I recently read RF’s article on off-body carry. It included a news story about a three-year-old who grabbed his mother’s gun from her purse and shot himself. I scrolled through the comments. Most agreed with RF. Some argued – in no uncertain terms – that many women are “forced” to carry off-body. They don’t have other, viable carry options. As a woman who conceal carries from sunup to sundown (and beyond) I disagree . . .
As a resident of The People’s Republic of California, I have a limited number of carry guns from which to choose. I’ve worked hard to find on-body carry solutions that fit my frame and my gun (an Springfield XD Compact). I carry in jeans, dresses, heels, and boots. I carry in blouses, skirts, t-shirts and yoga pants. I use four different on-body concealed carry holsters depending on my outfit. They’re sexy and comfortable and offer quick, reliable access to my firearm.
As my experience proves, as faliaphotography illustrates, there are a large number of carry methods for a large number of clothing configurations for women. It just takes research, money and practice.
That said, carrying a gun on-body can be a literal PITA. At times when my gun chafes or rubs-up against something loudly, I remember Clint Smith’s words: “A gun should be comforting, not comfortable.” They should and can be both. But you have to have priorities. My priority: the safety of myself, my children and other people’s kids, too.
Even if wearing a gun on-body was like wearing a hair shirt, I’d do it in preference to carrying off-body. I’m simply not prepared to create a situation where my children could get unsupervised access to my firearm. Or anyone else’s children. Or a purse-snatcher. My gun is my responsibility. It’s either on my body or in a safe. Period.
Guess what? I own a concealed carry purse. It’s a totally cute purse. I won it in an “Armed Mommy” photo content. It’s got a fake little gun emblazoned on it and I love it. So I use it. But my gun has not been in this purse. Nor will it ever be.
I understand the advantages of carrying off-body in a car holster. I know that we live in a free country. We should be free to perform our own risk-assessment and carry any gun any way we please – assuming that we take responsibility for our actions. But RF is right: anyone – male or female – who opts for off-body carry as they walk, jog, work and/or exercise through their day is taking an unnecessary risk. Off-body carry should not be an option.
Stay safe, ladies.