Carry a gun long enough and you’ll hear some really dumb things. Some are said by people who are either anti-gun or indifferent about guns and choose not to carry for whatever reason. Others are men gun owners and shooters, and should know better. They may mean well, and sometimes they think what they’re saying is hilarious. (Guess what? It’s not.)

They don’t get that we take our personal protection seriously, or don’t know that it’s a huge responsibility to carry a gun. They have no idea the hours and the money we spend on training, the classes we take, or the amount we read to become better shooters. Many would likely never understand all this because they just can’t wrap their head around the fact that I carry a gun.

I’ve heard some doozies over the years, as I’m sure you have. Here are seven of my favorites:

1. “Your husband let you have a gun?”

Umm…my husband doesn’t “let” me have anything. We have a marriage, not a dictatorship. We’re adults, we communicate, we do fun things, and we both carry guns. Why? Because his safety is just as important to me, as mine is to him. We’re not always together, and because of that we both need to be trained. He’s supportive of the fact that I not only carry, I teach others to be more confident with their guns, and encourage them to carry as well.

2. “Shoot anybody today?”

Yes, it’s been asked. Multiple times. The intent may have been some attempt at a joke, but it’s certainly not a joking matter. I don’t carry so that I can “shoot someone.” In fact, I pray that I’ll never need to draw my pistol in a defensive situation. The last thing on earth I ever want to do is fire my gun at someone, but I have the mindset, the training, and the will to do whatever it takes to defend myself and my family. There’s nothing funny about that.

3. “You can’t handle that gun.”

Really? Watch me! Many times, larger guns shoot smoother than their smaller, conceal-carry counterparts. I’ll take a full-size .45 any day over a small but snappy 380. Training, strength and repetition are key to confidently shooting whatever gun you choose. No two hands are the same, and what might not feel right in my hand may be just perfect in yours. It’s all about the fit, not necessarily the size of the gun.

4. “You’re a woman. You should carry a revolver.”

Hey, I love a good revolver. (In fact, I wrote Best Revolvers for Women, which you can read here.)

Best Revolvers for Women
But the fact that I’m a woman shouldn’t dictate what gun you think I’d be most comfortable with.

Yet I’ve been told that women should carry revolvers because they’re simple, with less moving parts. I’ve been told that they’re easier to operate for a woman. And if one more man tells me I’ll have trouble locking back a semiautomatic pistol’s slide, or racking said slide, I will scream. I do just fine with my semi-autos, because I train, just like everyone who shoots should. I personally prefer a semiauto over a revolver for one simple reason, capacity. I’d rather have ten 9mm rounds in my Honor Defense Honor Guard that I carry than five .38s in a revolver. Again, it’s my choice, not yours.

5. “That guy makes me nervous. You have your gun, right?”

First, you’ll never know if I’m carrying or not. It’s called “concealed carry” for a reason. If I am, you won’t know it.

Second, if someone in public is making you nervous, remove yourself from the situation!

Third, consider getting trained and carrying your own pistol. It’s my job to protect me, not you.

6. “What are you, a wanna-be cop?”

I’m not a law enforcement officer, and it’s not my job to stop the robbery at the corner convenience store. It is, however, my responsibility to be able to protect myself and my family. Police can’t be everywhere; depending on where you live, response time could be 30 minutes or so. I happen to live in an area with a very fast response time, but I still carry because we live in a dangerous world, where situations can become dangerous quickly, before the police arrive.

7. “I wonder how many people you could have fed for the price of your new gun.”

Yep, I’ve heard that one too. My answer is that we donate our share to worthy charities, so don’t try to make me feel bad for buying something for myself. But since you brought it up, buying this gun actually helped feed thousands of people. I’ll start with the local mom-and-pop gun shop where I bought it. They depend on sales to feed their family as well as those of their employees. The manufacturer who made the gun employs hundreds. If sales were slow, they’d surely have to lay off dozens of employees, if not more. Then there’s the accessory manufacturers, some of which are small business that I frequently buy from. Last, but not least are the thousands of people who work for ammunition manufacturers. Because I train, I blow through thousands of rounds of ammunition per year. I helped thousands of people by buying this and using it…how many people did you help feed last week?

I get that some people are afraid of guns. I even get that some don’t want the responsibility of carrying, because that’s what it is—a responsibility. What I’ll never understand is how someone who fits in one of those categories thinks his or her opinion should dictate my rights. You don’t want to carry? Fine, don’t! But don’t try to stop me from carrying, because it’s my right to defend myself and my family, should I ever need to.