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A Girl and Her Gun

A Girl and Her Gun: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Bought a Gun!

The first time I bought a gun, it was just a week or so after my incident in the grocery store parking lot. I had been reading about guns and whatnot, but really was just desperate to have a firearm, so armed with nothing more than a weeks worth of internet knowledge, I met a guy I didn't know in the parking lot of a pawn shop and handed over $550 in cash for a gun I knew nothing about.  Now, it all turned out fine, that gun has been mighty good to me and I love it, but ladies and gentleman, that is not the way to do it.

So, for those of you who are new to guns, here is how you do it and for the record, this is exactly how all the experts will tell you how to do it and I probably should have done it their way, but then I would have that cool pawn shop parking lot story...


A few months ago, I saw a video on the XDm 5.25 barrel 9mm and from that video, I decided that was the gun I wanted.  I was so excited by how excited the guy in the video was, I just knew I needed that gun, so I pretty much set out to get it.  Wait, the experts probably won't suggest you buy a gun based on a dude in a video wetting his pants with excitement, but I am getting there.

I mentioned to a couple of people or pretty much anyone who would listen that I wanted an XDm, so being the amazingly nice folks that they are, many of them including Newbius and Girls With Guns, offered to let me shoot theirs and my lust was confirmed and it turned into a full fledged love affair.  I shot it every chance I got.

In the meantime other folks said, hey why not try this gun or that gun, of course, I did.  One gun I shot was the M&P 9mm and that one felt good too and the more I shot it the more it felt right, but I was torn because I was emotionally attached to that XDm. 

John invited me out to his range and we did all kinds of drills and tests.  I shot my Glock and the XDm of a very nice guy that was there that day also and I shot John's M&P.  Again, there wasn't a massive difference between any of the times or accuracies, but in the end I did the best with the M&P, which should have been enough to convince me, but, I am a girl and I am emotional, so I still wanted that XDm.  Wait, the experts probably will not advise that you buy a gun based on your emotional connection to it, especially when your emotions are based on that dude in the video, but I am getting there.

One of my favorite things about my Glock is it's lack of a manual safety(meaning something I have to do before hand to "unlock" the gun in order for me to fire my first shot) I like being able to draw and shoot.  Both the XDm and the M&P come without a manual safety, but the XDm does have a grip safety(a little "level" on the back of the grip that when you grip the handle will press into the gun and as long as your grip is right, the gun will fire.) which has never been a problem any of the times I shot the XDm.  No matter how I grabbed the gun, it shot, but some people I train with had said that as I advance in my training and do more "rolling" around onto the ground kind of work, the grip safety may become a hindrance for me.

So, I decided that I should keep shooting both guns, shoot a few other as well to include the Glock and to talk, talk, talk to people about their experiences. I went to several gun shops and gun shows and put my hands on everything I could to get a feel for what felt comfortable.  I looked at my targets and I set my emotion aside.  I looked at what I was going to use the gun for, what felt good to me, and what I was able to accomplish with said gun(ie, draw, accuracy etc.). I took my time and once I made my choice, I didn't rush it or settle.(This is what the experts suggest) Ok, I did try to rush it a couple times, but fate intervened and kept me from jumping the gun, no pun intended.

Finally, yesterday, I went to a reputable gun store with my son and John and purchased a M&P 9mm.  Robb, the gun guy, installed Apex parts, to improve the trigger. If you are new to guns this part might not make sense, but before the trigger was kind of ratchety and the reset(the point where the trigger clicks and lets me fire again) was, not sure the right term, someone will explain this, I hope.  anyway, Robb also switched the gun over to work with my left handedness.  My Glock is made for a right handed person, so I have had to adapt.  Instead of pressing the magazine release with my thumb, I use my index finger etc.  This has not been a problem because, it is all I have ever know, however, last night as I tried to do some dry firing with my new gun, I kept trying to manipulate everything with my index finger.  I don't think it will take long to get that under control though.


My paperwork took about 15 minutes to get approved.  For some reason this seemed to annoy the folks around me:)

Not a great picture, but there she is...I am off to the range today to do some break in work.  I will let you know she does.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Guess What I Did Today


Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Smile As Big As The Moon

Tonight my husband and I sat down with our older children and watched a Hallmark movie. Yep, a cheesy, sappy, tear jerking, kind of movie. This movie was about a special ed teacher that wanted to take his kids to space camp.

Being the mother of 3 special needs kiddos that have had their challenges, well, of course this movie appealed to me. It was your typical, predictable, cliche flick and yet, it was full of truth, loaded really.

So, here is a teacher fighting the odds and the system and he eventually takes his kids to the camp. Everything is going great when, wham, a kid with "issues" loses it. The teacher gets ready to chase after him when one of the other kids steps up, puts his hand on the teachers shoulder and says, "No, let us go". "We don't need you any more". The teacher looks to his co-worker and says "They don't need us anymore." and she says "Isn't that the point?"

Yep!

Of course, they still need them. We always need people, their support, their love, their encouragement, but it changes. It moves from dependence to empowerment to partnership, to friendship.

There were no guns. Nothing blew up. But there was plenty of fight. Only the thing they were fighting for was a place in this world and I couldn't help but think, isn't this what I am fighting for? Isn't this the point? Helping the least of these, be a little more powerful, a little more confident, a little more independent. Isn't this the whole point? I reach out to others who help me be stronger, so I can be stronger, so I can help others be stronger. Plus they played Kenny Roger's The Gambler and that alone hooked me.

You all get it, I know, but it's still worth saying. The fight is so worth fighting.

Dinner With Friends

Last night we had some friends over for dinner. We have known them for a couple of years as our children went to kindergarten together. We go to their house a couple times a year and they came to ours once or twice. We are close, but still getting to know each other. What each others values are, politics, how we feel about improtant issues, etc.

A few months ago they invited our family out for one of their annual get togethers. My husband was out of town, so it was just me and the kiddos. After things had settled a bit and most of the other people had left, I was sitting and talking to our friends about our current president and my lack of appreciation for his stance on the 2nd Amendment. They agreed with me and we exchanged quips, jabs, the usual banter that takes place among friends. The kids were all running around playing, so they could hear us, but no one was sitting down intently paying attention to what any of us said, which is why I was surprised when they shared this story with us...

A few weeks after the party, their son had a little playmate over for the day. The
little girl had gone into the little boy's room to look for his nerf guns, but she couldn't find them. So, finally in frustration she asked the little boy,

"Where are all your guns"

His reply "Obama took' um"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is It Any Wonder

Last night I received an email alert from our local police department warning abut a suspicious man following a young girl home from school.  I decided to check my personal FB to see if the local newspaper had posted any additional info.  They had...

The Sheriff's Office is investigating a report of suspicious activity near Freedom Middle School. A male appeared to follow children from the school to a neighboring residence, then lingered in front of the house once the children were inside. He is described as a white male approx 30-40 years old, 6 feet tall, 190 lbs medium build with curly grey hair with a bald spot and close cut grey beard last seen wearing a grey t-shirt, silver wristwatch, blue knee length basketball shorts and white and grey shoes. Citizens are advised to monitor their children carefully and report any suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Office- 
Later today another update...
At approximately 5:15 p.m. a female 14 year old 8th grade Freedom Middle student
walked back to the school to get her keys which she had forgotten after volleyball
practice which ended at 5:00 p.m. She noticed a white male (description below)
running on the track and remembered seeing him there the day before when she
went home after practice. After retrieving her keys she began to walk home and
noticed the man leave the track and begin to slowly run and walk behind her. The
student called out to a friend who was outside and had him walk her home. Once
inside her residence the suspicious male stopped outside her residence and began
stretching, until a neighbor told him to get off his vehicle. The male then ran to the
end of the street and began stretching again. Once the student’s aunt arrived home
the male ran back toward Freedom Middle School.

The school principal was notified and worked with the Sheriff’s Office last night in
an attempt to identify the male. The student describes the male as follows:

Gray curly/frizzy hair on top of his head with a small bald spot/slick hair on the
back of his head
6’0” 190 thick body shape
Lost of hair on arms
Gray shirt with words on it, blue basketball short to knee length, white sneakers
with gray outline
Drove a white SUV type car that he parked in the bus loop
-walked on track or around the school two days in a row around 5pm
This was on the news and alerts went out and it was in the newspaper and on FB, but this person and no one that he knew came forward. 
 At some point the police said they were patrolling the area and noticed a man fitting the description and decided to question him.
They, the police decided that he is not a bad guy, just a jogger and no one should be worried.  Now, to be honest this doesn't sit well with me, but that is not the point of this post. 
I make a comment on the story as followed...
I am immensely impressed with this young person. Way to be aware, make good choices and let a trusted adult know! Not her job to decide if he is a good guy or not. She did exactly the right thing!
This is the response from Melissa...
Dang I better be aware of my surroundings when I go out running in neighborhoods...or try to make it obvious I'm just out for a run! Good for the girl to stay aware though...
That is her answer to a kid's reaction.  A kid.  A girl, basically alone at the age of 14.  This child accused no one of anything.  Not a single person was harmed in this event, but this person, Melissa, thinks it is wrong for the jogger to be inconvenienced.   The jogger, not the child, that is who she is concerned about.
This man very well may be innocent, although I half expect him to turn up on America's Most Wanted someday, but regardless, this is the message much of society sends to it's children, it's women. 
We wouldn't want to offend an innocent man, so it is better to keep quite and if he happens to mug you, beat you up, rape you, kidnap you or murder you, at least you didn't cause a scene.  You were a good girl. After all isn't that what we are looking for?
I am half tempted to post the link and unleash the full force of the gun community on her, but instead I will rant to the ones who already know the truth.  The ones that are already protecting their children and teaching them how be survivors. 
Good gravy, I am mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No wonder we have woman and children who don't stand up and say STOP! GET BACK! 
I am not blaming society for an individuals responsibility to defend themselves, but if one has no idea, no idea at all and is socialized, embarrassed and harassed into thinking it is wrong to stand up and question the odd behavior of another, well then, there is a good chance that person just might not be equipped, mentally or otherwise to fight back.
When I first started carrying my plan was still not to cause a fuss. To just sit back quietly and carry my gun.  I had planned to blend into the background of life and not draw to much attention to my gun totin' ways, but that is out the window.  Little by little I have talked a little louder and I have fought a little harder, but this it is, this the straw that broke the quite little ladies back...NO WAY  I WILL BE QUIET!  NO WAY! I will not let Melissa convince  children that they should hush up.  That they should be good little girls.  That they should wait for something bad to happen, before they speak up. Nope, not a chance.
I am in this fight.  I am all in!
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National Take Your Daughter To the Range Day


As you probably know, growing up I did not learn about guns.  I did not like guns and even though I wasn’t particularly girly, I was not athletic in any way that required skill.  I liked track. Running in a circle, that I could do. I was a very shy, quiet, and I kept to myself, mostly reading.  I had friends, I fit in, but I was very unsure of how to act and what to say and to say that I was not cool would be a huge understatement. 

As I grew up and went to college I became more outgoing and less of a recluse, but I would still keep to myself mostly. My husband and I have always had a small group of friends that we choose to spend our time with and neither one of us is what you would call adventurous.  My husband was a Marine for 20 years, so that would seem a contradiction, but it isn’t.  He did his job, which he loved, brilliantly, but he was not for taking risks just to take them.  He will go to battle and fight to the death, but he isn’t going to bungee jump off the bridge just for an adrenalin rush and neither am I.

I have always chosen the safe path in life.  The middle of the road stock options, the respectable, but not to exciting career, the 2 kids, white picket fence kind of road.  It has been a good life and I have had much joy and fun, and occasionally I have detoured off the path and do something a little unconventional.  When my passion overrides my fears, like when we adopted our kiddos, but I quickly returned to my cozy life. 

Recently, as I have gained a new kind of peace and confidence, the kind that comes with knowing I can take care of myself, I have started to take more risks. I have a much deeper appreciation for my life and while I still have no desire to fling myself off a bridge, I am more likely to take the harder road now. 

When I faced my fears about guns and not only overcame those fears, but blew them out of the water, I started to believe in myself in a new way.  I am more willing to step out and fight for what I want even if it scares me or even if I am not sure I can succeed.

Confidence comes anytime one faces a challenge, whether a person succeeds at it or not.  Just taking the steps forward to try is character building, but when one takes responsibility for their own life, all of it,  not just the paying the bills and taking care of the children part, but for it’s very breath…that is a confidence like no other.

That is the confidence I gained when I began shooting. That is the confidence I want for my children, especially my daughters (I say that because society often doesn’t make that as easily accessible to the girls).  I want that kind of confidence to pulse through their veins.  I want that to be the very breath that they breathe.  

Of course, there are many aspects to teaching children that kind of confidence.  It isn’t as simple as putting a gun in their hand, but for our family, shooting is a vital part of the lessons we want to teach. 

Our children know their life matters and they know they have the right to fight for it and to protect it.  That is our number one lesson…YOU MATTER! Learning how to protect themselves is one major way to teach that lesson.

If you have never taken your child shooting then you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to teach your child, not only a skill that might one day save their life, but also a valuable tool to help them gain confidence.  Talk to any woman who carries a gun and I'll bet she will tell you that she walks a little taller and sleeps a little better knowing she knows how to use a gun.

I want to invite you to take that first step(or if you are old hat at this, then I invite you to join in anyway)  and take you daughter/s to the first  National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day.  This year’s event will be held on June 9, 2012. I know the people putting this together and they are top notch.  I will be doing everything I can to help and I hope at the very least you will come out and shoot!  For more information go here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Hope I Made You Proud

Today I met a new friend at my local range because what better way to get to know someone then to share a little lead?

My gun collection consists of a Glock and a Ruger LCP. Not much to offer, but at least I paid for the range time. My new friend has lots to offer. In addition to her sweet personality, she brought an XDm in 9mm, Glock 19(which is also a 9mm), a .22 pistol, and a bodyguard in .380. Do I even have to say how excited I was?

While said friend was loading her magazines with ammo, I shot my Glock 27(that shoots a .40 caliber bullet, if your new)

I breath, I aim, I squeeze, bang...OUCH! What the heck, that hurt. My finger was numb and my hand was stinging. I have had this happen a few other times, but I could not find any rhyme or reason as to why sometimes I shoot my gun and nothing and other times, I can't hardly handle the sting. I shoot my gun a few more times and decide I am not a fan, so I put it down and start shooting the other guns. First the XDm, then the Glock 9mm, then the Bodygaurd. Actually, I am taking turns with my friend, but that is the order I shot the guns. Then my friend says would you like to shoot the Glock .40 full size. Sure. I shoot and it doesn't hurt. I am sure the size of the gun impacts recoil, but I just didn't think the bigger gun was the main difference.

(This where you might be proud because this is where what I have been learning here kicked in.)

My mind was thinking and thinking what is the deal? Finally, I ask my friend what grain her .40 ammo is...she says 155. Mine are 180 grain.

For the purpose of those that might not understand what I am talking about, I am going to give you a very basic explanation. As always, the technicalities of all this I will leave to others, but grain is essential the weight of the bullet. So, you can buy a bullet in a .40 caliber, but it's weight or grain can vary. You can buy a .40 in 155 grain or 165 grain or 180 grain. There are more choices, but just to give you an idea.

I have understood the differences intellectually, but I didn't really understand how they effected my shooting, until today. Well, I understood a lighter grain meant the bullet travels faster, but not as far whereas the heavier load goes farther, but at a slower velocity. I am not really a good enough shooter to be able to tell the subtle difference between grains, or so I thought.

After I realized that her .40's and my .40's were different grains, I asked if I could shoot my bullets out of her gun. She said yes, so I did. Guess what? It hurt my hand. Not quite as much as when I shot my smaller gun, but my hand still stung after each shot, so, of course, I asked if I could shoot her .40's out of my gun and since she is unbelievably AWESOME, she said yes. Guess what? No pain! I normally shoot 165 grain, so the 180 grain is brutal on my hands. Too much power for me. I have to say, even though I felt the recipe differently, ny shots were pretty darn good regardless of what I shot. That was pretty cool.

I literally jumped up and down. I figured it out, on my own. I was so excited that I had enough knowledge to think, "hey I wonder if it is the grain" and then to do a little experiment and then to find the answer!!!!

Our hard work is paying off! Thanks for answering my endless questions. I am learning! I am learning!

P.S. I do not like 180 grain, do not like it at all.

I'm In Love With A Dragon

Back in November 2011 I ordered a holster for my husband from Dragon Leatherworks.  Dennis had it ready and shipped in time for my husband to open it Christmas morning!!  I had a minor issue and contacted Dennis to see if he would mind making the adjustment and within 3 minutes of me sending an email to him, he called me.  He was happy to make the change and he did so lickty split!!  From my first conversation with Dennis I knew this was going to be a good experience.  He was nice, professional, timely and his holster speaks for itself.






The workmanship is outstanding, the customer service stellar and plus this is one gorgeous holster!  Thanks Dennis!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Change

Tonight I was catching up on Facebook posts and I read "Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better" on The Cornered Cat's page.

It reminded me of something I have said several times over the years...the easiest thing in the world to do is nothing. It takes courage to change.

To do something different is very scary for people and so many, if not, most people choose the easy path and do nothing. They choose to remain in a place of misery, or fear, or a victim.

After my brother killed himself, my parents, understandably, had a rough time. It was a difficult time for all of us, but my parents couldn't seem to move on from the guilt and the pain. They were in so much pain and filled with such anger, anger that just grew and grew, that they essentially were no longer living. I remember telling my dad that he was doing my brother no good. The guilt he felt about being a bad parent wasn't serving any purpose except to destroy another life. It made more sense to take the lessons learned and to be a better father, grandfather, friend, person...

I understood it would be hard, but it was really the only choice.

Three days after my brother's funeral, I laid on the floor, on my stomach, curled up and sobbed. It was the first time I really let go of my emotions and sobbed. Up until that point, I had cried,of course, but there was much to be done, to include being strong for my parents. I don't remember how long I laid there, but my husband says it was hours. He knows because the entire time, he laid on top of me and held me. At some point, I pulled myself together and moved forward. One of the things I said to my husband was that I wanted to show my kids how to handle hardships. How to deal with the worst life has to offer and to come out the other side, not just alive, but living. It took me about a year after my brother killed himself until I fully felt like myself. Durning that year, I had a lot of good days. Days that I laughed and days that I smiled, but from time to time, I would get overwhelmed by the emotions of anger I felt at him or the enormous amount of loss I felt not having him around and when those times came, I let them out. I cried and talked about how I felt and then I moved on. The time between "break-downs" got longer and longer until they just didn't happen any more. Now my kids were very young then, so I shielded them from a lot as I do today, but when they ask about that time, I can tell them, I had days where I just laid in bed, but the days I got up far out weighed the ones when I didn't and I am so glad I did because look at what I would have missed.

I am trying to do that now too. I am trying to teach my kids how to heal from a bad situation. I want them to learn lessons from my mistakes and also give them skills to cope with life, the good and the bad.

It is not healthy to feel guilty and I don't and it's not healthy to stay in a cycle of self pity and I am not, but it is not realistic to think some events won't cause pain or won't be difficult. I want my children to know its ok to cry and it's ok to have a bad day, and doing so doesn't make you unstable or unhealthy. Just the opposite, really. Cry, scream, yell, then move forward. Find positive ways to move forward. That is inconvenience. That is healing.

Make no mistake, I am tougher and if ever anyone makes the mistake of coming at me again, the scenario will end much differently and make no mistake, I am preparing my children to be fighters, to be mentally tough, to be courageous, but I am also teaching them how to feel. How to be passionate, how to care, how to have empathy and love for others and themselves. I am trying to be an example of healing. I don't think I am teaching them much if I am only hard and never soft. If I am only strong and never weak. I want them to know being strong doesn't mean not feeling sad. Being brave doesn't mean not crying.

Change takes inconvenience. It takes courage. It is not a smooth ride. It is worth the effort.

Pretty soon we will only find these posts in my archives, but until then, I will keep moving forward.

I am making the changes. I am healing. I am living.

Tomorrow one of my daughter's from China is turning 8. When she came to us, she was 4, she was broken, she was empty, she needed things she couldn't ask for, she could offer us nothing in return, but we loved on her and we taught her how to heal. Today she is confident, carefree, peaceful, full of life. She still needs us, but not the way she used to. Tomorrow I will be smiling and probably crying and my heart will be full. We will be celebrating not only her birth, but also her life and her fighting spirit.

Yep, it's worth the effort.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Does This Sound Right To Anyone?

Before I go ranting and raving about the injustice of it all, I want to check with you all to see if this sounds wrong to anyone besides me.

My son is 20 years old and has a Wisconsin drivers license.  He used to live in Wisconsin, but recently moved back to Virgina.  He moved here January of this year.  Anyway, my husband and I have a car that hasn't been running and we haven't needed it so we have not bothered to get it fixed.  Now that our son is home he needs the car, so this morning we got it fixed and our son was driving it to get it inspected.

About 2 blocks from the house he gets pulled over for the inspection not being current.  That is fine, but the cop also gave him a ticket for not having a license.  Our son went to get his license out of his wallet and realized it wasn't there, so he told the police officer, he would bring proof to him later.  In Virginia a person has 24 hours to produce proof that one is in fact a licensed driver.  The police officer said that since, he, the cop could not prove that there was reason to believe our son had a valid  license in Wisconsin, that he was giving him a ticket for operating a vehicle without  any license at all.

The police officer was on a motorcycle, so he called into dispatch to have them check to see if Wisconsin had a record of his license, but the dispatcher said she/he didn't have access to find that out.

So, the police officer told our son that it is true a person has 24 hours to produce their licenses, but that if there is no way to tell that one has a license that he can cite the driver and in addition, he told my son he can't drive until the March 2nd court date.  That does not sound right to me.  My son has the license, but it is in his wife's purse.  When she gets home I am going to drive him to the police department to show proof within 24 hours, but I had to go pick him up.  If he is a legal driver with a valid license and is in a state where the law allows 24 hours to produce said licenses and it has not yet been 24 hours, can the police really tell him, he is not allowed to drive until March 2nd?

Just seems wrong.  Can any of my Virginia friends(or anyone else) shed some light for me?

A New Blog

If you read my post Blogs, Blogs and Gosh Darn More Blogs then you know I am a fan of the many wonderful blogs out there.

Guess what? Yesterday I found a new one!!  This blog is especially great for the brand new shooter.  Bill's post are full of extremely useful information that he lays out in a very easy to understand way.

Part of my frustration when I was first learning about guns was that my level of knowledge was so low, when I say low, I mean zero, so when someone on a blog would say DAO, I thought it was a typo for DOA(Dead on Arrival).  I would like to say I am only joking here, but I am not.  Even when a blogger included DAO(double action only), it didn't help me.  Google was my best friend in those early days, which is why the protest the other day was so important to me.  Not really why.  Really, it was because our government is ticking me off, but...

I digress, the point being that I needed a much more basic explanation of things.  Fortunately, I was motivated and if I didn't know I would just ask and as we all know, the bloggers were more than willing to help me, but it would have been nice to have a place where I could go that was more tailored to my level.  Bill's blog is one such place.

The bloggers in the gun world are very talented, smart people which is wonderful, but often times, when I finished reading a post, I just felt deflated.  Not being able to grasp what they were saying was maddening.  That is my fault, not theirs.  I just needed a place where I could go that would give me step by step guidance. There are a lot of courses that one can take offered through the NRA and I would suggest taking one or two or three, but in the mean time, the internet  can be a great resources.

From the emails I am getting, I am realizing that I am not alone and truth be told there might be more of us in the clueless camp than in the expert camp(helpful hint: if you go to a blog that claims to know it all, they probably don't.  The really smart ones share their knowledge, but always say they are still learning too)

So, from one brand new shooter to another, here are my suggestions:

First-Buy Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide To Concealed Carry.  It is not a complicated book.  It is well thought out, easy to understand guide that is well worth the minimal investment.  Having said that, the first time I read it, there was much I did not understand, but that's fine. It's a guide and I refer back to it constantly.  The book gave me a place to start and each time I am exposed to something new, I pick up my copy and see what The Cornered Cat has to say about it.

Second-If you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are the only one, go back and read my old posts.  You will see nothing could be farther from the truth.  Not trying to be a post pusher here, just trying to give you a place to go if you need to feel better about yourself or smarter.  I am not exaggerating when I say I needed help.  Good news...I found it and so will you.

Third- Visit Bill's blog

Forth-If you visit a blog and you read something complicated about guns or ballistics or Green Tomato Bacon Pie(Ok, that one is not complicated, but it looks so mouth watering, make your knees weak, good that you have to go see it) that you do not understand...ASK!  I think it is better to ask in the comments as opposed to an email and here's why:  I am absolutely positive if you have the question so does someone else.  You will be helping other women who are not ready to post publicly their questions.  It's a community and you can help even if only by having the courage to ask.  The second reason I suggest leaving a comment, is doing so,  gives you access to more information.  The blog host will most likely answer you, but in addition, so will a whole lot of other smart folks.  Not everyone will answer in a way that your brain understand information, so the more people who respond the better chance you have of getting it.  If you still do not understand, ask again.  I am serious about this, keep asking until you are satisfied that you have a good grasp of the issue at hand.

Last-Relax!  You do not have to understand DOA or SAO or 5.56 NATO(I use this example a lot because I just learned about it and it makes me happy that I know it) to know how to shoot.  If you have taken a step, any step forward to make yourself safer, then I say BRAVO! EXCELLENT!  WAY TO GO!!  I am immensely proud of you(which may or may not mean anything to you, but regardless I am, so I am telling you so) and I can promise you, you will not be disappointed as you take this incredible journey towards greater freedom and dare I say it, a whole lot of fricken fun!!

P.S. this is not an exhaustive list of things you should do, but it's a place to start.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Missed You!!

Yesterday I got up early, visited a few blogs, made a few comments and then for the most part I was offline.

 Larry left this comment to my post  Protest "It is wrong. Which is why I'm on the air and broadcasting as loud as I can. Bastards will have to send the black helicopters in for me". 

I think he makes a good point and if you go to his site, he explains it further.  I am generally not a fan of protest and boycotts, but sometimes I think it is important to stand up, publicly for what you believe in. How one does that can vary.  I was happy to see that while we displayed our contempt for the issue differently, we both did something.

The main reason I did not post on my blog or FaceBook yesterday was because I think this nation is becoming very lazy and very selfish and it appears that most people do not have a clue what is going on.  I have to believe this because otherwise I would think there would be more outrage.  It appears that people live in a fog and only stand up and fight when the cause effects them.  I thought perhaps if people were inconvenienced by not being able to do what they wanted online, they might try to figure out what was happening and then maybe, just maybe stand up against it. Now, I don't think that anyone cares if I blog or not and generally the people who read my blog are already the kind of people who stand up for their principals and fight, but I also thought it was important for me to support the bigger issue because I think what is going on in our government is sickening. 

Anyway, since I chose not to be online yesterday, I picked up my 13 year old and her friend from school and we spent the day eating and shopping.  At one of the stores I saw a sign that I thought perfectly stated my life's motto, so I bought it...
Absolutely True

I Made One Minor Adjustment

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protest

I have spent the last hour trying to get this blog tomgo offline, but it's not working, so let me say...

Censorship is just WRONG!

I'm off.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drills

This post is really for those of you who are not yet shooters or are relatively new.

If you have not shot a gun before then you may not be aware that guns can "malfunction". I will leave all the technically aspects of this to the experts, but basically, when you pull the trigger and there is no bang, you have a problem.

If you are in a bad situation and it calls for you to draw your gun and shoot, you want it to go bang and more likely, you will want it to go bang, bang, bang. If for some reason, your gun doesn't do that, then it is imperative that you know how to deal with that problem, quickly.

There are several reason why the gun might not go bang and there are several ways to deal with the problem.  I will not get into all of those ways because I don't want to bog you down with to much information.  For the purpose of simplicity, I will just say, dealing with malfunctions is an important part of your training.

If you missed my post yesterday, I talked about having some bad dreams and all of them focused on my gun not working and me not being able to fix it.  Lots of people posted that these kinds of dreams are very normal and all have had them.. Huge relief.  Many of the suggestions to dealing with said dreams was to a accept them as nothing more than the mind doing its thing and to practice.

I receieved lots of very helpful comments, but I thought I would share part of one from Weer'd...

"I used to have the crazy malfunction dreams, and I still have REALLY weird ones, like one when my wife and I were in a hotel room and some creep tries to force their way in. I grab the travel box I had taken the gun in (obviously we must have flown or driven through an unfriendly state) and open it up and there is my 1911...perfectly field stripped and laid out.

So now I'm putting a 1911 together as fast as I can while the door is breaking down.

Just weird.

Still the most common nightmares everything works as I practice, my draw is smooth, I keep the gun in a position where it can't be grabbed and I shoot and hit my target....and nothing changes, the attacker keeps coming, and eventually my gun breaks or falls apart, or jams just because my mind is out of bad ideas.

I suspect the reason for this is I've never actually SHOT a person. I know what its like to draw and fire, and I know how to fix a gun that's stopped working...but I have no idea (in practice) how to stop an attacker because I've never had to do it.

I know my biology, I know my ballistics, and I've read a ton of books about such things...but I've never seen it happen, and so my mind has nothing to draw on".



 I think that makes perfect sense.  Our minds do in fact draw from what we tell it or what it has experienced.  I actually, know this to be true from my education in Deaf studies and linguistics.  That is why practicing anything you want to do well, is so important.  You have to develop those neural pathways.

Anyway you slice it, I needed to get to the range. So, yesterday my husband and I met John at the range to work on malfunction drills.

The first drill was a target placed at a relatively close spot to me, maybe 5, maybe 7 yards. John, placed some live ammo mixed with dummy rounds then I shot the magazine and dealt with the issues that came up.

A dummy round is a "fake" bullet. It isn't supposed to go bang. They are also called snap caps. There might be other names, but those are the two I am familiar with. Mine are red. You can read more about them here



So, let's say I pull the trigger and the gun makes a click sound, but nothing else happens. Then I have a problem. What I practiced was tapping the bottom of the magazine, racking the slide and then pulling the trigger. It is actual called...tap, rack, bang. I have practiced this before, but it has been a while. The other part of the drill was to move while tap, rack, bang was taking place. If your gun is not working, you don't want to stand there like a sitting duck while trying to fix the problem. It is important to move and to make yourself a difficult target. Now, when I say I moved, understand at the indoor range there isn't much room to actually move.

Again, if you have never shot at an indoor range let me explain that basically you are put in a little cubicle.



I had just enough room to take 2 steps to the left or to the right, but it got my mind thinking about moving and any practice is good. Well, as long as what you are practicing is based on good solid training.

I practiced dropping the magazine and reloading and John showed me how to tap, rack, bang with one hand. The range we were at would not actually allow us to practice this, but I got the idea and I can certainly practice that at home during my dry fire practice time.  For more on dry fire practice see the Cornered Cat's article on the subject.

I did pretty darn good if I do say so myself. What I found interesting is that when the target was a man, I did much better then when I was shooting at little circles. When I was shooting a "person", I hit every shot in center mass with a fist sized group, but when I was shooting at little circles, I was still hitting the target, but not exactly where I was aiming. Not sure why.

All in all it was a very good day at the range and I felt much better about being able to handle a malfunction. I will, of course, keep practicing, but I am feeling good and last night very peacefully.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Well, that was a surprise.

I am going to make this short because I am exhausted, but I wanted to say thank you for everything. The kind words, the advice, and the support. You already know how much I value you all. The advice was good. I listened.

I want to be sure everyone understands, neither Joan or any other negative comment had anything to do with my mini breakdown. I truly, honestly never once have given any thought to her. People who don't like me or are mean, don't upset me. I didn't return to her site or the reddit site because they both are negative and empty. All that is offered there is hate and that's not me. That has never been me.

The past few days have been the culmination of the past few weeks. I mentioned my feeling in passing to a few blogger friends, so I tried to stuff it down. I thought I was doing a good job of it, but the dreams(which I now know are normal, but still were something more this time) and that wonderful post just forced me to let it go. I have been getting hundreds of emails and reading lots of post calling me a hero or a true American, or any number of other extraordinarily kind, kind things. I have been fortunate enough to have a few people send me a t shirt or a holster accompanied by beautiful words. I tried to pay for every single one. But, they were gifts and I appreciated them so much. Juxtapose that with emails or comments from women who have been raped or violated in other horrific ways or from husband's reaching out to me on behalf of their loved ones, or from service members...men and women who have fought for our country, they are telling me, I touched them. Man, I felt woefully inadequate and guilty for all the good that is happening in my life. I am giving away one, ONE, training and this community has given me so much. That is what made me go a little crazy. Feeling like I was benefitting while others were suffering. Those are the people I respect and those are the people I value and they are who affect my life. I realize now, that I am helping people and they mean what they say. I am helping. That is huge to me! That is what matters! I don't need to feel guilt or bad about that. So, I won't any longer.

I think my post might have come off a bit overly dramatic.  I wrote what I was feeling at that moment and I probably should have taken a step back.  It really was just a few bad days and even then, not all the awful.  I still laughed and spent time with my kids and did fun things with my husband.  I did not obsess about the feelings or the dreams at all.  I have written many times how much I love my life and how much I want to fight for it and that is always true, but I am a girl and I get emotional.  In a very short amount of time, 7 days to be exact, I had been bombarded with lots of compliments and lots of very emotional stories.  I was not sleeping from reading all the emails and it just caught up with me.  I vented and you all, like always were there as were my husband, my friends and John, who is my friend, but I like to give him an extra shout out. 

John(my favorite firearms instructor) read my post and sent an email...

Let's Shoot

Today.

Focus: malfunction drills.

I met him and we did just that. 100 rounds down range coupled with lots of support and I feel much better.

Here is my plan, to accept that life deals what it deals and we all have to do the best we can. I am doing the best I can for myself and others. It is genuine and I am passionate about helping people avoid becoming a victim and helping people like me, survivors, heal. All good!

I am going to continue to shoot, and train. I will continue to ask questions and prepare.

A bad thing happened, I have come far, I had a bump in the road, that's ok. I cussed!! Unfortunately, I didn't even realize it until someone pointed it out. I am fine.

P.S. Don't take my drama to mean you should stop telling me how great I am.  I am kind of getting used to it and nobody wants me to write a ranting post about how nobody loves me anymore.

Healing Is Not Linear

Life is good, life is fine, something bad happens, rocks my world.  I go through the normal phases and eventually healing and progress takes place. 

I had thought all that pain was behind me.  Not forgotten, but tucked away as a memory, one that I could control and use to help others.

I never thought I would be dealing with the negative emotion that came from my bad guy encounter. Then I wrote that letter. 

That letter.

When I first wrote, it was exactly what I wanted to say.  It expressed exactly what I felt and as other shared it and identified with it, I felt happy and proud, but then as it grew and grew, I started to feel uncomfortable.

The more and more I see my name being used to represent victims the more uncomfortable I feel. 

Sometimes when I see the word violence, I think, I have no right to be include with those that have suffered at the hands of a mad man, those that have really suffered.  Those that had the courage to fight back or those who didn't have the chance. I feel guilty and ashamed.  Am I really a victim or just some stupid lady who didn't have the guts to fight?

And yet sometimes when I see the words...violence, victim...they take me back to that day.  A day, I haven't really thought much about, in terms of details.  I always talk about that day in general terms.  Even here I have never actual said what happened, step by step. I don't talk about it. I don't think about it. At least, I didn't used to, but now, now I do. No willingly, but there it is.  I  read a post like the this one last night and bam, there I am.  I can see myself standing there, doing nothing, being so god damned scared. 

It's been a hard couple of days.


The Mind Is A Funny Thing

For the past 4 nights, I have had nightmares. I go to sleep calm, happy and not worried about a thing and then I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic.

Every night in my dreams, I find myself in some kind of bad guy situation where I appear to be handling the situation and then wham-o, all goes south.

The first night I was walking into a garage, not a parking garage, one connected to a house. It was not my house, but a friend's, maybe, anyway, I look across the way and a man is standing there with a gun, he shoots at me, but misses. I draw my gun and shoot, but my gun jams, so I get behind a car(I don't know how it got there, it was not there at the start of my dream), clear my gun and shoot again, again, it jams. I do this 3 times. The fourth time small pieces of paper start flying out the injection port, I look down, the man cames at me and grabs me arm. I wake up.

The next night. I am at home. Someone knocks on the door. I answer, there is a guy standing there, he pushes the door open, I push it shut, take 2 steps back and draw my gun, shoot, but there is no bang. I can't get away, he grabs my arm, I wake up.

The next 2 nights I have dreams that follow the same pattern. All is well, bad guy comes, I try to defend myself, gun doesn't work, bad guy grabs my arm, I wake up.

I can't figure out why.

A while back Lima had posted on her FB page about a gun dream she had had and in the Cornered Cat's book she discusses that gun dreams are common, so I am not surprised that I would a dream involving guns, but not these kind. I cant figure out why now and why is my gun malfunctioning?
Why am I left there with the bad guy winning?

I practice the tap, rack, bang and I run scenarios over in my mind, in case of some kind of malfunction, but I am not afraid of it happening. I am aware that a jam could happen, probably not white pieces of paper flying out of my Glock, but something could cause my gun not to work. I get that, but in my conscious state, I am not worried about it. Equipment fails, so I read about how to deal with it, I try to train for it, but of all the things I am concerned about, this is not at the top of my list. I get more and more confident in my abilities to handle a bad guy encounter and I have a great deal of confidence in my gun.

I am not cocky. I know I have a lot to learn. So much to learn, but I am not defenseless anymore. Not in terms of equipment and not in terms of my mind.

When the morning comes, I talk things over with my husband and I search for an answer, but I never find one. I just kind of shrug my shoulders and go about my day. I don't spend the day trying to figure it out or obsessing over why. In fact, I completely forget about it.

However, it is starting to annoy me. I was kind of hoping when I started having gun dreams they would involve zombies or me saving the day, not me standing there again being a helpless victim with a defective gun. I don't really need an answer, but I do need for them to stop. All this intruppeted sleep is making me one tired and grumpy girl.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Are You Talkin' To Me?

It appears everyone's fun loving pal, Joan, has been including me in some of her posts lately. Since I have not returned to her blog, I was completely unaware, but a few bloggers have brought it to my attention, so I popped on over, one last time to see what was up. From what she has been saying, it looks like Grumpy Bastard's place as my BFF is secure.

I haven't gone back to her site because I think she is a non-issue. She does not say, do, or post a single bit of helpful, inspiring, funny, educational, or thought provoking information. I get nothing from her. She doesn't upset me as I have zero respect for her or her mission, so I feel my time can be better spent doing almost anything else.

I have a deep admiration for the other bloggers that are standing up to her and calling her out for what she is, here is another fine example of someone doing just that, but for me I think my efforts are better served helping other victims stop being victims.

Joan has no desire to stop being a victim. For whatever reason, living a life of fear filled with anger and hatred serves her well. That mindset only served to make me fell empty, alone and hopeless, so I chose to find a better more constructive way to live my life and my life's mission is to help others do the same.

To be honest, I don't think Joan is much of an adversary. The number of people who are buying into the idea that it is the responsibility of the government to protect them is dwindling at an astonishing rate. Just look at what is going on in Wisconsin. Just look at the numbers climbing for gun ownership among women. Just look at the growing numbers for gun sales in general.

Empty rhetoric is not sustainable. The comments that are left on her posts prove that. The last one had 3. One was from our Jennifer, one was from Joan, and one was from the only guy that appears to support her. People get tired of being scared and angry and eventually they want solutions.

I think the best thing I can do for victims is to share my story and to give real solid resources to help them either avoid being a victim or help them heal from it.

I intend to spend my days doing just that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Give The Best Advice Of Any Blogger

And here it is...if you want to know about guns, ammo, self defense, legel issues, training or anything involving tongue punching, you should probably not ask me.

My letter to the anti gun folks has brought me a lot of attention and thus a lot of new people coming to the blog, which I love, but I fear it has given people the false idea that I know something about guns.

My blog is 10 months old. Exactly the same amount of time that I have been shooting. I have learned a lot and I am happy to share my experiences with you and tell you what I have learned, but I am new, new, new and I am not qualified to give advice.

If, for whatever reason, you still want to email me or ask me a question here, that is fine. It's great. I truly want to help if I can, but chances are about 99% of the time, I am going to send you to the people that help me.

That letter I wrote was not some idealistic rambling. It has been my reality. I have relied heavily on a small community of gunnies that have followed my journey. They know me. They know my story and they have invested in my healing and growth. They are who I go to, a lot.

You don't have to go back very far in my archives to see the proof. My blog is primarily 3 things. A chronicle of my journey out of a bad situation. A place where I share what I have learned and a place where I ask questions. I ask a lot of questions.

If you have a question about the victim mindset or overcoming a bad guy encounter or what it is like to transition from non gunnie to gun nut, then I am your girl. If you are looking for someone who has access to the smartest, funniest, most supportive people on the planet, then I am your girl. If you are looking for someone to explain to you the what gun takes the 5.56x45 NATO cartridge then I am gonna have to refer you. Well, ok, I know that one, but you get the picture.

I say this not because I am annoyed or upset by the questions. I am not. Its been great talking with you all. I say it because I want you to have the best information you can get and the best thing I can do for you, is to point you in the right direction.

So, ask if you must, but be prepared to be redirected. Thanks so much for coming here to visit with me and to share, it has been a blast. I hope you stick around. I love having you here!

Three Weeks!!

In just short 3 short weeks we will have our winner to the training Give-A-Way!!  I am so excited!!

As I mentioned before, the participation in the Give-A-Way has far exceeded my expectations; because of that I am making another adjustments.

I mentioned before that I thought maybe 20 women would sign up, so I planned on just sticking their names in a hat and pulling one.  Now we have around 200 women who have signed up, so I am not sure a hat is the best way to pick the winner.  I know there are some computer programs that help with this. I might be using one of those.  I still might do some modified version of picking a name from a hat.  I will let you know.

We also have another prized donated by the very nice people over at Firearm Protector!!!!!!  Please check out the side bar for details on the prize and maybe head to their site and leave a comment saying thanks!

There are so many aspects to preparing for self defense that sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  Especially to those of us that are brand new, not only to guns, but just the idea of defending our lives. A basic course will touch on many different topics to help us get started in changing our thinking, but often times we will leave with more questions than answers.   One of the things that was address in my conceal carry class, that left me with a whole lot of questions, was what to do after the shots are fired. We actually discussed it a lot, but there is no way to cover everything in one 2 day course.

I was reading  this post this morning over at God, Gals, Guns, Grub and thought it was excellent. I would recommend reading it, maybe a couple of times.


Friday, January 13, 2012

More This and That

The nice guy over at The Calm Gun had some unfortunate computer issues and was forced to create a new blog.  Please go visit him at his new location.

Thanks again for all the nice comments about The Open Letter To The Anti Gun Folks.  I am not sure what is consider a lot of views, but as of last night(day 3 of it being up)  I had 12,852.  My next largest viewed post is the Give-A-Way at 1,243. I am humbled by how many people have taken the time to read it and share their comments with me.   I have been overwhelmed by your kindness.

In the rare instance that someone has been negative, I haven't bothered to defend myself or the post (except in one thread where I simple added clarification) because the people I care about knew what I meant and the others, well their opinions don't matter to me.  If I knew that my post was going to go viral, as JD put it, I might have made some classifications, but probably not.  

Moving on,

Recently we celebrated my birthday.  My kids made me this cake and I put on my FaceBook that I didn't have candles in protest of vigils that serve no purpose and are ridiculous, but really my family just forgot to buy them.


This is what my family bought me for presents!!.  I opened up a bag filled with these goodies and the first 2 things I pulled out were packages with what looked to me to be rope, so I said, "Am, I going repelling?"  My husband, said, "Good grief no".  "Not with 550 cord your not."  I have a lot to learn and my husband, the Marine, he didn't really say "good grief":)

Thank God he stopped me or I might have gone off and done something stupid, like fling myself off a cliff and then I would have to join forces with Courtney and I really don't want to have to do that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Noisy Room

A wonderful woman from the Noisy Room sent me a very kind email today asking if she could repost my "Open Letter To The Anti Gun Folks" on her blog.

To say that I was flattered would be an understatement.  

As my support and my community, I know you have already read my post, as you are the ones who inspired it, but if you would like see it on her blog go here.

Time To Plant The Seeds

I stole that title from Sean.

Sean has planned an Appleseed trip and he has invited us all to come along.

My husband and I are taking him up on that offer and we both are very excited.  This will be our first time, so I am nervous, but I have heard great things about the event and the people who put it on, plus I get to make Sean look at my tats, so its a win-win.

For more information go here.

Hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just In Case

This is for the women, who like me, at one time, or maybe still, doubted their worth.

 If you think for one minute you aren't worth the fight, think about this..

Someone else in your life does.

You, all by yourself matter. You don't need a single person to validate your worth, but if you are still working your way to that truth, think about someone, anyone, in your life who would miss you if you decided not to fight.


Small Changes

So, I got another one of ones those "your blog is kind of jacked up" emails from North last night.

He told me my blog is kind of hard to read and suggested I make the font bigger and play with the colors a bit.

I want you all to know that I am aware that my blogs lacks, well everything. It's not a good design and you may want to sit down for this,

I don't know what I am doing.

The only person less skilled on a computer than me, is my husband. We literally email, search the web and FB. That is it.

When I first set up the blog, I picked a template, followed the prompts, and started typing. I hated the background color, font color etc. That is actually one of the reasons for so many paragraph breaks. The font size makes it hard to read. Also, I am terrible at asking for help or asking for anything from people, so I just never did. Plus, to be honest, I didn't even know I could change those things. I had seen cool stuff on other blogs, but I figured it was some professional thing and I am not spending money on a blog no one reads:)

I am still not spending money on the blog because I want to spend it on guns and other col stuff like that, but now that I know how, I will try to make it a better viewing and reading experience for you.


Please be patient as I try to play around the next few days and find what works best. I am not making massive changes. My blog is plain, but strangely, I have grown very attached to it and my new name. I love when you all call me "A Girl".

I am forever grateful to Mr. North for helping me so much! I desperately needed some assistance and you, as always, were there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not Surprised

So, I was at Weer'd's place today and I read this, so I went and checked it out what Joan had to say.

I am not really confrontational and by not really, I mean, NOT AT ALL, and this will probably be the last time I go trolling in the anti cesspool, but she was talking about a vigil that I took part in and I thought I should at least attempt, one time to voice my feelings directly to her instead of just here safely behind 7000(that's how many of you have come to see me today) of my closest gun friends.

This is how it went...

I said- I am a victim of violence. I was standing in a parking lot, traumatized with my 7 year old daughter. It was not a good day. I participated in the candle light vigil along with my gun because if, God forbid, another awful man comes at me, I have no intention of taking a chance that the next time he just might get my daughter. I hate violence. I hate being a victim. I hate be vulnerable, but what I hate more is having someone tell me I don't have the right to fight back. This was not a mocking. It was a peaceful way to say it takes more than a candle to stop the bad guy.

She said- No one says you don't have a right to fight back. If you truly believe there are too many victims and actually lit a candle for that reason, then you believe what I believe. Otherwise, you are mocking. No one said candles would stop anything. You totally missed the point of the whole thing- on purpose I would add.

I said-This will be my last comment, but I do find it interesting that for a group that claims to care so much about people, you didn’t offer me one bit of concern. You didn’t say, gee that must have been hard or I am sorry for your daughter. You just said I missed the point. I think I got it. Loud and clear. Me, the person, the victim, doesn’t matter at all to you.

She said- Nothing.  She didn't post it.  She has posted other comments and 2 other posts, so I am thinking she is not gonna post it.  

I was over at Newbie Shooter's place and read this.  I like what he has to say much better.

The Give-A-Way

Just wanted to do a quick update.  We have 2 more prizes donated by 2 more fabulous people. 

Bill  over at Eastern Iowa Firearms training has donated a class for the winner and her friend if the winner either lives in Iowa or is willing to travel there.  That is in addition to the $300 I am donating.  That's a lot of training folks.

I, again, want to reiterate that all of this donations are going to a single winner and that all of them have come from the kind hearts of these fine people.  I have only solicited one prize.  All the rest have connected me and asked if they could contribute...THAT ROCKS!!

About that one that I solicited, a few days ago, I made a comment on my FaceBook about how much I was enjoying the Remora Holster, but was kind of bummed that I had misplaced my single mag pouch.

A few minutes later Jacqui Reilly from Remora posts a comment, "send me your address and I will send you a new one."

What?  I didn't even know she followed my FB haps.  Very cool.

I emailed her right a way and told her I would be happy to pay for my magazine pouch, but would she be at all interested in donating one of their fine holsters for the Give-A-Way.

Her answers, Absolutely!  We would love to!

Score!!!!

Also, a few days ago, I got an email from the gentleman that runs the Weapon Blog, a blog that list all the contests, raffles, give-a-ways, etc.

He has listed our little Give-A-Way.  Again, very cool!!!  He has a lot of great contests listed, so if you haven't already, head on over and see if there is anything you would like to try for.

At the time I checked out his list, I noticed we are the only ones under the heading of training.

I am not sure if anyone else has given away trainings before, but I am starting to suspect that it is not something that has been done a lot.

Since we all know how important training is, I was a little surprised, so I am aiming to change that.  I have a few things I am working on and lets just see if we can not make training a priority prize. 

If you know of a group, blog, organization that is offering training as a prize please let me know and also let the Weapon Blog people know, so it can be listed there.

On a personal note, I was over visiting ZerCool's blog and he has a post about needing prayers.  I do not have any details as it is none of my business, but I would appreciate you all heading over there, giving him some words of encouragement and if you are the praying kind, pray.

Good luck to everyone for whatever contest you choose!  Have a great day!  I am off to my real life!

Monday, January 9, 2012

It Was Bound To Happen

I Have Haters or at least people who think I am dumb F&@k.

The

folks

over

at

Reddit.com

can't

stand

me

or

my

paragraph

breaks.

It's been a good day!!!!!

Thanks for all the support and thanks for all the hate. No one has ever hated me before(that I know of)and while those folks lack the artful use of profanity that our good friend  Grumpy Bastard displays, they still made me laugh.

An Open Letter To The Anti-Gun Folks

In 2005, my husband and I started the process to adopt a little girl from China.  It was a brand new scary process that we knew nothing about.  All we knew was that we wanted a child.

When I am passionate about something, I want to know everything I can about it.  So,  I did a lot of reading about China and adoption.

One of the people I read about was a woman named Gladys Aylward.  She was a poor woman from London who wanted to go to China in the 1930's to be a missionary. but she had no skills, no education and she didn't speak the language, so no formal organization would allow her to go.

She was angry and frustrated, but she didn't give up.  She spent a year working and saving, so she could make the trek on her own.

As she spent time in China, it become more and more her home.  More and more a place she belonged and eventually, a place, she never wanted to leave.

Things got very ugly in China when the Japanese invaded and her family wanted her to leave, but she refused. 

No matter how dangerous it got, she would not walk away from the people she had grown to love. 

She said, "Greater Love Has No One Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For A Friend"- John15:13.

She said, "These are my people".

Unlike Gladys, I didn't want to be in this community.  

I came here purely out of a desperate need.

A need to save my life.

What I found here is rare.

The gun community is a generous community.  It is unlike any other I have been associated with. 

I did, for a while, belong to the adoption community for a few years and though I am still crazy passionate about children and orphans. 

Those are not my people.

I did, for a while, belong to the church going Christian community and though I am still crazy passionate about God. 

Those are not my people.

Generally a group, any group, has an agenda. Stated or not.  Conscious or not. No matter how well meaning, they almost always want something.

That something is usually steeped in power and control.

Politicians, religions, schools, the anti gun crowd, you name it.  They want to bring you for what you can give them, which is often nothing more than a feeling of power and self worth for the leaders of the group.

They want to take something from you in order to gain something for themselves.

Not this group.

In the past 10 months, I have gained so much more than the ability to line my front site on the target.

This group has welcomed me when I had absolutely nothing to offer them.

I was empty.

I was broken.

I need things I was to weak to even know I needed.

I came here desperate and searching.

Day by day this community, these gun people, bult me up.

They never once pretend to be anything other than exactly who they are.

They didn't try to wrap themselves up in a pretty little package to draw me in.

They didn't use smoke and mirrors and they never, not once, lied to me.

They told me things I didn't want to hear.  They showed me things I didn't want to see.  They made me face thing I didn't want to face.

All while holding my hand and guiding me and nurturing me and givng me a safe place to grow.

They wanted me to grow.

They wanted me to be stronger.

They wanted me to be able to depend on myself.

They gave me everything they had, so I wouldn't need them any more.

They gave me tools and guidance, so that I could soar and each and every time I took a step forward, they have been there, to say, good for you.  Job well done.

They did this, not because of me. 

Not because I am something special.

They did it because they are special.

They are rare and they are so very, very special.

It is who they are.

Dig deep.  Dig into the core of their being.

This is who they are.

You, you who hate guns, you gave me nothing. 

No hope. 

No tools. 

All that was offered me was a life of fear, of resentment, of bitterness, of dependance...

The gun community has offered me hope and strength, and courage. 

They have taught me to have belief in myself.

They have asked nothing of me in return and, yet, I would give them my life.

Funny thing is, they would never ask me to.

This is where I belong.

These are my people.

This And That

First, I want to say thank you again to everyone who has entered the Give-A-Way.  I truly thought maybe 20 people would enter and after the 3rd day with only entry, I thought, well this is going to be easy, but on day 6, here I sit with  hundreds of entries.

I think it is remarkable how many of you are taking a proactive steps in defense of your life and freedoms.  You rock!!!

Second, I really want to apologize.  This blog thing is kicking my butt.  I had no idea how many emails I would get from so many of you.

I love it.

I love not getting an ounce of sleep because there is something about me, that has compelled you to want to share part of your life's story with me.  I promise you I am reading them all and I care very much.  I am humbled and blessed by each of you.  I am trying to respond and to visit everyone's blogs, but sometime I read one and think I will get to it, but then more pour in and I don't back to it.  I need a better system.

Let me tell you that it never, ever, not once occurred to me that anyone would read this blog.  I was woefully unprepared for the way it has exploded over the past few months.  I am trying to balance my real life with my virtual life.  I have made real friends through this blog.  People I have connected with and who have impacted my life on a deeper more personal level and it is important to me that I nurture those relationships.  I want to give back by commenting on their blogs, sending emails, and just being there for them.  I also have a ton of kids and a hubby who need me plus I am still trying to learn all things guns.  So, if I have not gotten back to you please know that it is an oversight.  I can not guarantee I will get back to you, but I am trying. I appreciate your comments on this blog and through email.  Really, I do.

Thirdly, to all you bloggers out there...sorry again.  I am realizing(I kind of suspected) I don't know what the heck I am doing.  If I have forgot to credit you or ask your permission or broke a rule, I really didn't mean to.  Thank God for North sending me emails from time to time to tell me how jacked up I am and telling me how to fix it, or this could have been even uglier.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that I am all kinds of whacked, but I am having a blast and trying extremely hard.

That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Don't Cuss Gosh Darn It!

As I have mentioned before, I don't cuss, but if I were going to, this is how I would do it.


Grumpy Bastard

I have never read this blog before and I know he is seriously frustrated and he should be. Very good points, but I nearly peed my pants from laughing.

Excellent use of profanity.

*He is probably a huge blogger, but I am new and just now making my way around the blog-o-sphere, so I am late coming to all the jewels that are out there. I am finding that I have been very, very sheltered.

Home On The Range

An excellent post over at Home On The Range

I Need A Maid, A Nanny, and A Prostitute

I am spending so much time on this dang computer reading gun blog after gun blog that I need to hire some folks to clean my house, take care of my kids and service my husband.

And by service my husband I mean cook him meals and care for his children.

The prostitute is for me.

I am hoping she can give me a few pointers on how to move things a long a little quicker and still knock his socks off.

I wonder if anyone has ever incorporated blogging into foreplay.

Dang, now I am getting excited. Where's my husband?

Light A Candle Or...

Collin Goddard and The Brady Campaign have a very interesting approach to violence.

The basic principal is for people to walk around blindly hoping nothing bad happens to them and if something bad does happen, you are to give the bad guy everything he wants.

In the event that things starts to get ugly,  just play dead and again hope you make it out alive, but whatever you do, do not fight back.

The bad guy might get mad.

If by some miracle you do make it out of there, then you have a new mission.

Spend the rest of your life trying to convenience the rest of the world what a great plan being a victim is.

The only thing stupider then their plan, would be me. I actually followed it to a "T".

I walked around blindly giving no thought to my safety, until the bad guy wouldn't let me any longer.

Their plan didn't serve me to well and it sucked the day my eyes were slammed wide open.

Let me just say...

IT ISN'T A GOOD PLAN!

Here's a better one...

STOP walking around blindly.

STOP with the victim mindset.

It is isn't serving you or me or anyone well.

Make a plan.

One that includes being responsible for your own life.

Carry a gun, don't carry a gun, I don't care(except you really should carry a gun and actually, I care deeply), but have a plan to be proactive in defense of YOUR life.

I can promise you, the bad guy has a plan for you and it ain't pretty.

Here is one of the many things I do as part of my plan...

This is my holster.  This is my gun.  It is loaded.  It is chambered.  And except for the very rare occasion when the law prevents me, it resides on my left hip.

For more on this go to Weer'd World

Saturday, January 7, 2012

So What's Up With The Tats?

A woman sent me a very lovely email telling me about her story and asking to be entered in the Give-A-Way and at the end of her email she said...

No offense, but you don't seem like a person who would have a tattoo, so what's up with the tats?

She was not being rude and I was not offended or bothered in the least. We have shared a couple emails since and all is good.

I was surprised a little by the question because it seems like now a days everyone has a tattoo or at least someone from every walk of life.

However, she is not the first person to ask me about them. I used to get that a lot.

A few years ago, I was a youth leader at a church and one day when I bent over to pick something up, my blouse revealed one of my tattoos. A parent was standing there and when she saw it she was shocked and not a happy camper. She was so upset by it that she went to the pastor to complain. She couldn't believe a person like me had a tattoo and she wanted me to get up in front of the church to renounce all tattoos and admit my mistake.

I did not do that.

I like tattoos, especially mine.

I was a little late coming to the game though.

I was not a rebellious teenager, but a 26 year old college professor.

Getting a tat was not something I had ever thought to do. Not because I was against them, I just never thought about them one way or the other.

One day I was at a local brewery with some colleagues when one of the women suggested we get tattoos. I think it started out as a joke, but 3 days later we were at Beachin Tattoo in southern California getting all tatted up.

I am sure getting a tattoo is not considered wild anymore, but for me it was the closest thing to wild as I had ever gotten.

Plus I was nervous.

The thought of some person jamming a needle into my flesh didn't sound all that appealing.

I was the not the cool cat that I am now.

Anyhoo, since I had never thought about a tattoo, I had no idea what I wanted to have permanently poked into me.

After looking at a ton of pictures, I finally just had a friend draw a design for me.

My first tattoo is of an AT-6 carrying a banner that reads Women Can. I like airplanes and I love the spirit of women, especially those that have overcome life's obstacles.

Women flew the AT-6 in WWII and the banner is an homage to Rosie The Riveter.

My second tattoo came just a few months later. It's an abstract symbol, again done by a friend, representing a quote. I forget who said it, but it comes from a book of women's quotes, that I have misplaced.

The quote is "In My Friend, I Find A Second Self"

I have no idea what the woman meant when she said it, but to me it doesn't mean someone exactly like me. It doesn't mean when I look at them, I see myself. I like who I am, but I don't want the whole world to be me.

To me, the quote means, someone who I am as comfortable being myself with, as I actually am being myself.

I always am who I am, but not everyone appreciates that. Those who do, they are my friends.

My 3rd tattoo didn't come for many years later. I was probably 36. It was after our daughters came home from China.

I wanted to do more for the kids still waiting for homes, so my husband and I, along with our good friend and her husband, opened a non- profit organization. We placed grants on special needs children waiting in China.

The non-profit was named after our daughters and since I loved helping the children and I loved our daughters, I got a tattoo to represent both.

I almost got another tattoo a few months ago. I had a local tattoo artist draw up a design with my Glock and the American flag that was to be placed on my right thigh, but life got busy and I just haven't got back there.

I am not sure that I will. It's not cheap and I think I would rather spend the money on an actual gun or say a Give-A-Way.

So, that's what's up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Give-A-Way

Please review the Give-A-Way post for updated requirements. 

The age for this Give -A- Way is 21 or older. 

I did consult with some people and 21 years of age or older is what was recommended to me.

Sorry for any confusion.

I am absolutely for training children, girls and boys, very early, but for the purpose of this  Give-A-Way, the requirement is that the winner be at least 21 years old.

Thank you again to all who have spread the word, donated and especially to those who have entered.

You have kept me very, very busy, but I could not be more thrilled.

Rifles, Rifles, Rifles, or is it a Shotgun???

I am crazy in love with my handgun and I am beyond anxious to purchase my next one later this month, but, after my trip to the range a few weeks ago and getting to shoot some rifles, I now have a new love.

The thing about me, is that I don't have to know you well or even understand you to be in love with you.  I knew my husband for about a minute and married him, but eventually, I kind of like to move past the shiny fun parts and get to the heart of the matter.

I have been blog hopping and reading and trying to learn about all things long gun.  So far it has been fun, but not much learning has taken place.

You people know to much.  I mean that in the best possible, you knock my socks off, but I can't keep up, kind of way.

It all starts to blend together after a while.  I think it will get much better for me after my trip to North Carolina for the Appleseed event, where I get to shoot more rifles or shotguns, not sure, but until then I could use some clarification.

I need a basic explanation of the difference between a rifle and a shotgun and what the heck they are used for.

Here is what I know or what I think I know...

A riffle uses a regular bullet and can reach a target farther away than a hand gun??

A shotgun uses that casing thing with a lot of tiny "balls"??  Mostly used for hunting??

I know a lot of people talk about a shotgun for home defense, but others talk about an AR or AK which are riffles??  Which one has the pump action??  Shotgun??

A gentleman from my husband's office sent him home with this pretty little number

Amber Dot Sight, what would it be called, an attachment?

My husband explained what it does and I spent time scooping out all the knick knacks in my house in case any of them ever revolt,  but do I need that?


I realize this is probably a long and exhaustive discussion with many opinions, but I would be most grateful for the basic run down.

Any takers?