Saturday, June 20, 2009

Carrying a Gun and a Baby



I have gotten a number of emails from mothers and father and even interested parents-to-be on the mechanics of carrying a baby and a gun. I've tried expressing that it is not as intimidating as it appears and finally I made a video to show just how easy it really can be.

There are a few things, however, I would like to emphasis when it comes to carrying a child and a gun.

Firstly, I want to address safety. Contrary to popular belief, most gun owners are very responsible, safe people who have the very best for themselves and their families in mind. But! We all know that mistakes occur and this is why I have come up with a few ground rules beyond the regular four rules of gun safety to insure my child is completely safe in my care (both from the bad guys and from accidents).

  1. When dealing with firearms, do so in another room, separate and safe from your children. We all know that kids can grab, move, jump, yank at the most unexpected of times and even if they don't get their hands on a gun, something they do can startle a parent into being careless enough for an accident to occur.
  2. Put your holster on, put your gun on, get them set, then go to your children and don't touch your firearm or holster again unless you cannot avoid it. Don't fidget with or adjust or work with your gun or your set up while your children are around (see no. 1).
  3. MAKE SURE your holster is of good quality and that the trigger guard of your firearm is completely enclosed. Small fingers and toes, toys and do-dads can get into small spaces and while you are wrestling with diaper bags, children, toys, bottles, pacifiers, wipes, temper tantrums, owies, band-aids and sippy cups, you might not always notice the hazards that can slip into an exposed trigger guard. Anything within your trigger guard other than your finger when your sights are on their target is BAD. Conversly, a gun cannot fire if the trigger is not pressed. Keep your trigger guard guarded with a quality holster and avoid accidents.
Finally, years of media coverage of childhood firearms accidents and Million Mom March speaches and even the NRA's Eddie Eagle campaign have instilling in us the understanding that children and firearms do not mix. We are so convinced of this that even pictures of a mother holding a child with a gun on her hip make us cringe, no matter how pro-gun we proclaim to be.

Yes, it is true, children and firearms do not mix, but that does not mean they cannot coexist safely with the proper supervision of parents and the strict adherence to safety rules.

This video has already been the subject of some tense comments about safety and even that while it is understood why I would want to carry a firearm it might not be a good idea to do it with a child in tow.

According to some, it's okay to protect myself. It's okay for my husband to protect himself. It's even okay for my husband to carry to protect me and my child. But it's suddenly not okay for me to protect myself AND my child at the same time.

Hmm.. I'm not quite sure I understand the logic behind that one.

I started carrying a firearm in defense against those who wish to do evil to me. People can understand and even empathise with that. People even cheer my willingness to defend myself. My child does not yet have the ability, physically, emotionally or legally, to take that responsibility on himself. He is reliant on his mother and his father to provide for him in all areas, including his protection.

Statistics from February, 2007 state that 300,000 children are abducted or reported missing each year in the US. In the same year, in the US, 248,300 women were assaulted or raped. Both my child and myself are targets for violent crime. My husband can't always be around to defend us. The police response in our neighborhood can be as much as twenty-eight minutes.

Let's pause here.

Before you read on, let's go back to the police response time.

Twenty-Eight Minutes!!

It takes an average of three minutes to suffocate a human being. It takes approximately one minute to grab my child and put him in a car. It takes less than twenty-eight minutes to get over twenty miles away in any direction. That means before the police even arrived to assess the scene of the crime, a criminal could kill me, kidnap our child and be twenty miles away before the police even BEGAN the search for the fugitive.

I want you to stop and think about that.

Some will criticise me for having a firearm and a child together under a supervised situation so that I can defend myself and my son in the event it is necessary. I don't necessarily mind the criticism. I have pretty thick skin, I know I am responsible and I know that I will be prepared in the event I should have to be (God forbid).

I am not a paranoid person (as I've said before). I do not wait for bad things to happen to me. But I know, more than some, that bad things happen in the most unexpected of times and places. I won't stand by and let those bad things happen to me and my baby just because someone thinks it's a little overboard to carry a baby and a gun.

14 comments:

  1. i just wanted to drop a note and tell you that i agree with you and think that you are correct in carrying to protect yourself and your son. as long as you carry responsibly as you always do there is no problem. i also want to tell you that i have gotten a lot of help from your other videos on you tube about carry and 1911's and other things. i am a newbie male 49 years old and not at all ashamed to learn from a female who knows her subject so very well. many thanks and keep posting. especially videos for new carriers. on that subject, i know that i will catch a lot of flack, but for now my carry gun will be a nine shot h and r revolver. it is what i have and it is reliable and i can't afford to buy any other weapon right now. so i will use what i have. i figure that it is better to fire nine shots of .22 caliber than zero shots of nothing. thanks again,lima

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  2. Thanks for the post! What kind of sling would you recommend? I may check them out for child #2 coming later this year. :)

    What I'd really like to know, though, is how you possibly carried while pregnant! Maternity pants just don't seem to work with anything!

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  3. Lima,

    I was going to point someone with a question about carrying with kids to this video, but when I click to play, it says "Embedding disabled by request". If I go to the Youtube page it says, "This video is private."

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  4. DITTO to BlackEagle's comment...
    i've been / am a babywearing Mom of four and am VERY interested in seeing this video... Thanks!

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  5. Amen!!! I wish there were more folks out there who believe what you (and I) believe and could speak about it so eliquently. I have watched so many of your videos and learned a lot. I was very interested in seeing this video because I have one on the way now too. I second Ann's comment on maternity pants! What's a girl to do?

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  6. Great post! You write so well on this issue.

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  7. Why has it taken me so long to find you!!?? In about 2 hours time, you have answered so many of my questions!!! I have a 3 y/o, 2 y/o and new baby. I've had my CCW permit for almost a year and haven't carried yet because I couldn't figure out how to carry while pregnant. Your "choosing a holster" videos solved that!! I'm a babywearer to the point that I even sell slings, and haven't tried carrying a gun and baby yet. None of it made sense to me till I watched this. Even how to dress has confused me. You're helping make so much so clear! Please keep making these videos and blogging!!

    What are your feelings on ankle holsters while with kids? I had been googling "women's ankle holster" when I followed some links to your videos. I really thought it would be the solution to my quandry, but now maybe I'll look at IWBs more.

    You ARE AWESOME!!

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  8. Just found your blog and it has given me motivation and excitement to finally get the opinion of a small framed WOMAN on concealed carry. Guys just don't understand! I wish you lived closer so I could meet you in person, you have a wonderful wealth of knowledge and articulate it well. Keep up the great blog. I am truly inspired.
    I have been trying every which way to carry daily concealed with frustrating results. I think your method of behind the hip carry will be perfect!

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  9. Mel- how do I message you privately? I am wondering how you feel about the crossbreed supertuck holster for a small framed woman? I am trying to figure out how to (at least semi-comfortably) carry while trail running. I have tried hip grips, IWB, and ankle but all end up leaving nasty welts, bruises, and severe chaffing. The hip grips just leave too much of the gun exposed against my skin to rub raw; the IWB pulls my running shorts down, flops around til the gun just about falls out (BIG NO) no matter how tight I try to tie the drawstrings; and the ankle holster is no good for summer let alone in winter it just chaffed my ankle bone. The only other option I have found is to carry it in my hydration pack which does me no good in an emergency. Any suggestions?

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    1. Have you considered a corset holster for instances where you can't wear a belt? I'm a lover of a good belt/kydex combo but have also found that there are times when I'm not wearing jeans where this doesn't work. The corset holster fills that void for me.

      Dene Adams has a pretty wide array of colors/designs and sizes. Also size extenders if needed. When I bought mine, there really wasn't a specific feature of the holster that protected my trigger. It's my understanding that she has since added that feature and also offers the trigger guard as a separate purchase for those who already have purchased. Haven't bought one yet since I don't wear the corset enough to justify the purchase but I'm certain I will at some point. I also don't have kids so I don't have to worry about small hands getting "grabby".

      All that being said, the few times I've worn the corset holster, I've found it to be quite comfortable. No one has been able to tell that I'm wearing it...and I've asked! :)

      I'm not associated with her and I see that this comment is over 6 years old but wanted to put the info out there in case anyone else is reading.

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  12. yes!!!! you said right. Both need same care.
    handgun holsters

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  13. It is very interesting and informative as well. I found what I was looking for a long time. Thanks For Sharing this..here we have the best Concealed carry holster on the planet! (IWB) In waistband, ankle and pocket holsters.

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