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She Shoots

A Girl and Her Gun: She Shoots

Monday, January 2, 2012

She Shoots

My 8 year old daughter loves to shoot.  For her birthday last year she asked for a pink gun and she got one,  a Thompson .22, pink camo rifle.  I have posted about it before.  Today she asked to go shooting, so my husband said, sure, let's go.

To our surprise our 13 year old asked to go along.  If you have been reading my blog long you already know she is not a big fan of guns.  She no longer hates them or is against them, in fact, she is quite the advocate for people shooting, just not her.

She is just plain afraid.

We have taken the slow and easy approach.  Lots of very relaxed education.  We do not spend every waking moment talking about guns.  In our house it really is just a part of our day.  I brush my teeth, I shower, I eat breakfast, I carry a gun.  I don't spend anytime pointing those things out on a daily basis.  It just is what I do.

At the dinner table she talks about making the volleyball team or winning class president and I talk about my day at the range.  It is just a natural discussion as we share our lives.

We don't tell her people who don't shoot are stupid or weak or cowards and we don't pressure her.

We are, however, honest with her about how we feel about her responsibility to face her fears and to take seriously her responsibility to take care of herself.

Our relationship is honest and we love her and are gentle, but we don't lie and we don't sugar coat.

My desire for her to learn to handle a gun is not a secret to her.

If I go to the range I ask her to come and most of the time the answer is no thank you, but a few times it has been sure.

This had been the first time she asked to go.

I was thrilled for her and wished I was going too.

While they were there my husband took pictures and texted them to me.  I was so excited that she was there, shooting!!

When she got home she showed me her targets and then ran off to do teenage things.

A while later she came up to me, hugged me and very quietly asked me if I was proud of her for shooting and if I thought she did well.

I told her I was very proud and that I thought she shot wonderfully, but I told her the thing I was most proud of was that she faced her fear.

Every time she shoots, she tells us she is scared and every time after she leaves, she says she isn't that fond of it, but she hasn't given up.  She goes and she shoots.

After dinner she asked to see what people were saying about her on my FB page and she thought it was cool people were saying nice things.  Thanks for doing that.  You all made a new shooter feel special.

Then she said, "Mom, I really like Minnie Mo's gun." "The more I shot, the more relaxed I was and I started to have fun." "I was scared, but dad is so good at walking me through it and plus he pushed me a little."  "I think I need to be pushed."

Those words echoed inside my head and I fought back tears.

She was raised to hate guns.

She was raised to be afraid.

She was raised be nice, too nice.

She is being raised to love herself.

She is being raised to fight.

She is facing her fears.

and, today,

She shoots.

Like mother, like daughter.


At January 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

Every kid should learn to handle a gun safely, whether they intend to take up the sport or not.

How many accidents would be prevented every year if every kid was trained to handle firearms safely.

At January 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM , Blogger Country Tea said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

At January 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you showed her what people said on Facebook , that must have been encouraging for her:) I know my girls get excited, the better they shoot the more their confidence shines through:)

At January 2, 2012 at 4:48 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Tango Juiilet, firearm safety, she did not have a choice about. The minute the decision was made to bring a gun into the house, all of our children were taught how to safely handle a gun and when they could etc. it is an ongoing education, but your right. It is important.

At January 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM , Blogger poniegirl004 said...

I am so proud of her! The shooting is great, but the fact that she faced something she was afraid of is even better. She has done something some people never do- tackle something they are in fear of and beat it.

Way to go.

At January 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Guffaw in AZ said...

Cherish these moments. You're doing a fine job!

At January 2, 2012 at 9:10 PM , Blogger Lisa C / Celtic Clicks Photography said...

That's great. Gives me hope. My girls are both not into the idea of shooting. All four kids are taking hunter safety this year though. I will read this to them so they'll know they aren't alone.

At January 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that is just fantastic! You're doing a great job easing her into it. This post made my day. Thanks!

At January 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This is so incredibly awesome. Really, it gives me chills. You are doing exactly the right thing by not pressuring her. Big kudos to you. And you can tell her I am so very proud of her for facing her fears. It's hard and it's scary. That says a lot for the character of the woman she is growing up to be.

At January 3, 2012 at 6:53 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Lisa, this parenting thing is tough, isn't it:). I would love to hear how their progress through this journey.

I am sure you have learned by now, even if we parents do everything right, our kids have a way of doing what they want. The best we can do, is try and not give up.

Thanks Jennifer and Ce and everyone! I know she will be encouraged by your kind words.

At January 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM , Blogger NotClauswitz said...

Nice work, the kid is going to turn out all right, one way or another. :-)


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