Book Review: “The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry”


To say that Kathy Jackson knows her stuff when it comes to firearms and shooting is sort of like allowing thst Tiger Woods knows a thing or two about golf. Kathy is an instructor at the Firearms Academy of Seattle, teaches workshops for women through her Cornered Cat Training Company, and is the editor of US Concealed Carry magazine. She’s also the maintainer of Cornered Cat, which is perhaps the firearms and concealed carry resource going for women. (The site is a great resource for men who would like to help the women in their lives who want to shoot, too.)

I imagine Kathy probably wrote “The Cornered Cat: Concealed Carry for Women” at least in part because she got tired of people asking her when she’d make a book out of her Web site. The truth is, there are precious few resources out there specifically tailored toward women, and although I’ve been lucky enough to experience fairly little in the way of overt sexism in the gun community, there’s no question that the lion’s share of the material out there is geared toward men. Many gun books and magazines, and no small number of equipment manufacturers, seem to cater to the “tacti-cool” guys who want to play the “bigger, better, latest, greatest” game with their guns and gear. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, of course, but for a woman new to shooting, it can be a bit intimidating.

That’s where Kathy’s book comes in.

“The Cornered Cat” is a step-by-step tour through the world of concealed carry, written from a woman’s perspective and with Kathy’s sense of humor clearly evident. The book begins with the important questions a woman might be asking herself before she makes the decision to carry a firearm: Can I really shoot someone? What will my friends and family think? What are the legal considerations in choosing to be armed. Kathy then takss her readers through firearms basics, how to buy guns and holsters that fit a woman’s body, operating and cleaning a gun, and training and practice.

For someone new to guns, the book will take them from zero to a solid working knowledge of the how – and, more importantly, the why – of carrying a gun for self-defense. For someone like me, who hasn’t had much formal training and whose learning has mostly been through trial-and-error under the watchful eye of friends who are great shooters but not trained instructors, The Cornered Cat has helped me to fill in holes in my knowledge. Kathy’s book is not a substitute for hands-on training with a real live instructor – and she doesn’t hold it out to be that – but it would certainly give a woman the basic knowledge to be able to maximally benefit from an instructor’s guidance.

The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry” is a bargain at $6.99 in Kindle, and well worth it even at the $19.99 paperback price. Although readers of Kathy’s Web site will find much that’s familiar, learly everything in the book has been revised, expanded and updated. If you’re a woman who’s interested in carrying a firearm for self-defense, you need this book in your library. If you’re a guy and you’d like to help your wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, or other loved one join the gun community, you can’t go wrong giving them a copy.

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