Birthday Surprise

I tried to upload a video of my daughter and her birthday surprise, but it won’t load on this page.  If you would like to see it go here

This child came to us completely deaf, with no language and even less survival skills than me.  She was 2 and the first time we took her to the pool she just jumped in and sunk to the bottom.  She did not fight to come to the surface, she just sunk.  Both my husband and I jumped in immediately, brought her up and she just looked at us.  No fear.  No idea that she was in danger.

This is just one step in a on going process of consciously teaching our daughter(all of our children) how to take care of herself. 

The other day as we were walking across the street, I told her to stop and I asked her if she looked for cars(I knew she hadn’t). She said “no”  I asked her why.  She said “cuz you were looking”

I said, I was looking and I will always look, but you can not depend on other people for your safety.  That is your responsibility.  you look for yourself, every time.

I was 40 before I learned this lesson.

A Girl and Her Gun and Open Carry

My son is 19, almost 20 and in our state he is allowed to have a gun.  Our law is open carry at 18, no permit needed and conceal carry with permit at 21.  So, he always open carries.  My husband and I have not always been comfortable with this, so many times if he is with us, we ask him to leave his gun in the car.

You may or may not have noticed that my husband and I are very NO DRAMA people.  I would not say we are chicken, but we really live our lives to be calm and happy.  We do not surround ourselves with gossips or people who love to argue or are grumpy all the time.  We like peace.  Doesn’t mean we won’t stand up and fight for what we believe in, but if we can avoid the fight, we will.  Most especially me.

It took a while to just get comfortable with a gun at all, let alone dealing with people who might have an issue with it.

Recently, I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone, so while I have continued to conceal, I have stopped asking my son to take his gun off when he is out and about with me.

Yesterday, he asked me to open carry with him.  My first reaction was no, but then I said, what the heck, sure.

I do not have a great OWB(outside the waistband holster), so I wore my Crossbreed IWB(inside the waistband holster), but since my shorts and shirt were pretty small and tight, it showed like a beacon.

It was me, with my Glock 27, my son with my husband’s Glock 23(my man was on a military base and could not carry) and my daughter-in-law with my Ruger LCP.  We also had my new grandbaby with us, who was open carrying a pacifier.

I will admit, I was not super comfortable and quite nervous.  I knew what I was doing was legal, but I was afraid I was inviting a problem.  It is one thing to deal with a problem that arises, but this was one I was potentially manufacturing.  Nonetheless, I felt the main reason I do not open carry is fear and we all know how I feel about fear…DO NOT LIKE IT!!

So off we went…

The first place we went to was Party America for birthday supplies for our daughter who turns 8 tomorrow.  Only a few people in the store, but no one said a thing.  No one seemed to even notice.  I left there feeling a little more confident.

Next was Target.  I was actually a little sick to my tummy going in there, but I did it.  We did get a few more stares and one young lady tapped her boyfriend and whispered, “she has a gun.”  It seemed to me that she was at the very least surprised, but I have no idea.  Maybe she is a big gun nut and thought wow, she has a gun.  Regardless, she didn’t make an issue and off they went.  We left there also without issue.  I can’t tell you about the next place we went because it is connected to a surprise and a later post, but absolutely no issue there.  Then we can home and for the rest of the day I did not carry, conceal or otherwise.

All in all a good experience.  I didn’t get any pictures of me, but I will leave you with one of my daughter-in-law, the gun toting mama.

Watcha Want To Know Wednesday

Question – does you husband carry and how does he feel about your decision to? My husband and I got our CCL’s at the same time – but it took me almost 2 years to actually start carrying on my person – awful I know. But I had to come to a point where I realized that he ( husband) wasn’t always going to be right there – and even if he was he might actually need my help. Since I am also often out with just me and the two little ones – carrying not on my person just wasn’t pratical. Still working on perfecting the art of conceal carry – but am getting better.

I will start with the second part of the question. My husband, not only, supports me in my daily carry, but I think he is proud of me and I think it kind of turns him on. 

While I would not say that I am super tough, I am definitely more aggressive and definitely more confident.

Before my gun, my fitness had always been about being healthy and lean, but now I also focus on being strong and for my small frame, I am fairly ripped.  Especially my arms. The gun is just one step in my overall mind set to prepare myself for defense of my body and of my family.  I think this new confidence coupled with the very real fact that I can use my gun and that my mind is most assuredly stronger, is a combination that makes him feel better about my safety and our families.  As a man who is very protective of us and one who puts our safety first, I think he sleeps better at night knowing that I carry a gun, know how to use it and continue to find ways to be more prepared.

As to the first part of the question, yes he carries, but it has been a progression.

Off and on over the years my husband had mentioned he would like a gun in the house, but he never really pushed the issue.  About a year or so ago, he started bringing it up more frequently and while not forcing it on me, was really more persistent in his desire for us to have more home protection.  He was traveling more and he just felt we needed to have a gun.

After the grocery store incident and my change of heart on guns, he was focused on getting me a gun that I was comfortable with and getting me the training I was obsessed with getting, but he didn’t care so much about getting himself a gun to carry.

With me buying a few wrong guns, he ended up with a Glock 23. He loved it, but rarely if ever carried it.

At first I kind of nagged at him to carry more because I was not at all comfortable with the idea of me protecting our family.  I didn’t know how to shoot and my mind was definitely not combat ready.  He was both a skilled shot and his mind has been tested in combat and had proved itself.

If we went out together or as a family, he carried.  He carried because it made me feel more comfortable and he is all about make me feel comfortable, but I noticed he hardly ever had his gun when he went out with out me.  I tried not to say to much because I felt like he had to come to it on his own.  After all he waited 40 plus years for me to around. 

But for weeks our town had a rash of armed robberies and a string of violence that freaked me out, so I told him, “Babe, I really would prefer you carry more often.”

As the world is often relentless in it’s persistent to teach us it’s lessons, one night my husband ran out to the grocery store, without his gun and ran into some thugs. 

I will spare you the long drawn out details, but basically they were harassing the check out lady.  There were 3 of them and they were cussing and trying to intimidate the people in the store.  My husband’s first thought was “why didn’t I bring my gun?”  The check out lady was a young girl who did not take their crap and surprisingly, they backed down.  There was no trouble, but husband came home and declared,

“We will always have a gun with us!” and with very few exceptions, we do!

I am beginning to think dark alleys are perfectly safe, but I might start ordering my food from take out because the grocery stores in this town are all kinds of scary.

Day 3

It is getting might hot and humid here and the extra cover garments are becoming a bit much even for me, so I have been carrying my Ruger a lot.  I am sure Ruger makes a great gun, but it isn’t my favorite. Nonetheless, it is better than not carrying or carrying in my purse, which I am also not a fan of.

The weather is 99, feels likes 103.  Sunny, slight breeze, no chance of rain.

Did the swim team thing, then dropped off my HOA at the housing office, then Bass Pro Shop for some birthday supplies for the little one, then the store, then home.

It was suggested that I show more of the before and after of conceal carry, so I reluctantly agreed.  Not trying to be to risque, here it goes…

 No gun, but pretty nice abs, if I do say so myself.  Probably should have smiled though:)

Ruger LCP in Crossbreed MicroClip

 It is under there I swear.  Left side about 8 o’ clock

Yep, it is there.

Shooting, A Dilemma, and Some Risk Taking

I went to the range today to do some shooting.  Yippeee!!!  My man, my son and meeeeeeeeee!!

Overall, I was pretty pleased.  I basically shot where I was aiming or pretty darn close to it and I felt like I had much more control of the gun.  The grip thing is really a big deal.

We were assigned to shoot in spot 12.  When we got to spot 12, the person who shot before us had left his target and casings.  Sweet!  Love presents. 

We did a little house keeping of the shells, but left his target up and just put our orange sticker targets over his.

So, your just gonna have to trust me that the shots outside of the orange circles are not mine.

 Me shooting at the orange targets.  I like double hearing protection inside.  The blue cord is from the little plugs inside my ears.

The shots inside the bottom orange circle are mine as are the ones just below and to the left.  Just below and to the left is a common place for my shots to go.

After taking turns with my husband and son, I decided to shoot with my “off” hand. For me that would be my right hand.

Right hand

From this distance.  I actually am not sure what the distance is between the lines, but I think the first line is 5 yards, the second line is 15, the third 20 and then maybe 40 or 50.

Again, right hand, shot a couple of magazines.  Inside the orange and the ones below are mine(not the ones above the target or to the left side).  It seems I am more accurate with my right hand.

I am left handed.  I write with my left hand.  I eat with my left hand and when I shoot, I am much more comfortable shooting with my left hand, but each time I shoot with my right hand I do better.

I can’t decide if I should stay with what is comfortable, my left hand, and just train to be more accurate or try to get comfortable with my right hand, the one that is already more accurate.

Of course, the best plan would be to be equally as skilled with both hands and surely that is my long term goal, but what do I do now????

On a side note, I have always shot the same ammo out of my gun.  Winchester .40, 165 grain, full metal jacket.(for my newbie friends…Winchester is the brand, .40 is the caliber, basically the size, 165 is basically the weight, full metal jacket, in it’s most simplistic description is usually a lead bullet encased.  Not necessarily fully encased. There is more to understanding bullets than one would think, but this is the very basic, A Girl and Her Gun explanation) 

Today, I branched out and shot something different. About a week or so ago I bought more ammo and the sweet kid who sold me the ammo suggested I try Remington .40, 180 grain, full metal jacket.  He made the suggestion because I could get 50 more bullets for just a few dollars more.

Not a surprise to anyone, I am sure, I was nervous to take him up on his helpful hint. At first, it was a risk I wasn’t sure I could take. I love to stick with what works.  Especially, when I don’t really know what I am doing, but in the interest of branching out and not being scared, I said ok, lets try that.

Also, because I hate to tell people no when they are trying to be nice. 

This might be a character flaw.

One time I was at a restaurant with my son and daughter-in -law and I ordered a lemon lime something or other.  Well, it was soda.  I don’t like soda and this was one sweet drink.  When the waitress came back, I asked if I could have an unsweet tea.  She, very nicely said, I know this lemon lime thing is sweet, let me bring you something like it, only less sweet.  She was being nice, so I said sure.  I did not like it, but she was so, so nice, I made my son drink it and then I told her how nice she was for bringing it.  I also cut off the meat of the cantaloupe she brought me as a treat, left the rind on the plate and shoved the meat into a napkin into my purse.  It was not good.  In contrast to the drink, this fruit was not sweet at all.  She was trying so hard to bring me yummy things and I did not want to discourage her, therefore, I went to great lengths to hide the fact that it was not a pleasant dining experience for me. I may go a tad bit overboard in this area.

Anyhoo, this new ammo, shot without a lick of trouble.  A more experienced shooter would probably be able to tell the difference in their shooting between the 165 grain and the 180 grain, but I am not that skilled.  I was just pleased as punch that it did not jam up my gun(my husband had one jam in his) or explode it in my hand. 

Baby steps to growth, but growth nonetheless.

I have said it before and I will probably say it again.  I love this site!  I am borderline obsessed with it.  If it weren’t for these pesky kids need for food, love and attention, I would just curl up with my favorite “girl” blanket and read for days.

My husband is what the Marines call a Mustang, so naturally I was drawn to this article.  It did not disappoint.

If you have yet to do so, head on over and peruse their massive library of articles.  I guarantee you will find something that wows you.

Qucik Notes

I am going to do 7 days Of Conceal Carry, but they will not be consecutive days. 

My new gun life style has been a work in progress and much is learned by trail and error.  This blog and my ideas for it are also a work in progress.

I realized as I looked over the pictures and went to write the post for Day 3, that my current routine and wardrobe have not varied a great deal.

For example, today I am going to swim team…again. Run errands, play with my kids and the gym.

Riveting, I know.

It does not make sense to keep posting things that are the same, but I also do not want to be contrived.  I want to show what I actually am doing instead of inventing outfits and scenarios, so I have decided to wait and post the next days in the series as they come up, naturally, in the course of my daily Conceal Carry.

Also, yesterday I published some post I had been working on earlier, but waited on because I didn’t want to post a ton in one day.  Of course, because of life and craziness, I ended up doing just that.

I have other posts in waiting, so this way you can enjoying reading the ones from yesterday and the new ones I will be posting soon AND you can also have joyful anticipation of what is to come in the exciting world of what The Girl and Her Gun will be wearing in the weeks that come:)

Lastly, That Texas Lady is having another giveaway, so head on over and enter for your chance to win a Crossbreed holster. Giveaway

More Than Self Defense

In a lot of ways I have always been self sufficient and independent.  I pretty much raised myself and had to figure out a lot of things about life way too early. My parents, God bless them, really didn’t know how to be parents, so I didn’t have much of a childhood.  My husband says I was born 30.  I was a very serious, practical gal that thought way too much about everything.

That is, until I met my man.

My husband kind of fine tuned me.  I am me only more so.  He taught me how to laugh and be silly and read fiction.  I only read biographies and news stories until I met my husband. He convinced me that it was ok to relax and read without a purpose.  I didn’t have to learn anything or grow, I could simply escape.  He taught me that I could buy things without a need.  If I wanted a new shirt, I could buy it, even if the threads were not hanging off the one I already had.  I have always had a good sense of humor and laughter has been great medicine, but never so often or so hard as when I am with him.

He also took care of me.  For the first time in my life, I had someone to lean on.  Someone who took protecting me seriously.  When we first got married, I fought against his protective instincts.  He would offer to take the grocery bags from me, but I refused to let him.  This is not a post on psychoanalyzing A Girl and Her Gun, so I will just skip all the reasons why I might have resisted and get straight to it, eventually I learned to let him carry the bags and a whole lot more.

The more I let my husband protect me and nurture me, the more I grew.  In the midst of letting go, something strange happened.  Instead of becoming dependent on him and helpless, I became stronger and more confident. More me.

Something similar has happened since I have been carrying my gun.

When I first got my gun, I depended on everyone around to carry me.  To teach me and to protect me.  I turned to everyone to tell me what to do and thankfully they did.  I was still not accustomed to reaching out much beyond my husband and close friends for help, but my fear forced me to go way beyond my comfort zone.

I have never been one to post on the internet or be a busy body.  I don’t twitter and I only have about 25 friends on my FB and they are all people I actually know(except for 3 people I met through the gun world, but have yet to meet in person). I am not shy, but I don’t just reach out to any one, but when I got my gun, I was so desperate to learn, I reached out to everyone. 

And just like with my husband, I was blessed by the kindness and care of others.

One of the reasons I love my Conceal Carry instructor so much is that, I felt very taken care of in his class.  I felt safe.  I felt cared for.  In feeling safe, I was able to attempt things I would have been too afraid to try before.  In being cared for, I wasn’t scared to fail. There was yelling and cussing and violent videos and I was surely pushed beyond what I thought I could do, but I left there empowered and with skills I could actually use.  Before I took the class, I knew I needed to be there, but I wasn’t sure I could actually use my gun at all, let alone self defense. After 2 days in that environment,  I left there, knowing that I was worth fighting for and what I learned there gave me the courage to keep fighting my doubts and fears and find a new part of me.

Each day that I carry, I get a little bit more confident and that confidence gives me more strength then I had the day before.  That strength gives me the power to be me only more so.

Carrying my gun has forced me to be even more patient and more kind.  I am so conscious of the power on my hip, that I let all kinds of things go, that I never would have let go before.

I now know that I can take care of myself. I don’t have to let the guy at the gym, who stood in the parking lot yelling at me, know that I think he is a meanie pants.  Truth be told, I probably would not have let him know that he was a meanie pants before I had my gun either, but I would have come home and ranted and raved about it to my husband.  Now, I giggle and let it go.  He doesn’t bother me because I am not afraid of him.  I walk away because he is not worth the effort, instead of because I am running.

I try things I never would have tried before, like inviting my Glock guy for dinner or posting a question on the Facebook page of a very popular (and knowledgeable) gun lady.  I am taking a Fight Like A Girl class where I am kicking and punching and sparring and while I don’t think anyone is afraid to get there butt kicked by me, my trainer says my punches are getting harder and I know my butt is getting tighter.  I started a blog where I expose all my fears and faults to people I don’t even know.  In sharing with people about my journey to owning a gun, I am learning so much about who I am.

In being nurtured, I have found an inner strength to let myself be more aggressive and tougher.  In being more aggressive and tougher, I have an inner calm and confidence.

I still absolutely love when my husband takes the bag of groceries from my hand, or opens my car door, or tells my children, when they talk back to me, “You will not speak to my wife that way.” I know that I am safer when he is standing next to me.

But, I know that if I have to carry the groceries or open my own car door or set my children straight, I can. And if I have to stand by myself, I can and I will. Of course, I will be doing it with a Glock 27 under my Safari vest.

Whatcha Want To Know Wednesday

“How did you decide to buy the gun you bought?”

I did not so much decide to buy the gun I bought as I got impatient and went out and just bought one.  I had never in my life heard of Glock or Ruger or rimfire or chamber or, I think you get the picture.  I had absolutely no clue what to buy or even where one would go to buy a gun, so I did what I always do…

I Googled it.

I Googled, “Guns for women”

Almost all the articles said, buy the gun that fits best in your hand and one that you will shoot.

Yeah, that is not helpful.  So, I Googled gun stores and went to every one within 90 miles of my house.  I have to say that most of the gentleman who helped me were not helpful.  It was obvious that I had no clue and none of them were really interested in educating me.  They were in the business of selling guns and answering direct questions. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept looking.  I ended up at a local pawn shop. The guy there was extremely friendly and would have talked to me all day if I wanted. My husband says he thinks he was a little to friendly, but…

While I was at the pawn shop looking to buy a gun, my husband was 3 hours away with our daughter at a volleyball tournament.  He was not feeling all that good about my little adventure.

At the pawn shop, my choices were between a couple of revolvers or a Glock.  I have no idea why, but I did not want a revolver.  I didn’t know anything about revolvers except I knew I didn’t want one.  Why or how I developed this strong negative opinion I don’t know, but since I had, I was left with the Glock.

The pawn shop owner told me that the Glock Generation 3’s did not have an ambidextrous(left side or right side) magazine(the thing that holds the bullets) release(button that drops the magazine out of the gun), but the Gen 4’s did.  It just so happens that one of the guys that works in the pawn shop has a Gen 4 that he would sell me for $500.  Ok, sure I said.

I am left handed.  In the course of my gun buying expedition, I learned that some guns are made for right handed people, some for left handed, and some for both(ambidextrous). This seemed more important in the beginning than it does now.

The guy from the pawn shop brought the gun in, I looked at it(having not a clue) and bought it. 

I bought my first gun in the parking lot of a pawn shop from a guy I didn’t know.  The first in a long line of mistakes I have made in my short gun buying experience.

The Glock I bought was the Glock 23 and it does not have an ambidextrous magazine release.  No Glock does.  It turns out this really isn’t a problem for me, but one should maybe buy a gun from someone that knows a thing or two about guns. I will say that while this was probably not a smartest way to buy ones first gun, it turned out ok.  Similar Glocks do sell for around $500, the gun came in it’s original case with all the original parts and my husband has shot the heck out of it with not a single problem.

However, it was not the gun for me.  The Glcok 23 is a compact(smaller than a full sized gun)gun, but on me it was like carrying a large cat on my hip. Had I slowed down at all, I probably could have found a way to carry the Glock 23, but since I was full speed ahead, I forced my husband to drive at night, in a rain storm to buy me the smaller subcompact Glock 27.

The Glock 27 shoots a .40 caliber bullet(basically the size of the bullet). Incidentally, the Glock 23 also shots .40 caliber.

Once I had the gun, I did a ton of more research, but I didn’t realize until after I had the gun and shot it, that it has a big recoil(the kick of the gun after it shoots a bullet)  Since I had never really shot before, I thought that was how all guns felt.  It didn’t bother me at all.  I took it to my Conceal Carry class and shot close to 600 rounds over 2 days and was not sore one bit. I was so naive, I had no clue that other guns had less recoil and that many woman do not like the kick of a .40.  My gun ignorance and nativity rarely serves me well, but this was one time it worked for me.  I had no preconceived ideas so I wasn’t scared of the kick.  I was, of course, scared the first million times I shot, but not because of the kick.

I would not suggest this way of gun buying, but what I have learned is that unless you grew up around guns and have had the chance to shoot many different kinds of weapons, gun buying is often very similar. 

There are so many variables in finding the right gun for every kind of person and their needs, that it is nearly impossible to know what the exact right gun will be, plus as ones skills grow and develop that first gun might not serve one well anyway. I follow Central Iowa Defensive Training on FaceBook and a while back they posted a link to an article that addresses this very issue. What is best?

I got lucky because I do love my Glock 27 and even as I have grown in my gun skills and knowledge, it still serves me well, in fact, better.  I have shot several other guns, and I like them all, but I always come back to my Glock.  I love it.  I feel the most comfortable and confident with it.  I have no idea what I will feel like as I continue to learn and grow, but I can’t see my Glcok being very far away from me for very long.

Day 2

A few notes before we get to Day 2

I seem to have quite a few people who read this blog that are brand spankin’ new to the world of guns and are as ignorant to them as I was(and in most ways still am).  Some of the information I assume to be basic is not basic to someone who is “that” new to this world.  I know when I read a gun review in a gun magazine or on, I am often so overwhelmed by what I don’t understand I can’t get anything from the review.  I walk away still not knowing a flip about that gun.  Frustrating!!!

So, from now on when I mention something related to guns, I will put a very brief, basic explanation in parenthesis.  This is just to clarify in the most basic form for folks to understand the post and not by any means my attempt to exhaustively cover the subject.  I would never try to explain anything in depth as I am not an expert and there are so many out there, why would I attempt to be one?  I might from time to time provide a link to direct folks to those experts, but not every time.

For example, if I were to mention the type of ammo I used at the range and I decide to give all the spec to include grain.  It would would look something like this…grain (measure of the weight of the bullet in grains).  Very basic and not even close to covering all that is involved in grains of a bullet or what it means to shooting etc, but a person reading my post could get the idea of how grain would pertain to what I was discussing.

Not only am I not a gun expert, I also am not a super model. Me standing around while someone takes my picture is uncomfortable for me.  I feel stiff and phony and kind of frumpy, so instead, I have my camera out and my entire family is instructed to take random shots of me throughout my day with and without my gun.  It is A Girl and Her Gun in her natural habitat.

Today’s pictures don’t really make me feel any less frumpy as they were taken by my 7 year old, who insisted I post them. They are a little more random then I was looking for and way more fuzzy:)

On to Day 2 Conceal Carry…

Yesterday was much hotter than we have had in the past week.  97 degrees and muggy.  When it is muggy and hot in my state, every business owner turns their AC down to 32 degrees. This is not fun for me. Anytime I go into a building  I become a Popsicle.  I literally freeze, so for me the hotter it is outside the more layers I put on in order to counteract the inside temps.  It is easy for me to remove a top shirt or vest while in the car and pop it back on when I head into a store or business.

My son borrowed my Glock(brand of gun), so I wore my Ruger LCP(a small pocket size gun that shoots .380 bullets. .380 is a pretty small bullet).

We did the swim team thing, then took my granddaughter to her first doctors appointment.  The doctor had a few concerns so we had to go to a subcontractor to the hospital for test.  No signs about guns at this building, so I did not feel the need to remove my gun.  Had to go into the bank, so my gun stayed in the car.  Not in the safe because my daughter-in-law was staying in the car and I wanted her to have access to it. After the bank I headed home and then headed to the gym.  Gun stayed in the car in the safe.  After the gym, I came straight home and stayed in for the night.

This is first thing in the morning getting cereal for the kids.  No gun on yet, but it is close by.

Still me doing the breakfast thing. Wearing the Ruger(brand of gun) in the Crossbreed Micro Clip(Crossbreed is the maker of the holster and Micro Clip is the style)

Cover garment on and heating up coffee before I grab my shoes and head out the door for my day.  The wrinkle on my left side is not from the gun. It is just the way my shirt is laying do to the angle of my arm.  This gun does not print(the outline of the gun or weapon seen through clothing) with this loose shirt.  I love this shirt because even as I move throughout my day lifting and bending, it does not come up over the gun and it completely covers the clips of the holster. 

Waiting for my husband to come into the house.  Sometimes I get excited and wait for him by the door.  I knew my daughter was taking a picture, so I pulled the shirt a bit to show the gun really does not print.

 A close up shot of the same thing.

Grabbing the car seat. Kind of a weird angle, but as you can see, even bent over, no clips showing.