A New Blog

If you read my post Blogs, Blogs and Gosh Darn More Blogs then you know I am a fan of the many wonderful blogs out there.

Guess what? Yesterday I found a new one!!  This blog is especially great for the brand new shooter.  Bill’s post are full of extremely useful information that he lays out in a very easy to understand way.

Part of my frustration when I was first learning about guns was that my level of knowledge was so low, when I say low, I mean zero, so when someone on a blog would say DAO, I thought it was a typo for DOA(Dead on Arrival).  I would like to say I am only joking here, but I am not.  Even when a blogger included DAO(double action only), it didn’t help me.  Google was my best friend in those early days, which is why the protest the other day was so important to me.  Not really why.  Really, it was because our government is ticking me off, but…

I digress, the point being that I needed a much more basic explanation of things.  Fortunately, I was motivated and if I didn’t know I would just ask and as we all know, the bloggers were more than willing to help me, but it would have been nice to have a place where I could go that was more tailored to my level.  Bill’s blog is one such place.

The bloggers in the gun world are very talented, smart people which is wonderful, but often times, when I finished reading a post, I just felt deflated.  Not being able to grasp what they were saying was maddening.  That is my fault, not theirs.  I just needed a place where I could go that would give me step by step guidance. There are a lot of courses that one can take offered through the NRA and I would suggest taking one or two or three, but in the mean time, the internet  can be a great resources.

From the emails I am getting, I am realizing that I am not alone and truth be told there might be more of us in the clueless camp than in the expert camp(helpful hint: if you go to a blog that claims to know it all, they probably don’t.  The really smart ones share their knowledge, but always say they are still learning too)

So, from one brand new shooter to another, here are my suggestions:

First-Buy Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide To Concealed Carry.  It is not a complicated book.  It is well thought out, easy to understand guide that is well worth the minimal investment.  Having said that, the first time I read it, there was much I did not understand, but that’s fine. It’s a guide and I refer back to it constantly.  The book gave me a place to start and each time I am exposed to something new, I pick up my copy and see what The Cornered Cat has to say about it.

Second-If you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are the only one, go back and read my old posts.  You will see nothing could be farther from the truth.  Not trying to be a post pusher here, just trying to give you a place to go if you need to feel better about yourself or smarter.  I am not exaggerating when I say I needed help.  Good news…I found it and so will you.

Third- Visit Bill’s blog

Forth-If you visit a blog and you read something complicated about guns or ballistics or Green Tomato Bacon Pie(Ok, that one is not complicated, but it looks so mouth watering, make your knees weak, good that you have to go see it) that you do not understand…ASK!  I think it is better to ask in the comments as opposed to an email and here’s why:  I am absolutely positive if you have the question so does someone else.  You will be helping other women who are not ready to post publicly their questions.  It’s a community and you can help even if only by having the courage to ask.  The second reason I suggest leaving a comment, is doing so,  gives you access to more information.  The blog host will most likely answer you, but in addition, so will a whole lot of other smart folks.  Not everyone will answer in a way that your brain understand information, so the more people who respond the better chance you have of getting it.  If you still do not understand, ask again.  I am serious about this, keep asking until you are satisfied that you have a good grasp of the issue at hand.

Last-Relax!  You do not have to understand DOA or SAO or 5.56 NATO(I use this example a lot because I just learned about it and it makes me happy that I know it) to know how to shoot.  If you have taken a step, any step forward to make yourself safer, then I say BRAVO! EXCELLENT!  WAY TO GO!!  I am immensely proud of you(which may or may not mean anything to you, but regardless I am, so I am telling you so) and I can promise you, you will not be disappointed as you take this incredible journey towards greater freedom and dare I say it, a whole lot of fricken fun!!

P.S. this is not an exhaustive list of things you should do, but it’s a place to start.

I Missed You!!

Yesterday I got up early, visited a few blogs, made a few comments and then for the most part I was offline.

 Larry left this comment to my post  Protest “It is wrong. Which is why I’m on the air and broadcasting as loud as I can. Bastards will have to send the black helicopters in for me”. 

I think he makes a good point and if you go to his site, he explains it further.  I am generally not a fan of protest and boycotts, but sometimes I think it is important to stand up, publicly for what you believe in. How one does that can vary.  I was happy to see that while we displayed our contempt for the issue differently, we both did something.

The main reason I did not post on my blog or FaceBook yesterday was because I think this nation is becoming very lazy and very selfish and it appears that most people do not have a clue what is going on.  I have to believe this because otherwise I would think there would be more outrage.  It appears that people live in a fog and only stand up and fight when the cause effects them.  I thought perhaps if people were inconvenienced by not being able to do what they wanted online, they might try to figure out what was happening and then maybe, just maybe stand up against it. Now, I don’t think that anyone cares if I blog or not and generally the people who read my blog are already the kind of people who stand up for their principals and fight, but I also thought it was important for me to support the bigger issue because I think what is going on in our government is sickening. 

Anyway, since I chose not to be online yesterday, I picked up my 13 year old and her friend from school and we spent the day eating and shopping.  At one of the stores I saw a sign that I thought perfectly stated my life’s motto, so I bought it…

Absolutely True

I Made One Minor Adjustment


This post is really for those of you who are not yet shooters or are relatively new.

If you have not shot a gun before then you may not be aware that guns can “malfunction”. I will leave all the technically aspects of this to the experts, but basically, when you pull the trigger and there is no bang, you have a problem.

If you are in a bad situation and it calls for you to draw your gun and shoot, you want it to go bang and more likely, you will want it to go bang, bang, bang. If for some reason, your gun doesn’t do that, then it is imperative that you know how to deal with that problem, quickly.

There are several reason why the gun might not go bang and there are several ways to deal with the problem.  I will not get into all of those ways because I don’t want to bog you down with to much information.  For the purpose of simplicity, I will just say, dealing with malfunctions is an important part of your training.

If you missed my post yesterday, I talked about having some bad dreams and all of them focused on my gun not working and me not being able to fix it.  Lots of people posted that these kinds of dreams are very normal and all have had them.. Huge relief.  Many of the suggestions to dealing with said dreams was to a accept them as nothing more than the mind doing its thing and to practice.

I receieved lots of very helpful comments, but I thought I would share part of one from Weer’d

“I used to have the crazy malfunction dreams, and I still have REALLY weird ones, like one when my wife and I were in a hotel room and some creep tries to force their way in. I grab the travel box I had taken the gun in (obviously we must have flown or driven through an unfriendly state) and open it up and there is my 1911…perfectly field stripped and laid out.

So now I’m putting a 1911 together as fast as I can while the door is breaking down.

Just weird.

Still the most common nightmares everything works as I practice, my draw is smooth, I keep the gun in a position where it can’t be grabbed and I shoot and hit my target….and nothing changes, the attacker keeps coming, and eventually my gun breaks or falls apart, or jams just because my mind is out of bad ideas.

I suspect the reason for this is I’ve never actually SHOT a person. I know what its like to draw and fire, and I know how to fix a gun that’s stopped working…but I have no idea (in practice) how to stop an attacker because I’ve never had to do it.

I know my biology, I know my ballistics, and I’ve read a ton of books about such things…but I’ve never seen it happen, and so my mind has nothing to draw on”.

 I think that makes perfect sense.  Our minds do in fact draw from what we tell it or what it has experienced.  I actually, know this to be true from my education in Deaf studies and linguistics.  That is why practicing anything you want to do well, is so important.  You have to develop those neural pathways.

Anyway you slice it, I needed to get to the range. So, yesterday my husband and I met John at the range to work on malfunction drills.

The first drill was a target placed at a relatively close spot to me, maybe 5, maybe 7 yards. John, placed some live ammo mixed with dummy rounds then I shot the magazine and dealt with the issues that came up.

A dummy round is a “fake” bullet. It isn’t supposed to go bang. They are also called snap caps. There might be other names, but those are the two I am familiar with. Mine are red. You can read more about them here

So, let’s say I pull the trigger and the gun makes a click sound, but nothing else happens. Then I have a problem. What I practiced was tapping the bottom of the magazine, racking the slide and then pulling the trigger. It is actual called…tap, rack, bang. I have practiced this before, but it has been a while. The other part of the drill was to move while tap, rack, bang was taking place. If your gun is not working, you don’t want to stand there like a sitting duck while trying to fix the problem. It is important to move and to make yourself a difficult target. Now, when I say I moved, understand at the indoor range there isn’t much room to actually move.

Again, if you have never shot at an indoor range let me explain that basically you are put in a little cubicle.

I had just enough room to take 2 steps to the left or to the right, but it got my mind thinking about moving and any practice is good. Well, as long as what you are practicing is based on good solid training.

I practiced dropping the magazine and reloading and John showed me how to tap, rack, bang with one hand. The range we were at would not actually allow us to practice this, but I got the idea and I can certainly practice that at home during my dry fire practice time.  For more on dry fire practice see the Cornered Cat’s article on the subject.

I did pretty darn good if I do say so myself. What I found interesting is that when the target was a man, I did much better then when I was shooting at little circles. When I was shooting a “person”, I hit every shot in center mass with a fist sized group, but when I was shooting at little circles, I was still hitting the target, but not exactly where I was aiming. Not sure why.

All in all it was a very good day at the range and I felt much better about being able to handle a malfunction. I will, of course, keep practicing, but I am feeling good and last night very peacefully.

Well, that was a surprise.

I am going to make this short because I am exhausted, but I wanted to say thank you for everything. The kind words, the advice, and the support. You already know how much I value you all. The advice was good. I listened.

I want to be sure everyone understands, neither Joan or any other negative comment had anything to do with my mini breakdown. I truly, honestly never once have given any thought to her. People who don’t like me or are mean, don’t upset me. I didn’t return to her site or the reddit site because they both are negative and empty. All that is offered there is hate and that’s not me. That has never been me.

The past few days have been the culmination of the past few weeks. I mentioned my feeling in passing to a few blogger friends, so I tried to stuff it down. I thought I was doing a good job of it, but the dreams(which I now know are normal, but still were something more this time) and that wonderful post just forced me to let it go. I have been getting hundreds of emails and reading lots of post calling me a hero or a true American, or any number of other extraordinarily kind, kind things. I have been fortunate enough to have a few people send me a t shirt or a holster accompanied by beautiful words. I tried to pay for every single one. But, they were gifts and I appreciated them so much. Juxtapose that with emails or comments from women who have been raped or violated in other horrific ways or from husband’s reaching out to me on behalf of their loved ones, or from service members…men and women who have fought for our country, they are telling me, I touched them. Man, I felt woefully inadequate and guilty for all the good that is happening in my life. I am giving away one, ONE, training and this community has given me so much. That is what made me go a little crazy. Feeling like I was benefitting while others were suffering. Those are the people I respect and those are the people I value and they are who affect my life. I realize now, that I am helping people and they mean what they say. I am helping. That is huge to me! That is what matters! I don’t need to feel guilt or bad about that. So, I won’t any longer.

I think my post might have come off a bit overly dramatic.  I wrote what I was feeling at that moment and I probably should have taken a step back.  It really was just a few bad days and even then, not all the awful.  I still laughed and spent time with my kids and did fun things with my husband.  I did not obsess about the feelings or the dreams at all.  I have written many times how much I love my life and how much I want to fight for it and that is always true, but I am a girl and I get emotional.  In a very short amount of time, 7 days to be exact, I had been bombarded with lots of compliments and lots of very emotional stories.  I was not sleeping from reading all the emails and it just caught up with me.  I vented and you all, like always were there as were my husband, my friends and John, who is my friend, but I like to give him an extra shout out. 

John(my favorite firearms instructor) read my post and sent an email…

Let’s Shoot


Focus: malfunction drills.

I met him and we did just that. 100 rounds down range coupled with lots of support and I feel much better.

Here is my plan, to accept that life deals what it deals and we all have to do the best we can. I am doing the best I can for myself and others. It is genuine and I am passionate about helping people avoid becoming a victim and helping people like me, survivors, heal. All good!

I am going to continue to shoot, and train. I will continue to ask questions and prepare.

A bad thing happened, I have come far, I had a bump in the road, that’s ok. I cussed!! Unfortunately, I didn’t even realize it until someone pointed it out. I am fine.

P.S. Don’t take my drama to mean you should stop telling me how great I am.  I am kind of getting used to it and nobody wants me to write a ranting post about how nobody loves me anymore.

Healing Is Not Linear

Life is good, life is fine, something bad happens, rocks my world.  I go through the normal phases and eventually healing and progress takes place. 

I had thought all that pain was behind me.  Not forgotten, but tucked away as a memory, one that I could control and use to help others.

I never thought I would be dealing with the negative emotion that came from my bad guy encounter. Then I wrote that letter. 

That letter.

When I first wrote, it was exactly what I wanted to say.  It expressed exactly what I felt and as other shared it and identified with it, I felt happy and proud, but then as it grew and grew, I started to feel uncomfortable.

The more and more I see my name being used to represent victims the more uncomfortable I feel. 

Sometimes when I see the word violence, I think, I have no right to be include with those that have suffered at the hands of a mad man, those that have really suffered.  Those that had the courage to fight back or those who didn’t have the chance. I feel guilty and ashamed.  Am I really a victim or just some stupid lady who didn’t have the guts to fight?

And yet sometimes when I see the words…violence, victim…they take me back to that day.  A day, I haven’t really thought much about, in terms of details.  I always talk about that day in general terms.  Even here I have never actual said what happened, step by step. I don’t talk about it. I don’t think about it. At least, I didn’t used to, but now, now I do. No willingly, but there it is.  I  read a post like the this one last night and bam, there I am.  I can see myself standing there, doing nothing, being so god damned scared. 

It’s been a hard couple of days.

The Mind Is A Funny Thing

For the past 4 nights, I have had nightmares. I go to sleep calm, happy and not worried about a thing and then I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic.

Every night in my dreams, I find myself in some kind of bad guy situation where I appear to be handling the situation and then wham-o, all goes south.

The first night I was walking into a garage, not a parking garage, one connected to a house. It was not my house, but a friend’s, maybe, anyway, I look across the way and a man is standing there with a gun, he shoots at me, but misses. I draw my gun and shoot, but my gun jams, so I get behind a car(I don’t know how it got there, it was not there at the start of my dream), clear my gun and shoot again, again, it jams. I do this 3 times. The fourth time small pieces of paper start flying out the injection port, I look down, the man cames at me and grabs me arm. I wake up.

The next night. I am at home. Someone knocks on the door. I answer, there is a guy standing there, he pushes the door open, I push it shut, take 2 steps back and draw my gun, shoot, but there is no bang. I can’t get away, he grabs my arm, I wake up.

The next 2 nights I have dreams that follow the same pattern. All is well, bad guy comes, I try to defend myself, gun doesn’t work, bad guy grabs my arm, I wake up.

I can’t figure out why.

A while back Lima had posted on her FB page about a gun dream she had had and in the Cornered Cat’s book she discusses that gun dreams are common, so I am not surprised that I would a dream involving guns, but not these kind. I cant figure out why now and why is my gun malfunctioning?
Why am I left there with the bad guy winning?

I practice the tap, rack, bang and I run scenarios over in my mind, in case of some kind of malfunction, but I am not afraid of it happening. I am aware that a jam could happen, probably not white pieces of paper flying out of my Glock, but something could cause my gun not to work. I get that, but in my conscious state, I am not worried about it. Equipment fails, so I read about how to deal with it, I try to train for it, but of all the things I am concerned about, this is not at the top of my list. I get more and more confident in my abilities to handle a bad guy encounter and I have a great deal of confidence in my gun.

I am not cocky. I know I have a lot to learn. So much to learn, but I am not defenseless anymore. Not in terms of equipment and not in terms of my mind.

When the morning comes, I talk things over with my husband and I search for an answer, but I never find one. I just kind of shrug my shoulders and go about my day. I don’t spend the day trying to figure it out or obsessing over why. In fact, I completely forget about it.

However, it is starting to annoy me. I was kind of hoping when I started having gun dreams they would involve zombies or me saving the day, not me standing there again being a helpless victim with a defective gun. I don’t really need an answer, but I do need for them to stop. All this intruppeted sleep is making me one tired and grumpy girl.

Are You Talkin’ To Me?

It appears everyone’s fun loving pal, Joan, has been including me in some of her posts lately. Since I have not returned to her blog, I was completely unaware, but a few bloggers have brought it to my attention, so I popped on over, one last time to see what was up. From what she has been saying, it looks like Grumpy Bastard’s place as my BFF is secure.

I haven’t gone back to her site because I think she is a non-issue. She does not say, do, or post a single bit of helpful, inspiring, funny, educational, or thought provoking information. I get nothing from her. She doesn’t upset me as I have zero respect for her or her mission, so I feel my time can be better spent doing almost anything else.

I have a deep admiration for the other bloggers that are standing up to her and calling her out for what she is, here is another fine example of someone doing just that, but for me I think my efforts are better served helping other victims stop being victims.

Joan has no desire to stop being a victim. For whatever reason, living a life of fear filled with anger and hatred serves her well. That mindset only served to make me fell empty, alone and hopeless, so I chose to find a better more constructive way to live my life and my life’s mission is to help others do the same.

To be honest, I don’t think Joan is much of an adversary. The number of people who are buying into the idea that it is the responsibility of the government to protect them is dwindling at an astonishing rate. Just look at what is going on in Wisconsin. Just look at the numbers climbing for gun ownership among women. Just look at the growing numbers for gun sales in general.

Empty rhetoric is not sustainable. The comments that are left on her posts prove that. The last one had 3. One was from our Jennifer, one was from Joan, and one was from the only guy that appears to support her. People get tired of being scared and angry and eventually they want solutions.

I think the best thing I can do for victims is to share my story and to give real solid resources to help them either avoid being a victim or help them heal from it.

I intend to spend my days doing just that.

I Give The Best Advice Of Any Blogger

And here it is…if you want to know about guns, ammo, self defense, legel issues, training or anything involving tongue punching, you should probably not ask me.

My letter to the anti gun folks has brought me a lot of attention and thus a lot of new people coming to the blog, which I love, but I fear it has given people the false idea that I know something about guns.

My blog is 10 months old. Exactly the same amount of time that I have been shooting. I have learned a lot and I am happy to share my experiences with you and tell you what I have learned, but I am new, new, new and I am not qualified to give advice.

If, for whatever reason, you still want to email me or ask me a question here, that is fine. It’s great. I truly want to help if I can, but chances are about 99% of the time, I am going to send you to the people that help me.

That letter I wrote was not some idealistic rambling. It has been my reality. I have relied heavily on a small community of gunnies that have followed my journey. They know me. They know my story and they have invested in my healing and growth. They are who I go to, a lot.

You don’t have to go back very far in my archives to see the proof. My blog is primarily 3 things. A chronicle of my journey out of a bad situation. A place where I share what I have learned and a place where I ask questions. I ask a lot of questions.

If you have a question about the victim mindset or overcoming a bad guy encounter or what it is like to transition from non gunnie to gun nut, then I am your girl. If you are looking for someone who has access to the smartest, funniest, most supportive people on the planet, then I am your girl. If you are looking for someone to explain to you the what gun takes the 5.56×45 NATO cartridge then I am gonna have to refer you. Well, ok, I know that one, but you get the picture.

I say this not because I am annoyed or upset by the questions. I am not. Its been great talking with you all. I say it because I want you to have the best information you can get and the best thing I can do for you, is to point you in the right direction.

So, ask if you must, but be prepared to be redirected. Thanks so much for coming here to visit with me and to share, it has been a blast. I hope you stick around. I love having you here!

Three Weeks!!

In just short 3 short weeks we will have our winner to the training Give-A-Way!!  I am so excited!!

As I mentioned before, the participation in the Give-A-Way has far exceeded my expectations; because of that I am making another adjustments.

I mentioned before that I thought maybe 20 women would sign up, so I planned on just sticking their names in a hat and pulling one.  Now we have around 200 women who have signed up, so I am not sure a hat is the best way to pick the winner.  I know there are some computer programs that help with this. I might be using one of those.  I still might do some modified version of picking a name from a hat.  I will let you know.

We also have another prized donated by the very nice people over at Firearm Protector!!!!!!  Please check out the side bar for details on the prize and maybe head to their site and leave a comment saying thanks!

There are so many aspects to preparing for self defense that sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  Especially to those of us that are brand new, not only to guns, but just the idea of defending our lives. A basic course will touch on many different topics to help us get started in changing our thinking, but often times we will leave with more questions than answers.   One of the things that was address in my conceal carry class, that left me with a whole lot of questions, was what to do after the shots are fired. We actually discussed it a lot, but there is no way to cover everything in one 2 day course.

I was reading  this post this morning over at God, Gals, Guns, Grub and thought it was excellent. I would recommend reading it, maybe a couple of times.