I grew up close to Chicago in a home without guns. My dad is an army veteran – but never owned a gun himself. We always had big guard dogs, and he never thought about getting a firearm for our home. However, safety and awareness was a constant topic in our home. My dad would give us worst-case scenarios to work through in the form of a game called “Wouldn’t It Be Bad.”
Dad: “Wouldn’t it be bad if a bad guy came up to the car right now and opened your door?” – it was a competition among the kids to come up with the best solution and win “dad points.” After some discussion someone would win by saying something like: “lock your door when you get in, then the bad guy can’t open it as easily.” Dad: “Wouldn’t it be bad if you woke up in the trunk of a car?” – someone would figure out that a tire iron might be able to break the taillight from the inside, letting surrounding drivers know you are in the trunk.
I can’t count the number of times my dad coached me as we walked into a sketchy gas station or grocery store. The conversation always went something like this: “If I tell you to get down or run, you don’t even think about it – don’t ask why or waste time looking around, you just do what I tell you as quick as you can.” I watched him for years carefully choose his seat to give him a view of the door, and size up every person who walked in. I could see scenarios running through his head of improvised weapons he had already identified around the room. He would say things casually like “that lamp would make a lot of noise if you threw it out of that window.”
This might sound nightmare inducing, but I was never worried about bad guys as a kid. I would think about these kinds of scenarios, but in my head I always ended up being just fine. Sure I woke up in the trunk, but I knew what to do. Sure a bad guy walked into the gas station, but we had a plan.
When I moved to California, I didn’t have my guard dogs anymore, and I didn’t have my dad in the next room. Around my twenty-first birthday I was in a scary situation where I was a witness to a crime in my apartment complex parking garage. When the police arrived (8 minutes later) and arrested the bad guy, they took my statement within view of the criminal. As he was getting put in the police car, he screamed at me that he knew where I lived. At that moment I knew I wanted to have a gun to protect myself in my apartment.
Although I had casually shot before, after this experience I threw myself into training. I began searching for training opportunities in the San Diego area, and was introduced to A Girl & A Gun. In just a few short years I became a firearms instructor, range safety officer, and am now the facilitator of the San Diego Chapter of A Girl & A Gun. My amazing experience at the AG & AG National Conference, learning from top-notch instructors and participating in heligunning, only stoked the fire!
I believe women need to be empowered to take their safety into their own hands. Come shoot with us, I promise you’ll have fun and learn something in the process! Our chapter is all about women helping and encouraging other women, and our certified instructors are all badass ladies who want to help you reach your goals. We are looking forward to meeting you!