How I chose my new gun

I got to choose a new gun for Christmas.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.  Gun sales reached an all-time high during the 2011 holiday season, so maybe you are the odd one because you didn’t get a gun. 😉

This wasn’t my first gun.  When I was 15, my dad bought me a Smith & Wesson model 19 .357 Combat Magnum with a nickel finish and a 2.5″ barrel.  I loved it then, and I still love it just as much.  I was annoyed at the time when he handed it to me then immediately announced that I was required to buy new grips to replace the cheap wood ones out of my own very limited funds, but when I complied I found that I loved the gun twice as much.  As usual, Dad was right.  My Hogue Monogrip made it feel and sound and shoot like an entirely different weapon, and it was beautiful.

My old gun has a big frame which makes it very comfortable to shoot.  The weight helps absorb the recoil, unlike the smaller lightweight guns designed for carrying and concealing.  There’s a downside to a big gun, though.  Although I usually wear it around the house, it’s heavy and very tricky to conceal in normal clothing.

I recently visited some gun shows looking for a holster that would allow me to conceal my gun.  Responses ranged from raised eyebrows to, “Honey, you’ve got a hand cannon.  You’re not going to hide that!”

I got my concealed carry license over a year ago, and I was thrilled at the prospect of having a gun I could actually conceal, so I wasted no time in choosing my new gun.  First I had to decide whether I would get a semi-automatic or another revolver.  Although I’m becoming more comfortable and familiar with semi-automatics, I’ve always believed that revolvers are the way to go when it comes to self-defense, at least for me.

I assume that if I ever have to use a gun in a situation like that, I’m very likely to be in a big hurry and great danger.  I don’t want to have to chamber a round and fumble for the safety before I can fire.  I don’t want the possibility of a jam in the back of my mind.  I know that familiarity makes all of that much faster and many people carry semi-automatics with a round already in the chamber, but  I love the simplicity of point-and-shoot.  No chance that it’s going to jam.  No need to remember if the safety is on or off.  And many people believe that the curves of a revolver make them easier to conceal on a woman’s curvy body.

After talking to Perry and doing a little research, I knew that I wanted a .38 special.  It provided enough stopping power to satisfy Perry but was light and compact enough that I was confident I could conceal it effectively.  With a model rated for higher powered +P ammunition, a .38 special has almost the same power as a 9mm.

{The belt is for my .357 on the back of my hip.  I don’t normally wear 2 guns, but I put the other on for these pics.  Can you see the concealed .38 special?  I thought not.}

{Now you can see the .357, but the .38 is still well-hidden, especially if you don’t know that I have it in the first place.}

I looked at and handled the revolvers in Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shop, and several other stores and learned that I loved the shrouded hammer feature found in certain models.  It was one less thing to snag when the gun is being worn or drawn, making for faster draws and less chance of accidental fire.

I started my online research by looking at endless reviews.  I learned that a review alone is nearly meaningless, since the gun is usually provided free of charge to writers.  They want to keep ’em coming, so reviews on any model are positive almost without exception.  That’s not to say that they aren’t honest opinions; maybe reviewers decline to write about the ones they can’t recommend enthusiastically.  I do the same on my blog when I review items that I received free.

However, these reviews were limited in how much they could help with my decision.  Of course gun lovers are going to love nearly every gun, but which gun was the best choice for me?

Instead, I searched for comparisons between the models I was considering.  Now I could see how they stacked up against one another. I could begin to see who loved particular models over others, and why.  I could see where each model really stood out, and where it was not quite the best.

Finally, I was ready to make my choice.  I wanted a Ruger LCR.  It was lightweight, compact, rated for +P loads, and was supposed to have the best trigger on the market.  Not a short or light trigger, which could make accidental discharge a concern, but a long smooth pull on the trigger that would make a high level of accuracy possible.  I liked the night sights, but Perry encouraged me to spring for the laser sight in spite of the steep premium.  With a small gun like this, a red dot shining on the bad guy can increase the psychological impact, giving a potential victim more time to act while also improving her accuracy in a panic situation.

Thanks to Google Shopping, I found that online prices were far lower than local.  I was able to buy my gun online and have it shipped to a local dealer, who charged $25 for his service as a mediator.  My gun arrived in a few days, and my background check was consisted of a brief phone call when I went to pick it up.  I was able to go home that day with my new baby.

But don’t worry – I still love my first one.


  1. I’ve only just come across your blog today. I’m also in the ‘incredibly shocked’ camp at this post and as a Christian, I am also uncomfortable with some of your (inaccurate) interpretation of the Bible: abortion v death penalty v prepared to kill as self defense. I actually feel sick, for several reasons.

    If you do not live in a very dangerous area, why carry a gun? The message that sends to your children chills my spine. I can’t help but wonder if you’re immune to that having been raised in a pro-gun culture. I haven’t ever seen a gun, despite spending years living in the Middle East & Africa during very troubled times.

    • CharleneM says:

      I think it sends the message that she is willing to protect them…

      Please share what you believe to be her inaccurate interpretation of the Bible.

      “immune to having been raised in a pro-gun culture.”–There was a time in America that it was the NORM to carry weapons. How does that make those of us who do the unusual ones?

      I suppose that hunting is also out of the question. We should all buy our food (laden with chemicals, antibiotics, etc) from the store? When government starts talking gun control, it is a slippery slope on what weapons they consider to control. Often they are people not even familiar with guns so they don’t know what they are talking about (literally).

      I honestly don’t understand why some are so against other’s LEGALLY owning and carrying guns. No one is forcing you to do it…. And for the most part it is NOT the legally owned and carried weapons that are doing the killing. The people legally owning and carrying are trained to carry firearms. I am afraid of those not trained that are buying them illegally that have no idea what they’re doing.

  2. Kim, Are you planning on the information to make your version of the naturally concealed holster a blog post? I have been anxiously waiting for instructions…!!! Hubby wants me to start carrying daily. Soon. No pressure, really! 🙂
    ~Mrs. R

  3. I’m with the culture shocked people! I’m in Australia and only police are allowed to carry guns. I’ve never held a gun and the idea terrifies me. I’ve seen them in police holsters but never out of the holster. I’m scared by all this. I hope you never have cause to use it.

    • Amelia, I certainly hope I never have cause to use it, but if I find myself in *that* sort of situation I’ll be exceedingly thankful to have it!

  4. Whoa…agree with Beep ads and Aileen that this post/discussion is a culture shock! I did grow up in the U.S. with people that had guns in their homes (except most of these people also had police records and some form of illegal narcotics as well…lol). I am not expressing any particular stance on gun control laws, it is just shocking to read about people legally “shopping” for guns.

    On another note, what was even more fascinating to me was your slim waist line after 10 children! Kim, HOW do you do it!?

  5. Love it! My husband is after me to get a conceal/carry, I just haven’t made a time priority for it yet. He has one already.

    It is a culture shock for me to learn how other parts of the country feel about weapons… I guess that’s why some are so anti-gun while others are so pro-gun. They are just such a normal part of life down here. Hunting, killing snakes and other wild animals that come on our property, and for “fun” (target practice/sport). Our kids learn from a young age how to live safely with guns.

    I am saddened that people think that people owning guns legally and responsibly are part of the problem. It seems to me that countries and areas where guns are controlled more heavily have higher crime rates. Many criminals do not go to the store, do a background check, and buy a weapon with a paper trail. Criminals will still have guns.

    I was challenged by some of the comments to see what the bible says about it. I read a few articles and sites and this one seemed to have some really good scriptural basis for carrying and using weapons as well as the scriptural basis for being responsible and not taking this lightly:

    • Genevieve Joy says:

      Australia has gun ownership laws and we have a much lower crime rate than the U.S. just saying….. 🙂
      That said, we have a very different culture in lots of other ways, and crims here are much more likely to use knives over guns in the first place, so I guess the two can’t fairly be compared.

      & As a Christian, I’m no pacifist, but I do think that having guns all over the place causes more problems than it solves, so I’m happy with our big fierce dog and the cricket bat under the bed.

      • Genevieve Joy says:

        You know what, I may need to eat my proverbial hat. Apparently we have a much lower murder rate than the U.S, but far exceed it in other areas. I supposed I’d rather have my car vandalized than be shot and killed, so that’s something.

        • Genevieve, from what I’ve read the murder rate in the US may be a little misleading. I think our stats include all sorts of homicide: self-defense, negligent manslaughter (e.g. accidentally hitting someone with a car), deaths in which foul play is suspected but without a conviction, etc. Other nations usually only count intentional wrongful killings in which someone was convicted, making it hard to accurately compare the actual murder rates.
          Another thing to consider: our murder rate has been steadily dropping in the years since concealed carry of a weapon became legal. It used to be much higher, and gun ownership seems to be helping.

          • ok, I’ve been doing some serious research on this (not because of this blog, i have a friend studying criminology) 😉 but after checking out some good sources
            , I’m relieved to say our crime is actually a lot lower in every area except larceny (ref. issues in Australian crime and criminal justice; d chapel and p Wilson) the homicidal rate on it’s own is four times higher.
            but if guns are working to lower the death rate in america, then that’s a great thing for America 🙂

            not trying to advocate any particular position towards guns, I just though it was interesting.

  6. This was a very interesting post and I loved the discussions that seemed to generate in the comments below. I am not judging at all, it is just a culture shock as in the UK I am not even sure about the rules of having handguns in the home (or on your person), even police who are allowed to be armed do not carry them on their person, they are locked in the car until they are needed to be used. People are allowed to have licenses for shot guns as long as they keep the guns in one locked cupboard and the ammo in another locked cupboard and most of my family have that as they are all farmers. To be fair I think my cousin actually carries a loaded one in his car most of the time as he had a lot of problems with rabbits and foxes recently! Anyway I just had a couple of questions for you that maybe you could answer or maybe in a future post? I was wondering if any of your kids have a licence to carry a gun? If you go to Wal Mart (sorry thats the only American Store I can think of) would you carry your gun in there as well? Would you carry it in church? Also when do you start encouraging your children to start learning to shoot? Sorry for the 100’s of questions and as I say no judegment at all, it is just a very different lifestyle to my own! 🙂

    • Aileen, thanks for all your questions. They give me ideas for future posts, and it helps me think outside of my American box. 🙂
      I’ll try to answer them all soon, but feel free to ask more if you have additional questions.

      • Thank you Kim, I very much look forward to reading a future post on this. I have never been pro or anti gun as thankfully where I live we don’t have a big gun problem (one of the joys of living in a small city in the North East of Scotland)and thankfully have never felt the need to fall into a crowd of people that carry guns for illegal purposes. Saying that if I lived in the country I would probably have one as I hate snakes (like actually petrified of them) and if I lived in a rough area of London, Birmingham maybe even Glasgow I would possibly be tempted to carry one for my own protection. Anyway look forward to the posts answering my questions, I think I am actually quite excited about it which seems a bit sad!

  7. Just, wow–me too. I’m an appreciative longtime reader with a quite different lifestyle and set of personal beliefs. For me this post is an introduction to a slice of culture I’ve never encountered personally. My first instinct is to feel alarmed and dismayed, but I am trying to withhold judgement (and realize that it’s not my place to judge in any case).

  8. WOW! Thank you so much for this excellent post! My husband and I do not and have never owned a gun, but we have been thinking for a while now of getting one for each of us. In fact, for our upcoming 15th anniversary, we are taking a class at a local shooting range so that we can learn how to shoot a variety of weapons. I had started researching guns and was so overwhelmed by all the choices that I got a little discouraged. This post was very helpful!

  9. Very interesting post! I live in a big city and, even with the police minutes away, I do NOT want to be in the position of waiting for them if someone is trying to harm me or my children. I know several moms who carry and I am looking in to what weapon would be best for me. To say I am overwhelmed at the choices is an understatement! I plan on looking into the guns and holsters you ladies listed as your favorites and checking in to them.

  10. Cindee N. says:

    “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.” That’s a pretty good reason to exercise our right to bear arms. Great post!

  11. My wonderful mother in law gave me a concealed carry purse for Christmas this year. While it’s not the most practical way to carry, I really like it. I have a few outfits (dresses, mostly) that just don’t work well to conceal my .380. (I am not a large woman, but neither am I super model shaped like Kim;-) The purse is light and is very comfortably worn in cross-over fashion. Again, it’s not the best choice, but it’s better than not carrying. Thanks for sharing – loved this post!

  12. This has to be, by far, the BEST blog I have yet to read! I am going to have to go through all the comments when I have more time. My husband and I have been trying to figure out a possible way for me to carry concealed for a while now.

    Thanks for writing!

  13. katherine says:

    cool. just cool. hubby bought me a .22 for our anniversary, but now you have me wanting another handgun. hmmmm

  14. Mrs. R,
    I would have addressed you by email, but cannot find it ARGH! do you mind sharing the type of knife you carry? thanks!

    • Sorry! My email address is on my blog’s handmade soap page. No I don’t mind sharing the kind of knife I carry.

      It is a Kerwhaw Chive in pink. 🙂

      Kershaw Chive Specifications:

      Model Number: K1600PINK
      Safety Lock….Yes
      Country Of Origin: United States (very important to me)
      Steel……420HC stainless-steel
      Handle…6061-T6 anodized aluminum
      Blade…..1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm)
      Closed…2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
      Weight…1.9 oz.
      Lock…Locking Liner
      Includes a Pocket Clip

      I am learning how to use one in self defense… but my wits and STAYING out of trouble are my first line, gun is the second. If I have to use a knife I am in major trouble… But at least I have a way to cut my apples for snack time on the road! 🙂

  15. @Hannah Hill!!
    You draw your gun through the neck opening or up from the bottom of your shirt. You are not ‘ripping your shirt off’ by any means. And when you are in a situation where you are fighting for your life… modesty is the last thing to be concerned about. I struggled with the same issues for a while… until I thought them all through.

    @ Rebecca & Just Me:
    Protecting myself and my children are what this is all about.

    AND… attempting to stay OUT of dangerous situations is the very first step. My gun is my last resort. But we are all stay-at-home moms, with vulnerable children at home with us… all day long. Some of us live way out in the middle of no-where. I am in the suburbs. There are “unsavory characters” who have NO good intentions wandering about loose among us. My husband can not protect me when he is so far away at work. The police are there to write the report and are NOT a means of protection. Oh and to generate revenue for the city, but we aren’t talking about THAT. With budget cuts and all their are fewer police to still handle the all calls. My neighbors are mostly not home or their homes are far enough away that they would probably not hear my screams… until it was WAY to late. And I have very good lung power.

    With the way the economy is spiraling ever downward, unemployment at an all time high, prices going upwards, crime is on the increase. BUT in a society where there are lots of LEGAL gun owners, the criminals are hesitant to break in to a home not knowing which one might be the one with the gun owner behind the door. It has been proven again and again, when guns are outlawed crime increases. When gun ownership is legal crime decreases. I would also say that when gun ownership is outlawed, only the criminals have guns. Gun laws are only for the law abiding citizen and only a means of making them vulnerable and dependent on the ‘state’ for it’s protection…. which it cannot give.

    Carrying a means of personal protection (SHOCKER ALERT! I carry a gun AND a knife) is not a sin. Shooting someone in self defense is not a sin. Carrying a gun and teaching my children gun safety and shooting accuracy is not a sin & does not teach them violence. This does NOT make them aggressive. All those ideas were generated by the people who want to take away your gun ownership rights, leaving you vulnerable and unprotected.

    What I have seen in my child who is being taught gun safety and how to shoot accurately is an increased sense of responsibility and seriousness, particularly when they are around any gun.

    • Not to mention there are areas NOT serviced by local police. We live in the boonies with just our county sheriff to call when there’s an emergency. Generally they take 30+ minutes to even arrive onto a scene. Also, we have a local volunteer fire department/first responders (they often send them out if the sheriff can’t get there fast enough), but if you have something happen during the day, you’re pretty much out of luck until one of the other VFD from the surrounding towns get there. Our town’s populations 136, and the majority of the VFD work during the day so there’s simply no one available to respond.

      We had gas wells going up all around us a few years ago with tons of transient workers working on them (they travel from job to job with no address other than where the wells were being built). We discovered that while that was going on there were 9 convicted sex offenders working on those wells. That’s when I really started getting serious about carrying a gun. Thankfully, the wells are finished up and the transient workers and sex offenders have moved on. But at the time they were transversing across our property on a daily basis.

      • I have checked the sex offender list for my area and I have a number, some of them level 3, who live not very far away from my home. Since we have only one child at home, there is not the ‘protection in numbers’ that a family with a large number of children might pose to a perpetrator-with-bad-intentions toward my child. Not that lots of children will keep a bad guy away necessarily, but a lone child is more vulnerable at the outset.

        That’s the only thing I HATE about my home. I have one tiny window, at the far end of the house, to see outside in the front yard, which is by far the largest area for playing. Our tiny fenced backyard has all the windows facing it!

        In my area there was a young girl snatched right out of her bedroom window by a sex offender. I think she even had a friend sleeping over and she still got snatched.

  16. @Susan… DON’T DO IT!!! OK, so it is my own personal opinion… about the Kel-Tec P-11 I mean. THAT is the gun I HATED that kicked like a mule. Yes the low price is very enticing. But it is plastic. Don’t get me wrong, I like some plastic in some applications… but NOT in a gun. It makes it so light weight that the recoil is amazingly PAINFUL! Even my hubby thought so. It hurts so badly that I would HESITATE to use it even if there was a NEED… which could mean my life.

    The reasons we chose the Kel-Tec P11 was for the very same factor you mentioned… we would all be using the same ammo.

    I did ‘handle’ the gun before we bought it. It was quite small, which would make it a great concealed carry option. So small that even I needed a pinkie extender so it didn’t feel like I barley had a grasp of the thing. But that still made it too small for my husbands much larger hands. It is light weight and was “next to nothing” to carry all day long. The trigger pull was on the strong side, which I prefer. Not so much that it made it difficult, but not so easy as to surprise you either. The price was definitely a plus!

    But those factors also are what make it kick like a mule on steroids! Which is why I have now gone to a heavier, all stainless construction Rugar SP-101. With the Naturally Concealed (or Kim’s pattern version) there should be no problem with me concealing this large gun. I know some others have equally large guns that they conceal with this particular concealed-carry option.

    Just wanted to give a warning to you about the Kel-Tec P11. A real woman’s real-world experience.

    On the plus side, Kel-Tec has some of the very best customer service of ANY company I have delt with in many years. We also bought one of their nifty folding 9MM rifles. It had a problem with the magazine from the outset. They sent us the new part we needed after a simple email! The part was easy to replace and it took care of the problem.

    IF you do decide that you still want the P11… shoot if FIRST before making a final decision. THAT was the make or break it for me.

    • thanks Mrs. R! I’ll pass this info along to my husband. That was what I was concerned about…the recoil. We have several we’re considering and hoping to make a decision soon!

    • Mrs. R, thanks for mentioning this. I planned to address it in a future post, but it’s great to touch on the subject now. Any really lightweight gun is going to have more kick than a heavy one. Weapons for carry are generally not fun to shoot, but that’s not their primary purpose.
      Of course it’s crucial to be able to shoot it without hesitation, so you have to know yourself and find your balance.
      I went with a super lightweight gun that was reputed to have a more manageable kick than similar models. Yes, it kicks hard, but I can handle it and the carrying comfort is worth it to me.
      Tip: don’t give up after the first time. I fired 5 shots the day I got my gun, and had second thoughts. The next day I tried again and decided it wasn’t so bad after all. No regrets!

  17. Thank you for writing this post as it touches on something I’ve been struggling with (so sorry for the long comment in advance!)!

    I’ve been torn as to whether to purchase a new handgun for myself. My husband and I moved to rural Oklahoma last year. I’m very comfortable around shotguns and rifles (hubby is a big time hunter and I hunt nearly every weekend during waterfowl season – don’t make fun but I LOVE my Remington 870 Express) but less so with hand guns. I always keep a loaded shotgun in the house when I’m home by myself. We’ve had a few encounters around the property with snakes, etc. that a hand gun for myself would have been handy but there was always time to run up to the house and grab a shotgun (we have 15 acres). My husband has his conceal/carry and his pistol is almost always on his hip or in his truck (except for the snake incidents, figures!) but is often working out of state. I purchased a S&W Bodyguard .38 Special this past fall after much searching, but I still wasn’t really comfortable with it and it had a defect so (after much hassle) I returned it to the company.

    While I wouldn’t mind having a handgun for around the house (on my hip when outside working or in a drawer by the bed at night), I don’t think I will ever be comfortable doing the conceal/carry route. My biggest hang up with a handgun for myself is kids – we dont’ have any yet (although would like to) but we have friends with kids, nieces & nephews, etc. over all the time – I just don’t feel they are as safe as a shotgun which is easily unloaded and put up when others are around (maybe competely irrational, I know).

    Any thoughts? Maybe I just haven’t found the right one yet and when I do, I will magically change my mind!

    • It won’t be the gun that changes your mind on this. This is a personal decision that you have to be comfortable with. Would you be able to shoot another human being if it came down to your life or his? THAT is what you need to KNOW the answer to before you should carry a handgun.

      It also comes down to HOW you carry your handgun. A loaded handgun in a drawer is accessible to anyone who opens the drawer. With an easy trigger pull… a small child can shoot is without meaning to.

      Any handgun can be unloaded and put up safely when others are around. Any gun can be unloaded and put up safely when others are around.

      If you are carrying your handgun in your concealed carry purse… and it doesn’t have a lock than that is no better then a nightstand drawer. But a locks purse means you may not have access to your weapon when you need to protect yourself.

      If you are carrying your handgun in an on-body carry, YOU are in control of who sees it, touches it, or even knows it is there.

  18. Well…I must say that I am shocked. From reading your blog, I guess I wouldn’t pick you as a gun toting mama. 🙂 Now, I have to ask: What is your reasoning for carrying a gun? Do you live in a bad area? Is your town a heavy crime area? Are you prepared to take someone’s life in front of your children as it seems that there is always a few around?

    Just curious. I was raised around guns, owned my own when I was younger and taught gun safety by my father. (Didn’t have concealed permit- only used for target practice in mountains) When I became an adult, I made the decision to not own one.

    • Just Me,
      I plan to answer many of your questions in an upcoming post, but I’ll give you one quick answer now: I am absolutely prepared to take someone’s life in front of my children if their own lives are in danger. I would much rather they see Mom kill a bad guy than watch their siblings and mom get killed – or get killed themselves.

      • I already posted, but I am geniunely wanting to know when “Thou shalt not murder” becomes ok? I find that when Christians say they are pro-life they mean of the unborn mostly. Your response is not jiving with scripture to me because to take any life is murder, wether that be through abortion or intentionally firing a gun and thus killing someone who is attempting to kill you or your children. I just don’t see where the Bible says murder is ever ok….premeditated or not. I am not trying to be argumentative, but rather interested to hear how you would defend murder in any circumstance in a biblical way.

        • I think being pro-life includes being pro- your children’s lives, and therefore defending them against someone trying to harm them. Not saying that would be your first port of call, but it’s there as an option. Especially if you live somewhere where it’s going to take the police a while to get there.

          The law recognizes self-defense as a legitimate defense in a murder trial. Not every killing is murder. Otherwise the entire armed forces of a country would be in prison for murder. And that’s why there is such a thing as war crimes – sometimes people are defending themselves legitimately, other times not. Remember God Himself instituted the death penalty. One might argue that was only for Israel, but even the fact of having that in one particular circumstance demonstrates that according to God’s view there are different levels and contexts of killing.

  19. Okay, I’ve been reading your blog for a good few years now, because even though we’re very different I found you interesting. But here is where we part ways I’m afraid. I can’t believe that you’re wearing a GUN in your house in front of so many kids. I’m British, yeah, so I get that gun culture is different over there, but you’re contributing to the problem and perpetuating it for the next generation. That isn’t the way to set a good example. It’s sick. WWJD? NOT have a gun.

    • Rebecca,
      I’m sorry you feel that way.
      You’re right; gun culture here is *very* different, and you and I are very much products of our culture. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms, and many Americans feel it is our duty to be prepared to defend ourselves and others against violent crime. Many believe that criminals find it discouraging to face a potentially armed victim, preferring to perpetrate their crimes on the defenseless – or find a safer way to make a living.
      Law abiding citizens with guns are not the problem, nor do they contribute to the problem of crime.
      WWJD? Jesus Himself violently attacked the money-changers and merchants who had set up business in the temple, and His apostles were armed. They carried swords, and the only time He rebuked them for using them was when Peter tried to protect Jesus from the arrest that was necessary for His crucifixion.

    • Thank you for posting your views on the topic. I came across this blog looking for something completely different, really liked it and wanted to keep reading some more. Like you, I am in total shock that somebody would even consider keeping a gun at home (with or without children involved). If I knew somebody I was going to visit kept one, I would not enter that house. Kim, what makes your neighbourhood so dangerous? Being central european, I’m really trying to understand what exactly you are afraid of. No offense intended: Why should someone want to harm your children in the first place and what makes you think you can always be there to protect them? Over here, everyone that is mentally sane could own/carry a gun but very few people bother. Shooting sport seems to be fun but that’s something totally different, isn’t it?

      • Doris, gun owners are not typically walking around in a state of fear. It has more to do with the desire and responsibility to protect and defend the innocent. Crime is not rampant in our neighborhood, but there is a very real possibility that we or people we know and love will be victims of violent crimes at some point in their lives. Many people that I know have found themselves in that position. We want to be prepared to take action if the need presents itself. If the bad guys are armed, why shouldn’t law abiding citizens be armed as well? This is one way we, as Christians, show that we value life: we protect innocent lives if it is within our power when danger threatens.

        • Hey Kim,
          we both know that nothing will keep you from carrying – guns at least 😉 It’s what your parents taught you, the tradition you were raised in. What I don’t get about your explanation is the “no fear” but at the same time “desire to protect” part. That’s self-contradictory to me. On average, one child died every 3 days in accidental gun incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2005. That’s 710 kids, a small future town extinct! The Lord’s plan? I strongly doubt it and do hope that every single member of your family will grow very old very happily and unharmed by people carrying guns – both the bad guys and the law abiding citizens.

          • CharleneM says:

            “No fear” does not mean you walk around with your head in the clouds, oblivious to the fact that danger does exist. When I walk to from a store to my vehicle after dark, I am aware of what is going on around me, doesn’t necessarily mean I am fearful, but cautious.

            The Lord’s plan wasn’t for any of us to die, BUT sin did enter the world through Adam and now we deal with the repercussions of it. He did plan for earthquakes and hurricanes either.

            I have to wonder how many people are saved by people carrying weapons. We are a pro-gun family and receive numerous magazines and journals on the subject. Every month there are stories upon stories of how people were saved by being protected. Here’s one example I ran across recently-

            I also found this great post on biblical and historical use of weapons–“bring-your-pieces-to-church”-sunday/

          • Doris,
            This chart shows gun related accidents compared to deaths by other accidental causes, based on numbers from Table 10 in this CDC document.
            Of course any accidental death is tragic, but to respond by saying people should not own guns is an emotional response, not a logical one. There are far greater dangers in a child’s life that we simply don’t worry about. An individual has a much higher chance of becoming a victim of violent crime than of dying in a gun related accident. The number of murders is far greater than the number of accidental shootings.
            Regarding “no fear” versus “desire to protect,” I think you confuse recognizing danger with living in a state of fear. Do you look both ways before crossing the street? I do, and I work hard to teach my children the same caution. Is this living in fear? I also recognize that bad guys are real, and I take reasonable precautions to protect myself and loved ones. Is this living in fear? I don’t think so.

  20. Such a cool post. There’s something so nifty about a lady and her gun.

  21. Not at all what I expected to see when I arrived on this page and saw the pic of the kids at the top! 🙂 Here in the cold north (Canada), only the criminals and police carry guns…..

    Warmest regards,
    Pardon My Poppet ~ Pip Squeaks from the Mummy-verse!

  22. Oh, and I don’t see any links to the bra holster you are referring to… can you post that in the comments so I could look at it too??!! Pretty please!

    Oh, and another benefit to a revolver over a semi-auto… after I broke my arm in July of 2010 my strength to rack a semi-auto back has been reduced! I was getting quite concerned that I would only get it racked back halfway in my time of need! You know with nerves and reduced strength and all. Not that I plan on breaking any bones any time soon… but I waited 50 yeas to break the first one! 😉

      • Have you personally worn this thing?? I saw the Marilyn model, and um, well, maybe my gun is too big for that?? I didn’t get a small gun. But it has the bobbed hammer so as not to catch on clothing. And well, doesn’t the flashbang holster pull down on the bra with the weight of the gun?

        I did go, with a friend, to a women’s only concealed carry class. Very helpful! We were able to try on various styles and discuss women only issues and concealed carry. I think she is planning on taking this class nationwide. Anyway, I originally opted for one of those small carry bags with the over the shoulder strap. I didn’t want to use a full sized carry purse… because I am always setting my purse down… somewhere. It was a real DRAG having that thing around my neck all the time. And when I got home… if I took it off and went into the office at the other end of the house my gun was not with me. who wants to have to wear their small purse all day long?

        I came to the conclusion that on body carry way the only way to go, but what kind of holster…?? I am still leaning most towards the Naturally Concealed one. I have a close personal friend who has worn one for over a year and loves it!

  23. I’m in the same boat as the above commenter. I’m from New York and the idea of even owning a gun is something I can’t imagine. Nobody I know has a gun. I hope you’ll do another post about this topic. I really learned a lot about gun culture from this post and I’m very interested in learning more. Especially about wearing it inside the house. All of it.

    I love your blog and I’m definitely not being judgmental. Just curious and wanting to learn more! 🙂

  24. Wow~ Talk about your culture shock—I live in small town Prince Edward Island Canada and the idea of wandering around my living room with a gun in a holster…I don’t know how to even express it—I am speechless. I couldn’t imagine picking out a gun or wearing one or shooting one for that matter. Wow! I’m not judging I’m just saying is all…wow

    • Me too! I can’t even imagine walking around with a gun in front of children! My brain is hurting as I am trying to think from your perspective, Kim! (no judging, just culture shock!)

      • I agree. We live in a city of about 1/2 a million. Our home has even been broken into but we feel strongly about God being the giver and taker of life. I know others feel differently though.

  25. OK Gun Toting Ladies! Have you seen or used this concealed holster??

    It is the one I am seriously considering getting…

    I don’t wear belts so my preferred kidney carry is out, a belly band… naw I would be VERY interested in knowing what y’all think of this holster!!

    • I created my belly band based partly on the Naturally Concealed holster. I intended to add straps like that one but decided not to. I made mine out of elastic, so it stays put pretty well. I do have to adjust once in a while, but I try to be discreet, and an onlooker would assume I was adjusting my bra.
      The absence of straps lets me easily and inconspicuously turn it out of the way for nursing. Once Parker is weaned, I might add removable straps.

      • What did you use to hold the gun on the belly band you created?? How long have you worn it? I am pretty handy with a sewing machine…

        Unfortunately I don’t have any nursing babies to move my gun out of the way for. And there won’t be any more coming as the ‘plumbing’ is all finished.

        Kim, thank you for starting this conversation!

        • Mrs. R, I’ll be happy to share how I made my belly holster. It was very simple once I found the materials I needed.

          • Please do share it Kim! Right not, this is one of the holsters I’m really considering and if I could make one myself, then all the better 🙂

            On the gun front, my husband is really wanting me to get a 9 mm semi-auto, we’re looking at the Kel-Tec P-11. He wants 9 mm for stopping power and he also wants us all to have the same caliber gun so we can all use the same ammunition. Make sense, but I’ll have to handle it first and see if I like it. I like that it is small and should be easy to carry on a daily basis. When I get my CHL, I want to carry something everywhere. Without the CHL, of course, I can carry around the farm–and I do–my big ol’ .357 or the shotgun Marty bought me for my birthday a few years ago 🙂

          • Susan, if you’re looking at 9mm, you might also want to check out the Ruger Lc9. It’s wildly popular and very compact so it’s easy for a woman to conceal.
            Men sometimes don’t like the small grip, but if have smallish hands it’s very comfy.
            I also really liked the feel of the new Beretta Nano, another sub-compact 9mm. If I had gone the semi-auto route, I definitely would have chosen one of those 2 models.
            BTW, 9mm ammo is spectacularly cheap, so if you’re comfortable with semi-autos it’s the way to go!

          • I’m planning on getting a gun soon and carrying it concealed, and have been turning over in my mind how I could possibly conceal it without wearing a potato sack. This looks neat, but…….what happens if you have to draw the gun? How does the modesty factor impact ease and quickness of drawing?

          • YES! Oh please YES!!! 🙂

          • Thanks for the info Kim, I’ll check into those as well.

  26. oh, by the way, I LOVE the new Flash-bang under the arm holster! Have you seen it?

    • Susan, I just received my Flashbang bra holster a few days ago, and am seriously considering the new Marilyn model that goes under the arm. Is that the one you’re referring to?

      • Yes, that’s the one! I love the whole idea of the flash bang (original), but was worried about comfort. You’ll have to keep me updated on that, it honestly looks kind of uncomfortable )

  27. We have always taught our children that EVERY gun is a loaded gun. Period. They know not to touch them without express consent from either my husband or I. We have to keep at least 1 loaded gun around here for critters. In the last several years, we’ve had to kill several rattlesnakes (including one in the house!). When you live out in the country, a loaded gun is a must have tool. We’ve also had to kill a rabid skunk and a rabid dog (that one “treed” us in the house and wouldn’t let us out.). That’s just part of country living.

    We are looking into getting our CHLs, but my husband wants to buy a new handgun first. We’re looking at full sized automatics and a compact auto for me for a daily carry. I love my .357, but it’s full sized and I need something that weighs less and is easier to conseal for my daily carry. We’re hoping to be able to get at one in the next couple of months so that we can at least take our CHL class.

    anyway, it’s always nice to see other women carrying guns 🙂

    • Susan – if you want the .357, but are looking for something lightweight, check out the Ruger LCR. It will shoot .357 or 38, is super small & light. That is what I carry & it is practically the same gun as Kim is showing 🙂

      • Autumn – I’ll have to take a look at that one. We’re still in the decision making stage so we’re taking a look at several. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks!

  28. Now I know why we didn’t hear from you too much at Christmastime. And there we were offering to send you crackers and such. We should have been offering ammo. But then, we didn’t know what you were having….

  29. Excellent choice! I had a nearly identical revolver, but mine was Smith & Wesson (sadly I sold it when my husband was unemployed. Groceries and paying the electric bill were just more important 🙂 ). I love revolvers for the same reasons you listed, plus I simply prefer the looks of them over semi-autos.
    You listed great reasons for carrying around the house too. Those are things I hadn’t thought of, but that is a wonderful way to help teach children about firearms and firearm safety.

  30. Kim,
    That was hands down the coolest blog post I have ever read by a mom of 10. As a fellow mom of 10, you have me thinking. We live way out in the country, and have seen an increase in house break ins in the last couple of years. The kids and I are at home all day, and frankly, we never have the door locked when we are here. We do lock at night, or when we are gone.
    I am beginning to consider purchasing a gun. My husband has several hunting guns(shotguns and rifles). I could never shoot one of those. Besides, we keep the ammo locked up separately.
    Anyway, thank you for such a thorough post. I appreciate it.

    • We have taken to keeping our door locked whenever we are home.

      We also have a whole house alarm, but don’t set it during the day unless we are leaving. But set it on “stay” at night after hubby gets home and it is on all night.

  31. Oooh pretty! I run with a Glock .27 – nice and light but lots of stopping power with chambered PDA ammo. Prints like a cannon, though. 😛 Drooling over the .38. You GO, sistah!

  32. That was great…& you did answer a lot of my questions 🙂

    My husband & I also did a lot of research before purchasing my carry gun. We chose the Ruger LCR .357 & went with the laser site grips, too. I agree that it is a psychological advantage to see the little red dot on the target! I am still in search of a concealed holster that I will be comfortable with.

    Can’t wait for more posts on this subject. Thanks so much!!

    • Autumn,
      I have to admit I wish I had gotten the .357 version of my gun. For some reason I was thinking it would be bigger and therefore harder to conceal, and it didn’t come with the laser grips. As it turns out the size difference is negligible and I could have bought the grip separately.
      Oh well. I’m still in love with mine!

  33. I just got a new baby as well! Hubby recently got me a Ruger SP101 45 special. My first gun I learned to hate. It was a Kel-Tec p11 and it kicked like a mule… and hurt… a LOT. There was not way I would comfortably shoot that piece to gain proficiency!

    I love my new baby!! I opted for the 45 because I can also shoot the lighter 38 special loads. The weight makes it a sweet shooting piece, yes with a kick, but not painfully so!

    I too got Crimson Trace grips! I even got the pleasure of zeroing them in all on my own.

    But this one was my third gun. My second was a 22 rifle. Hubby insisted that I get one with rubberized stock, and it’s balance is near perfect. I love to shoot my 22!

    Blessings, ~Mrs. R – another gun totin mama!

  34. Well, anyone who has read your blog long enough and/or checked out the archives knows the secondary reason you carry a gun around the house. It’s to shoot those creatures you got out there in Texas. Such as the daddy longlegs and the scorpions. Blech.
    Am I right or am I right?
    Do you stand on the deck and shoot at targets?
    Do you practice the drop, roll, and fire maneuver?
    This is the louis l’amour in me talking. Huge fan.

    • Jamie,
      I have needed to use my gun a few times over the years on non-human targets, so it’s good to have one available.
      Never did the drop, roll and fire maneuver. Does the rolling help? 😉

      • Absolutely! The roll gets you out of their line of fire! You wouldn’t survive without the roll. You’d be dead, mister. I mean, sister.

    • Couldn’t help but laugh at Jamie’s Louis L’amour comment. Now if it’s one of those big spiders Kim’s clan is so fond of keeping, I’d be shooting at that!

      • Isn’t it just too funny to picture Kim doing that?!? And then to see her come up firing at that tangle of spiders she showed us one time…Ha Ha Ha It’s kept me chuckling all day. I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing with you. Of course, not if I’m looking down the nostrils of her new baby…

  35. that is awesome! as a wanna be gun owner, a question: why carry the gun around the house? how do you overcome the fear (not yours, mine) of accidentally discharging the gun when littles crawl all over you and rough and tumble play?

    • theresa,
      First, my gun is well protected in a holster. A holster that fits a gun properly will cover (and therefore disable) the trigger, so the chance of accidental discharge is greatly reduced.
      Second, my holster has a retention strap so the gun won’t work its way up or fall out if I bend over too far.
      Third, we are using this opportunity to teach the little ones to respect guns. They see and know that I’m carrying, so they know better than to climb or jump on me without warning. Having it out in the open provides a much better reminder than when it’s concealed. Any impulse they may have to touch it without explicit permission is quickly addressed, because I’m RIGHT THERE.
      These reasons are a big part of why I carry at home, but there’s more. I plan to blog about it soon. 🙂

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