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Earlier this year, I had an extended family dinner in my native land of Colorado. For reasons best left to bureaucrats, the Rocky Mountain State doesn’t recognize my California CCW permit, but I didn’t feel anxious. The odds of an armed assault on a downmarket Mexican restaurant are lower than the chances of intestinal attack. Besides, my brother is a Colorado resident with a concealed carry permit. As the conversation progressed and my burrito started to vanish, the group discussion led to guns. Several family members explained why we need to ban concealed carry for “safety.” It became gradually harder to stay silent . . .

I didn’t have to. My mother took that opportunity to out myself, my father and my brother as all having permits to carry concealed weapons. It was then known that there was a loaded gun – duh duh DUH! – at that dinner table. As the sopapillas arrived, Mom also revealed that I was carrying a gun at an anti-gun cousin’s wedding on Catalina Island (which is in California). I was asked not to bring it, but I did anyway because I guess I don’t listen and…well…it’s my gun. It goes everywhere with me.

News spread quickly around the table about me being an – make that the – outspoken gun owner. Which is strange, considering I wasn’t the one carrying. Still, I held my own and said my piece. It’s what I do. I’m not sure how the subject changed to camo and bullet-proof vests, but it did, and I was asked several times about both items.

Is it that hard to understand that I don’t wear camo because I don’t hunt and it’s not my style, and I don’t have a bullet-proof vest because I don’t think I need one? Is this a new stereotype of gun owners? Because I was recently asked about both items again by an anti-gun friend. “Why don’t you ever talk about your bullet-proof vest?” You mean the vest I don’t own?

Where do people get these anti-gun stereotypes? You guys know what I mean; male gun owners are painted as dumb racist rednecks. The antis think of armed women either as macho men’s brainless gun bunnies or irresponsible, paranoid parents, likely to leave guns around for their kids to play with.

The truth about gun owners is that we’re an incredibly diverse group with a wide range of interests and styles, united by a common belief in both mutual and self-defense. We’re coherent enough to look out for each other, but different enough to have passionate disagreements on the smallest of things. Kinda like a family.

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  1. Nice write as usual, Sara. I’ll be honest, the only reason why I don’t have body armor and a suppressor is because of the stigma associated with owning them… kinda like why it took so long for me to own a gun…

  2. The lack of a vest isn’t because of it coming up short on your cost-benefit analysis rather than you perceiving no utility?

    • I think this is more correct, because who doesn’t see the utility of a bulletproof vest? After all, it’s right there in the name. But a vest has no use in my daily life. I can’t think of a single time in my entire life when I felt the need to have one or would have felt more comfortable wearing one.

    • IMO, under almost any conditions other than dressed to go out in the winter cold a bullet-resistant vest is ever so much harder to conceal than a hand gun.

  3. I actually own two Ballistic vests, not for the end of the world or anything like that. I’ve been to ranges that have less than stellar RSO’s and even the best RSO’s have to deal with human limitations. The last time I was at the NRA range in Fairfax someone (I’m assuming they were a new shooter) got some hot brass down their shirt and started doing the hot brass dance. Just about everyone on the line got flagged by the muzzle before the RSO was able to get them under control.
    As far as camo clothing I admit I own quite a few sets from my Airsoft/paint ball days. the only time I wear them now is if I need something that I don’t care if it gets stained.

    Respectfully Submitted

  4. If an anti asked me about my (alleged) body armor, I’d presume they were going for a “well, if you’re really worried about being attacked, you’d do X” kind of argument.

  5. Several family members explained why we need to ban concealed carry for “safety.”
    I usually explain that we need to ban certain family members for “safety”.

  6. It has been my experience that lefties are the first to stereotype. You found something similar when you were asked about your body armor.

    My favorite is when some lefty is spouting nonsense, and I counter with a logical argument, he or she will always ask If I watch Fox News. They believe we are brainwashed by Fox. When I tell them that I don’t own a television and don’t watch anything they are flummoxed. That is the time to point out that they were stereotyping me. Usually they will agree.

    • Leftists don’t like anyone to stereotype minorities but they seem to think that stereotyping gun owners is OK. At least the subset of Leftists that are Gun Grabbers seem to feel that way. I don’t get the difference in those two positions. If the theory is that everyone is an individual so they should not be pigeon holed based on how they look or their race then why shouldn’t gun owners or those that carry guns get the same respect and treatment ? From reading these posts for a while I am sure that many on here hold different beliefs than I do in many areas. What most of us seem to share is the right to self defense and a belief in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and especially the Second Amendment. Other than that, we are certainly not all the same. BTW, I happen to know several Liberal Leftists, one who claims to be a Socialist, who believe in the right to be armed for self defense. Seems inconsistent to me but there you go. People are not the stereotypes that we sometimes think they are. There are many variations of political and religious beliefs. I do notice that on these forums some of the Commenters tend to stereotype anyone that is against guns and then add comments that may be totally inappropriate for that person. I think that detracts from our ability to win over the fence sitters. But I am pretty sure that my comments won’t change that situation.

      • Thanks, Galtha58 – appreciate the observations.
        In my experience, it’s often not what I say, but how I say it. Sure, there are strident, pious, holier-than-thou types. They get flummoxed and become shrill by repeatedly asking ‘why?’ as my face betrays a look of creeping incredulity. Sometimes mixed with a piteous expression – it’s hard to resist.

        Delivering a “perhaps we can discuss later when you’re not so emotional” spoken in a therapist tone usually finishes them off.

  7. I was hoping you were going to say that you explained why concealed carriers ARE a form safety but expecting them to say they read all about guns on the Huffington Post and therefore you are a crazy dangerous gun nut.

  8. If you dehumanize and mock those who hold different beliefs, you don’t have to ever seriously consider their point of view or examine your personal beliefs.

    • Their beliefs are not based on logical thought, so it’s easy to mock them.

      Seriously, I have spent over thirty years logically thinking about things. My liberal friends always spout about their feelings. They should design a plane based on feelings and fill it full of liberals before their first shakedown flight.

    • I’m a conservative who thinks progressives are bad people. They steal your money, kill their children and then lecture you about owning guns – if those aren’t bad people I don’t know who are.

      • “It’s not ‘Progressive’ as in ‘Progress’ but ‘Progressive’ as in ‘Cancer’.”

        • The whole concept of Progressive political ideology at it’s start was they liked communism but didn’t want to kill millions of people to get there, so they figured they could progressively enact big government policies and eventually they’d achieve their communist utopia. Like cancer, they won’t quit until either you or they are dead. Giving in to them won’t placate them, they’ll just move the bar higher.

        • You are so right about this. They cannot be placated. Their goal is to tear everything down and wallow in the mud, not because they like getting dirty, but because they hate life.

        • In all fairness I can’t be placated either. Until 2011 my state was a ‘may issue’ state and I lived in a county that was impossible to get a permit. I’m pretty happy that the state legislators (Democrats at the time if you can believe that!) forced my liberal sheriff to issue me a weapons carry permit, but I’m hardly placated. Now I want constitutional carry. And I won’t be placated until we restore the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution back to it’s rightful place. We’re both absolutists, the only difference is that I’m right and they’re wrong (ht, Andrew Wilcow).

      • Progressive: (n) A person living i. the 21st Century who belI eve’s a 19th Century dogma that failed in the 20th Century.

  9. Stereotypes are common. I was labeled as druggie bad person in High School as I was a motorcycle enthusiast. The facts were I raced motorcycles and worked harder at my sport than any of the so-called athletes at school. The firearm owner stereotype is connected to the dumb-southerner stereotype. Most of the people I know with a CCL wear a suit and tie, Trump-like. Beliefs based on lies are a recipe for disaster for those who subscribe.

  10. “I was carrying a gun at an anti-gun cousin’s wedding on Catalina Island”

    How the hell did you get a concealed carry permit in urban California? Tell me your secrets.

  11. I didn’t realize my mother was an anti until a few weeks ago. I was working on her riding mower and she noticed my always present and very lackadaisically concealed handgun for the first time ever. When I went inside her house later, she asked me “So, are you going to shoot the [her next door neighbor] kids”?! I was dumbfounded and thinking “why the f*** would I shoot the neighbor kids?!” I don’t know them and have never even spoken to them, much less had any negative interaction with them. My mother then went on to tell me how guns scared her terribly. A week or so later it occurred to me that my mother has quite a temper and hates the neighbor kids – she may have been projecting. It was creepy seeing that mentality in action.

  12. I’ve never been hit with the bullet proof vest stereotype before. I’d probably break into a fit of laughter.

    When the subject of my gun ownership comes up, I am ALWAYS asked what I like to hunt. When I explain that I respect hunters but it’s not my thing, and that I really just like to go to the range and carry for self defense, well let’s just say that I tend to see some wide eyes and gaping mouths.

  13. Progressives are so easy. When they start the anti-gun stuff, there is one method to shut them up that always works. I ask them “There are two groups who want me disarmed, criminals and Progressives, which are you and what’s the difference”?

  14. Well, thanks for this,Sara. Similar situations here — same state. (Colorado). There seems to be a big divide here. Maybe it’s CA imports vs TX imports (there are a lot of both), but often I’ll be “presumed anti, by an anti, for camaraderie about anti gun topics”. All while my LCP is in my pocket.

    I don’t have the voice / platform you do as a writer here ; I’m just a commenter. But one of my prime directives in my life is — informing people that 2A / RKBA is not just for people who look the part and is not just an exclusive club with a uniform and set of non – gun related bylaws.

    So thanks for being a gun owner who doesn’t wear camo and speaking up. It may get some people who are convinced of the stereotypes to come around to our way of thinking.

    • Michelle, as they say do not judge a book by its cover. To many do so often based on whatever worldview they came from. I think technology actually allows people to live in bubbles more than in the past. Therefore it is easy to judge and never get to know the actual complicated human behind the stereotype.

  15. “Where do people get these anti-gun stereotypes?”

    From the Presstitute Media, that’s where. The Fifth Column – I mean Fifth Estate.

    The days of the newspaper editor with a bottle of whiskey in one drawer and a revolver in the other are long gone, daddy!

    More’s the pity.

    • On a related note, I’ve often said at work that I’m in the wrong generation, because I completely think that having a bottle and a couple of glasses in my desk for a wee nip to take the edge off the end of the day would be ok. If I thought I could get away with it at work, I would. Just a finger or two, around 5, to coast me until quittin’ time.

  16. I hunt spring turkeys so my camo has camo. My son has no love for firearms but as a full time paramedic has a lot more use for the vest than I do.

  17. Sara,
    Wish you’d detailed family members reasoning for ‘…why we need to ban concealed carry for “safety.”’ and what arguments, if any, they found persuasive for carry.

    Logic and facts don’t necessarily prevail, but helpful to understand ‘what works’ when having these kinds of conversations.

    I could see this as a TTAG article along the lines of 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.

  18. Camo and bullet proof vests huh? That’s what happens when people get their “News” from the MSM. TV news convinced my own mother that modern sporting rifles were machine guns, and she sat me down after dinner one day and told me I had better get rid of mine (it was an HK-91).

    In the long run I think it comes down to ignorance. The TV spouts crap that reinforces people’s uninformed opinions, and they swallow it hook, line and sinker.

  19. Same ole Progressive cool-aid drinking fools. They cannot seem to get past the propaganda they have been fed. I think it is great that you stood up for our rights, freedom, and truth. You have my admiration. My experience, however, is that Progressives aren’t interested in truth, and they are only interested in the rights and freedoms of those that are loyal to their party.

  20. Where do leftists get their goofy ideas about gun owners?-EVERYWHERE. I just watched one my favorite Simpsons episode-Homer gets a gun and he’s a complete idiot. It’s actually favorable to gun ownership. A totally retarde’ episode on The Carmichael show recently.And I noticed a couple so-called “comedies” with upcoming “gun themed” episodes(Blackish is one). I myself have a left-loon brother living in Florida(of all places). Thankfully I rarely talk to him…so hang in there Sara-and camo is fine in moderation…

    • That episode – The Cartridge Family – is a classic. The scene where Homer goes to buy his gun is epic. Everyone should Youtube it.

      “And this one is for shooting down police helicopters.”
      “Oh, I don’t need one of those. Yet.”

  21. actually, all my family knows I carry a gun. Not only have they warmed up to the idea, but they often ask me to take them shooting to practice or want to know if I will go with them when they are headed out somewhere when I am back in Detroit visiting. It is all good.

  22. “Why don’t you ever talk about your bullet-proof vest?” You mean the vest I don’t own? Where do people get these anti-gun stereotypes?”

    This is a typical anti-gun attempt to make your concealed carry seem absurd. As in “oh, I guess you think you ought to have a cannon or machine-gun too”? Well, yes, but that’s not really what they’re asking.

  23. I was recently asked why I a carry and am I paranoid? I told them that “I am far from paranoid and don’t ever expect to be in a situation where I would need a gun. However, I never thought that someone would fly an airliner into the building where I worked or my office mate would get shot by a sniper at the local Home Depot either. Stuff happens and I carry with that in mind.”

  24. “Still, I held my own and said my piece.” Oh heavens, thank you for not “saying your peace.” I guess you could have held your piece instead.

    I hate being outed unprepared, but I’ve learned to take it in stride and not back down. It turns into a teaching moment. At the least, it teaches people not to make blanket statements about groups — one of them may be sitting next to you.

  25. I’m ok with camo. Same as the skull-shaped lower receiver. It’s not really my thing, but it doesn’t bother me and shouldn’t bother anyone else. Firearms freedom is about individuality. If camo is part of it for you, that’s cool. If not, that’s cool, too.

    However, rejecting camo or anything else firearms-related that is basically innocuous, simply because one is concerned about the (non)thoughts of nameless, faceless haters, strikes me as doing more to undermine firearms freedom than perpetuating any stereotype might.

  26. It’s the weird colored camo that bothers me, like purple or pink.

    And I would own body armor, but the stuff is way too hot and bulky to wear most of the time. Machine guns would be cool, but they are just too expensive now, both to buy and feed.

    I think almost all of my friends and close family know I carry.

  27. I own one pair of camouflage cargo shorts. I figure I wore the uniform for a few years, so I earned them. Plus they were 5$ at Menard’s.

  28. I have hunting camp and a have a few pairs of various print and nationality BDUs original for playing airsoft and pulling double duty as work wear when i was building houses. I sold most of my tactical gear after i stopped playing airsoft.

    I considered buying a stab vest when I started working as an EMT, but my career plans changed and It was money i didn’t have anyway. don’t most vests unless they are the full level 3-4 types only cover the ribcage organs and spine? while useful a hero/pnuemo takes some time. i’d be more worried about my femoral, Pelvic, or liver.

  29. Sara,

    I don’t claim any expertise in family relations, but I did stay at Holiday Inn Express last night so here goes….

    In some contexts this discussion might have been considered airing your dirty laundry, but I think that everyone also needs an appropriate arena to discuss said dirty laundry as well. Since this site pertains to guns and your discussion is about guns, all is well. I’m surmise your mom is a liberal. As you know, liberals are motivated by emotion more than anything else, and for whatever reason, she felt the need to lash out at you, your brother and your dad. Mother knows best, and all that. But the fact is that all three of you are grown adults fully capable of making your own judgement calls which your mom does not need to question. That’s just life. You have to give her an out of sorts, or she’ll just internalize her emotions and keep turning against you. The trick is to avoid letting that ‘out’ being used against you in the future. But in the end, she is going to have to accept the fact that her daughter is her own boss.

    Some of my family members, all of them in Kansas as it turns out even though the two factions don’t even talk to each other, are ultraliberal socialists – my brother somewhat grudgingly so because his wife is socialist and my stepmom and 2 sisters….well, they’re just on another planet is all I can think of to say. Must be the water or something. One of my aunts, from the Houston area, is just crazy. She claims to like skeet or trap shooting but when I mentioned I would be bringing some shootin’ irons to a family reunion at my grandfather’s cabin in the boonies, OH! the horror! Sent me an email ‘please do not bring your guns, there will be kids around yada yada yada’ I of course forwarded this to her sister who found it roundly entertaining. Like you, I brought my guns anyway, but kept them locked in the rental car in lieu of a gun safe. It never did come to it, but if crazy aunt had brought it up, I simply would have said what I observed earlier – best not to question my judgement. (She wouldn’t have handled that very well, but that’s why she’s crazy and I avoid her).

    I think you’re all right.


    PS: I happen to be living in that particuar cabin now, and of course have a Georgia WCL on which I carry an LCP just about everywhere I go, even in cheap Fruit of the Loom shorts and T-shirts. And of course my small-but-slowly-growing gun collection with me too. Can’t wait till she visits next time – will it ever get her knickers in a twist 😀

  30. Probably the most boring article yet.

    This place is like ComicCon, just because you see a woman with a gun doesn’t mean she needs to be in the spotlight 24/7
    This whole article was a textbook conversation nearly every open or concealed carrier has on a regular basis.

    Pretty girl with a gun, woo, we get it, enough.

    • Just commenting with a +1 before this post gets deleted. I have nothing against her personally, she seems like a nice enough person and we’d probably be friends. But she’s no writer. Her content contributes nothing to this site and in my view drags it down.

      • Agreed, though I should of made it clear that its nothing against her personally but its just not article material.
        Like said before, its as if its her personal blog about daily life, nothing useful, just day to day life.

        “why aren’t you wearing camo?” isn’t anti gun anymore than asking a runner “why aren’t you wearing your running shoes?”
        Its not because the person is so anti gun or anti runner that they cant distinguish, its just that people are either not that knowledgeable about things they aren’t into or they are just dumb and ask dumb stuff.

        Not worth stopping the presses.

    • Josh and Rocket Scientist, I think you both are missing a reoccurring theme in many of Sara’s posts, and one I didn’t see for a while, because I’m male. Because I am male, a veteran, and an avid hunter, very few people who know me for even a short while are surprised that I am a gun owner. Rarely are people surprised that I carry a gun daily and generally people are ok with it. That is, people generally trust me with a gun.
      The women I know who regularly carry have a very different experience. The same people that are ok with me having a gun treat them like pariahs. People, but especially women, seem grossly mistrustful of women with guns, and they seem to be far more stigmatized than I am.
      Sarah’s experiences, which are just blah blah blah life to you and I, are probably much more pointed and impactful to her. Women with guns, women who actually carry guns, are so far outside of most people’s stereotype of a gun owner that they instantly marginalize and criticize them. Sara’s experiences highlight that.

      • I would agree with that, IF, that’s how the article was written. But it wasn’t about women carrying guns, and there are plenty of articles and videos out about that, and at no point in this article did any of the conversation cover that. This topic could have been spoken to a male just as much as she pointed that her brother was under the same fire.
        Its thoughts like this that keep the idea of women being inferior alive, exp:

        I think she says it best. I’ll just leave this here.

      • Actually women are most likely more accepted to be carrying than men because women are seen as needing the most personal protection. More than likely if you polled an average crowd and asked them if they thought more men or more women carried your answer would most likely be women because the average citizen sees the idea to carry as a way to protect ones self from there vulnerabilities.
        A big strong guy doesn’t need protection to go to his car at night, or to protect from rape, and muggers snatch purses, not wallets…. etc..
        People don’t tell men, “hey, you’re gonna be working all these late shifts, maybe you should take up a self defense class….”

  31. I rather like camouflage, especially some of the newer patterns. I have it primarily for deer hunting, but some of the more recent manufacturers are designing stuff that is both cheaper and better made than much of the latest and greatest Patagucci/Dead Bird/TNF garishness. I’ve had quite a few folks ask me why I’m wearing camo when I’m out on training hikes and I answer that I’m getting ready for hunting season. A few have gotten a funny look on their faces, but most are quite positive and offer up a ‘good luck’.

    I see the value in body armor, but for now, even a simple plate carrier and decent rifle-caliber plates are quite the expense. (I’ll probably do it in a piecemeal fashion eventually.)

  32. Camo check from the south check bugout bag check vest and plates hmmm dont have those yet owns ar 15 check …not sure what im missing

  33. “antis think of armed women either as macho men’s brainless gun bunnies” – wait, you say that like its a bad thing. 🙂



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