My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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Protect Yourself from a Carjacking

By Kellene Bishop

Carjacking photo c/o dreamsystemsmedia.com

Carjacking photo c/o dreamsystemsmedia.com

Yesterday there was a rare occurrence of a car jacking in the State of Utah.  I realized that carjackins are a much more rampant crime elsewhere in the nation and thus should be properly addressed to ensure maximum safety.  Fortunately there are several simple ways you can protect yourself from being a carjacking statistic.

1st Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Your safety boils down to being aware.  You can’t afford to be oblivious.  If someone is coming towards your car, you need to notice them ahead of time.  Make use of your rearview and side mirrors when you are stopped or in a parking lot. 

2nd Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Never stop at a traffic light or stop sign directly behind another car.  At the risk of sounding paranoid, I always give myself an “escape route” when I’m stopped at a light or caught in traffic, even on the freeway.  If someone is coming towards my car, the first thing you should do is step on the gas and have somewhere to go.

Escape Route photo c/o Robin George

Escape Route photo c/o Robin George

3rd Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Keep your purse and your firearm nearby.  In the truck, I have a firearm just under the dash in a holster that I can easily and discreetly grab if I am held up at gun point.  I also have a gun on my person in the event I’m grabbed just prior to getting into the car or getting out of it.

4th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Park under a lit area.  When I’m in a parking lot, I don’t necessarily look for a spot closest to the door.  I look for a spot that’s well lit first and foremost.

Well Lit Parking Lot photo c/o herefindingme.blogspot.com/

Well Lit Parking Lot photo c/o herefindingme.blogspot.com/

5th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Look around before you get in your car and before you get out of your car.  Your errands are never so important that you don’t have three seconds to evaluate your surroundings.  I always look in my rearview mirror and in my two side mirrors before I exit my car.  And I always look around me as I walk to my car as well.  Even if I’m only taking out two light grocery bags, I still use the shopping cart in order that my hands are “free” to pull my gun if necessary (or your pepper spray, mace, or your panic button).

6th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Always have your cell phone handy.  You should have 9-1-1 on a one button speed dial on your phone.  Don’t rely on your fine motor skills to dial in the midst of an emergency—even if you think it’s only 3 numbers. 

7th Way to Protect Yourself from a Carjacking: Lastly, be sure you lock your doors as soon as you get in the car and that YOU control when your doors are unlocked when you park the car.  Don’t have your car’s automatic settings to unlock the doors when you put the car in park.  There are many criminals that are familiar with this feature and will use it to their advantage.  They will also use the innocence of children in the back seat who may eagerly open their own car door to their advantage as well.  Program your locks so that the kids get out only after you’ve given the all clear.

Carjacking photo c/o caranddriving.com

Carjacking photo c/o caranddriving.com

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Women—The Better Defender?

By Kellene Bishop

Think about this for just a moment.  If you were to enter a PTA meeting full of women who you knew were armed with a concealed carry weapon, would you feel safe or intimidated?  Yet if you were to enter a lodge with a bunch of men who you knew were carrying a gun, would your feeling differ?  I’m thinking I’d want to start singing God Bless America in the room full of women.  Is this because women are the better defender?  Maybe…

fierceWhich component brings to mind the greatest level of fierceness—estrogen or testosterone?  There’s a reason why men back away from a woman who tells him it’s “her time of the month” and it’s not because they are afraid they will get cooties.  They are afraid of the wrath that comes with it sometimes.  What’s fearful about a bunch of testosterone comparing muscle bulges? J If I had to pick between estrogen and testosterone, I’d definitely see women as the better defender for my team, except…

Physiologically men are instinctively adept at estimating distance (miles, inches, and so forth—except when they are fishing), whereas women are great about evaluating space (“Yes, Honey.  That picture is centered.”).   This is why you’ve heard many times that women make great target shooters.  They can better gauge the center of mass on a target, but…

With women, fear usually goes out the window when the lives of their children or loved ones are threatened.  They have this remarkable, even miraculous ability to suppress all reactions to pain, obstacles, and distractions when it comes to saving or giving a life.  This makes them an ideal defender with a great presence of mind if they will simply allow themselves to think and be trained in such a way.  In most instances, what causes women to fear is vulnerability.  In the event of an attack or criminal threat, this vulnerability is obliteration with the right tools and knowledge of their proper use.  A firearm can easily solve that vulnerability.

mama-bearAll of the exceptions to these statements are because so many women fear the tool or training that will significantly enhance their already innate defensive traits.  With a firearm, the proper mentality, and the proper training of a woman is every bit the defender as a man in my opinion, and in some instances even more ideal due to the element of surprise that’s inherent in a woman fighting back—an element/asset which should never be underestimated.  Women are an ideal defender of life and freedom.

Come on ladies.  Let’s live up to our REAL persona.  They don’t use phrases like black widow spider, mama bear, Amazon women, girl power or queen bee for nothing.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Ready or Not

By Kellene Bishop

When I was still learning of the importance of the use of a firearm for self-defense, I attempted to take my proactive self-defense steps in teeny-tiny degrees—much like trying to ease myself into an ice cold lake on a hot summer’s day.  I’m sure that many women can relate to these steps.  You know:

  • ammunition-firearmFirst shoot a firearm a couple times, only to immediately relinquish the scary thing back into the hands of someone else when you’re finished. 
  • Then get your concealed carry permit, but that’s it. 
  • Next, perhaps owning a firearm, but store it away, unloaded.  Then actually owning bullets.  (Yup—as crazy as it sounds, for some that’s actually a completely separate step.)  
  • Then practicing with your firearm a couple of times.  And then, maybe, keeping it LOADED in a safe, with a trigger lock. 
  • Then, getting comfortable enough to carry it in the car, unloaded, with the rounds close by.  
  • And then perhaps the gun migrates to your purse, still unloaded. 
  • Then, the next step (and final for some) in self-defense is to actually carry the gun, loaded, in your purse.  
  • And then there’s the ultimate step typically thought to be taken only by zealots—actually carrying the loaded firearm on your person.  (I hear some folks waffle about whether or not they carry with bullet in the chamber.) 

Ultimately, these steps are necessary for many people—male and female—in order for them to gradually become mentally comfortable with the possession of a loaded firearm on them in such a way that it would be most effective for self-defense.  And I would never discount the merits of such steps for the mental strength of a gun owner. However, in an effort to get you to your ideal state of self-defense preparedness, I’d like to point out a couple of critical considerations.

movie-gunsContrary to what you may see in the movies, it’s not likely that you will have a lot of time in a confrontation with an aggressor to stall, get your gun, load it, and then use it for self-defense.  (Even less likely is for you to be able to convince the aggressor to “get in your sites, pretty please.”)  As I’m sure the rational part of your mind will tell you, criminals use the element of surprise, combined with their disregard for human life and safety, to their benefit.  Criminals don’t intend to give you warning.  They don’t intend to allow you to defend yourself.  With that in mind, expecting that you’ll be able to even load a magazine in your firearm fast enough to use it defensively is wishful thinking.

If you believe that you need a firearm for self-defense (and I pray to God that you do realize this at some level) then you need to be sure that your actions do not disable this valuable tool with faulty logic or rationale watered down by emotion.

Perhaps some of you remember the horrific multiple victim shooting which took place in Killeen, Texas at a Luby’s restaurant.  One of the women in that shooting reports losing her parents in the shooting because she had failed to have her firearm on her person that day.  Instead, it was sitting out inefficiently in her car (due to state laws at that time).  She was helpless to fight back, even though she was in a perfect strategic position to do so otherwise.  

The key aspect in this account is that the woman wasn’t in a dark alley, or alone on the streets late at night.  She was in a public, family restaurant enjoying a meal with her family.  But the accessibility of her means of self-defense was out of reach. 

The police did not arrive until long after 23 individuals were killed and several more wounded.  The police didn’t stop the gunman, rather he committed suicide.  Out of a jam-packed restaurant, no one was prepared to stop this madman. 

When my husband was teaching me the need to be ready with a firearm in the event that I needed to use it for self-defense, he orchestrated an example.  He provided me with a practice gun and a magazine clip to go with it.  He then walked to the other side of the room, and told me that he was going to pull his practice gun on me at the count of “three.”  Even though I was proficient with the practice gun and how to load it, AND I had the practice gun in one hand with the clip in the other (where it most certainly would NOT be if I was surprised by an attacker) and KNOWING what was going to happen didn’t make a difference.  I couldn’t load that firearm, cock it, and prepare to shoot prior to my husband lifting his shirt, pulling his gun and pulling the trigger.  Repeatedly we did this exercise, and no matter how “ready” I was, I couldn’t load the firearm fast enough.  After that exercise I realized the need to be prepared at all times to use my firearm immediately if my life, or someone else’s, was threatened.  (Warning: Please don’t try this exercise with real firearms.)  

Photo c/o concealedcarrypursestore.com

Photo c/o concealedcarrypursestore.com

This moment was a huge shift in my feelings about being ready with a loaded firearm on my person at all times.  I also realized that a firearm on my person was a lot safer than leaving it in my purse, where I didn’t always have access to it while visiting a friend or at a family gathering, where prying little hands might get ahold of it.  I also realized that if I was going to take the responsibility to use a firearm, I needed to also take the responsibility of being proficient and skillful with that firearm as well.  Consequently, my practice time increased dramatically, and as a result, my concerns of having a loaded firearm subsided with the newly acquired skills.  I also had peace of mind knowing that I would never wonder “what if” in the event my life did encounter a moment in which I could have acted to save someone else or my own life “if only I had been ready, truly ready, to fire.”

As such, I not only practice shooting the firearm, but I also practice lifting up my clothing expeditiously so that I can get to my firearm.  I practice rotating the firearm from the holster towards my target.  I practice exactly when my finger goes on the trigger.  I even practice shooting from my hip as opposed to extended in front of me.  I practice shooting one handed.  I practice shooting with my weak hand, in the event that’s the only angle I have available to me while maintaining appropriate cover.  And lastly, I even practice a quick magazine change as well.  I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to let what’s portrayed in movies, on television, or the evil that lurks in men’s hearts frighten me from being truly prepared to defend myself, my loved ones, my nation–because then the “bad guys” have already won.   

So, for the record, yes, I carry my firearm on my person anywhere it is legal to do so.  Yes, I carry it fully loaded WITH one in the chamber.  I don’t indulge in a mechanical safety to disengage (as I carry a Glock).  I have made all of these personal decisions so that if an occasion arises in which I need to pull out the firearm, I can use it precisely for what it was intended—to save a life—and never have to live with the regret that I could have done better. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.