Press "Enter" to skip to content

Freeloading neighbors, part III:In which I’m reminded of yet another reason I don’t open carry

Soooo … less than a week after I think I’ve cleverly gotten rid of Mr. Freeloader … knock, knock.

It’s Mr. Freeloader’s oldest son (about 10).

“Can I borrow $5?”

Last time, Dad definitely sent the kids over to “borrow” money. This time, it’s not at all clear whether Dad did the sending or the kid has just learned Dad’s lessons and decided on his own that neighbors might be bottomless pits of favors.

All I know is it’s damned hard to look an adorable urchin in the face and say, “No, you can never borrow anything from me again because the things you and your family borrowed before haven’t been returned.” I tried to be nice about it, but there’s really no way that’s going to sound anything other than mean to a disappointed kid who has never been given Clue One about values.

I’m furious that Mr. and Mrs. Freeloader have put me in this position. It’s not my job to teach responsibility to their moppets; it’s theirs. (And they’ll do it when Charles Schumer spots a TV camera and doesn’t deck six old ladies to get himself in front of it.)

I’m furious because this all started with a couple simple acts of kindness that the Freeloader family has managed to turn sour for everyone, including themselves.


After the kid leaves, I think it’s time to follow the advice that MamaLiberty, Jim Bovard, and a few others have given: “For heaven’s sake, Claire — OPEN CARRY.”

To be clear, Mr. Freeloader has never threatened me in any way. But he’s a big guy — 250 or more pounds and strong as a bull elephant. And he’s very clearly not a good guy. Above all, I don’t understand the mindset of somebody who’d assume a near stranger would become his chauffeur, banker, and supply warehouse — even after she’s said a very clear NO.

I can’t second-guess this guy. The only thing I can be sure of is that I haven’t seen the last of him and and his worthless family.

After the crestfallen tot slunk away, I could picture Daddy storming over here to tell me not to treat his precious firstborn that way.

Didn’t happen. So far, anyhow. Still, the guy needs to see that I’m not a pushover, since words alone are worthless with him.

So I did go find the open-carry gear that used to be my daily companion out in the desert. Wide webbed belt ($2 at a thrift store; but nearly cost me my life when Joel recognized it as a fancy piece of gun gear). Molded “tactical” holster for the Glock on the right. Flashlight and three-bladed hunting-gutting-cutting-my-fingers-off knife on the left.

And now, of course, Terry Bressi’s tiny, amazing, action-oriented Muvi camera (which I must still review here on the blog) clipped over my navel.

I strap all this stuff on and I feel like a land-locked battleship. True, I don’t really need the flashlight. Or for that matter the knife. But I know the instant I start removing gear from the belt said gear will develop a life of its own and scurry into crannies like fleeing mice, never to be spotted again. Besides, I could remove it all and just the darned Glock and the darned (but uber-cool and good-for-quick-draw) holster all by themselves would make me feel like Keanu Reeves in that scene from the Matrix; you know the one I mean. With the metal detector.

I try to work with all that strapped around me — clank, bonk, clank, bonk, bonk. I eventually give up and leave it on a kitchen counter.

Daddy Freeloader told me last week that he’d come by “Tuesday” to return the earlier borrowings. I’m not counting on it. But if he does, I will be wearing my gear — strictly for message-sending purposes, understand. The neighbor may be a freeloader, but he’s neither done me harm nor threatened any. I just want to tell him, since words don’t do it, that I’m not the soft-hearted fool he took me for and I’m not going to be vulnerable to him.

If he doesn’t show up tomorrow, though, I’ll probably just edit my “NO Solicitors” sign to read “NO Borrowers and NO Beggars, either.”

And start shopping for lighter, more compact carry gear.


  1. Benjamin
    Benjamin August 28, 2012 3:37 am

    These tales make my nosy, eavesdropping, gossiping, can’t mind his own business because he has no business of his own to mind neighbor seem not so bad. Or maybe he is worse. Retired at 58 due to “disability” despite him continuing to work and now he’s old enough to get social security. He’s also a wife beater and despite my subtle suggestions to her to buy and learn to use a handgun, she hasn’t yet.

    Guess that makes me another asshole who can’t mind his own business but seeing those bruises is just infuriating. People who will not defend themselves is just baffling.

  2. Pat
    Pat August 28, 2012 4:23 am

    “Can I borropw $5?” Just like that, he asked?! Years ago, even 10-year-olds were subtle enough to think up an excuse for wanting $5, not just baldly asking for it. But he knew enough to “borrow” it, which makes me think the father did put him up to it.

    Now… if Dad pays back even one thing today, it will leave you open to more requests (on the assurance that “I returned suxh-and-such, didn’t I? I will return this.”)

    Stand resolute…

  3. Joel
    Joel August 28, 2012 5:25 am

    Now, Claire. Don’t exaggerate. It didn’t nearly cost you your life. It did nearly cost me my virtue as I wracked my brain to find a lying argument that might con you out of it. But I would have stopped at violence. 🙂

  4. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 5:49 am

    Point taken, Joel. As I recall you were really quite gracious about my find, once you quit trying to tug it out of my hands, stamping your feet, and weeping like a little girl.

    (And seriously, folks, Joel was with me at the thrift store when I found the belt and he was not only perfectly gentlemanly, but actually told me just what that thing was that I’d plucked off the “ladie’s belt” rack. In his shoes, I suspect I’d have tried harder than he to concoct a plausible reason for why the belt should be MINE.)

  5. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 5:57 am

    Pat — Yeah, just like that. “Can I borrow $5.” No reason, no preamble. I expect it was probably dad who sent him, too. In any case, it was dad who taught him that it was okay to do this.

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for dad to return anything he borrowed. For exactly the reason you state, I’m half-hoping he just keeps the stuff — then stays the heck away from me.

    Benjamin — Boy, I think I’d rather have this guy than your neighbor. Nosy and eavesdropping — that grates in an everyday way. And to know that he beats his wife but not to be able to do anything without making yourself the intrusive (and possibly endangered) neighbor … that’s hard.

  6. just waiting
    just waiting August 28, 2012 6:13 am

    Either dad sent him back or he came on his own because he succeeded in getting what he wanted the first time. Just like those feral cats, feed them once and they keep coming back, wild women with fish nets or not. (Could you clarify for me Claire, since margaritas were involved, was it with fishnets or in fishnets?)

    When I was a young, my dad taught me to work for what I want. By 9 or 10 I was making money shovelling snow, raking leaves, digging holes or lugging junk to the curb. Valuable life lesson or not, it felt good playing with toys I earned for myself. Its sad that in today’s litigious world you can’t offer him a chance to earn the $5 by working for it instead of begging without opening yourself to all kinds of potential legal horrors.

    While I agree that open carry is certainly a good deterents for solicitors, religious freaks and the like, maybe you need to go 1 step further in what you said, and let him know neither he nor his family should come by anymore. “Sorry, but my dance card is full and I’m not looking to expand my social circle at this time.” Its cold yes, but to maintain relations is to grant consent for the treatment.

  7. David
    David August 28, 2012 6:15 am

    I had neighbors like this, once. Sort of. One kid, one mom, one live-in sort-of-stepdad. The mom wanted to borrow stuff all the time, wanted rides. Etc.

    But the kid? He wanted to work to pay me back for the rubber patch I used to fix his bike tube one day. He liked to ride my bike, and at first I was fairly cautious, but he kept bringing it back when he said he would.

    Then…I was working on my truck and left my wallet outside with several hundred dollars in it (yeah, dumb of me). The kid came by to borrow my bike, found the wallet, and brought it to the door to give it back to me. Here’s the best part: he used this as a “teaching moment” to try to show another kid, who seemed to have fairly severe emotional problems, how to behave.

    Later, the kid I liked was accused of a crime. The judge took him out of his mom’s house, and we fostered him for a while (better than the detention center he was in before we got him). He ended up taking a plea bargain out of fear that he’d end up registered as a sex offender if the trial went south (yeah, it was that kind of crime). And he’s not in a really good spot right now, but we stay in touch and help where we can. For what it’s worth, there was no evidence whatsoever that a crime had occurred, the 9-year-old “victim” testified on tape and was not at all believable, the kid I like was the third person this “victim” had accused of the same crime in the same setting in the last year, and…none of that was going to make it into the courtroom. Nor was the fact that the investigating officer was often at the home of the “victim’s” mother, who was a prostitute, and who had publicly threatened to “get” the good kid’s mom…there’s more, but I’ll stop now. Small towns are fun.

    I think this good kid was prosecuted because he comes from a poor family with several minor-league criminals. After he took the plea bargain, he passed multiple polygraphs & they decided he didn’t need “sex counseling” after all–his therapist actually testified he does not fit any sort of offender profile–and so the court has relaxed some of the restrictions it had stuck him with…but he’s still in the system. Why not get ‘im while he’s young, right?

    Sad story, but he’ll be okay. He’s tough. And we’ll help.

    So, anyway, Claire: I applaud your initial attempt to help out. Sometimes things just go all screwy. Sometimes, though, people just need a helping hand & then go do something cool with their lives. It really does happen.

    Hang in there.

  8. David
    David August 28, 2012 6:25 am

    Well, the 9-year-old clearly was an actual victim. Just…not the good kid’s victim. Plus: what chance does the 9-year-old have to live a decent life, really? Given the surrounding environment, the results of the accusation…I hear there’s a new accusation floating around, too. So far, one of the four has been prosecuted.

    Anyway. I’m all pissed off again. Later.

  9. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 6:39 am

    David — Man, that story hurts just to read about. And that it should happen to a kid who’s so determined to do right. Glad you’re there to help him.

    just waiting — with fishnets. With fishnets. (Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to see my skinny legs in them, not even when I was 20.) And you’re right about just needing to find some way of keeping these people away. The kids wouldn’t know how to work, and the one time I paid dad to do anything, he did the job amazingly well on pure strength, but only after showing up an hour late.

    I definitely do not live in Galt’s Gulch …

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 28, 2012 7:26 am

    Oh my, the picture of you with all that gear is pretty amazing, Claire. 🙂 I never put on the mag holders, flashlight and bowie knife unless I’m headed out to the woods. Have a box on my gun table for those things between times, so they are easy to find if needed. I do carry a spare magazine in it’s own pouch when I go to the city, but that’s a rare occasion anyway. Around the house or in town here, it’s just me and the 9mm in the belt holster.

    And yes, carrying a gun is a big pain in the butt very often. I usually take it off and put it on the table when I’m working indoors, but it’s always there, and I put it back on if I have visitors.

    Sounds like you could use a nice pocket pistol and holster, actually. Carrying openly is certainly a good idea, far as I’m concerned, but the really important thing is to have it ON you somehow. God forbid you ever actually needed it.. but like fire insurance, you can’t buy it after the building burns.

  11. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 28, 2012 7:31 am

    I wear so much stuff on my belt that a gun and holster don’t make much difference. And, yeah, years ago I used to bang into stuff all the time because I was wider than I thought. You adjust.

  12. 12bitphoto
    12bitphoto August 28, 2012 7:35 am

    I don’t recommend the open carry idea, especially given the kind of people you’re dealing with. I think you’ll give them the opportunity to accuse you of threatening them. An anti-gun DA might be very happy to go along with the notion that openly displaying a firearm in such a context constitutes a threat. If you open carried all the time and had from the start it would be harder to make a case for threatening, but strapping one on in a way that could be construed as a reaction to this particular man, whom you’ve publicly stated has not threatened you, might be construed as threatening him –and he sounds like just the kind of guy who would try to exploit the situation.

    Also, I think open carry sacrifices a tactical advantage in a context where a threat is undetermined or ambiguous. For one thing, if a confrontation escalates, the other person is given the opportunity to exploit the fact that you’re armed by accusing you of threatening to shoot him –then it’s your word against his, and since you weapon is openly displayed, the presumption is likely to go against you. And if the other person has decided to do you harm, his first action may be to go for your gun, or surprise you before the situation allows you do draw. If he doesn’t know you’re armed his attack will proceed differently and you may have additional opportunity to draw your weapon.

  13. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 7:45 am

    Oh, don’t worry, MamaLiberty — I do carry. I just don’t open carry around the house and town. But yes, I definitely understand the value of being armed. No worries there.

    I admit I had forgotten how clanky and bulky all the open-carry gear was.

    But Kent — What, ME wide? Nevah!

    BTW, I need to acknowledge that jw was right. Whether daddy sent him or not, that kid came begging because I enabled his last effort. So some mea culpa there. Never again, though.

  14. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 8:17 am

    Claire, you had mentioned on a couple recent blogs that you have been working ’round the clock – as hard as you have worked in decades.

    Perhaps that should be a key factor in determining how much help to give folks who are not friends or at least on the same team.

    Self-preservation – and the preservation of your energy & time to write – usually trump.

  15. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 8:19 am

    12bitphoto — That’s why the Muvi camera.

    I do agree that Mr. Freeloader is exactly the sort of whiny SOB who would shriek, “The woman threatened me!” I don’t think that would fly in these parts. But yes, one reason I never open carry around here is that I don’t want to have to deal with that sort of accusation, even if I end up being shown to be as innocent as a lamb.

    Still, the Freeloader clan are people who don’t get it when it comes to words. Daddy Freeloader needs to SEE that I’m saying NO.

  16. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 8:25 am

    Thanks, Jim. Definitely preservation of time — and concentration! — argue against having anybody come banging at my door for any reason other than necessity. Even aside from these people, the neighbor kids are at my door much more than I’d like, wanting to play with or walk the dogs.

    But ya know, even if I was sitting around eating bon-bons and watching soap operas all day, I don’t think I’d ever again be able to make time for the Freeloader family. 🙂

    Hm. Maybe I’ll add “Writer at work” to my NO begging sign …

  17. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 8:28 am

    Claire, if you’re hoping for folks to respect your space, “Writer at Work” is the last sign I would hang on the door.

  18. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth August 28, 2012 8:43 am

    Claire, given that you “just don’t open carry around the house and town”, I can understand much more directly your considering OC to send a specific message. I know that every time I OC, I am more than happy for people to presume that’s the only weapon I have on me. 🙂

    My gut still tells me that it may not have the effect you would like, simply because it would be a change from what he already knows. Even if he “gets the message”, I’d bet that he’s still capable of drawing all sorts of wrong conclusions.

    In re the bulk of gear, I’m with you. For me, the only thing that changes between CC and OC is the cover garment and (usually) the holster being OWB instead of IWB. Reload and flashlight remain exactly the same (when the flashlight isn’t occupying the cellphone pocket in those wonderfully designed work pants), but I do notice when the gun is over the belt instead of under it, especially when sitting in chairs.

    Oddly enough, I actually find that the most concealable arrangements tend to be the most comfortable, and maybe this is why. Everything is tucked in so nicely (and I’m into flat in carry guns), I don’t have to worry nearly so much about telltale thumps and bumps when in tight quarters*. And the cover garment not only conceals, but also protects all the hardware from dust/debris, rain/snow, scratches, etc. Where I live, that’s not a trivial consideration.

    I admit I’m intrigued at exactly what you did luck into, in terms of leather gear. I’ve always paid a lot for mine, and have only ever been disappointed in terms of design–never of craftsmanship. (And of course “paid a lot” is a subjective measure: I’m still wearing, nearly daily, the same belt I have worn, nearly daily, since about 1996 or so. It does not even “look old”, which amazes me every time I really think about the miles and abuse it has on it.)

    * And I suspect that all the regular carriers out there understand well that you never know just how and when you’ll unexpectedly find yourself in tight quarters. “Well, I just won’t do a lot of bending over.” Ha, that’s a good one!

  19. David
    David August 28, 2012 9:10 am

    In the event that open carry alone doesn’t work;

  20. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 9:43 am

    LOL, David. Two of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies!

    Um … prolly won’t work too well in this neighborhood in 2012, though …

  21. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 9:46 am

    Kevin, you may be right about the “wrong” message. I suppose I could answer the door in black ninja gear with a knife between my teeth.

    Yeah … Other good observations, too. Funny that discreet carry is so much more comfortable than open. Funny, too, how open carry feels just fine outdoors in woods or desert, but ridiculous around the house.

    A real estate agent once showed me a house where the owner had a gun at every door and on every window sill. At the time I thought it was interestingly eccentric. Now …?

    The house (earth shelter) also had a bull grazing on the roof.

  22. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 9:48 am

    Jim … Oh. yeah.

    “Claire, if you’re hoping for folks to respect your space, “Writer at Work” is the last sign I would hang on the door.”

    I forgot. “Writer” just makes everybody think you’re sitting around the house boozing all day — but that you either have interesting stories to tell or that you’ll want to hear theirs. Sigh.

    Not even “Evil tempered heavily armed eccentric writer with several communicable diseases,” eh?

  23. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 28, 2012 9:51 am

    Eventually they will tire of trying to get things from you and go find someone else to bug. Be patient and stay alert.

    I OC with basically the same rig I use for CC. Pancake holster on a sturdy pants belt. It keeps it in the same location for the draw and tucked into my body to keep it out of the way. If I am going to be in the bush for an extended period of time and carry a heavy pistol it is on a full wide military belt with full coverage holster etc. The “bowie” knife is attached to that rig with first aid pouch, canteen etc. Hangs in a grab and go spont most times.

  24. Richard
    Richard August 28, 2012 10:13 am

    I’m curious, why do you even open the door and respond back. It may be rude of me but I just don’t open the door or respond to people that are a waste of my time. If I’m going to waste time it will be my choice not someone else’s.

  25. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 10:16 am

    Claire – your ““Evil tempered heavily armed eccentric writer with several communicable diseases” – is a step in the right direction.

    Perhaps get some yellow ‘police-style’ tape – labeled QUARANTINED – PUBLIC HEALTH DANGER or some such.

  26. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 10:17 am

    Richard, eventually it will come to that. The way my house is set up right now, I can’t see who’s at the door until they’ve also seen me. Not good. But soon enough I’ll either fix that or, if I see it’s a member of that family at the door, I’ll just wave them away.

    Gonna wait to see if dad actually shows up with those borrowed items, though. 🙂

  27. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 10:23 am

    Jim, now there’s a thought …

    Hm Might not even take that much. I once stumped for a political candidate whose name was Leppert. One family had to turn his lawn signs back to the campaign because … seriously now … some of their friends thought they were quarantine signs for … you know what. And they wouldn’t even come into the yard.

  28. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 10:59 am

    Jim Bovard made me come here.

    Okay, lessee ….

    Let’s start with the easy one.

    Claire, Claire, Claire, what are we going to DO with you??? Ya gotta think outside the box, dear lady!!!!

    Think “TEACHABLE MOMENT” for the little darlin’. “No, sweetie, I won’t loan you $5.00. But if you’ll do for me, I’ll *pay* you $5.00.” If he says “skip that,” then you’re off the hook even psychologically. If he half-butts it, then say “no completion, no pay” or pay him half. If he does it satisfactorily, give him a five spot (or, my preference, five dollar coins) and send him on his way with a hearty thank you. Get the little grasshopper trained to a more ant-like “earn my way through life” mindset.

    Now onto the fun stuff, the stuff where you and I have Certified History. Gun things.

    Web belt with a desert-walking loadout is …. overkill for around the house. If you want to OC at home, or even in general, a nice quality belt and holster is more than enough – though there’s much to be said for at least a single reload. Fairly minimal bumping and thumping into furniture then, and with the right belt/holster you almost lose track of the gun. Keep a shirt sort of thing by the door so you can throw it on over the whole rig just in case it’s somebody at the door that you don’t want to scare the bejeebers out of (or don’t want snickering at your Tupperware gun).

    The only other thing to keep in mind is that because you’re a Y-Chromosome Challenged American, the kinds of holsters and setups that work well for guys may not fit you as well for comfort. I’d be happy to discuss stuff here – or separate “what to wear” thread or in email. I’d also guess that MamaL has some good guidance on outfitting the YCC American. Though she may be in that whole OC duty belt mode, and OC duty belt gear is decidedly more comfortable – but does involve thumping and bumping.

  29. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 10:59 am

    It’s hard to craft a good defense against people that don’t read so good.

  30. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 11:01 am

    Clearly arrows don’t work with that whole “HTML enabled” thing. That should be “insert “mildly useful task taking maybe a half hour and which can be checked on here” after “do” in the above….

    The commenter regrets any confusion his technical illiteracy may have caused.

  31. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 11:10 am

    Tom, are you going to translate your last comment?

  32. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 11:18 am

    I typed this:

    Think “TEACHABLE MOMENT” for the little darlin’. “No, sweetie, I won’t loan you $5.00. But if you’ll do *** for me, I’ll *pay* you $5.00.” If he says….

    The *** section was omitted, because I put the comment in HTML code (the arrow keys, by the period and comma) by accident. If you insert – or if Claire edits – the phrase, ““insert “mildly useful task taking maybe a half hour and which can be checked on here” after “do” in the above….” it makes sense.

    In other words, “but if you’ll do (insert mildly useful task taking maybe a half hour…) for me…” is what I typed – but thanks to the miracle of computers the part in parenthesis was left out.

  33. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 11:22 am

    Good to have that explained. The *** could raise all sorts of eyebrows as originally used.

  34. Concealed Carrying Cyclist
    Concealed Carrying Cyclist August 28, 2012 11:29 am

    I conceal and open carry. Biggest benefit for me was getting a real gun belt, instead of either a ‘strong’ department-store belt or a stitched and webbed ‘wilderness’ style belt.

    Don’t get me wrong – those webbed belts are wonderful for IWB concealed carry. But open carry, your pants aren’t going to help hold things in, and a better, thicker belt is in order.

    The Glock Sport/Combat holster is a wonderful slide belt holster (if you carry a Glock, that is), but one thing it doesn’t do well is conform to the curvy nature of women. An offset and/or slightly dropped holster might work better.

  35. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 12:07 pm

    Hobbit, Hobbit, Hobbit …

    “Think “TEACHABLE MOMENT” for the little darlin’.”

    While I agree that this neighborhood would be a better place if somebody taught Jr. that there are more useful things in life than freeloading, it ain’t gonna be me. I’m too busy to supervise make-work projects for some kid with no skills and a family of leeches who’ll soon want to be hanging around watching sonny labor.

    “Keep a shirt sort of thing by the door so you can throw it on over the whole rig just in case it’s somebody at the door that you don’t want to scare the bejeebers out of (or don’t want snickering at your Tupperware gun).”

    Good idea. You win on that one despite egregious bigotry and a neanderthal attitude toward technology.

    “The only other thing to keep in mind is that because you’re a Y-Chromosome Challenged American, the kinds of holsters and setups that work well for guys may not fit you as well for comfort.”

    Oh yeah … tell me all about that one. Except there’s no need because … been there, done that as far as holsters and belts go. Actually, the holster on that belt is a drop model and the best I’ve ever found for draw-ability. What I do find consternating is that while it would be far more comfortable for house-wear to have a leather holster tucked up against my waist, the only waist-high holsters I’ve ever found workable are cross-draws, which are inherently slower.

    That said, I DO think a comment thread about women and carry gear, clothing, etc. would be a good idea — especially now that we have a concealed-carry clothing designer in our midst.

    Start it here or shall I write a brief blog entry to open it up?

  36. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 12:10 pm

    CCC — Thanks for the voice of experience. And yep on the offset/dropped holsters. Great for comfort and for drawing the gun; bad for banging on stuff.

    I’m thinking a smaller gun with a leather cross-draw holster at the waist is the best option for comfort. Too darned bad I don’t have a smaller gun …

  37. neal
    neal August 28, 2012 12:13 pm

    I have a safepacker holster from the It is a padded rectangular pouch that holds my pistol and two extra clips, it fits on a belt or backpack strap, or can be configured as a fanny pack or a strap carry.

    By the way, it is a real pleasure to read your columns. I was hoping you were still writing, I kind of went to ground for 12 years or so, a bit of catching up to do.

  38. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 28, 2012 12:17 pm

    Darn, Claire… sure wish you were not so far away. We could have a really great time going over all this carry stuff. 🙂

    Yes, gentlemen, any sort of carry can be a real challenge for a woman – any age, shape or weight. Boys and girls have different hidey places, and different wardrobes. The biggest problem women have is usually the wardrobe part… they want to continue to look like sweet, innocent gals even when packing hardware. It is a serious consideration, and they usually have to compromise on the wardrobe, or good access to their self defense tool. Comfort is a matter of finding the right combination of gun, holster and carry method to fit your life and body.

    Open carry with a good belt and retention holster gives the best access, but doesn’t lend itself well to the feminine pretty wardrobe. I don’t care about fashion, so the highly visible black semi-automatic on my hip is just something the folks around here have to like or lump. Luckily, I live where nobody really cares WHAT I wear as long as it covers the essentials.

    Did I ever tell you about the first time I made bread after I started to carry the Ruger revolver long ago? I looked down and saw the cylinder was full of flour… OOPS… I’ve worn an apron ever since.

  39. Scott
    Scott August 28, 2012 12:20 pm

    Most freeloaders are looking for easy “targets” for cash or whatever, he may simply consider you an easy target because you’re a woman,and sent his son over for beer money. Still, that’s lazy to not even have some BS story ready. You know, if the beggar came up with an original story that looked like they put a some thought into it, I might give them a little money. If you can make a teaching moment out of it, great! I wouldn’t hold my breath on it. It’s been my experience freeloaders are persistent, if nothing else. He is very unlikely to return anything, or pay back a loan. I’d be willing to bet Daddy put Jr. up to it.
    with that said,I would definitely try “I’ll pay you five bucks if you’ll(insert job needed to be done here). Who knows? The learning-experience bit may work-it’s easy enough to try,and may be worth the effort.

  40. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 12:25 pm

    I would not suggest actual supervision of the varmint in question during his period of earnage – just something that you can look at real quick and see if it was done sufficiently or not. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with “no” as an answer – but you don’t see *me* using the phrase “adorable urchin”* in conversation anywhere.

    My vote would be for a separate thread for YCC-American carry needs.

    I will studiously ignore the “egregious bigotry and a neanderthal attitude toward technology” remark …. oh, heck, no I won’t. I suppose that there is nothing inherently wrong about a gun made in part from a substance similar to what I keep my two week old lettuce in. But allow me to point out in passing that my Homo sapiens neanderthalensis 1911 will cause a Perpetrator Of Evil to lay down and wait for an ambulance just as handily as any combat tupperware ever made – AND has the indisputable benefit of fitting my neanderthal-sized hands much better than anything invented in Austria. Though I have to say I held a Steyr-Hahn once, and they weren’t bad at all.

    If Herr Glock ever produces a single-stack frame, I’ll be on board. In the meantime, just call me Stone-Axe Hobbit….. 😉

    *though I was hand-feeding an adorable abalone at the Newport Aquarium a couple months ago. The urchins in their petting tank were … not so much adorable.

  41. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 12:39 pm

    Woody, the G36 is a good start – but it’s a little light in the “how many bulletos it holds compared to my 1911” department. 🙂

  42. Woody
    Woody August 28, 2012 12:45 pm

    Only by a couple. Just learn to do a faster reload. 🙂

    And, it isn’t the number of rounds fired that matters, it’s the number that hit their intended target. 1911 shooters are a hard headed lot. Kinda like Harley drivers without the funny clothes. -Chuckle-

  43. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 12:52 pm

    Who says I don’t have the funny clothes, too? 😛

  44. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth August 28, 2012 1:04 pm

    Claire, I for one would love to see a thread here devoted to the practicalities of carry for women. I’ve got two daughters (3 and 1) that will some day learn how to run a carry gun, even if subsequently they choose not to do so; I can certainly speak to some details from experience but that obviously runs out of authority when the whole Y chromosome thing starts kicking in. I’ll do my best and move mountains when I can, but I can’t overcome that problem. 🙂

    ML’s story about the baking faux pas, for example–that is the sort of thing that I think would be totally invaluable for a newbie learning about what to consider. Not only does it cover purely practical matters about coverage, maintenance, etc., but it also demonstrates the “perfectly normal, everyday things” aspect that most prospective (or new) carriers probably haven’t thought of yet–at least in the way you do once you’ve got the mojo of discretion buried deep enough into your psyche and actions that you no longer feel, or look, so wooden as you did when you started. (For ol’ dunderhead here, that took almost two years.)

    Based on reading the work of a few people like Mas Ayoob who seem to want to study things objectively (rather than simply imposing existing male designs on a woman and expecting her to adapt), it looks like what would be most comfortable on the belt would be an OWB design, either high enough to bring the muzzle to the bottom of the belt, or low enough to position the top of the butt just under the outward flare above the waist, and worn somewhere between two and five o’clock, or perhaps crossdraw at ten. It seems like a few holster makers have come up with designs that trend that way, but what do you and the rest of the commenters think? Is that right?

    Any of this would seem to demand the smallest sized piece possible to balance comfort and discretion; I’d think something like a Kahr P40 or P9 or similar would be a good balance between “serious carry piece” and “let’s get real here”. But again, what are people’s thoughts? I’ve learned some things already from following MamaLiberty for a while, and would love to absorb as many data points as I can hold. 🙂

  45. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth August 28, 2012 1:18 pm

    I can’t warm up to Glocks either, even the 36, which theoretically should have done the trick with its single-stackitude. It’s not just being a 1911 guy, either, or being averse to “combat Tupperware”–I took immediately to the Kahr CW40 after running the trigger a few times in the store (truly exceptional), and that piece became what I wear when I’m not wearing a 1911. Diff’rent strokes, I guess.

    Maybe it’s just the “flat” thing. I’m one of those who even “slim-lines” his 1911s; not only is it flatter on the belt, but you notice it when shooting at speed. As Ross Seyfried used to say, “I favor keeping the grip as small as possible. If I could take two wraps around it that would be better.” 🙂

  46. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 28, 2012 1:21 pm

    One easy solution to the question of a comfortable open carry rig and working around the house is to do less work around the house.

  47. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 1:44 pm

    Spoken like a true writer, Jim! Or worse – a LAWYER! :O

    Kevin, I had a G21SF customized to get as small a grip as possible – and it still felt like trying to hold a 2×4. I’ve held the G36es and … they just don’t do it for me.

  48. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 28, 2012 2:06 pm

    I like cross draw holsters. They are somewhat impractical when cooking, wood working, or bathing a small child. However, I am not sure about slow. Crossdraw didn’t slow me down the night I had to draw. But, I don’t time myself to check those kind of things either.

  49. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 28, 2012 2:16 pm

    “One easy solution to the question of a comfortable open carry rig and working around the house is to do less work around the house.”

    LOL Jim, but that’s hard to do when you live alone. Someone has to wash the dishes eventually!!

    Seriously, I’ve handled literally thousands of guns and tried many dozens of holsters and carry positions/places. I’ve assisted a great many other women (and not a few men) to explore their options and discover what works for THEM.

    I’ve never picked up a 1911 or Glock that I could actually shoot effectively because I simply can’t reach the trigger on those guns. I can shoot my XD .45 well, and my new XD 9mm compact much better, and the last with either hand – just like the revolver. I find most of the really small, thin guns to be far too “snappy” to be comfortable when shooting, and I can guarantee that most people will NOT practice enough (or at all) with a gun that is uncomfortable to fire. That is especially true for most women, by the way.

    The key is to handle and shoot many guns, and try as many different combinations of gear and carry options as you possibly can – over a significant period of time. And, as you gain training and confidence, your perceptions and comfort zone will change – possibly many times. No one size ever fits all.

  50. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 2:29 pm

    MamaLiberty speaketh thusly, “The key is to handle and shoot many guns, and try as many different combinations of gear and carry options as you possibly can – over a significant period of time.”

    Which is EXACTLY why most gun carriers will have at least a small cattle herd’s worth of leather stashed in their closets, not to mention a variety of synthetics. 😉

    If you are lucky, you have friends handy who can let you work out some different holsters that didn’t work for THEM. But the start of the program, regardless, is a good solid belt.

  51. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 2:29 pm

    “’One easy solution to the question of a comfortable open carry rig and working around the house is to do less work around the house.’

    LOL Jim, but that’s hard to do when you live alone. Someone has to wash the dishes eventually!!”

    Yeah, MamaLiberty. Not to mention somebody has to earn the living — which was in fact the work I was talking about. Try bending over an art table while loaded down with iron. Or, okay Hobbit, very dense, very heavy high-tech Tupperware.

    LOL, MamaLiberty, flour in my gun’s works is something I’ve never (yet!) had to deal with. I wish you’d taken a picture.

    Sorry for not keeping up with comments this afternoon, everybody. I’m enjoying the thread and grateful for all the knowledge. It’s this working-for-a-living nonsense that’s keeping me less responsive than I’d like to be. It’s a heavy weight, with or without combat Tupperware.

    Damn those faulty lottery tickets, anyhow. Machine always prints out the wrong numbers so I miss out on the mega-millions.

    Er … when I actually remember to buy the lottery tickets, that is. Which is about twice a year.

  52. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 3:15 pm

    Claire, do you even WEAR belted pants? It doesn’t do any good to say “start with a good belt” if belts aren’t in your style.

  53. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 4:03 pm

    Well, no. I don’t wear belted pants. But since neither shoulder rigs nor those damned annoying things that tie to the thigh seem like good choices, a belt seems inevitable for open carry. Doesn’t have to hold up anything but the gun, though.

  54. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 4:51 pm

    Welcome to the wonderful world of firearm carry – where you have to start wardrobing around the gun.

    What’s wrong with shoulder rigs? Those tend to be YCC-American friendly.

  55. Joel
    Joel August 28, 2012 4:51 pm

    Somewhere there’s an old TMM thread on this very topic…

  56. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 28, 2012 5:04 pm

    “How can Claire best carry her gun?” What a stunning coincidence THAT is!!! 😉

  57. Claire
    Claire August 28, 2012 6:56 pm

    It’s a VERY old thread …

  58. Mary Lou
    Mary Lou August 28, 2012 7:56 pm

    1. Shotgun prominently by the door.
    2. Dogs (teach to snarl on command)
    3. Jobs for would be freeloaders” weed eat. weed veg garden by hand. wash steps. wash car. wash garbage cans and scour with bleach.

  59. Hanza
    Hanza August 28, 2012 9:50 pm

    I had seen that item about the school wanting a kid to change his name sign before finding it posted above.

    The school needs to have the snot sued out of them.

    Years ago I took some sign language classes, and as part of the class we had to come up with a name sign which was what we went by in the class.

    The article is correct that a name sign is as much a person’s name as the one on their birth certificate.

  60. BusyPoorDad
    BusyPoorDad August 29, 2012 6:24 am

    You may not think you need the flashlight, but I started carrying one on my belt next to my multi-tool and discovered I use it regularly. When you have it, you use it and after a while miss it when you don’t.

    Don’t take it off, you will find it useful.

  61. just waiting
    just waiting August 29, 2012 8:03 am

    I’m loving this conversation, even though I’m in Jersey where there is no such thing as CC or OC.
    Here, it takes and act of god, the promise of the left testicle of your firstborn male child or the first offspring of your eldest daughter, then approval by umpteen gunhating busybodies before you can even get a card to purchase a firearm.
    Go gun shopping? Good luck. You get carded at a gun shop, no one is even admitted into one local shop without FFPID. Want to touch one? Better have the ok from your local pd and that “only one every 30 days” permit on you. Practicing? Only at pd approved ranges.

    And you all talk about carrying like its as every day as grocery shopping.

    I gotta get outta here!

  62. JG
    JG August 29, 2012 8:46 am

    You have work that needs doing. That kid wants money. Maybe an exchange can be sorted out.

    I consider myself lucky to not have any freeloaders within walking distance. Things are very different here. I give my neighbors eggs every couple weeks, and they give me a bit of whatever they produce or pick up. The other week my retired neighbor picked the extra pears off another neighbor’s tree, giving me about 10lb. I have permission to pick as many wild blueberries and blackberries as I like on another neighbor’s wood lot.

  63. Latigo Morgan
    Latigo Morgan August 29, 2012 10:42 am

    Regarding concealed carry holsters, the young lady in the video at the link demonstrates a lot of useful holsters and how well they work.

    I’ve taken to using a Remora holster, myself. Plus, the fellow who makes them is a first class act to deal with.

Leave a Reply