"When Women Carry" by Jessica Denis
When Women Carry
Imagine you hear footsteps creeping up behind you as you step toward 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 for many women.
Now imagine instead the same situation, but 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 in 2015. 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. Eleven states don’t require a permit to carry, but 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 carry it.
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, a 9mm Glock. It is heavy and bulky; you can feel the power in the weapon as soon as the metal hits your hand. Semiautomatic handguns require the clunky “chick-chick” sound as they are loaded. Depending on the weapon, this 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 holds only five 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, Ariz. This is an eight-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 firearm.
Once a woman has taken a concealed carry permit safety course, 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 weapon and carefully considering the decision 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 many 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 odor but with an added 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 a weapon and choosing where and how to carry, most women feel a peace of mind, according to Paul Parks, an instructor at Diamondback. The confidence is instilled; women who carry know what they need to do if they are ever in a situation where they have to use their weapon.
With the ease of training available and the laws in Arizona and many other states 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.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. This article was reprinted from Western Journalism with the permission of the author Jessica Denis.