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

A Girl and Her Gun: Labels, Labels, Everywhere, But Not A Single One For Me.

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.

Miserable.

Torturous.

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.

16 Comments:

At January 1, 2012 at 6:04 AM , Blogger AKgrrrl said...

I love how well you put your thoughts and actions into words. I'm so glad that you reach out to women to make us think. :)

 
At January 1, 2012 at 6:31 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

AKgrrrl, thanks for the support. I love being on this journey with other women. Those who are seasoned and those who are just starting out. I love how this community is so darn supportive. The women before me are mighty generous to share their experience and expertise.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 7:45 AM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

I would recommend that you read anything by Colonel Jeff Cooper. I have no doubt that the writings of the good Colonel will help you on your way.

Happy New Year!

 
At January 1, 2012 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Sean D Sorrentino said...

"Lying in my husband's arms crying was easy."

You can still do that. It's just that first you are going to stomp a mudhole in the next predator stupid enough to try.

Your husband is a lucky man.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Tango Juliet, I will most certainly do that.

Sean, your right. I actual been working on a post about that. I am no quite saying what I want to say, but it is basically about the difference between being cared for and needing to be taken care of.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM , Blogger Wolfman said...

We are all lucky to have been given your perspective on things. For so many of us, this way of life is largely academic. We do what we do to guard against what may be, while you have had the devastating privilege of being there. Your words are part inspiration, part justification, and part cautionary tale. To be, in some part, witness to your trial and rebirth is an honor. That you present it with such grace and honesty is humbling, and you have our respect for it. Thank you.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Tango Juliet, I am looking up Jeff Cooper books and I am not seeing anything on sheep, sheepdog etc. is there something specific you can point me to?

 
At January 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Wolfman, your words are very kind and very humbling. I am working on taking compliments with grace, so in that effort I just say thank you, THANK YOU.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM , Blogger TommyG said...

I'm don't think of myself as a sheepdog, but more as a junk yard dog. Git in my business in a way I don't like and I'm coming at you with every thing I have. Stay on your side of the fence and I'll cause you no problems. Take time to get to know me and I can be your best friend.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM , Blogger Critter said...

Personally, I prefer Kipling: I am the cat who walks by himself. And all places are alike to me.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

Specifically "Principles of Self-Defense"... short n' sweet. A classic. Required reading for those determined to exercise their right to self defense.

He doesn't mention "wolves" or "sheepdogs" specifically, just the mindset.

Cooper is an entertaining and very enlightening author.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 8:15 PM , Blogger 45er said...

Well thought out.

 
At January 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM , Blogger pax said...

I am neither a sheepdog nor a warrior. In fact, I very specifically reject both these labels as being foolish and unhealthy. (For me personally, of course, not for the world at large. Other people, other problems.)

A sheepdog looks at sheep with scorn. I'm better than them. "Sheeple!" "The grass-eaters!" Not for me. I have made my choice and will live with my choice, but I never have and never will look down on those who choose otherwise. Adults make their own choices and live their own lives.

A warrior lives for battle. I've chosen to spend my life learning the ways of peace -- and ways to protect myself when peace isn't possible. It's a difference in mindset and a profound one. Thank God our soldiers and our police officers exist, but also thank God we don't all have to tread that violent path. I hope that at the end of my life, people will say of me that I was a peaceful and peaceable person.

I chose a friendly domestic cat as my familiar, as my icon, for a lot of reasons. One is this: a cat does not care what you think of her. She's friendly and cozy when you treat her well, or standoffish and aloof if she doesn't like your manners. If she senses you mean to do her harm, she vanishes and you'll never find her. If you trap her and she feels threatened, she will do whatever it takes to get away.

She will do that, because she's a cat, and cats know how valuable they are.

 
At January 2, 2012 at 4:28 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Pax, that has been my biggest problem with the sheepdog/sheep analogy, the distain for the sheep. I only have distain for the bad guy. The one trying to do me harm.

 
At January 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Excellent post! Isn't it funny that we, as mothers, just instinctively become vicious to protect our offspring, and yet not ourselves? Really, would we be doing our children any favors by submitting to someone that wished to take their mother from them? Of course not! We make the choice to protect ourselves not just for ourselves, but to those people we love. I owe it to my son to do everything in my power to make sure he still has his mother tomorrow. I owe it to my husband to be there for him.
That bad guy isn't just threatening you. He's threatening to deprive you parents of their daughter, you children of their mother, and your husband of his wife.
And then you owe it to yourself to know you have intrinsic value beyond being wife, mother, daughter. Your life is worth protecting with vicious and deadly force because you are you. You are one of a kind.

 
At January 3, 2012 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

Great read!

Though I don't think ppl quite understand the sheep, sheepdog, wolf labels. They are just that. Labels. And no one can "claim" the label themselves. That's like calling oneself a hero (sheepdog). Or like calling oneself the most humble...the humility is lost the moment it become a source of pride. It just makes o one look pompous and egotistical. The mentality during a hostile situation is what defines them. Not the preparedness. Fir example, the training one may commit themselves to is great but if one acts out of cowardesS when help is needed, are they still a sheepdog? People seem to forget items the bite not the bark that matters. I don't call anyone who trains for the worst a hero or a sheepdog. Those who actively defend or have put their lives on the line for themselves and others will get a hero/sheepdog label from me. If the act is courageous, then those who love to throw names around and falsely label will come to find that even a "sheep" can have the sheepdog qualities. Anyone who labels themselves has clearly got the wrong idea.

 

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