My Man

I get a lot of emails asking about my husband.  Some are just curious about his time as a Marine or how we met. Some are more invasive.  A few boldly ask me if he went out to kill the bad guy or why he isn’t more involved in my training.

I appreciate the emails and the questions and I realize I put myself out there and that is going to open me up to a lot of things, but what I write on this blog is not the complete picture of our lives.  My husband is a very private person.  He is a man of few words and has absolutely zero desire to be in the limelight.  Actually, until this blog, I was also very private and we are both surprised at how much I share here.  I have had more than one of my closest friends contact me and be actually concerned for my mental state because sharing so much is extremely uncharacteristic. My oldest son has said on more than one occasion, “Who are you?”  “Growing up you wouldn’t even let me tell people we know, where we live.”(I still don’t do that)  I have personal FB page that has around 40 people.  For the longest time it had 20, but I have added some of my new shooting buddies to the group.  The point being, the people on there are my actual friends(a few are new friends) that I share my life with, but outside of that, few people know much about us.  You all know way more about me than people I interact with everyday.  If you have been with me from the beginning then you know the evolution and how I became to be more open and why I have chosen to share so much here, but what I share is about my journey, not his.

Having said that, I will tell you a little bit about him.  He is smokin hot.  He has calves to die for.  I have been married to him for 22 years and he makes my knees go weak every time he walks through the door.  It’s a cliche, but it’s true. 

He is brilliant. He really is.  He is loyal.  His friends, his children and his Marines will tell you that. He is cool, calm, and collected almost all the time.  He does have a temper, I have heard.  A Marine or two has been on the wrong end of that and needless to say, he rarely has repeat offenders. He is enormously kind and intensely protective. He has saved me a million times over.  He is strong and brave.  He has an inner calm that steadies me.  I never feel more safe or nurtured than when I am with him.  He is very in tune to me.  After our daughter made the revelation that more happened that day than I had originally shared, he said he knew.  He didn’t know what had happened, but he knew there was more to the story. He never asked, not once.  He said it wasn’t important for him to know anything until I was ready.  His said his job is to protect me, care for me, to help me find my way back and he didn’t need any details to know how to that. 

We have never talked about it, but I assume after I was mugged, he had some anger and a desire to make that problem go away for me, but he never said so.  He never once lost his temper or exclaimed that he was off to find the guy and beat him to a pulp.  His focus was on me.  Revenge, there is no way that would have been healing for me. He has had the sole role of protector for 20 years and he relishes in it.  He loves to take care of me from doing everything he can to be sure no one causes me an ounce of pain(totally unrealistic which is why he helps me learn to do it for myself)  to bringing me coffee, every single morning. I imagine watching me go off on my own has been hard on him, but if it has, he has given no indication.  He has been my biggest supporter.  

He is the funniest person I know.  We have serious conversations, of course, but 99% of our time is spent laughing til we cry.  Honestly, I laugh that hard, everyday. I love my friends and I love doing things on my own, but if you asked me my favorite thing in the world to do, it would be hanging with him, regardless of what, I would rather be doing it with him.  Although, if I got to pick, we would be out shooting somewhere. Just for the record, he is a darn good shot.  I am not just braggin’ here, the dude can shoot. It’s annoying.

That is pretty much my man.

She’s A Real Animal

(This is not the most recent picture of her)

 I want to share a little more info on our Give-A-Way winner.  She is the wife of a gun blogger. Our own Groundhog, which makes our winner Mrs. Groundhog!!  Mrs. Groundhog and her main quadruped live in Texas and although he is quite the shooter, she is just starting out on her journey.  Mrs. Groundhog was never scared of guns, but she was also not comfortable around them.  Unfortunately, her family was affected by gun violence. Not the kind of gun violence where you would light a candle, but the kind that makes your blood boil and you think, I need to do something to keep this from happening, kind of gun violence.  Her sister was shot in the head.  I believe Goundhog has written about this on his site, but I am hoping Mrs. Groundhog will write a post of her own to share here.  Sometime after that incident, they began seriously exploring their self defense options and both obtained their CHL(concealed handgun license). 

In the beginning our winner accompanied her husband to the range as a way to spend time with him, but little by little she got the bug…they always do:)  Like many of us she is a little more experienced in age than in shooting.  She is 52 and yes, she knows I am telling you all that. Although, she has spent sometime shooting with her gun, she has had no formal training and hasn’t been to the range in over a year.  We are aiming to fix that, again no pun intended. She adheres to my life philosophy and she carries a big gun: a Glock 17.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this particular gun, it is a full sized(??) gun chambered in 9mm. That is her only gear, well, until now.  She has a whole heck of a lot of gear coming her way.    I have spoke with her and her husband by email and phone and they both are delightful.  This has been such a blast and getting to know her more is gonna be a treat for me. 

I know you all will be following along on her journey.  Both Groundhog and I will be posting and sharing with all of you. Lets be her biggest cheerleaders and encourage her with every step she takes!!

That Texas Lady

That Texas Lady got 20,000 blog views in a single day.  That is a lot of views for one day.  I guess people know a good thing when they see it.   To celebrate she has a little Give-A-Way.  If you live in her neck of the woods or are willing to travel, head on over to her page and check it out.


I want to clear up a few things…

First, I don’t mind at all when people share my story or posts I write.  I appreciate when people ask, but my site is public and anyone can read it, so it’s free game. 

Second, I don’t want anyone to change their post for me.  I know that occasionally I have mentioned that I read a post that was difficult for me to read, but that doesn’t mean I want it gone. My story is tough for me to tell and sometimes it is tough for me to read about, but I think it needs to be told.  The number of emails I get every single day telling me that sharing my story and my journey has been beneficial to someone is staggering, at least to me.  There are days that I get sick of sharing it and days that I think does anyone really want to read one more post about how I managed to get through the day or do they have any interest in my latest breakthrough.  The answer is yes.  This is not universally true.  All you have to do is visit a few forums to find out I annoy the heck out of some folks, but they are not the ones emailing.  The men and women emailing find some sense of comfort and strength in my story and they are why I keep sharing. I know what it is like to be lost and to have people reach out.  I know how incredible healing it is to have someone, even a person you don’t know, reach out and say your not alone and I care.  Other than my internal strength that was hiding deep inside of me, the people who cared for me, their love is what inspired me not to wallow in self pity, but instead to flourish and grow.  I mention the posts that are hard for me because I want to be authentic. The more people who share my story from their prospective, the more people who will be touched.  I don’t believe anyone is being malicious when they write about me, well not the people I write about on here anyway, and I don’t want anyone to stifle their writing to protect me.  As you all have pointed out, I am tougher than I think.  I can take it.  If you write something I think I can’t handle I will send you a little note and we can discuss it, but I don’t anticipate that ever happening.  If you come here and read something I haven’t written discussing your post about me, please do not apologize or change it.  I wouldn’t be sending people your way if I didn’t think what you wrote had merit.  However, to the men that have contacted me on different occasions to offer to change something or to offer comfort for possibly making me uncomfortable, you are true gentleman and I could not respect you more.  Thank you.

Thirdly, there is a new blogger who had decided to use A Girl and Her Gun as her blog name.  Since I had no plans of becoming a blogger, I never purchased the domain name, so she is free to do so.  I did submit paperwork to trademark, but that is a process.  Just wanted to let you know that this is my site.  I didn’t change anything, so if you happen upon another blog with my name, it isn’t me.  Of course, you all have free will to visit any blog you want, but it would kill me if you called her AGirl:) I did try to contact her just to let her know that I am here, but she never responded.  I am sure she is a lovely gal and I wish her no ill will and her blog is probably  great, but I do think it is a little rude to use a name already being used.  Not sure how anyone will know who is who on the GBBL. 

Lastly, I have been working on some very exciting things that I hope to be announcing very soon!!!!

Evyl Robot Contest

If you have not been to the Evyl Robot Soapbox blog you are missing out.  Much like his wife, he is smart, crazy funny and right now he is having a very unique Give-A-Way for a  Madison Rising CD.

I believe the contest will run until Friday, so DO NOT delay…go, now, yes right now…GO.

Full Circle

Saturday morning I got up before the others in my house and did what I usually do these days when I have a few extra minutes, I visited my favorite blogs.

I popped over to Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel and read this.  I wasn’t expecting the post to be about me and what I read I didn’t like.  The post is very good and the words are true, but I didn’t like that he was taking about me, that I didn’t fight for my life.  I am long since over the anger and the guilt, but every so often I read something or hear something and it makes me go “Ugh, I can’t believe that was me”.  I clicked off, put my Ipad down and got ready for my day.

I went off to train with my husband, John and a few of his friends.  If you read my post then you know I had a somewhat intense drill session.  Even though it was intense, it was good.  I left the range that day knowing I was not the same person I was 11 months ago.  I have had glimpses of my growth, of course, and I have believed that I would fight and fight hard should I ever be in a similar situation, but until Saturday, I didn’t know.  It was exhilarating for me.  I left that day feeling confident and calmer in a way that I can not explain.

When I got in the car that evening to come home I checked my email and had a message from Brigid that simple said “This mornings post was inspired by you”.  “I hope you enjoy it”.  I love everything she writes, so I could not get to her page fast enough.  As I read the post, I pictured myself in her story.  The mind is funny.  It does what we tell it, not the other way around.  If we tell our minds long enough we are something it begins to react as if that is the truth.  As I have said before, it lies.  I had been telling myself for so long that I was quiet and weak that even after my 11 month journey, I still saw myself as the girl in the kitchen.  It wasn’t until the second time that I read it, that I had a tear stream down my check and I said to my husband, “I am NOT the girl in the kitchen.”  I am the girl with the gun.”  I AM the girl with the gun”.  Then I started to laugh.  I did not know she was writing that post and she did not know I was at the range or what had happened.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that everything that happened on Saturday happened.  I woke in the morning, the beginning of my day and read a post about me being a victim, in the afternoon, I took steps to assure that I would never be one again, that evening, I read a post about a girl who is confident and strong and it was the day I gave a way a training to another woman.  Kind of felt like Saturday was a metaphor for the past year.  I was a victim, I fought back, I overcame and I passed it on.

Yesterday I went to Sharp as a Marble and read a post Robb put up about me shooting the Garand.  I left a comment and today he made it his quote of the day and he said.”…she is definitely one of us now.”  Yes, yes, I am and his words made me smile big time.  Thanks Robb.

And The Winner Is Take Two…

Congratulations to Mrs. Goundhog!!!  Please contact me ASAP at [email protected] I can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. Lets all send out good thoughts to Leeann-JsMe, our first selection.  I am hoping she just forgot to check back and that everything is well with her.

The Give-A-Way…again

I hate to do it, but I have not heard from our winner and no one seems to know her, so if I have not heard from her by 5pm Eastern Standard Time this evening, I will draw a new winner.  My plan was to wait until tomorrow to give her another full day, but I have 2 sick kids and  my next few weeks, months really are crazy busy, so I need to wrap this thing up.

Check back at 5pm(EST)to either see that I have heard from her or to see the new winner.

There are 2 other Give-A-Ways, I would like to tell you about…

Mag40 Training– This looks excellent.  It is an expensive course and I would love to attend, but I am not comfortable with the format of the contest, but it would be a great opportunity for someone.

Julie Golob-I  actual entered this one.  I never enter contest, but I really love the 2 necklaces and since Uncle Sam is getting about $8000 of my fun money this year, I don’t think jewelry is in my future.  As I said on my FaceBook page, my luck is not good, so do not consider me a threat and GO ENTER. However if you win, feel free to send me one of the necklaces:)

A Day At The Rage- Part 2 & Other Stuff

I shot my M&P most of the day and she preformed well.  I had a number of light strikes which concerns me, so I need to get that cheeked out.  I am not a fan of the sites either.  The huge white dots are messing me up.  My groupings are ok, but I am shooting lower than where I think I am aiming.

3 yards-(This was pretty good, but it’s 3 yards, so)
5 yards. Two separate sessions.

7 yards

We also took her back to the 10, 15, and 25 yard lines.  It got very busy and I was focused on what I was doing, so no pictures, but the gun did fine.  It is not a precision weapon, so no little tiny groups, but I still could kill someone from that distance, I do believe. However, if I really wanted to do some damage, I think I would use this…

The M1 Garand

This is the first time I have ever heard about this weapon, so, of course, it was the first time I shot one.  LOVE IT!!!  I love everything about this gun.  I love the look, I love the history, I love how it felt in my hands and I loved the power against my shoulder. 

As an aside, we shot for probably 2 hours, then the whole reenactment type drill which felt like 10 minutes to me, but was probably 3, then we immediately went on to the long guns.  The second that drill was over, I was good.  I have had some people email me privately with concerns that the drill might have crossed a line.  I don’t know, but I do want everyone to know that honestly, I am fine.  I had no repercussions at all.  The drill was done and I could not wait to get my hands on the next gun.  We shot for 2 more hours and I had a blast.  Slept like a baby for the past 2 nights and I feel more confident then ever.  Let me also say, how blessed I am that you care enough to send me a note of concern.  That touched me deeply.

Ok, back to the guns…

Right after I shot the M1, I shot an AR-15 chambered in .22.  I have shot several .22’s before, so I  knew there was no kick, but I still prepared for one and it was a shock when it was just a little tiny kitten sneeze(that is how one of the shooters described it) that came out the other end.  Even though there was no real power, I loved shooting that gun.  As everyone in this community knows, gun people are very generous.  Some of the other people there that day brought their guns(they prefer not to be outed on the blog) and were so unbelievably kind to me.  So supportive and strong and amazing.

One person had an AR 15chambered in  .223, I think, I didn’t ask.  Anyway, it was set up in what I would describe as a tactical mode.  I felt tougher just holding the thing(I know it is not politically correct to say that.  I know the gun isn’t suppose to make you feel anyway, but I am not that evolved:).  The owner took the time to explain all kind of things to me and then let me go.  Crazy cool! 

Last time I was at the range with John, I only got to touch the LaRue(AR-15).  This time I got to shoot it…yep, loved it!

Someone emailed me and asked if I only own one pair of pants because the black ones are all they every see me in…lol  Yes and no.  I do, in fact, own other pants, but none that I want to get messed up. I am not or haven’t been a real outdoorsy kind of gal.  I mean, I have enjoyed camping and hiking for years, but I haven’t had a real need for outdoor gear and since I would rather spend my money on guns, ammo and training, the wardrobe is whatever I have.  These black pants, I have had for 10 years.  They are old, faded and I don’t care what happens to them.  Not the best for holding extra magazines and whatnot, but they work…for now.  Pretty much when I shoot, my hair is up exactly like this, I wear those black pants, my new boots, and a long sleeve shirt, usually with my Gun Goddess shirt over the top. Not a lot of variety, but then no one is looking at me at the range anyway, so I don’t worry about it.  

Lastly, I got an email from a reader who is looking for some help from you all.  She has a questions and is really hoping you will give her some feedback. Here is her question:

Here’s the thing, I got my CPL over a year ago, and have been taking advantage of my range’s Ladies Nights at least once or twice a month to shoot everything they have available to rent in order to settle on my carry weapon. While I like some handguns better than others, the problem is with my eyes.

I am unusual (I think) in that my *right* eye is far-sighted, and is also my dominant eye. I can read road signs and see targets just fine with my dominant eye. The problem comes in because my *left* eye is near-sighted, which means I could focus on the sights, but then the target is a blur, and since it is my non-dominant eye, it completely screws up my stance, etc. I’ve tried keeping both eyes open when I shoot, but then I wind up actually seeing 2 guns, one in focus and one not. Usually I close my near-sighted, non-dominant eye, and focus on the target. I can see the sights, blurrily, but enough to line them up and usually keep a 4 inch grouping at 15 yards with a 9mm. (Well, depending on the weapon I’m shooting, some of them don’t like me!) Do I even *have* a problem? So many instructors, books, etc. stress keeping your focus on the front sight, but I literally cannot do that without learning to shoot all over again using my non-dominant eye. I’ll say that while I do wear glasses to drive, it’s the ONLY time I wear them (I always just leave them in the car), and I don’t want to practice in a way that’s not going to duplicate what I’d experience in real life.