Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted November 5, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Doing something I wasn't crazy about doing.

I Love My Family.

by aryr

At least once in everyone's life, they choose to do something that they really didn't want to do. In a fair number of these choices they are meant to please someone else rather than the doer.

Recently one such occurrence happened to me. It was against my principles. It was not something I envisioned myself doing. And I certainly did not expect to participate in this activity with a prominent public figure. And might I add that I paid for this privilege.

But alas I found myself, and as they say 'bright eyed and bushy tailed', sitting in a small class setting of 12 students. I was not only going to learn how to handle a gun but to handle it safely. This course also certified the students for a concealed carry permit within that state. Because I didn't reside in that state the certificate would allow me to apply in my home state.

The beginning half hour involved the completion of the required paper work. Then we started. At this point I feel it is important for me to share the fact that I was terrified of guns. As a child I had witnessed an accidental death involving a gun. Thus my reluctance to handle one.

We were instructed to establish our own personal boundries. In order to do this we had to know our legal rights and responsibilities, which of course we were taught and drilled on throughout the day. We also had to have a realistic assessment of what our marksmanship skills were. Only years and years of ongoing practice would improve these skills. And we had to ask ourselves 'what can you live with?'

We watched 2 videos about 911 calls in which neither of the women were armed. One involved a woman and her baby who were killed by a drug crazed man- no mercy. We could hear her screams until the end. The other was about a woman that was raped in her home as the 911 operator heard her beg the man to stop- it took 5 police officers to take him down.

I forgot to mention that the instructor and co-owner of the indoor gun range is a woman who believes that every woman should be trained and should carry for their protection. There were other stories, some of them from previous students about the need to have your weapon ready and within an arm's reach at all times.

From this, the class discussed the safety issues of handling a firearm. And for those thinking about the safety of children in the home, there are ways to have your weapon available but maintain your child's welfare.

Meanwhile, although I had initially not wanted to attend this class, I was becoming more aware that it was an important issue. I was interested. I still didn't see myself as a gun handler or a gun packing mama.

I learned that the famous Annie Oakley had once said that women should be as comfortable handling a gun as they were in handling a baby. Now that is a powerful thought.

I looked around the class which did include 3 men and saw that there were at least 4 other reluctant women.

Part of the safety portion meant that we handled plastic guns that would be later used in video situations. We learned how to handle it properly and what to never ever do.

By the time we broke for lunch, my mind was over loaded but I was convinced that this was something I needed to learn and to learn to do it properly.

After lunch, we were quizzed again on safe handling for what seemed like the hundredth time. These quizzes were frequently incorporated. Followed by an hour regarding that particular states legalities regarding fire arms and concealed carry permits.

Then came what she referred to as the fun time. One by one we were given the plastic gun and we had to shot at a stationary video target. She individually corrected our stance, looking through the sites, how we held the gun and told us when to shoot. Now I will openly admit that this process terrified me 150%. I didn't feel ready, I was unsure of myself and of course I was picked as first up. I can tell you, I did feel the stress. But she was great, she took as much time as needed. She never rushed us.

After this we were given a reshoot time at the same target. She was of course right behind us but let us each do our thing. It was inspiring that even in that short time we had become a group that encouraged each other. Everyone clapped at success.

The next step was again with the plastic video guns, but we were each actually put into a taped situation and we were responsible to respond appropriately. Situations included things like an ATM hold up, a theater shooting, a vicious dog attack as ordered by its owner, a bank hold up.

I didn't have to go first, whew. Each student was asked what their career was, then a scenario was picked to reflect that. When it was my turn because I was retired, I was given a home intruder. I was surprised that I didn't feel stressed, I felt the need to protect myself. And I did, in fact I nailed the guy in the head with one shot. I know it was only a video, but I did it.

After this point we were taken by two to the gun range, yep for real guns, real bullets and target practice.

When it was my turn, I wasn't sure if I wanted to handle a real gun. This was now reality. She was right behind me, giving me reassurance and encouragement. Initially I did not do well. They had given me a smaller gun to fit my hand but I was shooting a little high. I was given one slightly larger and she explained that because of this it was pull slightly to the left. But I managed to hit the target, which was a yellow circle, the required number of times to become certified.

Although I was officially done, she had me shoot at a target that represented a bad guy. I was advised to rapid shoot until the gun was empty and to aim at his chest area. All the while she was right behind me. I got off 9 shots to his chest and 3 to his abdomen. I stopped the bad guy.

She just felt that I needed to do that to prove to myself that I could, that I would. She even had me hold up my second target and took a picture. It was a moment of success.

For those ever thinking if they could do this, yes you can, your life may depend on it.

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