Real Talk and Chicken Sh*t Bullsh*t
I'm gonna say it. And I'm gonna use some grown-up-only words.
I'm definitely going to ruffle some feathers. And I'm tipping my glass to those in the industry who get it and see us for what we really are.
Early this morning, I listened to a podcast that totally pissed me off.
"The gray man"
Personally, as a woman and an instructor, I'm WILDLY tired of all the firearm talk laced with "he", "him", "guy", "dude", etc.
News flash, in case you haven't noticed...
A shit ton of women are carrying. And I mean A SHIT TON. The numbers are increasing exponentially on a daily basis.
As of June 2020, a whopping TWENTY FIVE PERCENT OF WOMEN now own a gun according to the FBI.
When men say something like "no one should know you're carrying", it sounds a whole lot like "cover that tank top up so you don't get attacked first because your boobs are showing".
From the moment women start breathing, we are taught to speak a certain way. We should always be super nice, always obey orders, take care of everyone else first, don't talk back, and don't question authority (and I'm not just talking about authority with badges, but I will address my experience as a young woman pulled over by men with badges in a later blog 🤬).
We are taught to dress a certain way, although that is the most confusing signal EVER.
We're supposed to dress smart, but not too smart because that isn't appealing and won't help you be successful or catch the eye of a mate. We should dress sexy, because that's pleasing to the man's eye. But not too sexy because that's inviting rape.
We should wear clothing that benefits our look and not our safety. Don't dress in clothes too tight, but don't dress in clothes too baggy. Listen to all these mixed signals, make sure you get all of them right. And whatever you do, DON'T SEND mixed signals.
You better get it right!
I could literally go ON AND ON AND ON!
On average, there are 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.
That's ONE IN SIX females who have been or will be a victim of rape and assault in their lifetime!
One! In! Six!
Back to this podcast that pissed me off.
It used a lot of words. Male words. And a lot of open carry shaming.
And it went on and on about all of the "keep it a secret" bullshit I've heard year after year.
There's a difference between people (who are not professionals in this industry) talking and professionals talking.
Professionals have a responsibility to speak in FACTS, not opinions. This was a podcast aimed at instructors and done by an instructor. It was LOADED with opinions.
We've all heard it. The "You'll be the first one shot if you open carry", "Someone will just take your gun if you open carry", or "You're inviting trouble if you open carry", and my favorite "You must be compensating for something if you open carry".
Let's talk about these from a woman's perspective.
I'll start with my favorite: "You must be compensating for something if you open carry".
You bet your ass I am. I'm compensating for the REAL fact that I'm physically weaker than an attacker with adrenaline racing through his veins. This chemical compound that's released makes the human body much stronger and much faster. Strong enough to allow women to lift CARS off of children. Add that to a man and we've got a hefty cocktail that I can't possibly beat, even if I see it coming.
Fun fact. Dudes who are not under the effects of adrenaline are slower and weaker as well.
Pepper spray doesn't do a damn thing to someone who is jacked up on adrenaline and endorphins. A quick search of YouTube will confirm this. I need every opportunity I have to access my only true defense as quickly as possible.
If I've been grabbed by the waist, I may not be able to get my cover garment out of the way. If my child is holding my non-dominant hand, uncovering is slowed. If someone has me in a choke hold, my gun is still very easy to access.
But even more valid is my claim that I'm A LOT LESS LIKELY to be seen as an easy target if my head is high and there's a pistol on my hip CLEAR AS DAY. Ready and easy for me to grab. Not inside my purse where so many men think it will be, but right there on my hip.
It's a defensive tool straight out of the gate and only meant to alert someone (whose intent is to cause me great bodily harm, death, or sexual assault) that it won't be an easy task.
"You'll be the first one shot if you open carry."
As an instructor, this is a red flag that some poor soul didn't get their money's worth in a basic self defense or CPL/CCW class. They CLEARLY weren't explained the phenomenon that happens when adrenaline and endorphins kick in. And I assure you, anyone with ill intentions is VERY MUCH experiencing this chemical dump.
The brain does this weird thing where it doesn't process thought command and decision making the same way someone who is NOT experiencing an adrenaline rush does. Not to mention ocular exclusion, also known as tunnel vision.
Whatever that person's mission is focused on is where their eyes will go. And most of the time, they physically cannot stop their eyes from focusing on it.
Do you really think they're going to be able to scan the crowd and focus on taking out an openly carrying individual first?
Even If they manage to override the brain's hardwired systems, I'm more likely to face an attacker than I am a mass shooter. Far more likely.
I'll take my chances.
And, if for some wild reason, superman does see my gun and takes me out first, thank me by donating to my family. Because I just saved someone else's ass.
If you want to learn more about the body under stress, I highly recommend reading the work of renowned Dr. Artwohl.
"Someone will just take your gun if you open carry".
This is where I laugh and laugh and laugh. And I wish that person good luck. Have you met me?
As a rape survivor, I've learned to keep my attention focused on what is going on around me. At a minimum I know who and what is within about 50 feet of me. Roughly the size of a semi-trailer. And I AM NOT afraid to let you know if I don't like what you're doing.
A person has about ZERO chance of sneaking up on me and surprising me. I carry a firearm. I have a responsibility to take in information around me. You will never see me with my head in my phone or distracted in any way. You can bet your ass I'll look you in the eyes and let you know I see you and I can identify you.
No one is going to get the opportunity to get close to my gun without the rest of the people around us being alerted to their actions via my firm command to back off.
It ain't happening.
"You're inviting trouble if you open carry".
This is fear mongering, virtue signaling, and laziness when it comes to doing the work of normalizing carrying a tool. I'll go even further to say it's chest-thumping by those who wish to feel superior because they're carrying a piece of metal and plastic. They want to keep it special.
You want to spout off about your second amendment right to carry, while telling everyone to hide it.
It's a shirt. It doesn't remove the fact that you're carrying. And you should be PISSED that you've been brainwashed into gun-owner suppression. Wake the hell up.
In my time carrying, I have had ONE person give me trouble over openly carrying.
An old white dude with an NRA hat and t-shirt at A GUN RANGE.
Yep. I'm a danger to everyone because I understand freedom, preemption, and logistics.
The bottom line here is NO ONE should have a problem with my choice to open carry a firearm. Especially as a female.
When a person tells me I should cover it up... It sounds wildly like "Don't wear those sexy heels".
Do you want me to have the best possible outcome against an attacker or someone trying to take my beautiful young daughter? (actual event I'll talk about in a later podcast)
I have been through hell and back in my lifetime. I've experienced more assault than any child or young woman should ever have to. There is a REASON my business name is Phoenix Rising.
I've survived. And I've become smarter and stronger each time.
I've taken my power back and I have a voice.
This is me using it.
This is me Rising.
Now I'm trying to help others do the same.
I WILL have every possible defense at my fingertips, and so should you.
I'M NOT okay with someone making me conform to society bullshit that can get me killed or worse. And you don't have to be either.
You have a choice.
And you have a warrior standing in your corner.
Love to you all.
Christie Bass is a wife and mother of 3 children. She is a USCCA Firearms instructor and Training Counselor dedicated to empowering all human beings and helping them to realize just how valuable they truly are. She is adamant that we take all steps necessary to teach individuals how to keep themselves free from violence and believes human life holds the highest value.