Uhan recalled something she once told a friend who worried that carrying a concealed weapon was dangerous in itself: "When you and I are standing in line together at Target with our carts full of kids, and some crazy walks in and points a gun at us, I will protect my family and I will protect Women like Uhan are quietly taking up arms all over the U. Out in the suburbs of Seattle, 25-year-old dental hygienist Danica Mc Combs keeps a Smith & Wesson SW40 in her nightstand.

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Different states have different carrying laws, but when legally permitted, I carry one in my purse. If I am going to a large event, I would prefer to have it on me, and if I’m going somewhere that is not considered ‘the safest area,’ I like to have it on me there as well.” I didn't grow up around guns; as an adult, I've never liked them. But I have a distinct feeling that any fascination I ever had with guns—any faint arousal I'd felt as a teenager watching the hyper-violent action sequences of —disappeared one night in my early twenties.

That's when a particularly volatile boyfriend showed me a short, grainy video of him, taken the summer before, brandishing a chunky silver handgun a little I remember squeezing my eyes shut, jerking away; something about the image of my boyfriend with a gun in his hand tripped an alarm.

"I don't think you expect a mom toting a 5-year-old and a toddler to carry a gun in her purse," she said.

"But I wanted a safe and reliable way to know I could protect my family in the case of a threat."What kind of threat, exactly, does Uhan picture when she tucks her pistol into a handbag before leaving the house?

Today Lola never leaves the house without her Smith & Wesson.

"Having a gun alone isn't going to save your life," she says.

People understand why I have a rifle," Mc Combs said.

"They feel different about handguns in the home."And in Austin, Texas, 31-year-old Katie Garza, an assistant camp director for a girls' camp, bought herself a Walther PPK/S .22 a couple years back after getting her concealed-handgun license at a co-worker's suggestion.

On any given day, there are an infinite number of objects you might find in a woman's bra, besides her breasts.

Maybe a credit card, some folded-up cash, or a tampon; a tube of lipstick if she's feeling fancy.

It's not a perfect setup for carrying a gun; sometimes it throws off her stride.