It’s been quite a few busy, crazy years since I became more active in politics and government through the DC Project and BamaCarry. With DC Project, I first became a delegate, representing my state of Alabama along with other women across the United States. Last year, I agreed to volunteer as the director for my state. And with this organization, I have traveled to Washington D.C. four times in the last five years. I visit with representatives from all over the nation, share stories of responsible gun ownership and build relationships with other women who have a passion for the Second Amendment. I joined BamaCarry as a board member nearly two years ago. BamaCarry is the largest gun-rights group in Alabama, and I have been proud and humbled to learn more about what’s happening locally … and what else can be done to ensure our rights are not infringed.
Along with this, I had the opportunity to speak before committee in Montgomery and talk directly to my representatives about supporting permitless carry in Alabama. Advocates and trailblazers have been working for the last six or more years to get Alabama included with the 20 other states that currently enable the legal carrying of a handgun — open or concealed — without a license or a permit. And I hope that our continued efforts will soon be rewarded with a favorable decision.
To get the attention of and the understanding from Alabama representatives, I have shared with them my thoughts about two seemingly insignificant things: fabric and plastic.
Let me explain.
I share with them that I teach thousands of women about self-defense and firearms safety. These women are friends, strangers, conservatives and liberals, young and old — women from all walks of life who just want to protect themselves and their loved ones.
But many of these women — some of whom may be victims of violence or abuse — can learn about protection and then, in their times of need, NOT be able to protect themselves. Why?
Even though we’re an open-carry state and these women could go through background checks while purchasing guns and holster those firearms on their hips, many — like me — prefer the safety, security and privacy of concealed carry.
Yet in Alabama, without a CCW permit, adding a piece of fabric would mean we are breaking the law.
Permitless? No Plastic.
The thing is: Good people don’t break laws. But criminals do. They don’t care about laws. Places with the strictest gun control show this time and time again. There are violent people, and violence starts long before a weapon is in anyone’s hands. Evil doesn’t participate in safety training, fill out forms to purchase guns or apply for CCW permits.
But law-abiding citizens do. Responsible gun owners do. Victims do.
I can’t help but think of Carol Bowne. In 2015, she was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend outside her own home. She waited for months for her permit. And she did everything a law-abiding citizen could do. She got a restraining order, installed security cameras and attempted to legally obtain a firearm. But Carol was left waiting. And she was violently and senselessly killed.
Carol chose a means of protection, but she wasn’t able to carry it out because she was waiting on a piece of plastic.
As part of the more victimized gender (and the fastest-growing segment of the firearms industry), I have asked that Alabama support permitless carry for upstanding citizens like me.
We should not let a piece of fabric determine who is law-abiding and who isn’t.
And we should never let a piece of plastic decide if someone lives or dies.