Sunday, November 23, 2008

About that gun in purse thing...

I shall now take a break from the bowels of the .PDF version of TEXAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LAWS AND SELECTED STATUTES, which I am researching for my English paper, to address the issue it reminded me of, which is this: Carrying your gun in your purse.

Now, I am no expert on guns. Not by a long chalk. As a chick (despite what certain other internet pages might think), I am well-acquainted with purses.

I first encountered, in person, this quaint and baffling idea at the Bass Pro Shops here in town, when I walked up to the handgun counter to pick the brain of the person behind it, and he assumed I'd be wanting a gun to put in my purse. Rather nonplussed, I simply looked at him for a minute. "If I did that, I might as well just hit him with my purse."

'Cause let's be real here. That's about what it would come down to. Now, there are purses out there with built-in holsters. But when people talk about putting a gun in your purse, there's a near-overwhelming chance they're talking about your purse. As in, the one you carry every day. And that's just a bad idea.

This is my purse. It has six pockets, counting the small ones in the front, but not counting the tiny ones on the sides. This is actually fairly typical for a woman's purse; in fact I made an effort to buy a smallish purse without a dizzying array of pockets. (Smallish without being too small for my wallet & my book.)

There are three pockets which could conceivably conceal a handgun. Two of those pockets are closed with snaps. The third is zippered shut. It's my main pocket, where I keep stuff that I don't want to fall out of my purse. (I am certain you can see how a gun falling out of a purse is a bad idea.)

This is that pocket:

Therein you see my wallet, a paperback book, a Happy Meal toy, a baggie of candy, and assorted receipts and paper.

Yeah, I need to clean out my purse. But so does damn near every woman on Earth, mmkay?

Don't get me wrong. A smallish handgun would fit in here. And then it would worm its way to the bottom, like every other heavy object does.

And where does that leave you in a situation in which you need it? "Oh excuse me, could you put off your carjacking for just a minute? I'm digging for my gun."

Might as well just hit him with it.

Now, an intelligent woman's priorities change when she starts to carry. At least, I hope so. Were I married to the idea of carrying a gun in my purse, I'd spend the $150 or so on a holster purse. Most women won't, though. They would most likely do the bare minimum of cleaning all the excess shit out of their purse and, I hope, making the gun readily accessible. Yeah, you'd lose a few seconds getting the zipper open, still, but any concealment means essentially the same thing. I'm still not convinced it'd be as fast as the typical forms of carry that men tend towards, but I'll readily admit I don't know enough about it to make a definitive statement there.

I'm just saying, in general this is a bad idea, but it's being promoted to women by men who probably should know better. Men who are married, or have a steady girlfriend, that is. Maybe the man said "You want a gun to put in your purse?" because he knows women shove everything in their purses. Well, that's exactly what should have stopped the suggestion.

But I had a second thought when I was last contemplating this. What of the purse snatchers? I'm not really going to lose sleep over this, because I don't know of anyone who's honestly had her purse stolen from her shoulder. But it is always a possibility, and what's the result of that? You've armed a criminal. Either the dude who just stole your purse, or whoever he sells it to.

Now, in Virginia there was a rash of purses being stolen from shopping carts. Again, you'd hope women with a gun in their purse wouldn't leave their purse in a shopping cart and walk away. And women with a concealed carry permit probably wouldn't. But really, wouldn't you hope that any woman would not leave her purse in a cart and walk off?

The third aspect of it is this: Sometimes women forget their purses. Now, I have done this once in my life. When I was nine. But some women lose their purses on a semi-regular basis. Which means that, once again, you'd have a gun out there loose of its rightful owner, and God knows the outcome of that.

So...Gun in purse-bad idea. For most women. Tamara could do it. But most women aren't Tamara.


Dave said...

My mother-in-law was mugged in broad daylight two weekends ago at the Handy Andy by Military and 90. I had several people suggest to me that she should have had a concealed carry and blown the perps away. Yea, with what? They got her purse (after a struggle) and the gun would have been in the purse with the 75 cents in loot they took from the heist.

I'm with you; gun in the purse is not such a good idea.

I do like the idea of granny walking the mall with a holstered .357 and an attitude!

Saffa Chick said...

"If I did that, I might as well just hit him with my purse."

You gave me a giggle.

And it's so true. I can barely answer my cellphone before it rings out, and that's always in the external, unzippered part of my purse. A gun would definitely be in the more secure, internal, zipped bit!

Strings said...

As far as worrying about purse snatchers, there's a trick.

Have the purse on one shoulder, with you hand IN the purse, holding the gun. If someone grabs the purse and runs, they're drawing and pointing your pistol for you... ;)