Does This Gun Make My Ass Look Fat?
Does this gun make my ass look fat?
My wife and I both carry handguns –legally- here in Florida. She never really said the quote about the gun making her ass look fat, but she’s been thinking it. It’s a chore to get her to carry when she goes out for walks. By finding the right gun and the right holster, she’s able to protect herself if needs be and having her armed really eases my mind.
More and more women are legally carrying handguns for self protection these days. In addition to getting good shooting training and knowing the law; a gun can only keep you safe if you have it with you. Of course for women it’s always a great option to carry your handgun in your purse. The only negatives of that are having your roscoe fall out while you look for coupons at the supermarket. I’ve seen it and it does get attention! Concealed carry means exactly that – the gun must be hidden from all view or else you may be cited for disturbing the public – or worse. The other hazard is that like everything else in your purse, it’s going to fall to the bottom and get covered with chewing gum, lipstick and hard to find when you need it. Fortunately, there are many solutions to any and all problems associated with being an armed female. Carrying a gun is a responsibility as well as a right so it’s important to know all of the applicable laws (consult with your attorney) and only good training (NRA certified instructors) can aid in keeping yourself and your family safe. Having gotten the official parts out of the way let’s get to the fun; and yes, shooting can be loads of fun!
First let’s take a look at what caliber gun to buy. Almost every time I spend any time in a gun store, this conversation comes up. There will never be an end to the “bigger is better” argument. Some of those bigger guns weigh up to 3 lbs when loaded and they’re too big to conceal in anything smaller than American Tourister luggage. I’m 200 lbs and I hate carrying the big guns, they drag down my belt and show through almost anything short of a winter coat. Unlike the old days when all guns were steel and weighed at least 2 pounds; today there are multiple choices that are smaller and lighter marketed directly to and for women.
My operating principle is to get the lightest gun available. My wife and I carry a variety of guns and they’re all light enough to be put in a pocket or concealed under a T-Shirt. I have a .22 caliber automatic, a .32 caliber automatic and a 9mm caliber automatic. Caliber refers to the diameter of the bullet a .22 caliber is 22/100ths of an inch, a .380 is 38/100ths of an inch. I also have a couple of .38 caliber snub nose revolvers, oddly enough their diameter is .357’s of an inch. The “J” frame Smith and Wesson and similar offerings from Charter arms, Rossi and others would be my recommendation to any new shooter. With a revolver, you load it with 5 or 6 (or more) rounds and when you pull the trigger it will fire every time. If there is a misfire, you just pull the trigger again and a fresh bullet will be available. There are a minimum of moving parts and no external safeties to bother with. Most new revolvers come with a key locking system to render the gun inoperable when not in use but wouldn’t be set when you’re carrying on your person. Shooting an automatic is more complicated than a revolver but offer more rounds in the gun and the option of adding more rounds via a magazine if needed. A note on that: the old FBI rule of thumb for a gunfight is 3, 3 and 3. That means within 3 yards, it’s over in 3 seconds and 3 rounds are fired. That was before guns carried 19 rounds and people shoot everything in the gun. Even so, it’s a good guideline. You don’t have to have a gun that will shoot a quarter at 25 yards, or have a gun that shoots 19 rounds. If you want to get into it that much, go ahead, it’s truly a challenge you will enjoy. Most of us only need to practice out to 20 feet or so. It’s hard to justify shooting a fleeing criminal, let alone shooting one 50 yards away when they no longer pose a threat to you.
Today, polymer (plastic) gun parts help keep the weight down to less than a pound for guns of most calibers. Many of the larger gun stores even have selections of guns that come in shades of pink and some have pink grips. Before you decide on what gun to buy, here’s a tip. The first rule of a gunfight is to bring a gun*. I tell all women (and most men) that it means getting something that is light, small and reliable! Many ‘old school’ shootists will tell you that the only real self defense guns start with a ‘4’.
They feel that anything less than a .40 or .45 caliber isn’t a true “man-stopper”. Many old timers scoff at 9mm and .38 calibers, or heaven forbid a .32 and will talk down to the women (or man) who considers these or lesser calibers. The good news is that more and more gun stores have female salespeople and trainers. A .32 may not be the best choice, but mine carries 10 shots weighs less than the magazine of my .45
Shop where you’re comfortable, this is one of those really important decisions that may affect your life. It is a crime to leave a gun where a child can get access to it. I have a collection of heartbreaking headlines of how kids have shot themselves or their friends with the gun that was supposed to keep the family safe. Gun safes, trigger locks and locked drawers are the best deterrent to a child coming across your gun. Hiding it doesn’t work. Kids snoop, its part of what they do. I’ve met cops who keep their guns under their mattresses and I’ve taken them to task on that practice. When my grandson was younger I could get away with putting my 9mm Kel Tec (11 ounces –unloaded) on a top shelf. Now that he’s 4, and climbing up on the bed, etc. I’ve locked everything securely in my safe when the kids visit. As another note, FBI statistics years ago stated that over 225,000 guns are stolen every year. Locking up your guns makes sense. I would be devastated to know that one of my guns was used to shoot a cop or a citizen. I’m sure you would be too.
OK, so you’ve got your gun, practiced with it; gotten your concealed license and you’re ready to go. What to wear, what to wear? Holster selection is an ongoing challenge. I have a box of holsters that I may or may not use again. When my wife complains, I remind her of her shoe and purse collection. Galco and many other holster supply companies have tons of holster selections and, for the ladies there are supple, comfortable and stylish purses with special partitions for your gun. They are excellent but a bit pricy. Purse carry is fine most of the time, but when it’s not, here are some other options to consider. Ankle holsters are available from many makers and are a favorite of NY cops for some reason. I’ve worn one and liked it, but it too is relegated to “the box.’ Shoulder holsters are now made with women’s shapes in mind but have to be worn with a jacket or other covering. Belt holsters go either inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB). A fanny pack screams either “Tourist” or “Gun Inside” depending on where you buy one. I’ve got a few of those in the box too and the one’s I really like are the low profile touristy types. There are also different materials to shelter your new BFF; The heavy leather of the old days is now stronger, thinner and lighter. There are ultra thin, ultra light plastic holsters like Kydex by Fobus and now many others and it adds almost no weight and no thickness to the gun and is good for concealed carry. The plastic sheets are vacuum formed to your exact model gun and come in every holster style imaginable. There are 6 million Americans legally walking around with guns, most of them in holsters of some type. Unfortunately a bad choice of a gun and a lousy holster will keep it consigned to the dresser or the top of the refrigerator. Either place isn’t going to help protect you from some attacker in the parking lot of your grocery store. The best gun in the world is the one you have on your person when trouble strikes.
* Actually if you knew there was going to be gunplay the best thing would be to stay away.
This Hub is not concerned with the never ending battle of pro-gun versus anti-gun. Obviously I’m pro-gun. I’m also pro-responsibility. I understand the stance of the people who “don’t believe in guns”, I also disagree with them. There are 250,000,000 guns in American homes. Belief or not, they exist. I don’t believe in rape, car jacking and murder. Might does make right - or wrong; it just depends on who has the might. Only when people get familiar with guns does the fear melt away. While in the Air Force I had a group of Explorer Scouts shooting M-60 and .50 caliber machine guns and they loved it. I also took a 6 year old to a shooting range because he was always talking about guns, He fired a couple of shots from a real gun (Uzi) and sort of lost interest in much of the manic behavior he had exhibited. Shooting guns is more fun than many can imagine. Plinking is a tradition passed down from father to son in many American families. If you’re still worried about the gun making your ass look fat, try vertical stripes; I’ve been told that they’re very slimming. One quick tip is to practice wearing the gun around the house for a while before venturing out. If it’s on your waist and you need to use the toilet at Wal-Mart, it’s embarrassing to ask the person in the next stall to kick the gun back to you because you forgot about it when you opened your belt!…..Eddie