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Not One

A Girl and Her Gun: Not One

Monday, May 7, 2012

Not One

This weekend was my weekend to work at FPF Training.  There is another person who works for John; I work when he can't.  This weekend's class was the Conceal Carry For Self Defense.  This is a basic shooting course, but generally most of the people who take the class have had experience with shooting.  This was a special class. This class was full of first time and novice shooters.

We had 12 students in the class about half were women and 4 had never touched a gun before. Only 2 or 3 had their own guns and gear, everyone else used our equipment.

We had a husband and wife team.  I can't remember if the wife had shot before, but her husband had never shot a pistol.  I believe he had shot a rifle or shotgun a couple of times.  They were a really fun couple.  They also brought along a friend.  Not sure about his background. I didn't spend a whole lot of time with him, but he turned out to be quite a shooter.  In addition we had 2 females, they were friends, neither of whom had ever shot a gun before. I let one of them use my M&P for the weekend.  She and her husband(he is signed up for the next course) are serious about buying a gun for her and after talking with her and talking about what she is looking for, where she is at and her size etc, John decided that my gun was probably a good fit(I had told John he was welcome to borrow it way before he had talked with her, so he knew it was ok to make the offer).  Day one I carried John's M&P .45...sweet!  Day two I carried my Glock.

We also had a Navy Commander.  He had some experience and was comfortable with guns. Nice, nice guy. We had a gentleman who has carried for about 3 years and has taken other classes, but he wanted some fine tuning.  Another gentleman that was in the Army and again, he knew his way around a gun, but I don't believe he had a lot of experience with self defense type shooting.  He had a great sense of humor.  I really enjoyed chit chatting with him.  We had another husband and wife team. They are gun bloggers, but I will wait and see if they post about their training.  If they out themselves, I will link them here(edited...I got the go ahead for the link Country Tea And Bullets. Her and her husband Mr. Tea rock).  I have met and shot with the wife before, but it was the first time I had met the husband in real life.  What a treat.  Unbelievably kind folks.  They kept my hot water cold in their cooler and I can not tell you how much I appreciated that. They both have guns and carry them daily and they most certainly can shoot well.  I think they were looking for more intense training for self defense and that is why they took our course. ***Edited***As an aside, Mr. Tea read my blog first and in those beginning days offered me a lot of support and advice.  He then told his wife Country Tea about my blog and she sent me an email asking about carrying with one in the chamber.  We developed a friendship and started getting together to shoot from time to time. When they signed up for the class I wasn't working for FPF Training  yet. I was tickled that I got to work the weekend they attended.  We made some fun memories and developed our friendship a bit more.

Finally, we had a family of 3.  A mom, a dad and their 17 year old daughter.  The mom and daughter had never touched a gun before.  Neat story.  Their friend bought the course for them.  He wanted them to be trained and he paid for all of them to attended.  Crazy cool.  The dad was a hoot.  I spent a lot of time down on their side of the line, so we bonded or at least I did.  The 17 year old was a powerhouse and took to shooting like a fish to water.  You all would have really enjoyed watching her develop.

It is strange how in the course of 2 days one can feel connected to 12 people she had never met before, but I do.  I loved them all.  Every single person there impacted me in someway.

I was deeply touched, in particular, by two of the women.  One woman, a brand new shooter, asked to talk to me.  We were in the part of the class where John is giving context to the training.  He shows videos and discusses the many issues surrounding self defense.  Anyway, watching those clips and listening to John, she was reminded of her own fresh experience and she was a little emotional. At the break, she shared a story(not a bad guy encounter, but a gun story) that had happened to her just a week or so earlier. I asked her if she had told John and she said , "Oh, no,  I haven't told anyone."  "Please don't tell anyone." I thought it was a great story of her personal fortitude and mental toughness and I thought it was a story that should be shared, but she was not ready to do so. I was blessed and humbled that she would share with me something so personal to her.  I do hope she decides to tell the story to more people, because it's a great story.

The other lady was the mom of the 17 year old daughter.  Super lady.  I probably identified with her because for her own reasons(not from a bad guy encounter) she was not fond of guns or the damage they do.  She was very nervous and timid as she was shooting,  I tried to be a support to her without interfering with John.  By the end of the class her skills and confidence had grown tremendously, but, of course, I never thought I had any barring on that.  After the course she gave me a hug and told  me she felt better just having me there.  I was glad that my presence was a tiny bit of a comfort for her. 

No secret that I love to shoot.  That I love to be around guns and do gun things, but my life has always been and to this day, remains about relationships.  I care about people.  This job is amazing because I work for a man I respect and I get to fulfill my passion for all things firearms, but it is the people that show up weekend after weekend that make it worth it.  It's cheesy.  It's a cliche and it's a 100% true. On the weekends I work, I get up at 4:30am and I don't get home until about 7:30pm.  Your gonna have to take my word for it, but I am pretty much on the go and on my feet all of that time. This weekend I did not fire one shot, NOT ONE, but it might have been the best time I have ever spent on the range. The days are long, but the people make them short.  Being with them is one of my favorite places to be.

Outside of chit chatting with the folks, I did my usual stuff: cleaning gear, putting up targets, fetching things for John, taking pictures(when I remembered) and because there were a high number of new female shooters, I got to talk a lot about peeing with a gun on.  Much of my time working for FPF Training  revolves around peeing.  Who knew?  What is even more odd is that I actually enjoyed it. I know what you are thinking, "Really, that excites you?"  Why, yes, yes, it does.  I loved that these women felt comfortable enough to come ask me and I loved that I could help. 


It is quite an experience to see someone hold a gun and shoot it for the first time.  To see them nervous and shaky, but determined to take that first difficult step forward and to actually pull the trigger, it was like no other experience I have had. With each new shooter that took that step I had tears in my eyes.

Inspiring.

The first shot is inspiring, but it is the last shot, that very last one, that one is exciting.  This is true for each and every person who comes through the training. I love to watch their confidence grow and to see them improve upon whatever skills they have, be it none at all, or seasoned.  They all walk away with more tools than they had when they first arrived.  Witnessing immediate and tangible results is crazy cool.

I am thankful to everyone who came out and let me be a part of their lives for a weekend.  I was truly blessed.

P.S. I would like to point out that not only didn't I cross my legs one time, I also noticed every single time someone else did and I was kind enough to point that out to them.  I am not entirely sure they appreciated it as much as I did, but  I like to share the love.  More good news. John name a move after me.  It is a move starting out with legs crossed and followed by a twist. It is used when addressing a threat from behind.  It is not as flattering as it sounds, though.  It is a move NOT to do and the honor comes with a fair amount of mocking.

38 Comments:

At May 7, 2012 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Broken Andy said...

AGirl, great post. I need to do some more training this year and the minuteman rifle class seems pretty cool.

I'm a little confused about the peeing aspect. Is that a typo?

 
At May 7, 2012 at 7:01 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Lol, see this is why you should never miss one of my posts:). I have only worked 2 weekends on the range. The first one I included a story about a guy who peed right out in the open. It was all guys and me. No biggie, it was funny, but then this weekend I spoke with several woman about using the restroom with a gun on. It was a very intimidating thing for me when I first started carrying. Not knowing what to do with the gun is scary. This weekend we had a lot of new female shooters and they experienced the same concerns I had when I first started to shooting and peeing:) I was trying to be funny...guess, not so much...lol

 
At May 7, 2012 at 7:06 AM , Blogger Monty On Guns said...

Great blog. It is amazing to watch new folks that have never fired or held a gun take to it so readily. That bodes well for the future of our gun rights. Hooah.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 7:09 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Also, I have never taken the rifle course either...if you sign up for a course, let me know, maybe John will let me take it with ya:)

 
At May 7, 2012 at 7:11 AM , Blogger Broken Andy said...

All toilet humor is funny!

But that is an important issue. I don't know if it is covered in any firearms courses, but having to drop trou with a gun belt and a couple extra pounds of gear is awkward, no matter the gender. Guys do have it lucky in that we can stand sometimes.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 7:54 AM , Blogger The Lowry Place said...

So glad you had a wonderful weekend!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous Ben Branam said...

Peeing with a gun is something that always comes up with people that are new to carry. I've answered that question 1000 times.

Funny part is, if you don't answer it for people they will come up with a plan that doesn't always work. I use to work for an armored car company. There everyone carried a gun all day, every day. But once a month or so, someone would leave their gun in the bathroom. We all carried something different and it was easy to spot the person with an empty holster. Everyone out there, find a system that works that ensures you can't leave your gun in the stall.

Thanks for the fun posts.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM , Blogger kymber said...

these posts are really fun...but practical, too! i am glad that you are so enjoying this new "job"...and it seems that you are doing a very good job in the "building trusting relationships" area, too! keep it up, agirl!

your friend,
kymber

 
At May 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM , Blogger poniegirl004 said...

Going to a public restroom with a gun and small kids.... now that could be a class all in itself!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Sport Pilot said...

In mixed training courses such as you’ve described having an experienced and enthusiastic female shooter, helper, instructor is imperative. Nothing breaks the ice better than couples seeing another “wife” who has been in their shoes before and willing to share her story.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Old NFO said...

Glad it went well, and sounds like you made a measurable contribution to the training! Good on ya!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM , OpenID armedlaughing said...

Sounds like you had a terrific time, learned stuff and imparted knowledge and comfort. It doesn't get any better than that! I initially scanned your post and read it as your training revolved around peeing. Then I went back and actually read it and gained understanding after the laughter.
Not to be too graphic, you might expound an restroom use while carrying. I did it in my blog some time back, but it's not dealt with very often.
And, it is important, for both sexes. Keep it up, you're doing great!
thx,
guffaw

 
At May 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM , Blogger tc in tx said...

I've been to too many courses in the past with inadequate staffing and an inability to help everyone needing help and assistance, or being too stand-offish with a better-than-thou attitude over the students. Having someone there who can relate to the students, especially the women in the class is to be applauded and you are to be congratulated.

You are doing a great job and John is lucky to have you.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM , Blogger RabidAlien said...

Dang, that sounds like an AWESOME weekend, regardless of whether you got trigger-time or not!

And you DEFINITELY need to do a potty-post...I'm really looking forward to reading some of the comments from this crowd. :evil grin:

 
At May 7, 2012 at 12:04 PM , Blogger Rob said...

G.G. thanks for the update on your weekend. Sounds like you love to do what you are doing.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I love how supportive you are of me. Thank you!!! I do want to say that John has been doing amazing work for 8 years without me. Heck, he helped me all by himself. He doesn't need me. I am the lucky one, but I do think that some of the people that come to the courses do find some value in my being there and that makes me happy.

Thanks for saying he was lucky though:)

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:18 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you and I think your right. I care about the individule and what they need to survive, but of course the impact it can have on the greater issue, is all good!!!!!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:18 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I actually have answered this question a couple of times, a few times over at Weer'd's place and at my FB. it is a real concern...you are correct!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

thank you kymber. i did have a blast!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Love that story. Makes me giggle every time!!!!!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I do try to make everyone feel comfortable and certaintly the women who come.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you Old NFO. You should come down for an advanced class:)

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:26 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Imwillmthink about it:) Can you send me a link to your post?

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:26 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

It was awesome!!!!

Lol, we shall see on the potty post:)

 
At May 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I do love it!!! Thanks for stopping by. I like hearing from you!

 
At May 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM , Blogger Lynne F said...

You have come so far! Wow! When are you going to get your Instructor Cert? It is always a good idea to take a class with someone different, I might need to come down for a class with you one of these weekends!

Congratulations, I'm really proud of you (I hope it is ok to write that), you really have come a long way.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 8:26 PM , Blogger 45er said...

I think your perspective helps add a great layer to the class. Good job (again) Agirl.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 8:37 PM , Blogger Keads said...

Yes, good on you! Keep it up and paying it forward! I cannot wait for my next class. IT is personal.

 
At May 7, 2012 at 10:58 PM , Anonymous Lisa said...

I wish I could find a course like this in my state (WI) but I'm not sure how to go about finding out when and where. Perhaps one of your faithful reader's will have a better idea than me, I'd really appreciate it.

How cool that you are able to do this and I agree with Keads...it is a great way to pay forward. If I were taking a class like this, I'd really appreciate having a woman who gives freely of her time and personally gets to know me. Then again, you're pretty much a 'people person' so I'm not surprised.

 
At May 8, 2012 at 3:59 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Lynne, of course, you can say your proud of me. It means a lot!! I value your support and friendship. Thank you!!

 
At May 8, 2012 at 4:00 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

:)

 
At May 8, 2012 at 4:00 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Love this comment. It is personal, your right!

 
At May 8, 2012 at 4:01 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Lisa, thank you for your kindness.

Let's see if we can't find you some good training there in WI, otherwise you might just have to come to Virginia:)

 
At May 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM , Blogger GunDiva said...

Gah! I am so far behind on reading and commenting!

I'm glad you had a fabulous weekend teaching; it sounds like you're taking to it like a duck to water and I *love* hearing your stories. You have so much to offer the students and they are lucky to have you.

 
At May 8, 2012 at 10:02 PM , Blogger Jason in MN said...

My first handgun safety course was taught by a woman. My Mother and Father attended, as well. My Mom had never shot a gun, despite growing up on a farm with four brothers who were hunters. My Dad was a Marine, but it had been several years since he had served, so he thought a refresher was a good idea. The female instructor we had couldn't have been better. As a relatively new shooter at the time, I learned a ton. The class was at least half women. She focused heavily on safety issues, as this wasn't a self-defense course. I don't think my Mom would have made it through the shooting portion of the class if a man had taught it. The female instructor was patient, yet firm, in how she instructed my Mom. If you are ever comfortable with the idea, you should definitely look into a training certification.

I'm hardly a seasoned shooter, although I do it as often as possible. I have had the privilege of taking three new shooters to the range on different occasions. One of the tactics I use with them (after going over safety and shooting some lower caliber handguns) is to take video with my smart phone and later show them what they did that was correct and what needs improvement (I wish someone would do that for me sometime). It's easier to learn when you see how you're actually doing it, in my opinion. As an added bonus, I am also able to take freeze frame captures of some of the muzzle blasts they have had and send that to them as a still image. If you want to get someone excited to come back to the range, give them a picture of them shooting with a huge flame coming out of a snub-nosed .357 Magnum.

 
At May 8, 2012 at 10:04 PM , Blogger Jason in MN said...

Oops, I mean I've taken four new shooters to the range. How could I forget about my wife?

 
At May 9, 2012 at 8:12 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I am so glad you had such a good experience. I have heard horror stories about students taking classes from unskilled instructors and it was not good.

Fun times!!

 

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