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Should Moms Carry Guns?

guns

I hope I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that as an American Mom, I often take safety for granted. We live in a safe neighborhood in one of the best school districts in Oklahoma nowhere near any registered sex offenders (believe me, I checked), yet I keep reading stories like this that happen mere miles away from our house.

Most recently, I have seen several moms posting on Facebook mom groups about their horror stories of attempted kidnappings at our local Target! Call me a Target snob if you want, but I have never been in a Target store that wasn’t impeccably clean and (seemingly) safe so that is was one of the LAST places that I would fear for the safety of my children. 

Before my husband could even finish reading the most recent horror story I found on Facebook, he was looking up guns to buy me. He insisted that I should carry a gun at all times – this has been a debate in our relationship for quite some time, but has become more prominent lately because he just can’t seem to handle the thought of me taking our newborn daughter in public without packing heat.

What seems to be a clear cut decision for him, creates a lot of internal conflicts for me.

I have nothing against the idea of packing heat. In fact, I’ve had my Concealed Carry License for several years now, I have just never felt the need to own a gun. When I was a Foster Mom, the rules and regulations on gun safety were so strict that it just didn’t seem worth it to keep a gun in the house. Plus, from a very young age, my mom has always drilled into me what my PaPaw used to tell her: “Don’t carry a gun unless you intend to use it.”

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going to the shooting range and I have pretty good aim (if I do say so myself), but the idea of using those skills to defend myself is intimidating. It becomes even more daunting when you add in the fact that I would also have a newborn with me while packing heat.

Which means the gun would be in the diaper bag.

At the same time, my Mama Bear instincts kick in and all of my fears go out the window when I think about protecting my child.

I offered my husband a compromise: I get a gun and I keep it in my glovebox. He, of course, didn’t go for that. I mean, I have pepper spray in my car at all times (though the odds of me being able to find that little pink tube when I need it are slim), is it really necessary for me to carry a gun in my diaper bag? Perhaps I could just get a little taser?

I’m interested in knowing your thoughts on this matter because I’m really at a loss! Other than being aware of your surroundings, how do you protect yourself and your kids?

 

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20 Responses to Should Moms Carry Guns?

  1. Avatar
    Colton Watkins March 15, 2016 at 12:12 am #

    Hey Alana, a few thoughts to chew on. It seems like it has been a long time since we all hung out in the student center at oc. Although I am not a father I am a peace officer. The world is not as innocent as I use to believe it was. From my personal experience the world is split in two where most people live in blissful happiness of the perfect world where the know of the bad but think it rarely happens and never thinking anything bad will happen to them, and the other half who commit the crimes that we don’t want to know about. I personally believe now, more than I did so in the past, that carrying a pistol is a must. Just because you carry it does not mean you’ll use it in fact statistics show most never do. But the one time when something happens it’s better to have it than to be without it. As for pepper spray it is of the devil, believe me I’ve been sprayed for training, but it is still possible to continue whatever it is you were doing. As for a taser there are two types; one for up close which is just two prongs and one that can close distances by projectiles. There are downsides to both for the first you have to be within arms reach by that time whatever was happening is most likely done. For the second it’s a one shot thing, you miss and your done for- it’s easy to miss. With a gun, and I would suggest one with a safety, you have multiple attempts which is good because in the heat of the moment your aim from the range won’t be there it will be instincts of point and pull. Yes there will always be downsides but good training and safety negate most of them. Ps don’t leave a gun in your car a criminal will always find it.

    Hope this helps!
    Miss ya!

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston March 15, 2016 at 5:34 am #

      Thank you so much for the advice, Colton! I have really been struggling with the decision so I really appreciate your input, especially considering your job! Miss you too!

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      Megan March 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

      Could you recommend any good holsters or cases to put the gun in while it is in a diaper bag or purse? My husband also like me to carry mine after our son is born, but I would like to make sure it is secure in the bag.

      • Avatar
        Alana Livingston March 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

        Megan, unfortunately I don’t have any good holster recommendations; it seems as though, based on the comments on Facebook that most people wouldn’t recommend holstering the gun in the diaper bag–they all recommended doing a belly band holster or an under-arm holster. You might check with a local gun range?

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    Kori March 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    I worked child welfare for close to ten years and never could carry a gun although there were times when I thought I needed one. I married an infantryman and we’ve always had guns in the house. My husband has his CCL and I received mine when I was pregnant with my son in 2013. I initially carried in my diaper bag but didn’t like that as I preferred to carry on my person. After receiving a new gun in July of 2015, I now carry with an IWB holster. First, you carry the gun that you’re comfortable with and know how to use. Women with young children will always be targeted as we’re more likely to be distracted and make an easy target.

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston March 16, 2016 at 5:33 am #

      Thanks for the input, Kori! I need to find a gun that I am comfortable with!

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        Hannah March 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

        Whatever you decide, I do think you should find something comfortable for you and something you can in one way or another attach to your person so little people don’t find it when not locked in a safe.

        If I may, you will also probably have to make wardrobe adjustments and try a few setups before you find what’s right for you. Practice (at least drawing and dry firing) regularly.

        Here’s a playlist for kids to watch on gun safety: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWAH4G5ASuVLBy4XlyPhaPUC8rMApxjzj

        • Avatar
          Alana Livingston March 16, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

          Thank you, Hannah! I will definitely be checking out the playlist!

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    Pam Dunkin March 17, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    Best holster I’ve found for purses (would also work well in a diaper bag) is the Crossbreed Purse Defender. My husband purchased one for me, for Valentine’s Day a few years ago and I *LOVE* it!
    PS my husband is also a concealed carry instructor 🙂

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston March 17, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Thanks for the tip, Pam! I will be looking into that for sure!

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    Suzanne Hines March 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    I love this post! I was just having this conversation with my husband yesterday. He has his CCW and always carries. I don’t mind guns in our home, but it terrifies me to be the one in possession of it. I have an 19 month old toddler and I cannot count the times I’ve turned around for three seconds and then found her in something she shouldn’t be in. I can’t imagine if I had my hands full, absently put my gun somewhere and then turned around to find it in her hands (or worse).

    I am also a foster Mom and the rules are crazy, but I do sleep better at night knowing I have access to a gun. My husband works nights.

    I think if a young Mom feels confident carrying, it’s a good idea. I know that one of the top ways to be safe is simply to be informed and armed. If a kidnapper or robber sees you armed or becomes aware that you can prevent harm, that could stop them right in their tracks (without having to draw or fire).

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston March 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Suzanne! I think my husband is going to go get his License and get a handgun, so that will be a relief at home, but I’m with you on your thoughts on personally carrying–it’s even more intimidating when you’re caring for foster kids (more hands to watch and you never know the rules and values that child has been taught, so there is a HUGE trust factor there).

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    Jenny Birch July 4, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    Always trust your maternal instinct. It’s telling you not to have a loaded gun around your baby or child. It sounds like your husband is pressuring you to do something you don’t want to. There are so many statistics that show how dangerous it is to have guns around children and in homes. I can get you some info on that if you want. I don’t think we should all live in constant fear, especially as mothers raising children. You have enough to worry about to be adding the fear of your baby or child accessing your loaded firearm.

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston July 4, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

      Exactly Jenny, I don’t need anything else to worry about–my hands are full enough with my newborn! I think my husband has finally come around to the idea that I’m just not ready to carry a gun on me.

      • Avatar
        Jenny Birch July 5, 2016 at 12:35 am #

        I’m so happy to hear that! You seem like a very open and rational person. The pressure to protect our children from what someone else might potentially do is outweighed by our duty to protect them while they’re in our care. Having unsecured guns around them isn’t a safe or responsible thing to do. Best wishes to you and your family!

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    Lilly July 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Each of us has to make that decision on her own. But I personally feel that you are putting your baby and yourself at more risk by carrying in your diaper bag. The chances of you being injured or killed by your own gun are much greater than you using it to protect yourself. Wouldn’t you prefer to make your pepper spray more accessible? I mean, you won’t accidentally kill yourself or your baby with pepper spray, but you could easily deter a crime with it.

    • Avatar
      Alana Livingston July 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

      You are absolutely right, Lilly! I actually made an effort to pull my pepper spray out of my car and take it with me when I was shopping by myself the other day!

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    Amanda July 4, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    Statistically, you are exponentially more likely to unintentionally shoot yourself or your infant than you are to use your gun for defense. As a mother of 3, I can tell you that juggling a newborn is complex! I could pack lighter to go to Europe than to take my babies to my parents for the weekend. There is just so much stuff! The thought of balancing a tiny, whimsical, tyrannical little human with all their baggage and a lethal weapon is pretty terrifying. I recently took a class from a top personal security firm before traveling in some unstable areas. Their top piece of advice was to be alert! Put down your phone, scan your surroundings routinely and stay away from shady people and places. My advice to you and the security of your new baby is the same. The threat of accidental discharge is not worth the highly unlikely event that you will ever need it. Also, you are only about 6 months away from your baby being able to find your gun, and then you would just be another daily tragedy that we read about. We have guns in our home, but we are rigorous about keeping them in safes with the ammunition stored separately. You have great mama bear instincts in wanting to protect your child, but please treat guns with the extreme caution and respect that they warrant.

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      Alana Livingston July 4, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks for the tips, Amanda! Those are all very practical ways for me to protect my family!

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    Min July 5, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    Guns always seem like a great thing to have for self defense, but statistically you are at a much higher risk being harmed by your own gun. Either by accident on your part, the child getting a hold of it or it being taken from you and used against you . And believe it or not- suicide. Postpartum depression is real and can be severe. I had it pretty bad with my 2nd child. The a availability and access to a gun could turn a depressed persons bad day into a deadly one. I sure hope you DONT have to deal with it, but I hope you will follow your instincts and not carry a gun. Good luck

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