Should You Apply for a Concealed Carry Permit?

By Kellene Bishop

I am frequently asked how I feel about letting the government know I have a firearm. Folks seem to be a bit concerned for my well-being when they learn that I’ve applied for a concealed firearm permit. They are concerned that doing so somehow puts me on a list and now the government can know where to go to take my firearm. Well, that’s one way to put it, Ladies, but I see it very, very differently than that. Continue reading

Where Should You Wear Your Gun?

By Kellene Bishop

The other day I was on my way up to Salt Lake City to work a “self-reliance conference.”  My car has the entire back window taken up by a vinyl sign for Women of Caliber, mentioning the firearm and physical self-defense classes I offer. Being in a bit of a hurry, I zipped through a school zone without paying attention to my speedometer. After getting midway through the school zone, I slowed down, but if there was a police car watching for me or other speeders I most likely would have been pulled over for speeding.

Instinctively when I recognize Continue reading

It’s Always a Good Day to Teach a News Reporter How to Shoot!

So, yesterday morning I got up at “stupid-o-clock” so that I could hook up with a female news reporter from our local ABC news morning show. The premise was that she was discussing ways for women to better defend themselves and her research came across the fact that in 2009, National Shooting Sports reported a 73% increase in women buying guns! (yes, Obama–he really is the world’s best gun salesman, isn’t he?)

We met up at the range near my home in Provo Canyon amidst snow and sleet. But this gal was undeterred. It turns out that it was her very first time to ever shoot a firearm and she actually had been wanting to do so for some time. Unfortunately for her though, she discovered that there are very, very few FEMALE firearm instructors. Was she ever happy to discover that one of the few female instructors in the world is right here under her nose.

So after a little bit of safety, grip, and other procedural info we were to go live! Bless that gals heart! She shot a firearm for the very first time live on camera. She did awesome too! 13 years ago I would have broken down into the ugly cry after my first shot. Even more important, after less than 20 minutes of training, she was able to consistently hit a the targets. I was really impressed with her!

Here’s the link of the short clip they were able to show.

Women and Guns

 

She was sure to take the milk carton that she obliterated several times–as a souvenir. I’ve never seen someone so happy to be taking home a dirty milk carton! *grin*

Copyright Protected 2011, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

 

The Win Before the Fight

by Kellene Bishop

I’ve been reading a great book over the last couple of weeks, Molon Labe. In it the author reminds the reader several times that all fights are decided before the battle begins. The point being that it’s the level of preparation which takes place before a battle which determines the victor.  In the case of the self-defense of women, I advocate consistent, challenging practice which will ensure successful self-defense. While the attacker may have life-long experience as a bully or a law breaker, it doesn’t make him/her fully prepared for their battle with you directly. However, through consistent mental and physical rehearsal to apply to multiple “what if” scenarios, you are leagues ahead of any assailant. And thus your battles are already won before they even begin.

Even better, confidence, calm, presence of mind, necessary tools, and a clear conscience are the fruits of such preparation—even if you are ever called upon to defend yourself. There is simply no price of time or money that can be put upon such fruits, in my opinion.

This past Saturday I took a couple of my girlfriend’s children to the dollar theater to see “Shrek 4.” Both children were under 12, with the youngest being only 9 and who also has Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get into the theater for seating, there were very few options left for 3 people to sit together. Thankfully one of the theater employees escorted us to a side row of 4 seats, with the outside seat being occupied by a hefty man. The movie had just begun and so the employee quietly leaned down and requested the man allow us to scoot by him and be seated.  As if he had just been asked to relinquish control over his own private remote, and give up a years worth of beer, and run a 5K marathon, he responded quite put out.  His only “effort” to allow us to pass was to spread his overstuffed sausage legs further apart. Yes, it was so attractive,–not—and a bit creepy. Because of his size, it was still a bit difficult for the kids to get past him, let alone myself, who is also quite chubby. It would have been so much easier if he had simply got up from his seat, and stepped into the aisle a moment.  I suppose that I’m a bit spoiled nowadays with this expectation, as my husband certainly would have done the same thing for us and any stranger. Needless to say, it was irritating to have an example of such rudeness displayed to the kids.  Well, being the somewhat sassy person that I am, I just couldn’t hold it in and it had to be heard. I just had to say it. And say it I did. “Well, I guess chivalry is dead”, I quietly demurred.

I didn’t have any anger when I made this statement, nor did I shout. I suppose that a kinder person would have just kept quiet and tolerated his rudeness, but I guess I’m not very good at keeping some of my thoughts to myself. Having said my two cents, I realized that such an inconsiderate man would have been compelled to say something in return, but I suppose I had simply expected an apathetic “whatever” from the sweating, heavy breathing mammoth.  Not that I expected an apology in response to my comment, but I was a bit startled with what did come out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth or I’ll punch you in the face!”

Wait a minute.  Did you really just threaten to physically assault a woman with two kids simply because she called you out?  Really? This was your very first instinct, to threaten physical violence in a packed movie theater without a care in the world as to the consequences?  This was your knee jerk, comfortable, standard response?  Folks, that’s saying a whole heck of a lot right there!  Now ladies, understand what I’m about to share with you here.  I’m only 5’2 ½”—yes, you’ve got to count the ½ inch. *grin* And I’m just over 200 pounds. So no, I’m not an imposing person to deal with physically. In fact, I suspect that I’m looked at as an “easy mark” by some fools due to me being out of shape.  This man was approximately 6 feet and weighed probably about 300 pounds.  In spite of these physical factors, combined with his revealing physical threat right off the bat, , I was not frightened. In fact, it’s probably my lack of fear of any repercussions which I thought I could handle, that I uttered my initial sentence within earshot of him. I was calm and confident. In fact, my only concern at the time was that I didn’t want to cause the kids to feel uncomfortable—especially the youngest. So I simply replied, “I’m not trying to fight with you. You could have simply been nice and let us in. It was two kids for crying out loud.” His response, “Shut the hell up or else.” I must say, I was a bit shocked at his angry behavior in response to such a small incident and in spite of there being plenty of people surrounding him, he seemed to posses no shame, no modicum of morality, and certainly no care in the world about anyone else. It was easy to see that he was comfortable with his rage and his attitude against others who inconvenienced him. Since I would be sitting beside him during the course of the movie, I decided that I would make clear to him that I wasn’t quite who he thought I was. While it may seem overly dramatic, given his “first impression” I saw the faces of various women in my minds eye, who may have been the brunt of his societal standards. I’ll be honest. There was a point when I asked myself if the opportunity would present itself for me to use my Asp on this guy. I know. I know, just a titch warped. As such, I looked right at him and said very clearly “Sir. I’m definitely not the woman you want to mess with.” He turned his head to me for a moment as if to size me up.  He then sarcastically replied, “Oh. I’m really scared.”

“Good! That’s just where I like ‘em. Overconfident and unaware,” I said, still looking directly at him.

He then turned his head back to the movie and said “just shut up and watch the movie. That’s what you paid for.”

I decided that I had said enough at this point and ran the risk of upsetting the kids if our voices got any more elevated so that they could hear.

Now, there’s a reason I’m telling you all of this and it’s not for a purpose of self-aggrandizing. It’s because there are two important things for you to learn from this scenario. First of all, I was told by one of my friends that I should have said “Let’s see how scared you are with a forty caliber pointed at you.”  I suspect that my friend was just getting in to the mood of things in this comment, but if I had said something to that effect, I actually could have gotten myself in a whole lot of trouble. I would have easily been accused of inciting a riot, “brandishing a weapon”—even though I wasn’t literally showing my firearm, disturbing the peace, and lastly I’m creating a threat. More importantly, if a person ever truly does feel threatened in such a situation, you certainly would not want to show your cards like that. If you truly feel threatened, then do something about it. Act, not react.  In this case, I felt that for the time being this guy was just full of himself and didn’t like being called out by a girl.  If I had truly felt threatened, then it would have been within my legal right to have physically assaulted him with non-deadly force.  Yes, in such an instance I, being out manned in weight and height, would have been legally within my rights to have “thrown the first punch” so to speak. As women, it’s not necessary for us to get hit, shoved, beaten, etc. by a man first before we respond. I realize for some of you, that may be hard to conceptualize. But after Mr. Sausage made his first physical threat of punching me in the face, I would easily have been in the right with a solid punch to his wind pipes, or whatever other physical maneuver I would have felt necessary—enough to minimize the physical threat of this man. However, that’s only the case if it was me, short and chubby, against him.  Had a 6 year old boy said that to me, then I would not be permitted to proactively defend myself. It all boils down to the level of threat and the weight of advantages, vs. disadvantages. For example, if it had been my husband who was being talked to that way, he would not have gotten away with a first strike because of his training, physique, and the fact that he was armed. In order for a well-trained man to have responded to this threat, Mr. Sausage would have had to make a physical threat imminent.

So, did I just sit there and watch the cute movie and not give this anymore thought? No, that would have been foolish on my part. I was strategizing, actually, in the event that my leg bounced just the wrong way to make him mad, or one of the kids aggravated him if they had to squeeze out to go to the bathroom.  So, I made sure that my Asp was in my grasp, my pepper spray was ready to spray, and I discreetly removed my knife from my purse and put it in my pants pocket. I was ready if I had to defend myself.  But, I also recognized that the two kids were a liability to me if there was an altercation. So, I texted my husband and invited him to join me at the dollar theater. Through a series of texts he was brought up to par on the scenario, and secured a seat right behind Mr. Sausage in the theater.  I casually made it obvious to Mr. Sausage that I knew the man sitting right behind him. When the movie was getting ready to wrap up, Mr. Sausage decided to exit before all of the mushy, happily ever after took place in the film. All he left behind was the stench of his body odor and a lesson learned. No regrets. No fear. No rattled children. All was well.  As the children and I exited the movie theater, all they talked about was how cute the movie was. They were impervious to the problem, didn’t notice that my husband had joined us or that I had additional contents in my various pants pockets. We were able to keep everyone else safe without any stress or concern.

There’s one other thing that I want to share with you. While I was sitting there, enjoying the movie, I thought about you. Yes, you.  You; who may lack the sufficient confidence necessary to handle such a situation. You; who may be lacking in the appropriate tools of leverage necessary to handle such a situation.  While a firearm would not have been appropriate self-defense tool for this particular level of threat, nor was the environment appropriate; would you have been essentially unarmed otherwise? I decided that this man had obviously pushed around, without challenge, too many women in his life thus far. I want to do my best to ensure that you are not one of them in the future. So, I decided to share this little story with you. I hope it provides you with some food for thought and that you will see that occasions for vital mental and physical self-defense capabilities self-defense are not limited to robbery, rape, or a home invasion. And they are not all solved with one particular tool each time.  The great benefit of really internalizing and learning self-defense though, is that you can walk away from such circumstances without any regrets, and with your confidence still in tact.

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Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Ladies, Put Them on Notice

I was encouraged today to read of an 89 year-old Iowa woman who fired on a would-be burglar at her home. Yup. She hit him and he was injured.  She attempted to warn him that he had the wrong house but his alternate haze wouldn’t permit him to heed the warning. So, she did exactly what she warned him she would do.  She shot him with a handgun.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=711&sid=10462712

As I read this article, I couldn’t help but with wish that more women would step up to the plate to warn their would-be attackers, robbers, and murderers that they will not hesitate to fire if their life or well-being is threatened.  I particularly am concerned with the younger women who are so distracted with texting and using their cellphones when they should be more aware of their surroundings. The education and the permits do little good if they are not backed up by the mental fortitude to use them if necessary.  I say now is the time to put all would-be criminals on notice that women refuse to be the prey any longer.  The statistic that one in five women will be the victim of rape is not acceptable to me. The preference of attackers to choose “helpless” women is unrealistic to me.  How about you?

As for me: would-be criminals, consider yourself politely warned.

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Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works

The Death of Expected Peace

I simply cannot allow the news of the three security guards standing by while a 15 year old girl got pummeled go by without comment. http://rawstory.com/2010/02/security-guards-inothingi-15yearold-girl-beaten/ In spite of a very heavy writing schedule, I feel that I have to address this issue on Women of Caliber in order to translate it into a valuable lesson from which we all can—and MUST—learn.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the story, a 15 year old girl was brutally attacked by another teenage girl all while she was in front of three male “security” officers in a Seattle bus tunnel.  The security officers did absolutely nothing in spite of the 15 year old being thrown down to the ground at the feet of the officers and repeatedly kicked in the head. (see the video footage at the link noted above) This story has a very familiar tune to the event in New York in which MTA employees in Queens New York were legally absolved of any wrong doing for acting as nothing more than spectators while a woman was repeatedly raped at the train station. http://www.nypost.com/seven/04012009/news/regionalnews/subway_rapist_victims_shock_162317.htm  

Both of these incidences as well as others like them should teach us all something very real, but most unpleasant—we must take responsibility for our own safety and peace.

Mass evacuation photo c/o http://www.meted.ucar.edu

Given the litigious society in which we live, many otherwise acceptable and expected human responses are delayed or eliminated as the result of legal exposure.  For example, New Orleans Mayor Nagin specifically delayed issuing a mass evacuation order sooner than he did because he had to consult with the city attorneys, and then the state, and then a national attorney to be sure that his butt . He had to be sure that the city would not be exposed to lawsuits for a loss of business revenue as a result of the evacuation order. As reported by the author Amanda Ripley in her book “The Unthinkable” companies have deliberately not held safety drills (such as evacuation, robbery, etc) because they don’t want to be held liable for someone getting hurt in the midst of the exercise.  It’s a very sad world indeed in which our brains are programmed to act as a responsible human being because instead we feed our minds the horrors of legal liabilities. But the fact of the matter is, that’s the way things are and we simply cannot change them fast enough to protect us today, tomorrow, or even a year from now. So we must take responsibility for our own safety. 

I don’t say that with any bitterness.  I say it in possession of expertise on the legal, realistic, logistical, as well as instinctive responses of human beings. I don’t say this with one iota of pessimism towards human nature. Even if half of all the world thought so inappropriately as those who put the security guards under such an asinine contract, or those three men who were “sheep” enough to follow such guidelines, I still believe in the unadulterated makeup of mankind.  I believe that they are inherently good and have to work hard at being changed into something otherwise. But unfortunately, there are many who have chosen to do so.  Thus I will prepare to defend myself appropriately and so should you. We must take responsibility to care for ourselves and those we love.  We must train our minds to respond with 100% ownership of our safety rather than telling ourselves that someone else is responsible for our peace and comfort. I implore you not to train your body or mind under conditions of panic, rage, or fear. Rather do so with a deliberate conscience in light of the matter of fact reality of the world around us. People have the agency to act inappropriately, and along with that comes our ability and choice to defend against the consequences of their criminal choices. Just because a business entity has successfully been sued for serving hot coffee, not clearing ice or snow from a walkway, or for not properly ensuring the safety of food—doesn’t give us license to surrender our own independence in providing ourselves with safety and peace.

Being prepared mentally and physically in self-defense trainging will be a great asset in any situation photo c/o http://www.sportskarate.net

So that being said, what else could the 15 year old girl have done other than standing next to the three security guards?  Well, by looks of the video, she certainly needed to learn to fight back better.  She didn’t get a good shot in at all and barely made contact.  She could have done so much more while she was on the ground too.  But all of that is pretty hard to teach in a written format such as this.  However, at the very least, she could have  pushed one of the security officers towards her attacker or hid directly behind one of them.  I strongly suspect this would have caused the female attacker to have lashed out at the security guard in response or at least it would have changed her thought process due to an unexpected maneuver. (Interrupting the thought process of an attacker is a highly underrated strategy.) Another suggestion would have been for the girl to have firmly yelled for help repeatedly. Whether a person is under orders to do more than make a phone call or not, the brain of most human beings (human being—the key phrase there) will instinctively respond. We’re simply programmed that way and we have to undergo a great deal of UN-programming to react otherwise. (Which makes the whole incident that much more tragic.) As I view this video tape repeatedly, I see a scared little girl and an enraged attacker.  The gal had the presence of mind to stand near the “security” officers. She also had the presence of mind earlier to ask one of the Macy’s security officers to escort her to a safer location. (which was refused-insert angry words of disbelief here) So she had some of her wits about her. However, I’m sure that when her sound strategy of standing next to the security officers crumbled, her brain couldn’t compute a ready response. Had she trained herself previously to breathe sufficiently to provide her brain with the much needed oxygen in a high stress situation, and be deliberate and strategic in her physical counter moves, the situation would have turned out very, very differently.

Seriously ladies. Can we all live and LEARN from this one?

 Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Media Hype or Firearm Facts—You Decide

by Kellene Bishop 

Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

Fact:

100% of ALL firearm “accidents” occur as a result of someone violating one of the four most critical safety rules in the ownership and use of a firearm.  Firearms don’t kill people as the media would have us believe, any more than pencils are responsible for making spelling mistakes.  Your ability to STOP an firearm accident is strengthened by your knowledge of a firearm.  In contrast, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, you may actually encourage a deadly accident if you encounter one in the hands of an unauthorized person.  That said, why don’t we ever hear a news report that says something like “There are over 80,000,000 gun owners in the nation today, and only 5 accidents were caused as the result of error on the part of the gun owner”?

  

Fact: Every person in the U.S. has the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property.  Fit or fat.  Blonde or brunette.  When a drug-crazed criminal has a gun point at you, your political affiliations do not lessen the impact on your body or your mind.  A bullet will sufficiently kill you.  So how you supposed to fight back under such circumstances? 

  

Fact: According to FBI statistics, over 5,500 violent crimes are PREVENTED EVERY DAY by the mere presence of a firearm.  So why are our newspapers and television screens only reporting the horrific scenes of crime and bloodshed at the hands of “crazed gunmen”?  All we ever hear about are the terrible and criminal uses of firearms – school shootings, gunmen clipping off innocent bystanders one by one in a mall or a neighborhood, or gangs who murder and plunder with guns.  Why aren’t we being given a clear picture of the use and importance of firearms in America?  Why aren’t we hearing the real stories from the media – like the 83-year-old woman who shot a would-be rapist in her home.  Or the woman who was raped, then given a rifle by a friend, and when the rapist RETURNED to her home she was able to defend herself and killed the rapist.  Or about the female convenience store employee that was able to save her fellow co-workers from abominable acts at the hand of a robber by grabbing for the gun, and shot him.  Or when a concealed-carry permit holder was able to thwart a massive shootout between police and a liquor store robber because he was willing to draw his gun and shoot the body-armored gunman squarely in the skull.  Violent crime rates have fallen dramatically in right-to-carry states.  

Why do we only hear about the terrible encounters with firearms?  Because blood and sex sells.  And it can’t simply be just anybody’s blood.  No, it needs to be the blood of an innocent person, not a violent criminal.  Yes, the so-called education of the facts of gun use for self-defense in America is being steered by money and mindless sheep, plain and simple.  

The media often fail to portray good examples of self-defense photo c/o abovethelaw.com

Why aren’t we hearing about the real firearm stories from the media?  Follow the same money that goes abundantly to the media and you will see that many members of our government fear the legal possession of guns by its citizens.  Why?  Because the government has committed acts in violation of the U.S. Constitution and thus have reason to fear reprisals from its citizens.  The majority of the media act as mindless minions to our government.  And since the government has trampled mercilessly on the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us through the U.S. Constitution, left to their own designs with no accountability required from the media, it is clear that the media is a willing accomplice in these acts.  Violation after violation have occurred at the hands of each administration that have stripped many of our Constitutional freedoms in a clandestine manner, and yet the media and entertainment industry have failed to produce any headline which even questions such acts.  Do the media even know what’s it like to actually be courageous Americans anymore?  Or do they merely write about it in hopes that it earns them lauds of glory from their peers? 

Fact: Having a firearm and knowing how to use it does not make you a violent person.  In fact, you will find that responsible gun owners are peaceful, law abiding individuals because they are able to function without fear hanging over them.  Yet firearm owners are never portrayed such an image in the national news.  

Instead we hear the irresponsible and oppressive mantra of, “Don’t resist.” “Don’t fight back.”  “Just give them the money, it’s not worth your life.”   What they forget it that while money may not be worth your life, the freedom to be free IS worth your life.  Ironically, what Thomas Paine and his associates did to the king of England to protect free speech (particularly of the media)  is actually being used to give us a false education and thus strip us of other freedoms because of the false and criminalized picture of gun owners that we are confronted with every day. 

According to Thomas Jefferson, history has proven time and time again that the option for citizens to arm themselves is what ensures protection against a “tyrannical government.” 

  

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)   

You see, not only can this type of “preservation of property” give you peace in your ability to defend yourself against violent acts, but it also gives you peace in defending your nation against the loss of freedoms as well.  

 

  

Firearm training gives you peace of mind

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised… to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia…” (In Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, Elliot p.3:379-380) 


• “The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless – by disarming them.” (Elliot, p. 3:379-80)
  

The men and women of America are not only the sole stewards over their own lives and that of their families – they are also the sole guardians of the Constitution.  In the ultimate act of freedom, specifically for the women of our nation, I say that we must take on a more proactive stance in order to fulfill our roles appropriately.  With the increasing numbers of women raising families single-handedly, the extended hours our husbands are forced to work to sustain us, the increasing threat of brazen crimes being committed against women and children in broad daylight, the consistent attacks which are made on our freedom, for all of these reasons, women need to become informed and skilled in the use of a firearm—not just in matters of self-defense use and safety, but also as a Constitutional right.  We cannot relinquish our safety, our lives, or our freedom to the hands of strangers who may or may not be available to defend us when the need arises.  We must take this responsibility for ourselves.  After all, when all of our liberties are gone, there will be nothing left to protect. 

 Copyright 2010 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop.