By Joe Roberts @jrobertsjourno
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Videographer / director: Adam Gray
Producer: Joe Roberts, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Anna Taylor, The founder and CEO of gun holster company Dene Adams, has garnered attention online for her concealed carry corsets, which allow her to carry up to four guns and a knife at any one time.
Now she has revealed how she, her husband, and her seven children, ages five to 16, remain “situationally aware” and fully educated in marksmanship.
Anna, 35, told Barcroft TV: “I know that evil exists and I certainly don’t live in fear. But it is a reality, and I am the first line of defence for my children and my family.
“I’ve heard it said ‘I carry a gun because a cop’s too big to fit in my purse.’ Well that’s so true.”
Living on several acres of private Kansas land with her husband, Jason and their blended family of seven children, Anna regularly takes the family shooting on their home range.
The group, from five-year-old Savanna, to 16-year-old Samie, all enjoy shooting, though Savanna is in a “dry-fire” stage where she uses unloaded guns.
Seven-year-old Addi says his favourite gun is a rifle, while eight-year-old Dylan prefers a pistol.
Now Anna has ambitions to build her business into the number-one holster company in the world. But she had to overcome some harrowing experiences to get where she is today.
Between the ages of 13 and 18, she says she was raped on three separate occasions by different people.
“Growing up in Topeka, Kansas, I was very quiet and closed off. It’s the quiet, reserved and unsure girls that are targeted by predators.
“What I realised, with the knowledge I have now, it was the victim mentality that I had.”
In her 20s, Anna moved to a rough part of Kansas City with her two children, and recalls how vulnerable she felt after a neighbour was gunned down.
“One day, just down the block from us, three guys kicked in the front door and shot and killed the homeowner,” she explained.
“I remember going on walks with the kids through the neighbourhood when they were rolling up the bloody carpet to tear out of that house. It was such a vulnerable place to be.
“I thought that if somebody was to bust down my door and intrude at night, I would be very defenceless against them. So I really wanted to get my concealed carry permit.”
With a fourth child on the way, Anna finally decided to buy her first gun, before going on to become a USCCA training counsellor and an NRA certified instructor.
At home, Anna now has an impressive collection of guns including a Desert Eagle that is fully plated in 24-karat gold.
“I have a Glock 19 and an extra 31 round Glock Magazine,” she explained. “I have a Walther CCP, all 9 millimetres. I have a North-American Arms mini revolver, and a Sig Sauer P238, which is a micro 380.
“I’ve got guns in all kinds of colours.”
After failing to find a workable concealed carry solution for these weapons, Anna resorted to sewing a mouse pad to her postpartum wrap.
Pleased with her makeshift design, in 2013 the young entrepreneur founded Dene Adams – named after her grandad – and started producing concealed carry corsets based on her mouse pad prototype.
Husband, Jason said: “I am extremely proud of Anna. She never ceases to amaze me. Just the way Anna is able to maintain composure and is always striving to learn and create and challenge herself.”
That ability to maintain composure plays into what Anna says are the most important aspects of refusing to be a victim: “being aware, prepared, and knowing how to avoid conflict.”
And it’s not just Anna who remains aware of these principles. Her children have also been equipped with all the skills necessary to make sure they know how a firearm works.
Anna says the firearm education she provides to her kids is part of keeping them safe around guns and preventing accidents, and that she’s not concerned about their exposure to weapons.
“I’ve carried since some of the kids were little,” she explained. “My second-youngest, she was still nursing and I would carry my gun around my waist so since they’ve been little they’ve been up against a firearm or seen it, or felt it, or known that it was there.
“And it’s a tremendous responsibility and you have to be willing to take on that responsibility. If you neglect to teach them safety and respect. and teach them bad habits then that’s 100 percent on you.
“So from day one I have taught them and taught them how it works.
“Removing the mystery, teaching them how it works, as well as respect for life, and that a gun can be dangerous if misused is what I teach them.”
Asked whether she sees any problem with guns in the US more generally, she explained how she views personal responsibility as the major factor in the debate.
“The US has a personal responsibility problem. The US has a parenting problem. I don’t even know how many guns there are in America, but I know it’s a lot.
“When someone does not have personal responsibility or care for the life of others, it doesn’t matter what tool they get their hands on.
“If someone has ill intent and they don’t have respect for human life, they will find a way to cause harm to others. Definitely not a gun problem.”