A Pivotal Moment - A Mom's Story

Three years ago, I was home alone with my five children piddling around in the kitchen. It was around 10:30pm. I had just brought the van in from the driveway as it was smoking so I gave it time to cool down before bringing it into the garage. Within minutes, I was stunned by a loud banging on the garage door that sounded like gunshots.  At first I thought it was my car acting up but realized something more sinister was going on. I screamed and rushed all the children to a bedroom and called the police. I told them that I thought someone was shooting at the house! We were huddled in my son’s room, behind a bunch of pillows and as I waited for the police, all I could do was look around and think of what I would do if someone came into the house. I could hear my little girls crying, "Mom, I’m scared! I’m scared!!!” I was terrified and helpless. After 8 LONG minutes, the police came and we saw crowbar dents all over the garage door. Someone had been trying to break in. Seeing my van gone from the driveway, they probably assumed I was out on a quick grocery run even though all my house lights were on at that time! That was a frightening moment, but a pivotal one. I clearly remember the rush of adrenaline as I had one job, one instinct, and that was to protect my children but I came up empty-handed except for my cell phone and I could barely dial 9-1-1. I replayed those moments again and again, feeling the panic as I looked around for a bat, a chair, a book, ANYTHING and the blood draining from my head and fingers. I never thought it would happen to me, in my nice, quiet, friendly subdivision miles away from the city. But it DID and it was one attempt too many. Before I went to bed that night, I decided that something had to change. If this incident happened again, I needed to be prepared with an equalizing force so to me, it was clear that I needed a firearm.

I was resolved to take my responsibility as a gun-owner very seriously. I immediately hired a firearms instructor, educated my kids on gun safety, and headed to the range. The first time I fired a shot, I was nervous but excited. I didn’t feel confident after one class that I could safely start carrying a gun. I didn’t even want to return to the range without an instructor so I took more classes. About five more, in fact, before I considered even carrying one on the body. What started as a scary incident was a game-changer for me. What caught me off guard was how much I enjoyed helping others to overcome their fear of firearms. This petite, church-going, Asian, stay-at-home homeschooling mom was not only armed but passionate about it!

I joined a Well Armed Woman chapter, became a co-leader, and started bringing friends to meetings. I took groups of ladies to the range and got involved in the Winchester Marksmanship program with my chapter. I became certified as an NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO) then took the plunge and became an NRA-certified Basic Pistol Instructor as well as PPITH instructor. I took as many defense-related classes as I could including Basic Emergency Casualty Care. I took all of these classes with the intent of helping my friends and giving a couple of classes here and there. However, my firearms classes have boomed!  As soon as I put up a class, it is full.  Since October 2015, I’ve given about 15 classes to over 100 people, mostly women. We are no longer the women waiting to be rescued, we are the primary protector and caregiver of ourselves and our children and we are coming out in droves!

A couple of weeks ago, I got my TWAW Instructor certification and was approved to start my own chapter in the area! I’m bursting with ideas on what kinds of clinics the ladies in my area want and need. I am so grateful to be a part of equipping women with the knowledge, skills, and attitude in handling and using firearms defensively. Who knew that one negative event would be such a motivating factor for making positive changes not only in my life but in the lives of dozens of other women? Soli Deo Gloria, to God alone be the glory!

Julie P.