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Conceal Carry Handguns - Rehearsal and Responsibility


Mia Anstine shares a story about the possible use of conceal carry resized 600

I thought I was going to actually have to use my Conceal Carry (CC) gun a while back. My daughter and I had just returned from hunting. We were parked more than twenty miles from town on a highway in the high country. We had just loaded the horses in the trailer and gotten into our truck. 

We sat in the truck at the trailhead parking lot eating a sandwich and warming up. A white mini-van with no license plates drove up. As it parked in front of us we noted two men were in the front seats. They sat in their vehicle for several minutes as a trooper ticketed someone else on the other side of the highway. After the trooper pulled away the men got out of the van and approached our truck.

I thought the situation was very strange so I mentally prepared. In my mind I rehearsed lifting my jacket, unbuckling my holster and pulling my pistol. This is a situation I have practiced at the range a number of times. Although I had prepared for it, this is a situation I had hoped to never be in.

Without saying a thing my daughter immediately locked her door. I took out my cell phone and as the men headed our direction. I snapped a picture of them and their vehicle. I pressed send and texted just the picture to a police officer who is a family friend. My daughter asked me why I was doing that. I explained it probably wasn’t the best picture, but at least if something happened, someone would know who to look for.

We were in a one-ton truck with a trailer load of horses. A quick get-away would not be an option if things turned bad. My heart rate increased as I feared the worst.

The two made their way to my side of the truck. One man was on a cell phone and the other waved hello. I cracked my window about a half-inch. The man said they had broken down and asked if I would drive them to town to get transmission fluid. I declined, lying to them that we were waiting for my husband and friend who were hunting, but told them I would call for help. I immediately pressed a speed dial button phoning my officer friend whom I had just sent the picture.

I gave the officer a description of the events and our location. He immediately called dispatch to send an officer our way.

I told the strangers help was on the way.

My daughter and I waited as the men walked back to their vehicle. Once they were in I put the big diesel in gear and we drove away as quickly as we could.

In the end there was no immediate threat - so the CC remained on my belt. 


The moral of the story

There are many people in our country who are embracing their Second Amendment right and purchasing a gun for protection, including Conceal Carry guns. I hope these individuals are taking a certified Conceal Carry firearms course in conjunction with their purchase.

Carrying concealed is a huge responsibility. I hear a lot of questions about what model, what caliber, revolver or semi-auto. The answer to these questions is “It is a matter of personal preference.” I mentioned in the story above that the situation is one I hoped to never be in. As you are strapping your new pistol to your belt, chest, ankle or other location stop for a moment. Think about it. What would you do if you had to use this weapon to take the life of another?

Yes. I said “take the life”. That is what the firearm is for. It is for protection when you feel your life is in eminent danger. As you stop and ask yourself the question, what feelings or emotions arise? Do you feel confident in what you are undertaking by strapping the firearm to your body?


Refuse to be a victim

There are the more important questions everyone should be asking themselves. During firearms courses, you are taught to never point a gun at anything you do not intend to destroy. This means that if you pull your conceal carry gun, you better intend to use it. If you have assessed this notion and believe you are capable of using your conceal carry, there will be work ahead.

  1. Always be prepared to use your conceal carry. 

  2. Practice loading, reloading and shooting your gun on a regular basis.

  3. Rehearse pulling your firearm from your purse or holster so you are not caught up or have an accident while trying to manipulate it. 

  4. Run through scenarios while you are at the range including what you would do in a life threatening situation.

Lastly, think about consequences. Research your state laws to learn what will happen if you brandish your weapon. Think about how actually using your gun is going to affect not only you but your family. Think about how you will be treated after your life has been threatened and then you have taken the life of another. First guess? Regardless of the situation, you will not initially be treated as a hero. Take the time and be prepared. Carrying concealed is a serious matter.


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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

3 Concealed Carry Tips For People With A Disabilities

I was diagnosed and treated for a rare muscle tumor when I was 17. The cancer was so rare that I was only the 7th person diagnosed with it and the first person to ever survive it. I was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN which is an awesome hospital and I strongly recommend that you help support they hospital with donations or fundraisers.

I spent 6 months in treatment and have been in remission since December of 1997. Eventually the side effects of the radiation treatment set in and the scar tissue in the radiation area set up like concrete. I reached the point where I couldn’t move my left hip or knee. I walked with a very pronounce limp.

In March 2010, I broke my bad leg. My femur snapped where the good bone and the irradiated bone met and the bad bone shattered into 3 pieces. Two years, ten months, two surgeries, a bone graft and two titanium rods later (the first non-slip rod slipped), and I am still on crutches and will be for the foreseeable future.

The bone started mending after the second surgery but the healing is slow due to the poor circulation in the radiation area and also due to the poor condition of my femur bone. The doc was shocked when what looked like dead bone started healer. I guess it was just mostly dead. Thanks to God for the miracle of the human body.

I’ve told you all of that so that you can know that I know what it is like to live with a physical disability. As you know from my previous posts Crutching Around With A CCW and 3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches I now have a concealed carry permit and have been working out the best way for me to carry a concealed weapon.

Here are 3 Tips for folks with a disability that conceal carry:

Don’t Let Someone Else Tell You What Is Best For You – talk to people, get opinions but when it comes down to it, you need to carry what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you should be carrying a .45 for the stopping power when your arthritis will barely let you use a .22. The choice of a carry pistol has to be what works best for you.

When is comes to how you will carry concealed, you will need to figure out what works best for you with that too. In your case, a lot of the recommended conceal carry techniques and holsters may not work for you. Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for you. You need to work it all out in a way that best suits your needs.

Practice Your Way – Once you have the best method that fits your situation, practice, practice, practice. This applies to everyone but more so to someone with a disability that might impede their ability to draw their weapon. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.

Don’t Carry a Gun – I know that sounds radical but hear me out, if your disability doesn't allow you to draw or shoot your pistol or allows an attacker a more than average chance of taking your pistol away from you, don’t carry one. You are responsible to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones. If your disability makes carrying a pistol a danger to others either by your inability to fire the weapon safely and accurately or by the potential of your weapon being used against others then you should seriously consider not carrying a pistol.

Instead, you could carry a knife and tactical flash light. In a pinch, those two items are quite effective. I am not sure where I heard this saying but is has stuck with me (I am paraphrasing): Someone can take a gun away from you without getting shot, but no one can take a knife away from you without getting cut.

What do you think? Anyone else have some tips that you want to add?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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You can check me out on Twitter @thejasonparksand on Instagram Instagram

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Going Through The Change


by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Photo: Change of seasons by Silveryn

I suppose I could be writing about the change of seasons as we all are invigorated by the crisp weather and the changing leaves. Or, I could even be writing about THE CHANGE. You know: the change that involves hormones and hot flashes! 

No, I won’t go there; not today.  The change I am talking about is the very profound change that a woman goes through after making the decision to own a firearm, goes through the very important process of deciding which firearm is right for her and training to properly, safely and proficiently learn how to shoot it to defend herself. 

It changes us profoundly. We feel different and we move through our daily lives differently. We in fact are different. How so? We have confidence. With this new sense of confidence we start to look people in the eyes more when we are out and about. We scan the environment with new keen sense of awareness of possible risks and people out of place. We walk through parking lots, restaurants and other public places more prepared and with the confidence that given the worst possible case scenario, we know we are fully prepared to give it all we’ve got to defend ourselves. This not only changes us in the realm of self protection, it also effects every aspect of our lives and relationships.

I believe society breeds high levels of insecurity in women, socially, emotionally and physically. We seem to always be the “weaker one” or the one “not good enough”. The ability to level the playing field, or more appropriately the battle field, is extremely significant for a woman. We feel less like a victim and more like an empowered, fierce force. 

The role of self protector doesn’t come naturally for most women. We are raised to believe we are protected by others. Today, this just isn’t an option for it is not possible in this crazy world, with out crazy schedules to be protected by our men, our police or others all of the time. Women are taking on this role with courage, intelligence and passion.

So we are changed on the outside because we now carry a firearm and are equipped to defend ourselves, but we are also changed on the inside because we carry a new sense of confidence that impacts every area of our lives. 

Has it changed you? 

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

10 Gun Wish List


By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

10 guns I can’t afford....

…right now…

….but wish I had.

In no particular order:

I generally prefer short barreled pistols, but this one is the exception. I have always liked the look and feel of long slide 1911 pistols. I tried to buy or trade one away from a good friend of mine, but he never would let go of it. As long slides go the Nighthawk is the coolest one I have see so far. It comes in 10mm so the only thing that would make it better is if it was in .45 ACP. (Picture courtesy of

In a world where tactical semi-auto pistols reign supreme, I like the direction Smith & Wesson went with this pistol. Given the choice between Smith & Wesson Model 325 Thunder Ranch and a tactical semi-auto, I would have a hard time deciding on which to get. (Picture courtesy of

This is one awesome rifle. I would prefer an original 1895 Winchesterin .405 but would not complain if it was in .30-06 or 7.62x54R. I love old, large caliber, lever action rifles like the .405, but it would be really cool to have one that shoots .30-60 like my deer rifle. Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of history like a Model 1895 Winchester(Picture courtesy of

I am a big fan of .45-70’s and of carbines. The 1873 Trapdoor Springfield is the original .45-70. The Springfield Trapdoor Carbine is the Alpha Prime Numero Uno of .45-70 carbines and I want one. (Picture courtesy of

Every hunter alive wants a double rifle, but few can afford them. Once again, the USSG Double Rifle comes in .45-70, but I didn’t know this one was available until I started this post. As double rifles go, this one is almost affordable. The next step up costs 5 times as much. I might be able to afford this one if I liquidate some inventory and clean the kitchen every night for the next 8 years and vacuum for the next 12 years and.... (Picture courtesy of

A take down, lever action .45-70. What more could I ask for? (Picture courtesy of

Small, stainless and .45 ACP, this Kimber would probably be my first choice for a conceal carry pistol. Sorry Beretta. (Picture courtesy of

I grew up watching Steve McQueen bring in the bad guys with this gun on Wanted Dead or Alive. Ever since then, I have wanted a Mare’s Leg. There are several out there now to choose from, but I like Henry's brass receiver and octagon barrel. (Picture courtesy of

If I were to take up Cowboy Action Shooting full time, this pistol would be my first choice. I prefer short barreled revolvers especially when it comes to single action pistols and the ease of loading and unloading a top break pistol is obvious. (Picture courtesy of

Like I have said, I like light, short barreled guns. I also prefer semi-automatic shotguns over pump or double-barreled shotguns. I didn’t add this one to kowtow to Beretta. I have a semi-auto shotgun that I am very happy with. It is not a Beretta, and it is not a 12 gauge. But if I needed a new shotgun, the Beretta A400 Xplot Light KO would be at the top of my wish list. (Picture courtesy of


I might be able to afford this pistol if I could ever find one. If you are not familiar with this revolver, it is a .38 caliber pistol that has the capability to shoot 25 different types of ammunition including .357 Magnum, 9mm, all types of .38’s and 7.62x25. This is one of those if I could only own one gun types of pistols. In a survival situation, this pistol is the one to have. (Picture courtesy of

So what guns are on your wish list?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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