The age old debate… Is it better to go without your firearm rather than to invest in a concealed carry handbag. Most men will say not to carry in your purse for fear of it getting stolen or you leaving it unattended somewhere. Here is what I have to say about it…
I started carrying my firearm full time because I was a traveling sales representative and drove over 3 states. When wearing pant suites, I could wear an ankle holster but trying to get to it with a steering wheel in the way was quite a feat. I am a curvy and busty woman and would wear form fitting clothing so I wouldn’t look as big as a house as my blouses would fall wide off of my chest and made me look huge. This didn’t leave me much room to conceal in my bra line or in my waist line either. As a woman too, we rarely wear the same type of clothing day after day. One day I am in a pant suit, the next I am in a sassy dress and the next I am in yoga pants. I resorted in putting my firearm in my center console and when I left my car, I would put it in my designer purse along with my sunglasses, lipstick, cell phone and all the other junk that made it’s way to the bottom of my purse. All living harmoniously in the bottomless pit of my handbag. That was until I had to pull my firearm on a man who blocked my car in and went reaching for the door handle. The barrel of my PK380 sent him running back to his car and gave me time to write down his plates and call it in. Thank God I had it in my center console and not in my purse where I would have to search through all my other junk to get to it.
This left me wondering if there was a more responsible and reasonable way to carry my firearm all the time where I could easily access it should something like this ever happen again. The current market and styles left wanting… I decided to design my own line of concealed carry handbags that had a separate holster, we call “the lock it pocket” that only has one way in and one way out and has a lockable holster so if you are at a party of some place and want to set your bag down and leave it, you can simply lock up your firearm and go on about your fun.
For me it was an obvious choice but I see a lot on social media where people (mostly men) are trying to say not to carry it in your bag. Here are my thoughts…
- I train myself to pull my firearm from the purse holsters “lock it pocket” to make sure I am able to shoot accurately and effectively.
- I have trained myself to hold my bag in a manner that makes it easy for me to access my firearm.
- I would rather risk fighting off a thief and potentially getting my bag stolen then being caught without my firearm.
- I have trained myself to be aware of my situation and have a “pre-pull stance” when I feel uncomfortable and threatened.
Bottom line, it is all about training! The concealed carry handbag is obsolete if you don’t train yourself to use it properly. Just like an on body holster, you have to be comfortable drawing from it and accurately shooting your target. I don’t think this is the only way or an end all be all to concealment. I would never think there is only one way to conceal your firearm and certainly not for women. We need choices and selection and this is just another option to add to our “goody bag” of concealment options! (Pun intended)
My story is one of a woman traveling alone, in the middle of the day, on a rural highway and came up behind an older model, slow moving pickup truck with a middle aged man driving it. I noticed after a mile or two that he was making sexual gestures in his side mirror at me. So, the next opportunity I had to pass him, I did. Should be the end of that story, right? Well unfortunately it got much worse. Now he was tailgating me down the hill coming into town and now had my whole rear-view mirror to work with. He started taking off his shirt and looked to be touching himself. I was mortified to say the least. I blew through a yellow light and turned onto a busy highway and he stopped for the red light. I pulled into a gas station not far down the road because I needed to use the restroom and wanted to get something to drink. Not the best idea, looking back. I waited with my doors locked until I saw that he had moved on and passed me up. I had parked nose in facing the convenience store and he pulled in behind me and blocked my car in. This is when I grabbed my walther pk380 and had it ready to go. He came up to my door and reached for the handle only to see me holding my gun in my hand and turning to aim at him. He just had to see the gun in my hands to send him scrambling back to his vehicle to hurry and drive away. I called in the plates to the police and it was all over with but I was on high alert for several days following.
I have told my story countless times and about 70% of the time, someone will ignorantly say to me, “if you have to pull your firearm, you must use it!” I’m sorry but these people are very WRONG! In my case, I had several things working against my being able to shoot. He was at an angle next to my vehicle that I was not able to get a clear shot. Second, there were a lot of cars and people around and if I missed I could have hurt someone else who was not involved. Also, he was not carrying any kind of weapon to assault me with. You always have to consider the aftermath of shooting someone in self defense. If all things were working together, I was prepared to shoot but my situational awareness kicked in and it was not a good option.
There are other instances of not shooting but being able to safely mediate a situation just by having your firearm in hand. I recently watched this video which started my train of thought on writing this piece. Not every situation where you are forced to pull a firearm needs to end in tragedy.
The other example I can recall is the Clackamas mall shooting in Oregon a couple years ago. This was where I grew up so it hit very close to home and I visited the mall and paid my respects to the people who lost their lives on that tragic day. It could have been much worse than it turned out though. I think it was only reported locally that the shooter ended up killing himself because he saw a man had a pistol locked on him but was unable to shoot him because of all the people around and was not comfortable taking the shot at the risk of hurting another innocent person. The media didn’t spend very long on this story because it was very close to the Sandy Hook shooting but I think it was also because it had an outcome that didn’t agree with the anti-gun narrative. This man is the hero in my book!
The moral of the story is that just because you conceal and carry a firearm, ready to go in an emergency doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train with the thought that you may only need to pull it and not fire it. Which, as many feel, is the most optimistic outcome of all. Good training equals good shooting and awareness! Just because you draw your weapon does not mean the situation is right for you to shoot. Train yourself for situational awareness and you too will be well prepared!!
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