Making an impact is definitely one of our major goals. It may sound silly, but sometimes we wonder if A Girl & A Gun is actually making an impact not only in the shooting industry but more importantly, the lives of everyday women. Then we receive a message, email or phone call that reassures us that the work we do matters. “We” are a team of 100 Chapter Facilitators and HQ volunteers, and over 2000 members nationwide, and the impact “we” make is awe inspiring. We recently asked the question “How do you feel A Girl & A Gun has been impactful to your life?” Below is one of the many responses we received. This sums up what happens around the country everyday in our world:
Thank you for all that you do. You, the ladies, and A Girl & a Gun have impacted my life tremendously. Thought maybe you might be interested in my story on overcoming my fear…
I was a 50 year old woman who was deathly afraid of guns. My husband would be cleaning a gun and I would get an anxiety attack. He would have a gun sitting on the table, I could not walk in the room until he put it away. He is a longtime gun collector, has gun safes full of guns. I needed to overcome my fear, as the guns were not going anywhere. I had to dig deep to figure out why I had this fear.
I think my fear came from when I was a little girl. I would play in my Mom’s closet, trying on her shoes, purses, scarves, etc. On the floor in her closet was a loaded gun. Something very bad could have happened and that had unknowingly haunted me. Someone once asked me, “If an intruder was in your home, which would you be more afraid of, the intruder or the gun? I would shout my answer, “THE GUN!!”. This was disturbing.
To overcome my fear, I had my husband put an unloaded gun on the coffee table. It sat there for four days before I could touch it. When I did, I would have a panic attack (shaking, sweats, heart racing, etc.) A week later I was able to hold it. Slowly, I was able to overcome the fear with deep breathing and focus. One thing I did realize, the gun sitting on the table did not hurt anyone, did not kill anyone and did not go off.
In March 2015, I found online A Girl & A Gun Cypress TX. They met at Hot Wells, fairly close to my home. It took me everything I had and 3 panic attacks to get out of the car. I didn’t even have a gun, but they all welcomed and encouraged me. Women talking to women about shooting was empowering. One lady took me under her wing and let me shoot her gun. I was so scared, she basically threw me into the deep end and said swim. It was the best thing she could have done. My neighbor owns an indoor shooting range. We went over there a few times trying out different guns eventually helping me to find the right gun for me. I bought it and have shot it ever since.
I have taken a Ladies Level 1 & 2 Tactical classes, (with lots of deep breathing) at Hot Wells and learned that a bunch of the stuff that my husband showed me wasn’t quite correct. Learning from other women is fantastic and now my husband is learning from me! I still have to slow down my breathing before and after I shoot. I still get the anxiety and shaky feeling, but the more I shoot and talk to these ladies the more I want to do.
After girl’s night out we all go out for dinner. I learn a lot from the other ladies talking and; telling stories about guns, shooting, families, safety, conference, etc. Today, I look forward to shooting. I wear the A Girl & A Gun T-shirt with confidence. My grown daughter proudly calls me a “Bad Ass”. I kinda like the way that sounds.
Someone asked if I wanted to get my Concealed Handgun License. Not sure. I want to the take class just to learn. I feel I am not quite ready to carry full time, just can’t get my head around it yet. In time, just don’t need to rush into it as I have come along way in 8 months…..
Again, thank you for all that you do. You, the ladies, and A Girl & A Gun have impacted my life tremendously.
The mission of AG & AG is to encourage participation in the shooting sports and responsibility for one’s personal safety with education being at the heart of all we do. Thank you to this member for sharing her story with us and reminding us that we are making an impact together.