“I can’t even see it!” was a common exclamation at a September 17 fashion show in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. This wasn’t your ordinary fashion show though. This fashion show was put on by REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition and the Northeast Ohio chapter of A Girl and A Gun.
As a woman who carries a concealed firearm, it isn’t always easy to hide it as it would be for a man wearing big, baggy clothing. The clothing featured in the fashion show were specifically designed to conceal a firearm on a woman’s ankle, thigh, back, chest, or inside a purse.
The goal of the group is to teach women how to safely and knowledgeably enjoy the sport of shooting. Members come from all different types of backgrounds; some members joined the group with previous knowledge about guns, while others were brand new to the sport. Esther Beris, facilitator of the Northeast chapter of A Girl and A Gun, says, “Our main goal is to teach knowledge and confidence.” The group’s events usually draw about 20 to 40 ladies and they shoot together twice each month. This particular event has been in the works since February, and they hope to include men’s fashion in next year’s show.
The items shown included ankle and hip holsters, compression shorts and several purse styles with an easy-access gun pocket, among other items. These items conceal weapons and can be worn under any type of women’s clothing, even evening gowns,which were fashioned at the show. There was even a variety of brands including Urban Moxy, Deep Conceal, Gun Goddess, Can Can Concealment and Buffalo Bills Leather.
Kathy Jackson is a nationally known firearms speaker, trainer, and author. At the show, she spoke about concealed carrying, and used the metaphor from her book about “The Cornered Cat.” By this she means, “When a cat feels threatened, she gets away from danger as quickly as she can. She is not interested in fighting just for the sake of fighting, but she will do whatever it takes to get to safety. To me, that’s the ideal picture of self defense.”
“Self-defense is not about being a vigilante. It’s not about going out and fighting for truth, justice and the American way. It is simply about protecting yourself and protecting the people that you love.”