Happy New Year!

I know I have been neglecting you all and for that I apologize. My computer died a few weeks back and trying to post, especially pictures using this IPad is a nightmare. I took over 400 pics between Christmas and a range day, but there isn’t an SD card slot on the iPad, so emailing them, saving them, sorting and trying to get them to load right in the post is more frustration than I was willing to endure.

I have opted for using my AGirl Facebook until I can get a new computer(which I am on my way to do). I can quickly add a pic from my phone or share a thought in between dinner and a movie with the kids over there. It’s not the same and I miss my blog interactions, but I don’t get a headache from it. Please forgive me.

I am hopeful that later today or tomorrow I will have a real post up, but either way I do want to wish everyone a Very Happy New Year!

Thank you all for your continued support. I get great satisfaction from writing and sharing part of my life with you. You make me laugh and you make me think. Two of my all time favorite things!!!

Looking forward to spending 2013 together.

Be blessed! Be safe! Be determined!


We have a closet down in our basement that is full of old boxes. I am not one to keep things. I hate clutter, but over the years I have allowed a few boxes for each person that hold a few things which represent the personality, character and/ or contain an item of value to members of the family. It is a way to preserve our history.

When my grandfather died my father gave me several boxes that were of value to my grandfather. My father didn’t want them. The boxes have items in them that have little pieces of family history. My family is actually, sort of, prominent in Illinois if you can believe that. Our family home is now a museum and every 10 years there is a town play depicting our heritage. The town library has a big book that includes my children’s names. I have a brick in my family room from the original outhouse that was destroyed a few years ago. I know, a brick from on outhouse…don’t be jealous. There is even a street named AGirl. Ok, not AGirl. It’s actually my maiden name Gottschalk. Homewood, Illinois. Kind of a dirty town. A very dirty town. It’s demise is sad.

I digress.

One of the boxes is full of newspaper clippings of when my cousin Billy died in Vietnam.
My passive nature runs deep. My cousin wanted to join the Marines and be a helicopter pilot. He wanted to defend his country, but my family they are not fighters. My aunt, a lovely woman, convinced Billy that he should be a rescue pilot. To fight was not honorable. If he insisted on going to war he should be on the side of saving.

It cost him his life.

On a mission to a rescue others, he was shot down.

His name is on The Wall in DC. William Gottschalk.

Now, in all fairness, even those who fought on the offense died. Many died. Many, many, many. There are no guarantees.

That is the fallacy of the pacifist. The “peace” loving. The “good”. They believe there is a moral superiority to being a victim. Somehow there is a higher value in laying down and taking it. They don’t actually want to lie down, but believing in the power of doing so, that makes them immune.

I am here to tell you, there is no such immunity.

Those in power, the ones telling you that you are kinder and more gentle if your turn in your weapons, they are not going to take it. The President isn’t going to take it. He has armed security because he feels that his life is far more valuable than yours or mine. Of course, he should be protected by the the best of the best at tax payers expense. Again, in all fairness, if we are going to compare lives of worth, his does rank at the top. He is after all the leader of the Free World…well, semi-free world, well, America. We are free right?

Anyway, the point is, he is important. You and me, not so much.

I wonder when my children lay their heads down at night as they close their eyes and drift peacefully off to sleep if they do so believing Obama will protect them or if they do so knowing their father and I will.

I wonder who they think has more value…

Stalked:A Girl Without A Gun

Eric in Texas left a link on my blog and so, of course, I clicked and read the story. It’s powerful story. At least to me it is.

It’s story that brought back feeling of fear and emotion that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I am still surprised how quickly I can be transported back to the days following my mugging. But, today I felt a different fear.

Back then I was afraid of being hurt, of not being strong enough, mentally or physically, to protect myself and my children. Now, the fear is of being forced to be defenseless. I am not panicking or freaking out as I am not even sure what is even true right now, but just the thought of not having access to my gun terrifies me. I would like to say it doesn’t. That I am cool, calm, and ready for anything, but I am not.

I am not willing to give them up. I shouldn’t have to.

Some Links

I have a couple of posts milling around in my head on a few things and plus I want to share with younmy fabulous Christmas festvities, but I am having to much fun with the kids on break(although a couple of them are currently sick) to actually sit-down and write, so in the mean time here are a few blogs you should visit.

I have admired and respected The Gun Divas for a long time. This post only adds to that. I am new to the gun world an wasn’t paying attention during the last assault weapons ban, so I am not sure how much trouble we are in here, but it feels like it’s a heap. I hope more gun owners get vocal. Not rude and obnoxious, but visible and loud enough to be heard. I hear there is power in numbers.

Although Michael Bane has some thoughts on just how much trouble is brewing.

Monty on Guns doesn’t blog much, but when he does, he does it well.

And lastly, Greg reminds us what all this fighting is for in the first place. I have written a few posts with similar sentiment, however, visiting the murder capital of the word all by myself is just a little too much fun for me. I do still travel to DC, New York, Chicago and I will return to California one day to take my kiddos to San Simeon. Just because these places are gun free for the law abiding, doesn’t mean they are self defense free.

Also, I bought a pressure cooker and some canning things, so this weekend the fam and I will be working a way. Wish us luck!

Guns & The UK

I received an email asking permission to repost Melissa’s article. It was from a gentleman in the UK who had this to say…

“I live in a country where handguns are banned, and even our Olympic Pistol shooting team has to travel to another country to practice. In the UK, there is an almost country-wide ban on all sorts of firearms, except for the police, who are supposed to be unarmed, but who more and more frequently are seen in public with firearms, usually Hechler & Koch semi-automatic rifles. Here the people who have firearms are criminals, and a farmer who shot a burglar with a shotgun was (a) imprisoned for shooting said burglar, and (b) sued by said burglar for injuring him.

A friend was burgled while he slept upstairs, and when he woke up he made sufficient noise to scare away the burglar. On coming down into the kitchen he found a pan of water being heated on the cooker, which was, according to a policeman attending after the event, “for you, if you had a chance of apprehending them.”

The lunatics have taken over the asylum here, and somebody needs to talk some some sense about firearms, but I think the government will simply see it as a means of limiting their absolute authority over citizens. I have rarely read such a lucid argument and would like to get it out into the public awareness in the UK.

Kind regards”

I am not sure the validity of this article. I keep thinking it is some sort of Onion type article because the insanity of it is beyond, well, insane. It is the BBC, so it appears to be an actual story even if the source appears to be off mark on occasion.

Kitchen knives. Kitchen knives…

Merry Christmas!!

I was very naughty this year and didn’t send out a single Christmas card to anyone. Not even TSM’s business associates. Life was wonderfully busy and something had to give.

However, I do want to wish all of you a very, very safe and Merry Christmas!!!

I Am A Mother by Melissa G.

This morning I received an email from a woman who wanted to share her thoughts. I will admit her words touched me and I think she may represent many female gun owners. At least I hope she does as she is a fine example. I asked to post her very eloquent words here. She gave me permission. Please read…

I am a mother. I am a single woman. I am a gun owner.

I have sat by quietly as the anti-gun propaganda machine has churned heavily over these past seven days. I have not stood on the rooftops and yelled about my 2nd Amendment rights and the facts about gun ownership vs. gun control. I have done so out of respect and compassion for the children that were murdered by a madman. As a mother, my heart bled and continues to bleed for the senseless loss of life at Sandy Hooks Elementary School.

I spent that Friday evening cuddling and kissing my children, overwhelmed with gratitude that for one more day they were safe and well, tucked under my wing in a protected space. This is not unusual for me, the fact that Friday nights are pretty sacred in our home is a known fact to those who know me well. Friday nights are a time for the three of us to spend together, reconnecting and unwinding after a hectic week of school, work, doctor and orthodonist appointments, ball games, ball practice, the busy life we live together. This Friday it was a little more though. The tragedy in Connecticut weighed heavily on my mind as I am sure it did most everyone in the country.

Like most parents I dropped my children off at school the following Monday with a heavy heart and a knot in the pit of my stomach. I watched my little man walk in to the school, his Gamecock bookbag covering his whole back because he’s so small, and I dealt with knowing I was leaving him in a place where he was entirely defenseless, not a police officer or a security guard in sight. All day I fought the urge to go sit in the parking lot and keep a watch over him and his schoolmates, to stand guard over the smallest and most vulnerable in our society. I admit I did give in to the urge and join him for lunch, where I regrettably was forced to leave my gun in the car.

Ah, you see, there in lies the crux of the issue. There was a time not very long ago that leaving the gun in the car would not have been a dilemma for me because I lived in blissful ignorance. I felt that my mere presence alone was enough to keep my children safe from harm. Making them hold my hand got them safely across the street. My kisses held magic that could cure boo boos in an instant. My bed held safe refuge from nightmares that danced into their minds in the middle of the night. For anything that was wrong, I, as Mom, held the answer, the cure, the fix. They trusted me implicitly to keep them safe and I naively believed that my Momminess was enough to do so. Who would dare mess with my cubs with Mama Bear right there?

A little more than a year ago I went on a date to a gun range. I had never shot a gun before and figured I liked this guy, he liked guns, what the hell, why not? I had never held the notion that guns, as inanimate objects, were good or bad, but I admit I was pretty nervous about actually shooting one. The first time I pulled the trigger I was hooked. To this day there are very few moments to me as peaceful as that split second after I fire when I know that shot is perfectly placed inside the 10 ring. Admittedly those shots are fewer and further between than I would like, but when they happen it’s an amazing feeling. After that date I still didn’t think I needed to own a gun, but begged him to take me back to the range so I could shoot his.

My attitude about that changed one evening as my children and I were carrying groceries in from the car. A man came in to our yard and somehow I allowed him to maneuver himself between my son and I. He kept walking towards me all the while assuring me he meant me no harm. His words did little to offset his actions and I felt, in that moment, more threatened than I ever have. Certainly more threatened than I had at a gun range, which is crazy because I am surrounded by men with guns there, right? Thankfully that man left without doing us any harm but I was left shaken and ashamed. Ashamed that I had always looked at my children and vowed that I would let no harm come to them on my watch, that I would do everything in my power to protect them and keep them safe, yet I was unwilling to actually do so. I was unwilling to enter into the trenches of owning and carrying a gun, the most effective means of protection allowed to me. That night my resolve was set, I would do whatever it took to keep my children safe from harm, by any means necessary. The President of the United States protects his family with an armed security detail, were my children any less valuable than his? Any less worthy of protection, even by deadly force if that is what it took? The answer to that was, and still is a resounding no.

The 2nd Amendment was, for me, just part of the Constitution that I had to learn in school. I knew what it said but didn’t give too much thought to what it actually meant. I took for granted that “shall not be infringed” seemed pretty self explanatory to me, yet I learned very quickly that this right, afforded to us by our founding fathers, was at every turn being infringed upon. And now, here we are, entering into a battle with anti gun groups who base their assault upon the Constitution on emotion and fear, rather than facts. They scream for gun control without stopping to realize that no form of gun control could have stopped this terrible act of violence. The fact is that the elementary school was a gun free zone as a result of gun control. The teachers and the administrators that were selflessly willing to stand in front of a man with a gun were defenseless to stop the attack, because of gun control. The monster that attacked the school did so with guns that were stolen, they were illegally obtained, and no amount of gun regulation on the legal owning and possession of firearms could have changed that. Gun control failed the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Millions of gun owners in America did not shoot people today. It is illegal to bring guns in to schools. It is illegal to steal guns. It is illegal to kill people except in the defense of yourself or others. These laws were already in place before last Friday; one person disregarded every single one of them and committed a heinous act of violence. I will not feel guilty for owning guns and I will not apologize for being willing and able to protect my family by any means necessary. Those that do not want to own guns do not have to but I go to sleep every night knowing my family is as safe as humanly possible. If you choose not to own a gun and someone breaks in to your home you will sit and wait for someone with a gun to arrive to save you and yours. I have the comfort of knowing that someone with a gun is already in my home, someone who will not hesitate to eliminate a threat to my family with deadly force, if that is what it takes.

I am not a monster. I am not a criminal. I am a mother. I am a responsible, tax paying, law abiding citizen of this great country. I am a gun owner. And I’m unwilling to sit idly by as my right to protect my family is chipped away.

Some Worth While Reads

I was planning on posting a list of blogs worth reading, but Jay G already did.

I would add The Cornered Cat and also head on over to The Minuteman and wish my friend Barron a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

The Season Of Giving

It was brought to my attention that a fellow blogger has had a bit of a rough patch. He is a veteran and YOUNG who had a heart attack and a whole host of other bumps in the road.

If you think you might be able to help, head on over to Tin Can Assassin’s place and hit the tip jar.

Old NFO also has a post up of another who could use a little love.


Thank you so very much for your support yesterday. All the comments left here in addition to those sent privately warmed my heart.

I would like to say that the email and the words this man chose to use didn’t bother me a bit and I went on my merry way because I hate to give him any satisfaction, but to say that would be dishonest.

The truth is his words stung a little. I am not sure that I will ever read those words and not be affected. The thing about bullies is that they find the thing that most terrifies you or scares you, or upsets you and then they use it to do just those things. Clearly my biggest regret and the thing that causes me the most pain stem from that day and revolve around my daughter.

As most know I have already faced those feelings and chose for the good of myself and especially my children to heal and move forward in a positive way, so although the words stung, they didn’t cause me great harm or pain.

I have to say if you are the kind of person who would write such an email and you got a single ounce of pleasure from knowing you caused another person harm, then that says an awful lot about you and what it says isn’t good.

Yesterday I decide to do two positive things. One be an example to my child and two make someone else feel appreciated.

I did not give her the details, but when my daughter asked me why I wasn’t my usual peppy self, I told her someone was unpleasant to me. I wanted to reinforce to her that no one deserves to have power over your life and they can’t unless you let them. I gave her enough info as to use it as a teachable moment without getting into the ugliness of it. She knows when I am down my tendency is to shut down, be quite and usually, if its bad, retreat to my room for an hour or so. I wasn’t that bothered by his words, but I wanted to make a point. I told her letting someone else keep you from the joys of your life is the real cruelty and one that can only be perpetrated by you. Letting anyone keep me down is not the lesson I want to teach. I want to teach how to not only keep going, but to do it joyfully. That is just what we did. We did school like normal, then got a coffee and headed to the library. A place we both love. After, she asked if we could head to the mall to buy her friend’s Christmas gift. As luck would have it fate intervened and handed me an opportunity for part two.

As we walked through the mall I saw a young Marine coming our way. He was mighty impressive in his Blues. Of course, he was a Marine in his Blues. Always impressive. He was on his way to lunch. Taking a quick break from doing the Toys For Tots gig. I stopped him, thanked him for his service and shook his hand. He was the sweetest young man. He thanked me and M. I asked if I could buy his lunch. He started to say no, but stopped himself and said with a smile, sure.

He went to a fast food joint in the food court, so it cost me all of $10, but it made him blush with gratitude making me feel like I had spent $100.

I had a major pep in my step the rest of the day and was down right giddy in EMT class. So much so that my classmates thought I had indulged in a little holiday cheer before class. They were giggling at my silliness. I was not obnoxious by any means, but I tend to be a very serious and quite student and not one to make jokes and comments(like TSM does). I had the class rolling so hard the one of the other instructors came out of her office to see what was up. I might have possibly been making a light hearted joke about her. She also laughed.

At the end of the day the meanness of this man probably gave him only a momentary second of pleasure and me only a momentary second of pain. Doesn’t seem worth it.

I am not sure how much joy the Marine felt or for how long, but I know when someone is kind to me, no matter how small, it carries me for a good long time. I know the generosity of the Marine letting me buy him lunch gave me a pleasant memory that I will hold onto for a long time and hopefully so will my daughter.

Have the most wonderful day and thanks again for the kindness and support you showed me yesterday. I will carry that with me too.