A little while back I talked about how to avoid a bad situation while you were out on the trails. All of those still hold true. The first line of self-defense is awareness of your surroundings. Rigis Giles said a while ago that “you can have all the weapons in the world and years of hand-to-hand combat training” but if you don’t use your head, it’s pretty much useless. Now, she was talking about fighting off ISIS but the same logic applies to any form of self-preservation. So if you haven’t read those tips, go check them out here. Remember, those are your first line of defense.
Now, if you’re saying, ‘Okay, I’ll be more careful but I still think I need a gun’ then, my friend, you are 100% right! Awareness can only get you so far. It’s a sad fact but there are some pretty dangerous people out there who don’t care if it’s a busy street or a “nice” area, they will attack you no matter what. But don’t worry, you have your second line of defense with you!
I’m going to focus on guns and how to carry them because I’m assuming most of you are comfortable with guns. But there are some people who aren’t so let me just briefly touch on some other forms of protection before we get into the good stuff.
First off, remember that your body is a portable weapon. Any type of hand-to-hand combat is great. Even programs like R.A.D. can be useful. Even if you do carrying a gun, this would be a great skill to have; say an attacker grabs you in a way that you couldn’t reach for your weapon. That’s when your body becomes your first defense. Get away from your attacker, grab your gun, and let him know you aren’t one to be messed with.
Next is the common non-gun self defense items. There are knife like weapons, such as Tigerlady (a retractable claw-like weapon that goes between the fingers), the Go Guarded Ring (a ring that has a long, serrated knife on it. Supposedly it works.), Ninja Spike Keychain (spikes that go between the fingers), or just an old fashion push button knife. You can also carry pepper spray, tasers, or this weird item called a Monkey Ball. It’s a keychain with a (little) heavy ball at the end of a rope that you swing and hit your attacker with. It seems pretty useless to me but some people say they really like it. The key chains and jewelry type of defenses can be carried in your hands or can be worn on your person but for the tasers, pepper sprays, and knives you can buy special clothing items to carry these and have easy access to them. Breitbart recently published a story on how a start-up Austin outfit Booby Trap Bras has seen a spike in sales of concealed weapons bras. The items from this company can carry any of the previously mentioned weapons. And the cost is pretty affordable. There is also work out gear, such as pants, jackets, or shirts, that come equipped with small pockets which work great for carrying these self-defense tools in. You can pick these items up pretty much anywhere they sell sports clothing.
Now that we have all that covered, let’s get to the fun stuff: guns. I searched the internet for the guns that most runners prefer and here is the list I came up with:
- .380 Ruger
- XD-S® 3.3″ SINGLE STACK .45ACP
- GLOCK 19 Gen4
- M&P SHIELD® 9mm
- TAURUS 180 CURVE® PISTOL (I was really excited about this one. If you’ve tried it, let us know! I did read though that it isn’t the best for left-handed people.)
- Nano 9mm
These are the ones I found people said they used and the NRA recommends. But a lot of people also said as long as you have a holster that you can comfortably carry your gun in, the sky’s the limit. So if none of these catch your eye, here are some more options.
That brings us to holsters. I found that men tend to be more open to options like a fanny pack or a small pack that you can strap on the chest. Women use these too, but I can see why we might not find the chest pack incredibly comfortable. Luckily there are a ton of holster options out there both men and women can use.
First off, you can get shorts that have the holster built in. This is a great option because with a detachable holster, you run the risk of chaffing, and no one wants that. Here is one option for women that Girls Just Wanna Have Guns has featured in the past. You can also get a tank top with the holster built in. There are a couple of these that you can find online but I found this one that has great reviews and the overall look of it keeps the gun out of your way while having the ability to be drawn. In case you don’t like that one, you can check out the Concealment Under Shirt Tank. This one also has good reviews; I just prefer the other one. Don’t worry guys, I haven’t forgotten about you. There is a plethora of holster clothing out there for you as well. Just take a look at this list.
- 11 tactical 40021 v-neck holster short sleeve shirt
- Ridge Crew Neck Packin’ Tee Shirt, Men’s Black
- UnderTech Undercover Men’s Concealment Holster
These are great options but I’ll admit, a bit pricey. That’s why a lot of people go for a detachable holster. Some of the ones other runners prefer are the Kangaroo Carry Air Marshal/ Pistol Wear Under Arm Holster (whichever is more comfortable for you, both were highly recommended by runners). Belly band holsters were recommended by some but beware of chafing and uneven weight with these. Wearing the holster in a more central area of the body or just having a light gun can solve the weight problem and wearing some sort of dry fit shirt or shorts under the holster can reduce or eliminate chaffing. There were also a few runners out there who said they liked the ankle holster. I wouldn’t recommend this one, especially if you are like me and constantly hit your ankles while running. You also have to bend quite a bit to reach your gun compared to the other holsters mentioned.
Lastly, you can have all the right gear, the right gun but it’s useless to you if you don’t know how to use it. Practice makes perfect. Practice drawing your weapon and, of course, shooting it. Knowing how to use your weapon is what is going to protect you. Despite what the Left is telling you, guns can’t shoot themselves. They can’t protect you on their own. That’s your responsibility.