Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Q&A about Guns and Concealed Carry for Women

Jeanette over at www.gunholsters.com/blog asked me if I would participate in a quick Q&A "Interview," on her site, so I said absolutely!

You clean houses for a living. Do you carry on the job?

Sometimes - It depends on the season (summer or winter), and also whether or not I will be cleaning the house alone or not. If someone is home while I'm cleaning, I usually lock my gun in my vehicle since I don't want to advertise to my clients that I carry a gun, and it really becomes much more visible when I am crouching and bending alot. If I know I will be cleaning at a house alone, I do tend to wear my IWB holster. I also carry more while cleaning in the winter, since in the summer I wear shorts alot, and I haven't figured out a good shorts method of carry yet. It gets HOT cleaning in the summer, especially if people don't have air conditioning in their home. I would REALLY like to carry more in the summer months, so I'm soon going to try out a few different options.

How did you become interested in firearms and holsters?

I guess I first became interested in firearms because some of my guy friends were really into guns, and they made me kind of curious. I didn't know ANYTHING about guns at first. I didn't know that a 12 gauge was a shotgun, I didn't know the difference between slugs or buckshot, or even what different size calibers there were for handguns... I remember when I first got online and starting researching the basics... I googled the difference between types of ammo (wadcutters, full-metal jacket, jacketed hollow points, etc) and also the actual definition of a handgun, pistol, revolver, and semi-automatic! I had no clue. The more I started learning, the more my curiosity turned into a feeling of necessity, like I needed to learn about guns & how to shoot in case of an emergency! I felt ignorant about guns and instead wanted to be an informed American citizen who could responsibly exercise her 2nd Ammendment right to keep and bear firearms. After I had learned a lot (from online research and also my male friends), I felt such an urgency to take a CCW training course and get my concealed carry weapon permit (while it was still legal to do so), because that right could get taken away from us at any time. Then after getting my CPL, I realized that there wasn't much info online for women, helping with concealed carry options & such, so that is what has compelled me to now share what I've learned (about guns that I prefer and different holsters) with other women! More men carry guns than women, but I believe that women are the ones who need to carry the most...

Why do you think women are afraid of guns?

Well, probably because they don't know much about them and aren't familiar with them. Guns can be extremely loud. The recoil can be shocking if you aren't prepared for it. Many guys pressure their wives/girlfriends to shoot, and then shooting seems more scary & forced instead of being a desire to learn to shoot. Guns are powerful weapons that can kill people, and that can be something to fear! The thing is, guns don't kill people. People kill people. Saying that guns kill people is like saying that matches commit arson. A gun is a tool that can be used to harm, but it is also a tool that can be used to protect. Once a woman is taught the proper way to handle a gun and check to see if it is unloaded, I think she loses alot of the fear that she had previously. With knowledge of gun use, my fear turned more into a respect for the gun. (the fundamental National Rife Association rules for safe gun handling: Always point the gun pointed in safe direction, Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use) Also, even if a woman isn't necessarily AFRAID of guns, I just don't think women are naturally interested in guns because guns tend to be more a "guy thing." Not many girls round up their girl friends and say, hey, lets go out shooting! Even when I get together with my girl friends, we tend to go shopping or pamper ourselves with foot soaks and facial masks. I think if a woman doesn't have a male friend who is interested in guns, it can be hard for her to get interested in guns on her own. It sure does help to have someone who can teach you about firearms and let you shoot some of their guns to start out. Hopefully more women start to recognize that guns are not something to fear, and a higher rate of gun ownership leads to a safer society. A quote comes to mind by Robert Heinlein - "An armed society is a polite society." If you are a beginner shooter, however, just remember to start out with a small caliber (22) and work your way up from there as you get more comfortable and want to practice with more power. You don't want to start out with a caliber that might be too powerful for you (45), because that might cause you to develop a bad flinching habit.

Why is concealed carry important to you?

Concealed carry is important to me because I value my life and the lives of others. I want to be able to defend myself, my friends, my family, and even strangers, if I ever need to. Hopefully I will never have to use my gun, but I would rather carry it and never need it, than need it and not have it. This question reminds me of something I just read in my American Rifleman magazine - "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." I do not want to put my life in the hands of police. I want to always be ready and prepared for the worst, and I want others to be prepared too.

What is your ideal carry outfit?

As of today: Teva Mush flip flops, comfy American Eagle jeans, black leather belt, IWB Crossbreed Supertuck holster, a tanktop, and a zip-up hoodie over top. I am all about comfort and relaxation. :-)

What do you have to say to those who have commented on your videos, objectifying you rather than seeing your videos as informative?

You know, it really does get extremely tiring and frustrating for me. There really are alot of perverts out there who comment, along with the many sexist men who don't even believe that women should carry guns. I've gotten some EXTREMELY vulgar comments and it makes me sick, sad, and angry, all at the same time! The main reason I have started making gun-related videos is to help other women who want to conceal carry, but struggle with similar wardrobe problems, so that they feel more comfortable in their ability to carry their firearm with them. Believe me, if I could make some of my videos available to only women, I would! It sure would save me a lot of headache. That is just not feasible, however, and I feel that this is a topic that the Internet (and society) is lacking in regards to providing helpful female information. Women's clothes, for the most part, are completely dysfunctional/impractical when it comes to concealing a gun. Our clothes are cute, yes, but our pockets are all extremely tiny! Flattering pants are fitted, leaving not much room to hide a gun, and often our pants are lacking belt-loops. Skinny jeans are back in style, dresses & skirts pose a challenge, and what about in the summer? Many girls like shorts & tanktops and don't want to look frumpy and out-of-place, especially for the sole purpose of carrying a gun that will probably (hopefully) never get used.  Obviously men are going to find my videos on Youtube, and many of them will gawk, stare, hit replay, or make lewd and sexist remarks. As much as I would love to whack those guys over the head with a frying pan to knock some sense into them, I will just continue to bite my tongue and hit "delete." As hard as they can be to ignore, I know it's not even worth it to give them my time of day. The 2nd ammendment applies to BOTH men and women, and it is important to recognize that there are alot of challenges that us women face in the world of concealed carry. Thankfully, I do get enough positive feedback (from both men and women) that I know my videos are helping some other people out there, and that is what makes it worthwhile for me to leave them up on Youtube. Maybe if more women started posting concealed-carry videos, then more men would accept the fact that women and guns do mix.

37 comments:

-Heidi said...

Great post! Thanks!

Todd said...

Really excellent interview.

Tara said...

Hey! Great interview, and very cool to see this on your blog. Here in alaska you don't need a permit for conceal carry anymore, but where I live people mostly don't bother to conceal and most men pack. I guess women packing freaks them out a little, so they call me pistol packin mama and the reputation's done me well.

Guntard said...

Linking this one too, unless you object!

Reputo said...

I saw a video of you showing how you conceal carry with various outfits. Wow, I never thought that fashionable women's clothing had so many options for carrying. The most interesting one was the black vest for a shoulder carry rig. If someone had described it to me (white t-shirt with a open black vest pulled slightly back) I would have said there is no way that can conceal a shoulder carry rig. Yet you pulled it off flawlessly. My only concern (for my wife, not me) is how the thigh holster stays conceals with the shorter dresses when you sit down.

Great video. Guns shouldn't be mysterious or scary for anyone.

The Traveler said...

Heidi - glad u liked it!

Todd - thanks

Tara - that is awesome about Alaska.. hey I just sent you an email :)

Guntard - no objections! thank you

Reputo - glad you found my video to be useful/interesting. Hmm, regarding the thigh holster, I've never had an issue with a skirt coming up, but then again, I don't really wear short short skirts. I tend to wear that length that stops right above my knee or around there. As long as you sit conservatively and have the thigh holster positioned up high on your leg, I don't think any girl would have an issue with it. I have never had anyone notice that I was wearing it, even when sitting. Just keep your legs close together while sitting and it is concealed.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled onto your video demonstrating your methods of concealed carry at a firearm site that I frequent - very informative and I love the fact that you deal with the realities of women's fashions vs. concealed carry. Most women are not going to change out thier wardrobe and go "frumpy" to carry on body. I'm foing to show the video to one of my friends to see it if gives her any ideas on what may work with her clothing.

P.S. I'm a guy and I think the information you are putting out there (not only practicalities, but also the mindset with respect to firearms and personal responsibility) for other women is fantastic.

The Traveler said...

Anon - yeah, exactly. Most women will opt for a comfortable/fashionable outfit OVER trying to carry a concealed gun. The thing is, you can have both, if you are willing to put a little thought and time into it. Thank you so much for the comment, I hope it helps out your friend.

Charles said...

Enjoying your blog, photos, and videos!

I would disagree with you on one thing, however. While carrying a firearm may level the playing field more for a woman than a man, men have just as many reasons to carry as women do, and most of those reasons are exactly the same.

The biggest reason I carry is so that I can have a better than average chance at going home to my family every night.

At any rate, I commend your decision to take responsibility for your safety. Would be interested in knowing what kind of ammo you are carrying in your LCR.

Anonymous said...

Traveler, look into North American Arms .22 mag. I have everything from a Sig P220 on down. I chose it as my carry time after time. It is very small, very powerful and very conceilable.

Thomson85 said...

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You have the right to protect yourself. There is a reason it is in our constitution. Some states encourage you to carry, and that is why I miss living in Texas. If everyone carries, you no longer wonder, "what if they have a gun". Also, I love the fact that women educate themselves on this subject. As they are more likely to need the protection in their life time. Plus, i wont lie. A women who carries is a bit sexy. Because it shows she takes control of herself, and is prepared for many things in life. Even beyond carrying a gun.

Frank Starling said...

It's too bad that a lot of dudes are like that. Unfortunately, it is the way of the world. What is fortunate is your professionalism and perseverance.

Stumbled on your blog thru youtube holster videos and now enjoying following your adventures. Keep going!

James Cannon said...

You have an incredibly interesting blog!

I stumbled across it after a CHP Instructor passed around one of your youtube videos regarding various carry methods and holsters for a fashionable woman. He said he had contacted you and uses your video in his class when it's appropriate. I also passed the link on to my friends in hopes they could learn from it or pass it on to their significant others.

Your confidence and professionalism in the videos is refreshing. Especially when it comes to firearms. That's a rare attribute in women, for the most part. I admire the ones that have surpassed the sexist divide and shed the "princess to be rescued by a white knight" stereotype and flipped the middle finger to them and decided to be the person responsible for your safety and self sufficiency.

I thought it was cool to see you provide a couple links to Zombie Squad (zombiehunters.org) too, because I'm a pretty active member there, and trying to get a chapter up and going here in Louisiana to get some more 'awareness' and aid to the community around me.

Just wanted to give you some... applause, I guess. :) Hope you're doing well! Take care!

Conrad said...

KelTec P32 w/crimson trace laser. This gun weighs 10 ounces. I don't carry a full clip to make it even lighter. It is so light you forget you are carrying it. Fits in the pocket well, but tends to pop the magazine loose. I am fine with that and don't carry a round up the pipe unless I feel the area is particularly risky.

Nathan said...

I just discovered your YouTube channel and blog today, while I was looking at holster reviews.

After watching your review of the thigh holster, I was impressed by the thorough approach you take in all of your reviews. I listened to the rest of the videos in the car on my way to work.

Thank you so much for the great reviews and information.

Mary said...

Awesome! Proof women can actually conceal and carry guns and still look great!

the68 said...

Here's another guy that respects and appreciates the fact that you carry a firearm and are interested in self-sufficiency/survivalism.I don't personally know any girls/women who are (not many men for that matter, either). It seems that my local area suffers from the medievalesque knight in shining armor syndrome that James Cannon was talking about. Total apathy. I gently encouraged my Mom to start carrying a firearm for protection a few years ago; she doesn't go anywhere without it now. I'm going to show her your blog and youtube channel, I think she'll appreciate your insight. Those idiot males on youtube don't know what they're talking about. It's sad that you obviously care enough to take the time to read your viewer's comments and have to see that. Just know that you are probably better prepared and more likely to survive a hostile situation than the scum who made those comments; and it's probably the reason they made those comments in the first place. Keep this thing going, I've already learned some stuff from your youtube videos and look forward to learning more.

Unknown said...

For summer conceal carry, you may want to consider a bulldog phone holster. It is designed for the smaller kel-tec or tarus, but it fits my cobra derringer (larger size). http://www.bulldogcases.com/case-vaults/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=235

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Your videos actually made me go log in to my Google account so I could subscribe to your blog, I liked them THAT much.

With that said, I am a father to six little girls age 14-2 and am just beginning to learn about guns myself. I enjoy your perspective and knowledge and showed your conceal vid to my wife today.

It is encouraging to see the options she has and your vids are helping me bridge the gap between "why is Dad talking to us about guns?" and "Oh look, SHE has several guns and she dresses cool!"

LOL. Thanks again. I look forward to learning more from you. In regards to the jerky comments, as soon as you spot the first rude word...delete and move on. Don't let it sink in. Trolls are one thing, pervs are another. Life's too short to dwell on that.

-The Orange Jeep Dad

Nathan said...

I also want to thank you for your vidos and blog. I have shared both with my wife and mother who run into the same issues while trying to carry concealed. It is truly great of you to brave the perverts to share your insight and experience.

Anonymous said...

Love your CCW videos. I just got my CPL and my bf just doesn't understand the greater complications of being a women gun-totter--from hand size to concealment. Your videos were EXACTLY what I was looking for and incredibly helpful and courageous. And I just want to let you know that my girlfriends and I, once they get their permits at least, do say "hey, let go out and shoot" :) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Gotta tell you, I did find you because I have a crush on Lisa Looper.

However, since she and I are very married(still gonna get one of those holsters for my wife, that's genius), I followed the links and managed to find your site. I gotta say it is incredible. My daughter is 6years old, and I can only hope she turns out like you(have no idea how old you are...20's?). I have turned my wife on to your website, and it gave her great ideas for holsters and how to carry them with different outfits without having to try them ALL on with a ton of expensive holsters. She was pocket carrying and your videos convinced her to finally get a holster. After I got in trouble for watching your videos.

Your info is gold, and I truly appreciate the videos. I hope there is a way you could pay the bills with this! My beloved wife carries the newish Ruger .380, I'm a Taurus .40.

IMHO, I'm glad you are in tune enough to not show your face, I can only imagine the crud you get on a daily basis. Sure is easy to hide behind a computer, its amazing what people will say when there are no repercussions.

I think its incredibly brave and awesome what you are doing. Not just in CCW apparel, how to carry, etc.. but in the Bug Out info, knives, etc... Its great info for a first timer and I hope it spurs more interest.

I never post comments, but I had to try to post here. Great interview, great info, Well done! Please keep it up! CCW family in Tx.

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Kim said...

A lot of women shoot and also conceal carry! There are MANY women who are quite knowledgeable when it comes to firearms. Just because you don't see all of us on Youtube, doesn't mean we don't exist. ;) And yes, some of us are even great looking! I, for one don't care to have guys oogling me and my bod on a video somewhere! But kudos to you for trying to show women different holsters. As for men seeing that women can work guns too> those guys who don't already feel that way, aren't going to change! We just need to appreciate the ones who support us! :)

Anonymous said...

Kim, I sense a bit of jealousy. She never said other knowledgeable women didn't exist. She is doing women, like myself and many others a great service as we venture out into becoming self protected. I myself had no knowledge into what types of questions to ask in search of guns and didn't have $10 bucks a pop to go and rent tons of guns from my local gun store just to see how they shot. She has helped answer so many questions and narrow down my choices. If you are so skilled in gun toting, then maybe you should do your part in helping others. Please keep your passive-aggressive comments to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Great site. I think your videos are really professional and informative. You are providing a much needed service. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing me with info on methods to conceal carry for women. Once I got my license I didn't have any resources on how to conceal on a woman's body. Your videos were a terrific resource. Ignore the stupid morons because women appreciate what you are doing!

Val said...

Wow. Thanks for this. I'm just getting started in all this and you have laid out my thoughts perfectly in regard to my desire to exercise my freedom to carry. May I reprint this on my blog?

Jwharrier@aol.com said...

Madam:
Did you know that video of you, firing your AR-15 style rifle, is being used by the news TV stations in Denver? The video appears as background for talking points for both anti-gun and pro-gun conversations by TV newscasters.

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Anonymous said...

Been reading your blog and watching youtube videos today. Never comment on blogs, but after reading how most guys act like d-bags on the comments, figured I'd posts something constructive. Moving to large city and finding some resources for my wife to find a concealed carry holster with which she will be happy. She has a very small build and was concerned about the size of the Crossbreed holsters. I think the combination of different holsters and clothing you show is great. Thanks for putting all this info out, it will be a huge help for the both of us.

a ji o ji suno ji said...

Traveler, look into North American Arms .22 mag. I have everything from a Sig P220 on down. I chose it as my carry time after time. It is very small, very powerful and very conceilable.
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Redbeard said...

You are very much correct...

In regards to women throughout various cultures, there is that common theme of 'Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.' Our society is unique in that women have just as much right as a man to defend the home and themselves. I remember a story of my great grandmother toting a winchester model 21 side by side in 12 gauge with a 32 inch barrel (Still in the family) around the farm in texas. She was only 4 foot 8 inches tall in her church shoes, as she used to say.
Some of the Alpha Male types just cant get over the fact that women have taken on a more EQUAL role in modern times and that refers to all facets of daily life. Its very common for women to be bread-winners, mechanics, soldiering on the front lines, and just flat out better at some things than their make counterparts. Something that a majority of men in America still haven't come to terms with.
And when I decide to settle down, I want to make sure that my spouse knows everything I do. She should be able to out drive, out shoot and out hunt me etc. and always be training.
Look at the video of the woman being attacked in her home in front of her three year old daughter. Why would any man look at that and say, "Well girls just shouldn't carry guns." I do think like you that the gun culture hasn't really been catering to women as much. If you look at gun magazines, there are far more advertisements with males in SWAT gear toting AR's and Shotguns. And the Advertisements with Women are in short skirts and heels and they have these little pink .380 pocket pistols. Why? Thats because they still want women to think that thats all they need and they cant handle the big boy toys. I remember on several convoys in Iraq where our .50 cal Machine gunner was a female and believe me, she would put the heat to the bad guys in a HURRY!
In short, and you know I always get long winded, thanks again for not putting up with the crap. Thanks for putting foot-to-ass to get your message out there! And I know that every woman I meet that wants to learn about our lifestyle and our culture, Im gonna send them your way first!
Redbeard out!

FALIA REVIEWS: said...

Redbeard - thanks! I enjoy reading your comments. Well thought out and very true.

Matt W. said...

I apologize that there are men out there who can't be grown up and treat you like a human being instead of an object. All I can say is don't let it discourage you. I work as a LE firearms instructor as well as an employee in a high-volume local gun shop. I often get questions from women, officers and concealed carriers, about CCW gear. I use many of the tips and ideas shamelessly stolen from your media and often refer them to your sites for further research. I don't think I'm alone. So please, if the tech comes along to keep out us knuckledragging Neanderthals, fight the temptation. And keep up the great work.

Chris Christie said...

The outside skin is a super non-slip material that, with a little pressure, adheres to just about anything. That outer material combined with the inner closed-cell foam and the inner-liner keep your pistol and the holster securely in place. In the pocket, it works like any other pocket holster. However, when you pull the gun, the outer layer grabs the inside of your pocket. Our modular products use the same “Sticky” material against itself to hold theconcealment holster and gun in place. In addition, with use and body heat, your Sticky Holster will conform to your particular gun, making a custom fit. Concealed carry holsters