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Thread: Carrying while mothering

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    Carrying while mothering

    I have a question about openly carrying a handgun- am I going to freak people out if I, as a woman, am clearly carrying a firearm while caring for my 3 children (ages 2, 6, and 8)? I would like to have some sort of defense, love hiking but won't go with just me and the kids, at least not without some sort of protection.

    Would I be drawing far too much attention to myself? I am not the type to like any extra attention, kind of stay on the sidelines, but the cost and time to obtain a concealed carry permit are things I would rather not deal with. Although if it would be better, I would consider it.

    Mainly I am wondering if "concerned people" would be more likely to call law enforcement because I am a mom with children, or not.

    I am well versed in firearm safety, I am a decent shot, had plenty of practice with friends' weapons, just never had my own, so no worries on my ability to handle it or to take appropriate safety precautions. I realize that it is my legal right to openly carry a firearm, that being said, I do not want to have to deal with a situation every time I go out.

    And yes, I chose a title to (hopefully) garner attention, only so that I could get as many responses as possible. And no, I am not going to go grocery shopping or museum visiting with it on my person, at least not right away. Would likely leave it in my car during such scenarios.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Carrying while mothering

    There are many mothers that open carry on this site. It is not unusual or strange at all. I think that you will find that most people don't either notice that you are OCing or don't care. Don't worry too much about other people's perceptions, focus on protecting your family.

    I think a mother with a gun is likely to draw even less attention than a man with a gun and a child (especially when your kid is yelling "let me go, I want my mommy as you're leaving the grocery store lol). I have been OCing for the entire time my 3-year has been alive and have never had a negative encounter. In my five years of OCing I have also never had any kind of encounter with the police so don't stress about that either. Just make sure you are aware of every law that relates to you as an open-carrier.

    Now why wouldn't you carry to the grocery store or museum? My advice is to carry everywhere you are legally able to every time you leave your house. There is no such place as a safe zone.

    Finally you should check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. It is a great group dedicated to gun rights in VA. If you go to their website you can sign up for VA-ALERT (on the right side of the page) which is a free email system that will keep you informed about everything gun-related going on in the state. The website is http://www.vcdl.org
    Last edited by thebigsd; 11-03-2012 at 11:16 AM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Thank you for your response. It's very good to know there are other moms on this site, I expected it to be mostly guys.

    I am certainly a little less worried now.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Carrying while mothering

    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    Thank you for your response. It's very good to know there are other moms on this site, I expected it to be mostly guys.

    I am certainly a little less worried now.
    Glad to reassure you! Still curious as to why you wouldn't OC to the grocery store though...
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    +1 to what thebigsd said.

    In my experience, most people don't notice. My husband's OCing gets noticed a lot, however, and he frequently has to point it out to people that I'm even armed. They especially don't seem to notice when I am pregnant, LOL!

    The only time someone has independently noticed me OCing was at a rest stop in NC, and I had to walk past him while carrying my year old son. He was in the process of castigating someone on the phone, and said he was going to hold back certain remarks until "the lady with her baby passes me, then I'mma let you have it!" I passed by with my weak side to him, and he must have watched me as I walked away, because all of a sudden I heard him exclaim to his cellular companion; "Holy ****! The lady with the baby has a gat! She's strapped! I wasn't gonna mess with her before, but I'm definitely not going to now!"

    He didn't sound fearful or alarmed; just very surprised. Everyone else that has ever noticed is simply surprised or curious. I think you'll be fine, but if it makes you nervous to do so, I recommend an OCing buddy, or going to an open carry breakfast or meet up until you get more comfortable with it. It took me some getting used to, but now I carry every day and every where, and feel naked without it!

    I applaud you for carrying to defend you and your kids!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Glad to reassure you! Still curious as to why you wouldn't OC to the grocery store though...
    Feeling like everyone would stare at me? I wear jeans and a t-shirt, rather fitted ones at that. It would be obvious, or at least I think it would be.

    Do you all carry to the grocery store, Walmart, anywhere else you go? Have you ever had problems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    I have a question about openly carrying a handgun- am I going to freak people out if I, as a woman, am clearly carrying a firearm while caring for my 3 children (ages 2, 6, and 8)? I would like to have some sort of defense, love hiking but won't go with just me and the kids, at least not without some sort of protection.

    Would I be drawing far too much attention to myself? I am not the type to like any extra attention, kind of stay on the sidelines, but the cost and time to obtain a concealed carry permit are things I would rather not deal with. Although if it would be better, I would consider it.

    Mainly I am wondering if "concerned people" would be more likely to call law enforcement because I am a mom with children, or not.

    I am well versed in firearm safety, I am a decent shot, had plenty of practice with friends' weapons, just never had my own, so no worries on my ability to handle it or to take appropriate safety precautions. I realize that it is my legal right to openly carry a firearm, that being said, I do not want to have to deal with a situation every time I go out.

    And yes, I chose a title to (hopefully) garner attention, only so that I could get as many responses as possible. And no, I am not going to go grocery shopping or museum visiting with it on my person, at least not right away. Would likely leave it in my car during such scenarios.
    I open carry while fathering quite often, and never get harassed or bothered in unpleasant ways. Here in KY seeing a firearm is rather common, and I have never had a bad experience while just out and about doing my business -- with or without my children. I have had problems before while carrying, but these have all occurred while dealing with rogue government agents and such, where such a confrontation could be expected until those confronting are informed of the law (which they are normally very displeased that I have a right to carry in "their" buildings).

    I wouldn't worry about having problems; I would expect just the opposite because you are a woman with children around. Like the other posters have stated, most people will never notice you are armed; the rest of the people will not care.

    So, go purchase a firearm that you like and enjoy and carry on.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Nobody's done it yet, so I will.

    First, yes, I think most of us will applaud your decision. The hesitations you are dealing with are not trivial, and your willingness to confront them and move past them are to be commended.

    The long-timers here can't read this thread without recalling the proud, but also sad memories of another mom who carried, a woman from Pennsylvania named Meleanie Hain. (That is the correct spelling of her first name.)

    Meleanie was a bit of a hero for the Open Carry movement, who first came to public attention by openly carrying her sidearm to her childrens' Rec League soccer games. She took heat from some of the other sheeple-parents, and caught the attention of her local Sheriff. The Sheriff decided it was a great way to earn some publicity, so he took away her LTCF (Pennsylvania's License to Carry Firearms). Of course, there were no laws broken, so she appealed the decision and the judge returned her permit - all in the public view of the press, which reached national levels of exposure, including TV interviews on FoxNews.

    The sad twist to this hero's story is that she had an absolute schmuck for a husband, who shot and killed her one evening while she was working on her computer in the kitchen of their home. Being the schmuck coward that he was, he then took his own life.

    I'm reluctant to bring such a sad part of the story to your thread, but unfortunately, one cannot learn of the heroic part of Meleanie's life without also learning of the tragic end.

    Because of the publicity, there are many news stories about Meleanie's life both during her Open Carry fight, and of course covering her untimely death as well.

    TFred

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    What a bunch of knuckle-dragging neanderthals you have had to deal with so far. Not a single one of them extended a welcome to our little cave. So -

    Welcome to OCDO. Oh, yeah - and join VCDL www.vcdl.org .

    Having gotten that out of the way, let me steer you to two great moms that put their gun-carrying out there - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJriDAhIIQs (a whole raft of videos - you should be able to wade through all of them in just a few hours short of a full week ) and www.agirlandhergun.org , who lives out your way and is part of a good training outfit. Working through these two, and of course Kate Jackson's The Cornered Cat www.corneredcat.com and Brigid http://mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com should start you on your way to not only getting answers to your questions/concerns but to having even more that you want to find answers to.

    If you have not yet selected your handgun, please read http://www.corneredcat.com/article/f...un-for-a-woman and http://www.corneredcat.com/article/f...-for-your-wife .

    Right now there are not a lot of OCers who are willing to get together socially (meet&greets) but with a little prodding that situation might be "corrected". If nothing else, the old "If you post it, they will come" routine works (most of the time).

    Glasd to have you with us. Please stick around - we need both the fresh perspective and the "different" viewpoint you bring.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    I'm not a mother, so I might have a different view.

    Everywhere you go, there is always the possibility that you may encounter danger. Such situations are rare for anyone of us, but they are also unpredictable. Thus, you must be prepared.

    Preparation takes on all forms, not just the carry of a sidearm. You must learn to recognize danger before it happens, and take steps to avoid it if at all possible. If not, then you may need to "protect in place". If your children are with you, heed the advice given by the flight attendants during the pre-flight briefing: "If you are traveling with small children, don your own oxygen mask first, then see to them" (or words to that effect).

    First, make sure that your kids all know their names, addresses, your name (no, it's not Mommy) and phone #s. If you get separated, they'll be able to tell someone how to contact you. If you find yourself in a confrontational situation where you feel the need to defend yourself, get between your attacker and your kids (they might try to defend you). If necessary, order them to run away and get help. (Teach them what that means). If you're near your car, get them into it first, then yourself.

    Once you know that your kids are safe, (relative to your attacker), then draw your weapon as a last resort. Focus on him, don't take your eyes off him, and look at him through your gun sight. Get that gun up to your eye level, in both hands, and fully extend both arms. Point your gun as you look. Don't turn your head, turn your body. Your kids might be screaming in the background; let them. Your first priority is stopping the threat.

    You should only care about the impression you make on a threat. Otherwise, why you carry is no one else's business.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    rosesandbrambles there are a considerable number of ladies here in Virginia, some with children, that regularly OC.

    To name a few, there is Tess, ClumsyCandy, DoubleTap, Riana,Steeler-gal, and a pile more. We have executive members of VCDL that happen to be female and quite a number of firearms instructors fit that description.

    It has been my experience that women are less liable to have problems when OCing, especially when they have children in tow.

    I would recommend reading from 2 sources:

    This one is designed for women by a women, very insightful internet site:
    http://www.corneredcat.com/

    Outstanding book for either gender:
    http://www.amazon.com/Armed-Female-T.../dp/0312951507

    Paxton Quigley taking a "breather" at Massad Ayoob's Lethal Force Institute
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-03-2012 at 03:16 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    SNIP I have a question about openly carrying a handgun- am I going to freak people out if I, as a woman, am clearly carrying a firearm while caring for my 3 children (ages 2, 6, and 8)? I would like to have some sort of defense, love hiking but won't go with just me and the kids, at least not without some sort of protection...

    And no, I am not going to go grocery shopping or museum visiting with it on my person, at least not right away. Would likely leave it in my car during such scenarios.
    Welcome to Open Carry dot Org.

    I won't address the woman-carry stuff because others already responded.

    You might want to give some serious reconsideration to leaving the gun in your car. Its open to theft. Personally, I don't see a problem with it. But, some folks are quite willing to blame the victim as much or more than the criminal who steals it--attacking the victim for making the gun accessible to a criminal. You'll want to decide whether you're up to the argument if the gun is stolen. And, willing to take the risk of the loss in the first place.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Nobody's done it yet, so I will.

    First, yes, I think most of us will applaud your decision. The hesitations you are dealing with are not trivial, and your willingness to confront them and move past them are to be commended.

    The long-timers here can't read this thread without recalling the proud, but also sad memories of another mom who carried, a woman from Pennsylvania named Meleanie Hain. (That is the correct spelling of her first name.)

    Meleanie was a bit of a hero for the Open Carry movement, who first came to public attention by openly carrying her sidearm to her childrens' Rec League soccer games. She took heat from some of the other sheeple-parents, and caught the attention of her local Sheriff. The Sheriff decided it was a great way to earn some publicity, so he took away her LTCF (Pennsylvania's License to Carry Firearms). Of course, there were no laws broken, so she appealed the decision and the judge returned her permit - all in the public view of the press, which reached national levels of exposure, including TV interviews on FoxNews.

    The sad twist to this hero's story is that she had an absolute schmuck for a husband, who shot and killed her one evening while she was working on her computer in the kitchen of their home. Being the schmuck coward that he was, he then took his own life.

    I'm reluctant to bring such a sad part of the story to your thread, but unfortunately, one cannot learn of the heroic part of Meleanie's life without also learning of the tragic end.

    Because of the publicity, there are many news stories about Meleanie's life both during her Open Carry fight, and of course covering her untimely death as well.

    TFred
    What does the nature of Mrs. Hain's death have to do with "open carrying while mothering"?

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Carrying while mothering

    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    Feeling like everyone would stare at me? I wear jeans and a t-shirt, rather fitted ones at that. It would be obvious, or at least I think it would be.

    Do you all carry to the grocery store, Walmart, anywhere else you go? Have you ever had problems?
    I carry everywhere that I am legally able to. In five years I have ony had one lady tell me she was scared that someone would take my gun. Beyond that I have never had a negative encounter.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    I thought the whole reason for girls, ladies, and women wearing makeup was to get more looks.

    Well just imagine what a Smith & Wesson or Glock would do for you then?

    That is one of the most sensible, telling of statements. Would make a very favorable impression on this Cro Magnon male.

    Don't care if she can cook - that's why they invented carry out. She doesn't need to iron - I wear wash and wear or utilize the corner dry cleaner.

    But if she'll go shooting with me and carry as an equal, we'll go far and enjoy the journey.

    Now a 1911 on her hip in condition 1 is the thing of which dreams are made.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member paramedic's Avatar
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    My wife carries every where she goes, has never had an issue, our youngest in now 14. Yes she carries to the grocery store, wally world, and any where else she is legally allowed to do so. And as someone else mentioned, most people notice mine way before they notice hers. In fact she gets a little jealous when someone starts asking about mine, and never asks her what she is carrying . I usually just tell her that is because they are not looking down that far.....

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    I must admit, I was a little nervous posting or asking anything, but you all are so nice. Thank you to everyone who posted, the warm welcomes, the websites for more info, the tips...

    I appreciate your kindness and honesty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    Feeling like everyone would stare at me? I wear jeans and a t-shirt, rather fitted ones at that. It would be obvious, or at least I think it would be.

    Do you all carry to the grocery store, Walmart, anywhere else you go? Have you ever had problems?
    We also applaud your decision.

    My wife (and I) OC at all of the places you mentioned, most of the time they don't notice (even though she is about 4'8", wears similar type of clothes and carries a near full size 9mm) but during the times they do, they mostly look at it to make sure what they are seeing then carry on with what they were doing before noticing. A select few have said positive things (nice gun, etc) she has yet to have encountered any negative comments being expressed.

  19. #19
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PistolPackingMomma View Post
    What does the nature of Mrs. Hain's death have to do with "open carrying while mothering"?
    Nothing whatsoever, if you choose to keep a small focus. However, it is difficult to start the story about Meleanie Hain without finishing it. She became famous for her courage and her stance against the "good old boy network" in her home town. I would assume that a few who read about her here would search out some of the media reports to read for themselves, but unfortunately, all the top search engine returns now list the much sadder stories of the criminal attack that took her life. I wouldn't want someone to learn of her here and then be surprised to find out on their own what happened to her later.

    And also just as I said in my first post... those of us who "knew" her to whatever extent, whether in person, or just via the distance of e-mail or forum communication, can't separate our pride in knowing a real OC hero from our sense of loss at her death.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    Feeling like everyone would stare at me? I wear jeans and a t-shirt, rather fitted ones at that. It would be obvious, or at least I think it would be.

    Do you all carry to the grocery store, Walmart, anywhere else you go? Have you ever had problems?
    I open carry every where I go except for work,so far I havent had eny proplems at all.

  21. #21
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Nothing whatsoever, if you choose to keep a small focus. However, it is difficult to start the story about Meleanie Hain without finishing it. She became famous for her courage and her stance against the "good old boy network" in her home town. I would assume that a few who read about her here would search out some of the media reports to read for themselves, but unfortunately, all the top search engine returns now list the much sadder stories of the criminal attack that took her life. I wouldn't want someone to learn of her here and then be surprised to find out on their own what happened to her later.

    And also just as I said in my first post... those of us who "knew" her to whatever extent, whether in person, or just via the distance of e-mail or forum communication, can't separate our pride in knowing a real OC hero from our sense of loss at her death.

    TFred

    DoubleTap and I both knew Meleanie - she was the real deal. Was going to post a picture of the two of them in happier times, but it is on my home PC and I'm not there. If I can remember, I dig it out after the week-end.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robert1970 View Post
    I open carry every where I go except for work,so far I havent had eny proplems at all.
    Yes but you are also a dude. Seriously, I get noticed when I OC (PeterNap I give you permission to post my butt) because of my size. I'm 5' 9" and weigh, well, lets just say I'm "slender" to use Grapes words. : ) I've been with guys, we're both OCing, and I'm the one they see, and unless I point it out, they never notice that he is carrying. That being said.

    You won't know until you try. Some of the individuals on here don't believe in concealing. To me, there is a time and a place for everything. They'll argue concealed is harder to get to, etc. etc. From my point of view, having carried while being with a child (who was not my own), sometimes, it's just easier to have it concealed. I had an incident with Barnes and Noble (the search function here is VERY good, however, I'm sure one of the old guys with more time and two working hands could find it for you) when I was open carrying. Again, I mostly conceal now but I do attract attention when I OC. My husband prefers to conceal because he doesn't want the attention. Luckily, he's a leftie, I'm a rightie (when it works) so we are covered on both sides and dont risk hitting each other when we draw. I think many of the gentlemen here, while trying to help, truly can never understand from a woman's perspective. It is different for us, and whereas you may catch some flak for it, often times, women are still stuck in HS and will judge another woman for having a firearm. I choose not to be a victim. I can't run. I can't fight. Without my trusty sidearm, I feel like I don't stand a chance in a volatile situation.

    Short Version: Do what feels comfortable while continuing to protect yourself, your family and those around you. Being able to shoot is great, however, you have to mentally be prepared to shoot as well. Conceal or Open, do what feels right to you at the time.

    And as always, carry on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClumsyCandy View Post
    Yes but you are also a dude. Seriously, I get noticed when I OC (PeterNap I give you permission to post my butt) because of my size. I'm 5' 9" and weigh, well, lets just say I'm "slender" to use Grapes words. : ) I've been with guys, we're both OCing, and I'm the one they see, and unless I point it out, they never notice that he is carrying. That being said.

    You won't know until you try. Some of the individuals on here don't believe in concealing. To me, there is a time and a place for everything. They'll argue concealed is harder to get to, etc. etc. From my point of view, having carried while being with a child (who was not my own), sometimes, it's just easier to have it concealed. I had an incident with Barnes and Noble (the search function here is VERY good, however, I'm sure one of the old guys with more time and two working hands could find it for you) when I was open carrying. Again, I mostly conceal now but I do attract attention when I OC. My husband prefers to conceal because he doesn't want the attention. Luckily, he's a leftie, I'm a rightie (when it works) so we are covered on both sides and dont risk hitting each other when we draw. I think many of the gentlemen here, while trying to help, truly can never understand from a woman's perspective. It is different for us, and whereas you may catch some flak for it, often times, women are still stuck in HS and will judge another woman for having a firearm. I choose not to be a victim. I can't run. I can't fight. Without my trusty sidearm, I feel like I don't stand a chance in a volatile situation.

    Short Version: Do what feels comfortable while continuing to protect yourself, your family and those around you. Being able to shoot is great, however, you have to mentally be prepared to shoot as well. Conceal or Open, do what feels right to you at the time.

    And as always, carry on.
    A couple of responses to what you wrote and what everyone else has:

    -One of the reasons I want to carry, but far from the only one, is a violent and armed ex spouse

    -One of the reasons concealed may be better is my children not reporting back to him on me, he has weapons too, but likes to spin everything he can. On the flip side, time and money are in very short supply for me, so taking a class for the permit would be very difficult. Have saved for a firearm, but getting babysitters and actually going shooting? Something I will have to wait and work toward. Yes I've shot before, but it's been 8 years, and while I would like to fire whatever weapon I choose before committing to it, I am going to have to settle for doing as much research as I can and practicing with snap caps in my home after the children fall asleep.
    Last edited by rosesandbrambles; 11-04-2012 at 07:13 AM.

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosesandbrambles View Post
    A couple of responses to what you wrote and what everyone else has:

    -One of the reasons I want to carry, but far from the only one, is a violent and armed ex spouse

    -One of the reasons concealed may be better is my children not reporting back to him on me, he has weapons too, but likes to spin everything he can. On the flip side, time and money are in very short supply for me, so taking a class for the permit would be very difficult. Have saved for a firearm, but getting babysitters and actually going shooting? Something I will have to wait and work toward. Yes I've shot before, but it's been 8 years, and while I would like to fire whatever weapon I choose before committing to it, I am going to have to settle for doing as much research as I can and practicing with snap caps in my home after the children fall asleep.

    I don't recommend the on-line firearms class for those who have not yet had experience and training with their firearm, but you say you have. So you should know there is an on-line course that meets the requirements for the Virginia CHP. It is significantly less expensive than in-person courses. That said, when you have the opportunity for instructor-led training, TAKE IT. There is no such thing as too much good training.

    As pistolpackingmama said, often one is not noticed, even while pregnant. When I first met Harper1227, she was pregnant and open-carrying. It increased my respect for her. She and others have also been profiled in magazines (though I can't find the links, one of the threads about the stories is here: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...thern-Virginia. )

    I've been open carrying in Northern Virginia (though much further east than you) for almost 10 years, with only one negative encounter. While I'm closer to grandmother age than mother, I often have in tow my adult special-needs son, and I can point to him as another reason for me to carry.

    So welcome. Strap that gun to your side and be proud that you're showing the world you're neither weak nor unprotected. (Bad guys prey on the weak and unprotected).

    And mentally prepare yourself for encounters that might be unique to you (i.e. armed ex). At least play in your mind with scenarios that COULD come up, and prepare not only for how you would handle it but for what your children would need to know. I won't say any more on that subject because I'm simply not even an amateur there, much less expert.
    Last edited by Tess; 11-04-2012 at 07:57 AM.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    It only gets nasty when you talk about politics or religion. Just like anyplace else.
    Or the best rifle for Deer Hunting or if plastic guns are better than real ones or .........

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