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Category Archives: Resources and Links

Why I Choose to Carry

Here is a great presentation of not only why this man has chosen to carry a gun, but also the stigma that can accompany that choice.
Thanks to Semi on Target for a well done post!

 

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What if I decide a gun isn’t the right answer for me ?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

You may very well decide that you do not want a gun for self defense. Owning and carrying a gun isn’t the right choice for everybody. A firearm is only one of the tools available. There are a wide variety of options available to you, but none as powerful as knowledge, preparation and planning.

Learning how to defend yourself is something every woman needs to be actively pursuing. Hopefully you will be one of the fortunate women who does not experience a devastating attack. But FBI statistics show one in every four women will experience a violent assault in her lifetime.  That is based on reported crimes against women. Estimates vary that 27% – 46% violent crimes against women go unreported.

Violence is a fact of our lives, and becoming a victim will absolutely affect you for the rest of your days.

It is OUR responsibility to become educated and share our knowledge with our daughters and friends. Self defense plans always start with prevention. Learning what types of behaviors put you in more danger; being aware of places you should not frequent – particularly alone; keeping alert and prepared; and very importantly acting with confidence in your ability to protect yourself.

I  recently discovered a site by Cathy Steinberg. She shares tips on becoming a “Fearless” woman based on her extensive experience and study.  I’ve just ordered her book:  “The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to being Fearless.. What Every Girl Should Know.” From excerpts I have read, it is very down-to-earth and practical. I look forward to sharing more of this book with you.Cover_-178x268

She understands that no matter how well prepared or capable you are, life can throw you into dangerous situations. Your best defense is your trained ability to respond. The simplest and first response most often suggested by experts is to get away from the threat. Make a lot of noise to attract attention. Yell, scream, use whatever tools are at hand –  your keys, fingers, feet, or if you planned in advance – pepper spray, a kubaton, or taser. But GET AWAY!

Click here to visit self defense products and books by Cathy Steinberg:  http://fearlessnfab.com/

Bottom line, you are responsible for your safety. “Help” may or may not be timely or available.The “answers” to self defense cannot just be purchased and carried around without training, a plan, and practice.

No matter how you choose to go about it – do not allow yourself to remain in fear or denial. Living in a “fairy tale” that everyone is good and no harm can come to you, or someone else will save you,  will not protect you or your loved ones. In the reality of today’s police protection, with budget cuts and constraints, we are being urged by sheriffs and police to realize WE need to be prepared. Whatever the method and tools you choose, develop a plan of action.

Arm yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and proceed to live your life fully and confidently knowing you are able and ready to respond to the challenges that come your way.

Carrying or not carrying a gun is really only a small part of self defense, afterall.

–  Peggy

 

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How do you choose your first firearm?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

This is a continuation of the January 13th post:  Are you thinking of buying/ carrying a gun?

In that post I shared my opinion that a decision to own/carry a gun should NEVER be acted on from a “knee jerk” reaction to something that has happened to you, someone you know, or someone you have read or heard about.

Fear, while a strong motivating force that may have helped you make your decision, must be “laid aside” and careful and critical thinking needs to be applied before acting on your decision. Owning and carrying a gun is a serious matter and needs to be given appropriate respect and consideration.

Like other important decisions in life there are some basic factors to consider as you begin the process of becoming an empowered, responsible gun owner.  Today’s post suggests a way to help you get started on that journey.

There is a lot of information published on the subject of “choosing the right gun,” and I will add some links that may be of assistance at the end of this post.

But first:

Choosing “YOUR” firearm

In my husband’s NRA Basic Pistol classes, I have seen quite a few women carrying around very nice firearms they are not comfortable with and/or have not been able to control or operate safely and effectively. Typically they have been provided/advised to get “w-a-y too much gun” by a well meaning husband, male relative or salesmen.

While you wouldn’t dream of walking up to a salesperson and blindly letting them pick out a purse or pair of shoes for you, a large number of first time (and particularly mature) gun owners want or expect someone else to make this very important and personal choice for them.

In this strange new world of firearms, most often “you” don’t have a clue about what “you” need. The very first step – before approaching someone to help you pick out a firearm- is realizing it is your responsibility to think through what your needs and abilities are FIRST.

A salesman at the gun counter can be very helpful, as can your husband, friends, firearms instructor, internet articles and magazines.  But basically it all needs to start with you understanding what “YOU” need.

What is your Primary need?

The first and MAIN factor in choosing your first – or fiftieth – gun is: what will be the purpose of the gun? You need to think about your life situation, the neighborhood you live in, where you go when you leave your home, and the situations you are likely to encounter.

Reducing the immense amount of information available down to a basic definition of the situation(s) where you most need a firearm will give you a solid starting point. In simple terms, do you need/want to:

A) Carry a firearm with you outside your home?

B) Maintain a firearm primarily to protect yourself in your home?

C) Both A and B?

Once you have made that determination, it is time to do some homework! You will need to research the different types of firearms best suited to your basic situational need. Afterall, once you remove the “fear factor” attached to guns, the purchase of a firearm is really no different than purchasing any other personal and/or major item. As women we have honed that skill.

Take some time to reduce the “mystery” of this subject, to learn the “language” and you will start to gain confidence and be a much more savvy shopper!

Remember to take into account your lifestyle: your choice may be very different if you drive your own vehicle or ride on public transit; do you live in shared quarters? an apartment? a house in the suburbs? or in a rural setting?

What are your physical abilities? What type of firearm would fit you best for your size, and if you have decreased hand strength, mobility or vision issues?

After taking an inventory of your situation, needs, strengths and limitations, and familiarizing yourself with some of your options, you will find yourself a bit more “grounded” and ready to begin your active quest to choosing your first firearm. Don’t rush it. Guns are a major investment, and ridding yourself of obvious and hidden fear factors- by gaining information – is a solid first step.

Financial considerations

As you continue on this journey, you may learn that one firearm cannot fit all your needs. That lightweight gun to carry with you will undoubtedly have more recoil to contend with than you want for target practice, but the heavier practice gun will not travel well with you.   Depending on where you live, you may be able to rent a firearm for practice. You may determine that a shotgun may be the safest and best choice for your home defense need. Ultimately, only you can decide which “need” is the greatest, and make the decision on what will be YOUR best first purchase.

Quite a few of the older women in the classes are on fixed incomes, and money can be in short supply. Past the initial purchase, there is ammunition, cleaning supplies, accessories to carry/store the firearm, range and training costs.   The decision to purchase a firearm is an investment.That will be the subject of another post…. until then….

Just a few links that may be helpful:

http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/where-to-start

http://womenandguns.org/shoot-like-a-girl/how-to-choose-a-handgun/

http://girlsguidetoguns.com/2011/03/21/guest-post-how-to-choose-a-handgun/

http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/beginner-articles/2972-how-choose-pistol-handgun-guide-new-gun-owners.html

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/02/jim-barrett/choose-carefully-when-buying-your-first-pistol/

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

 

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The Well Armed Woman – “The Resource For The Woman Gun Owner”

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

Awhile ago I discovered the website “The Well Armed Woman.”  I would encourage any woman who owns, or is thinking of owning a firearm, to check this site out. If you are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other sites where TWAW has a presence, be sure to FOLLOW and LIKE them!  I enjoy the many articles and videos brought right to my Facebook page. They help keep me informed and entertained!

Part of the problem the mature woman can face in getting started in shooting is “HOW” to begin. Women learn best in a safe, friendly environment, where they can share and ask questions freely. Finding like minded “sisters” and forming friendships is a very important element to women of all ages, and shooting is no longer only a male dominated “sport” and pursuit.   Peruse this site and I guarantee you will get a lot of useful and thought provoking information, make new friends and no longer feel alone in your quest for becoming a “a well armed woman” yourself.

Here is a link to their main website:

http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/

Carrie Lightfoot started this bold endeavor and is a helpful, friendly, approachable woman with practical experience and information to share.  She is an NRA Certified Basic Pistol and NRA Certified Personal Protection in the Home Instructor and here is a quote from her ABOUT page to give you an idea of her goal and what her site is all about:

“I’ll introduce you to the ins and outs of armed self-defense, gun ownership, gun safety, shooting skills and products for women shooters. We’ll discuss everything from permits to holsters and we’ll do it in a candid and concise manner. I created The Well Armed Woman, LLC to be a complete resource without fluff or frills for women gun owners of all ages…”

Carrie and her staff are doing just that.  In addition during the last couple of years, The Well Armed Woman has developed over 161 chapters in 41 states (as of this posting), where women can come together in their community and learn and shoot.  Check out the site and see what opportunities there are to grow in your abilities and knowledge. If there is not a chapter near you, contact them and they can help you to start a chapter right where you live.

The Well Armed Woman (TWAW)  also is a great resource for holsters and accessories designed to be comfortable and usable for women. I will be sharing my thoughts and experience on my recently purchased “Flash Bang” holster in an upcoming post.

I can’t say enough positive things about this amazing resource.  Please check it out soon if you have an interest in firearms.

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

 

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