didn’t know who to ask. Thank you Amy!

All of these women are moms and daughters. Shooting is NOT just a male-dominated sport any more! Espeically when you have the likes of a 13 year old female junior champion for Team Smith & Wesson who has only been competing for a year and a 17 year old female junior champion for Team Glock who has been shooting since she was three and shooting competively since she was 12! Also, the NRA has seen an over 50% increase this year alone in women NRA members. And, as I have said several times, 99% of all of my students are women!

Moms… I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day… Now carry on!!!!

Mom and Daughter

Women and Guns

If any of you follow my Focus Firearms Training Facebook page you have seen my clientele. My photos, my videos, and now my upcoming Focus Forum event on March 21st have one major common denominator. Women. I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine today and she made a couple of very good comments. She was out promoting my website http://www.focusfirearmstraining.com and I thanked her for that. This is what she said: “…I want people to know about the opportunity. Lots of people are afraid of guns, but still have an interest. They just need a little coaxing. After the first shot they are hooked.” I also made the statement to her that “I am still amazed at the number of women that are asking me about doing this (training, having this forum to talk about their fears, concerns).” She made her second great comment… “I guess no one has just ever reached out and gave them the opportunity. More and more women will be interested, especially from a safety standpoint.” I do think that there are more companies making a greater effort in attracting women to the sport of shooting, but I think they are not starting with friends. Most all of my students started out as my friends. They know me personally, they completely see and appreciate my passion. After all, it was my friends and family who said I should be doing this since I have such an intense love and passion for it.

More women are getting incredibly interested in firearms and shooting, if for nothing else but for self preservation. In many of the magazines I subscribe too (NRA’s Rifleman, USCCA’s Concealed Carry and Gun World’s Home Defender) there are more and more articles geared toward women. A specific article in Home Defender’s Spring 2013 issue, is called “Women, How To Identify 10 Safety Risks”. It’s a great article and there is material in there that I will be using in conjunction with my training. I find it incredibly enjoyable and rewarding to have an intelligent conversation with a woman who has already been thinking of a million questions to ask. She exhibits her fears, her concerns, her curiosity, etc. about guns. I love watching her face as we go from conversation to the gun range to her first time pulling the trigger. One student, who pulled the trigger for the first time ever, had a look on her face of what I thought was shock. Then she put the gun down, looked at me with these wide, wild eyes and said, “can I do that again?” What an awesome feeling that was for me!

I have visions of creating an army of women who “fear no evil”. They have the confidence in their abilities and control of their firearm and know for a fact that they own their responsibility of protecting their families and themselves fearlessly! Realtors, nurses, retail workers, single moms, widowers, sisters, daughters, they all have purpose and drive. I LOVE teaching women to shoot… of course they learn right off the bat about safety and what happens if they don’t pay attention (just a note, women pay closer attention than most men), but they are why I am an instructor.

So, in my next blog I am going to cover some of the safety tips found in some of these articles I have read, the gear available for women, different types of firearms, purses, holsters, pink guns, big guns, small guns, etc. And hopefully I will have a couple of guests write a couple blog posts from their perspectives.

Stay safe, stay aware!