The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across a keyboard

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Women Carrying Concealed - Information for Writers

Schietsport, vrouwen met pistool / Sports, sho...
Schietsport, vrouwen met pistool / Sports, shooting. Women with pistols (Photo credit: Nationaal Archief)

DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or decision.





Fiona - 
Today I am interviewing Kelli about conceal carry. Hey Kelli, are you ready?


Kelli - 
Yep. I'm cooking deer meat, so I may get up and walk off for one second if you wonder why it takes me a minute.
English: Handgun showing self lighting Tritium...
English: Handgun showing self lighting Tritium sights. These sights are commonly referred to as night sights and allow use in low-light and night conditions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiona - 
Bahaha. You do that. Kelli, how would you describe yourself to my readers?

Kelli - 
I'm a 'down home' type of person. I like being in nature and with plants and animals and being able to do things for myself as much as possible. 
I was taught not to ask for help, that shows weakness. Friendly, helpful, but not a doormat to anyone. Growing up, I rode motorcycles, tried to rehab animals that were hurt, went camping with my family and spent most of my time outside playing. I grew up in southern West Virginia.


Wikipedia

Fiona -  
Kelli is being modest. She also holds an MA in education, qualifies to test for her third degree black belt, and is a Tae Kwon Do instructor. Okay, girlfriend, let's talk conceal carry. Watcha got in your purse?



Kelli - 
In my purse I have a journal, my wallet, and some chapstick. I don't carry in my purse!


Fiona
Where do you like to carry, what do you like to carry and why do you do it?

Kelli - 
I carry a .380 Ruger LCP and I use a Smart Carry for that (goes around the waist, deeply concealed). I carry for the same reason people wear a seat-belt, not because I think I will need it, but because it is a good idea for that 'just in case' moment. 

English: Clockwise start at the top left: Gloc...
English: Clockwise start at the top left: Glock G22, Glock G21, Kimber Custom Raptor, Dan Wesson Commander, Ruger sp101, Ruger Blackhawk .357, Sig Sauer P220 Combat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fiona - 
Have you ever needed it?

Kelli - 
Thankfully no, I have never had to draw! I also keep a .357 Ruger revolver in my console of my truck.

Fiona - And also a knife?

Kelli - 
As an herbalist, I always carry a good pocketknife, Benchmade! 

Fiona -  
So let's start at the beginning - when did you decide to start carrying and was there any particular reason?

Kelli - 
When I moved to CA we couldn't take a lot of our guns with us because of the law. So I left most of them at home in WV (we took one) after left there I moved to VA, and I realized there were times I was in some 'not so good' areas (not like home in WV where we know everyone). 

I started thinking about how I had lost my shooting skills being gone and how I would like them to get sharpened again. So I took a few classes and then saw they had a conceal carry class and thought that would be a good idea. So I went to the class, got my certification, and went through with the permit! 

My husband had been in Iraq, and I remember feeling a little more vulnerable during that time. I thought I should keep my shooting skills up and get more proactive with my protection of the house and of my daughter. Especially when we were out (we often traveled out of town on agility trials and went back home to WV a lot. (Kelli trains dogs for agility trials.)

Fiona - 
You like to use a Smart Carry and even made a YouTube video, right?

Kelli - 
Yes. I love the Smart Carry, and there were no videos showing how it fit women and how good it was for conceal for women. Most of the videos showed men only. So I wanted to show how easy it was for other women who may be thinking about it.



Fiona - 
Thanks for sharing! When you read books or watch videos of women with guns - I'm sure you see mistakes. What are some of the things that you would like writers to know about women carrying concealed?


Kelli - 
One of my biggest issues with the way women carry is that in most cases they think it is safe or preferable to carry in their purse. I am not saying this is wrong, but I don't feel it is the safest and quickest way to access your gun. Someone who wants to rob you may take your purse (now they have your gun, too).

English: An XOXO brand purse.
English: An XOXO brand purse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fiona - 
Okay Ladies, don't put your gun in your purse. And writers, now you can see how this can go wrong for our heroines - if you're trying to make the scene go bad.



Kelli - 
Right. If you have your gun on you, you can access it quicker and if you walk off from your purse there is no risk of someone (maybe a child) getting your gun. To me, that is very dangerous, and I don't care for it.

Youtube of a bra - carry

Fiona - 
Agreed. What about the chick who is afraid, and so she goes to the gun shop, buys a gun, and sticks it in her purse - do you like that one?


Kelli - 
Yikes! Know your gun. Practice with it. Practice drawing from different angels, different scenarios.


Fiona -
You mean I won't have time to hit my favorite pose and do some cleansing yoga breaths?


Kelli - Uhm, no. Fear can cloud your judgment, I would suggest that person get with an instructor and help her overcome her fears, and teach her how to use and carry her gun appropriately to fit her situation and circumstances (whatever they may be).


Fiona - 
Any other advice for the scared rabbit heroine?


Kelli - 
Don't be scared. Be prepared.

Fiona -
We should make a T-shirt.


Kelli - 
Bahaha. Yes. But that is my best advice on anything. Don't be scared, find ways to help yourself feel more confident about your self-defense skills (maybe take a women's self-defense class, martial arts, etc) but fear is NOT your friend! Confidence is your friend!


Fiona - 
Any ethics we need to keep in mind about conceal carry?


Kelli - 
If I am carrying, I usually take my gun off before going into someone's home, unless I know they are gun-friendly, and I usually do tell them. I ask them if that makes them uncomfortable (though I usually remove it). I think that is just being a good friend. If I know they are okay with it and carry themselves then I wouldn't think about it as much.


Fiona -  
Where can you get in trouble carrying - for writers who don't use guns, can you make a quick list? That was cryptic. I mean like a bar, the courthouse...


Kelli - 
That can depend on the state (you should always follow your state laws) but generally government agencies and schools are the top ones. I am not an expert in that so anyone interested needs to research that thoroughly and keep a list on your refrigerator, memorize, keep it in your car, etc. you need to know the law, if you don't you are not ready to carry! 

Advice for the heroine carrying concealed?


Kelli - 
Well my daddy told me this, "Never put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to kill what is in front of you," and that is a big thing to consider. So my best advice is really think about it. Is your heroine willing to squeeze that trigger if she has to? If not, then she shouldn't carry. If your heroine hesitates, the gun can and will be used against her. Your heroine has to be 1000% sure of her ability to defend her life (or her family's). This is not play time; this is serious. And she needs to be serious about it.


Me - 
And now for the last words...


Kelli - 
My final thought? My life is worth defending, is yours? I really would like to see more women either carry, learn self defense skills, or something to protect themselves, sadly this world is not rainbows and unicorns. Women are often victims; it is time to end that!


Fiona - 
Amen. Thanks to Kelli for sharing her insights and thanks to you for stopping by. 



Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

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7 comments:

  1. Hey Kelli,

    What came before Smart Carry, or maybe what would be your second choice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelli is out of town right now, so let me weigh in. The holster Kelli uses is for deep carry, and she trains draws from that position. It works really well with Kelly's wardrobe and gun.

      The holster make and style will depend on your character's body composition, clothing styles, and gun. What is perfect for one person is not for another. For example, I wear my pants tighter than Kelli does and a smart carry would protrude under my clothing, making me look pregnant. As well, I often wear small dresses. With some dresses, it is easier to get my gun up through the cleavage; and in others, it's easier to reach down to a thigh holster. Most women I know, who carry concealed, have various holders to accommodate their clothing choice for that day. However, you character would need to train draws from ALL of her holsters to always be at top proficiency when adrenaline is running high.

      Hope that helps, let me know if you need more information.

      Fiona

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  2. First, I love your blog! Thank you so much for all the helpful posts.

    You had another post on how to tell if someone was carrying concealed. Those examples mainly seemed to apply to men or to women dressed androgynously.

    What if the fashionably dressed female is the villain? Any clues to let you know she's armed?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Loretta,

    My great pleasure - so glad you found your way here.

    The tells on a fashionable woman are going to be less obvious and will depend on where she has her weapon holstered.
    Is it in an ankle holster? She may cross her legs and rub her shin to give her hand a reason to be reaching down there. Or put both hands on her knee (It's a two handed draw - one to move the cloth, the other to pull the weapon)
    Is it in her bra? - That's a pretty slow draw. She either has to go down the front or up under. If the gun is in a down draw bra holster or a belly holster or under her shirt follow the description in the aggression article. (http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/2013/06/trouble-body-language-101-for-writers.html)
    If it's in an underarm holster, her jacket will be large, boxy, and unbuttoned - it is possible to catch a glimpse of it if her movements aren't careful. But she would angle her non-dominant side (the one with the holster since it's an across body draw) backwards just before hand.

    And of course since they are focused on the situation and on their next move, the eyes are hard and concentrating, the face is still, the muscles are tight, there is a perceptible change in the breathing pattern. (Unless highly trained)

    Hope this helps,

    Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, thank you! You're awesome.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for all these great posts. When I first started writing I was (and still am) writing about chicks and badassery. Often, this means a girl gets a gun. I had experience with a 22 and held a few shotguns, but handguns always eluded me. You have really helped me flesh it out! My only question is this: people keep telling me "steel is always cold", and there is no "gun" smell, and that the metal of the gun doesn't have a taste, and that if you shot a hand gun on a fairly regular basis you wouldn't occasionally pick up the smell of your gun on you, under your pillow etc. I have never shot a hand gun on a regular basis, but somehow, I think this has got to be bogus. Can you help me out? Wont there be residue? Wont that residue ultimately kind of permeate your life? Is it colorless, odorless? Does shooting a handgun almost every day of your life leave no physical trace in said life? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      First, let me direct you to this blog article that talks about residue:
      http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/2014/07/firearms-investigation-and-ballistic.html

      The gun barrel heats. It's metal. It will heat to skin temp if carrying concealed and will heat with your shots. Some weapons like machine guns get extremely hot to the point that you have them on a stand; you don't hold them. The more shots in quick succession the hotter your barrel. The grip doesn't get hot and often has a rubber grip to keep your hand from sliding when adrenaline kicks in, and you are perspiring.

      Firing a gun produces and odor. Absolutely.
      Lead, soot, gunpowder - yes a very distinctive smell. The residue stays on your hands and clothes until washed. If you don't clean up, according to Locart's Exchange Principal
      http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/2013/10/crime-scene-101-for-writers-decisions.html
      you will distribute the residue. Perhaps a soldier who spends her days shooting then tumbles exhausted into bed would produce enough residue that it builds up, but most people wash their sheets, clothes, etc. So no your heroine's world would not be dusted in gsr.

      Colorless? No, it's grey/black/soot colored.

      Unless your heroine builds up a callus or blister on her trigger finger, if she takes a good shower and wears fresh clothes no one would be able to tell.

      I have never licked my gun (lead from the gsr can build up in your system, and lead is a heavy metal/toxic - though that's not the only reason I don't lick my gun) - but metal is metal and tastes metallic.

      Hope this helps

      Cheers, Fiona

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