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My fiancee and I go to the range together a lot. She is "ok" in regards to her view of guns (she is fine having one, just skittish about the idea of needing one if you know what I mean). We've been trying to determine what would suit her best in terms of defensive equipment - even more so now that I'll be leaving for BMT in a few months and after that we're not sure how long it will be before we're living together again.

We've been debating between a taser (from the company of the same name) and a 9mm of some variety. I know ideally it'd be the 9mm but the kicker is that she is, well....forgetful. She even says that she'd probably forget she isn't allowed to carry in X place when she has a gun on her.

She says she'd be fine with carrying it with her in her car, and of course at home - it's just the on-person carry she's not fully confident in herself for. That's what made me think of getting her one of these, but if push came to shove, I'm not convinced the taser would be everything she needs.

For reference, she's 5'1'' and about 100 lbs - tiny little thing. So she has some difficulty in follow-up shots at the range currently.


Suggestions?
 

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Well if it were me I would like try to go the route of a CCW in a 9mm, and her some serious training & repetition to get her accustom to carrying. The more handling, manual of arms, mental preparation for self defense scenarios, and overall awareness she is carrying concealed the better. In truth, some people may not be suitable for CC but many can be trained to overcome unfamiliarity through dedicated practice. The key word there is dedication to the craft and development of the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities. If that is not suitable for her then a taser is a definite option, just not the best.
 

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Here is the cold hard truth. IMO. If she will not be able to remember she is carrying a loaded weapon, or is afraid of having to use it, then she is not ready for it. She will either get herself into serious legal trouble, or she will hesitate to use it when / if she needs and will get herself injured or worse. When you present a weapon you HAVE to be be ready to use it no matter what without hesitation, because you automatically escalate any situation to max danger level. In the words of old, he /she who hesitates first, dies first.

As far as Tasers go, they are not legal in all jurisdictions, and in many are considered a firearm because they shoot a projectile. Some jurisdictions require CC permits for tasers. If you go that route you need to understand the laws behind tasers in your areas. Also, taser are restricted in the same manner as firearms and are not allowed. If she wont remember a firearm, how will she remember a taser. ? If she is not capable of all this, get her a pepper spray fogger , teach her how to use it properly. Not everyone is ready for or capable of handling the responsibility that comes with carrying a concealed weapon.

Also, her not being able to produce quick follow up shots has nothing to do with her stauture or being a woman. It means she needs more training and practice. There are scores of small framed women sho shoot big bore handguns just fine. That is a self defeatist attitude on both your parts. She can do anything she puts her mind to.

FNP-45 Little Girl Big Gun 45ACP Girl shooting 45 - YouTube
Small Girl, Huge Gun - YouTube
Small Girl, Huge Gun - YouTube
McKenzie - 11yo Girl at Shooting Range #3 of #3 - YouTube

Why all the videos? If these girls can shoot competition while moving or just a huge piece of iron, your fiancee can learn to handle a 9mm. Positive attitude, positive reinforcement, and practice practice practice.

Shoot straight, shoot often
 
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I can appreciate that both of you are concerned for your own self-defense. However if she is 'on the fence' about getting a weapon of her own for self-defense, you've got the answer to your question; no handgun for now. IMHO the best thing to do is to get her familiar and comfortable with handling, firing, and manipulating the largest 9MM she can in a controlled environment like a range. Another thing to consider is finding a place with Simunition or Paintball training. See how she does shooting an actual person or being 'shot at'. This may tell you whether she is ready to take on the responsibility of having a weapon of her own.

DP
 

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Here is the cold hard truth. IMO. If she will not be able to remember she is carrying a loaded weapon, or is afraid of having to use it, then she is not ready for it. She will either get herself into serious legal trouble, or she will hesitate to use it when / if she needs and will get herself injured or worse. When you present a weapon you HAVE to be be ready to use it no matter what without hesitation, because you automatically escalate any situation to max danger level. In the words of old, he /she who hesitates first, dies first.

As far as Tasers go, they are not legal in all jurisdictions, and in many are considered a firearm because they shoot a projectile. Some jurisdictions require CC permits for tasers. If you go that route you need to understand the laws behind tasers in your areas. Also, taser are restricted in the same manner as firearms and are not allowed. If she wont remember a firearm, how will she remember a taser. ? If she is not capable of all this, get her a pepper spray fogger , teach her how to use it properly. Not everyone is ready for or capable of handling the responsibility that comes with carrying a concealed weapon.

Also, her not being able to produce quick follow up shots has nothing to do with her stauture or being a woman. It means she needs more training and practice. There are scores of small framed women sho shoot big bore handguns just fine. That is a self defeatist attitude on both your parts. She can do anything she puts her mind to.

FNP-45 Little Girl Big Gun 45ACP Girl shooting 45 - YouTube
Small Girl, Huge Gun - YouTube
Small Girl, Huge Gun - YouTube
McKenzie - 11yo Girl at Shooting Range #3 of #3 - YouTube

Why all the videos? If these girls can shoot competition while moving or just a huge piece of iron, your fiancee can learn to handle a 9mm. Positive attitude, positive reinforcement, and practice practice practice.

Shoot straight, shoot often

I feel I need to correct/adjust a few of my statements.

I did not mean to write she'd forget she had a loaded gun on her (I'll go back and correct the OP) what I meant was she'd forget she could not bring it in X place when she had it on her. My bad. No doubt, still troublesome - but a different kind of trouble.

What I meant by relaying her figure is that she has almost no ability to handle recoil higher than a 9mm. I was not trying to say smaller people or women or what-have-you can't. I was saying she is unable to. I can't bring my SR40C with me to BMT, so it will stay at the house. Normally I'd be comfortable with her having that available but she is unable to handle a .40, hence why we're looking into one for her.

In NC, she does not need a permit or CCW for a taser (NC is literal CHP, does not address anything other than handguns). "No weapons" signs would still have force of law but "No firearms" would not apply to her.
 

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Before buying her a gun or taser, I'd suggest buying her this book: The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide to Concealed Carry: Kathy Jackson: 9780982248799: Amazon.com: Books It does a great job of discussing "developing the mindset" from a woman's perspective.

It really sounds to me like your fiancee isn't completely on board with the whole self defense thing yet. If she's not engaged in this process, she isn't going to remember a lot of things (including where she can and can't carry).

I'd also suggest getting her a class with a really good instructor who can work with her on the finer points of grip, stance, etc. This is not to say that you aren't a great teacher, but oftentimes, instruction from one's partner tends to go "in one ear and out the other". She's more likely to really pay attention to an instructor whose advice is costing money, and is only available during the class.

If she's like most new shooters, her ability to handle recoil will improve as her skills improve. I used to HATE my husband's Kimber Solo, because it felt like holding a bucking bronco in my hands when I first tried to shoot it. One year later, I tried shooting it again, and was shocked to discover that I no longer had any problem shooting it, and actually liked it pretty well. The gun was never the problem. My skills just needed improving.

If your fiancee decides to go with pepper spray or a taser, she needs to be informed of the significant limitations they have, and the tactics to be used in deploying them. Here's Kathy Jackson's article on pepper spray: All About Pepper Spray | Cornered Cat

Hope that helps!
 

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I have a fairly similar situation with my girlfriend. She grew up around guns (what Texas girl doesn't?) but they weren't a significant presence in her daily life. She had shot numerous times before meeting me, and we go shooting every now and then, I average usually 1 training class and 2 range trips a month, she and I go together about once every couple months. She is comfortable with 9mm and .40 out of M&Ps and right now has my compact 9mm as her HD gun. I'm a huge advocate of training, she asked me a few months ago about getting a gun (pre training), that was a good inroad but I had to push her into getting professional training. The solution was the NRA female oriented class that was taught by two female instructors, and it went very well for her. She has a good basic competency with handguns for HD, for CC she isn't there yet though. Right now it is pepper spray (Sabre police magnum if you care) for her. The CC will come eventually, but not yet.

As a takeaway, two things I can't stress enough:

1)If she isn't ready to carry a weapon and accept the huge responsibility it brings, then don't force it.

2)If she is ready, get her trained, period. This is one area you do need to force it.
 

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Pepper spray. Go in depth into how she should use it, carry it, be of the mindset to be effective with it, etc.

For example, pepper spray does no good buried somewhere in your purse. How accessible is it? How fast can you deploy it AND turn the little thumb tab? How will you avoid catching blowback yourself? What do you do next? (Run!)

It's not just about carrying it, it's about facing the realities and situations. Go over and practice scenarios.

I bet carrying pepper spray is alot more acceptable to her than a gun. And probably more useful. Once you work out the fact that ANY defense must be *ready to rock* you may be able to move on to a firearm.
 
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Pepper spray. Go in depth into how she should use it, carry it, be of the mindset to be effective with it, etc.

For example, pepper spray does no good buried somewhere in your purse. How accessible is it? How fast can you deploy it AND turn the little thumb tab? How will you avoid catching blowback yourself? What do you do next? (Run!)

It's not just about carrying it, it's about facing the realities and situations. Go over and practice scenarios.

I bet carrying pepper spray is alot more acceptable to her than a gun. And probably more useful. Once you work out the fact that ANY defense must be *ready to rock* you may be able to move on to a firearm.
Yes! And there are training classes focused on the use of pepper spray effectively. When I go jogging I carry a small size pepper spray on my left hand in an elastic band designed for joggers. The main reason I carry that is that aggressive (read poorly disciplined) dogs and coyotes are common where I run. I have a belly band on under my shirt with my PF9 loaded with 9 Gold Dots for lethal force if needed. I have deployed pepper spray once, at a coyote that walked out of the brush and growled at me with it's teeth out, I sprayed at it and it ran off, it was at night and I was alone so I drew my PF9 just to be safe, nothing more happened and I went home.

Pepper spray is some nasty stuff, but keep in mind that it is not always effective and that goes double for people who are drunk or on drugs. Same goes for tasers.
 

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Yes! And there are training classes focused on the use of pepper spray effectively. When I go jogging I carry a small size pepper spray on my left hand in an elastic band designed for joggers. The main reason I carry that is that aggressive (read poorly disciplined) dogs and coyotes are common where I run. I have a belly band on under my shirt with my PF9 loaded with 9 Gold Dots for lethal force if needed. I have deployed pepper spray once, at a coyote that walked out of the brush and growled at me with it's teeth out, I sprayed at it and it ran off, it was at night and I was alone so I drew my PF9 just to be safe, nothing more happened and I went home.

Pepper spray is some nasty stuff, but keep in mind that it is not always effective and that goes double for people who are drunk or on drugs. Same goes for tasers.
Agreed. My thinking is that preparing mentally and training to deploy pepper spray is good preparation towards someday (maybe) carrying a gun.
 
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While I have little to no faith in pepper spray or tazers as dependable " they fail way to often", short of a BG being scared if she pulled a firearm it doesnt sound like one would do her any good. So they may be the best that can be done in her case for now.
Until she sits down and decides not if she is ok with guns but is she willing without a doubt to shoot a human being without hesitation if shes is forced too the rest of the discussion is moot. That isnt just her. Anyone taking up a firearm for SD had better have that decision made before they every strap one on. Good luck
 
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