"Shooting saved my life."

By The Carry Girl
on April 19, 2019

It isn’t about what we have gone through, it’s about what we learn from those experiences. I grew up in a household full of firearms, and I was taught firearms safety at a young age by my dad. I also grew up in a household with a clinically depressed, alcoholic, possibly schizophrenic mother. As a child, fear and I were close friends. I was around 7 or so when the nightly rituals started. I would fall asleep only to wake up to a drunk mother standing over my bed smiling at me. She would say things like “I know where daddy keeps the guns, and I’ll kill him before he can hurt me.” “The devil sleeps next to you at night because you’re a bad child and have to be taught a lesson.” One thing that I will never forget hearing was “One day you will come home from school to see me laying on your bedroom floor with my wrists slit open to show you what real pain is like.” Eventually, she would leave, and I would muster up enough courage to sneak into my father’s room (they did not share a bedroom) to see if he was still alive. I was so scared to tell him about any of this because I didn’t want to make her angry. 

It got a lot worse from there. She would have bad nights, grab me, throw me into the back of her car, and drive 60mph through our neighborhood drunk and screaming. I used to jump out of the car at stop signs and hide in the trees because I didn’t want to die. I remember barely breathing behind the brush. I would watch her drive back and forth looking for me, taunting me from the window of the car. There were a lot of nights that I spent at our local park.. it is honestly a miracle that something worse didn’t happen to the kid alone outside in the dark.  

I broke a coffee pot once by accident and she chased me through the house with a cast iron pan. I hid in the bathroom and the only thing I could think to do was grab the top cover from the toilet to use as a weapon if she broke the door down. 

I moved out when I was 17 and ended up dating a guy for two years who would rape and emotionally abuse me. I had to testify in court alone to get a PFA order against him when I finally left.  

The point of all of this is to say that I have experienced evil. Not once in my life have I thought that taking guns away from people would stop evil. Shooting saved my life. It gave me a purpose, and it gave me control over my life for the first time. I will carry everywhere, and every day, because a long time ago I made a promise to myself that I will never allow myself to be in a terrible situation ever again. Gun rights are everyone’s rights. The right to self defense is everyone’s right. I would love to see a world where everyone had a way to protect themselves, I would love to see a world where innocent people aren’t taken advantage of.  

Today I speak openly in the firearms community about mental health, rape, and domestic violence. Every single thing that I have ever gone through will be worth it if I can help even one person. Fear is a choice, and Although we will never be able to eliminate evil, we sure as hell can be prepared to face it. 

-Genevieve, PA

@beyond.the.unknown

"Now that I am a mother I feel..."

By The Carry Girl
on April 12, 2019

 I’ve recently had a baby and I have postpartum anxiety. I used to carry everywhere and now I can’t. I was at the mall one day with my baby and a friend and her baby when the mall went into a lockdown. Normally I wouldn’t be scared because I usually have my Glock on me. But that day was different; my anxiety won’t let me carry. There was an armed robbery across from the mall and the guy fled towards the mall, so the mall went into lockdown. I couldn’t believe I put myself my baby, and friend and her baby in this situation and I had nothing to protect us. I felt like I failed us all. From then on I decided I never wanted to do that to my child, I am his mother and it is my responsibility to protect him. Not mall security, not the police, not another armed citizen, but myself. I need to be that armed citizen for my baby, family and friends. Though I still have trouble with postpartum anxiety, I am trying my best to get over that fear and carry as often as my mind will allow me.

            I have taken Krav Maga, which is an Israeli self-defense class, for those times where I simply can’t carry. There are always going to be times when we legally can’t be armed, like a government building, the airport, a school etc… So I feel it is important to know other ways to defend yourself and family. Whether you carry pepper spray, a tactical pen, or take self-defense, I feel it is important to have those skills.

I carry for my family, friends, and myself.  I believe a woman should learn to protect herself and not have to rely on others to do so for her. If my husband isn’t around, it is my responsibility to protect myself and those around me. Though I live in a small town in Idaho with a low crime rate doesn’t mean we are completely safe, bad things can still happen in small towns. Now that I am a mother I feel a greater responsibility to protect my baby’s life I never want to be in a situation where I would think “if only I had my gun on me” because then it could be too late.

-Alyssa, Idaho

IG @armedalys

From North Philadelphia to Capitol Hill

By The Carry Girl
on April 05, 2019

My journey to becoming a Second Amendment advocate is a journey I never thought I’d take. In the fall of 2016, I was living the life I’d always dreamed of. I was just months away from graduating from college. My parents never went to college, and I was beyond excited to walk across the stage and accept the college degree I’d worked so hard for. 

Temple University was my dream school. I loved nearly everything about the University, from its working-class roots to its North Philadelphia campus. I loved my church, my friends, and my job. I was active on campus, and during my junior year I won Temple University’s Diamond Award, the highest recognition from Student Affairs for leadership, service, and academic achievement. 

One night, however, it all came crashing down. 

What started out as any normal day ended up becoming the worst day of my life. A man I’d been casually dating came to my apartment for what was supposed to be a movie and a beer. 

Instead, he raped me. 

I felt like I was holding my entire life in my hands and was watching it crumble. Trying to hold it all together only made things fall apart more. All my hard work felt like it’d been thrown away. 

Due to the trauma, I dropped out of college during my senior year and moved back home to Virginia. I kept my assault a secret for as long as I could, but the secret soon began to eat away at me. One day, I couldn’t keep it the secret any longer, and disclosed the rape to my Women’s Group at church. There I found the support I so desperately needed. I found the strength to tell my immediate family and closest friends. 

I found myself enraged about the fact that I’d been shooting since elementary school, but various laws prevented me from having my firearm with me at school. While I could have technically had it in my off-campus apartment, I couldn’t bring it with me to campus or any of the places I normally went. Break-ins were common in North Philadelphia, and I wasn’t comfortable leaving a gun in my first-floor apartment all day. 

I desperately wanted to scream “I told you so!” on the top of my lungs but wasn’t sure how to go about telling my story in a way that would invite conversation. 

One thing I did know, however, was that I was tired of keeping the secret. 

I was tired of people asking me why I dropped out of Temple. 

I was tired of being vilified in the media because my opinion was unpopular amongst fellow college students.   

More than anything, I was tired of the anti-gunners leading the public debate on firearms. 

My dear friend, Matthew, encouraged me to put pen to paper in the fall of 2017. I sat down at my kitchen table, and word-vomited my pent-up frustrations into a Google Doc. That op/ed was published in The Washington Examiner the next day. I had never felt so free. I finally got my voice back. 

I knew I wanted my #MeToo story to encourage women to consider their means of self-defense. As much as I wish teaching people about consent was enough to prevent rape, my assault shows that for some people, that’s not enough. I had a rape whistle on my keys, but when I blew the whistle, no one came. 

After my first op/ed, I continued to write. Soon, I was invited to tell my story on various news outlets including CNN and NRA TV

One day in February 2019, I was doing homework and I received a call from a Washington D.C. area code. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it. On the other end of the phone was the Chief Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, inviting me to testify at the following week’s hearing on H.R. 8 - The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. I was nervous, but I agreed. 

A few days later, I stood in front of the committee and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. I told them about my assault, growing up with guns, and how my gun could have saved me. 

The experience was both nerve wracking and surreal, but I was thankful for the opportunity to share my story. I’d once been so full of shame, but I was learning to use my experience to bring more attention to both sexual violence and the importance of responsible gun ownership. 

Last Sunday I featured on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer, where they explained my support of concealed carry and why my sexual assault lead me to become a passionate advocate for the right to bear arms. 

I pray none of you have ever gone through what I did, but I want every single one of you to know that you have opportunity to change public opinion on firearms -- one person at a time. If you have friends that fear guns, invite them to the range with you. Offer to teach them gun safety with an unloaded firearm or teach them how to field-strip a handgun. It’s easy to be scared of the things you don’t understand, and when it comes to firearms and firearm safety, a firm grasp on how to safely operate the gun is imperative. 

When debating gun policy, it’s easy to get angry. Safety and self-defense are important topics that many people take personally. Remember that the person on the other side of the aisle is a human being. Kindness goes a long way toward getting people to at least listen. 

I advocate for female gun ownership because I never want another woman to go through what I did. Sexual violence is an epidemic, especially on college campuses where 23.1 percent of female undergraduates are victims of sexual assault during their academic tenure. 

For years, my beliefs about gun ownership were rooted in the hypothetical, but my assault showed me that there are real stories with real people where firearms could have saved them.

-Savannah, Virginia

Twitter/IG @savannahmaesays


Note: If you’ve experienced sexual trauma, you’re not alone. You’re always welcome to message me through social media (DMs are confidential) or you can reach out to the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline by phone at 800.656.4673 or online at https://hotline.rainn.org/online.

"I am not a victim, but a protector. I wouldn’t have it any other way." -Tara, Virginia

By The Carry Girl
on March 29, 2019

I have always lived in homes that were protected by firearms. I’ve never had to use one in self-defense, but I have often felt more secure in the knowledge that they are close by if needed. When I moved away to college, my father suggested that I take my revolver with me. He taught me the rules of gun safety and made sure that I was proficient with my weapon before I carried it on my own. That little .38 special gave us both peace of mind during that time period. 

 

Years later, my daily commute took me through remote areas with no cell phone service. I applied for my Concealed Handgun Permit and began to carry a firearm in the car. One summer evening, I made a quick trip to the local garden center just as night was falling. When I left the store, the area in which I had parked was dark and vacant. I noticed the figure of a man standing in the empty shopping cart return adjacent to my vehicle. With no one parked nearby, I couldn’t think of a good reason for him to be there. As if that weren’t enough, I noticed a large passenger van slowly circling the parking lot. I made a wide arc around the man, who seemed to take no notice of me. I quickly climbed into the opposite side of the car with my purchases, locked the doors, and opened the center console so that I could access my gun if it became necessary. I drove away without incident, but it was then that I realized that my firearm would be much more useful if I kept it on my person. Ever since then, I carry. 

I carry because I was raised to take responsibility for protecting myself, my home, and my family. I live in a rural area with unreliable cell phone coverage. Even if I am able to call the police, they are often more than twenty minutes away. A lot of bad things can happen in twenty minutes. 

 

I carry because we live in a world where my kids worry about active shooters at the movies, in church, or at the mall. It can be tempting to live in fear, but I believe that the antidote to fear is action. I choose to be prepared. 

 

I carry because it is my right as an American. Our founding fathers understood the importance of preserving the right of the citizens to own firearms as a defense against tyranny and corruption. It was so important to them that they included it in The Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of our country. I believe that the ability to defend oneself is a basic human right that should be protected. 

 

I carry because I want to set an example for others. I enjoy introducing people from all walks of life to firearms and concealed carry. There are so many innovative products on the market that I believe that anyone can find a safe and comfortable way to carry. 

 

I carry because, no matter how much I work out, I’m still a physically small person. Petite women, the elderly, or the disabled may look like easy targets, but a firearm can be a very effective equalizer for all of them. There is nothing more empowering than taking responsibility for your own protection.  

 

I carry because anything can happen at any time. If you watch the news on TV, you know that people are attacked while running through the park, pumping gas at the service station, or carrying groceries from the car to the house. These are all everyday activities that most of us do without giving them a second thought. It’s easy to tell myself that I don’t need to bother with my gun and holster when I’m just running to the store for milk, but I understand that we don’t get to choose when we’ll need to defend ourselves. Unfortunately, the criminal makes that decision for us. It’s up to us to be prepared to respond effectively. That not only entails carrying the self-defense tools of our choice, but also training with them to achieve and maintain proficiency. Concealed carry should be more than just carrying a firearm. I believe it should include dry fire and live fire training, practicing drawing from concealment, knowledge of firearms safety, and basic first aid skills. 

 

Concealed carry isn’t for everyone, but it is the right choice for me. I have much more to learn, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Because I carry, I am not afraid, but confident. I am not paranoid, but aware. I am not a victim, but a protector. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

 

-Tara, Virginia

www.instagram.com/howicarry 

 

 

"I carry for me and my church. " -Annie, Texas

By The Carry Girl
on March 22, 2019

I carry for me and my church. 

I knew from a young age that I wanted to get my concealed carry license. What gave me the urgency to get licensed, is all the church shootings. I’m not paranoid that it will happen at my church, but it gives me a peace of mind that I have the tools and training to stop a deadly threat. I can’t fit a man in my back pocket and expect to be protected. It is definitely not a social norm for a girl to carry, but we are a natural easy target. Evil and sin exist, so as a consequence bad people do bad things. I pray I never have to pull the trigger, but I will protect me and my loved ones from a deadly threat. 

I train by taking classes every other month and I just recently got into USPSA competition shooting. Training is no joke, but making it fun motivates me to keep regular training in my routine. If you don’t train, don’t carry. Get trained, take classes and get plugged into something that fits your lifestyle so you are prepared!

I work in a church office and great people come in our doors! But there are times where something is off with someone and we just need to keep an eye on them. Since I got licensed I am much more aware of my surroundings, most of the time someone is hurting and needs to be heard and loved like Jesus calls us to love. 

Be blessed,

Annie, Texas

www.instagram.com/PistolAnnieB

I'm Conservative, Stop telling me I can't be a feminist too!

By The Carry Girl
on January 16, 2019
I'm Conservative,  Stop telling me I can't be a feminist too!

You march for this, I march for that,…Women have become more divided over the past few years, but shouldn't we all be on the same team? The team that fights for women's rights.  But doesn’t that mean ALL rights.  I think with all this division happening now, we need to talk about what a feminist is:

Definition of feminism 

1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

So after reading this definition, how has feminism changed to be that you are only a feminist if you vote a certain way. What has changed? Being a conservative woman does not make me any less of a feminist than someone who has more liberal views. You can be a Republican and be a feminist too. 

I believe women should be treated equally to men, my opinion should be equal to men and we should be paid equally for the same positions as men.  If you define yourself as a feminist, how can you not be open to a women fighting for women?  Even though you might not share with my interests or point of view, isn’t the fact that I am doing something to empower women feminism? The beauty of living in the United States is that we do not all have to have the same views; it’s ok to think differently.

We need to stop pitting us against each other and respect that whatever party you vote for, if you are fighting for women's rights, no matter what the cause we should be supporting one another. We must start respecting each other. Why are your beliefs more important than mine? 

I am conservative.  I can also be a feminist.  I can be a leader in my community and make a difference. I encourage any woman to stand up and for what you believe in even if I don't agree. I am no less of a woman because I am conservative, so stop saying that. If you believe I am less of woman because I am a conservative, how can you really call yourself a feminist?

Top 5 Carry Girl Conceal Carry Favorites & Shopping Tips

By The Carry Girl
on October 08, 2018

Finding the best forearm to suit your needs is an important purchase.  I remember heading to the store to purchase my first gun specifically to carry daily.  What size? What caliber?  What kind of holster will I use? Where will I carry?  Do I want an external safety? What weight do I want?  There are so many variables to consider when making this purchase.  I luckily went shopping with my husband, who is VERY knowledgeable about firearms.  I also went to a gun store where they took their time to sell me the perfect fit for me.  If you have the chance to go to a gun range where you can also try out some firearms to see what your personal preferences are that is ideal. (Try before you buy) You want to make sure the size is appropriate for you, and where you will be carrying on your person and is comfortable enough to carry all day. I have listed below my top 5 favorite firearms to carry. These are all firearms I have chosen to carry and fire regularly.  If you have one to add, Please share in the comments for people to view your favorite carry option. 

  1. Ruger LC9

This is very popular carry choice for women, and one of my favorite guns to carry and shoot.  It is very low profile and slim, lightweight and very compact. It has rounded edges so it makes it comfortable to carry and it will not snag on your clothing.  The slide is smooth and easy to rack and has a very smooth trigger pull.  For women with petite hands this firearm is a very slim and has a comfortable grip.

  1. Ruger LCR

This was my first carry purchase.  When I went to purchase, I never thought I would choose a revolver.  But this firearm is very light due to its polymer-frame (weighs only 13.5 oz) and very comfortable in your hand. This hammerless revolver is easy to load and the recoil is very manageable and it is easy to control. This firearm comes in .38 spl+P, .357 Mag and 9mm which are ideal calibers for this revolver. This is a definite CARRY GIRL FAV!

 

  1. Sig Sauer P938

Sig Sauer firearms are very reliable and this weapon is a 1911 styled firearm, solid and very easy to conceal due to its smaller size. It is available in 9mm, .40 SW and .45 ACP and has cool features you can add like, cool color options and extendable magazines. This firearm is easy on the hand and has a very manageable recoil.

 

 

  1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

This is a super reliable every day carry choice.  This is another striker-fired weapon offered in multiple calibers — 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP. This firearm does have larger frame and is a little heavier coming in at around 20 ounces but feels very sturdy in your hands.  It is however slim and small enough to make it very easy to conceal.

 

 

  1. Kimber Micro 9

This firearm has a very smooth design and round edges making it easy and comfortable to carry.  It is also lightweight at 15.6 ounces, has a very smooth trigger pull and a very mild recoil.  This is also one of my favorite firearms to shoot at the range.  This is a little more pricey firearm but worth it for the quality and performance of Kimber firearms.

 So at the end of the day we all will have a personal preference on what kind of conceal carry firearm we choose to carry.  But please make sure to take the time and effort to research, try the firearm if you can and think about what important factors are vital to you before you shop for your carry firearm.  As women we wear different types of clothing and outfits every day, so if you don’t have multiple carry firearms to work around what you bare wearing, make sure when shopping you think about how you will conceal with how you dress daily.  Let me and other readers of this blog know what your favorite EDC weapons are and why in the comments.  Good luck and remember once you get your conceal carry weapon it so important to continue to practice and train regularly.

 

10 tips to Protect your Home during an Invasion-Are you prepared?

By The Carry Girl
on September 17, 2018

Did you know one property crime happens every 4 seconds and one burglary occurs every 20 seconds.  Are you really prepared for a home invasion? 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur during a home invasion.  Are you prepared to defend yourself when there is no time to even call 911?

Whether you live alone, with your family, in the city or country, you should start with a plan.  During a home invasion you will be under stress and panic so being ready and prepared is a necessity. 

Here are some tips to creating a successful emergency plan. 

  1. Research your local self-defense laws in your state and make sure all conceal/carry weapons permits are up to date.  Make sure to get firearm insurance if possible. (example: NRA Carry Guard)
  2. Your family should all have training to use your firearms.  The first time you are firing your weapon should NOT be during a home invasion.
  3. Make sure to have a specific place in your home that your family will go in the case of an intrusion into your home. Make sure to have a phone, flashlight and a readily available firearm.
  4. Make sure to practice this plan with your family and make sure everyone in your family unit is aware and comfortable with this plan.  Also-  Have a plan B! 
  5. At the first sign of a home invasion, do your best to immediately call 911 or your local police for help. Keep all your emergency numbers near the phone in your designated meeting place.
  6. Because most home invasions happen at night, keep your cell phone and car keys close by you. During a home invasion you can set off your car alarm, this may detour the invaders.
  7. Make sure your home exterior is well lit, motion detectors and alarms systems can be great safeguards.
  8. Make sure all windows and doors are locked. 
  9. Make sure your firearm is locked and loaded. Proper firearm safety and storage in your home is top priority.  It is helpful to have multiple storage locations and make sure they are readily accessible.
  10. All of your firearms should be well maintained, clean and continue to practice with all of your firearms.

Depending on where you live and the layout of your home, not all home defense plans will be the same. In preparing your family you can also contact local police or your security company to help you and your family prepare.  Being prepared doesn’t make your paranoid or afraid.  I am ready to stand in defense of what matters most in my home, are you?

Carjacking-Are you prepared?

By The Carry Girl
on September 07, 2018

How do you carry in your car? Is your firearm easily accessible? Did you know most carjackings take place 2 miles from the victims house? Are you prepared?
 
Here are some tips!
 
To reduce your risk of being a carjacking victim, take heed of the following safety precautions:
 
*Be suspicious of anyone sitting in a nearby car.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for a store security guard to walk you to your car.
*Teach your children to pay attention to their surroundings when entering and exiting a vehicle.
*If someone tries to approach you, run away or retreat back into the building from which you came.
*Always be cautious and look around the outside of your car, under it, and inside before entering.
*Avoiding parking near walls, bushes, dumpsters, and other surroundings that someone can hide behind.
*Be aware of individuals handing out flyers, selling candy or merchandise in and around parking areas.
*If you plan to arrive or leave a place after dark, park in areas that you know will be well lit at night.
*Make sure you are not being followed and always look around as you load shopping bags and other goods into your car.
*Get into the habit of swiftly entering your vehicle, locking your doors, starting your engine, and driving away as quickly and safely as possible.
*Always drives with your car doors locked.
*Listen to your instincts. If you sense something is not right, flee the area.
*Do not argue with the perpetrator. Give up your keys and/or other personal items as demanded.
*Avoid driving with your windows down in areas where you have to make frequent stops at lights and intersections.
*If you are carjacked, immediately call the police! Do not try to follow the carjacker, as you could be hurt or killed!
*When in traffic, if possible, attempt to leave room between your car and the car in front you so as you can quickly drive away if approached by a criminal.
*If an individual bumps your vehicle from behind with his own car, be suspicious. Wave for him to follow you to a heavily populated area or local police station.
*Record your vehicle identification number and license plate number on a piece of paper and keep it with your driver’s license. In the case of a carjacking, both the police and insurance company will require this information. The quicker you can provide it to them, the better.

3-D Hysteria

By The Liberty Cast
on August 14, 2018
Thank you to the Liberty Cast for guest blogging on The Carry Girl Blog!

Read more »

From the Blog

"Shooting saved my life."

April 19, 2019

It isn’t about what we have gone through, it’s about what we learn from those experiences. I grew up in...

Read more →

"Now that I am a mother I feel..."

April 12, 2019

 I’ve recently had a baby and I have postpartum anxiety. I used to carry everywhere and now I can’t. I...

Read more →

From North Philadelphia to Capitol Hill

April 05, 2019

My journey to becoming a Second Amendment advocate is a journey I never thought I’d take. In the fall of...

Read more →