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