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I Went To A Party

A Girl and Her Gun: I Went To A Party

Saturday, December 17, 2011

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.

22 Comments:

At December 17, 2011 at 5:25 AM , Blogger Balloon Goes Up said...

That is a great interaction!

 
At December 17, 2011 at 6:04 AM , Blogger David said...

Well done! I understand the hesitation, at first, to carry to other people's homes. These days the folks who I visit regularly, or visit who here, are likely to be armed. In fact with a few there's a friendly ritual of a discreet pay down and smile when "outed." It's good to know where the friendlies are. :-)

 
At December 17, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Blogger North said...

VERY good approach. I've taught a few new shooters, and you have the right approach. Deconstruct their fear as you deconstruct the object.

I have dummy ammo, so that I can load and unload to show the gun operation. I have empty brass to use as props. Heck I've got a spring-loaded plastic BB pistol that can be fired into a cardboard box. Small steps. Lots of talking. Easy understanding.

I expect her to be a rabid gun enthusiast with her own new gun blog about an hour after you take her shooting, you know. :-P

 
At December 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Weer'd Beard said...

Yep, that's how you do it, and why gun rights are on the rise rather than how they used to be.

Also you've inspired another post I've had brewing for a while!

 
At December 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM , Blogger TerriLiGunn said...

Wonderful! I would stop selling yourself short, you handled that like a pro.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 12:20 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thanks everyone, as always, for the support.

North, the dummy rounds are a great idea. I have seen them before, but never knew when to use them.

Can not wait to read your post Weer'd

TerriLiGunn, I did not mean to sell myself short, but if I came across that way, I will have to work on it. Thanks for the comment!!!

 
At December 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Maura said...

I used to be deathly afraid of guns as well.

For a long time after North began shooting, I couldn't stand to even think about it. And slowly - I began to change. Slowly, I started to understand guns and their place in my life. Having supportive friends and family was helpful as well. I'm sure you will be excellent help to the woman with whom you exchanged numbers.

If you search for "My First Time" Parts I & II on North's blog, you'll read my posts - just before I went to shoot for the first time - and my post immediately after.

It changed my life.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 2:12 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

North, lets hope she becomes a rabid gun enthusiast. You know how pastors who bring people to Christ write the persons name inside the front cover of their Bible? Well, if I get anyone to go from non gun person to gun person, I am going to write their name on the inside cover of my Corner Cat Conceal Carry Book:)

Maura, thank you for sharing with me. I am most certainly going to read your posts!! Thank you!!!

 
At December 17, 2011 at 2:26 PM , Blogger 45er said...

The experience you have is un-paralleled when it comes to overcoming the fears of other women. This is what I had mentioned before that men just do not understand. Every interaction you had that evening, you made the right decision. You've really come a long ways in 9 months. I'd rather shoot with you than a lot of people that have "had" guns their whole lives. Case in point, the husband. I cannot imagine wanting my wife to shoot a full-bore .357 mag in the early stages of her learning. I was even going to recommend not letting her touch your .40 for a while, but it sounds like you've got the handle on the right ideas. The dummy rounds are a great idea. If you can get your hands on a .22 LR handgun, that is the best learning handgun there is for first timer.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM , Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

Good Job. You're on the right track!

 
At December 17, 2011 at 5:09 PM , Blogger The Jack said...

Congratulations.

You handled the interaction better than most gunnies would have.

I think what helped was that you were not pressuring her and gave her a contrast from her husband. Also you know many of the same concerns she has.

Thank you for being a wonderful diplomat on self defense.

As 45er says the 357 magnum thing is a big sign of just the wrong approach.

I'll second the dummy rounds and a 22 trainer. Not only do they have less recoil and will help make the first shooting experience a more positive experience, but they're far less expensive to shoot which is very good for range time.

Also dummy rounds can be used to show a shooter when they are flinching. By having them on the range with a magazine mixed with live and dummy, such that they do not know if they will fire a live round or a dummy.

Needless to say, this is only done at a gun range and like any training of a new shooter with close supervision.

Taking the gun apart is also a brilliant idea, as it helps de-mystify the whole thing.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM , Blogger Maura said...

I posted this on North's blog, and came to post it her just in case you don't get back to my post over there:

"Thanks so much for coming to read my posts!

Yes, I am still shooting - but not as much as I'd like. I would love to go to the range on a regular basis and shoot, but my leisure time is severely limited these days. I've been shooting only one time since that initial session, and I loved it that second time as well.

I live in one of the most restrictive states in the nation where handgun ownership and rights are concerned ( Maryland ) so my hopes of ever carrying a handgun are nil while I live here.

The main thing - in my eyes - is that I've overcome that initial hurdle of being scared of handguns. The deer is out of the headlights, and I'm much more comfortable talking about and being around guns. A huge improvement for me.

Thanks so much for your kind words, and those of others who have posted their encouragement. The gun community is extremely kind and supportive of new shooters, and it shows.

Thanks! "

 
At December 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM , Blogger TheMinuteman said...

45er is right on multiple points.

I have seen many instances where men hand over way too much gun way too early. I've never quite understood it but then again guys will shrug the sting off quite quickly and focus elsewhere. Women just get turned off and say, why would anyone do this? It's actually worse because they don't even have the fundamentals yet to effectively deal with the recoil. I know many do it because they love the reaction. I hate seeing that reaction in a new shooter because it also usually means a lost shooter.

Along that same note, a .22 is perfect for new shooters. It is the perfect tool to teach because it doesn't "bite" the operator. It makes it much more enjoyable. The goal of the first experience is to ingrain that it's enjoyable and positive. Slide bite, recoil bruises, and sore hands do none of these things.

You did a fantastic job and it shows more of what you bring to the table that so many of us can not. I keep trying to get the wife to blog more because again she has the alternate view, she just doesn't have a drive to write on the blog. Socially she's as capable and has done it, she just doesn't enjoy the blog side so much. Keep up the good work, I might be able to use your blog as an example of why she should blog more.

 
At December 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM , Blogger Cargosquid said...

That was outstanding.

I was shooting at a local range when I noticed that the woman next to me was acting strangely. She was flinching while her husband shot.

Long story short...he was trying to make a definite NON-shooter, afraid of guns, comfortable with his issue sidearm...a Ruger 9mm.

I offered them the use of my .22. I moved the target in close...and she fired 10 rounds downrange. She may not EVER want to be a shooter..but at least she left with a smile.

Your story inspires me to offer a few chances to shoot to a few of my fellow students at my college. I overheard them talking about learning to shoot while I was talking guns with a fellow vet.

 
At December 18, 2011 at 3:53 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Maura, just a very cool story. Must be neat for North too. Sorry about Maryland, hopefully someday they will get it. Maybe one day we all can have a range day at the NRA range in NOVA:).

I am off to a busy day celebrating my son's 6th birthday, but do you mind if I link your stories later? Just in case there is any new shooter or not so new that hasn't read the posts yet.

 
At December 18, 2011 at 3:57 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Cargo squid, ranges can be a scary place if one finds the self next to a testarone filled dude:). We left a range once when a guy was trying to get his wife/girlfriend to shoot. She didn't want to, they had big loud guys and I am not sure the muzzle was always pointed down range. It was the very first time I had ever shot, so I was nervous, but even my husband and son were uncomfortable, so we hightailed it out of there. Very cool, that you offered your gun. 99% of the folks at the range have shown me that same kind of kindness.

 
At December 18, 2011 at 4:14 PM , OpenID Bogie said...

I really like how you asked if she wanted to learn, or her husband wanted her to learn - that right there was one powerful way to make her feel more trusting of you and set up the second conversation. Good for you!

 
At December 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Blogger North said...

"but do you mind if I link your stories later?"

Maura emailed me about this. It is certainly OK to link to her stories.

 
At December 20, 2011 at 8:57 AM , Blogger Jay G said...

OUTSTANDING job.

I've been on both sides of that story - I've been, in my younger days, that idiot handing his girlfriend a .357 Magnum (even loaded with 38s) thinking that since I can handle it, so can she. I've also been the guy that steps in, offers a few hints, and hands over his .22LR revolver to someone who is clearly not digging the subcompact 9mm experience...

Bravo, bravo!

 
At December 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Critter said...

Of all the women I have ever taught to shoot I've found that a .22 is the best way to start out. Some find it's all they want to shoot and others graduate to something more authoritative.

 
At December 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM , Blogger breda said...

And this is why women teaching other women about guns is SO important. Good job and thank you.

 
At December 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM , Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

I'm here (first time) on the link from SayUncle. You did a wonderful thing there. I love the way you talked to her! I hope you help her to become a shooter. Good on ya!



tweaker

 

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