I saw your question on Facebook – “how do you feel A Girl & A Gun has been impactful to your life?”
Thank you for all that you do.
You, the ladies, and A Girl & a Gun have impacted my life tremendously.
Thought maybe you might be interested in my story on overcoming my fear…
I was a 50 year old, who was deathly afraid of guns.
Tom, my husband, would be cleaning a gun and I would get an anxiety attack. He would have a gun sitting on the table, I could not walk in the room until he put it away. Tom, a longtime gun collector, has gun safes full of guns. I needed to overcome my fear, as the guns were not going anywhere.
I had to dig deep to figure out why I had this fear.
I think my fear came from when I was a little girl. I would play in my Mom’s closet, trying on her shoes, purses, scarves, etc. On the floor in her closet was a loaded gun. I remember myself playing with it. The story goes, my Dad, who never owned a gun, had borrowed the gun from a neighbor, because our adjoining neighbor teen was threatening our safety. It was never used. After the threat was gone, he put it in my Mother’s closet. Something very bad could have happened. Unknowingly haunted me.
Someone once asked me, “If an intruder was in your home, which would you be more afraid of, the intruder or the gun? I would shout my answer, “THE GUN!!”. This was disturbing.
To overcome my fear, I had Tom put an unloaded gun on the coffee table. It sat there for four days before I could touch it. When I did, I would have a panic attack (shaking, sweats, heart racing, etc.) A week later I was able to hold it. Slowly, I was able to overcome the fear with deep breathing and focus. One thing I did realize, the gun sitting on the table did not hurt anyone, did not kill anyone and did not go off.
In March 2015, I found online A Girl & A Gun Cypress. They met at Hot Wells, fairly close to my home. It took me everything I had and 3 panic attacks to get out of the car. I didn’t even have a gun, but they all welcomed me & encouraged me. Women talking to women about shooting was empowering. One lady, Cindy took me under her wing and let me shoot her gun. I was so scared, she basically threw me into the deep end and said swim. It was the best thing she could have done.
My neighbor, the lady across the street from us has an indoor shooting range. Tom and I went over there a few times. Trying out different guns. He kept asking me which felt better. I couldn’t answer. You could put a snake in one hand and a gun in the other, I couldn’t tell you which felt better. I kept saying I liked Cindy’s gun, but was a compact and kind of small for my hand. I kept comparing each gun to Cindy’s gun. We went to Academy, the very nice young lady behind the counter helped me quite a
bit. Tom had me hold a couple guns and asked which felt good. I told them both, I don’t know cause I don’t know what feels bad. The lady told me let’s try them on to see. We went through almost all the guns in the case. She gave me a really big gun, too heavy; a really small gun, too light, etc. Another one felt like needles sticking my hand, etc. I told her about Cindy’s gun. She handed me a Springfield XDM 9mm full size. It felt better than the others. It came with a case and all the accessories, clips, grips, holster, clip holster, cleaning stuff, etc. I bought it and have shot it ever since.
I have taken a Ladies Level 1 & 2 Tactical classes, (with lots of deep breathing) at Hot Wells and learned that a bunch of the stuff that Tom showed me wasn’t quite correct. Learning from other women is fantastic. (Now, Tom is learning from me…)
I still have to slow down my breathing before and after I shoot. I still get the anxiety and shaky feeling, but the more I shoot and talk to these ladies the more I want to do.
After the girls shoot, we all go out for dinner. I learn a lot from the other ladies talking & telling stories about guns, shooting, families, safety, conference, etc.
Today, I look forward to shooting. I wear the A Girl & A Gun T-shirt with confidence. My grown daughter proudly calls me a “Bad Ass”. I kinda like the way that sounds.
Each time I learn a little bit more, last week I shot an AR-15 rifle (had trouble breathing, but I got through it).
Someone asked if I wanted to get my (CDL) Concealed Hand Gun License. Not sure.
I want to the take class just to learn.
I feel I am not quite ready to carry full time, just can’t get my head around it yet.
In time, just don’t need to rush into it…….
As I have come along way in 8 months…..
Again, thank you for all that you do.
You, the ladies, and A Girl & A Gun have impacted my life tremendously.
If you want, feel free to share my story.