Posts Tagged ‘woman’


* June 2014 Update: I still this question every so often, so I figured a repost of last year’s post was in order. Enjoy and please share.

This question was put before me multiple times Friday. As the only lady on staff, full-time, at Autrey’s, I get a lot of questions from men about the right gun for their wife/girlfriend/mom/etc… “How to get my wife to carry ?”was a new question for me. The best I could tell them was to have their wife explore websites dedicated to women and self-defense; such as The Well Armed Woman, Mothers Arms or Cornered Cat. As I am able to easily open carry nearly everyday, the question made me curious. What are the reasons women do not carry as often as the men would like? As most of us do today, I took to the internet to find my answers. I explored the previously mentioned websites, forums on carrying and various articles. I concluded that woman do not carry for a number of reasons.

1. Inconvenience

2. Discomfort

3. Insecurity with the firearm

4. False security in the environment

5. Perceived inability to take a life

(If you know of other reasons, please let me know in the comments below.)


From what I’ve read, this seems to be the main reason women do not carry more. With women’s fashion being what it is, it is a challenge to daily wear a gun. Women have to get creative in order to wear a gun daily. It is difficult but not impossible to dress fashionably and carry. Take a look at TheWellArmedWoman  and TheCorneredCat  for some good tips in overcoming this obstacle.


Highly related to the earlier issue, many women find daily carry uncomfortable.  Clint Smith said, “Carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be a comfort.” This is true, however, I do believe it is possible to find ways to carry that is comfortable. Many manufacturers have developed carry options designed specifically for women’s bodies. TheWellArmedWoman is one website that sells many of these carry options and has video reviews of a number of them.

A woman may also dislike the gun she has. For example many women will buy, or have bought for them, subcompact .380’s due to their minute size and concealability. However, as most have then discovered, they are not easy nor fun to shoot. This discourages many new shooters from practicing with their firearm. Not practicing with their firearm will lead to feeling insecure about their competency with the gun.

Insecurity with the Firearm

Frequently, a woman will not carry a gun because she is not confident she can handle it if the need arises. This is a legitimate concern that we should not take lightly. A great solution to these concerns is to take advantage of one of many gun courses available. If you prefer a local class we offer Ladies Only Classes at our store or there are national organizations that offer training courses throughout the country. The NRA Women’s Programs and Babes with Bullets are two examples. Another possible solution is to find a gun that works better for you. Go to a range that has a large selection of rental guns and try as many as you can. With time and experience you will find a gun that works for you.

False Security in the Environment

Perhaps many women who don’t carry are unaware of the crime in their area or they may naïvely believe crime will never impact them personally. Historically, many of us have grown up in relative safety and security. Society has changed. We no longer live in such a safe and secure world. I will not go into the data and statistics here, since they are readily available on the web. Women are frequently picked as easy targets and guns are the great equalizer.

Perceived Inability to Take a Life

To carry a gun means you must be willing to take a life to save your life or the life of a loved one. We women must overcome any false compassion we may have toward the person threatening us and defend ourselves and our loved ones. I say false, because he/she surrendered any right to compassion when he/she decided to endanger me or my loved ones. Many women do not see themselves as capable of taking a life but I do believe more women would pull the trigger than they give themselves credit for. Massad Ayoob wrote a great article on this topic. My favorite quote is: “The lioness is often more formidable than the lion. No instinct is stronger than that of mother protecting child. There is nothing unfeminine about strength and empowerment.” I would recommend exploring his other articles on that site, especially Armed and Female and Against a Rapist.

While there are definite obstacles women must overcome to daily carry a firearm, I believe with the right equipment, training, support and encouragement women can daily protect themselves, their children and other loved ones.


Some other valuable online resources are:



Woman Being Attacked. Models Released

If you own a gun for self-defense you have probably heard the term “Situational Awareness.” I’ve heard the term for years and considered myself to be fairly aware, yet over the last week I miserably failed two tests of this supposed awareness. Thankfully, both were completely harmless but they highlighted my apparent Whiteness. (I use the term “Whiteness” referring to Jeff Cooper’s color coded awareness system. Condition White is unaware, out of touch, and unable to respond. Ouch.) I had been blissfully cruising along, deceiving myself into thinking I was aware and capable of any reaction needed, when in reality I could have been blindsided. These two interactions have prompted me to reinvestigate Situational Awareness and truly apply it to my life. As I have discovered, this is a very large, complex topic and I will spend the next few weeks covering various aspects of it. Since both of my failed tests occurred while I was standing, I decided to focus, this week, on detecting threats and maintaining awareness while on foot.

walkingandtexting-copyFirst of all, what is Situational Awareness? I define it as being cognizant of and able to describe the environment around you. Here’s a quick test: as I am writing this on Sunday night in the Bible Belt, I imagine a lot of you went to church this morning. You likely spent an hour or more looking at your pastor or song leader. Can you specifically describe what they were wearing? What color shirt was he (or she) wearing? What type of shoes did they have on? Was your pastor wearing a watch? Did they have a ring on, if so what finger? If, like I did, you suddenly realize you can’t describe in detail somebody you looked at for an hour or more, how will you be able to describe your attacker (who you’ll probably only see for seconds or a few minutes) to the police? How will you accurately size up potential threats if you are not noticing details about their clothes, jewelry, stance, and eyes? Being aware of our environment not only helps us document the facts after an incident, but also can help us avoid these incidents to begin. You are more likely to notice suspicious behavior when you are paying attention to common behavior.

So let’s get down to specifics, what do you do to maintain your awareness while shopping, getting gas, leaving work or any other pedestrian activity?

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1. Actively monitor your zones. Purposefully analyze activities from beyond 21 feet inward into your intimate zone. Do not get tunnel vision and focus solely on activities occurring up close and personal. As you identify a threat it is very easy to focus on them and thus ignore the rest of your environment. To do this is potentially detrimental to your health. You must continue monitoring the environment at large to keep from getting surprised by accomplices or other negative situations. This is the second test I failed. A well dressed lady approached me at a gas station and I focused so intently on observing and assessing her that I lost awareness of the rest of the station. I got tunnel vision and would have been blindsided if somebody had come up behind me. Thankfully, she was with Jehovah’s Witness and nothing nefarious was intended, but about halfway through our brief conversation I realized I had lost all awareness of everything but her. It was unnerving. It was similar to the feeling I got after watching Awareness Test videos on YouTube. Check out the links below. I hope you do better than I did.

n_1park2. If you need to focus in on a task, such as texting or calling, try to find an area where you can stand in a corner or at least against a wall. This minimizes your areas of vulnerability. If you must do these activities while walking, do not do them in fringe areas. Fringe areas are zones in between areas of high activity and deserted areas; such as parking garages, behind amusement park rides, or the long hallway at the back of the mall. In fact, I go through these areas with great caution. And ladies, please, please do not jog down the road with earbuds in and music blasting. I cringe every time I see that.

3. As you are walking or shopping, pay attention to the traits of the people around you. Look for signs of aggression or anxiety. Analyze people you have labeled a “non-threat” to monitor for signs of nervousness or anxiety as well. If they seem “out-of-sorts” try to figure out why. It could be they have picked up a threat you can’t see yet.

4. Listen to the sounds of the environment and be familiar with what is making the sounds. This way you will alert when something sounds wrong.

Maintaining a constant state of awareness is a lifestyle not an attitude. While it is challenging to implement, most instructors and trainers say, and I believe, it is possible for each of us to live in Condition Yellow (alert, aware and relaxed). If you have any tips, advice or suggestions on how you maintain your awareness please share them in the comments. We can all learn from each other and I need all the help I can get.

Next Week: Situational Awareness and Cars.

Other Sources: (Listen with loud speakers or headphones, audio is very quiet)

Awareness Tests: