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From Fear of Firearms to Armed in Heels: My Story

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013

Eight years ago my husband brought me along to an outdoor range in southern California because I insisted that I wanted to go. I just wanted to watch and see for myself what all this excitement about shooting was. I had no judgments, no concerns, just curiosity. I can still remember the cool breeze on my face, the clean smell of being out in the desert, and the little dust devils in the distance. It was so nice to be outside on such a beautiful day. My husband handed me some ear plugs to put in. I’d never used any before. As I did what he said and squished the spongy material to make it fit in my ears I remember thinking “This is it? It probably won’t be as loud as I thought.” As the others got the firearms and ammo ready, I watched. It was all so fascinating. When the first shot was fired, it was loud. But it looked so powerful, it looked empowering. Every “bang” startled me a little bit, but I was captivated. My husband could tell that I was intrigued. He asked if I wanted to try. I stepped up to the table, caught sight of a pistol, and the tears began. “Put it away,” I said. I went back to the car and waited for everyone else to be done. Four years passed until we spoke of firearms again.

I’m not really sure what happened that day. As a scientist I pride myself on being rational and pragmatic. How did a piece of metal and polymer evoke such an emotional response? It wasn’t logical. It wasn’t rational. I grew up without any exposure to firearms. My only conception of a firearm was built through where I saw it most – on television and in the news. The news always spoke of death when they talked about guns. Television shows always showed bad people doing bad things with firearms. So that is what my understanding of guns was: bad and scary. And that was a perception that had built up over eighteen years of conscious and subconscious sensory experiences. So when that piece of metal was presented to me, all the emotion I had built up from before surfaced through an overwhelming feeling: fear. I was scared — no, I was terrified. And I was not in a place where I could deal with such immense amounts of fear. I wanted nothing to do with guns. Four years passed.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    I truly admire this lady’s husband! I wish all men were as understanding, and good about her fears!

  • lokiswife

    For women who doubt their ability to shoot under pressure, those laser sights are great. The laser lines up the shot and warns the culprit that the gun is lined up and ready to fire. The intimidation factor – what idiot would come any closer with that red dot centered on his forehead?

  • J. Brown

    My wife and I both have Law enforcement backgrounds, guns are merely tools of our trade. As a street cop she considers me the mild mannered one of the family, but she can out shoot me too.

  • 63Marine

    This story needs to be read by ALL women. Also, ALL women need to be prepared when out and about.
    With my occupation, Deputy Sheriff, my entire family, including my 10 year old grand son have become very proficient in the use of firearms.

  • TexasLady

    I simply cannot relate to you and your fears. Being an “Army” brat, I was around guns all of my life.
    I went deer hunting (never killed anything, never wanted to….just loved being out in the woods and feeling safe, sleeping by a campfire and the camaraderie of being with like minded friends…male and female). The guys wouldn’t let me target practice with them …because I could out shoot them…lol Summers, as a kid, I visited on my uncle’s farm and went squirrel hunting with him whenever we needed meat for dinner (I’m was the two-legged retriever…lol), so you see, I cannot relate. I can, however, understand, and I admire your courage and persistence to overcome your fear.. I am headed into my 71st year, live alone, jump in the car and drive cross-country when I wish to – sometimes all night. How do I do this? I am armed and without fear…will not be a victim. I raised a son around guns that were locked in a gun cabinet but never unloaded. I taught him to shoot, to hunt, and to respect all life…that killing to eat was okay but killing simply for the sport was not. I never feared for a moment that he would harm himself or anyone else. I live alone because I feel safe. I have been confronted by situations where I was frightened and could have shot the men that were responsible but my innate goodness prevented it…. I chose the police instead. But, I would not, and could not live alone if I could not have my guns. A nut with a gun? No! Just an American DAR member who knows right from wrong and will not give up her guns….So, I guess FEMA camp? here I come…

  • foxxybey

    My two daughters shoot as good as any Marine pistol expert, I taught them and I wouldn’t want to go up against them, with weapons or hand to hand.

  • Esther Mae Egan

    I can relate to this woman as I was also afraid of guns. The strange thing, I was a member of the NRA for years before I purchased my first gun. My ex had guns, but I never wanted to use them or have them in my hands. In all the years of marriage I witnessed my husbands temper, and when he threatened me I decided to get a gun. I never told him about the gun and for years it sat in the box not coming out. It gave me some sense of security just having it in the house. In 1991, things changed and living on a farm we were targeted for thief. I became concern and decided to bring the gun out of the box and learn to use it. I found a man who started my training and I even purchased a holster and had the gun with me 24 hours a day. I did not have a license so had to leave it behind when I went off the property, but otherwise I had it with me. I understand this woman’s fear as I had a fear as well. What I found was circumstances helped me to change my views about this equalizer. I have always had a deep respect for the gun and the rights of others to own one, but it took events in my life for me to become a owner as well. The gun is no different then a shovel to me, they are both tools and used in a proper way are beneficial. Now with all the rottenness I want a cancel license not only for me but to help others in need.

 

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