I was always the woman who was afraid of guns. I couldn’t see why people felt the need to carry one. My husband carries, and has always wanted me to, but I was so terrified of the whole thing.
But then I was out walking with my dog last fall. We went to a nature trail area that I had never been to before. It was in a nice city, I had my dog with me (who thankfully is large and intimidating looking), so I felt safe.
We were walking back toward the truck when two men appeared, blocking the only way to the parking area. Instead of walking the trail, they just stopped and started staring at me. Pulling out my cell phone, I called my husband and let him know what was going on and where I was. Continuing to stay on the phone with him, I walked several hundred yards in a third direction. This appeared to lead toward some office buildings, figuring I would run there if I had to. Then, I stopped and faced the men, who were still staring at me. I’m not sure whether my dog was picking up on bad intentions or my anxiety, but she was going ballistic, straining at the end of the leash, snarling and barking. They watched for a couple minutes, and then walked the way I had come from. I waited until they were rounding the corner, and took off at a run toward where my truck was parked, my dog growling the whole time.
Nothing happened to me that day, and I’m not even sure they had any ill intentions, but it got me thinking about how vulnerable I was. One of the men had a backpack – what if he had a weapon? I had my dog, who I know would try to protect me, but if they hurt her then I was on my own and defenseless. Over the next couple of weeks I did a lot of thinking. Then I approached my husband. I told him I wanted to learn how to shoot, and that if I could become comfortable with it, I wanted to start carrying a gun as well. I did a ton of research, learning everything I could about how a gun works, how to be safe, etc. Your website was such an incredible resource for me! I researched a lot of guns, went to a gun store with wonderful and patient employees and handled them, and asked a lot of questions. I picked one that I thought I might like (the Ruger LC9). My rule was that I had to shoot it before I would buy it.
Over the winter, I went to the range with my husband and fired a gun for the first time. I took it in my hands, pointed downrange, closed my eyes and pulled the trigger (that was the first and last time I did that). I just kept telling myself that that was the worst part, doing it without knowing how it would feel. But I discovered that once I learned, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought. In fact, when we left that day, I was exhilarated – I couldn’t wait to do it again! I shot the LC9 that day, which I learned was actually not the gun for me. At the recommendation of the range employee, I also shot a Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm, which I loved. And in an uncharacteristic spurt of bravery, I even shot my husband’s Glock .45 caliber!
We went back a week later. I decided that since I liked the Shield so much, and wanted to carry the maximum I could comfortably, I wanted to try it in a .40 caliber. It was love at first shot, and 150 rounds later I was sold. In March, I purchased my very own S&W 40 Shield. I am extremely comfortable with it. I am taking a CPL class soon, and am already thinking about what gun I would like to buy next. Not only do I feel that I am taking an important step toward being able to confidently protect myself, but I have found that my husband and I love going to the range together. It is a new hobby that we both enjoy! I am so glad I took that first step. Now my next step will be to learn how to shoot the shotgun we have that I was previously so afraid of!
I don’t have to tell you this, but we live in a society where it is not safe to be a woman. We are incredibly vulnerable, all the time. I am new to the gun rights movement, but already so passionate about it. If we go about it the right way, learn and commit to being safe, then we should be allowed to carry a weapon to protect ourselves. There are a lot of terrible people out there who would wish to harm others. Chances are they have a weapon. Whether that was obtained legally or not is another story, but if they have one, I would like to be able to protect myself in the event I cross their path. Why should that opportunity be taken away from me?
I am a responsible gun owner. Having spent months researching and learning prior to picking up a gun for the first time. I hate to say it this way, but if the government takes away our right to lawfully possess weapons, more and more are going to find unlawful means of doing it. Surely it is better to have some control than none. There will always be people who don’t follow the law, like with anything (driving, drinking, drugs). They might as well take away our right to drive just in case we decide to speed! Perhaps they should spend their money on promoting gun safety and education (or maybe paying down that national debt…?). If there is a safe and legal way to do it, most people are going to follow that route. There will always be bad eggs, and they shouldn’t spoil it for everyone else.