About 2 years ago, I was shopping in the local Best Buy store. Alone. It was mid day. I was followed around the store by 3 men. I noticed them almost immediately and proceeded to go to different areas of the store to see if they were indeed following me. And once I had confirmed that the 3 men were following me, I confronted them…with my mace in hand…inside the store filled with employees. They sneered at me and then walked away. I found a store manager and asked for an escort out of the store. The store thankfully complied and I made it safely back to my Jeep but I was terrified at what had just happened. On the way home, I called my husband, while hysterical and told him that I wanted to start carrying a gun.
That decision had been on our agenda for a couple years prior to that but never pursued for a pile of reasons. THAT day though, I had made my solid decision that I never wanted to feel like a victim again.
I had zero intentions of waving around a gun like a lunatic, but I knew that if that situation ever came up again in my life, I would do everything the same exact way…only I don’t think I would feel like a victim when I reached my vehicle safely. I would have felt like had that situation escalated, I would stand a chance of NOT being a victim…and of saving my own life.
I am not writing this blog post to plege my allegiance to the NRA. Actually, my only intention is to maybe break some of the stigma currently surrounding gun owners. I have been noticing how many of my circles are posting gun control memes on social media…and not ONE of my gun owning circle is posting any kind of rationale to support responsible gun ownership. I am hoping by sharing MY story, as a woman, that I just may help someone out there to know that not every gun is bad…nor is every gun owner.
My hub and I spent the next 12 months researching firearms as well as attending courses to obtain our Concealed Carry Permits. It took me another 8 months before I found a firearm that I felt I could learn to use and to carry effectively. Let that sink in. I did not run out and buy a gun and toss it in my purse in the name of fear with hopes of my own safety. I put a lot of hours of research into making an informed decision. I went to classes and training. (Mind you, I am a trained martial artist and am no rookie to self defense.) I spoke to countless people who I considered to be professionals regarding firearms and then formed what I considered to be an educated decision…BEFORE I bought my first gun.
Today, my hub and I spent another day at the local gun range with our firearms. We shoot these guns regularly and feel pretty proficient in using them safely. We have worked with local firearms instructors WEEKLY to assure that we are adequately trained to manage our firearms in the safest mannor possible and we are legally certified to carry our guns on our person in all locations allowed by law.
We do not take gun ownership lightly. If anyone does, they probably should not own firearms.
There are ways to responsibly own guns in this country. There are ways to legally and safely carry those guns in public places in effort to protect ones life and the lives of others. I do not believe that we need to take guns away from those of us who take the responsibility seriously in order to be safer as citizens. I also don’t have all of the answers to our current issues that we are facing.
Today, I just wanted to let you know that there are some of us who do things in a responsible way. There are some of us who train and make educated and rational decisions regarding firearms. Not all guns are bad. Not all gun owners are crazy. Please remember this as you scroll past my most recent photos of my hub and I at the gun range using our firearms. I am not putting these photos up to offend anyone, or to put it in anyones face, I am simply trying to end a stigma and maybe help people to open their minds a little bit.
Please consider that I could easily be YOUR mom…or wife…or sister who was being profiled by 3 men while she was out shopping as a potential vicitm of their crimes….and maybe…just maybe….a firearm could have been the key to keeping that crime from happening.