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A Girl and Her Gun

A Girl and Her Gun: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Labels, Labels, Everywhere, But Not A Single One For Me.

For Christmas, my friend bought me Boston's Gun Bible and I finally had the chance to sit down and read a bit.

I skipped the first two chapters that, I will, of course, get back to, but I have been pretty obsessed with the whole sheep, sheepdog kind of thinking that is very prevelant in the gun world.

Chapter 3 piqued my interest in this area.

Not too far into the chapter he, the author, Boston T Party, declares there are only 3 kinds of people: predators, prey, and those who refuse to be either.

He says that if you do not have the will or training to defend yourself, then you are, by default prey.

I agree that if you know the facts and the dangers and you willing decide to do nothing to make yourself less of a victim and/or do nothing to defend yourself in the event that you are in danger, then you are prey.

It's not an opinion, it is fact. Bad guy after bad guy will tell you, they look for unprepared, defenseless people to "prey" on.

I was the perfect prey, but it was not that I decided not to prepare. I truly did not believe that I needed to. Well, believe is to strong a word. I didn't think about it at all. I bought into both the liberal propaganda and the religious rhetoric. Be a good person, don't go into "bad" areas, lock your doors, pray and you will safe.

I was never ever afraid to go to a grocery store in the middle of the day.

While I might have been prey, there was no conscious choice to be prey. Granted, there was no conscious choice not be prey either, but I didn't say, "Hey, this is dangerous, but I am going to do it anyway and leave it up to some "sheepdog" to save me.

The author, says, in order to avoid being pray, you must embrace the warrior spirit.

Now, that I can buy.

He says, as I have said, and as many others have said, "At some point in our lives, we all must fight."

It may not be a bad guy coming after you demanding money or your body, it may be cancer or other hardships, but regardless, at some point we all have to decide our life has value and consciously decide to fight for it.

Unfortunately, too many people live in a state of true ignorance and by the time the wolf comes knocking at their door, they are completely unprepared.

That was me. Once I knew the facts. Once I was staring the predator in the face and could no longer live in that dangerous state of bliss, I had a choice to make.

Being a victim was easy. Sticking my head in the sand and doing nothing takes no effort at all and there is an odd kind of security in living that lie.

Facing my fears and not turning away, took effort and work.

Lying in my husband's arms crying was easy.



Limiting, but comfortable.

There is comfort in what we know. As awful as the status quo is, change or the idea of it, is more awful.

It is often said, "The first step is the hardest."

A lie.

The first step was hard, but no where near as gut wreaching as the second or the third, which almost killed me.

Second guessing your choices can be a bear.

Once I decided to fight, I felt relief and thought it's over now. The fear and pain will be over, but they weren't.

Sure, there were moments of peace and I felt good about moving forward, but the fear and doubt kept coming back, again and again.

The daily struggle to continue to face those demons sucked, and I can't count the number of times I almost gave up.

Not giving up, that was the hardest step. Probably about 100 steps before, I no longer felt afraid, ashamed, guilty.

About a million before I could say, without an ounce of trepidation,

I will fight and you will lose,

and to believe it.

When I read...

"Mothers defending their offspring can exhibit terrifying ferociousness, but they must be trained to become ferocious when protecting themselves."

I actually lost my breath for a minute.

That about sums it up for me.

The old me.

I wonder what would have happened if my daughter wasn't with me that day. I bought some time by doing things to distract the guy while I tried to get her to a safe place. I never one time thought about myself. In fact, for weeks, she was the only thing I thought of.

I wonder, if I had been alone, if I would have bothered to fight at all or if I would have just given up the second he approached me.

I instinctively knew she was worth every effort to protect, although I was totally unprepared, I didn't just hand her over to the creep. I didn't have to be taught that she was worth my life.

What I had to be taught was that "he" was NOT worth MINE.

I am not sure if I am a sheepdog or a warrior. I don't know if any label fit me before or if any of them fit me now.

What I do know is that I no longer have to be taught to be ferocious.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Have A Friend

I am on vacation with my family and I am not suppose to be on the blogs or FaceBook and pretty soon I will be too busy hanging with everywhere to be, but I got an email from a friend this morning and I wanted to share.

My friend, let's call her Mary, forwarded me an email to a basic pistol course. I sent back a reply you should go since we had yet another bank robbery yesterday and a convicted murderer is running around town, envading the police.

She returned an email saying "where?"

Me- "our town" and said, "don't you read the newspaper?".

Her- "no, to depressing and scary".

She looks up the info and says "interesting".

I said, "yes, interesting in a girl needs to know how to protect herself kind of way".

She recently lost 100lbs and she said, well when I was bigger I never worried about that, who wants to move that kind of weight, but now maybe I need to think about it.

My response was bad guys don't think like that and your life has always had value.

Now to be fair, I think she was partially joking, but I think she was also partially serious.

Let me say this lady has always been beautiful and weight is not the determining factor for anybody.

But, lets be clear, rape and other crimes against women are not about beauty. They are acts of violance. They are committed by bad guys and all of us are at equal risk.

Regardless of size, we all matter equally. All of our lives are worth fighting for and defending.

The bad guy is looking for money, power, control, the thrill of harming, and how we look has nothing to do with it. He does not see you or me has a person with worth, so you and I darn well better.

You matter. Whatever your flaws or mine, whatever we think we maybe lacking, we are valuable and you better face the fact that world is ugly and if you don't make up your mind to fight, you are at a higher risk. Not of being attacked, but of losing if you do.

There are lots of people who can help you prepare, but you have to look in the mirror and say, "Not today" "I am to valuable and you picked the wrong girl cuz, I will fight you til one of us is dead if I have to, but rest assured it's not going to be me."

I love you Mary and I hope you decide to fight.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LEO, LEO, Everywhere

We are traveling through Indiana and my husband is speeding right along, and since he was speeding, one of the state troopers pulled us over.

I am sure you all will be shocked to learn, I have never been pulled over and don't have much experience with the police, so I was not happy with my man.

I did not need to worry.

The officer approached my side of the car, but did not come all the way up to the window. I rolled down my window, he peaked around the door frame, checked things out, then came up further and asked for license and registration and said we were going a bit to fast. 81mph to be exact.

He went back to his car and returned a few minutes later saying, no worries, just a warning, slow it down. He asked us where we were going, then said Have a Merry Christmas!

Hubby no longer in the dog house.

Merry Christmas

We are on the road, so I might not get to post much. I just wanted to say...

Many, many times this year...

I may have....
Disturbed You,
Troubled You,
Pestered You,
Irritated You,
Bugged You,
Or got on your Nerves!!
So today, as we enter the holiday season, I just wanted to tell you...

Suck it up, Cupcake!!
Cause there
Planned for 2012

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Remora

A while back I saw this video and thought it was interesting.  I had never seen anything like it and it intrigued me, but I never thought to buy the holster because I was just starting out and in the beginning all I wanted to do was work with my one gun and one holster and becoming very, very comfortable with both.

My goal was self defense and my focus was working, daily with what I would be wearing all the time.  I wanted zero variation because at that time I was doubting not only my skill, but my ability to make good choices.

I was counting on muscle memory to kick in and I wanted to give it every advantage by always carrying the same gun, in the same holster and in the same place.

As, I got more comfortable I experimented a little with the Ruger LCP and the Chic Holster, but until recently, I have stuck to the Glock 27 in a Crossbreed.  Very happy with both, but a few weeks ago I read That Texas Lady's review of the Remora No Clip Holster.  Reading her review I becoming very interested because she said she wore hers to the gym.

When I go to the gym, I am not armed and I don't like it, so to have a holster that would give me the ability to carry, caught my interest. Her review was favorable, so I headed to their site to check them out.

The price was well within my budget, so I figured it was worth the risk the order one and see if it would work for me.

As with just about every single thing on this journey, it has been a series of trail and errors and learning from the choices I make.

Without thinking it through I ordered a holster to fit my Glock 27.  That is the gun I carry and so not thinking about the gym(you know the whole reason I was buying this holster) I hit buy.  In hindsight I probably should have bought the holster to fit my Ruger LCP because it is small and therefore more concealable in workout clothes.

Also, I bought the one that is designed with a reinforced top to make for easier reholstering.  Again, not really thinking that, that feature would add bulk in a place I am trying to be discrete.

Anyway, last week my package from Remora arrived and to my surprise it included their regular holster without the reinforced top and 3 magazine pouches.  One single and one double.  I have no idea why they included these extras, but there was a hand written note, so I know it was not a mistake. 

For the past several days I have been wearing both holsters, practicing my daily routine of drawing and dry firing with each one and also just wearing them as I go about my daily activities.

I don't dry fire the holsters, but everyday I try to practice drawing from my holster and dry firing and various other things to improve my skills.  I have been wearing the Remora for these little sessions.

The holster with the reinforced mouth that keeps it open is great for this.  It does not move.  I pull and pull and out comes my gun, but the holster does not move.  I love that and reholstering is easy.  One handed, not looking, no issue.  Not really good for concealing in just a shirt or sweater.  too bulky for the kind of clothes I wear.  Now, it is winter, so under a jacket, of course, it's not a problem.  I could hide a dead body under my coat.

The regular holster without the reinforced opening is very concealable.

Even with my Glock in workout clothes, it is very hard to detect anything is under there, let alone a gun.

Now, since I am a new, I did what I am used to doing.

What is it they say about experience?

I put on my holster, loaded it and tried to holster.  After about 2 seconds I stopped and was thought, I am going to blow my finger off trying to get this thing in this holster.  Literally, 2 seconds,  I did not fumble around for 10 minutes before I realized this was not a good plan.

Instead, I put the gun in the holster and then put the holster on.  This I love.  It is so easy to position this thing exactly where I want it and it is so easy to take off.

When I say on and off, it is more like placing it and removing it.  There is no clip. There is nothing to put on or take off.  Go watch the video and you will what I mean.

One thing I am not super fond of about the Crossbreed is that it is a pain to take off and forget about moving it.  That is good, of course, who wants a holster that moves around, but it can frustrate me from time to time.

Again, the more comfortable I have become with the holster and have learned exactly where I want to place it, that has become less and less of an issue, but still I very much enjoy the ease in which I can put on and  off the Remora.

I was hoping that I would not have to wear a belt with this holster.  I hate belts.  I think they are uncomfortable and they make me look chunky.  Add a big holster and a gun and now my world has just become a nightmare.  In addition to look lumpy, it seems like I can never have the hole in the place I need it.  Either the belt is to loose and therefore my pants sag to one side, or way to tight and I look and feel like I am about to explode. This I don't like.   I have found 2 belts, just 2 that seem to work with most of my pants, but not all, so the idea of no belt made me very happy.

Unfortunately, for me, my shape and clothes, I still need to wear a belt.  It might be the size or weight of my gun, but my pants still seem to travel down if I don't wear a belt.  The only exception to that is if I wear spandex.  It works fine if I am working out and I wear spandex under my running shorts.  Gun did not move, holster did not move.  I run fast.  I have long legs and I still didn't have an issue.

Traditionally, I do not carry a spare magazine on my body unless I am at the range and I need for training; however, since they sent me some, I tried them them!

So, so comfortable and they disappear on me.  I don't even know I am wearing one.  I am sitting at the computer with my Glock in the Remora(not reinforced mouth) on my left hip and the single magazine pouch on my left.  I honestly can not feel either one of them.

I did discover that if I chose to wear the magazine pouch on my other hip, that enough tension is created for me to not have to wear a belt, but that is only in jeans and spandex.  It didn't work with my comfy sweat type pants or dress pants.

I am actually glad that I didn't buy the holster for the Ruger LCP.   I am not a big fan of that gun to carry, so I rarely do and the way these holsters are made, I can conceal the Glock no problem.

I am really happy with this purchase.  It fulfilled the need for which I bought it at a very affordable price plus I discovered a few other things like magazine carry in my day to day life.

Remember I am not a holster reviewer.  I am only sharing my experience with this holster as it pertains to my real everyday use of it, like everything else on this blog.

If you are looking for specs and hard core details go back to Lima Life's You Tube video or Falia Photography's  You Tube page.

Woman With Her Gun-

Here are 2 stories of women who have come to hand guns in different ways.

I think you will enjoy reading about them.

The first one can be found at My First Time Part 1 and My First Time Part 2

The story below is from a lady who follows my blog. We have been emailing back and forth for a few weeks and I think she is one neat gal, so I asked her to share her story...

My “gun” story.  That sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? LOL  There is not a LOT to my story really, no close call with danger, no epiphany on personal safety, just a spouse that started going to a range and a wife wanting to join in.

I grew up in a hunting family.  Guns were not something that was viewed as “taboo” in my home, but I really had no interest in them.  I remember shooting one of my dad’s rifles when I was about 10 and it leaving a big bruise on my shoulder. LOL  

Fast forward many years and now I am a wife and mother.  DH was a semi-regular hunter with rifles and a couple handguns locked away at his mother’s house.  They were kept there most of the time since she had a cabinet with a lock and we did not.  I was never anti-gun or even squeamish to have them in the house with kids, because we always taught our kids that guns were NOT toys and to respect them.  We just never had the room at our old townhouse to safely store them at the time.

After moving out to a more rural area, where we had a larger home with some land, DH started hunting more with our neighbor.  Started hunting with a bow and really embracing a more “outdoor” lifestyle.  So, when DH decided to start going to the local range in the spring of 2011, we eventually all went with him.  I became pretty proficient with a 22, but never really liked any of his 9mm’s.  I just was not comfortable with them.  I did not like the way they handled for me.  After months of trying out different guns, which included the new Glock 19 my DH purchased for himself, I finally found my Springfield Armory XDm 9mm.

That was in August of this year (2011), since DH wanted me to get my CCP.  I told him that I needed a gun that I felt comfortable with, if I was going to carry it around from protection.  So... I am now the proud owner of my own handgun and a conceal carry permit.

That is my story.  I am just your average mom who is proud to exercise her 2nd Amendment right to carry the means for personal protection, almost, every where I go.  (The places I can not carry are for a whole post of its own. LOL)

Anyone feel like explainIng

Single Action ans double action to me?

Every time I think I understand it, I don't. I have read and read and still not getting it.

I am going to use basic term here because that's all I know.

I thought single action meant the gun did one thing, and I did two. Like a revolver that I had to cock and then pull the trigger, but double action meant that with a single motion of pulling the trigger the gun could both fire the shot and cock the hammer.

However, I often hear people say SAO on a gun that all I am doing is pulling the trigger.

I do not know why this concept is so hard for me. It does not seem to confuse anyone else, but, I am special that way.

Monday, December 19, 2011

After My Day At The Range, I Am DONE With Guns!

Ok, not really.  Just trying to get your attention:)

In fact, while at the range today with Newbius , he asked me how I like the XDm, that I had just finished shooting and I said I "l LOVE IT" and he said, "I think that is just your default response to any and all guns you shoot."

Ha, yes it is!!

I just love, love, love them ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Let me start at the beginning.

A few days ago Newbius left a comment on one of my posts saying he would be willing to meet up with me and let me shoot the guns he has, thinking that might help me make my choice on a new carry gun.

I got a little giddy as I read his comment and I emailed him right away.  A little back and forth and today I met him at our range.

First, let me say, I was nervous.  Why, you might ask.

Well, cuz that is what I do.  I get nervous.  What I don't do is email people or meet people or go places by myself.  My husband has always been my safety net/buffer, so if he doesn't email, call, text and go with me, I don't go.

I am not shy.   I just am not assertive and I don't make the first move. 

I have been making great strides in this area, like when I got myself dressed and headed to the rescue mission for Robbie where I didn't know a single person and without a clue of where I was going or what I was doing.

These are the intangibles that training with a gun have given me.  It's not just that I carry a gun and know how to use it, it is the confidence that comes from facing a fear and over coming it.  There is a freedom of spirit that comes with that kind of self courage and I crave it now.

I am sure everyone here knows what I mean by that.  I certainly do not mean being reckless and disregarding the warning signs.  Fear can be a very valuable tool to alert us that something is not right and nudges us by saying lets pay attention here.  I am not talking about ignoring that.

Anyway, the time that Newbius could meet did not work for my husband, but without much thought, I knew I was going.

I am so glad I did.  He is truly a gentleman and he was very kind to me.

The guy brought 500 rounds of .45 ammo and he just let me play and play.  He gave me helpful hints and suggestions and he was very encouraging.  And even though I tried, he would not accept a penny.  That is fine by me because it just means we have to go again and next time I can pay.

Lets get to the good stuff.

I shot his XDm 4.5" .45 first.

Do I even have to say it...I was nervous which led me to anticipate a bit which may have led my shot to be just a b-it outside.

I actually am not an anticipator and never have been, but today I was.   Fortunately, after a few rounds, I relaxed and did much better.

I was so surprised that the recoil appeared to be less than my Glock .40.  Well, not less, but different.  I have never understood what people's problem with the .40 caliber is until today.

Since he was trying to help me make a decision on guns, after I shot for a while, he suggested I shoot my Glock then the XDM, then the Glock and then the XDM.  Just to compare recoil and check accuracy, that kind of thing.

I have never felt a sting when shooting my Glock before.  Today my gun felt different when I shot it.  After shooting the .45, I felt more of a snap kind of recoil with my .40.  I was starting to understand what JD was saying about the difference is calibers.

He also let me shoot his wife's 1911 and even though it was also a .45 it felt different to shoot.  It was heavier to me and I felt more of the recoil, but it didn't bother me.  I was not accurate with this gun, at all.

I am blaming the sites.

Actually, he said one of the reasons he brought the gun was to check out the sites and he felt they were off to, so I am going to go with that.

I took pictures of both of those guns, but with the lighting the pictures didn't turn out, but the pictures of the targets did.

We both shot at this target with different guns and different distances. The grouping off to the left side is mine.  I was actually aiming there. I was shooting the XDm at 7 yards.

This is the bad guy target.  This is all 3 guns at different distances too, but I was pretty impressed with this over all.  I shot with 2 guns I had never shot before using a caliber I had never shot and he had me do a lot of different things, like a rapid fire of an entire magazine.  Every single shot was on the bad guy.  Not one outside the body.  I did shoot his arm once, but hey, I was trying to get the gun out of his hand before I blew his head off.  I like to challenge myself a little.

One of the neatest things we did was shoot a paper plate.  I had never done that and that was cool.  Newbius said it is a great target to use with new shooters because they don't have the fear that comes with shooting something that looks like a person or the stress of trying to hit the bulls eye.  If they hit the plate at all, they feel  successful, which, of course they are.

Heck, I think if you can get them to the range and they shoot the gun even if they don't hit anything, that is a success and a very big step in the right direction.

I loved the plate so much I kept it. I will absolutely use that strategy the next time I take a new shooter to the range.

The other thing I did for the first time was shoot at 25 yards.

Not, so good and I can't even blame the sites.  It was just hard for me to see.  He stood behind me and said 9'oclock, or just outside the circle.  I tried to make that compensation even though I couldn't see, but lets just say, significant work needs to be made in this area.

I had a blast!  I met a very fine person, learned a ton and shot and shot and shot.

Can not ask for a better day!!

Thank you so much Newbius!  You are awesome!!

Real Quick

Today, Newbius invited me to the range.  I really don't have words to explain how crazy fun it was, but since this is a blog about guns, I will sure as heck try to find them, but I have this crazy day, so not now, but soon,

However, I wanted to take a quick second to say, that apparently I have been a bit neive in my internet interactions(you would think with the extent to which I go to protect and prepare myself, I would have though this through) and in the past two days have had things happen that made me have decided to be a bit more annomous then I have been.

I realize that I have made some mistakes that might be hard to pull back, but I did remove some comments, some posts and some pictures.  If you read a post that seems like it should have a picture, but doesn't, it is because I took it down.  I hope to be able to edit those and get them back up, but it wont be before January.

One more quick thing, if you happen to know my real name, please do not use it on this blog or my FB page and please help me by speaking of where I live in much more generic terms, ie the state of Virginia and not much beyond.

I have no intention of living in fear, but there are certainly things I can do, to add another layer of awareness and protection.

Thanks for your help in this.

I Must Have Been A Very Good Girl This Year

We are having a unique Christmas this year and it required us to open our gifts before the 25th.  Of course, Santa will still be visiting, but all other gifts were opened up this past Saturday.

This is what I got...

 A range bag.  This is large and I have no clue what some of the compartments are for, but I am looking forward to figuring it out.

This is my Bug Out Bag!! I think this is awesome.  I have wanted one for a few months now which is funny because I honest to goodness, I had never ever heard this term before.  I think I saw a video Lima did when I very first started on this journey and I kept saying what is she talking about.  I asked my husband, who laughed and explained.  Then I laughed and said, all you people are  Now, I am kind of obsessed with getting myself and my family prepared for whatever may lie ahead.

I have been looking for a while for the right backpack to fit my needs and just haven't liked anything out there.  When I went on the search and rescue team for little Robbie, I took my husband's backpack.  His backpack is actually for a computer, but I love it because the straps have so much cushion on them, no matter how full I fill that thing, it is comfy on my shoulders.  Plus, it has every kind of pocket imaginable and for what I carried during that time, it worked great.  I didn't want to us it for a Bug Out Bag though because I wanted to be able to use it for daily things.  Not that I use it daily, but I want my BOB to be stocked and ready to go, not something I pack and unpack.

The bag that my husband found is actually another computer bag and it's perfect.  It is currently empty, but again, I am looking forward to it filling it up.

 Love this book.  Already have like 3 posts I want to write about it.

 Speed loader.  It is probably one of the first purchases most new shooters buy, but I am a bit of an odd duck.  I like cleaning my gun and I like loading my magazines by hand.  It doesn't hurt my fingers and the time doesn't bother me, except for when I am training and or my hands are cold.  This will help a lot for those times.
This is my favorite gift!!

My husband got me these things, I think to just make sure I remember I am a girl.  He likes that about me.

My kids got me this because they think it is fun to annoy me:)

All and all a pretty good year for me!

Hope all of you have a very safe and Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blogs, Blogs and Gosh Darn More Blogs

This post is mostly for those of you, who like me, are new to the world of guns and self defense.  Not that this information isn't useful to everyone, but I think those that have been around the gun world for a while, already know this and do not need the catching up that some of us do.

There are so many wonderful blogs on guns out there and if you are serious about growth you should take the time to visit as many of them as you can.  I have a blog roll of my most visited and the ones that have helped me, but we are not all the same, so your best most comprehensive list can be found on Gun Blog Black List.

I have visited several and have learned so much.  There are blogs on every single aspect of guns you can imagine.  You may not like them all, but if you click around enough, you will find one or two or ten or fifty that speak to you.  I promise you it is worth the effort.

I think I have been fairly clear on my opinion of Lima and the Cornered Cat.  It is very wise of you to go join both of their FaceBook pages and seek out their other resources: books, YouTube videos, newsletters, etc.

What I have learned has been well documented.

However, I am writing this post because there are 2 places I would really like to send you.  Again, I visit several blogs and they have all been invaluable to me for one reason or another, but if I am looking for no bull, I need to understand this, kind of knowledge I go to Guns, Guns and Gosh Darn More Guns and Weer'd World

Guns, Guns, Gosh Darn More Guns, author doesn't post all that much, but I subscribe to his blog and I am never disappointed when he posts.  In fact, quite the opposite. I am always thrilled because I learn a ton and I have honestly used his guidance and information in my life as it relates to guns.

I have run across so many blogs that have helped me and that I have learned from, but for me, these two blogs are first and foremost written by guys who know what they are talking about and second, I can understand it.  Neither writer talks down to anyone, yet they both break down very complex(at least complex to me) gun issues, to a more basic easy to understand useful level.

That is not to say I understand everything they write.  I don't.  My learning curve is large.  I do not say that to insult anyone who has much to learn(as I do), it is just to say that anything new often takes work and time to grasp and guns are no different.

Eventually, if I ever master this blog thing I will be able to post permanent links to these two articles on my side bar.

Selecting A Handgun For Defense 
I truly believe this is the best, most comprehensive, straightforward article on purchasing a gun and even if you are not in the market currently for a gun, the information is most valuable.
I Call Her Eleanor
This may not be the most significant of a post on the surface, but it is the first one I read of Weer'd Beard's and it was the first one that made me want to search more of his writings and I am grateful that I have.

I think both of these articles are extremely useful and informative, but even if they are not relevant to you for whatever reason, they give you a sampling of these two gun guys.  Smart, knowledgeable, no BS(that is as close to cussing as I get) direct, and passionate. Can't really ask for anything more.

If you are serious about learning from quality people, you should start by visiting these two blogs and then go back to The Gun Blog Black List and spend much more time clicking. 

Hope to see you around the blogesphere...

I Went To A Party

Actually, I went to two parties last night. Both for my husband's work.

The first one was at someone's house and it's the first time I have ever carried into another person's house. I have never felt comfortable carrying into someone's house without asking them if it is ok to bring a gun and I have never felt comfortable asking.

However, I am getting more and more uncomfortable not carrying, so I did. As you can probably guess, it was uneventful. No one knew and there was no issue. Well,there was one issues, that particular party was a bit lacking, so I was kind of thinking alcohol might have helped, but, of course, I don't drink and carry.

The second party was more formal and at a restaurant downtown. I carry all the time in restaurants.

The first party was casual and had lots of people that neither of us knew, but the second one was a smaller more intimate party of people from his office.

Since it was people that he knows well, many of them know we carry and shoot, but I wasn't planning on bringing it up.

We are not there 2 seconds when a guy comes up and says, "Hey, I have heard about you, your not carrying now are you?" "You kind of scare me." Phil and I look at him, smile and laugh at his joke and he moves on.

Later at dinner, we are at a small table for 6, when the gentleman next to me says, "Hey, I hear you shoot guns."

I tell him I do.

He says "My wife wants to learn to shoot, will you take her shooting?"

This goes on for a while, him telling me that his wife really wanted to shoot, but she is sitting across from me and the look on her face says, please God, I would rather do anything but go shooting with this woman.

Eventually, I say, "Does she want to shoot or do you want her to shoot?"

He says, "No, she wants to"

She speaks up and says, "No, you want me to."

Him- "I do want you to shoot, but it's not like I am forcing you."

She says, "Yes, that is exactly what it is like."

At this point, I decide we should change the subject, so I do.

This woman is a very smart, pretty gal, who is a school teacher and the two of us got a long very well, but shooting was not something she wanted to talk about. No problem. We talked about all kinds of other things, kids, vacation, work, the usual dinner party chit-chat.

A little bit later another gentleman at the table asks me if I have ever shot the Judge. I said no and he said I have one, so the two of us have a nice little chat about guns. What he shoots, what I shoot, and I must have gotten very excited about the subject because eventually the nice lady I was speaking to earlier says to me "You really like guns, don't you?"

LOL, yeah, kind of.

I tell her yes, I really do.

She says, "They scare me."

I think, ah, now we can talk.

She asks me if there was ever a time when I was afraid of a gun.

I smile and say yes, in fact I am a new shooter, only about 9 months.

She tells me her husband travels and really wants her to learn how to shoot, but she can't even touch one.

She says a few things about some people think this country is in trouble and its the end of the world and we should all get guns and prepare, but she thinks times aren't that bad and even if they are, she did not want to think about that.

I happen to be one of those people that is pretty darn concerned about the state of this country and am all about preparing for the worst that could be a'coming, but I did not think this was the time to tell her about my plans for a zombie invasion:)

Instead, I said, your probably right, we can all be a bit over dramatic, but just think about what has happened right here in our town in the past year...3 pizza parlors robbed at gun point, 3 convienence stores held up at gun point, home invasions, gang activity at the mall, the shooting on the freeway, not to mention what happened at Virginia Tech.

I am not trying to scare her, just help her see that there is plenty of concern in the here and now, even if it is too much for her to think about the future.

She says, I can't even touch a gun.

I said, if you are interested I would be happy to sit down with you and help you get used to holding the gun. No ammo anywhere in sight. Just you, me and the gun. I said we can take it apart and you can see its just a thing. You will see there is a spring, harmless, a slide, not at all scary and, in the case of my Glock, a very light frame that when taken part feels like a lot like nothing.

I told her that it helped me tremendously to just hold the gun and to take it apart and put it back together again. Once I was comfortable with the gun and understood, in my own mind, that the gun was just an inanimate object and I was the one who controlled what it did, I felt in control. The gun was no longer this dangerous thing that just went off without warning, killing the children in my house. It was an object that if handled incorrectly, much like a car, could be dangerous, but if I was handling it, then it would be safe because I was safe with it. I told her there are rules to follow and if followed, religiously, without fail, then there is no more concern with a gun then any other "thing".

I told her I would be happy to sit with her and explain the safety rules and let her practice taking a gun apart, so she could see for herself.

She said, "That might be good".

Few more hours go by, lots more mingling and then her husband takes me aside and asks me if I am taking her to the range to shoot. He think his .357 Magnum revolver is powerful and would be for her to learn to use.

I tell him, Uh, no. We are not starting her off with a .357 Magnum. He says what if I load it with .38 special. I say "Nope." Mostly because I am not all the familiar with revolvers, but also because she had told me earlier that gun scares her the most.

He says, "I have a 9mm." He was drunk and just to mess with him I was gonna ask him if he meant 9x19 or .380ACP or 9mm Makarov or what, but instead I just said, "that's good, a 9mm is fine".

The night winds down and we say our good-byes. Her husband is looking at me with desperation, so I look at her and say, "If I called you would you want to get together and learn more about shooting?"

To my surprise, she says yes, rather enthusiastically.

I ask her if she is sure because I am the kind of person who will actually call.

She says, "Yes, I really would like you to call".

We exchange numbers and in January, I am going to call.

I am interested to see what she says when I do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nothing New, But Eye Opening Nonetheless

Nerf Guns

I don't normally post this much, but I thought this article was interesting.  For a lot of reasons. 

It has the same anti gun rhetoric we are all used to, but what I found most interesting was how differently I felt reading it.

9 months ago, I would have felt exactly the same way as this writer and for much of the same reasons and still they sound logically, but as I have pointed out many, many times on this blog, logic and the mind lie.

This flawed thinking is all wrapped up in what ifs and made up scenarios, none of which have ever been proven to be true, but fear is so gosh darn powerful.

This man, a journalist, who probably prides himself on doing his research and finding the facts, is making choices for his child based solely on fear.

Frankly, that kind of child rearing scares me more than whether or not he lets his child play with this toy.

Lets Talk Guns

As most people who read this blog know, I carry a Glock 27 which shoots a .40 caliber bullet.  I like this gun very much and for my experience I am accurate with it.  I can not unload a magazine into a target and leave a dime size hole, but I can not do that with any gun, yet.

I can, however, shoot a fist sized grouping pretty much anywhere I aim, except recently because I got these new night sites and they are wreaking havoc on my accuracy.  If I am at an indoor range, I can compensate pretty well, most days.  I think because it is dark in there, but when I shot the Glock last Sunday at a bright sunny outdoor range, I was not a happy camper, but that is another post.

For the purposes of this post, I am accurate with the .40.

I have read many, many, many articles about which is the best self defense caliber and been mostly confused by it, but I have focused on the fact that generally speaking most experts agree that shot placement is much more important than the caliber. That coupled with the fact that the people in my life have believed that I should carry as big a caliber as I can handle.  I have never shot a .45, but the .40 I can handle, so I have stuck with it.

A few months ago I read an article I though was posted on Guns, Guns, and More Gosh Darn Guns, (I tried to go back and find the article, but I couldn't.  Maybe if JD is reading this, he can post the link) about the 9mm being a good self defense caliber because the recoil is less and therefore one can get back on target more quickly and since most scenarios will require having to shoot the target more than once, this is an important factor to consider.  At the time I was till concentrating on learning my gun and was not in the market for another one, so I just put that info in the back of my mind and moved on.

A few months later I ran across a video of a guy shooting an XDM 9mm 5.25" and for whatever reason I fell in love with that gun.  It was probably because the guy shooting the gun got so crazy giddy shooting it, that I really wanted to get in on that action. Probably isn't the best reason to purchase your next gun, but it is an improvement over standing in a pawn shop parking lot, alone and buying a gun for the first time from a guy you don't know.

I remembered that article and thought this would be a great 9mm for me.

I watched that video a million times and I started to research the XDM.  Liked everything  I heard and I made up my mind this was the gun for me.

I had never shot a 9mm or a full size gun and I thought it was best that I do that before running out and buying one.

Seeing, learning.

One day at the range I asked a fellow shooter if I could shoot her Smith & Wesson M & P 9mm and she said sure.  I was surprised by how much better I shot with it.  Remembering, of course, that I had been shooting with those icky sites and that was certainly effecting my performance and my mood, but that doesn't negate that where ever I aimed her gun, there went my shot.  It was a full sized gun, I believe and I loved how it felt in my hand.

I didn't realize that sized mattered, but in this case, bigger really was better.  I came home and gave my husband the bad news...

I wanted a new gun and I did not want to wait any longer.

Fortunately, for me, fate intervened and time just didn't allow for us to go get a gun.  I was forced to wait.

Fast forward to last Sunday, I go to the range and while there I get an oppurtunity to shoot the XDM 9mm 4.5" and as I suspected, it was a dream.  I wanted the 5.25", but the 4.5" was a nice size.  Bigger than my Glock 27, but probably still concealable for me as it is much thinner.

I seriously want this gun.

John(that CC guy I am so fond of), gave me a look and said, something to the effect of "You shot the thing once and you might be experiencing the joy that comes from the newness of shooting a new gun."  He probably added some colorful language just to keep it interesting, but the point was well taken.  I had shot a lot of new guns that day and I loved every single one of them, but that didn't mean they should become my everyday carry.  Although if I could find a holster for the LaRue, I think would feel mighty secure.

Anyway, I mentioned the article to him and why I wanted a 9mm and he said, "Well there is one easy way to find out". "Lets time you."

He grabbed a timer and we headed tot he targets.  I shot the XDm first.  I don't remember the time, but it was not impressive.  Then I shot my Glock and the time and accuracy were much improved.  Lastly I shot his M & P and that was the fast and most accurate grouping.

I am not entirely sure I believe the results because I had never been timed before and I was nervous, and the more I shot the more comfortable I became and that had to make a difference on the time and accuracy and plus I need an excuse cuz I really want the XDm:)

Learning from my mistakes is often a slow and painful process.

Something that was pointed out to me about the XDm is the grip safety.  I knew it had a grip safety, but I didn't realize that I have to grip it just right to shoot it and also to rack the slide.  It was suggested that the more I train and the more advanced classes I take, that kind of safety might mess with me a little.

Good point.  Hadn't thought of that.

What I had thought of was that it didn't have a manual safety that I had to disengage.  When I first thought about getting a gun, I wanted one with 7 safeties and never have it loaded when not using it, and it would be locked away, etc., but now the idea of a thumb safety or other manual safety makes me nervous.  I carry concealed, so I don't have a retention holster and with my Glock I just have to grab the gun and it shoots when I am ready.  I like that kind of immediate result.

I know the key to anything is training, but I am worried that if I have 2 different kinds of guns, will I be trained well enough under stress to know which one I have on my hip????

So after all that, I still really want the XDm, but will probably get the M & P. Still a few things to figure out.

The only thing I know for sure is that I am going shopping in January and I am coming home with a 9mm.

**** Quick Note**** I have had the fortune to recently be introduced to some great blogs and I am going to link them here very soon, but the next few days are crazy for me, so in the mean time, click on my link to The Gun Blog Black List.  You will not be disappointed in what you find there.

Thank You

When I got that not so nice email the other day, I was taken aback a bit, but I wasn't upset.

While I have had mostly positive responses to my transition, I did have a few negative comments and responses in the beginning from friends and, of course, I am aware of a very active anti-gun lobby out there, so on some level I was prepared for the possibility that someone might get ugly with me one day.

What I was not prepared for was the support I received from all of you.

Your kindness has left me speechless and moved.

I really appreciate the time you all have taken to leave a comment of support and advice.

When I started this blog it really was for me and my daughter. I have no expertise to offer and I have nothing to sale, so I have never solicited readers(except for when I tried to raise money for Wounder Warriors)because I never dreamed anyone else would care what I wrote and I really was neive to the blogging community that exists.

When the very generous man from Dragon Holsters contacted me and told me about some of the wonderful blogs out there, I was thrilled. A whole new place/places for me to go and learn. Sure, I often find myself googling and researching what I read because it is over my head, but I have learned much and I have laughed and I have thoroughly enjoyed.

To think that something I wrote impacted someone else is very moving to me and to have people of your(collective your) caliber(no pun intended) take time to encourage me and offer me sound advice has meant more to me than you will know.

With all sincerity and genunion affection, THANK YOU!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today I Took A Shower

After the March ordeal, I stopped taking showers.  Same reason I did or didn't do everything back then, I was afraid.

Every time I got in the shower.  I could not relax at all.

All I would do was shake and think about what I would do if my alarm went off or

What if I couldn't hear the alarm?

What if someone was standing outside the shower?

Where should I put my gun?

Could I get to it fast enough?

I also worried, if my kids were home, about having a loaded gun more accessible to them than me, so I started taking bathes.

Everyday for the past 9 months, I have taken a bath.  At first I did it just when I was in the house alone or if the kids were here, but then it became a habit and something I did even if my husband was home.

My kids would ask me why and I would just say because mommy likes to relax, but really, it wasn't all that relaxing for me.

Yesterdays email was not upsetting for me, but it did cause me to think about why I do what I do and who I have become.

It made me realize that I have been living in two worlds and holding onto habits and ideas I no longer need to hold onto.

Before March I identified myself as a college professor, a mother, a friend.  I viewed myself as optimistic, giving and even if no one else thought so, funny.

After March I viewed myself as a coward, a fool, and incompetent.  Fairly quickly I dropped those labels and took on victim.

Even though I took steps to prepare myself and to fight back, I still saw myself as a victim. I didn't realize it until yesterday, but it is still a label I carry with me. 

Outwardly, in a lot of ways, I have shed some of the victim behaviors and have said the right things, but unconsciously, it is still where I operate from.

One would not have to know me very long before I start to explain that I used to be anti gun, but because of this bad guy encounter, I now carry a gun.

Sometimes it was a natural response to a curious question from someone, but more often it was an excuse.  A way to justify this new me.

I needed to keep justifying it to myself.

Being the girl who was afraid became my identity.  I needed her I think in order to have the motivation to fight back.

I am thankful for that mindset because it helped me to fight and it worked.

I am stronger.  

I am more prepared and I am no longer afraid, but even so, I still, have held onto the label of victim like a security blanket.

Well, Linus, I don't know about you, but I don't need it anymore.

I am shedding old, useless habits and I am dropping the facade of victim. 

I am not saying I will never again talk about that day in March; I will, because it is part of my story and it is relevent to this blog, but it wont be the crutch that I constantly lean on.

 I wrote a post awhile back titled "All About Me", but I would like to reintroduce myself to you all...

I am a mother, a wife, a former college professor.  I love to cook.  I love to do anything outdoors.  I love to learn and I love, love, love to read.

I am passionate about freedom and those who fight to protect it. 

I don't cuss, but, (and while it is not appreciated by everyone) I have a bit of a dirty mind.

I go crazy for a gin martini and a big ol' rib eye.

I carry a gun and today, I took a shower.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Someone Doesn't Like Me

I got my first anti-gun email this morning.  Well, it was more of an anti-me then anti-gun email, but my affection for guns and more accurately gun people,  was the catalyst for the hate.

Oh, how I wish this person would have posted on the blog, but even people who support me tend to send me emails instead of posting, so whatcha gonna do.

Anyway, the email was full of your standard guns kill and they are dangerous and you are contributing to the death of millions of innocent people and the destruction of the entire planet, blah, blah, blah.

We have all heard it a million times and we have responded to it, blogged about, shook our fists at it, gotten angry at it, made jokes about it and screamed from the roof tops, "from my cold dead hands" so many times that I don't think one more post on the subject is needed from me.

However, the end of the email wrapped up by saying that I seem to desperately need the approval of others and appear to be seeking out the gun community in order to satisfy those needs and it is sickening to read my admiration of those who make their living from teaching others to kill like my nauseating comments about Lima, my Conceal Carry instructor and The Cornered Cat. It was suggested that I get therapy instead of a gun.

Let me be 100% clear here, I do not and have not sought the approval of anyone.  I will admit that I have tended to be a pleas-er and that until recently I have never gone against the grain.  I have never really done anything to buck the system.  I have lacked the courage to stand up for myself, that is true, but it wasn't so much out of a need for approval as it was, out of a desire not to harm.  I never wanted anyone to hurt, even at my own expense.

When I started this blog, I did it at a time when I was extremely vulnerable.  My emotions were raw and if ever there was a time that I might have needed therapy, that would have been it.

I have tried very hard not to overstate what happened to me.  I know that the stories of Nikki Gossler and others are so much worse and I have always been careful not to be disrespectful to what she and others have gone through, but the reality, is for me, that day, what happened,  left me deeply scared.

Regardless of  what other people think or what anyone else has gone through, I was a traumatized.  If you go back and read those beginning post, I think it is fairly obvious that I was not in a good place.

The only thing I knew after I left that parking lot was that I would never ever again stand there helpless with no way to protect my daughter.  I had no idea how I would make that happen, but I knew, for certain, that it would not happen again.

My husband, my 18 year old son and my friend Katy were all there for me.  They listened to me talk about being scared and ashamed. So ashamed that I didn't even tell my friend what had happened for weeks. My husband held me when I cried and stayed up with me night after night when I couldn't sleep. They were my safe heaven and I leaned on them heavily, but they were not always here and I was always scared.

I began searching the web for resources.  I found the Cornered Cat's blog and read every single word again and again.  I printed it out, had my husband read it, had my daughter read it, I talked about it with anyone who would listen.  I ran it over in my mind a thousand times.  It gave me knowledge and a plan.  I was doubting myself and my ability to make decisions.  I didn't know if I was doing the right thing by bringing a gun into our home with children, but reading her words, helped put my mind at ease and it gave me tools and steps to take to make the transition a safe one.

I came across Lima's videos and I watched them over and over and over.  I didn't have even the most basic knowledge of guns, so I was lost much of the time. Her videos are so full of quality, helpful information that just about anyone can learn from them, for me they were invaluable tools. Granted, I had to watch several times to even understand the terminology let alone the skills, but eventually I got it.

I had never heard the word Glock.  I read once that anytime the movies or television show a gun, it is a Glock, so everyone uses the term Glock as a generic term for any kind of gun.  Not me.  I had know idea that it was a gun or even anything associated with guns. The level of my total ignorance of guns would astound you.  I literally started from ground zero.

These women helped give me a sense of power.  I had tools that I could use to change my situation. I didn't have to be helpless and for the first time, in a long time, I felt like I was doing something to help myself be more prepared.

When I first started writing this blog, no one read it, but my husband, my daughter, my fired and one guy named JD.

I have no idea how he found the blog, but he followed me from the beginning.  He never posted or commented, except for one time.  I had written a blog post at a time when my mind was so scattered I could hardly think straight.  I had said something that I shouldn't have said and he told me so.  I removed the post and that was that, but I remember thinking, there are good people out there and it is OK, to trust a little.

It had only been a few weeks since the grocery store parking lot incident when I went to Culpeper for my Conceal Carry class. I had no idea what to expect.  I didn't know this instructor, I had only shot my gun 2 other times and most of the time, I wouldn't even let anyone load it.

Although he never told me at the time, my husband said he was scared for me because I was visibly terrified.  I was visibly paralyzed with fear and he could literally see me fighting not only every day, but every second not to break.

I kept telling him if someone comes after me again, I won't be able to shoot them.  I won't know what to do and he kept telling me, "Yes you will".  "You are stronger than you think and you will know what to do" and he believed that.  He believed that if I ever had to use my gun to defend myself or our children, I would be able to do it.

What he wasn't sure of, is if I would make through the day without losing it completely.

I believe it was obvious to everyone in my conceal carry class that weekend that I  was consciously fighting every second make it through.  I was physically exhausted and I was mentally fragile.

I believe with every fiber of my being that if I were in any other class with any group of students with any other instructor, I would not be where I am today.

I know there are a lot of great instructors out there.  I have met some and read about others.  I have signed up for their classes and I am anxious to learn from them, but on that day in March, what I needed could only be given to me by the man who taught the class.

I did not feel safe and he made me feel safe and cared for. When we were in the classroom and he looked at one of the young girls in the class and told her, she mattered, that her life was worth fighting for, I knew that I could trust him. I was afraid to see the images and I was afraid to shoot my gun, but I believed that he would not let anything happen to me and because of that, I didn't quit when he pushed me and what I needed was to be pushed. 

He saved my life.

These are good people who had a major impact on my life and helped me turn a very negative experience into power and motivation that I could use to make my life better and the least I can do, is to let them know it.

When I write about my honest feelings for these people and the impact they have had on my life, it is not their admiration or approval that I seek.

While I do value what these people think and  I would never want to harm them, when I write about these people or anything else,  I am writing what I believe and what I feel and for the first time I don't give a flying rats behind what anyone thinks.

I don't want to knock therapy because I know people who have gone and it has helped them, but I will say I also know of people that have been going to therapy for years and years and really are not one step closer to being who they want to be.  They are not more at peace with who they are and they still are struggling to find whatever it is they are searching for.  All the therapy in the world hasn't helped them.

It has been nine months since I was mugged.

Nine. In less than a year these people have helped me out of a very dark time in my life.

This blog has very accurately chronicled my journey and with the help of my friends, family, my internal will and "these" gun people, I am no longer a terrified woman unable to function.

I am happy again. I am more secure in my own skin than I have been.

I am stronger, more confident and calmer.

Not to mention, I am well armed and well trained.

What A Differance A Day Makes

Or in this case a year.

My family, especially my children, get very annoyed with me around holiday time because I never tell them what I want.

It is not in my nature to ask for things. I really believe in the whole if you want something you should work for it and get it for yourself.

Gifts really say something about the giver and should not be demanded.

I sincerely don't want a gift from anyone out of obligation. If they don't have the joy of giving, I would rather not get the gift.

The up side to that is, if someone doesn't get me a gift, I am not the least bit upset.

The only exception to that is the one year my family bought me 900 pairs of socks. Nothing else, just more socks than anyone person could possible need. That annoyed me a tiny bit, but let's not mention that.

Even when I was a young married gal just starting out, I didn't ask for things, but to be fair, I have never really wanted for anything. We have a comfortable life and if I want or need something I can just go get. I don't have to wait for a holiday.

But, my life, how I live it is a 24/7 example to my children and it is very important to me that I raise children who work for what they want, do not expect others to give them things, deserved or otherwise, and that they are givers not takers.

However, I don't want them giving everything away or thinking others have a right to what they work for.

My children should not expect anything from anyone, but should be generous and giving to those they have a desire to give to.

This is not an easy task, but I can promise you, if you meet my children, you would say they are kind and giving. From my 20 year old, to my teenage daughter, to my 5 terror on wheels, they enjoying giving and doing for others.

I don't want you to think I am a grinch or against gift giving or that I have my kids in the back yard raking leaves on Christmas Eve earning money to buy their own gifts. (Although we do have a fairly complicated allowance system).

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I love to give gifts.

I love to try to find that thing that will make someone smile and feel good. I pride myself on buying gifts for people that they never even knew they wanted, but that when they get it, they love it!

I do that because I genunionly care about the people in my life and the gift comes from place.

Having said all that,

My family may be regretting nagging me for all these years to get me to ask for things as this year, my list just keeps growing and growing and growing.

I am justifying this by saying these are life saving items that I need, but, really and DONT tell them, that I get giddy crazy excited when I look through the Cabelas' catalog and I see ALL OF THAT STUFF!!

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but more like a sample of my ever growing desire for material goods:

Fixed blade knife
Hiking boots
Items for my bug out bag
A bug out bag
Range bag
New compass
Plus, I already got a trip to Tennessee for a shooting course and last night I scheduled a shopping trip in January for my birthday present...a brand new 9mm.

I have become a greedy little thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Woman With Her Gun-Chriss Adams

 I grew up with guns. It was part of Southern Living. You hunt, you fish, you carry gun in your truck! I always knew the guns in the gun cabinet (can't call it a safe because it was never locked) were real and that they were loaded. The long guns, rifles, shotguns were always in their racks and the pistols laid on the floor of the cabinet.
As a kid I never really paid attention to them. On occasion I would go on a bird hunt with the family but mostly I don't remember thinking much of anything about them.
Then the TV show "Young Riders" came out in the late 80's. They were young adults riding for the pony express. That peaked my interest in the handguns (revolvers at that time) that my parents had. So one of my brothers and I started target shooting with them - not much just really playing around. We would also shoot skeet now and then.
Through my late teens and college years I never really thought much more about guns at all. Just went on with my life. I got married in 2000, and even though my husband was former military - we really didn't think a lot about guns. I at that time, had a small .22 caliber pistol that my parents gave me. It normally sat next to the box of ammo that came with it in the kitchen drawer.
In 2006 we moved well outside the city limits and out in the middle of no-where. My husband purchased a rifle and a revolver for "house defense" not necessarily from "bad guys" but more from snakes, skunks, wild hogs and the like. I shot them both a few times - but again didn't really think a lot of them.
In 2007 - we started "waking up" so to speak about the real going-ons in the world. I guess we had kinda been living in the land of the Left vs Right (politically speaking) and that everything was really OK.
It Isn't.
So.... that lead to us taking concealed carry classes (in TX only concealed carry is allowed). For starter guns we purchased small .380's. I toted it dutifully (in my bag never on my person) for about 2 years.
Then we started re-thinking the whole carrying issue - not is this what we want to do - but is this gun big enough to defend not only ourselves but also that two boys that we now have? The answer was emphatically "NO".
My dear husband did all the research and narrowed down several caliber options for us. He also spent thousands (no joking!) hours researching makes/models in regards to reliability, easy of carry, etc...
Then he sent me on a mission - go to a local outdoor sports retailer (the big one with the big fish on the sign out front) and go to the gun counter and hold/handle as many .45 caliber, .40 caliber, and 9 mm pistols I could get my hands on. Lay them out side by side (if possible) and compare them, make notes and report my likes/dislikes back.
I was resistant. I admit it, I didn't want to go. I just wanted him to tell me what we were going to carry. End of Story. No, I had to go.
So I did.
I liked it!!
I made my notes and reported back. We then made a appointment at a local range to rent as many pistols as possible one afternoon. We had to take the kids with us - dragging a 2 1/2 year old and a new born to the gun range is not necessarily the best plan. So one of us stayed outside with the kids and the other went in to shoot.  We then compared notes - surprisingly we both liked and disliked the same guns! So - we then purchased four 9mm semi-automatics. A primary and a back up for both of us.
 I now carry on my person (except when at work) daily. I have become much more aware of my surroundings (for example I won't take the boys to one certain playground because there is no clear line of vision).  I pay more attention to the people around me. I go practice at the range as often as possible and I am working on my dry firing and holstering/unholstering (safety first, with a unloaded gun as often as I can- but not as much as I need to).
So what made me change my mind? My boys. As a Christian I believe that God is ultimately in charge. If it is your time it is your time. But nothing is going to happen to my boys on my watch! Not without a fight!
Psalms 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD....

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Day At The Range

Last week, the instructor, John, from my conceal carry class invited my husband and I to come shoot with him and a few others at his range.

Of, course we said yes.

Unfortunately, the day did not start out so well...

My husband got his car stuck in the mud.

This is Noel from Virginia Tactical.  This is the first time we met him and this is what we did to him. 
Not the best first impression.  Thanks for your help Noel!
We did not want anyone to feel left out, so we covered the enter group in wet nasty mud.  These are good people.  Not only did they help us push our car out, they were not even mad.

Good news, the day got much better...

John thought is was time I moved from A Girl And Her Gun to A Girl And Her "Guns"

He is always pushing me and he thought it was time I moved up to the big guns.

So, I shot an AR-15 and an AK-47 and I dry fired a LaRue Tactical PredatAR 5.56 I believe with the 16" barrel.
John with the LaRue

Side note here, my daughter thought this picture showed my under, umm, wear, but rest assured it does not.  I get very, very cold, very, very easy.  I had 5 very thin layers on.

When I took the actual course in March, I was freezing.  I have written about it before, but I was woefully unprepared and had one shirt on and a very heavy jacket. 

The one shirt was not enough, but the jacket was way to bulky and I could not train with it on.  I spent the day take clothes on and off.  John and some of the other people in the group were kind and gave me their jackets(thinner) and a vest which saved my life.

So, being a gal who prides herself on learning from her mistakes, I have spent the past few months experimenting with what works best for me. 

What will keep me warm, but not bulk me up and wont show my intimate apparel. 

For me it is layering lots of thin fabrics.  Yes, it makes me look like I have rolls around my belly, but I am warm and I can move, so to heck with vanity. 

The group of folks John invited was a small group of very wonderful people.  I am amazed at how I keep getting hooked up with the best of the best.

I have been coveting an XDm 5.25" 9mm for a while and as luck would have it one of the gentleman that came had one(his was the 4.5") and he very graciously offered to let me shoot it.  Love, love, love it.  Probably wont buy one though, but that is another post.

There was a very nice couple from Maryland and they had several guns they let me shoot. 

Have I mentioned how blessed and spoiled I am?

This is him
And this is her

This is me with John and the nice lady from Maryland.

Ok, so I got to shoot a revolver for the first time.

I believe this is a S & W model 60???  I tried to input everything in my phone because I knew I would not remember everything, but there was a lot going. 

I loved this gun too.  It was the first time I truly understood heavy trigger pull.  My LCP has a long trigger pull, but to me, it's not "heavy" per-se.  If I did not cock the revolver, the trigger was heavy.  I actually kind of liked that feel.  Not instead of my semi-automatic, just in general, I enjoyed shooting it.

I also shot their S & W 3913/ LadySmith and their XD, both in 9MM I think.  Sean, correct me if I am wrong here.

Not only did I have a great time throwing some lead down range, but I also got to spend it with truly wonderful people and I learned a ton. 

I learned so much that I really could write a post everyday for the next 2 weeks and probably not cover it all, but I won't do that to you, however, be warned, the next few post will be about this trip to the range.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Key To Change Is To Let Go Of Fear

Well it turns out the Virginia Tech shooter is from my town. Well not my town because I live in a part of Virginia where we are not a town, but a county.

Anyway, this man lived here, shopped here, worked here. He is from a small part of the county that my son worked as a volunteer fireman on a regular basis.

When I was mugged in that grocery store parking lot, I was scared. I was rendered paralyzed by my fear.

I have spent the last 9 months trying to get past all the feelings I had about guns and trying to explain to those who knew me and might not understand why I had changed.

Today, I am not remotely scared or paralyzed. I am angry and I am done explaining.

Sure I am mad at this animal, but what good does that do. He is dead.

I am more mad at myself and that is good because, me, I can change.

Why I have been so dense as to waste one second, second guessing myself is beyond me, but I can tell you, there will not be one more post about me not wearing my gun or feeling self conscious or lamenting about what others think.

I am no longer trying to live in two worlds.

I am going shooting this weekend and I can promise you, I will not have any moral issues whatsoever, with shooting a target with a face.

I know why I felt the way I felt and that's ok. Every bit of my life has made me who I am. The good, the bad, the traumatic.

I am glad that I didn't just go from one extreme to the other.

I am glad that I have been deliberate about who I have become.

I am thankful that my journey has been slow and conscious. That I have taken the time to be aware and to know what it is I believe and why.

While I admit I still have much to learn, I am completely and totally over the guilt, the shame, the fear.

I will never again apologize or feel bad for doing everything I can to protect myself and my family.

More To Share

Today has afforded me a rare opportunity to be lazy and catch up on all the cool gun blogs out there.  I went to one of my favorites and read about a neat fundraiser

There are some very cool prizes to include a gorgeous holster by another one of my favorites. 

It's the holidays and it's a time for giving, so maybe pop on over and give a little or a lot and you just might get something in return!!


I went to The Gun Blog Black List this morning and was clicking around on different links.

I clicked on the blog Troublesome Times and saw this.

I thought is was pretty funny.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Not The Size Of The Dog In The Fight, But The Size Of The Fight In The Dog

Population of Blacksburg VA is 42,620.

There is nothing about either place that screams "be afraid, be very afraid" except of course that people live there and people can be, you know, mean.

Today in Blacksburg we had another shooting.

You may all remember the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007(gun free zone, today we got round two.

In addition, today, I heard about alert an elementary school (gun free zone)was on lock down because a teacher saw a suspicious man, in dark clothing skulking around the school with binoculars.

In addition to those events, about 5 miles from my house, on the freeway I take nearly everyday,  a shooting incident took place and that has yet to be sorted out.

Today was not a great day.

While some people might think the tragedy at VT in 2007 was more tragic than what happened today, I completely disagree.

The numbers were greater and the sheer insanity of that day may be more memorable, but the lives lost are equal.

For me, anytime a bad guy gets free rein to do what he/she pleases with people who have been forced, by the law, to remain unarmed, is tragic.

Every single person I know who owns a gun is aware that having that gun is not a guarantee of anything more than a chance. With training, awareness and a little bit of "luck", an armed citizen has a chance to fight back.

A chance to save their own life or the life of those around them.

There are times that, even with all that I know and all that I have learned, that I think about not wearing my gun.

Rarely, but there are still days that I think I look cute and am tempted to give into vanity or there are times when I worry about what someone might think if they knew I had a gun and there are still times that I think I might be giving into paranoia.

Fortunately, even when I have these thoughts, I shake my head like an etch-a-sketch, grab my holster and my gun and head out the door.

Not that I should need any reminders, but today, much like that day in March, these events make it patently clear that, I am not paranoid.

Unfortunately, I am all too aware of the evil that lurks, not only in my backyard, but in the front yard, and for me, at least once, right in front of my face.

Life requires more than a handgun or rifle to survive it. It demands that we pay attention. That we do not stick our heads in the sand and hope and pray that these things don't happen to us or to people we know.

They happen all the time, everyday, everywhere, usually when we least expect and we owe it to ourselves, to our families, to our community, to our creator, to care enough to fight back.

To fight like...

our lives depend on it.

It's In The Details

I have never been good at the details. I don't know if it is my memory or just the way my brain works, but I don't think in details. I am a big picture kind of gal.

I can know people for years and have no clue that they wear glasses or the color of their hair.

It has never really mattered to me because I have always focused more on the relationship.

What people think and feel, but now that I am hyper vilagent about maintaining my safety, I realize that has to change.

I have, for a while, tried to live my life being more aware. Looking around to see if anything seems out of place, see who is around me and just becoming more familiar with my surroundings.

All good, but I realized that if I ever want to be a good witness, I need to learn how to notice things about people and remember it.

I try to practice this when I am going about my everyday tasks. I look at people and then look away and try to remember things about them. Color of their shirt, color of their eyes and every so often when I am feeling cocky, I will try to see if I can find something unique or unusual about them.

Today as I walked out of Target, I saw a man who I was practicing on. I noticed that he was average height, short brown hair, not unattractive, but plain. I thought, I need to look closer to find something that would help the police identify him(not that he was doing anything wrong. He wasn't. I was just practicing). So, I looked and I saw that he had an eagle keychain. I am not sure how useful or unique it was, but it certainly was something I never would have noticed before.

Unfortunately, this all took place in the parking lot as I was walking to me car and I was so tuned in to this innocent fellow shopper that I was not paying attention to anything else and almost got hit by a car backing out of their parking spot.

Now to practice mutli tasking.