By Lyn Bates,
Never fear a filthy, tiny or absent toilet again!
Are you or someone you know reluctant to try outdoor camping, van life or other activities that makes one ask, “Where do you go to the bathroom?”
Did you read my recent column, and Karen MacNutt’s about how the bathrooms one must use can affect your choice of gun and holster for concealed carry?
My article garnered some attention. Ginger Countryman, a Georgia woman, saw it and contacted me saying that she has the solution: pants that have a second zipper that starts at the middle of the waistband in back, and goes through the crotch to find in the middle of the front. You unzip it, squat or sit (depending on the facilities), pull undies aside with one hand, do your business, wipe with tissue in your other hand, and re-zip, all without unfastening your belt.
She has a patent, not on the zipper, which is an ordinary one, but on the way it is put into the pants. She can make custom pants from scratch or can modify a pair you already own. I asked her for both.
She made these beautiful jeans that work exactly as she said. The pants of mine she altered are also perfect. The zipper is invisible, and sitting or walking I never feel it, but when it is needed it works!
I call then P-Pants because that is what you can do while wearing them, without unfastening your belt. “Never get caught with your pants down” is her motto for these pants that truly solve a problem women have had for a long time.
Interested? Curious? She says she can make or modify nearly any style of pants. Talk to Ginger about making pants for you or altering a pair you already own.
Text or call her: 706-280-9590.
Adult coloring books have taken the world by storm. When I came across this book, Full Metal Coloring Book, by Kimberly Kolb Eakin, I had to try it, though I’m not a coloring addict.
It is written and illustrated by a woman who is a retired Army Sergeant, holder of four records in women’s outdoor shooting, and an expert bullseye shooter. She knows her guns, and pictures from a flintlock to an M4 Carbine. The pictures are detailed, beautiful, and accurate.
But there is so much more here than just guns.
The right hand pages are for coloring and show the guns in their context—people holding them, trees, animals, ammo, targets. The left hand facing pages give the type of gun, a paragraph or two about the history or use of the gun, quotes from everyone from Aristotle to Jerry Miculek, and websites for more information about the topics. Shooters like Tom Greshman, Tom Waddell, and Randi Rogers allowed themselves to be included. I learned some history and such about some guns I have never shot.
The book’s subtitle is “A Book of Down Range Reflection” It is not just about guns, it is about shooting, gun people, hunting, aiming, and storing. A wonderful gift for a child or adult.
Lamplight Press, $14.99 from Amazon.
In 1990, AWARE was just getting started. In 1991, I remember hearing about the Luby’s Restaurant massacre when it happened, and that a woman there, obeying the law, had a gun in her car, not on her person and that her parents died there. Her name was Susanna Gratia, now Susanna Gratia Hupp, and she has written about her whole life, not just her opposition to gun control, in From Luby’s to the Legislature (One woman’s fight against gun control).
This autobiography starts young. The picture of diaper-wearing Susanna with a belt, holster, toy gun and broadly grinning older brother is worth the price of the book, in my opinion. Her brother’s later experience with a BB gun was not what either of them expected, so I won’t spoil it by telling you about it.
Plinking was fun, and after Suzanna graduated from chiropractic school and set up her own practice, she got a .357 for fun and to have at home. A man who was a local prosecutor and a patient told her about some of the victims he had seen and made her see the necessity to being willing and able to use that gun. For years, she carried her gun almost everywhere and followed many other safety practices as well. She made a very fateful decision when she realized that she risked her job by carrying that gun, so she made what she later called “the stupidest decision of my life” and started leaving her gun in her car.
She had a happy, almost ideal family until that October day in 1991 when she and her parents went to lunch at Luby’s Restaurant in Killeen TX. There a madman named George Hennard suddenly drove his truck through the window, got out and started shooting people. He had a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89, and used both as he went through the restaurant killing 23 (half of those with shots to the head) and wounding 27. After those 50 victims, he finally shot himself.
Susanna had time, a position behind an overturned table, and a line of sight to the killer as he walked through the restaurant. She knew she he could have stopped him, but her gun was in her car not her purse! In the melee, Suzanna’s father was killed, another patron broke a window and Suzanna tried to get her mother out that way, but her mother stayed behind with her dying husband, and her mother was shot and killed, too.
In this book Susanna recounts not just her own life that day, but she has gone back to other folks like the restaurant manager, who had seen and done different things that day to make her story as complete as possible. She details her and her brother’s slow recovery from this tragedy.
She was interviewed by newspapers and TV news shows, as many as she could stand. She always explained that she owned a gun and could have stopped the slaughter if it had been legal to have her gun in her purse instead of in her car.
Her transformation into a candidate, a legislator, and one of the people most responsible for making concealed carry legal in Texas and elsewhere was something her father, a historian, writer and thinker especially about the Constitution, would be proud of.
Two of her concluding chapters, Rules for Being Interviewed and Affecting the Law-Making Process urge others, particularly young women to do what they can to make changes they see needed.
Published by Privateer Publications (privateerpublications.com), $22.95
I’ve been reviewing lock boxes, little safes that are designed to hold a loaded gun, for years. Some were good, a few were awful but they all had one characteristic in common: They were ugly.
Who cared about appearance when concerns like “Can a child or teenager open it?” “Can a thief
pry it open?” “How fast can it be opened?” ”How hard is it to guess the combination?” “Can it be secured to something?” abounded.
I never gave consideration or points or credit for how these look until now. The GunBox, version 2.0 is a box with not only great features but also a really beautiful appearance. Its shape is rounded and soft, like a clamshell, not a corner in sight. The black wavy design on the cover has just a shield that serves as a touchpad (no logo, no name) and a rectangle for the fingerprint scanner. It looks modern and elegant. The box comes in six colors: Arctic White, Billet Grey, Carbon Black (matte), Gun Smoke (brown/gray), Pretty N’ Pink, and Raw Metal (blueish stainless steel).
Now, how does it work? There are three ways to unlock it, biometrics (fingerprints), RFID, and Bluetooth. If you don’t trust fingerprints, if you don’t trust batteries, if you don’t want to put an app on your cellphone, if you insist on a box with a physical key, or pushbuttons, then the GunBox isn’t for you.
I would not be comfortable with this box if it depended on fingerprints only, but I’m happy with the combination of alternatives they have provided:
Fingerprints—It is easy and fast to add a fingerprint to its memory. You press the shield to wake the box from sleep and navigate settings in the app to a button that says “Load a new fingerprint.” To start the process, press your finger three times for a second or two on the fingerprint scanner. Beeps mean success, chirping means try again. You have recorded one fingerprint. The memory holds 100 fingerprints, each taken with 3 scans so you can have several people, several fingers, each with several angles in the memory.
My husband has “difficult fingers” that fail many automatic readers like the ones they use to check your ability to buy a gun, although they work flawlessly on his iPhone 7. He cautiously gave this box a try. When his fingers wouldn’t record properly we tried changing the setting that provides security from “easy to read but less secure” to “most secure, but harder to read.” Level 1 let his fingers be read, and lotion on his hands helped him to open the box.
The medium security level worked for me. The more fingerprints you store, at more angles and other differences will help accessibility, especially for folks with dry skin.
To open the box, touch the shield to wake the box from sleep. The fingerprint scanner will light up. Press your finger there.
RFID—You will have a card like a credit card or a key fob that was programmed at the factory to open just this safe. To open the box, you touch the shield to wake it and waive the fob or card over the shield. This is the fastest and most reliable way to open.
Bluetooth—The free app on your cellphone has a big Open button that is easy to find and use. You just have to pair the phone with the box to get started, and provide a password.
In the dark you can easily feel the shield and see the fingerprint scanner. The box opens quietly on pneumatic hinges, automatically to its full position and stays open until you press it closed. A soft interior light lets you see what’s inside.
Other features: it has a motion alarm so you will know if a child or anyone else tries to move it. A history log of all interactions with the box. Aluminum, so at just over 7 pounds, much lighter than steel boxes, but still very strong. Can be fastened to a wall, table or floor. A USB charging port, so you can use that to charge you phone or anything else when you have this near your bed.
It is approved by TSA and FAA for transporting (unloaded) guns in checked luggage. It passes the standards to be “youth-resistant.”
The rechargeable lithium battery will last about a year. The app will tell you the battery level. To recharge just plug in the power cord for 2 hours.
Exterior: 11.6” x 10” x 2.7”. Interior: 8.75” 7.5” x 1.75”; $319 with fingerprint biometrics, $275 without: thegunbox.com.