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Addressing My Self-Defense - Guest Contributor East Coast Gal

East Coast Gal continues her personal transition to being better prepared in her daily life. We appreciate her contributions to the website and readers. You may remember in a previous article ECG was going to the firing range for one of the first times. Enjoy.

Addressing My Self-Defense - East Coast Gal

My journey to becoming a better prepared individual has been an ongoing process. After reading Hope for Survival and a few other books, I decided that I needed to be better able to defend myself. I carry a loud whistle and pepper spray but they certainly are not going to help much in a situation involving a gun!

I grew up in a gun free home and had never even touched one until I met my husband. He grew up on a farm and hunted so guns were second nature to him. I vaguely remember him taking me target shooting on his property. At the time I was not comfortable handling a firearm and that was the end of it.

Now at the age of, well, let's just say 50 plus, I've decided I really need to learn to handle a firearm! Needless to say, this came as quite a surprise to anyone who knew me as I had been adamant about not wanting anything to do with guns. I was even nervous about knowing that my husband or friends were carrying when we were out and about. I trust them but I was still uncomfortable.

The learning process didn't get off to the best of starts. My first time shooting went well, but I don't think I was taken seriously about wanting to learn more. I did find it odd that I was never afraid of handling or shooting the gun. That surprised me greatly. I guess I was just very determined to succeed. As I continued to ask to go practice and started reading to educate myself about various types of handguns, it became obvious to him that I was indeed serious. My lessons became more frequent but were not without problems. In retrospect, I believe it might have been better to have a non-family member work with me. I did pick up a lot of useful information from others at the shooting range.

I encountered some difficulties when learning to shoot. I was successful at hitting the target probably 95% of the time, however, I wasn’t hitting where I was aiming! It seemed that I was hitting anywhere from 3-5 inches below my aim. This was very frustrating to me especially when about the only advice I got was to stay steady. I thought I was, I didn’t feel my arms dropping as I pulled the trigger. I’m still working on this. I’ve found that the longer I concentrate on where I aim, the less successful I am - seems like it should be the other way around! So I tried just aiming and shooting - lo and behold, I put five shots in nearly the same place. Who knew not concentrating would be a successful strategy! But I guess it really does make sense because in a real life situation you are not going to be able to take a lot of time to aim.

We began going to the range more often and my confidence grew. I finally got to the point that not only was I being taken seriously, but I was also being supported and encouraged. We began going to gun shops in search of a gun that would be good for me to purchase. Because of my small stature, I wanted to be sure that I had a weapon that was suited to me. Lots of questions arose - what type of gun, how will it be carried, will it be easily concealed? I had been using a 9mm and was very comfortable with it but wanted something a bit smaller - easier to conceal. I also don’t have a lot of strength in my left hand so I needed to be comfortable pulling back the slide. Some of the guns I was shown were very difficult for me. I wanted to be sure about my purchase and I took my time to make a decision.

Fast forward several weeks and I am now a gun owner. I'm very pleased with my purchase and have been back to the range to practice several times. My plan is to continue practicing and learning. I have also completed a class and gotten my concealed carry permit. I now feel much more confident in my ability to protect myself.

I'm just an East Coast Gal who wants to feel safe.

Thanks for reading....East Coast Gal

Bravo Echo Out

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