Women and Concealed Weapons

12/31/2016 08:45 am ET
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More than 1600 women per year, in the United States lose their lives to violence. That averages to four women per day across the nation according to the Violence Policy Center.

Imagine you hear footsteps are creeping up behind you as you step towards your car. You reach for your car keys but you aren’t quick enough. You can feel someone’s presence behind you, his breath close enough to feel on your neck. It’s too late. He violently attacks you and leaves you bleeding and holding on for life. It is a scary image of course, but it is also a reality.

Instead, imagine the same situation and instead of your keys, you are reaching for your concealed weapon. Instead of him grabbing you, you turn with confidence knowing you are now in control of the situation. Your life is in your own hands and not his.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, more than 14.5 million concealed handgun permits were issued in the United States. These people have made the conscious decision to keep their safety in their own hands. Not just by purchasing a weapon, but by gaining the proper training needed to obtain their concealed carry permit. There are 11 States nationwide who don’t require a permit to carry, however that doesn’t deter residents from getting the appropriate training. This training will make the woman more confident with the weapon, and not be afraid to actually carry it. The National Institute for Justice states that a violent attack is 80% less successful when a woman is armed.

The need for training goes hand in hand with the need to carry. Guns can cause an immediate reaction as soon as a person picks one up. Especially to those who have never handled a weapon before. Take for instance the Glock 9. It is heavy to begin. It is bulky; you can feel the power in the weapon as soon as the metal hits your hand. Semi-Automatic handguns require the clunky “Chick-Chick” sound as they are loaded. Depending on the weapon this action can also be an awkward and heavy across the body action. However, the hammerless .38 special won’t have that same feeling. The grip is much more framed for the hand. Also, it is very much what you see is what you get. It only holds 5 rounds, and once the safety is released on the side, it is ready to fire with no other action besides a hard pull on the trigger.

The best thing a woman can do prior to obtaining a self-defense weapon is to get trained. I personally took the CCW Permit training class with Diamondback Shooting Sports in Tucson, AZ. This class is an 8 hour class that teaches only the laws behind carrying a concealed weapon. This information alone has opened my mind to the responsibility required when you carry a weapon. Once a woman has taken the Concealed Carry Permit Safety course, then she should begin looking for the weapon she will carry and how to carry. Just like shopping for anything, it takes feeling the gun in your hand, firing the gun, and careful decision making before a purchase should be made. The next decision of course, is how and where she chooses to carry depending on her comfort level. Again, there are many options from carrying in a purse to different types of holsters for every part of the body.

Like other women, I used to be afraid of guns. Then I went through an experience that scared me. Living alone didn’t help. I felt myself being afraid to walk from my car to my home. I felt myself watching over my shoulder knowing there wasn’t anything I could do if I were attacked anyway. I was being held hostage by my own inner battles. Then I started shooting. The smell of a spent casing is one you will never forget. If you have ever been close enough to smell a fireworks explosion, imagine that smell-the pungent smokey smell, but add a bit of the chemical smell that hits the back of your throat as soon as you inhale, mixed in with the smell of hot metal. It’s a smell you can taste.

After receiving the proper training, purchasing the weapon, and choosing where and how to carry, a peace of mind is felt by the majority of women, according to Paul Parks, instructor of Diamondback Training. The confidence is instilled and women who carry know what they need to do if they are ever in the situation to have to use their weapon.

With the ease of training available, and the current laws here in Arizona being such that you can defend yourself if necessary there really is no reason for women to have to feel susceptible to an attack. Don’t be a victim or a statistic. Choose instead to take your own safety into your own hands. After all, no one is going to take care of you but you.

#LoveYourselfFirst #LoveYourselfMore

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