I Need All the Advice (mostly just holsters, but I'm all ears for anything you have to say)

That’s a legit question.

Anti-gun people often say “you must be afraid all the time since you feel the need to carry a gun.” We usually answer something like “Not afraid, because we know bad things can happen, and we are prepared.”

For me, when I know I am prepared, and yet I am STILL afraid in a situation (not nervous but genuinely afraid) that’s a pretty good sign I shouldn’t be there.

Fear, and learning to deal with it, is my big lesson in this lifetime. Fear Absolutely HAS Run My Life in the past. On one end is letting fear make all your decisions. On the other is foolish bravado and willful naivete. One will steal your life just as surely as the other.

Fortunately there are more than just those two options. For me, the opposite of letting fear run my life isn’t foolish risk-taking, it’s prudence.

It’s not letting fear be the single factor in making choices. Instead it looks like:

  • Acknowledging my fear
  • Challenging my fear to see if its reality-based, usually with input from people I trust
  • Honestly assessing my capabilities
  • Getting whatever kind of coaching I need to correct my thinking or my skills
  • Not letting the fear make my decisions for me

Fear is an extremely valuable and powerful tool, rightly applied. And like any powerful tool, it needs to be used well.

I respect the legitimacy of your fear. Keep working through the process of discovering your options. :+1:

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I would suggest then with this being the case the smallest “pocket gun” that will fit your hands and you can shoot accurately.

Someone posted above a trigger guard made for pocket guns that has a lanyard on it. You pocket the gun, leave the lanyard hanging out where you can quickly get to it to retrieve the gun.

In that setting you’re very exposed and with your build issues other than something like that or a small Derringer that you could perhaps hide in your bra is about all I can think of. The same trigger guard with a lanyard could be employed but worn as a necklace.

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Thank you, Zee. You’re giving me some tools to further think upon things. I wrote up a reply to your other post, left it on my screen, then clicked some things and lost it. Quickly though, AA does endorse calling authorities whenever you feel it’s appropriate, anonymity be dammed. Quilting club is a whole basement full of stuff, and moving it temporarily would not be an option unless I told everybody why. I’m still not convinced the police could do anything at this point, and the only direct threat made was to another during a share he made about all the violence he’d like to inflict upon some unnamed person… semi long story to that, but the only threat there was that he made unflinching eye contact with a person during it. That person confided in me that he was debating calling the cops, but ultimately decided that it would probably not come to anything due to no direct threat, and the guy claims the story of violence wasn’t directed towards this man.

This person, however now that I think about it, has written in email to a prosecutor (or someone) that he had a bullet with their name on it, and has complained that he now gets semi regular calls from law enforcement about that threat. So a) he must already be on someone’s radar and b) maybe that’s why nobody has gotten really direct threats… he’s learned to carefully word himself at this point.

I need to do some (more) serious thinking about this. I need a cop friend who can help me decide what can and cannot be done, so that none of this is on the record until I say it can be on the record.

This person was not like this the last time he was in AA. He’s either off medication, or drank himself violent and borderline insane since the last time we saw him. Something is very much not right with him.

I PM’d you my location for help finding a nearby instructor. Thank you.

WildRose, thank you for your ideas. I didn’t think about a lanyard deal worn like a necklace. That would work for down in the basement area if it’s something that could be done with a Walther CCP 9mm sized gun. As for the small meeting space, I feel the cross body bag will still be my easiest and fastest option due to not having to dig through the top of my shirt, or through layers of Midwest cold weather wear from the bottom. But, I won’t know for sure unless I get these items and practice doing it each way, huh?

essential information right there ^^

I don’t think I’d trust these for that purpose… not what they’re designed for. they’ll do a fine job of preventing accidental firing of the gun in a soft enclosure, though.

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For my 30 years of firearms ownership I have tried to live by the mantra don’t be where I don’t belong. It seems to me that if you are that afraid of being there you don’t belong. Is there no way to remove him safely or go somewhere else yourself?

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Well for safety’s sake you can always put a ring on the bottom of the grip and attach a lanyard there.

In the military we used to refer to them as “dummy cords”. The joke was that they were invented so Second Louie’s would still have their side arm when the dropped it an ran.

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@LolaKinks I’m not familiar with how AA is setup, but is there someone higher up the food chain you can ask? This is surely not the first time something like this has happened and they may be able to provide more guidance.

If he is disturbing others attending the meetings (I assume you aren’t the only one sketched out by him?), it becomes an issue where for the good of the group, he has to go. If others who need AA can’t/won’t come because they fear him or are intimidated then they may stop going and that’s not good. Once he is on some official “not welcome” list then its easier to enforce with the police. On the flip side, that may really make him angry…

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Yes, I can remove myself, but I’ve many obligations to the club itself, as I’m president. I also chair a meeting there, and am heading up our quilting club (we quilt with donated material to auction of to fund the club). All of which is definitely not worth putting my life at risk for.

As I wrote above, I am torn between letting fear and an abundance of caution rule my life, or take a possible risk and an abundance of caution and not let fear rule my life. Both seem reasonable and unreasonable at the same time. I don’t think what I fear is likely to happen, but it’s possible. Surely there are unstable, violent speaking people like him all over that manage to not mass murder/suicide the people who have made them mad. Then again, dude fits the profile of someone who would do something like this.

I could consult the board members and we could no longer grant him access to the club building, but given the fact that even the slightest of anything happening to him sets him off into violent fantasies, I, particularly would be in even more danger of my perceived risk.

Every AA group is autonomous. The AA Worldwide services does not dictate or guide any given group. They do have safety guidelines that basically says to call the cops if needed, and that’s about it.

An AA group could individually decide to not allow a person in their group, but that is almost unheard of. I know of one instance in a town next to us that a sex offender was banned, but that’s it. There’s probably a few more instances that I do not know about though.

[quote=“Harvey, post:17, topic:16046”]
If he is disturbing others attending the meetings (I assume you aren’t the only one sketched out by him?), it becomes an issue where for the good of the group, he has to go. If others who need AA can’t/won’t come because they fear him or are intimidated then they may stop going and that’s not good. Once he is on some official “not welcome” list then its easier to enforce with the police.
[/quote].

4 people, including me, are extremely disturbed/scared, because we know he has all these guns (I think I previously said 3, but I misspoke) and have listened to his violent and unreasonable rantings quite a few times.

Everybody else, I’m not entirely sure. I have had a few discussions with people where they’ve expressed annoyance with him, are weirded out by his shares, find him mentally unstable and such, but for the most part, I’m not seeking out these discussions.

And that’s what I really don’t want to happen. He flies off the handle about the most petty things. I can’t imagine what he’s like if something really really makes him angry. If the police are contacted and they can’t correct the situation, I have to imagine he’ll know it’s because of AA people (we’re literally the only people in his life at the moment) and he knows exactly where and what time to find us all. He could use a weapon, fists, just shout? Who knows.

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You make a very good point. You are there to help so you accept a certain amount of risk.

You’re also making a keen observation in that barring him from the building could be the final trigger than sets him off on a violent streak that could end badly for all.

You’d be wise to discuss the situation with the other board members for sure.

At some point though you have to consider if he’s doing more harm to the group as a whole and perhaps driving people that can be helped away.

Tough calls all the way around.

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Know your states laws governing self defense. All states are not the same. In a must retreat state a Prosecutor can argue that you knew there was a problem and continued going or letting him go.

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^^^ very good point.

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I didn’t think about that. From the CCW class I attended, I think I remember that we’re not, and the very quickest of Google searches…

"Wisconsin law allows deadly force in self-defense in the limited circumstances where the person defending themselves “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to their person. Importantly, some states impose a duty to retreat from a conflict, but Wisconsin is not among them. However, Wisconsin does allow juries to consider whether a defendant could have retreated in determining whether the use of deadly force was “necessary.”

And

" Three years ago, the Wisconsin state legislature passed the 2011 Wisconsin Act 94, which laid out the rights of a person to defend themselves in their home, office, or car, a law commonly referred to as the “Castle Doctrine.” However, the defendant in a recent case discovered that when a person pushes that right too far, criminal charges can often result."

I’ll look further in a bit.

For thr purposes of me being there as a board member, I think that covers me by way of being my office. AA meetings and quilting are different story though.

Maybe an argument can be made for me, at least at this point, that there’s only a suspicion… a imagined risk if you will at this point due to no direct threats? But then again, if I was worried enough to buy a gun and get my CC permit, I should have gone to the police? The jury might find that prosecution argument quite compelling.

I definitely need to ponder this further before carrying in that building.

I have a brother in law sherriff for the county I live in that I’m far from being close with, but should suck it up and go talk to when he’s off duty, about what they could theoretically do in this situation before I contact authorities.

Even if I just stopped attending meetings, if my imagined scenario were to happen, maybe I could also be in trouble for not contacting police about my fears (I mean, this whole thread here is evidence at this point), not to mention the guilt I would would have.

Ugh.

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While it’s always important to keep the law in mind, (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer) I would imagine you are in the clear here. You are lawfully allowed to be where you are, and your fear of what this person might do doesn’t mean you have to never go there again. He’s already been there X times and not shot anyone and he may continue to go another X times and not shoot anyone. You carry a firearm specifically because one day you might need it.

The duty to retreat will usually come into play in the moments leading up to violence, not days/weeks/months before it happens. For example, you all are in the room, he starts escalating, draws his weapon… Your choice is could you do a tuck 'n roll out the door or draw your firearm and shoot? If you have an exit and choose not to take it, then a prosecutor might take you to task for it (doesn’t mean they’ll win though). On the other hand if there is only one door and he’s blocking it, theres no duty to retreat. Or if by leaving that means everyone else in the room will die and they have no means of escape, there’s no duty to retreat. The answer is always always “it depends”.

I do think it’s important for you to notify someone though. Whether it’s a brother-in-law, your local police/sheriff, building management, heck is there a church with a priest nearby? It’s partially about covering your arse if it goes sideways, but its also about getting this guy the help he needs. It sounds like he needs way more help than AA can provide. AND it might keep him from going on a murder spree, because it might not just be the folks in the AA building, it could be his neighbors, random folks at the grocery store, etc.

This is one of those times I think “maybe red flags laws have their place”, but then I quickly realize that they’d just forcibly take his guns and leave him there still not getting the help he needs. Leaving an already angry man even angrier and ready to lash out at “whoever did this to him”.

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I was a member of a Homeowner’s Association some years back that had turned into a similar condition. Our solution was to hold our meetings at the local Police Station. As far as I know, the station did not charge us for use of the facilities, and provided armed security at our meetings. Might be worth checking into?

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That makes more sense. I feel I keep ricocheting from one thought to the next about this all.

That makes even more sense.

Speaking of which, I just contacted an attorney that deals with gun laws and criminal defense for an appointment. I am so leery of going to the police (even an off duty brother in law) to even ask them questions about this. I appreciate having law enforcement, but don’t necessarily trust them with some things for whatever reason. I’m also the kind of a-hole person who will, and has, denied giving them my ID in situations they do not need it. I’d rather get and pay for information from a lawyer first before going down that rabbit hole.

Is there anyone here who doesn’t have a box of unused holsters they thought was a good idea at the time? Ha.

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Hey Lola, be of good cheer. You’ll find the right holster, but it’s an iterative process, it may take a while.

My favorite holster is a Kydex, because of the positive weapon retention … it “snaps” when secure in the holster. However, it prints a little more than I care for, so I often use a Sticky Holster. A properly-sized Sticky Holster will provide adequate trigger protection. They’re comfortable tucked inside a waistband, or in the small tactical bag I carry to/from work. I’ve been told the “sticky” will wear out at some point, I haven’t reached that point after almost 2 years. I’m totally satisfied.

My other pieces of wisdom, for what they’re worth: (1) Don’t “cheap out.” My Kydex holster was $80+, worth every penny. (2) Practice, practice, practice. There are lots of good dry-fire tools out there. Whether it’s snap caps, BarrelBlok, or the LASR app, there are lots of options to practice taking your firearm from concealment to action in a safe way.

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I’m jealous you have only one box!

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Zee, wise words indeed. Carrying every day has given me a sense of peace. Not bravado … I’m not a cowboy. But knowing the laws, knowing that I am well-trained, knowing that my weapon is reliable and that I can deploy it if needed, all of that gives me confidence.

The fact that I carry also enhances my senses. Because I have a loaded weapon, I am responsible for every round it contains. I’m much more aware of my surroundings, activities. I’m much more likely to recognize danger and remove myself and my loved ones from that situation. So for me, it’s not as much fear but rather diligence.

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I feel this sentiment rapidly welling up in me since just buying my gun about two weeks ago, and even though I have not been able to CC yet with it.

I’ve been too not-afraid of situations historically. I think I wrote this above somewhere, but I’ve delivered pizzas in ghettos in the wee hours of the morning, I’ve walked through truck stop parking lots at night without a care in the world, I’ve done uber/lyft in a metropolis at all hours of the day and night - all without any fear whatsoever. Now, I’m already thinking twice. None of those occupations would allow me to carry, but I’ve been wondering if there would be any consequences for doing so, other than just simply being fired from said jobs (mainly uber/lyft). I’m also being more aware of my surroundings, and thinking ahead to going to places where the risk of harm are greater and carrying while being there.

It’s almost as though just having a gun has made me paranoid. Most people would probably just call that common sense awareness or something, but coming from a proud, brave woman, this is really a new feeling for me.

And I say “proud, brave woman” because that is how I felt. People DAILY would ask me while uberlyfting if I was scared to do this job (with trucking also, but not that often). My first retort (that I didn’t vocalize) was that it was quite the sexist question (I doubt many ever ask men this question, but I realize it’s not so much sexist as it’s just a legit question given how much easier I could be overtaken by a person compared to a man who’s larger than me, and asked with true concern) but would reply that I just wasn’t scared. This caused me to feel proud that I am not living my life in such fear.

But here I am now, in fear, and looking to CC. I think I’m coming to the realization that I have been reckless with my safety, and that pride probably had a lot to do with it.

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