I Came Out Of The Closet(So to speak)

For the most part the people in my real life have not known that I carry a gun. I have always had a very small number of friends on my personal Facebook. It has been made up of my close friends and people I have known either most of my life or for a very long time.

I have not posted about guns on there until recently. Over the past several months I have posted a picture here or there of me with Eleanor(my AR) or of the kids at the range and I have even posted a few links to this blog(but people didn’t realize I was AGirl), but I never really spoke about me and guns and I never spoke of the mugging.

I have been trying little by little to integrate my two worlds. Last night I posted an old picture of me with my gun on my hip along with a story of how I almost walked into the kids’ school dressed just like that.

Soon, I had a few friends email or FB message me asking what on earth and what in the world and oh my…

So, today, I came out. Today I told all those people that I had been mugged and that I am not only a gun owner, but a gun carrier.

There has been something very protective and safe about being two people. There is something comforting about having a place where I could still be the old me or at least subconsciousness-ly pretend to be. It was nice for a while and then it became a burden and started to feel heavy.

In the beginning I did not tell them because I did not tell anyone and then I didn’t want them to know. I was embarrassed and ashamed and I had already had the few friends I did tell walk away. Later it just became a nice place to escape. A place where I didn’t have to think about being a victim or what had happened. And I liked holding onto the old me. Even two years later I wasn’t ready to fully walk away from the old Shelby, the one that was never attacked.

With all the good that has come from my waking up, there is still pain. It is faint and hardly even there, but nonetheless, it can be felt from time to time.

The more I have healed and the more I have come to accept all the new aspects of myself the less I have wanted to hide. I have not wanted to be AGirl any more, but be more, just a girl. More Shelby. In fact, the less I want to blog or post on my AGirl facebook and really just talk about guns as part of my everyday life and not so much as an announcement or a revelation. I am, in a way, becoming more private again and yet still wanting to share.

I am not walking away from the blog or guns or my public advocacy for training, awareness, self defense and gun owners. I am just being a little more me and a little less AGirl, if that makes sense.

As of right now no one on my personal facebook has walked away or been anything but supportive  Time will tell I guess, but regardless I am feeling lighter than I have felt in a while and a little more whole.


Just a quick update…

Basically all is good here. The forehead thing is fine. The key was that I needed the spot to get all red and icky to show that the cream was working and it is indeed doing that.  Good news!!

I have been doing a lot of dry fire practice and I have been reading a ton to make up for lack of actual training. I also started a glute program. My backside needs a little(or a lot) work. I have a ways to go, but I can see changes and I feel stronger.

The guy I was doing self defense training with flaked on me, so I have been looking for a quality replacement. Has not been easy, but I think I might have found a place. Excited to at least have an opportunity.

Mostly have just been busy with EMT and the kids. I do have a couple of posts I am working on, so hopefully I will find he time to sit down and finish those.

Hope you are all well!!!


My daughter M, who will be 15 on Sunday was talking to me about one of her friends. I like this friend very much. She is a nice girl, but like many young girls, she is searching for her place in the world.

This friend was asked to prom by a boy a few weeks ago. Prom is this Sunday. Last night this sweet girl texted M and asked her how to by a boutonniere. M didn’t know, so she asked me. Together we walked through the process and got one ordered. I wondered why the girl’s parents didn’t help. I do not think M would appreciate me sharing the conversation, so we will skip that part.

Today M told me about her glutes being sore. She started a new workout. She told me that she likes being healthy, but she could careless about being thin.

This same friend cares very much about being thin. Her mom think that for her height, 120 pounds is the ideal weight. So much so that she will have a 20 minute discussion with herself about eating a cracker.

Friend- I want to eat the cracker, but I don’t want to. I am hungry, but do I need it??

M- Eat the cracker or put it away, but lets not waste our night trying to figure it out.

This conversation between M and me took place on the way to the store today to buy toilet paper(I have TP, but there was a sale:). I use the term conversation loosely. I didn’t say a word. I listened.

Eventually M says, “She does not have an eating disorder, but she eats disorderly.”

That is the quote.

How many of us do not have a “disorder”. but we do things disorderly…

What a very insightful thing for a 15 year old to say.

The Best of The Worst

Last week my dermatologist’s assistant called to tell me that the official word came in. The thing on my forehead was/is cancer. I made an appointment to go in to discuss options. That appointment was yesterday.

As a quick aside, my daughter and I were asked to participate in a photo shoot for an gun article written by my friend Lynne. That was Monday night. I left there sick, sick, sick. In addition to tossing my cookies the entire drive home(did I mention I was the one driving?), I spent the next day and half in bed. I was feeling much better by my appointment yesterday, but not my usually chipper self.

When my doctor came in to see me she said…

“Make no mistake there is no good kind of cancer. Cancer is bad and unwanted in any form. Having said that, yours is very remediable”. As she said, I have the best of the worst. Cancer is the worst, but Basal-cell carcinoma is the best to have as already stated by other bloggers who have been there done that.

Due to the location she suggested we go with the cream. She is a big fan of the cream. My first thoughts were lets just cut the thing out. Intellectually, I understand this is not the end of the world, but I just hate having cancer in me, on me, growing…I want it out, but I trust her judgement. She did a very good job of explaining why she felt the cream was a good option and said if I wanted the surgery then that is what we would do.

So, for the next 2 months I will be applying this super cream to my forehead 3 times a week and then in 3 months I will go back to be checked. There is every reason to believe that this is basically a non issue and once dealt with should not cause any more concern.

I want to thank everyone who came here to offer me support and kind words. I realize that this is not that big of deal in the world of big deals, but in my world it was. Kindness is one of the greatest gifts one can give. Truly, thank you!!

Toome/Manchin Bill & Remmington

I am very interested in what you all think about the SAF and Remmington’s decisions as of late.

I am trying to play catch up here and feel like I don’t have enough background to understand it all.

1.  The Toome/Manchin/Schumer gun control bill amendment was apparently written by a gun-rights organization


As a shocker, the Toome/Manchin/Schumer amendment to a gun-control bill in Congress was written by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA)!

Alan Gottlieb, with CCRKBA, told a group of gun owners at a meeting that his organization wrote the bill and it has a lot of improvements to current law that are good for gun owners.  In fact, CCRKBA actually ENDORSES the bill (http://tinyurl.com/cea4le4).  HOWEVER, VCDL continues to OPPOSE that bill.

The bill does indeed offer some improvements to current law:

* Provides a felony penalty for anybody who attempts to make a gun registration database (currently such a thing is illegal, but there is no penalty)

*  Allows handgun to be purchased in all 50 states, and not in just the state where the purchaser resides

*  Clarifies the federal peaceful journey law to allow a person to stop at a hotel, eat a meal, get gasoline, etc. while traveling across a gun-unfriendly state

*  Provides criminal and civil protections for private sellers whose sale was run through a background check

*  Provides a method for protecting veterans from having their gun rights removed without proper adjudication

While those items are indeed good, the serious problems with the bill comes in the area of requiring background checks for all guns sold at gun shows or for guns that are advertised either in a “publication” or on the internet.  While selling a gun or giving a gun to a family member would be allowed without a background check, selling a gun to anybody else would become almost impossible:

1.  If you sell a gun at a gun show, then a background check MUST be done.  There is no requirement in the bill, however, that a dealer would be available to run the background check!  So it would be quite possible that private sales at gun shows would not be possible at all if no dealer agreed to run the background check.  In fact, based on the definition of a gun show as having 75 or more guns for sale, a large flea market might qualify as a “gun show” because of a lot of small private sellers, with NO FFL present at the show to run background checks.  In that case NO guns could be legally sold at the flea market at all, wasting everyone’s time.  And how would a person know if there were 75 or more guns at the flea market or not?  Talk about a trap to turn good people into felons!

2.  If you say you have a gun for sale and either list it on the internet or post something about it in a “publication,” then the gun MUST be sold through a dealer at that point.  If the buyer posts in either place that he is looking for a gun, the gun he purchases will also require a background check.  The only way to sell a gun to a non-family member is if you are NOT at a gun show and never make mention of wanting to sell the gun on the internet or in any kind of publication.  Basically, you would have to do it by word of mouth only.  Good luck with that!  What are you going to do – walk down a street and ask everyone you pass if they want to buy a gun from you?

3. While Alan claims that this bill would in no way lead to a registry, the data would be there for the taking, since the sale would be on a form 4473 kept by the dealer.  If you didn’t sell through a dealer, the feds would know they only have to look to your family members to find the gun, since they would be the only people really exempt from the background check.

There is no doubt that this bill would do serious harm to gun shows and to private sales.  You could find yourself at a gun show unable to sell your gun because no dealer will run the background check.  You might not be able to sell your gun at a large flee market because there are no dealers in attendance to run the check.  Make a mistake in how you sell that gun, for example mentioning it in an email but not selling it with a background check, and you can become a felon.

This is simply not the time for ANY gun bills to be considered in Congress, because they can be hijacked and made into anti-gun bills.  Or, in this bill’s case, it already has some serious problems that can be made even worse.  Surely, no one is really stupid enough to trust Senator Chuck Schumer when it comes to guns?

VCDL continues to OPPOSE ALL gun control bills in Congress.  Sadly, this bill only makes our job harder at a time when Bloomberg and his illegal mayors are about to go on another offensive against our gun rights.

Here is the text of the bill:


Here is video of Alan explaining the bill:


Alan’s faith in background checks, and in Chuck Schumer, is misplaced and this bill must be defeated.  Criminals will continue to have no problems getting guns with or without background checks.  It’s the rest of us who will have lost our right to sell or buy guns from a private sale without Big Brother’s approval.  That Big Brother, BTW, is the same Big Brother who provided guns to the Mexican cartels in Fast and Furious and tried to blame innocent gun dealers.

Sad and Thankful

So heartbroken and disgusted by the events in Boston today  Beyond thankful that the bloggers I know are safe as are their families.

Thought and prayers for everyone!!!



The world can be an ugly place…Be safe!!

Moved To a New Server…

Assuming this goes off as planned and you’re seeing this you should be looking at the new server.  If you see anything out of place let A Girl know or drop a comment in this thread.

The service issues that have been occurring over the past week should be no more.


Schools & Safety

Many of you know that my husband and I have 3 kids in a public elementary school and that we have been active and vocal in trying to get our district to be more proactive in doing what we can do to keep the kids safer. As I have said before, nothing is 100%, but there are things that can be done to increase the safety of the people who are in our schools and we should be doing them..

Yesterday I was at the kids’ school for a meeting. While I was there I noticed that a large window that used to be in the office, but was now covered up with sheet-rock  I had a hunch  but I asked why. To increase safety was what I was told. Eventually, there will be an all brick wall in it’s place. The entire rest of the office already is brick.

Good, I thought.

Then while in the meeting one of the teachers said to me, “Do you see that black car sitting there?” I turned to look, “Yes” I said.

Teacher- “It has been sitting there a while and what an odd place to park it.”

It was an odd place to park it. Smack in the middle of the lane coming into the school parking lot.

We watched for a bit longer and then informed the principal.

So, this school is actively making changes to increase safety not simply doing things that make us “feel” better, but thing that could actually work AND a staff member saw something odd and acted on it!

Me like.

The car turned out to be a constructor worker’s car, so no threat, but the point is, someone made sure it wasn’t.

I do not think that anything my husband or I have done has impacted anything, but I am thrilled to see that changes are being made.

This is not our town, but I sure hope our town takes notice and does something similar. That would be icing on an already fairly positive cake.

Range Day

If your name is MSgt B stop reading now…:)

Yesterday TSM and I took E to the range for a little family bonding time. As most of you already are aware she loves to shoot. From the second we told her she was coming along she beamed.

Neither TSM or I have been to the range in far to long. Between being crazy busy and the whole ammo situation we just haven’t gone. Lots of dry fire practice, though!

We took my M&P carry gun, the Smith & Wesson Shield, E’s Thompson Center .22 LR and M’s Smith & Wesson .22 pistol.

Yesterday was the first time I shot with my new glasses and the results were interesting. I shot much better at close distances, but am having a difficult time finding the right place in the “progressive” lens to shoot out past 20 yards.

Pretty much since day one I have been able to put a small fist size group where ever I wanted it, but have not really been so great at sticking bullets through the same exact hole with any regularity. For self-defense shooting not a big deal, for ego, big deal. The glasses helped that a lot. My groups were nice and tight. At greater than 20 yards my groups were nice and tight, but not where I was aiming. They tended to be lower and that is not a typical problem of mine. Anyway, will need a lot more practice shooting with specs, but I had a blast.

TSM’s shooting was annoyingly awesome as is usually the case.

E wanted to shoot her rifle first. She started at about 5 yards. Perfect 5 shots in the black. We kept moving it out every five shots and she continued to shoot inside the black. I am not positive how far our indoor’s range is, but I think 25. With the exception of 2, all her hits were inside the black  and a couple were dead center.

We do very little coaching with her. We focus on safety, safety, safety, fun and familiarity. We want her to learn how responsibly own and shoot firearms, but she is 9 and so we also want it to be fun(at any age it should also be fun). She really has safety down, but we are extremely watchful of her nonetheless.

After the rifle she decided to try M’s .22 pistol. After a few shots, I realized she was flinging her finger off the trigger after every shot and placing it above the trigger guard, so I suggested she keep her finger on the trigger to feel the reset and then take the next shot . I put my finger on top of hers and we practiced a few times together. She had a bit of trouble at first, but soon was rocking it.

After about 45 minutes I told her whenever she was done to let me know and we would leave. She said ok. Another 40 minutes goes by and she never said a word. Finally, I said, I think we need to get back to the other kids. She smiled and reluctantly said ok!
We went home and had our traditional vacation splurge of crab boil.
*Due to the political climate and the insanity of some folks I want to mention that in the state of Virginia where we live, it is legal for children to shoot guns. The range we were at requires children to be 7. E is 9, was wearing safety gear and was under the direct supervision of both her parents(Her mother an NRA Certified Instructor and her father a Retired Marine)

A Little Fun

My kids are on Spring Break this week. If you have been reading me a while then you know  normally we head to the Outer Banks in North Carolina,  but for a variety of reasons this year we stayed home. One of the biggest reasons, is that we are so busy running around in our everyday life we decide to just hang around our house.

TSM(my hubby) and I asked each of the kids what fun thing did they want to do, E said “Go see George Washington’s DC.” I love that and I love her, so yesterday we headed that way. TSM ended up having to take a business call which put us behind schedule and in traffic. After sitting on the I95 for nearly 2 hours and not getting very far, we decided to bail on plan A.

Earlier in the morning I had been discussing the Marine Corps Museum with a gentleman on my FaceBook page and since we were closer to it then DC, we chose that as our plan B.

All of the kids were fascinated by the uniforms and tanks and, of course, guns, but E was completely mesmerized. She wanted to know what everything did, who everyone was, what every battle was about.


Throughout the museum there are television screens that play short films telling about certain aspects of the Corps. E requested that we stop at everyone and for me to sign(she is deaf).


On the 3rd one she said, “I am sorry mommy if your hands are tired, but could you please sign for me?”

My hands were not tired, but my interpreting drew as much attention as some of the displays. Having deaf Chinese children does not make it very easy to blend in.

We had wondered over to a picture that caught her eye. E was standing there intently looking when an elder gentleman walked up and asked her if she wanted him to tell her more about the picture. She said yes and off he went.

What I love about this encounter was that he spoke directly to her. He never looked at me. He was soft spoken and once he realized I was signing he slowed down his pace a little, but he still spoke directly to her. They had a nice chat about LST’s(Landing Ship, Tank).

E was excited to see that women could be Marines,


but disappointed that her deafness would keep her from being one. Although she was consumed with concern for those who were wounded and had died, so I do not know that she really would decide to make that kind of sacrifice, but she is 9, so who knows.

Many of you know she is from China. She had a lot of questions about the Chinese and Mao and kept asking if the Chinese were bad people. We have a lifetime of discussions from this one afternoon.

IMG_20130402_134151_765 IMG_20130402_131532_308 IMG_20130402_131520_254

As we left she grabbed my hand and said,

“That was a pretty interesting museum.”

Me- “You’re right it was. Do you know a lot of kids your age would be bored in a place like that.”

E- “Bored. How could anyone be bored?”

TSM and I just smiled.

The kids were starving and we were on vacation, so off to a late lunch we went. We ate at a place that encourages its diners to toss the peanut shells on the ground. E protested, “no way, we can’t do that.”. She then asked me if it was OK several times and I continually said yes. The girl could not process the insanity of what was being presented as acceptable behavior and she kept her pile of peanut shells on the table.


Our other daughter, A, was in the bathroom during this exchange. When she returned our son H told she could just throw her shells on the floor. She didn’t believe him, so she asked me and when I said yes, she reluctantly pushed a shell off the table and watched it drop. The Boy(aka H) on the other hand was fling shells like they were rockets. The only thing missing for him was a sling shot.

At the restaurant the television was on Fox News Channel. The topic for discussion was arming teachers. M was watching and started making comments back to the screen. The other kids wanted to know what was going on, so we explained that some people think it would be a good idea to arm teachers and some people disagree with that.

TSM- E, what do you think about teachers having guns in school?

E- To stop the bad guy?

TSM- Yes. To try.

E- Oh, yes I think that would be a very good idea. If the bad guy has a guy then the good guys should.

Good point.

We headed home to play Wii. You will be shocked, I am sure, to hear I have zero ability to play video game. I never played them as a kid(with the exception of Centipede  occasionally)  and now I only play if my kids ask. Mostly Wii bowling and the Cabelea’s hunting game. The kids get a bigger kick out of my inability to master the controllers than they do actually playing the game themselves.

Dinner was a hodge podge of snacks on the coffee table as we played games.

All and all, so far, not a bad sta-cation.