Posted on | September 24, 2012 | 32 Comments
I grew up in a household where guns were kept. My dad has a mini-arsenal, and he has always enjoyed hunting. I often ate venison brought home after a hunting trip, and I learned how to skin a deer at a young age. Dad taught me gun safety when I was a little girl. He got me a membership to the NRA before I knew what the “NRA” meant. I never touched his guns. I never went near them. I had a healthy fear and respect for guns that I maintained my adult life. Friends weren’t allowed to know where guns were kept. There was no, “Hey, wanna see my daddy’s guns?” And because of where and how I grew up, the majority of my friends came from families with similar backgrounds. I never experienced being at a friend’s house and feeling uncomfortable because of a lack of gun safety.
Despite all the years of being in the vicinity of guns my entire life, I never shot one. Before Taylor left for his first deployment, he got our rifle out and taught me how to load it. With shaking hands, I attempted to handle a gun that was far too big and powerful for me. I had such little (no) experience, that a gun of that size was just out of my league. But it was all I had, and he wanted to be sure I knew what to do in the case of an emergency. The size and power of the rifle scared the shit out of me, and thank God, I never had to touch it again. When he came home, I stopped worrying about learning how to use it. I assumed he would always be around to protect our little family, and I never took any interest in learning how to defend us myself.
But as the years passed by, and as I spent many a night alone while Taylor was training, I realized that I needed to learn how to use a gun that I feel comfortable handling. I asked around to all my girlfriends and realized that there were various situations, none of which were really great:
1) They depended on their husbands/boyfriends to take care of them, and even though there was a gun in the house, they didn’t know how to use it.
2) They had no gun in the house but still expected their husband/boyfriend to defend them no matter the threat.
3) They had no gun in the house and no husband/boyfriend and were relying on a dog/alarm system/frying pan to keep them safe.
Listen ladies, there is very little in this world more important than knowing how to protect yourself against a threat of harm or sexual assault. You can do all the basics; lock your doors, buy a big dog, keep a kitchen knife in your hand, whathaveyou, but none of these things are sure. Door locks can be jimmied. Alarms can be by-passed. Dogs can be hurt, killed, or bribed into leaving an intruder alone. A knife? Do you really want to have to get that close to someone if they are trying to hurt your or your babies? I know I don’t. Yes, your own gun can be used against you. But by learning how to be comfortable with your gun, you are greatly reducing your risk of having it used against you. By learning how to quickly access risks and dangers, you are reducing your chances of being a victim.
So a couple weekends ago, I signed myself up for a Ladies Pistol Course. Several of the women in the FRG joined me, and we headed out to a shooting range during the early hours of a Saturday morning. We spent the entire day (over ten hours) learning pistol safety, how to load and unload magazine clips quickly and efficiently, how to safely disarm, how to arm, how to rack, how to load bullets in a magazine, how to handle recoil, and how to be a pretty damn good shot. Admittedly, the first time I handled a pistol, even one with dummy bullets, I felt adrenaline course through my veins, and my palms were drenched in sweat. I was scared of the gun. I knew what it could do, and I didn’t want to do anything that could hurt someone.
But as we learned more and more about how gun “accidents” rarely happen and are more often the result of negligence, and as we learned what it took the fire the gun safely and all the basic safety rules, I felt comfortable. Aware of the power, but relaxed that I was being educated on how to handle that power effectively. I felt empowered. The knowledge I was gaining allowed me to control something that had once scared me.
(faces hidden to protect identity)
We all qualified for our Concealed Carry permits. Many of us are already signed up for the next Tactical Pistol class. I can’t wait.
Ladies, I urge you, even if you don’t want your Concealed Carry permit. Even if you’ve always been scared of guns. Even if you’ve never seen a gun in person. Take one of these classes. You will learn so incredibly much. You may change your entire opinion on gun ownership if you’ve been against it before hand. Remember, law abiding citizens not owning guns doesn’t stop criminals from owning guns.
So tell me, how do y’all feel about gun ownership? Is it something you’ve been comfortable with or something that makes nervous? I’d love to hear your opinions.