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A Girl and Her Gun

A Girl and Her Gun: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I have talked before about how I lived a life of "Ignorance Is Bliss" and generally felt safe in my day to day life until I encountered an occasion that put my safety in question.  After that time, I lived in fear and had a very hard time relaxing regardless of where I was, who was with me, or the number of weapons that I had access to.

I remember at my Conceal Carry class, sitting inside this tiny shack in a fairly remote location and thinking, "What on earth would I do, if a gang of wild banshees came and attacked us right now??"  We all had guns and lots of ammo, but none of the weapons were loaded and from time to time, I would let my wonder to the wild banchee invasion.  My mind had us attacked and killed half a dozen times.

Fear is no way to live and neither is ignorance.  I have done a variety of things in an attempt to be more safe , but I also needed to feel more safe.  I already wrote about how feelings can lie and just because one feels safe, doesn't make them safe, but how I feel, real or otherwise, has a direct connection to my state of mind, peace, and happiness.

Up until our vacation at the beach, I had been reacting instead of acting.  I would read something, assume it was true and then do it, only to find it it wasn't quite right, at least not for me.  That modus operandi was exhausting and deflating and was no way to live either. 

At the beach I had time to reflect. I had calmed down a bit and I was able to put my grocery store parking lot experience into perspective.  I was able to slow down and take the time to think about what I was reading and being taught. I was able to find balance.

I tend to be very black and white and very right is right and wrong is wrong kind of gal.  So, if I believe something is right I do it, 100% of the time and if something is wrong, I don't do it. 

I always like to share this story because I think it is a good illustration of how my mind works.  When I was a brand new professor I had to attend an orientation for the college I was going to be teaching at.  During the orientation we went on a tour of the campus to include the staff lounge.  In the lounge was a fancy coffee machine.  This was quite a few years ago and before the individual coffee pod thing had caught on.  So, the head chicky poopoo that was giving the tour, showed us how it worked. 

Put your cup under the spout, select coffee flavor, put in machine, hit button, throw away empty pod, enjoy. 

Simple enough. 

A few days later on my first day, I went into the lounge to get a cup of coffee. I put my large travel mug under the spout, selected my coffee(dark roast, no foofoo flavor), pushed the button and enjoyed.  The coffee was yummy, but the pods were small and only filled my cup up about half way.  I was slightly annoyed because the campus was large and I would have to keep heading back there to get my coffee fix.  Then one day, there was another professor ahead of me getting his coffee and I saw him get a pod, push the button and wait, then he pulled the pod out and put another one in and pushed the button again!! 


It never occurred to me to use another pod.  It wasn't that I thought 2 pods was wrong or that we were not allowed to have 2 pods, it was that it never, ever occurred to me to get another pod.  I was told the procedures. 

Get "A" pod and put "IT" in the machine.

I am like that.  I follow rules.  I believe in rules.  I think they are necessary and when I make a rule, I want it to be followed, so I am very respectful when other people make rules.  Also, I do not like to be in trouble.  I do not like getting yelled at.  I did not like sitting in time out.  I do not want to lose my job or go to jail or even pay a speeding ticket, so for me it is much easier to just follow the rules.

Carrying a gun often puts the things I value and believe in conflict.
One of those being, I believe I should be able to to carry my gun where ever I go and I believe that I am safer and my family is safer if I do so, but of course, there are laws that prevent me from doing so.

I hate having to make the choice between protection and the law, but for me the choice is not to break the law.

Knowing that I can not carry in certain places left me feeling vulnerable and a bit paranoid about going to those places and since I do not like living in fear, I had to come to terms with this reality.

For me, it became a matter of balance.   

I am patently aware that crime happens everywhere and to all  kind of people.  It happens to children and woman and people of faith.  It happens to the elder and the infirm.  It happens in nice neighborhoods, at fancy restaurants and parks and in places where it is least expected.  It happens very often for some random unexplainable reason, which sometimes makes it hard to predict.

Knowing all this is true and how easy it is to be afraid, I have still decided I will not live in fear.

There are a lot of things one can do to prepare themselves not to be a victim, even if they can not have their weapon with them, but as with all things the first is the mind.

I had to find a balance between being in control and having no control.  In preparing to defend myself and trusting in the benevolence of the world.  In knowing that something catastrophic could happen to me and trusting that it won't. 

I do not know why bad things happen to good people.  Sometimes it seems fate is random, but I don't believe it is.

I can't explain why little Susie down the street had a loving childhood and I had a childhood full of violence or why hundreds of good, decent men and woman have died in Iraq and my husband didn't. 

I have spent many nights trying to figure it out though and what I have discovered is the why is not as important as the how.  The how being: How am I going to deal with all of the dangers and uncertainty of this world without succumbing to it?


I have always valued life and I have hoped that if I can show the man upstairs that I do truly value life, mine and everyone elses, that, that will count for something. I always wear my seat belt.  I eat healthy, I work out, I don't smoke, etc  While I can not guarantee that any of this will help me live to  98, it is what I can do, to show that I am doing all I can to ensure a long healthy life and I would very much appreciate a little divine help from above.

That is how I am balancing my life as a person who wishes to carry her gun everyone, but is not allowed to.  I carry my gun everywhere I can legally and I train to know how to use it.  I do this to show that I take my part of the deal seriously.  I am doing everything I can to be realistic and responsible to defend and protect my life and those I love, but in the cases where I can not, I am trusting that someone else, someone bigger, is watching out and protecting me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

With Gratitude And Humility

 Thank You!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Wow, I can not believe other people besides my family and my very few FaceBook friends read this blog.  I have been blow away at the number of folks that read my ramblings.  

I do not know why that tickles me, but it does.  I didn't intend to be a world wide blog, but I have folks from Germany, Canada, Russia, India, Switzerland, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom and it's lots of them!

I am not sure why, but by far the most read post is "The Outlaw Josie Wells"  Everyday, I get lots of new hits on that one.

Kind of wish you all would comment instead of just sending me emails, but hey, since I didn't even know anyone was reading, I will just be thankful, so again, THANKS!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eating Only What We Hunt

I love, love, love to cook. I think I am pretty good at it and my family and friends seem to agree. For a long time I have been conscious about the food I buy in term of how healthy it is for our bodies, but also how healthy it is for the land. I am a firm believer in buying local and in sustainable farming and eating. I buy fruits and vegtables from local farms and eat fish that is not endangered. I try to buy organic chicken and meat. I have grown my own fruits, vegetables and herbs for years, but I have never thought about hunting. Well, I have thought about and what I thought was "EEWWWWWWWWWW, who would do that?"

When I bought my gun, I started thinking about killing something and preparing my mind, so I started watching hunting shows. Lots and lots of hunting shows. I am kind of addicted now and I might have a "Crush" on both Lee and Tiffany from the Outdoor Channel, but that is another post.

Anyway, when I started watching the shows, I was looking to get more comfortable with blood and death, but the more I watched the more I learned. I learned how passionate these people are about the animals and about taking care of the animals long term well being. I learned that they use every part of the animal and that they only kill what they can consume.

Then I started reading more and more about chefs who only cook what they can grow or kill. A few weeks ago I came across this article and was intrigued and inspired.

Georgia Pellegrini: Author, Food Artisan, Huntress

Then today I read this...

Now, I can't really start doing this tomorrow as I have never hunted, do not know anyone who hunts, do not own land and of course, I have absolutely no clue what I am doing, but it is something I will continue to educate myself on and hopeful it will be a goal I can someday accomplish.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Woman, Guns and The News

This is a news story on a Shooting Club I belong to.  Channel 9 news interviewed the founder of the club, Tina Wilson Cohen, and a few woman who belong to the group. They also interviewed a gentleman who is against gun ownership and self protection.  He quotes a stat, that for everyone one time a gun is used in self defense it is used 22 times in a crime, suicide, or accidental death.

Criminals and people intent on killing themselves DO NOT care about gun laws, so that number has no barring on the issue of self defense.  I own a gun to prevent myself from becoming a statistic.  Now ,lets talk a little about the accidental deaths.  Accidental death by guns has the lowest number of deaths per year.  Less than any other form of accident to include car, drowning and even poisoning.

The accidental gun death rate has been falling since 1930 and US accidental gun deaths per year were down to 613 by 2007, out of the 301,579,895 people in the USA, according to the CDC. For comparison, there were 29,846 accidental deaths by poisoning in 2007, again according to the CDC. Note that it is extremely easy to prevent accidental gun deaths by following Jeff Cooper's Four Rules Of Gun Safety. Click here for a free downloadable brochure that illustrates the four rules.

(The above statistics were found at

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memorial Day

a devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty. — patriot, n. — patriotic, adj.

Regardless of how I have felt about war, violence and guns, I have always been deeply patriotic.  I have always loved my country and I have always supported those who have defended it. I have never, ever been able to listen to or sing the National Anthem without getting chills and tearing up.  Doesn't matter if it is on TV or if I am at a little league baseball game.

I grew up in rural Iowa in a tiny little town.  I don't remember anyone ever directly speaking about love of country or devotion to it's people, but what I do remember is a profound love and loyalty to the town, the people and America.  

I remember every 4th of July our town had a huge celebration.  People from all over would come for the festivities.  A sleepy little town with rarely more than 5 cars on the road at a time, would become alive with carnival games, food, and tons of fireworks.  It was packed with folks from all around  and the streets were jammed with cars.  
I remember that every one who could vote, voted.  The town didn't close down and the schools didn't take the day off, but everyone took their responsibility to vote seriously.  When I turned 18 and could vote, I remember standing in line beaming.  Again, while no one out right told me  I was to vote, I knew it was expected of me.  I never thought about not voting.  I don't think I even knew it was an option.  

People, even in tiny little towns like mine, are diverse.  People think differently and not everyone shares the same values, but everyone I knew loved being an American and was grateful for those who gave their lives to protect it, that was never divided.
Love of country was ingrained into my everyday life in all kinds of implicit ways, and it has been a part of my everyday life ever since.

I married a boy from a town just up the road from mine and being anti war and all, it was quite a shock when he came home one day and announced he wanted to join the Marines. We were not 18 year old kids and this was nothing we had ever talked about before. The next few weeks were filled with not so easy conversations, but I loved him and he was committed to doing something bigger than himself, so objections aside, I supported his choice.  At first I blamed it on one too many episodes of Major Dad, but it really was thanks to his childhood friend coming back from boot camp all motivated.  Truth be told, I think it was the thing my husband had been looking for all his life. 

Our life as a military family was fairly ordinary.  The Gulf War had just begun when my husband started boot camp and was over before he finished.  Being cocky Americans we didn't worry that we would have another war.   Until Somalia.  I realize that the US didn't declare war on Somalia, but it was the first time my husband headed off to combat and I was not a fan.  He was with a helicopter unit flying rescue missions out of Rwanda and well, you probably know how that ended up.  

As the world became increasingly more dangerous and the realities of war began hitting closer and closer to home, the feelings of patriotism became less idealistic and trivial.  Instead of being something I felt, it was something I lived.  While my words of thanks were never in vain, knowing the names of those who are wounded and those who have died, makes an abstract ideal like patriotism into a intimate reality of pain and pride.  

When you are witness to the price of freedom, it is impossible to not feel overwhelming humility and gratitude.  

It is impossible to pay back the debt that is owed to people who are asked to do things no one should be asked to do, but that should not stop us from trying.

I do lots of things in an attempt to show my gratitude and appreciation.  We have hosted Marines or Sailors for the holidays.  My husband has spent many hours at Bethesda with the wounded Marines.  We send cards and care packages to those over seas. I am the chair for our annual Veteran's Day lunch at our daughter's school.  For the past few months, I have been buying gift cards to local restaurants and tucking them in cards.  I write a note of thanks and I always sign it "With Humility and Gratitude".  I never sign my name.  Then when no one is looking I put them on the cars of military stickers.  

It's not much, but it is what I can do.  

When we lived in California, I remember driving to the base one day and seeing a bus full of Marines driving by.  It was during the war and I knew these were Marines coming home. I knew because lots of them were coming home home and I had wished my husband was one of them, but he was still in Iraq.  

Anyway, I made eye contact with one of the young guys and I mouthed "Thank You."  He smiled and nodded.  

All that he gave. All that he sacrifice and all I  had to offer was a thank you. A simple thank you, but  I could tell it meant something to him.  I could see it in his eyes, to him, it mattered.

I hope everyone who reads this blog is doing something to show their gratitude to those we serve our country, even if it is only a simple THANK YOU!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

An Unintential Burden

On Mother's Day my husband took me to the range.  He took me because it is what I wanted to do.  He is nice like that.  But I noticed he was having as much fun as I was!  He was laughing and joking and all day he kept saying how much he enjoyed being there.  I was kind of surprised because he never really showed a big interest in guns before.

He had mentioned several times that he wanted a gun in the house and that I should learn to shoot, but  it always seemed to me to be an idea born out of necessity rather than pleasure.

As I mentioned before I follow a woman who goes by the name LimaLife.  She has a FaceBook page and on that page she posts all kind of helpful hints, ideas suggestion and what not.  She also tosses out questions for everyone to discuss.  Well, not everyone.  I don't do that much discussing.  I usually, read, ponder and then ask questions, lots of questions.  Asking questions is kind of my thing.  Anyway, one day she asked a question about where would people go if they had to leave their house and what would they take with them?  I  read that and thought, Where are we going?  Why would we need to leave? Take things, for what purpose?  So, I asked.

Turns out that the bad guy in the dark alley isn't the only thing people prepare for.  These people have seriously thought about what to do if a natural disaster happens or we are attacked by a foreign country or if it is the end of the world.  They have put together a plan of where they would go and what they would do and what they would take.  They have these little bags or maybe they are big bags, not sure...might have to ask that.  Anyway, they have these bags and I have learned they call them "Bug Out Bags"  I don't know why, but they do.

Big surprise I had never heard of this and had no clue, so I Googled it.  You may have noticed if I can't get an answer to my question from a person, I Google.  I like to know things.  So, I found out it is much like a tornado prep kit that one might keep in their house, but it is ready to take on the move.  Things like water, freeze dried food, first aid kit etc.  The contents can get pretty involved like a small tent, an ax, even a chainsaw, which can both serve to cut wood and kill a zombie should one come across your path while you are having to Bug Out.

I thought this actually sounded like a good idea because I live in the tornado capital of the world, so I approached my husband and said what do you think about putting together a Bug Out Bag?

I was kind of nervous to bring it up because I thought he might think I was getting a little extreme, but to my surprise he knew exactly what one was and was all for it.  In fact, it was almost like he was waiting for me to ask.  I get the feeling he has been patiently waiting for me to catch up and get my head out of my proverbial, you know where.

While watching The Outlaw Josie Wales, he practically glowed.  I said to him, "Babe, you are totally loving that I am watching these kinds of movies with you, aren't ya?"  He looked at me with a big ol' smile and said "Yep"

I said, "You are loving all this gun stuff and shooting?"

Again, a big 'ol smile, "Yep"

"Why on earth didn't you tell me you were interested in this stuff?"

He looks at me, no smile, eyebrow raised, "You weren't ready."

Not only had I let fear control my life, I had placed an enormous burden on my husband.  A burden to bare the complete responsibility to protect our family.  We were a team in every other aspect, but I relied on him to be the sole protector. 

While I relied on him to protect us, I severely limited his ability to do so.  I expected him to do it all with little more than a fire extinguisher.  He did not have a gun, or a knife, or even pepper spray, but I suspect he had a plan.  One he could not share with me.

The good news is that I am on ready and I love that we have found a new adventure to be on together.  Not only are we serious about protecting ourselves and our family, we are having a blast doing it.

So, we went shopping the other day to start to put together the contents of our Bug Out Bag, but it turned out to be more of a Bug In kind of box.  Bug Out means you leave, so I started calling our room in the basement that we use when tornadoes come our Bug In Room cuz we stay, you know, in.

My son informed me that stuff we bought, is way to heavy and bulky for something we would have to carry.  I asked my husband if he knew this and he said yes, but that I was having so much fun, he didn't have the heart to tell me. Like everything else on this journey, I am learning by my mistakes.

Ok, so I bought some canned food, water, granola bars, peanut butter...a life time size jar, and a first aid kit.  We actually have several first aid kits as we do a lot of hiking and camping, but I wanted one specifically to stay with out bag.  I also bought a knife, but it is woefully inadequate, so I will need to do some research on a better quality knife and probably one that isn't sold at Wal-Mart.

Here are some pics of the complete wrong things to buy if you are planning on Bugging Out, but not to bad if you are planning on Bugging In.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Shot A Man

Just to watch him die

Ok, Ok, so the dude is just a piece of paper, but

I had absolutely no problem shooting him.

Just in case he was wearing body armor.

Quick Note

Just a little note about Blogger.  I have no idea what is going on with this thing, but they are having some kind of problem, so from time to time the site is completely down and they had to take post offs of people's site to fix the problem. They said they are fixing it and that the post should return, but 2 of mine are still missing.  So, if you see posts appearing and disappearing and then reappearing again, that's not me, it's the Blogger folks.

The Outlaw Josie Wales

I have watched one war movie my entire life, Saving Private Ryan.  My husband was going through Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico Virginia and a bunch of Marines were off to see it and he wanted to join them. I didn't want to see it but I love my husband, he was working crazy hours, we had a new baby and it was rare that we had a night out, so we went. 
It was one of the most profound events I have ever experienced.  Of course I cried through the entire things, but I was with a bunch of big tough Marines, and I didn't want to be the dramatic 20 something girl balling, so I was very, very quiet.  When the lights came on and I looked around, I saw that the entire room of big tough Marines also had tears streaming down their faces and the place was totally silent.  As we walked out of the theater, I remember looking at the faces of the people waiting to go in and they looked stunned.  I think the looks on our faces, was already a profound experience for them.  I literally did not speak for hours.  I didn't say a word.  I had no idea what to say after watching that movie.

My husband had been a Marine for a while by the time he got to OCS as he was prior enlisted and he had seen combat, but it was easier for me to pretend he was off to camp hanging with the boys.  That movie made it impossible for me to pretend any longer and I hated that. 

I have not watched a single war movie since. 

I am not a movie or TV person in anyway.  I know everyone says that, but truly I am not.  If you know me then you know this to be true and if you don't, you can ask one of my friends and they will tell you.  I have always been of the mind set that I would rather be out doing something cool or fun or crazy as opposed to watching someone else do it,  but when I do watch a movie or television program, I have very strict standards.  It can't be sad, no one can die, I don't want to think and I do not want to cry.  Oh, and it can't be scary.  That pretty much leaves Bill Murray movies. 

I have a great life and am truly happy, but life can be very sad and scary and full of all kinds of issues that weigh heavy on my heart, so when I want an escape, I like to escape to happy places.

Guess what you can't do when trying to prepare your mind for self defense...pretend.  Nope, you have to be fully cognizant of all the awful things out in the world and then come up with a plan on how you can combat it.

In fact, they call it the combat mind.  My first exposure was at my gun training and those awful, awful videos of real life surveillance of real life people being brutalized.  I hated those videos and I was a bit annoyed and pretty darn mad that the instructor showed them without a bit of warning and I thought it was a bit over the top.  I was there to learn how to shoot a gun, not have my mind messed with.  Of course I learned at that course and many time since that it is hard to prepare you mind for self defense when you are in denial and think the whole world just needs a hug.

In contrast to Saving Private Ryan where I forced myself to block the images out of my mind, I have consciously forced my mind to replay those videos in my mind over and over again.  For years, I stopped reading the newspaper or watching the news because I did not want to know all the awful things that were happening, but now I force myself to read the newspaper and watch the news and be aware of all the awfulness that surrounds me.

In my gun class the instructor talked about the movie The Outlaw Josie Wales.  He said the main character had the right mind set and he quoted him "When things get bad, you gotta get mean.  I mean plum mad dog mean."  This was not a guy that was going to be a victim.

For Mother's Day my husband bought me the movie and I finally had the courage to watch it last night.

I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but I was surprised that I was able to watch it without running from the room crying.  Now, this is really not a particularity violent or gory movie, but I once turned off City Slickers when the guy in the tent is holding the gun and talking about his best and worst day.  Seriously, I do not do violence.

I liked the movie.  I loved the guns.  I would like to say that after watching it, I could identify with the main character, with his tough bravado and dead on gun shooting abilities, but that is not me, not yet. I identified more with the old Indian friend.  At the beginning, Josie Wales sneaks up behind the Indian and the Indian goes on to explain that he is easy to sneak up on because he is so nice.  Later as the movie progresses, the Indian is able to sneak up Josie, and he is feeling pretty good.  He even says, "I am getting better."  Then out of nowhere a gun pops up behind his head.  The Indian girl snuck up on him and he hangs his head in frustration.  He doesn't hang his head for long and soon he is back out there, shoot em' up and even saving Josie's back side from time to time.

I practice and read and prepare my mind and I think "yeah, I am getting this thing."  Then I read a story about a robbery in our town and get scared again and I hang my head in frustration.  I don't stay there long either, but it definitely is a two steps forward, one step back kind of process for me.

Still, I can feel mind my changing.  Instead of watching someone brutalize someone else and me feeling sick to my stomach for the person being brutalized and wondering what on earth would make a person do something like that, last night when I watched as the group of thugs began to gang rape this poor young woman, I got mad and thought, "I sure as heck, hope he kills them!"  and I didn't even feel bad for thinking it. 

When I go to the range, I always shoot the targets with the bulls-eye on them or some other arbitrary image.  I never get the targets with people on them.  I don't like the idea of shooting people.  I have still been pretending. 

I am heading to the range today. I am not going to get a target with circles and cross hairs,  I am going to get one with a face and I am gonna practice being mean, I mean plum, mad dog mean.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Conceal Carry

My husband thought I should go back and add pictures to my post on how I conceal carry, but that seems to require some kind of computer skills, so instead I will just give you fine folks a brand spankin' new post on an old subject.

The pictures are awful because what my husband has in good looks and shooting, he lacks in picture taking ability.  Also, because he is fiercely protective, he didn't take any pictures showing my face.

In case you didn't read my previous post, let me give you a brief recap.  My everyday carry is a Glock 27.  I have an inside the waistband(IWB) Crossbreed holster. I wear exactly the same clothes with my gun as I do without it.  I am tall, but thin, so it was a bit of a nightmare for me to find a way to carry.  What I found was that I wasted a lot of time because I wear exactly the same clothes with my gun as without.  For reference I am 5'8.5" 128 lbs.  I wear a size 4 jeans and t-shirt in a small.

To enlarge the pictures, just click on them.

Me sideways

Apparently, it takes skills just to post a picture period.  This picture is not sideways in my picture folder, so I have no clue why it turned itself on here and I did try to fix it, but to no avail.  This is good though, adds a little  dimension.  So, this is me without my gun. 

More of Me

Everything is exactly the same except I usually loosen up my belt one hole.

Now, I know it looks like am chunky here, but that is the sad, sad camera skills of my husband.

There I am, a girl and her gun...

A Day At The Range

This is my target from the other day at the range.  I would guess this was about my 11th or 12th time ever shooting.  I shot with my Glock 27 which if you don't know is .40 caliber and I think it was from about 12 yards or so.  The target was some where between the 10 and 15 line.  The crazy holes down to the left are from my first set of shots.  Super annoying, but the good news is, I got better.  Lots of work to do, but I see improvement and that makes me happy.

My Man

This is one of the targets that my husband shot.  This is from some where around 20 yards, shot with my Ruger LCP, which if you don't know is a tiny little gun that shoots .380 caliber.  This was the worst he shot all day.  He is a pretty good shooter.  I have to say I married him cuz he is super good to me, fricken hilarious, and because he has a nice back side, but after 20 years of marriage, I discovered something new...his aim also turns me on.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I started this as a kind of journal of my experiences for the purpose organizing my thoughts and as a way of sharing my journey with my children, especially my eldest daughter.  I wanted them to be able to "walk" through my experiences and feel what I was feeling as I went from a person who was anti-gun to one who carried.  My daughter in particular is having a tough time with my transition.  She is her mother's daughter and has been raised to think guns were dangerous.  Of course I have talked with her as I have gone through this, but not about every feeling or thought that I have had.

When I very first started the blog, the only people I told was my husband and my very good friend who lives in a different state.  I did not tell my children.  My initial thought was I would write it and  then at some later date when I thought they were ready, I would let them read my blog.

A month or so ago I received an email from one of my friend's who wanted to know why all of a sudden I was carrying a gun.  Again, I have not told all that many people I carry a gun, but right after I bought it, I did share with my close friends.  I had just written the blog post, Who Am I, when she asked me, so I directed her to the blog. I didn't hear from her, so I had assumed she did not read it.

I had assumed wrong.

Lets just say, she is not 100% keen on the idea.  Remember, that I had surrounded myself with like minded people, so I already knew her views and was not surprised by the strongly worded response. 

Most of what was said was the standard anti gun jibber jabber, but there were two things that stuck out and I thought were worth addressing.

The first was "Did I intend to try to convince the whole world to become a gun nut and weld a loaded weapon all over tar-nation?"(yes, she said tar-nation).  I have feelings on this, but I will address that in a later post.

The second thing that struck me was her question as to why I wrote anonymously.  She wondered why if I was so gosh darn hip on guns why didn't I shout from the roof tops that I carry a gun??

This is a good question and one I have struggled with a bit myself.

In general, I am a behind the scenes kind of gal.  I am not shy by any means, but I am not a center of attention, I needed to be noticed, kind of gal either.  In fact, I much prefer to be behind the scenes.  I advertise nothing.  I do not have a single bumper sticker on my car proclaiming how many people are in my family, or that my kid was Student of the Month, or my political or religious views.  Or whether or not I eat meat.  I actually saw one of those the other day(I do by the way, eat meat I mean).  I don't have my name on the mail box or my phone listed in the phone book.  Never have.  I try not draw attention to myself in anyway. In short, I have always been pretty private.

I have however spoke out before in support of things I am passionate about like adoption and the rights of children.  I have been quite vocal about a parent's responsibility to their children and the complete and total lack of tolerances for anything less than 100% love and care of those least able to care for themselves.

I have become very passionate about the 2nd Amendment and so it would seem that I would speak about this as well and I do, just more quietly.

So, why not be more public about carrying a gun myself.  Why not put a big ol NRA sticker on the back of my spiffy mini-van?  Why not wear a t-shirt that say "Shoot First Ask Questions Later?"

If you have read any post at all by me then you know the reason I first got a gun was for protection.  I was scared and the last thing I wanted to be was noticed.  Even now after the initial paranoia has worn off, I firmly believe one of the best ways to protect myself is to be more prepared than anyone who may mean me harm.  Concealing my gun is vital to this.  Concealing my identity as a person who carries a gun is part of that too.  I do not want a potential attacker to be more prepared then me.

Instead of someone saying "Hey, I'd like to "fill-in-the-blank" this woman."  "Humm, I see she has a gun, so I think I should go get some other folks and toss this knife aside and get my gun, so we can take her down."  I am aware that bad guys don't talk like this(if I wasn't before my gun training class, I have been made patently aware since), but this is as bad guy as I get.

I digress...

I would prefer, they think, "Ahh, look at that skinny little chic,  She is gonna be easy." Totally unaware that I am trained and armed.So, instead of said person being able to harm me, I  am forcefully and decisively able to STOP that from happening or at least I feel I have a much better chance.

I also am already extremely irritated that my 2nd Amendment Rights are being violated.  There is nothing in the Constitution that allows for gun laws.  In fact just the opposite.  That is what the whole, "Shall not be infringed upon" means, but nonetheless, there are a whole list of place I can not legally (and therefore don't)carry my gun and I have no intention of adding places to that list list.  I do not what a business owner, who has never thought to put up a sign telling me I can't have gun, deciding to put one up because I brought attention to the issue.

I think my strength is in my anonymity.

However, truth be told, I am not all that anonymous.  My friends know. The people at my husband's work know.  My personal trainer and sparing partner know.  When I chose to post a comment on the NRA site, I use my real name which is accompanied by my real picture.  The one time I posted this blog address on someone else FaceBook site, I used my real name and again that picture of me.  There is no evidence she or anyone else read it, but had they put 2 and 2 together, they would know who I am. I would assume that the 100 people or so that read this blog do so because they already know me or know someone who knows me. I do not announce to everyone walking by that I am gun owner who writes a blog, but people know.

Also, I just don't care if anyone knows who I am.

While at the beach I was working on a post and got called away.  I had left the post up on the computer screen and my 13 year old daughter saw it.  This is the conversation that followed...

Her: "Mom, I didn't know you had a blog?"  "Why didn't you tell me?"

Me:  "I wasn't sure you were ready."  I wasn't sure if you would be upset or feel differently about me and I knew I wasn't ready for that."

Her: " Can I read it?"

Me:  "Absolutely"

She did it read  and every other post I had written up until then.  In fact she read everyone out loud, that day. She took great pleasure in finding my typos and is now my editor.  She reads every single post before I post it, except this one, so expect lots of typos.  I am an idea person, not a detail one.

I have enjoyed the time we have spent together reading the posts and discussing what I write.  It has meant a great deal to me, that she cares enough to read them and think about them.

The other day she told my husband that she loves to read what I write because she can actually feel what I am feeling.  She thinks I am funny too.  Nice to have someone who gets ya.

I have said before that I believe we are more powerful one on one.  That we can effect one life more easily than thousands.

This has been proven in my life time and time again. It happened when I was a college professor and I made an impact on the individual lives of some of my students. I was profoundly changed when I met my husband and was purely and unselfishly loved.   It happened when I became a mother.  It happened when we adopted our daughter who was deeply wounded and hurting.  The journey to help her trust and allow herself to be loved, was like nothing else I have ever been a part of. It happened when I was in the grocery store parking lot.  It happened when I was at my gun training. It happened last week with my daughter.

I made arrangements to meet a new friend at the range tonight.  When my daughter found out, she asked to accompany me.  She says isn't sure she is ready to shoot, but she is curious.  She is afraid, but open.  She wants to know more about me.

The main purpose of this blog was to give my daughter some insight to her mother's mind. To help her see that the motivations behind my actions have never changed.  That I love her and our family.  That I think she is worth protecting and defending.  That love is what has always motivated me and this is no exception.  The motivation was never to change her mind about guns.  Regardless of how she feels about guns, she has value and worth and as her mother, I will do everything I can do to protect her and myself and our family.

I do not think this blog did anything to open her mind, I think love did.

I am not anonymous to her.


I am never sure what to say to events like the death of Bin Laden. Part of me wants to say nothing.  I hate even using his name because he doesn't even deserve a second thought, but I think not saying something is disrespectful to those who lost their lives and those who are fighting to protect us. To ignore the impact seems to somehow ignore them.  To say nothing seems like the easy way out.  To make a joke or a quip seems to minimalize the vast gaping hole left in the lives of those who have personally suffered at the hands of this monster. 
I feel like I should want to celebrate because surly this is a good thing, but I have a hard time celebrating the death of anyone. Not because he didn't deserve to die, but because it is a glaring reminder of the world we live in. There would be no military operation to eliminate this man had there not first been the tragic and horrific events in September and many other awful days just like it.  
The pain and destruction. The price that has been paid by the lives lost and all those who continue to fight to protect our freedoms. All those children who mourn the loss of a parent. 
It makes my heart ache, literally.