A Letter from a Colleague in Reality-Based, Effective Self Defense – for women.
Introduction from Pat: Guardians, below please eagerly find a letter from a colleague named Mrs. Amber Ethington. I consider her to be a peer and fellow student of reality-based effective self-defense.
Amber was the first to point out to me some of the shortcomings of my own materials as applied to women who are working toward becoming effectively armed, and she graciously followed this up with some excellent work on concealment tactics for women who are required to wear professional dress clothes, which she allowed me to share with female members of my audience, more than 18 months ago. (You may remember this).
I quickly realized that her findings warranted more attention and availability than a few emails provided, however, and thus Modern Lady Defense was born. It is my sincere hope that this message finds those members of my audience for whom it will be as helpful as I predict.
Letter from a Special Guest:
"Why Concealed Carry University's Education
is not quite enough for women."
by Amber Ethington
founder, Modern Lady Defense
Hello guardians! My name is Amber Ethington and I am a fellow guardian and a colleague of Pat Kilchermann. I have an exciting announcement about a new project I’ve been working on with Pat that I cannot wait to share with you, but first, let me tell you a bit about myself.
My husband, Eric, and I got serious about concealed carry a few years ago. As part of our journey into learning how to go effectively armed, together we went through Pat's Complete Concealed Carry Guide. I remember how Eric and I were both equally excited and intrigued at the start of the video to be learning information that was refreshingly different from other concealed carry sources.
However, after the first few hours I noticed something very frustrating.
My husband was getting the information he wanted about concealed carry but my knowledge still had gaping holes, despite going through the same curriculum. While 80% of what Pat talks about is perfectly relevant to both men and women, there is a good portion of it that is only useful for men! He talked about where men are usually attacked, who usually attacks them, how men can avoid violence, what it looks like when it happens and what kinds of guns and gear and practice strategies work best for guys, but he didn't at all address some of my most pressing concerns.
- What do antisocial and asocial threats look like when they are attacking women specifically?
- How can I use my gun to defend my children while still making sure they are safe from the gun itself?
- Are there specific things I should be watching out for when training situational awareness that men don’t need to worry about?
- How does domestic violence play into self-defense?
- Is it even possible for women to conceal a 9mm handgun in an effective carry position?
- Am I as legally justified to shoot someone who is trying to rape me as someone I am if someone is trying to kill me?
Overall, I had a lot of questions about how all this information was relevant to me as a woman. For example, there is a section about the “monkey dance” and how men will confront each other and get aggressive. This section didn’t really apply to me because women do not do that. More importantly, the violence inflicted on women and the warning signs preceding it look a lot different than what it looks like when a man attacks another man.
There were also a lot of statistics about violence and gun fights, but having an extensive background in history, psychology, and a lifelong interest in women's rights, I knew immediately that while these stats were spot on for male-on-male violence, they weren't totally relevant or helpful to me as a woman.
Don’t get me wrong, The Complete Guide armed me with great education and inspired me to continue down the path of taking full responsibility for my own safety but because of those questions above, and dozens more, I knew that my education as a woman was just beginning.
I turned to the internet to try to find answers to my questions. The results were disappointing to say the least.
Some of the most …interesting… suggestions were that women should not carry concealed because their guns could easily be taken away and turned against them or that if you get raped you should just let the man have his way with you and not fight back. That way, they argued, he was less likely to kill you after the rape and you would survive. Ironically, this terrible advice often came from people who call themselves feminists.
Another problem arose when it was time to buy a gun and holster. For my husband, this was a relatively simple process. He was able to get his gun and start wearing and training with it as soon as his license arrived in the mail.
Unfortunately for me, it was not that easy.
After finishing the Complete Concealed Carry Guide I was so excited to get my gun and start training and wearing it to work. At the time I was a middle school history teacher and where I lived it is legal for staff to carry at the school. With school shootings unfortunately becoming a more regular occurrence, I felt like carrying a gun was the best way to protect myself and my students from an attack.
The excitement wore off however the first time I went to a gun store. I knew I wanted a tier-one handgun with as many rounds as possible but no matter where I put the gun it always printed. I felt like I tried on every decent gun in the store, slowly working my way down to smaller and smaller weapons. Even after I had purchased my Springfield XDS 9mm, I had a very difficult time concealing it under anything without looking frumpy.
It was very discouraging and I wondered if I would ever be able to realistically carry an effective weapon.
I was extremely frustrated. After all, as a woman I am more likely to be attacked than a man is and if I am attacked I will be in far greater need of a firearm than a male victim will be. Yet, everywhere I turned it seemed that all the stats, all the information, all the holsters and all the carry positions were designed for men and by men!
It was so irritating that when I asked for something specifically for women I was given the same gear as men, just “feminized”. You know what I’m talking about: pink handguns, holsters that look more like lingerie than anything tactical… I was trying to defend myself, not pose for a gun show calendar!
Despite these setbacks, I was determined to find something that worked, even if that meant I had to create it myself. Thus began my journey toward finding the answers and solutions that a woman needs in order to carry effectively and confidently and to supplement the excellent information that is out there with the kind of education and training we women need, tailored specifically to the unique demands of our feminine bodies and minds.
The good news is that through a lot of research and hard work, I was finally able to find the information I needed to become an effective armed guardian.
And you know what?
I realized that there are probably a lot of women who are just as frustrated as I am about the very limited resources there are for women who want to carry concealed. Are you one of them? Do you know one of them? If so, then you are going to LOVE what I have to share with you this week!