Personal Protection: It Started as an Ember

Written by: USCCA

Beth Alcazar and the GAP drill (USCCA)

Beth Alcazar and the GAP drill (USCCA)

This article was authored by Beth Alcazar and is reprinted courtesy of Concealed Carry Magazine with permission of the United States Concealed Carry Association. All other rights reserved. For more information contact

For me, this all started as an ember … just a sincere concern and a simple, cut-and-dry interest to learn more about personal protection and firearms safety. I didn’t want to feel helpless anymore. I didn’t want to be uninformed. I didn’t want to have to depend on someone else to defend myself or my three children.

But, soon, it wasn’t enough that just I knew how to do those things. It wasn’t enough that I, alone, could use a firearm safely and proficiently. It wasn’t enough that I understood and practiced situational awareness and conflict avoidance. My children needed to know all of these things. My husband and my parents needed to know. Everyone in my family needed to know … and so did all of my friends and my community. That’s why I got involved with firearms training and why I ultimately traded in the traditional classroom for the shooting range. That’s why I decided to become a competitive shooter. That’s why I joined as a co-leader of The Well Armed Woman. And that’s why I pressed for the Pacifiers & Peacemakers column on the USCCA blog.

But, soon, even those efforts weren’t enough. I wanted to be able to reach more people, anyone who would listen … and maybe even some who really didn’t want to hear what I had to share.

And that’s how the fire continued to grow and burn into a passion — a mission — as I realized it wasn’t enough for only me and my small circle of family and friends to have this important, lifesaving information. And I knew that I wanted to do something to help ensure that others (especially women and moms like me) knew how incredibly significant our 2nd Amendment right is and why we should all be knowledgeable about and responsible with firearms.

In many ways, that tiny spark from long ago is how I got right here to this issue of Concealed Carry Magazine. Of course, I’ve been lucky enough to fill a few pages of this outstanding publication here and there over the last few years. But — and maybe you knew this was coming — pretty soon even that wasn’t enough!

So now I’m honored, grateful and beyond blessed to be able to present to you a lot of hard work, effort and great ideas from an amazing team of people. This January 2017 issue officially marks our very first women’s section, a new quarterly addition that will feature women-centric content, columns, articles and departments. Our overriding goals are to present relevant and relatable information to the fastest-growing demographic in the firearms industry, to provide an informative and welcoming place for building a stronger voice within the USCCA community and to empower women to take control of their own — and their family’s — safety.

I sincerely hope that Concealed Carry Women’s Magazine helps you and reaches you where you are on your journey into firearms training, personal protection, safety and concealed carry. And I hope that it encourages you to keep learning and keep carrying. After all, as I love to say: We are worth protecting.


Joining the USCCA will get you a subscription to Concealed Carry Magazine plus access to all of the archives! You will also be protected by The USCCA’s Self Defense Shield, which is the self-defense insurance endorsed by AWwBA.

Click the button below to go to our home page for NRA Women TV, photo and story submissions and more!

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