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Cornered Cat's Newsletter Is ...

The Cat's Meow

by Kathy Jackson

  Protecting Yourself IS Protecting Your Family  

Hi There!

Big news: Cornered Cat is coming to Sierra Vista, AZ in March 2012. We're still finalizing details on that, but I wanted to tell you about it now. To find out more, keep an eye on the calendar at

Gun Rights Policy Conference

Every year, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) sponsors the Gun Rights Policy Conference -- a meeting where people concerned about the human right to self-defense come together to discuss ways to protect and expand this basic right. This year, the conference meets in Chicago on September 23-25, 2011. I'll be there as a panelist and participant. If you'll be there, too, please look me up. I'd love to meet you!

Protecting Your Family

Not long ago, I received a terrific email from a reader who wanted to tell me about her path to concealed carry. It's always humbling to get these kinds of letters, because a lot of times people tell the most amazing stories about their lives... and because often they are (like this woman) strong and capable people who don't seem to realize just how strong and amazing and inspirational they really are. Sometimes they even think of themselves as weak and powerless, and yet they tell these stories full of incredible power and passion. Her story isn't mine to tell (so I won't!) but I will tell you something tremendous she shared with me, because it really hit me where I live and I thought it might do the same for you.

There are a couple of articles on Cornered Cat (mostly in the Mindset section) where I talk about the different ways women come to the decision to protect themselves. One of the common stumbling blocks nearly everyone faces on this road is that, well, life is precious. Deciding to take an attacker's life in order to protect your own seems so... selfish. Or even cold-hearted. And that's where a lot of people get stuck. They won't fight back to save their own lives, because it seems so selfish. Shouldn't they decide to let the attacker live instead, they reason, even if it costs their own lives?

Yet many of these same people will fight fiercely, would do literally anything, in order to protect their children. For women who have this perspective about life, the day they realize that their children would be harmed by growing up without a mom -- that's the day they become willing to protect their own lives.

Are you ready? Here's the zinger. As my correspondent put it, "I never thought about protecting myself as protecting my family." Yet if you think about it, that's exactly what it is.

Protecting yourself is protecting your family.

Today's Quote

Women who own firearms come in all shapes and sizes, ages, and backgrounds. With the exception of those who grew up in active gun-owning families... it takes considerable effort to make the decision to be a gun owner, to acquire a firearm and learn to use it. Most of these women tell me that the hard part was not to learn to hold the gun, or to load it, fire it, or even clean it, but do decide to do all those things. Having made the decision, they are often left bewildered by the images of themselves in popular culture. -- Peggy Tartaro in Gun Women: Firearms and Feminism in Contemporary America by Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster

Does my gun have a battery?

On the range a few weeks ago, a student heard me say that her handgun had failed to fire because it was out of battery. Bewildered by this odd turn of phrase, my student asked, "Does my gun really have a battery?"

The short answer is No. Except for those which power auxiliary sighting aids such as lasers and flashlights, handguns do not usually have batteries. But a firearm is said to be "out of battery" when its firing mechanism fails to return to position so you can shoot the next round.

Where did this weird phrase come from? It's a holdover from military life. During battle, big military guns (think cannons and such) would form up in a line called a battery. As each big gun was fired, it would recoil and move out of its position in the line. The soldiers would rush forward to put the gun back into line with the others -- back into the battery -- so it could fire again without hitting friendly troops. Obviously, firing while the big gun was out of its battery would be a very dangerous thing to do.

Later, new designs of these big guns allowed only the working parts to move back under recoil, but the firing crews still needed to return these moving parts to the ready position after each shot. So the "out of battery" expression came to mean that the gun's working parts were still out of place and the gun not yet ready to fire.

Today, when we talk about a handgun, rifle, or shotgun being out of battery, we mean the operating parts of the gun have not yet returned to where they were supposed to be after the shot fired. A semi-automatic handgun is out of battery when its slide is not completely closed, for example. Most modern firearms will not fire the next round unless the gun's operating parts have completely returned to their intended positions. The gun cannot fire out of battery.

Concealed Carry Tip

If you use a soft, collapsible holster such as a belly band or a nylon pouch-style holster, it's a good idea to buy a dummy gun (try Ring's Blue Guns or ASP Red Guns) for practice. These non-firing gun shaped objects will let you safely practice your drawstroke, without any risk of shooting your own non-dominant hand when you return the gun to your collapsible holster. It makes drawing practice much safer!

Stay Safe,


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This is what you'll get:

Updates — When a new article is posted or an old article is updated on Cornered Cat, you'll be the first to know.

News — There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the world. My position gives me access to stories that otherwise get buried by the general tide of information. I weed the clutter out and share what's relevant to the concealed carry woman.

Announcements — Up-to-the-minute information about upcoming classes or seminars sponsored by Cornered Cat and her associates.

Training and Carry Tips — It's all about learning how to carry comfortably, how to shoot accurately, and how to defend yourself successfully. I've come across a lot of good ideas and I'd like to share them with you.

Recommendations and Reviews — I have been blessed with the opportunity to get my hands on a wide variety of products, and I'm looking forward to telling you about the best of these.

Questions — Sometimes, students ask great questions, with answers that really deserve a wider audience. Think of this as your chance to "listen in" on my classes and seminars!

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February 14, 2014—Cornered Cat Valentine's Day Sale

February 29, 2012—Shooting Practice -- In Your Home?

February 17, 2012—Women Making a Difference

January 14, 2012—Preparing For 2012

December 19, 2011—What Do YOU Carry?

November 3, 2011—Best Gun for a Beginner

October 27, 2011—The Elephant In the Room

October 13, 2011—Blame the Victim

October 5, 2011—Life is a Daring Adventure

September 29, 2011—We're Winning The Battle!

September 15, 2011—6 Must-read books

September 7, 2011—Protecting Yourself IS Protecting Your Family

August 31, 2011—Purse Tactics

August 15, 2011—The Cat's Meow