I don't know how to express it any other way... I am so proud of my fellow females for facing their fears and overcoming false ideas of what it means to own a gun. We each have our own story and reasons for why we resisted gun ownership. When I began my own journey, over two years ago, I will admit that fear was not one of my deterrents. I wasn't afraid of guns; in fact, I was a pretty good shot, and I occasionally joined my husband for target practice.
I just thought it was too much trouble to haul a weapon around with me all the time, and why, if I wasn't willing to do that, would I need to take the time to get trained? It was not high on my priority list. Then as I began awakening to the instability of the world and the threats to my safety and my freedoms, I knew that I was living in a new reality, and this skill was absolutely necessary.
But the most amazing thing to me, has been seeing the growing numbers among my female friends who have had their own "aha moments"; their reasons may have been different, but their resolve and their determination to be responsible gun-owners has been remarkable.
I decided to let them tell you in their own words, why this has been a life-changing decision for them. These are real friends of mine and they have given some careful thought to what they want to tell you. Cynthia was a self-avowed hater of guns. She nearly lost a friendship over someone carrying concealed in her apartment. She had strong opinions about guns, and they were decidedly negative.
Then, she admits, "things began to change." Threats, verbal and direct, from a family member woke her up. She saw the parents of this disturbed person in fear and denial, and realized that if she was going to protect herself, she needed to get serious.
"That's when I decided to get a gun. And if I was going to get a gun, I wanted to use it right. I was lucky enough to know Belle and her husband, and they hooked me up with a fantastic handgun training class. I learned to safely handle the gun, and then learned to shoot it. I can still feel the overwhelming fear of picking up that loaded gun for the first time. I'm not even sure I hit the target, I was shaking so badly. But as the weekend went on, I got better, and I found that I was actually having fun!"
When Cynthia picked up that loaded gun for the first time, it changed her life. "No one saw me move, but I crossed over from the land of nothing will ever happen to me because I'm a good person, into the land of knowledge and wisdom. I'm not a prepper, or maybe I am one, but I'm still in the closet. What I do know is that being prepared is not paranoia; it's power." (BTW, Cynthia, if you're taking the steps to teach yourself new skills and adopting a new mindset, I think that qualifies you as a "prepper". Welcome to our ranks!)
And then there is my friend, Pat, who is a petite professional woman. But don't think she is a pushover; she has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and will kick your ass! For Pat, the trigger point (so to speak) was the breakdown in society. "I see my neighborhood declining, and crime encroaching. Break-ins and robberies are no longer an inner city problem. It's in my own backyard."
Pat has approached owning a gun in the proper method. She is the proud owner of a Generation 4, Glock 19 and has spent countless hours and days taking tactical handgun training classes. Her next goal is to get her concealed handgun license. She feels (and properly, I think) that there are too many people out there with CHL's who are a danger to themselves or others because they don't know how to properly handle their gun or how to protect themselves if confronted with a threat. So she decided to gain proficiency with her weapon before taking the serious step of carrying concealed.
And her thinking process is one we should all consider. "For now, I keep my gun at home. I'll be candid here, and say I'm not sure how I will respond if posed with a threat. I feel I have to be more firm in my understanding of gun ownership, and have confidence in any decision I may make, if I feel the need to use my weapon. So even though I plan on getting my CHL, I still have some more thinking to do before I find myself carrying all the time."
Pat admits that it is the mental aspects of owning a gun that weigh on her more than the physical. Her advice to you? "Owning a handgun and responsibility go hand in hand. Get training; get comfortable handling your gun; and give a considerable amount of thought and reflection to whether or not you can aim it at someone and pull the trigger. So much goes into that split second decision."
So, as you can see, both of these women are not gun-happy, bullet-slinging fanatics. They have been confronted with real-life situations that have caused them to question their ability to protect themselves. And they know the value of training. Perhaps you are where they once were. It is not, nor should it be, an easy choice to own and carry a weapon. It's up to you and the time is now to make that decision.
Proverbs 1:5 "Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance..."
I'd advise women considering training vet their instructors, just as in finding a good docter, or plumber. Some instuctors show bias against females, and will not show the same respect they do to men. There are plenty of instructors out there (NRA has over 80,000) don't go with the first one you call, ask questions, how often do they train, what are their creds, how many women do they or have they trained, how many rounds will you fire to few and you will not get comfortable with the firearm,etcReplyDelete
Excellent point! I was very lucky in that the instructors that were recommended to me, taught Beginner classes for women only. They were intuitive to womens' concerns, patient, and encouraging. They built up our skills and our confidence. They enabled me (and over 20 of my women friends) to overcome their fears and advance in our training. Subsequently, I am now taking Intermediate tactical classes, and am on par with the men in the classes (including my husband!) But your advice is spot on and thanks for the wise counsel!ReplyDelete
There is no such thing as safety or security-only reduced risk. A gun, and the knowledge to use it correctly, is a way to reduce certain risks. In addition to shooting, classes should teach ways to defuse a situation-attitude is everything,and sometimes you can BS you way out of a situation,which, in the long run, is easiest. A gun can add to the discussion as far as convincing someone to just go away and leave you alone.ReplyDelete
The two parts of your body most likely to get you in trouble is your mouth and right foot..
So true! Part of the training I've received is role playing, and learning how to de-escalate a situation and safely remove myself from a threat. Hopefully, you will never need to employ your firearm, but if you do, you better know what you're doing.ReplyDelete
As an NRA Certified Instructor and 4H Shooting Sports Instructor... I think you have the right approach... training, learning, and practicing are critical... especially with firearms...ReplyDelete
I've done some gals-only classes and often if I have a husband and wife or gal with a guy-friend in class... I purposely separate them... as too often the frail male ego tries to compensate by failing to admit they don't know everything about guns and then they try to do the teaching/training of the gal for me... while I find gals are typically better students, and often better shooters because of their interest in learning and asking questions... well, at least in my experience...
Also, where faith and/or firearms are concerned... I believe fundamentals are the key to success with both...
Dann in Ohio
Dann, my experience was exactly as you described. After my original women-only class, I took the next class with my husband, and I purposely went to the opposite end of the range (and if I hadn't, the instructors would have placed me there). And I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who LOVES it when I can out-shine him on the gun range. He has been a life-long gun owner and was quite proficient in his skills, but will readily admit that everyone needs training by certified instructors. Although he knew how to run his gun better than most of the guys who attended, he said he gained motor skills that you can't learn from watching the myriad of videos that are available. And our instructors are certified and no-nonsense - firearms are to be taken seriously! But bottom line is this: training teaches you a respect for your weapon, teaches you the fundamentals of gun handling, gives you the confidence to know what to do under stress, and has made me want to learn all I can about handling my firearm....get trained!ReplyDelete