I know that Christmas has come and gone, but I wanted to address a gift-giving trend that has gained some attention and traction over the past few years (especially on social media): the “four-gift rule.” With this rule in mind, parents focus on giving only four specific presents to their kiddos. The four gifts include: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. So I am keeping this trend in mind when considering some of my top product picks for women from this last year.

Something They WANT: Swampfox Optics Sentinel

Red dots (for handguns!) are all the rage right now because they work. Also, gun owners should be able to use any gadget or gismo that may help them protect life. While there may be a host of options from which to choose, Swampfox Optics recently introduced a line of compact micro red dots just for the EDC lifestyle. The new Sentinel is tough, dependable, functional and always ready to provide a bright 3 MOA red-dot reticle for quicker sight tracking and increased accuracy — night or day. And it’s quite a marvel of technological innovation. This optic is only about 1 inch tall, 1 inch wide and 1.6 inches long! It might add a potential advantage in a defensive situation, but it won’t add too much weight or bulk.

Something They NEED: Nexbelt EDC Belt

My husband was the first in our household to get on board with the Nexbelt. He purchased a Titan BD Black PreciseFit Gun Belt. Since I don’t like belts at all, I didn’t pay much attention … at first. But when I saw this clever, durable, infinitely adjustable product in person — and in use — I was hooked. OK; maybe hooked isn’t the best term. After all, there are no hooks or holes on this belt. There’s just a ratcheting device that cinches to the perfect fit and then releases with a flip of the buckle/lever.

For me, this amazing belt fits in the “need” category, since everyone who carries a firearm in a holster somewhere around his or her waist needs a dependable belt that can withstand the extra weight, heft and bulk of a fully loaded handgun (and perhaps some spare magazines). There’s a lot of great selections, as well, so you can branch out from the plain, black version and choose something with a different color, texture or pattern.

Something to WEAR: Girls With Guns

I realize that listing Girls With Guns leaves this third category wide open for selections. But for women, that’s probably a perfect idea. So feel free to peruse the Girls With Guns website to find that perfect something (or somethings) to wear — from eye and ear protection to branded gear and shirts that support your love for hunting, shooting and the Second Amendment. I happen to love the Guardian Vest and the Secret Sadie Jacket. Both casual outerwear options feature multiple pockets and compartments for storing ID, credit card, keys, extra magazines and even your EDC handgun. The vest and the jacket are practical and tactical pieces I can easily throw on to add some warmth … and to stage a flashlight, a knife or anything else I choose.

Something to READ: Deadly Force Encounters (Alexis Artwohl, Ph.D. and Loren W. Christensen)

I’ve had the opportunity to hear Dr. Artwohl speak at a few different events. I am always astounded by and grateful for her important research on the body’s natural reactions to stress, especially as it relates to dynamic critical incidents in which firearms were used. In this book (which is now in its second edition), she presents and analyzes some very intense and meaningful data based on the real-life experiences of law enforcement officers. This book and its findings are referenced often in the USCCA’s Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals curriculum. But I am always struck by the fact that if these trained officers went through stress-related reactions (tunnel vision, diminished sound and even false memories), how much more could the average gun owner (who may not have the same level of training or skill) experience those things?! While some of the stories from the book are haunting and tragic, it’s very eye-opening for everyone who chooses to have a gun for defense of self and family.


Swampfox Optics: SwampfoxOptics.com
Nexbelt: Nexbelt.com
Girls With Guns: GWGClothing.com
Deadly Force Encounters: LorenChristensen.com