Square Dancing Around The Issue

I’m so glad I’m not a kid in this day and age. Not because being a kid in this day and age is a bad thing but ME being a kid in this day and age would not be pretty. You see, I’ve always been outspoken and I’ve always had strong convictions for as long as I can remember. When all the other kids were focused on playing outside, I was inside listening to the adult conversation. That’s what I preferred. My strong convictions often found me in the principal’s office and they never really knew what to make of me. Fortunately, I had parents who were willing to correct me when I was wrong but who stood behind me when I was right. Today, I would undoubtedly be in the media, especially for one particular occurrence of standing up for my convictions.

In elementary school, part of our “physical education” was square dancing. I thought that was absurd. Ms. Belyew (I think I recall her name correctly) lined all the girls and boys up facing each other. She assigned our partners. I found myself across from a boy by the name of Jeffrey. I refused to dance with Jeffrey and I stated as such out aloud and in front of everyone the moment she started the music. Ms. Belyew pulled me aside and ordered me to comply or I’d find myself in the principal’s office. I told her that she may as well send me to the principal’s office then, because I would not be dancing with Jeffrey. I offered to explain to her why I refused to dance with Jeffrey but she wouldn’t hear it. She didn’t care and was only pissed off that I would not do what she told me to do.

So, there I found myself in Evil Eva’s office. She was officially Mrs. Eva Clark but to all the kids she was Evil Eva. And evil she was. But we’ll get to that later. She sat me down and told me that my behavior was unacceptable and that she would be calling my parents. She did just that and sent me back to class to continue square dancing. I told her that I would not square dance and she could not force me to. So, she decided that I could do floor aerobics while the rest of the class had their square dancing lesson.

When I got home, my parents broached the issue with me and I explained to them that I had two reasons for refusing to dance with Jeffrey. First of all, the boy stank to high heaven with body odor. I mean, he STANK. It was pretty sickening. Secondly, I explained that I didn’t find square dancing or any kind of partner dancing at all, to be appropriate in physical education. I reasoned that dancing was a social activity and that I should be able to choose when, where and with whom I want to participate in such an activity (and yes, I really did speak in that manner as a kid). My parents agreed with me 100% and upon meeting with Evil Eva a day or two later, informed her that it was HER actions which were inappropriate and unacceptable and that neither her nor Ms. Belyew would be giving such orders to me ever again.

They didn’t. In fact, they stopped the square dancing all together. The fact is, they had no right to impose such things on me. Furthermore, what kind of message does it send to a boy when a girl can be made to dance with them against their wishes? That’s a recipe for a future rapist.

By the way, Jeffrey happened to be a black boy and that was the assumed reason for my refusal to dance with him. Neither Ms Belyew, nor Evil Eva (both white women) even allowed me the opportunity to explain my reasons, neither of which were even loosely related to his race. It was just assumed. Take that same incident today and I would suddenly be a black-hating, racist little white girl and there would be tweets all over the place about people wanting to kill me, likely.

Oh, I promised earlier that I would explain Evil Eva, didn’t I? Well, here’s just one example of many which illustrate her backwards, evil thinking. A number of years later, she did find herself on the 6:00 news. 2 little 5th grade boys – one black and one white – were dragged to her office for calling each other “nigger.” Her remedy was write the word, “nigger” on two pieces of posterboard, punch holes in them, insert string through the holes and place one around each of the little boys’ necks. Really? All her years of teaching and serving as a principal and that’s her brililant, educated solution? She found herself with a position at the Board of Education after that incident.

I wonder if she ever learned her lesson. She’s probably dead now and I have some serious doubts whether she ever even got a glimpse of St Peter at the gate.

What Gun Should a Woman Buy? Part 2

Now that we have answered that question in Part 1 (which is any damn gun she wants), we will now move on to some popular options and calibers.

A woman needs to be comfortable with what she carries but there are actually some levels of necessity here as well. It’s generally not a good idea to carry a .22 or other small caliber for self defense. You might get lucky, but chances are you’ll just piss off your attacker and make things worse for yourself. Not that you shouldn’t have one as a backup and ANY gun is better than NO gun, though. That being said, you really should carry at least a .380ACP (or .38 if you prefer a revolver). They are still nice and compact but have an acceptable amount of stopping power that you need to give yourself a good shot (pun intended) should you find yourself in a situation where you must defend your life. Some people will tell you that it’s perfectly fine to carry a .32 as a matter of course, but I disagree. It might be more concealable but when someone is attacking me, I’d rather have something that I know will put them down.

The highest caliber you’d likely want to consider carrying for self defense is a .45ACP. Go any bigger and you’re going to have a really tough time lugging a gun around. Keep the higher calibers beside the bed or in the closet, maybe. You wouldn’t enjoy lugging around a Desert Eagle very much.

Here are some of the many options that are popular among women for self defense concealed carry. This is not an exhaustive list and if you like something that’s not on this list, you should get it. As I’ve said before, guns are a personal choice but there are a few tried and true populars. What follows are only my personal opinions from my experience and your mileage may vary.

REVOLVERS:

If you like a revolver, then you are like many women. The great thing about a revolver is that it is very easy to operate and learn on. And in a highly stressful situation, there’s not much you need to futz with. Personally, I have never been a fan of any revolver I’ve ever shot. I just don’t like the way they feel and they’re just not my thing. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be your thing. If you do go with a revolver, my recommendation is a double-action only. The trigger pull will be long but you won’t need to worry about cocking the hammer in a stressful situation. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the hammer snagging on clothing while drawing.

As far as revolvers go, you can’t go wrong with a S&W Airweight .38. It’s small and weighs just under a pound. This is an ideal gun for any woman who wants self-protection but isn’t necessarily “into” guns. The same can be said for the Ruger LCR. You can add laser grips to either one and you have a gun which is not only convenient and easy to operate but helps ensure your aim in a life-threatening situation.

S&W Airweight .38

S&W Airweight .38

Ruger LCR

Ruger LCR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEMI-AUTOMATICS:

I’m going to break these down into pocket carry models, sub-compacts/compacts and full size.

Pocket carry models are pretty much exactly what they sound like. You can insert them into a specially designed holster that will fit in your pocket and go about your day. You can also carry them in other ways but we’ll save the holster discussion for another time. They are very small, lightweight pistols that are easy to carry and conceal. The only caliber in the pocket carry I’m focusing on is the .380ACP round. There are pocket models in .32 and .25 and such, but as stated before, they’re not ideal for regular carry. The most popular among this category would be the Colt Mustang, Colt Pony, Taurus TCP, Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard and the Sig P238. They all have their pros and cons. The Taurus, Ruger and S&W are all made of a polymer frame, making them very lightweight but not so much fun to shoot. The lighter weight your gun, the more recoil you’ll experience. So, it’s a tradeoff. I personally carry the Colt Mustang when I need something lightweight and small. I have also owned a Colt Pony and we will soon have another as soon as the UPS man delivers it. I sold my old one and have regretted it ever since. And I can’t say enough good things about the Sig P238. I don’t have one. Yet. But I will. It’s a beautiful little mini 1911 and I WANT one. Again, here, the tradeoff is that they will weigh a little more but to me the weight difference isn’t enough to make me want a polymer frame pocket pistol. You’re looking at an average of a 5oz weight difference. I have no problem with polymer but I don’t care for it in such a small gun.

Sig P238 .380 ACP

Sig P238 .380 ACP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colt Mustang .380 ACP

Ruger LCP .380 ACP

In the sub-compact and compact categories, you have a few in the Glock series, Beretta Nano, Ruger LC9, S&W M&P Shield, Kimber Solo, a sprinkling of Springfield models like the XD-S and XDm and others. What you’ll find here are mostly 9mm, 10mm, .40 and .45 calibers. All of these calibers are very good for self defense – at this point it’s just up to general preference. My personal daily carry weapon is a Springfield XDm Compact .45. I know many may think a .45 is too much for a woman to carry, but I assure you it’s not. In fact, it’s a much easier round to shoot than the .40 caliber. My previous daily carry was a Glock 27, which is a .40 caliber and it was just too snappy of a round for me to enjoy it. I went to the .45 and I’m much happier. A 9mm is perfectly acceptable choice as well and might be one that you want to consider if you plan to carry it on your person at all times. It’s a little easier to conceal. I happen to carry both in my purse and on my person most times, so my .45 works fine for me most days. You’ll find a great deal of polymer frames on the market in this category and I do recommend them in this case. The weight of the slide coupled with the overall weight once the magazine is loaded with ammo, will balance out nicely to absorb recoil.

Springfield XDm Compact

Glock 26 9mm

Glock 26 9mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S&W M&P Shield

S&W M&P Shield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the full size category, you’ll find the many makers of the 1911 frame, full size Glocks, Springfields, Sigs, etc. These are larger and more difficult to conceal usually, although it CAN be done with the right concealment plan and accessories. But overall, most women choose to carry something a bit smaller. The full size is something great to have for home defense, though. Keep it in a drawer beside the bed or wherever works for you.

Les Baer Custom 1911

Les Baer Custom 1911

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this has given you some information on options. Remember, there are many more options and new ones coming out all the time. The key is to find what feels good in your hand, fits into your lifestyle and that you enjoy shooting.

Happy Memorial Day! Please remember the men and women who have died to keep your freedom intact and this very post possible.

What Gun Should a Woman Buy? Part 1

What a loaded question. Ask that amongst a sampling of men and the most common answer you’ll get will be a smattering of models that shoot a small caliber. And come in pink.

I remember when I first got into guns. I grew up with a dad who was a firearms dealer and I had an ex-husband who was literally a gun nut – psychotic but knowledgable. Different story, different day. Point is, I had a pretty good deal of knowledge. I worked gun shows, I learned a little about reloading, I shot A LOT, I beat out an entire metro region of state law enforcement at qualifications when I was 21 (wish I could still do that now)…I wasn’t an expert but I also wasn’t a shrinking violet in the world of firearms. Yet, almost every time I walked into a gun store or stepped up to a table at a gun show, some beer-belly bubba inevitably tried to push a “cute, little, pearl-handled .25.” And that was when they thought I might have shot a gun before. Other times, they wanted me to buy a “little revolver that would fit my little hands and would be easy to shoot!”

Sound familiar? It should, because it’s been a pervasive attitude amongst the male-dominated sport forever. It’s changing recently, and that’s good to see, but there’s still a long way to go.

There are many considerations that should go into choosing your firearm. And please, for the love of all that is Holy, do NOT let your husband/boyfriend/uncle/any-man-in-your-life pick one out for you and tell you what you need. I’m sure your guy is well-intentioned but his experience and comfort level and body mechanics are all very different from yours. You wouldn’t want him picking out your bra. He shouldn’t be picking out your gun either. And for that matter, don’t even let your best girlfriend tell you what you need. This is YOUR life, YOUR protection, YOUR decision. Here are a few rules of thumb and questions to ask yourself when making that decision, though.

1 – The most important rule is to get something that you enjoy shooting. A gun will do you no good if you hate shooting it because then you’re not going to practice. And this means trying out many until you find one that fits. Most ranges will have many different models which you can rent and try before you buy. When you’re making an investment of hundreds of dollars, you want to shoot it first.

2 – How will you carry it? It needs to fit into your life and routine. Sure, you will inevitably need to make some adjustments when carrying at all times but consider what will fit the easiest into your life. Will you carry it in your purse, on your person, or are you only comfortable at this point keeping it in your car? Whatever it is, the method of carry will impact your decision.

3 – What is the reliability? Once you’ve settled on something you like, you need to make sure it’s going to work when you need it most. While there are MANY brands that have great reputations and picking one over the other just comes down to a matter personal preference or budget, there are also some that you absolutely want to avoid. If a manufacturer doesn’t have good reliability, then move on. And their warranty, regardless of how good it is, does you no good if the gun is going to likely break when you need it to defend yourself. You want something that works, not something that breaks but has a really great warranty and customer service. Great customer service is important when your dishwasher breaks but it will not save you from being raped.

Ultimately, you have to get what works for you and there is no particular model – there are an array. Some women find that the pink .25 works for them. Others, like myself, prefer a compact .45. The great thing is, there are so many options out there that you’ll find what fits you.

In Part 2, I’ll go over some of the most widely popular options.