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4 Weird Things People Ask Women Who Carry Guns (and How to Answer)

4 Weird Things People Ask Women Who Carry Guns (and How to Answer)

If you're a woman who chooses to carry concealed, chances are quite good that sooner or later someone will question you about your decision. Most of the time, anyone with whom you're close enough to have shared that information will be respectful towards you, but let's face it: There's a lot of misinformation out there about guns, gun owners, the laws about armed self-defense and carrying concealed. We responsible gun owners are usually facing an uphill battle trying to gently and respectfully correct those misperceptions. 

For some reason, the conversation tends to be even more difficult when the subject is a woman who carries a firearm for self-defense. The reasons why are both beyond the scope of this article and this writer's qualifications—although a tentative guess might be cultural expectations of women as nurturers—but it's a fact that the questions directed at women who carry concealed tend to be a bit more pointed, shall we say, than those directed at men. It can be frustrating. That said, it remains important that we serve as good ambassadors for our beliefs, and that we do our best to be respectful towards people who (however clumsily) are at least trying to understand. One key to success is to keep your initial reaction on the inside...and have some polite replies ready to go. Here's what that might look like.

Weird Question #1: "Aren't you scared the gun will go off?"

Snarky reaction that you keep inside your head: "No."
 

Actual reply: "Firearms don't really work that way. The only way to get my gun to discharge is to grip it securely in both hands, releasing the grip safety, then to deliberately squeeze the trigger. It's not something that can happen on its own, or if the gun gets jostled or dropped."
(Of course, different kinds of guns have different safety mechanisms, from passive to active (or both), so you'll want to tailor your response. Just keep it simple and try to avoid using specific firearms terms that people unfamiliar with guns may not know.)

Weird Question #2: "Aren't you worried the 'bad guy' will just take the gun away from you and use it against you?" 

Snarky reaction that you keep inside your head: "No."
 

Actual reply: "The only reason I would ever even let the 'bad guy' know I had a gun is if my life were already in immediate danger. It's an absolute last resort. What's more, I've undergone extensive training to learn how to draw the gun from concealment and fire it quickly and accurately to stop the threat."
(Of course, you have had the training, right?) 

Weird Question #3: "Can't you just carry pepper spray/get a whistle/learn martial arts?" 

Snarky reaction that you keep inside your head: "No." 

Actual reply: "Some people do choose 'less lethal' methods of self-defense, and that's entirely up to them. The problem is that they're generally not as effective at stopping a person who is determined to harm or kill. Even martial-arts experts can be overpowered physically by someone who takes them by surprise or is much bigger and stronger. Whistles won't help unless there's someone around to hear it...and they're willing to intervene. Finally, although pepper spray can be quite incapacitating, it doesn't work the same way on everyone. Some aggressors who are intoxicated or just very determined are able to power through it. It's not a risk I choose to take."

(Of course, "less lethal" self-defense tools can certainly be a part of your overall strategy, depending on your circumstances! Here's a great article from our friends at Shooting Illustrated with more information.)

Weird Question #4: "So...can I see it?" 

Snarky reaction that you keep inside your head: "No." 

Actual reply: "No. It's irresponsible and, in some areas, illegal for me to display my concealed-carry firearm in public unless I am actively using it to lawfully defend myself. But if you'd like to go to the range with me and let me teach you the rules of gun safety, not only will I let you see it, I'll let you shoot it."
(And while you're at it, you can sign up for NRA's Mentor Sweepstakes and become eligible to win some terrific prizes!)

What weird gun questions have you been asked? How did you handle it? Tell us in the comments!

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