gundemos

Personal defense drives gun ownership

Gun Demographics from NY Times
New York Times: “Handguns are the new home security”

Women in the US are buying significantly more handguns than men, and overall the shift in gun ownership is geared more toward personal protection than hunting or shooting sports, according to a recent article in The New York Times.

What hasn’t been further detailed as part of this new Harvard gun study, however, is the assertion that, “On average, the gun imperils everyone in the home more than it protects them.” Yet in every article that has previewed this study to date, there is no further analysis of under what conditions that danger occurs.

As a woman who owns and carries handguns every day, this assertion seems foreign to me. I feel empowered carrying my gun, and every time I train and practice I feel I am only improving my safety, and that of my family, not endangering it. And from what I can tell of the community of women shooters and concealed carry permit holders, I don’t think I’m alone.

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Why women should buy two guns, not just one

When I first decided to get a concealed carry permit, I gave a lot of thought as to what I wanted for a handgun. I took several trips to our local gun shop, talking with the very helpful staff and trying a lot of guns in my hands.

I wasn’t comfortable handling the micro- or sub-compact guns that a lot of women tend to get directed to because of their size, and instead found a good balance of size and power in the mid-sized Sig Sauer P320 in 9mm. As an added bonus, the P320 is a modular gun, so I was able to get the medium/compact size frame and swap out the medium grips for the small grips. It feels great in my hand and is a lot of fun to shoot.

After months of training and putting many thousands of rounds through my Sig, I gained some pretty decent gun handling skills and finally felt comfortable enough to start to carry.

I purchased a few different kinds of holsters, but found that both the kinds of clothing I normally wear (skirts, dresses, t-shirts and sweaters) didn’t lend themselves to most holsters, and the holsters that did lend themselves to the clothes I wear didn’t work well with the size of my 9mm. I was printing like crazy (where you can see the outline of a gun under your clothes), and both the belly band and thigh holster I ended up with were just not big enough to allow for a quick draw of the 9mm.

Given that I didn’t want to change the kinds of clothes I wear, I needed to go back to the gun store to find a solution.

The Search for a Small Carry Gun

I went in search of a much smaller gun that I could carry on body in both the belly band and the thigh holster. I was looking for something lightweight and as thin as possible while still being able to have effective stopping power .

I found what I needed in the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. It is the same height and length as my husband’s subcompact Sig P938, but much thinner and much lighter, due in no small part to the fact his is a tiny 9mm and mine’s a 380, which is a slightly smaller round.

There’s a catch though, and that is that I absolutely hate shooting my S&W Bodyguard.

Oh, I dutifully take it to the range every time we go, and I grudgingly put a few magazines of ammo through it, but I can’t wait to finish and pack it back up. Much like when I first went to the gun shop all those years ago and was handling those little subcompact handguns, the small 380 is no fun to handle or shoot.

Small, subcompact guns have a lot of recoil, because there isn’t enough metal to absorb the energy of an explosive bullet firing through it. If I would have purchased this as my first gun, I don’t think I would have ever purchased a second (or third or fourth). I would have never practiced, never trained, and never learned to enjoy the sport of shooting.

And that would have made me much less skilled and confident, and in turn then, much less safe in the handling of any gun.

Women especially may need multiple options for carrying

Unlike most men, who, both through their clothing choices and body structure can comfortably and effectively on-body carry a mid-sized 9mm that they feel comfortable both shooting and training with, for most women, it’s challenging.

What feels most comfortable to on-body carry (small caliber, sub-compact or micro guns), is really miserable to shoot and train with. And we all know that training and regular practice is critical if you take on the responsibility of owning a gun.

That’s why I think most women who want to concealed carry really need two guns – your first gun a great shooter to train and practice with, and, once you’ve built up your skills and confidence, a second smaller gun for on-body carry.

*Note that some of the links in this post may generate a commission that will help support this site, although that in no way influences my opinion or review. Please see my full Disclosure Statement here.

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4 Things to Think About Before You Buy Your First Gun

You’ve thought about buying your first gun for protection, and maybe even considered going to a concealed carry class too. Before you take that step, here are 4 things you should think about:

  1. It’s a significant monetary commitment. Buying a gun is not like buying a new sofa or new computer. When you commit to owning a gun you also commit to keeping it safe at home or in your car, carrying it safely, and training, training, training. That means beyond the cost of the gun you need to think about a gun safe, holster, lots of ammo, range fees, training costs and possibly a second gun (more on that in future posts).
  2. It’s a significant time commitment. Training and owning a gun go hand in hand. You don’t just buy a gun and then stick it in a drawer – that’s just asking to become a bad statistic. In addition, gun handling skills are perishable, meaning that you need to practice regularly (live fire at least once a month, and dry fire at least once a week) to build up the confidence and muscle memory to safely and effectively handle your gun when you need it most.
  3. It’s a significant responsibility. Much like owning a car, owning a gun means you are responsible for a tool that could kill or injure someone or cause serious damage. That means you know like your own children’s names the 4 rules of Firearms Safety and you have committed to both safe storage, safe handling and training with your guns.
  4. It’s a significant amount of fun! You may initially start to think about a gun for self protection, but when you realize the amount of practice and training you need to get really comfortable and proficient with your gun, you hopefully will learn to enjoy it as a sport or hobby. Shooting can be really fun! I actually call it a form of “range yoga” because to challenge yourself to shoot well you really need to focus, which can in its own way be quite relaxing. There is so much to learn and the community is so diverse, it’s really a life-long adventure.

We’ll be here with you all the way.

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The family that trains together – mother daughter pistol training

My husband, daughter and I learned how to shoot together as a family.  When we made the decision to purchase our first gun (a beautiful vintage M1 carbine) we discussed how we wanted our then 12-year-old daughter to at a minimum understand firearm safety. What ended up happening, however, is she fell in love with shooting – both rifles and pistols – and in fact has become quite good at it.

In the first six months after hubs and I both got our concealed carry permits and purchased our first handguns, we realized we had outgrown the basic pistol training offered at the local range and went in search of something more. What we found was an amazing facility, the Site, run by an amazing guy, former Navy Seal Jim Kauber.

The Site was just starting to offer “civilian” training that season, rather than being exclusively focused on military or law enforcement. Jim was not only tolerant of us bringing our daughter, but was downright supportive of it.

We attended a 2-day basic pistol course that spring, with some of the best instructors I’ve ever met, learned a ton, and gained tremendous confidence in our skills. We went from being very new with handguns to SAFELY moving and turning to the target in just 2 days. At the end of the last day, there was a friendly “shoot off” competition. I ended up paired in the first round against my daughter, who despite shooting a .22 pistol that jammed twice, nearly bested me to the second round. Our bookish, studious, slightly geeky girl was a kick-butt shooter. She was so proud of herself, and we were too.

How about you? Any fun, interesting or memorable training experiences to share? I’d love to hear more.

CNLiveClip

Some initial thoughts on safe gun handling

There are several sets of rules regarding safe gunhandling. All the sets of rules emphasize the concerns of their originators. However, many similar things are said but stated in different ways. Which set of rules you choose to use is less important than picking a set and following it scrupulously. Firearms are instruments of ultimate […]

via Safe Gunhandling Rules — tacticalprofessor

CNLiveClip

Well they’re finally starting to pay attention

At least a little bit anyway.

The Washington Times just ran a short piece on how the “Fashion world finally catches on to the pistol packing woman.” They don’t add much by way of new information, and they don’t talk about the fashion world either, but they do at least acknowledge that, (1) there are lots of women who carry guns and like to shoot, and (2) the industry to date hasn’t really paid much attention.

What I would like to see is more of a recognition that women have particular challenges around finding an effective way to concealed carry and some real solutions on how to solve it, other than “shrinking and pinking” products designed for men.

I know we’ll be starting that dialogue here in this forum – be sure to let me know what you think.

CNLiveClip

New survey on gun ownership released

The Guardian has just published the results of a new study on gun ownership in the US, and it confirms what several other recent studies have shown which is while gun ownership among men in the US is decreasing substantially, it’s steady and growing among women – increasing from 9% of the female population in 1994 to 12% today.

More guns in fewer hands – The Guardian

I found the demographic details on income level and gun ownership very interesting – there is virtually no difference whether you make $25,000 a year or $100,000 a year as to whether or not you’re a gun owner.

Perhaps most interesting finding was the data on handgun-only ownership and women who by a large margin purchase their first handgun for protection:

“It was “kind of worrying” that women who had no previous experience with guns were buying handguns for self-defense, and that he was concerned “that puts them at greater risk” for gun accidents or thefts.”

It’s the responsibility of any gun owner, and any woman gun owner, to educate themselves about the safe and responsible handling of firearms and self-defense. That’s why we’re starting this conversation now. Join in and let us know your thoughts.