Oct122009

32 Comments

My first day of concealed carry

survival-mom-button-moreI fired a gun for the first time in my life in October, 2008.  I remember it clearly because the Paranoid Dad and I had a child-free day and were cruising around looking for trouble something to do.  I said, “Why don’t we go to a shooting range?”  Yes, those words actually came out of my mouth.  Before I knew it, I was holding a .22 pistol in my shaking hands, facing a paper target, closing my eyes, and pulling the trigger.

It wasn’t so bad.

I had fun.

A few months later, I qualified for a Concealed Carry permit and four days ago, for the first time ever, I carried a loaded firearm on my person.  Before I go into excruciating detail about my First Day, let me explain why I decided to get a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit in the first place. 

As a mom, I have always known I would die for my children.  I’d jump in front of a bullet.  I’d cover them with my body in a ditch by the side of the road, protecting them from an oncoming F5 tornado.  I think most moms feel the same way.  That’s the way a mom’s brain and heart work. 

One day last year, though, the thought occurred to me, “If I would die for my kids, wouldn’t it be better if I would kill for them?”  (Not, kill them.  Kill to protect them.  Big difference.)  Since I homeschool and the kids and I are together all the time, just the three of us, there are times when we do our studies in parts of town that may not be so safe.  When we’re out bicycling, the trail takes us through isolated areas where it would be easy for a Mean Person to threaten and even hurt us.  I would never forgive myself if I couldn’t protect my children.

Once I crossed that line between shooter and non-shooter, our entire family jumped into the World of Guns whole-heartedly.  The two kids learned to shoot .22 rifles.  For the first few months, my son would just joyfully pull the trigger until the magazine was empty and then start all over.  My daughter caught on so quickly it was scary.  The Paranoid Dad was in Gun Heaven, of course, and I liked the feeling of being “sporty” without having to break a sweat.

When I felt I was ready, I signed up for the required 8-hour CCW class and passed.  On my first try.  I impressed myself.  One FBI background and fingerprint check later, I received a very cool looking ID card in the mail.  I was ready to pack heat.  But I didn’t.  Not until four days ago.  Daughter and I were headed out of town to visit friends, and I wanted to have that extra layer of protection, just in case.

My fully loaded Walther P22 fit snugly in a waistband holster and was more comfortable to wear than I thought it would be.  I was wearing a darling new shirt from Macy’s that covered the holster quite well.  No one would ever suspect that I was, “carrying.”  Of course I am the last person one would ever suspect of being a “pistol packin’ mama”, but still.  I drove through McDonald’s, “carrying.”  I pumped gas, “carrying.”  I quite liked the feeling.

I left the Walther in the Tahoe when we arrived at our friends’ home, but later as Daughter and I ate lunch at a Subway, I was suddenly aware that I didn’t have it with me.  If a crazed gunman came in, we would be unarmed and defenseless.  I packed that gun right back on my right hip as soon as I possibly could.  Whew!

Do I plan on carrying a firearm with me all the time?  No, probably not.  It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.  I’m not a young kid who thinks it’s cool.  I’m a forty-something  year-old mom who doesn’t have a rash bone in her body but wants to have a way to defend herself and her family in a life-threatening situation.  And yeah, it’s sorta cool.

As a side note, to the men who visit my blog and might consider a .22 a sissy ladies la-la gun, I do so know how to shoot larger caliber handguns!  I qualified with an awesome .357 revolver and my favorite pistol is a .40 Sig Sauer.  For carrying purposes, the .22 is a nice comfy size.

Want more information about women and handguns?  Visit my favorite gun-advice-for-women website, TheCorneredCat, and let me know what you think about this topic, even if you are convinced I have gone completely nuts!

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(32) Readers Comments

  1. Congratulations! I would like to do the same. I understand what you say about protecting your kids. Even then, how do you deal with the thought process involved with actually shooting someone you are facing eye-to-eye? Like, making the decision or commitment ahead so you don't hesitate when fractions of seconds matter. Even experienced cops have trouble with this. Wouldn't want you to get hurt.

    • Liz,

      I don't think any of us knows how we will react in a high-stress situation, whether it's a confrontation with a violent person or dealing with a natural disaster. Having said that, the CCW class I took went into great detail regarding the legalities of a CCW permit and what you need to consider before using that firearm. Really, you don't ever want to let anyone know you're carrying. You have your firearm as a last, final resort in a confrontation where you fear for your life or the lives of your family. I found this on a blog, and it explains better than I could why I decided to go concealed carry.

      "I don't carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

      I don't carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

      I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

      I don't carry a gun because I'm evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

      I don't carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

      I don't carry a gun because I'm angry. I carry a gun so thatI don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

      I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

      I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

      I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

      I don't carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun becauseI love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

      "Police Protection" is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves. Police do not protect you from crime; they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess. Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take an ass whoopin'.

      • I don't have any problem with protecting oneself or family. I'm just concerned with adequate "mental preparation" to carry it out. I think there is more to it than having the means. Assessment and preparation are very important; that goes way past handling the weapon. Do you ever read Chief Ayoob at Backwoods Home Magazine?

        A lawyer told my dad a long time ago (in the face of civil unrest), to shoot them coming in the door and drag the body inside over the threshold just to make sure!! Well . . . . . . .

        Take good care of yourself. I know you aim to. All the best . . . .Liz

      • I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy. :)

  2. Why wouldn't you carry in all places and times that you can do so legally? Do you only wear your seat belt when you think you will need it :) Do not let it dominate your life just carry it like you would a pair of fingernail clippers, to do a job when you need it done.

    One last item make sure to practice shooting from your hip as this may be important in a real world encounter. Read up on the Tueller Drill as well as the normal distance a handgun engagement occurs and I think your eyes will be opened as to how much time and at what distance you might need to deploy your handgun.

    Best wishes!

  3. Hey, thanks for hanging out on my blog tonight! :o) My thoughts about carrying all the time vs. occasionally is that it might depend on where I'm going and what I'll be doing. Also, as a girl (!), what I'll be wearing. I tried wearing that holster yesterday with some sweat-style pants and it just wasn't happening. It kept pulling down the right side of the waistband, and then the cotton knit top I was wearing clearly showed a, "gun bulge." So, I'm going to keep working on it. I did carry last night when husband and I went out on a date. I never told him I was carrying. hmmmm… I wonder if he ever figured it out. Shooting from the hip sounds pretty intimidating, but I will give it a try.

    Lisa

  4. Welcome to the CCW club!

    In all seriousness "with great power comes great responsibility". It's wonderful to see more and more Americans exercising their rights.

    My carries: Glock 22 (.40 Caliber) and Walther PPK (.380 ACP)

    - Erich

  5. Lisa, interesting post. Let me refer your readers to a TRUE story, below is a link to the article. This happened less than one month ago! It's a true story of how a handgun could have saved the life of 2 people. Because the victim DID NOT have a handgun, someone died. The perpetrator died. And as strange as that may seem, for those who think that perpetrators deserve a chance, put a gun in the hands of the victim! Seriously….read this article, you will know that I'm talking about.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns

    I also just did a podcast on this very subject, http://www.handgunworld.com

    Guns SAVE lives more than they take them. In Florida, after allowing concealed carry, alligators now kill more people than do CCW permit holders!

  6. Congratulations on your first time out carrying a firearm as a law-abiding citizen! I started to write up a comment, and then realized it might be a little too long for here, and took the liberty of posting my response over at my webpage: http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2009/10/worth_what_… .

    In short, though, thanks for writing this up, and congratulations again!

  7. Great post! You certainly get the idea that is sadly lost on many women, that personal defense is a VERY feminist and maternal issue. Also remember that not only can a gun directly protect your children, it can indirectly protect their Mommy so she can come home to them safe and sound.

    You're doing a good thing!

    FYI I carry a S&W1911Sc and a S&W642. My wife carries a S&W638 (We like our Smith and Wessons here in Massachusetts!)

  8. Jade, your comment shows just how deeply ingrained anti-gun beliefs have become. Studies that make claims such as yours have been debunked because they used faulty data and premises. In one instance, a report failed to mention that the victims and perpetrators involved included rival gang members, drug dealers, abusive spouses and so on. Don't you think a fact like that would be pertinent to the conclusions? Unfortunately, the whole picture doesn't make for the type of headlines that attract readers. I mean, what is shocking about one gang member shooting another? For the complete story, you can read Reply

  9. Jade, your comment shows just how deeply ingrained anti-gun beliefs have become. Studies that make claims such as yours have been debunked because they used faulty data and premises. In one instance, a report failed to mention that the victims and perpetrators involved included rival gang members, drug dealers, abusive spouses and so on. Don't you think a fact like that would be pertinent to the conclusions? Unfortunately, the whole picture doesn't make for the type of headlines that attract readers. I mean, what is shocking about one gang member shooting another? For the complete story, you can read Reply

  10. Ha! My blog has attracted its' first troll. Gotcha, JadeGold! Your two follow up comments left me scratching my head. You didn't have anything of substance to back up your arguments and chose not to address mine.

    Now go crawl back under that slimy underworld from whence you came.

    http://www.whoisjadegold.blogspot.com/

  11. Hi MOM, Congradulations, and welcome to the dark side.{ That’s how the Liberals view us } I am a Nam vet with the Marines and a retired correctional officer. I’ve CARRIED for years. One of my carry guns is a Beretta 21. A very nice little .22 pistol. I also carry a spare magazine, usually in my off side pocket. I never feel under gunned with this Mouse Gun. Mainly because I shoot in very well in it’s given limitations. You should never feel that way either. My wife was an anti-gun person when I met her years ago. Several years after we married and two weeks after she learned she was pregnant with our first child she said { in almost the same exact words } the same thing you said. She was a rather unusual sight the day she went to shoot to qualify. You don’t see too many woman at a range that are 7 months pregnant. She was fond of the little Beretta. I had to buy one for her too.

    • Hi there, Rick! Join the growing club of men who visit my blog! Thanks for the encouragement re: carrying a .22. That's still what I carry, although I've been trying out some small .357 revolvers. I hope you'll let your wife know about my blog!

      Lisa

  12. I "carry" a Walther PPS, and on my "first carry" I went to the fabric store.

    Largely ignored by every woman in the place I got some SERIOUS attention from the two gentlemen who were in there carrying bolts of fabric for their wives that Sunday.

    My shirt was not terribly big, but there was a small imprint that did not follow the "curves" perhaps they were expecting. The women probably just thought it was a fanny bag or something. Women carry stuff like pack mules all the time, so it was not a big deal to them.

    Hunky Husband was all atingle when I got home, jumping around me like a puppy, "How'ditgo, How'ditgo????

    I had the same attitude you did, if I would DIE for my children , why not KILL for them. Nothing was ever simpler.

    Think I'll apply to The Mossad. They LOVE women recruits. Steely nerves, lioness instincts, and low blood pressure.

    • Jane, you are too funny! At first, I thought I'd carry my Walther in my purse but had second thoughts when I observed how often that purse is out of my control and how often the kids dig through it looking for gum. Since I've decided to use a holster, it's definitely a challenge to wear the right outfit. I've lost a few pounds and now that some of my tops are larger on me, they conceal better.

      Can you imagine carrying and wearing a dress? If you needed your gun, you'd have to shimmy your hand up your leg all the way to your waist. Yikes. LOL

      I'm reading Daniel Silva books right now, and his main character is a Mossad agent who is also an art restorer. Fascinating reading. Oh, this character uses a .22 as his weapon of choice. I need to do some more research on why a professional assassin would choose a .22. Can one of my readers help me out?

      • There are some fantastic concealed carry purses out there. I have one that I love. The gun is in a seperate section with a holster that holds it in place. This section has a locking zipper. Love it! Check them out.

        • Hi Christine! I've seen those purses at our shooting range, and they really look quite nice. The ONLY reason I haven't gone that route is because I am not always 100% in control of where my purse is. It could be in a shopping cart, sitting by my feet at a restaurant, any number of places, and I can't guarantee that I will ALWAYS be in complete control of my gun when it's in my purse. That's just me. On the other hand, it's a bit of a challenge to find clothes that completely conceal my firearm, which is one reason, at this point, why I carry something on the smaller side. It would probably be smart to have a purse as an option, though. I wonder if it's too late to drop a hint to Santa?? :o)

  13. I'll bet more women would carry if they knew it would help them lose weight!

    I believe the theory on hitmen carryiing .22s has to do with their efficacy in head shots, supposedly favored by hitmen. Have no idea whether it's true that hitmen favor .22s or whether it's true that this is the reason. Pretty sure there's no polling data of hitmen on the subject.

    • Annie, I did some research on the use of .22s, because the main character in my favorite Daniel Silva books is a Mossad assassin, and he uses a .22! Apparently, this caliber is preferred by assassins worldwide, LOL, because it's a small gun, quiet, and deadly. In no way is my marksmanship anywhere near that of a professional, but there's no law that says you can only shoot at the bad guy once! I would imagine that several hits from a .22 would, at the very least, seriously slow someone down and ruin their day!

  14. Thank you so much! This is very helpful piece indeed. My husband and I have been thinking about getting me carrying a gun for awhile but haven't done anything about it yet. Coming across your blog really motivates us. Thanks again!
    A texan mom

    • Thanks so much for finding my blog! As far as concealed carry goes, just be sure to practice, practice, practice, and take multiple classes. Typical bad guys don't do either, and that's an advantage we have over them.

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  16. I found your article while surfing the net trying to find something on carrying safely, especially with children in tow. I have been cornered in Toys R Us twice in a year by some guy grunting , shoving a flyer in my hand about raising money for the deaf, and WAY TOO CLOSE TO MY KIDS! I am tired of not being able to buy my kid a globe without feeling like a walking target. Thank You for your story.

  17. Great article and glad to see that you took the biggest step of all in acquiring the ccw permit. It is not the easiest of decisions for many to make but once you do it is a very liberating feeling to know that you can protect your kids and yourself if need be. I was once ordered by a gun wielding crazed man in a corvette in Houston, Tx at a grocery store parking lot to "GET IN THE CAR"!! I didn't and yelled back as loud as I could that he would just have to shoot me which in turn got the attention of several people in the parking lot. He sped off but I decided then as a young pregnant soon to be mom that I would not be left with no way to defend myself again.

  18. I carry a Kimber .45 in an awesome and very comfortable and very easily concealable outside the waistband holster made by http://www.ubgholsters.com it is called the regulator. I have several other holsters but this is my favorite along with my http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPT3.asp?ProductID=2… I have a glock 36 that I carry in the galco holster as I had the glock before I purchased the Kimber but am planning on buying the miami classic for my Kimber as well. Both holster systems are awesome and comfortable as well as a snap to get to my weapon if need be.

  19. On the training issue, get as much and as often as you can. It is important that your weapon be something that if it is needed than you will be able to grab for it without second thought. Meaning that it has to become second nature to you in order for you to be effective and efficient with it in a time of stress. You want to be able to focus and defend yourself without losing site of your possible attacker/threat because you didn't train enough and are now fumbling for your weapon and at the same time trying to remember how to use it!

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  21. So glad I found you so easily tonight. I decided to get my permit to carry after the CT shootings. Then it dawned on me, you actually have to carry a gun on you, not just get the permit, for protection. Then I got nervous. I now want to take classes like you so I will be more comfortable caring a gun. I can shoot , learned from my paranoid husband, but if I am going to use it correctly, kill the threat, then I need to be serious and get formal training. I look forward to checking out your website, thank you!

  22. I just stumbled upon your blog while doing a gun-related Google search. I have had a permit to carry for nearly three years and purchased my first handgun shortly before obtaining my permit; however, I have never carried. The responsibility of carrying is intimidating to me, but your blog post has given me some new things to consider. Thanks for sharing your point of view! :)

  23. Pingback: A Mother’s CCW Journey | The CCW Journey - Semper Portate

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