I started this as a kind of journal of my experiences for the purpose organizing my thoughts and as a way of sharing my journey with my children, especially my eldest daughter. I wanted them to be able to “walk” through my experiences and feel what I was feeling as I went from a person who was anti-gun to one who carried. My daughter in particular is having a tough time with my transition. She is her mother’s daughter and has been raised to think guns were dangerous. Of course I have talked with her as I have gone through this, but not about every feeling or thought that I have had.
When I very first started the blog, the only people I told was my husband and my very good friend who lives in a different state. I did not tell my children. My initial thought was I would write it and then at some later date when I thought they were ready, I would let them read my blog.
A month or so ago I received an email from one of my friend’s who wanted to know why all of a sudden I was carrying a gun. Again, I have not told all that many people I carry a gun, but right after I bought it, I did share with my close friends. I had just written the blog post, Who Am I, when she asked me, so I directed her to the blog. I didn’t hear from her, so I had assumed she did not read it.
I had assumed wrong.
Lets just say, she is not 100% keen on the idea. Remember, that I had surrounded myself with like minded people, so I already knew her views and was not surprised by the strongly worded response.
Most of what was said was the standard anti gun jibber jabber, but there were two things that stuck out and I thought were worth addressing.
The first was “Did I intend to try to convince the whole world to become a gun nut and weld a loaded weapon all over tar-nation?”(yes, she said tar-nation). I have feelings on this, but I will address that in a later post.
The second thing that struck me was her question as to why I wrote anonymously. She wondered why if I was so gosh darn hip on guns why didn’t I shout from the roof tops that I carry a gun??
This is a good question and one I have struggled with a bit myself.
In general, I am a behind the scenes kind of gal. I am not shy by any means, but I am not a center of attention, I needed to be noticed, kind of gal either. In fact, I much prefer to be behind the scenes. I advertise nothing. I do not have a single bumper sticker on my car proclaiming how many people are in my family, or that my kid was Student of the Month, or my political or religious views. Or whether or not I eat meat. I actually saw one of those the other day(I do by the way, eat meat I mean). I don’t have my name on the mail box or my phone listed in the phone book. Never have. I try not draw attention to myself in anyway. In short, I have always been pretty private.
I have however spoke out before in support of things I am passionate about like adoption and the rights of children. I have been quite vocal about a parent’s responsibility to their children and the complete and total lack of tolerances for anything less than 100% love and care of those least able to care for themselves.
I have become very passionate about the 2nd Amendment and so it would seem that I would speak about this as well and I do, just more quietly.
So, why not be more public about carrying a gun myself. Why not put a big ol NRA sticker on the back of my spiffy mini-van? Why not wear a t-shirt that say “Shoot First Ask Questions Later?”
If you have read any post at all by me then you know the reason I first got a gun was for protection. I was scared and the last thing I wanted to be was noticed. Even now after the initial paranoia has worn off, I firmly believe one of the best ways to protect myself is to be more prepared than anyone who may mean me harm. Concealing my gun is vital to this. Concealing my identity as a person who carries a gun is part of that too. I do not want a potential attacker to be more prepared then me.
Instead of someone saying “Hey, I’d like to “fill-in-the-blank” this woman.” “Humm, I see she has a gun, so I think I should go get some other folks and toss this knife aside and get my gun, so we can take her down.” I am aware that bad guys don’t talk like this(if I wasn’t before my gun training class, I have been made patently aware since), but this is as bad guy as I get.
I would prefer, they think, “Ahh, look at that skinny little chic, She is gonna be easy.” Totally unaware that I am trained and armed.So, instead of said person being able to harm me, I am forcefully and decisively able to STOP that from happening or at least I feel I have a much better chance.
I also am already extremely irritated that my 2nd Amendment Rights are being violated. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows for gun laws. In fact just the opposite. That is what the whole, “Shall not be infringed upon” means, but nonetheless, there are a whole list of place I can not legally (and therefore don’t)carry my gun and I have no intention of adding places to that list list. I do not what a business owner, who has never thought to put up a sign telling me I can’t have gun, deciding to put one up because I brought attention to the issue.
I think my strength is in my anonymity.
However, truth be told, I am not all that anonymous. My friends know. The people at my husband’s work know. My personal trainer and sparing partner know. When I chose to post a comment on the NRA site, I use my real name which is accompanied by my real picture. The one time I posted this blog address on someone else FaceBook site, I used my real name and again that picture of me. There is no evidence she or anyone else read it, but had they put 2 and 2 together, they would know who I am. I would assume that the 100 people or so that read this blog do so because they already know me or know someone who knows me. I do not announce to everyone walking by that I am gun owner who writes a blog, but people know.
Also, I just don’t care if anyone knows who I am.
While at the beach I was working on a post and got called away. I had left the post up on the computer screen and my 13 year old daughter saw it. This is the conversation that followed…
Her: “Mom, I didn’t know you had a blog?” “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Me: “I wasn’t sure you were ready.” I wasn’t sure if you would be upset or feel differently about me and I knew I wasn’t ready for that.”
Her: ” Can I read it?”
She did it read and every other post I had written up until then. In fact she read everyone out loud, that day. She took great pleasure in finding my typos and is now my editor. She reads every single post before I post it, except this one, so expect lots of typos. I am an idea person, not a detail one.
I have enjoyed the time we have spent together reading the posts and discussing what I write. It has meant a great deal to me, that she cares enough to read them and think about them.
The other day she told my husband that she loves to read what I write because she can actually feel what I am feeling. She thinks I am funny too. Nice to have someone who gets ya.
I have said before that I believe we are more powerful one on one. That we can effect one life more easily than thousands.
This has been proven in my life time and time again. It happened when I was a college professor and I made an impact on the individual lives of some of my students. I was profoundly changed when I met my husband and was purely and unselfishly loved. It happened when I became a mother. It happened when we adopted our daughter who was deeply wounded and hurting. The journey to help her trust and allow herself to be loved, was like nothing else I have ever been a part of. It happened when I was in the grocery store parking lot. It happened when I was at my gun training. It happened last week with my daughter.
I made arrangements to meet a new friend at the range tonight. When my daughter found out, she asked to accompany me. She says isn’t sure she is ready to shoot, but she is curious. She is afraid, but open. She wants to know more about me.
The main purpose of this blog was to give my daughter some insight to her mother’s mind. To help her see that the motivations behind my actions have never changed. That I love her and our family. That I think she is worth protecting and defending. That love is what has always motivated me and this is no exception. The motivation was never to change her mind about guns. Regardless of how she feels about guns, she has value and worth and as her mother, I will do everything I can do to protect her and myself and our family.
I do not think this blog did anything to open her mind, I think love did.
I am not anonymous to her.