Friday, July 20th, 2012
I don’t know about anyone else, but I read good books and watch entertaining movies to lose myself in a storyline. To shed my worries and cares, to let my feet leave the planet of my reality and head off to explore the alternate realities presented on paper and in film is liberating.
I don’t read to pass time, I read to use time to experience vivid and exhilarating memories, emotions and actions of others. I don’t go to the movies to be an inactive participant in the film; I throw myself heart and soul into the action and hardly notice it isn’t real until the lights suddenly flicker on and I have to blink myself back to earth.
In short, I read and go to the theater to escape from the world, not to keep an eye on it.
For this reason, maintaining my situational awareness while reading or watching a movie isn’t something I can do. That is why I don’t lay in the park under a tree and read on my lunch break. It would be relaxing and enjoyable; it would rejuvenate me after the stress of a morning’s work. But it would also leave me easy pray to those who lurk and stalk, seeking to do harm.
To me, suspending my situational awareness to do things like read under a tree or walk with headphones in carries potential for too many negative and severe consequences to be worth it.
Going to a theater hasn’t (yet) reached that level of risk in my mind. Maybe that’s because my first two activities which result in a decreased level of situational awareness are solitary activities. There is no safety in numbers in being alone in the park or on a walk. But it turns out being in numbers doesn’t always result in safety.
In fact, all mass shootings occur in highly populated areas. This is a painfully obvious statement; it’s hard to have a mass shooting without masses. But it’s something I haven’t given too much thought to before. Most of my situational awareness habits come from a desire not to be sexually assaulted. Some of my situational awareness habits are a response to a threat from an solitary, known person. I need to develop a whole new set of situational awareness habits to increase my chances of surviving a bad situation going down in a public place, especially in public places which are designed to snuff out my situational awareness.
- Shopping malls: Malls don’t just happen. They are carefully designed, crafted to give shoppers an “experience” which helps mall-goers to forget the outside world and spend more time and money inside. A mall’s purpose is to transform me to another reality in which I am happy and rich. With artificial light, trees, sounds and scents and limited access to the outside world in the form of minimal windows and no cell phone reception, it would be easy to drop my guard here. Someone paid a lot of money to get me to do that.
- Movie theaters: As explained above, going to the movies is an escape from reality. Big movie producing companies spend a lot of money to hire good actors, makeup artists, wardrobe creators, music composers and stunt and special effects staff. I’m sure that the exact lighting, sound, seating positions, room temperature, etc. of the theater itself has been studied and optimized to help me forget my real surroundings and delve into those on the screen.
- Concerts: Music has many positive qualities. It entertains, lifts moods, heals emotional hurts. It has the ability to dramatically change the lives of its listeners. With our hearts, minds and ears involved in its sounds and with it presented in the visually-camouflaging, visually-distracting background of a crowded venue… it would be easy to lose situational awareness or miss situational awareness triggers when listening to music at a concert.
I Googled “situational awareness in crowds” and “situational awareness in crowded places” and didn’t come up with much. Does anyone out there have any tips and tricks to staying alert in those busy places which lull us into a sense of false security? Are there body language signs or foot traffic patterns which are important to look for? Help me out!
Tags: CCW, concealed carry, Defensive Carry, gender, Personal Safety, Preparedness, self defense, Situational Awareness
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
This morning, a man with a rifle went on a shooting spree in an IHOP restuarant in Carson City. I don’t know who the man is or what his reasoning was. But I know that the people of Carson City are very shook up right now. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as well as the rest of the small town.
A lot of my Nevada neighbors believe that this sort of thing doesn’t happen in our community. It does. We have car jackings, robberies, muggings, rapes, gang violence, shooting incidents. Reno had a Walmart shooter. UNR has been experiencing its own crime wave with several shootings a week for a couple of weeks this fall. Now Carson has had its own tragic incident.
A lady at church once asked me if I carried to church and if so, why. At the time, I taught her two boys in my Sunday school classes. I looked her in the eye and told her that I do carry at church because if there were a shooter at church, I’d want to protect her kids from him. The LDS Church had a shooter situation at a chapel in Utah. But it hasn’t happened in Nevada, yet. She accepted my responses with respect for my decisions, but I could almost hear her thinking that “things like that don’t happen here.”
For the Nevadans who realize that these things do happen here… buy a gun. Learn how to use it. Get your CCW permit. Carry everyday, everywhere you can. Help keep our town safe by being ready to act responsibly when it isn’t.
Tags: CCW, concealed carry, shootings
Friday, June 24th, 2011
I want a car safe. I can carry to and from work, but not at work. Additionally, when I’m running errands, sometimes I stop by places I can’t bring my Bodyguard in with me. I have a locking glovebox, but I don’t think that’s enough.
There are different kinds of car safes out there… at a gun show once, I saw a metal mesh bag gun safe. I haven’t been able to find one of those again. There are also key locked gun safes and combo locked gun safes. I’m not sure how easy either of those would be for me to open quickly in the dark. I wish they made car gun safes with the same sort of open-sesame technology that is utilized on lockers for students with disabilities.
Abus 150/40 C
Masterlock makes a lock that has four buttons: up, down, left and right. The combo can be entered purely by touch. Abus makes a lock whose combination is entered by aligning mini-switches to positions numbered 1-4. It seems these locks would be easier to open in the dark in my car than a key lock or a combination lock would.
I’ve also seen fingerprint locking safes. Those just creep me out. For those of you who have a car gun safe, do you use the fingerprint, lock or combination type? Do you have any tips, tricks, advice, recommendations for me?
Tags: 2nd Ammendment, CCW, concealed carry, Defensive Carry, Female Shooters, Gear, Girls and Guns, gun safes, open carry
Monday, March 28th, 2011
I got my Driver’s Licence in the mail today from the DMV. It took less time to arrive, I paid less for it and it arrived 100% complete and correct. The DMV used to have a bad rap around here, but they’ve changed 180 degrees. It’s too bad the DMV people can’t go show the CCW people how it’s done.
Tags: 2nd Ammendment, CCW, concealed carry, guns, Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Friday, March 25th, 2011
- I shot my brand new Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 at the range on Saturday, March 5th to qualify for a CCW addon with it.
- On Tuesday, March 7th, I dropped the paperwork for it and for my name change since I recently married in the mail, addressed to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department. Of course, I included the $15 fee.
- According to the date on the paperwork I later received, my new permit was issued Friday, March 11th.
- On Tuesday, March 15th, my check cleared my bank.
- The Sheriff’s Office printed the postage on the envelope containing my new permit on Wednesday, March 23rd.
- I received my new CCW permit on Thursday, March 24th.
We’re looking at 14 business day turn-around-time, including the mail time. Although, as indicated by the postmark and receipt date of the new permit, the mail around here takes about a day for in-town mail. The bulk of the wait time was spent at the Sheriff’s Office.
Now for the bad news…
They screwed up my permit. Royally.
According to the Sheriff’s Office my middle name is “Marie.” Wrong! Also, they didn’t even addon the addon. Duh! I left a voicemail for Lisa Lane, the woman who processes all things CCW, asking her what to do to get this fixed. I’m hoping I don’t have to come into their office because I’d have to take off of work to do that and because waiting there is WORSE than waiting at the DMV. But if that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it! I’ll keep ya’ll posted.
Tags: CCW, concealed carry, Female Shooters, firearms, gender, Girls and Guns, guns, Smith & Wesson, Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Thursday, March 24th, 2011
I got my CCW shortly after my divorce and under my ex-husband’s last name. I didn’t go through the trouble of changing my name back to my maiden name because I didn’t really mind going by my ex-husband’s name and it made my church life and my work life easier.
But I’ve since remarried to a wonderful, wonderful man and I wanted to take this last name. For him, the name change hassle is worth it. I absolutely love him and my new last name! Part of changing my name was, of course, updating my CCW with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department. Unfortunately, their webpage is sparce and doesn’t detail the process or give a form to fill out. I called Lisa Lane (775-328-3348), the CCW guru at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department and asked her what the proceedure is.
She said that I needed to send in or bring by a $15 check or money order payable to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (911 Par Boulevard, Reno, Nevada 89512), a court document proving the name change (such as a copy of a certified marriage license or a divorce decree) and a signed letter with the following details:
- Old name
- New name
- Reason for name change
Here’s a link to the template I created to use as I changed my name. I sent this in to the Sheriff’s Office to be processed along with my CCW addon for my new Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 special revolver. I went with the mail-in method because the Sheriff’s Office is only open when I’m at work. Those of you who are lucky enough to be able to go to the office and drop this information off will receive a new CCW permit instantly. For me, now… the waiting begins.
Tags: 2nd Ammendment, CCW, concealed carry, guns, Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
After I got home from completing my addon at the Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility under the direction of Armed and Safe on Saturday afternoon, Gary from Safe Shot called me. He heard I was in earlier in the day and that I had a complaint about the steep pricing and addon drama. I didn’t ask for him to call; he took it upon himself. I applaud him for that because good customer service is hard to find, especially it seems at times hard to find at Safe Shot .
He told me that he didn’t know he charged me more than MSRP for the revolver when he sold it to me the day before and that he couldn’t fix that. The store paid more because it bought the revolver before Smith & Wesson dropped the price. The price drop happened recently, about six weeks before. To make up for the price gouge and the confusion about the addon, he couldn’t offer cash money, but he could offer some perks.
GB and I will enjoy at our next trip to Safe Shot :
- Range fee waivers (2 @ $10)
- Free box of ammo (2 @ about $30)
- Free target (2 @ $2)
That’s a total of $84 in perks. It makes me feel better about the overpaid $30 and the mix-up about the addon. The only catch is that we go to redeem this offer on a day when Gary is working, or with his approval on a day he’s not working. This is to avoid any further chaos. I didn’t get this in writing and I’m kind of worried that when I go to use this offer, it will have disappeared somehow. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when/if I get there. This mistrust really shows how the service at Safe Shot has messed with my feelings towards them. I used to love them. I shot a gun for the first time at their range and that experience changed my life. I also purchased my first firearm from them. I hope that with good staff like Gary, the image of Safe Shot can be turned around.
For now, while Safe Shot can suck at times, Gary seems like an ethical, helpful guy who cares about customer service. He doesn’t earn commission, so he doesn’t benefit from me saying this, but it’s my advice that if anyone is going to buy a gun at Safe Shot , they should buy it through Gary. The rest of the staff seems confused, untrained and hampered in providing customer service by the owner and the owner seems rude and uncaring.
It’s my advice to the owner of Safe Shot that he should make himself scarce on the sales floor and let his staff and customers interact with competent management in his stead. He should focus on running this business from behind the scenes since his people skills are sorely lacking. Not everyone is cut out for retail; perhaps he should stick to the things he is cut out for. Maybe he’s good at the accounting/paperwork aspect of the business? I donno. But get that man off of the sales floor!
Anyway. I’m glad Gary called and I’m crossing my fingers about a successful Safe Shot range trip for GB and I sometime soon.
Tags: Armed and Safe, CCW, concealed carry, firearms, Girls and Guns, gun ownership, guns, Safe Shot, Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility
Sunday, March 20th, 2011
I babysat for a family in my ward recently. I bought with me to their home a strong feeling of love for their children, a sense of fun and adventure and my gun. I carried it in a holster made by Discreet Carry. It is the DCH-1 holster, typically used by men. I turn the holster from the armpit area as men tend to use it until the holster sits just below my breasts and is aligned to the center of my chest. In this way, my holster is situated in the “rain shadow” of the girls where it is not visible. I can carry kids on either hip and piggy-back style with no little feet catching my gun or holster.
We cuddled during movies and I hugged and rocked the criers of the crew. None of the kids noticed my gun and as you all know, kids don’t keep quiet about awkward things. They would have no qualms asking me why my belly is so poky or asking what hard thing I have under my shirt. My holster worked perfectly. I could move and bend as I needed to, it wasn’t in the way at all and it kept concealed carry concealed.
No misadventures were experienced that night: no home invasions or rabid dog attacks. But if the stuff had hit the fan in that strange home, at night, in an unknown neighborhood, with vulnerable children in my stewardship, I was properly equipped to respond to the situation. And I’m glad for that. I love those kids and I don’t want anything to happen to them.
Concealed carry: it’s worth it.
Tags: CCW, concealed carry, Defensive Carry, firearms, Girls and Guns, guns, kids and guns
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
If Nevada’s colleges and universities allowed concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns on campus it might have prevented two rapes and a murder, a sexual assault survivor told state lawmakers Friday.
During emotional testimony before the Senate Government Affairs Committee Amanda Collins, 25, testified for Senate Bill 231, which would eliminate a restriction that prevented her from carrying her legal concealed handgun the night she was raped in a University of Nevada, Reno parking garage.
The attacker, James Biela, went on to rape another woman, and was convicted of kidnapping and killing a campus visitor, Brianna Denison.
“On Oct. 22, 2007 my right to say ‘no’ was taken from me by both James Biela and the Nevada Legislature,” said Collins, recounting the night she was attacked. “If the purpose of the current law is to ensure safety to those on university property then it is not serving that objective.”
Tags: 2nd Ammendment, campus carry, CCW, concealed carry, Defensive Carry, Female Shooters, Girls and Guns, gun ownership, gun safety, guns, Personal Safety, self defense
Friday, March 18th, 2011
Tags: 2nd Ammendment, Activism, campus carry, CCW, concealed carry, Defensive Carry, Female Shooters, firearms, gender, Girls and Guns, gun control, gun ownership, guns, Personal Safety