I had a scare recently. We live in the country and I’ve hardly ever felt frightened, but one night near 10pm our dogs started barking and I heard the roar of a loud engine. I went out on the porch to see who it could possibly be that time of night. A truck came barreling down our lengthy driveway, all the way to the house. I don’t know if the dogs scared them, or if they saw me on the porch, but they turned around quickly and raced back down the driveway. It was so dark that I couldn’t make out very much in the way of details, only that it was a loud, full-sized pick-up that I didn’t recognize. Thinking that they were up to no good, I made sure all of our doors were locked, turned on a few more lights (the house was already pretty well lit up) and called the sheriff.
For Christmas a few years ago, my husband gave me a semi-automatic pistol because he wanted me to have some protection, but that gun sat wrapped in plastic for about a year and a half because I was afraid of it and didn’t really know what to do with it. A friend of mine shared something on Facebook about The Well-Armed Woman, a group especially for women where, with the help of women instructors, they could learn to safely handle a variety of weapons to protect themselves. That was what I needed to finally decide it was time to learn how to use my gun and I started attending the nearest group which was an hour away.
They have monthly two-hour meetings. The first hour has some sort of lesson, guest speaker, or activity, and the second hour is in the gun range with hands-on training. I’ve been going for about nine months now, and I was really glad I had taken that step the other night when I was home alone. For the first time, I loaded a magazine and put it, along with my gun, next to my chair. Although the sheriff’s office was sending a deputy, and my husband was on his way home, had they meant to do harm I was prepared to defend myself. Of course, I hoped I would not need to, but knowing how to use my gun and that I was actually a pretty good shot, was really empowering. On this occasion, I really didn’t feel like they would be back, but if I had, I had neighbors and a brother-in-law that I could have called. I wanted to write this post because I have met other women who are interested in learning to use firearms but hadn’t heard of The Well-Armed Woman.
You can view Michelle’s story on her Blog: The Mid-Life Blogger