Posts Tagged ‘concealed carry’


Carrie Lightfoot on Training: There Are Real Differences Between Men and Women

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Concealed Carry Magazine

Concealed Carry Magazine (USCCA.com)

This article was authored by Carrie Lightfoot (The Well Armed Woman) 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 www.uscca.com.

IT’S COMPLICATED. It’s complex. It’s convoluted. Perhaps it’s even potentially treacherous territory. Throughout history, men have risked everything to try to unravel its mysteries. Yet, we are going to try to unravel the beautiful and intricate tapestry that is woman.

We all know that women are different. Yes, there are the obvious physical differences such as the lumps and bumps not found on the male body, weaker upper body strength and wider hips, but there are additional and profound differences that make the task of meeting the needs of women shooters a challenge for the firearms industry. To make it even more complicated, there are many sub-groups of women — each, of course, very different from the others.

It’s complex, I know. But that’s part of the glorious mystery, right? Men have been trying to figure out the female gender since the dawn of time and likely will continue to do so until the end of it. So, how does this apply to guns, gear and firearms training? And what can the industry do to meet the needs of this complex group of gun owners?

To fully address the needs of this multifaceted market group, it will be helpful to look at it like an onion, a piece of cake or maybe even a parfait. Women have layers! (And, yes, Shrek is my favorite movie.)

Women depend on discussion and conversation with others to process new information and to work through learning and decision-making processes. It’s important that we connect new information to a personal — and perhaps even emotional — need. This assists us in fully understanding why something is important and allows us to effectively apply what is learned.

“JUST AS NO TWO WOMEN ARE ALIKE, NEITHER ARE THEIR PREFERENCES. ”

We see this lived out at The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) Shooting Chapter meetings across the country. As women come together to learn and grow as their own self-protectors, they fellowship with one another as they process new self-defense techniques, try new firearms, explore concealed carry holsters and train in new shooting skills. They do so as a community: talking, asking questions and sharing the experience throughout the process. In this environment, this need is met, and I believe it is one of the reasons our TWAW program is so successful.

Women prefer to receive information in a linear, step-by-step format with the purpose clearly defined: a path, if you will, that they can confidently follow toward success. They enjoy “to-do” lists and like to see tasks laid out before them — visually and literally. This is important, as women are often perfectionists. Not only do they want to do things well, they want those things done in a particular way — the right way!

When it comes to training in the use and carrying of a firearm, this is a critical need to meet. Without it, the sense of being overwhelmed, confused and intimidated can hinder her success and even stop her as she crosses the threshold of the range.

For a large majority of women, the journey on the road to self-protection with a gun is one frought with a high level of caution and perhaps fear. It is truly foreign territory to them, so we must work to pave the road with clear and attainable skill steps that they can see, touch and demonstrate as they progress through the learning process. This is serious business to them, as they want to fully grasp and master the skills and equipment necessary for them to safely shoot and carry.

Being such highly intuitive and emotional beings, women can be highly sensitive to criticism and comparison. I believe that women are bombarded by society with messaging from multiple directions: advertising, the entertainment industry and, sadly, even people close to them who tell them what they are supposed to be, supposed to look like and supposed to act like. This constant barrage can inflict a lack of self-confidence.

I know this isn’t true for all women, but I think this assault on confidence is a scourge that binds some of us to an endless internal struggle for self-esteem. We can be tempted to compare ourselves to what and who we see and to be honest, we don’t need any additional critique or comparisons from instructors or marketing campaigns. Likely, we will be turned off and seek positive reinforcement elsewhere. Encouragement, not criticism, is the pathway to empowering women.

Do you see why it is so important for the firearms industry to understand women in order to effectively speak to them and successfully meet their needs? If we genuinely want to provide for and market to women, the industry and shooting community must acknowledge and understand these complexities and strive to meet the needs of this unique group by designing products for them, knowing how to market to them and training them effectively.

Now, I realize this is a tall order, especially for an industry that has primarily been meeting the needs of men since its inception. But it’s a different world now, and some of the traditional methods of reaching this demographic don’t speak effectively to women. Although men are still the larger “target demo” and the industry naturally centers much of its efforts and resources on that market, let’s look at how the industry can best work to reach the millions of “complicated” female gun owners.

WOMEN LIKE VARIETY

Just as no two women are alike, neither are their preferences. There is no “best gun” for a woman, nor is there one concealed carry option that works best for all women. So offer a variety of products, options and colors for women to choose from. Variety offers women the opportunity to evaluate a number of options to find the perfect fit.

WOMEN RELATE TO INFORMATION

Women don’t just read or watch information; they relate to it. So it is important to provide information in an assortment of platforms and approaches. These might include written articles, testimonies, stories, videos, podcasts and discussions. Provide them with information they can relate to that includes real people with real-life experiences and stories.

Women are storytellers. They relate to faces and stories to find ways to understand how something fits into their own individual lives. This kind of connection encourages women to tap into “why I need this” and “why it is important to me.”

»Did You Know?

Women are directly responsible or have significant influence in more than 50 percent of a household’s buying decisions.

I incorporate a variety of mediums on The Well Armed Woman website to be a useful and comprehensive resource for all women shooters exactly for this reason. You will find articles, videos, testimonies, survival stories, a weekly podcast, a women’s gun forum and even gun reviews written by regular, everyday women who share their likes, dislikes and personal experiences with guns. It’s all in the effort to satisfy the hunger for information and resources female shooters need and want.

WOMEN PREFER PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE ADJUSTED

The ability to adjust and custom-fit products to their unique shapes, lifestyles and needs is important to women. It is extremely important to be able to tweak, tighten, loosen or adjust for the perfect fit. Firearms with multiple backstraps and grip panels that can be interchanged to find the perfect fit are a great example of this. Holsters with ride height and cant adjustments help each woman find what works with her body to effectively carry concealed.

WOMEN LIKE TO PERSONALIZE

This preference to personalize gear is highly misunderstood in the firearms industry. It isn’t silly, nor does it reflect a casual attitude toward firearms or safety. Style is an important part of a woman’s world. Whether it is her home, her body, her clothing or her office, she wants to make everything around her appealing and uniquely hers.

Keep in mind that for many women, the owning and carrying of a firearm is a foreign experience, and it can be the act of personalization that helps them accept new pieces of equipment into their personal worlds. The use of colored firearms coatings, colored grips or even rhinestone-studded holsters are all examples of ways women personalize their concealed carry guns and gear.

WOMEN WANT RESPECT

Just the simple act of acknowledging a woman’s uniqueness communicates great respect. Understanding her need for information and her different style of communicating — and then providing the information she needs in a respectful manner — allows her to make her own best decisions.

Women don’t need to be told what to do; they just need to know what they need to know. Communicate respect by offering her the information she needs and then allowing her to make her own decisions.

WOMEN ARE CAPABLE PROTECTORS And lastly, for a woman, the carrying of a firearm to protect herself and her family isn’t about being sexy; it’s about being a capable self-protector. Women need information, training and gear that help them accomplish this, and it must be marketed and delivered as such.

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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.

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




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Training: Protecting Your Head in a Close Quarters Fight [Video]

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Kevin Michalowski: fighting in close quarters (USCCA)

Kevin Michalowski: fighting in close quarters (USCCA)

Some of the best free training you can get comes from the United States Concealed Carry Association. Kevin Michalowski’s “Into the Fray” pieces always have a solid focus and some great advice. This time, it’s protecting your head and neck area in close quarters fighting.
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Liberty Doll: Reciprocity, Marijuana and the Second Amendment [Video]

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Liberty Doll

Liberty Doll

Recreational (and medicinal) marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states. So, what does the law say about your ability to buy a gun if you’re using pot legally?
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Concealed Firearms License Holders: Are They More Law-abiding than Police?

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

holsteredguns

By Chris Wagoner: I want to take a few minutes to ask you, you the liberal, anti-firearm, anti-citizen self-defense, pro law enforcement people out there: “do you trust law enforcement to protect you and your family from most threats?” I hope the answer would be yes. The vast majority of law enforcement officers are average Joes…
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Granny’s Got a Gun: More Moms and Grandmas are Packing Heat

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Concealed Carry Magazine (USCCA)

Concealed Carry Magazine (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 www.uscca.com.

»I RECENTLY ATTENDED A Girl and a Gun meeting at the Range of Richfield in Wisconsin and struck up a conversation with a woman who was watching the shooters through the window. She had on shooting glasses, so I assumed she was there to join in with the others who were trying out AR-15s. But she mentioned that some medical issues were keeping her from pulling a long gun to her shoulder. And then she chuckled and added that her doctor really didn’t know she was shooting firearms at all.

Nancy Reisner, 61, sporting a fleece top, blue jeans and a sweet smile, might look like someone’s grandmother — and she is — but this granny is packing. And she’s not alone. As the number of women in the industry skyrockets, it’s only natural that more moms and grandmothers are part of that growth. In fact, according to the NRA, an increasing number of guns are being purchased by senior citizens, with a noteworthy 400 percent increase since 2010 in the number of seniors taking a basic firearms course.

But being a grandparent with a gun can offer its own set of unique challenges and perspectives. And I was intrigued and interested in talking with Nancy about her thoughts on this matter. So I spent the next 30 minutes picking her brain about this very special segment of female shooters.

FOR INDEPENDENCE

Nancy shared that she has had her concealed carry permit for the last five years. And she’s not the only one in her family who knows how to use a firearm. Her son and two grandsons love to hunt and love to shoot.

“My grandkids could probably protect me,” she said. “They are very safe and talented with shooting.”

But Nancy is not one to sit back and depend on family members to take care of her.

“I feel that it’s my responsibility to take care of myself,” she said. “I am married, but I am alone a lot. I travel around by myself frequently, and I’d like to be able to keep doing that. And the only way I feel I can continue to enjoy that and do it with confidence is to carry a firearm. There’s a big responsibility (for firearms ownership), and I acknowledge that, and I take every step I can to be a responsible gun owner and shooter. But I think that all of the preparation is well worth it to be able to take care of myself.”

Being able to retain independence is a significant objective for most seniors, but for this grandmother and many others, that enduring sense of self-reliance does sometimes clash with various physical challenges and limitations. And Nancy’s own conditions have changed the way she lives her life, the way she chooses to carry and even which gun she elects to use.

“I carry a Ruger LCR .22,” she explained. “And selecting (that revolver) was actually a matter of excluding the other types of guns that I could not physically manage anymore. I was having trouble with the semi-automatics, which was a real shame because I had to give up my semi-automatic pistol. Racking the slide and loading the magazine — and everything — was just getting difficult. I have a lot of problems with my fingers, wrists and hands. Plus, I was worried about the gun jamming and me not being able to clear it. But I have never had an issue with the revolver.”

Nancy also chose her LCR because she felt like she could use it safely and efficiently. “I have a lot of control over the .22,” she said. “And even though I know it’s a small caliber, at least I know I can use it. With some of my muscle problems, if I go to my 9mm or .45, it puts me on the floor. And I’ve realized that you really have to find what works best for you, train with it and carry it all the time.”

Some joint problems and other medical issues also influenced Nancy in how and where she carries her firearm concealed. Nowadays, her holster of choice is the Sticky Holster. She purchased it at a convention, and it quickly became her go-to holster. Nancy also discovered that the easiest way for her to safely access and draw her firearm is to put the holstered gun in the left front pocket of her jeans.

“(My gun) is right here,” she explained as she patted her side. “It doesn’t take more than half a second to grab it. I can also conceal it easily with a top I wear on the outside of my jeans. It’s easy, and for me, it’s the safest and most manageable place.”

FOR SAFETY

Carrying a firearm is not just about prolonging a feeling of self-reliance, it’s also about providing an opportunity for self-defense. And just like many other firearms owners, Nancy realizes that a gun can often mean the difference between being victimized or being victorious.

“I have a lot of chronic diseases, and a lot of those affect the way I can physically handle myself,” she explained. “Even going out, just to the grocery store, parking in my disabled parking spot, I look at myself as probably being the ideal target for someone who wants to grab my purse or grab me or take my car. And I could feel like I am totally at risk and have anxiety about going out and just buying some milk. Or I can have my carry gun and feel confident about wherever I go.”

Nancy’s thoughts are not irrational or out of place. There have been rising reports of older people being targeted and attacked, whether they’re out and about or even in their own homes. It’s a growing concern, and members of this age bracket are seeking out ways to build a sense of personal security and safety. It’s perfectly fine to have a community of family and friends on which to depend. Seniors can also install alarm systems, buy pepper spray and even own dogs. But these methods don’t always work (and, in the case of pepper spray, aren’t always even safe options). And law enforcement can’t protect everyone all the time. Fortunately, with a firearm — the “great equalizer” — grandparents can have that extra tool, that extra layer of protection.

Of course, Nancy clarified that she’s not careless about when or where she travels or how she lives her life.

“I use good situational awareness wherever I go,” she said. “At the same time, I think that my age and my situation give me the surprise factor. People aren’t expecting me to be carrying a weapon. That can give me the upper hand in protecting myself. While I might be the person the bad guys are looking for to take advantage of, they don’t realize that I’m ready to take advantage of them if I have to.”

FOR LIFE

I asked Nancy if she had any advice for others who are currently in or approaching her stage of life. “I would tell other ladies like me not to live their lives in fear,” she said. “There is a way around that. And the last part of your life can be just as fun as the first part. The world has really changed a lot, and I think we can remember when it was not so bad. It was a wonderful place, and you didn’t really have to think about all of this. But you can still go out into the world and try new things and do new things and not be afraid.

“And don’t be afraid to try firearms. It’s our right. But I also think it’s our responsibility. And I think it’s the logical solution for just about everyone these days. I know that I am not going to be the victim. Not ever.”

Nancy also encourages all firearms owners to be responsible, which, in her definition, requires a lot of education and a lot of range time.

“Also, I have been a member of the USCCA since I got my permit,” she said. “I don’t carry my gun without my membership card because I know that having support and advice on what to do and what not to do could save me a lot of problems, including jail time and financial heartache. If I have to use my firearm (for protection), I won’t be dead, which is the whole point, but I understand that my life will never be the same again. And I need to have as many people as possible watching my back.

“So I look for opportunities to train. I have insurance from people I trust. I stay current on what’s happening, and I continue to stay excited about all of this.”

For other grandmothers, nanas, memaws or gigis, Nancy shows that owning and training with a firearm for your own personal protection is not that far out of reach. It’s a decision you can make carefully and responsibly, and it’s a resolution you can make for your loved ones … and for your life.

USCCALogo_welcome

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.

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




Join the NRA Eagle

Howard Stern: ‘I Support’ Trump Plan for Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Howard Stern (Facebook)

Howard Stern (Facebook)

Radio host Howard Stern has come out in support of President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for concealed carry permit reciprocity in all 50 states. “When you think about it, if somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner, let’s say in Massachusetts, why when he crosses the border is he suddenly an outlaw?” Mr. Stern asked during…
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Liberty Doll: ‘Why I Carry a Gun’ [Video]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Liberty Doll

Liberty Doll

The government of Massachusetts hates guns. In fact, in July, the state’s attorney general, Maura Healey, arbitrarily decided to add to the list of already banned guns. How? By making firearms that were SIMILAR to those that were previously banned, illegal. Stupid as it sounds, and it is stupid, it’s true. You can read it here.
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Pennsylvania: How to Get a License to Carry a Concealed Firearm

Monday, October 24th, 2016

assetcontent

Navigating government bureaucracy can be intimidating for the uninitiated. So the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department wants to help you. Two sheriff’s deputies will give a public presentation on Thursday, Oct. 27, on how to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. It will be the sixth such presentation in the past year and the first…
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Fashion World Finally Catches on to the Pistol-Packing Woman

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

No Ordinary Range Bag

No Ordinary Range Bag (OffhandGear.com)

Dawn Dolpp isn’t a slave to fashion, preferring function over form. Which is why she used to secure her handgun in her purse with a Velcro strip as recently as 10 years ago. Today, Mrs. Dolpp and other gun-toting women like her don’t have to resort to homemade craft projects to provide themselves with holsters and…
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Gun Ownership, Concealed-Carry Permits up Among Women and Minorities

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guns and women

Guns and women

By Fred Lucas / The Daily Signal Antonia Okafor, a Dallas resident, says she believes a gun can be the great equalizer for women to defend themselves-one reason she is now the southwest regional director for a group called Students for Campus Carry. State laws allowing residents to carry concealed weapons have been enacted in all…
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