As I have been doing research on guns, I have come across so many videos, article and the like talking about when to carry. Many people believe that once one makes the decision to carry they must carry all the time. even in places that the law forbids.
I have to say that I am on the side that law biding citizens should be allowed to carry pretty much anywhere, including banks, post offices and schools. I am not your problem. There isn’t a circumstance where I am ever going to pull my gun for any reason other than a lethal threat that can not be dealt with in any other way. The bad guy already does not care about the law. He or she is going to go into that school with a gun and shoot people up as was the case at Columbine and Virgina Tech. The chance of an accident happen with a responsible gun owner are pretty nil. It’s a risk and accidents happen, but you can not use that as a reason not to allow people the right to protect themselves.
If you drive to my kids school at pick up time, you will see a scenario that is waiting for an accident to happen. I am just waiting for the day when I child gets hit by a car. Kids are running around in the street, cars going in every direction. it is chaos. It’s a risk, but no one is suggesting we stop driving cars onto school property.
I have a friend who ran her child over with her car and killed him. She was not drunk or distracted or careless. She was very slowly backing out of her garage and just didn’t see the little guy and she ran him over. It was a horrific accident and one that happens in countless neighborhoods every year, but no suggest we should stop driving cars. As sad as this was, the car did not cause the accident. The person did. This is not to blame her. We have all pulled out without looking or changed lanes without checking our blind spot and swerved in front of another vehicle. Something catastrophic could have happened in anyone of those cases. I say this to clarify my views that guns are not the problem and neither are law biding citizens who choose to carry a firearm, but that is only part of the story.
Having said all that, I am not going to carry into a place that is prohibited by law
I feel strongly about my right and responsibility to protect myself and those around me, but I feel that life is a balance. I believe that life comes with risks and that not all risks can be eliminated. For example, I hate to fly. I am terrified of flying because I have no control if something goes wrong, but I am not going to let fear keep me from doing something. I do not like to fly, but I do it. I love to travel to new places and I love to visit friends who do not live near me. Many times driving to these places is not an option do to time or local, so am I going to give up seeing these people and places??? No. I take the risk. I try to limit the danger and I pray and I take the plunge. I have the same philosophy with guns.
One of the main reasons I carry is to keep my children safe. However, I feel that part of my responsibility to my children is to protect them for all threats, not only from murder or abduction. In order to keep them safe in all areas to include their mental health, I need to be around. If I get thrown in the pokey because I decided to carry into their school, I am not there to protect them. I am not there to read to them at night or kiss their boo-boos when they fall or bring them a blanket when they are sick or watch them at their school play. I am not there to teach them right from wrong or to shoot the bad guy should he decide to come to our house. I have to choose between my desire to carry and my desire to be a parent. Being a parent isn’t limited to just shooting the bad guy.
I believe in my 2nd Amendment Right to carry and I stand behind that law often to ensure my rights are upheld. As one who evokes that law, I must abide by the other laws in order to make the ones I value, have value.
I absolutely believe in peaceful protest and efforts to change laws and situations that one disagrees with, but in most cases, I do not believe in breaking a law in protest of it.
I don’t know that I had any preconceived ideas of what the gun show would be like or what kind of people I would find there, but I do know I was nervous to go.
I was nervous because I was completely out of my element. I knew very little about guns or shooting or hunting and up until that point, my efforts to learn from others, had fell flat.
I went with my husband because I always feel safe and secure when he is with me and because he does actually know a bit about guns, although he is not overly “into” them.
As we wondered around being totally amazed at all the guns, knives, peppers spray booths, and beef jerky. lots and lots of beef jerky, we found everyone to be so unbelievable nice and over the top helpful.
The place was packed. I honestly think everyone in my state was there. Could not hardly walk and yet no one was pushy or anxious or grumpy and at every booth we went to, the people working made time to talk with us. If someone bumped into us or we bumped into them, everyone was ready with an “oh excuse me”, “oh I am sorry”,or an “Are you ok”? Very Awesome!
One of my problems is that I am small. Well, I am tall, but I am thin and have had a miserable time finding a gun that I can conceal. My first gun was a Glock 23 which I loved, but there was no way I was hiding that thing anywhere, so my husband decided to buy me a Glock 27 which is much smaller, but still not concealable on my frame. Everyone we talked to said I need at least a .40, but finding a gun that I could conceal in that caliber is not gonna happen. While we were at the gun show we were able to discuss with a variety of venders viable options that would both be concealable and pack a punch, especially if shot by someone who is well trained(I am working on that last part quite diligently) No matter how many questions we asked, not one person acted like we were stupid or like they didn’t have time to explain even the most basic of information. I learned so much and also slowly started to feel comfortable in a place that was very foreign to me.
One of the highlights was when I took my Glock over to Glock booth and met “The Glock Guy”. He was THE nicest guy who took the time to tell me everything about my gun and even add a few things to make it both more user friendly and cool.
Unfortunately, I was not as nice.
As we talked and talked and he showed this and that and added this and that, I got more and more caught up in everything he was telling me and I got super excited when he offered to put my night sights on my gun, that after we were done, I just walked off.
My husband ran home to find my sights to bring them back for “The Glock Guy” and I wondered around looking at everything and of course, bought some beef jerky, lots and lots of beef jerky. Well, my husband could not find my sights, so I went back to the booth to let “The Glock Guy” know and he very nicely said, “No problem and umm, you forgot to pay me,”
I just walked off, never having paid the man and since I bought a life time supply of beef jerky in the mean time, I had no more cash on me and the ATM at the venue was plum out o’ cash, so my husband went to the ATM down the street to get the money. Of course I kept apologizing and was thoroughly embarrassed, but he was not phased. His girlfriend was not phased. No one was mad or anxious or running around the gun show trying to find the idiot that doesn’t pay. In fact as we waited for my man to return, he oiled up my new gun and showed us how to take it apart and reassemble it and we chatted about guns, life, kids, jobs and even the weather. When I finally got my hands on the moola, I tried to pay him extra, but he would have no part of it. Not only did he absolutely refuse, he gave me a free hat! Now, that is some kind of hospitality!
To recap…I went to the gun out of desperation to find a holster, but along the way I found out a ton about my gun, found a new gun that better fits my frame, found out that I when I get excited I am a bit scattered brained and just might rip off a dude, I found that I can eat my weight in beef jerky, I found that facing my fears of the unknown is quite rewarding, and I found some confidence and some new friends. I did not however find a holster.
Due to a couple of incidents that put my personal safety and those of my family in potential danger, I was forced to confront the realities that I had no real way to defend myself or protect my children. After a life long aversion and fear of guns, I began a quest to learn about different ways to accomplish that task, the one of protection. Naturally, part of that quest led me to guns.
It took me about a year to even accept the idea that I would one day have a gun or that I might actually have to seriously consider having one in my house.
That year was an emotional one for me as I confronted my fears and my previously held views on guns, gun control, and people who own firearms for anything other than hunting. As with any belief that one subscribes to for any length of time, letting it go, is not easy. Even when I logically was able to accept and even believe that my thoughts and feelings were unfounded, I couldn’t help, but feel like I was doing something wrong. Something irresponsible. Something that was contributing to the violence that I was striving to avoid.
My emotions were not easy to control.
I began on a journey to find out everything about gun laws, different kinds of guns, what all the lingo meant, accidental death statistics that involved guns & children and just who owns all these guns anyway. I read everything I could get my hands on and I watched everything there was to watch on the internet and I attempted to talk to everyone and anyone who had any knowledge on the subject at all. There is so much information, but much of it incomplete and confusing, so I decided to try to contact some local gun clubs, guns stores, pawn shops, outdoor sports stores, and ranges in the hopes that responsible gun owners would relish the fact that I was interested in learning.
Not so much.
I had questions and no one, not one single person was interested in answering me. Sure there were some polite sales people that attempted to humor me, but mostly they just rushed me along.
I was in the possession of this brand new gun, but I possessed very little knowledge and I became increasingly frustrated and scared that I could not find anyone or anyplace that could help learn how to be a responsible gun owner.
I had signed up for a gun safety and personal defense class, but that was weeks away and in the mean time, I couldn’t just sit around and wonder what to do and how to handle this awesome responsibility.
One of my many frustrations revolved around my inability to find a holster that would meet the requirements of the course instructor for my up coming self defense course. Actually, I had found several online, but they were all back ordered and couldn’t be guaranteed to arrive in time.
As luck would have it, there was a gun show coming to my town and I was determined to go and find an acceptable holster.
What I found was much, much more.
This is one woman’s journey to owning her first handgun and all that comes with that responsibility.