This post is a little different from my usual. Every now and then I like to write on a topic that is more personal to me and the 2nd Amendment is definitely a touchy topic, yet one I feel very strongly about as a mother.
My Original Stance
Prior to a year ago my stance on gun laws and was neutral and slightly skewed towards the left. I did not care if my father or husband had guns as they were people that I trusted, however strangers were a different story. Deep down, I secretly felt that it would be better to put a ban on guns in our country because of those that I couldn’t control instead of understanding the current laws, my rights, and the major benefits to owning a firearm.
My view started to shift slightly more to the right when I began to go through a divorce. My ex-husband carried a gun everywhere… and I mean everywhere. This was very unusual to me at the time. My father has guns but they were always left in the house, Ben never left home without his, better yet, it was almost always in his pocket if we were in public. After time, I began to wonder what he was so afraid of. Had he been in trouble with someone? Does he know something I don’t? Are we in constant danger? Well, the answer to the first question was no but the second and third question, YES!
After we split, I began to realize how secure I was in an environment with a firearm. Now that this extra piece of protection that I never acknowledged before had been removed from my life, I felt more exposed and like my safety was compromised. I had never felt like a sitting duck before but now I am a single mother with two young children. For example, loading the kids into the car after a trip to the grocery store when the days are shorter in the fall, I am preoccupied, my back is turned, I am a target. Before children I had confidence in my ability to run or fight, when I had a husband he was always packing heat, now I am defenseless. I had to do something. I realized that the answer to the questions that I had always wondered while being married, Did my ex-husband know something that I didn’t? Are we in constant danger? Yes, he knew the realities of the world we live in and the dangers that lie around every corner.
Now this was the empowering, yet intimidating part. I had never shot anything other than a beebee gun and had no clue on where to start. I seeked information and help from a close man friend that too carried a piece everywhere he went. Before I knew it, I had dove into a whole new world of women taking action for the right reasons, gun laws, and protection for yourself and your children.
Purchasing a Gun and Safety Box
Step one is to actually hold a pistol. Like I said, I had never actually held one in my palms before. I may have pinched my ex-husband’s gun up between my two fingers to quickly move it if I needed to, almost like I was carrying an old banana peel, but I had never actually gripped a gun. Fear ladies! A lot of the time, in my experience, if you don’t have a huge left view on gun laws yet you cringe to pick on up, you have a lack of knowledge on the firearm and fear of what makes it tick.
When purchasing a gun, you want to make sure it fits and feels good in your hands. How is the grip? Is it too heavy? Does it feel like it could be your “partner in safety”? Can you bond with this piece? Understand it? Control it? I held a lot of guns when shopping for one. As someone with zero experience with firearms at the time, just holding an unloaded gun in Bass Pro Shop was nerve racking. Once I warmed up to it and began to trust the man behind the counter telling me that none of the guns would fire as they did not contain bullets, I began to loosen up and notice the different attributes to each piece versus the scariness of it all.
What to Purchase
Ladies, when purchasing a firearm I feel that it is super important to feel like it is light enough for you to aim firmly yet powerful enough for you to trust that it will get the job done in an emergency situation. Always choose a gun with a safety, and for extra precaution, you can even choose one with two safeties. I chose a S&W 380 with dual safety locks. This helps to rest assured that little hands will less likely be able to operate the gun. As always, for extra measure, get a safety box, preferably one with a keypad so that your children cannot access without a code and so that you do not have to search for a key in the night should an emergency arise. Also, you will need some sort of holster. There are many different types but mainly you will need to decide if you would like a conceal carry holster or regular belt holster.
Range Date Material Top – Armed in Style
After you have conquered the fear of holding a gun, the next part is actually firing your new friend, which is honestly a good 300% increase in anxiety. So many things to feel afraid of… kickback from the shot, explosion, getting shot by someone else, the noise, will a shell pop off and burn me. All valid things to worry about, however, if you practice in a facility designed for target training such as Shoot Point Blank Range , you will be surrounded with experienced shooters and/or trained staff. My first time at the range eased my fear with my gun by about 50%. I was not comfortable enough to be in a stall by myself but I learned very quickly that the kickback is almost non-existent with my gun, the earplugs take care of the noise, the glasses shield your eyes from shells (as well as long sleeve clothing), and being in a stall sheilds you from your neighbors line of fire.
Taking the Class
In order to conceal carry, or carry a firearm in your handbag in the state of TN, you must have a carry permit. The class is roughly 8 hours long and is concluded with a multiple choice and fill in the blank test, as well as a shooting test. I knocked it out with another group of women on a saturday day. One day of your time for a lifetime of safety. Totally worth it!
My favorite Gear
The throw pillow is super cute right? But you are probably wondering what the pillow above has to do with actual gear? This is a Dry Fire Pillow from Armed in Style.
Should you clear your gun (remove all bullets), check the slide to ensure there is not one in the barrel, and then flip your dry fire pillow over, you can practice getting used to aim and properly holding your gun in the comfort of your own home! There are so many cute styles to choose from but my favorite was the Guns and Grace throw.
By the way, I never ever practice in front of my kiddos. I do not want them to see or know where the gun is, or to think it is a toy. This is for mommy or adult alone time only!
As a single mother, I have regained the confidence in my safety and environment through actively taking measures such as Krav Maga, fitness training, and owning a firearm. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!