I fired a gun for the first time in my life in October, 2008. I remember it clearly because the Paranoid Dad and I had a child-free day and were cruising around looking for trouble something to do. I said, “Why don’t we go to a shooting range?” Yes, those words actually came out of my mouth. Before I knew it, I was holding a .22 pistol in my shaking hands, facing a paper target, closing my eyes, and pulling the trigger.
It wasn’t so bad.
I had fun.
A few months later, I qualified for a Concealed Carry permit and four days ago, for the first time ever, I carried a loaded firearm on my person. Before I go into excruciating detail about my First Day, let me explain why I decided to get a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit in the first place.
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As a mom, I have always known I would die for my children. I’d jump in front of a bullet. I’d cover them with my body in a ditch by the side of the road, protecting them from an oncoming F5 tornado. I think most moms feel the same way. That’s the way a mom’s brain and heart work.
One day last year, though, the thought occurred to me, “If I would die for my kids, wouldn’t it be better if I would kill for them?” (Not, kill them. Kill to protect them. Big difference.) Since I homeschool and the kids and I are together all the time, just the three of us, there are times when we do our studies in parts of town that may not be so safe. When we’re out bicycling, the trail takes us through isolated areas where it would be easy for a Mean Person to threaten and even hurt us. I would never forgive myself if I couldn’t protect my children.
Once I crossed that line between shooter and non-shooter, our entire family jumped into the World of Guns whole-heartedly. The two kids learned to shoot .22 rifles. For the first few months, my son would just joyfully pull the trigger until the magazine was empty and then start all over. My daughter caught on so quickly it was scary. The Paranoid Dad was in Gun Heaven, of course, and I liked the feeling of being “sporty” without having to break a sweat.
When I felt I was ready, I signed up for the required 8-hour CCW class and passed. On my first try. I impressed myself. One FBI background and fingerprint check later, I received a very cool looking ID card in the mail. I was ready to pack heat. But I didn’t. Not until four days ago. Daughter and I were headed out of town to visit friends, and I wanted to have that extra layer of protection, just in case.
My fully loaded Walther P22 fit snugly in a waistband holster and was more comfortable to wear than I thought it would be. I was wearing a darling new shirt from Macy’s that covered the holster quite well. No one would ever suspect that I was, “carrying.” Of course I am the last person one would ever suspect of being a “pistol packin’ mama”, but still. I drove through McDonald’s, “carrying.” I pumped gas, “carrying.” I quite liked the feeling.
I left the Walther in the Tahoe when we arrived at our friends’ home, but later as Daughter and I ate lunch at a Subway, I was suddenly aware that I didn’t have it with me. If a crazed gunman came in, we would be unarmed and defenseless. I packed that gun right back on my right hip as soon as I possibly could. Whew!
Do I plan on carrying a firearm with me all the time? No, probably not. It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I’m not a young kid who thinks it’s cool. I’m a forty-something year-old mom who doesn’t have a rash bone in her body but wants to have a way to defend herself and her family in a life-threatening situation. And yeah, it’s sorta cool.
As a side note, to the men who visit my blog and might consider a .22 a sissy ladies la-la gun, I do so know how to shoot larger caliber handguns! I qualified with an awesome .357 revolver and my favorite pistol is a .40 Sig Sauer. For carrying purposes, the .22 is a nice comfy size.
Want more information about women and handguns? Visit my favorite gun-advice-for-women website, TheCorneredCat, and let me know what you think about this topic, even if you are convinced I have gone completely nuts!
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