A Woman and Her Gun

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2 NIV

Three years ago this month, I picked up a gun for the first time. I wanted to impress or get the attention of the man who taught me. I don’t have the man anymore but I still have the gun.

I was afraid of guns, prior to learning about them. I came from a holistic framework that if I had one, I would invite trouble toward me. I still believe this so I keep a conscious mindset in respect to owning a gun and how I will carry myself in the world.

The second reason I wanted to learn about guns is our society and where it is going. The trouble is here. It is all around us. I don’t want to get caught with my pants down. I am not walking around with one, but I have one in my home, in case of an emergency.

I prefer the rifle or the shotgun. A favorite heroine of mine is Annie Oakley. Reading her story and learning about her, she was self-taught, after her father died, and helped sustain her family with her catch. She enjoyed the sport of shooting, as do I. She became famous for her intelligence in marksmanship. I keep her in my mind’s eye when I am on the range.

What I have learned about carrying a gun, is that good people are responsible with their gun. I am not going to say “weapon”, though we realize this is what we are carrying, because the people I have been working with are focused on protection, rules, ownership, liabilities, laws, and the well-being of others.

The people who are bad, are people who are bad no matter whether they are carrying a gun or not. They use the gun to give them power. To show that they have control over the situation. To get revenge. Bad people carrying guns have been going on since they were invented. It is like with spirituality, you have good energy and you have bad energy. Light and dark; conscious of their power and what they can do with it. There is bad or evil in this world and most don’t even carry a gun. When you look at narcissists who destroy others around them, with their emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. They rape the souls of their lovers and cause them to be in great pain.

We have bad lawyers, doctors, psychotherapists, teachers, spiritual leaders, it is not a gun that we need to be afraid of. It is the world around us and those who lack in self-awareness. Those who are focused on usurping their power to the detriment of others. Each person has their need to gain through money, power, revenge, or because their mind is deluded by the pathology they have created.

When I am with other shooters, I am intrigued by their respect for others and the gun. I love listening to women talking about how to carry and still maintain a sense of fashion. I love that when I was with my instructor learning sport shooting, he told me that when deers were nearby no one harmed them. It is a range, not a forest. On the other hand, my brother hunts for food and lives off his land, to the best of his abilities. Other people do this too. You shoot to hunt for food and/or on a range, in a competition, and then for your job if you are in the military (strategically, not on a whim).

I grew up with hunters and military and knew of people in the police. We had a rifle in our house, my entire life and I saw it two times. Once, to learn about it – not to touch it and once, when my dad took it out of the closet to show his friends. The concept was clear. It is not a toy. I am emotionally intelligent enough to get the message and do the same with mine.

I prefer a rifle and a shotgun because the body is involved in the work. I found a hand gun to be impersonal. It is away from the body. The rifle and shotgun have to be held in your arms and cradled next to my chin. This is more intimate. I use a lever action or a pump because it puts me in control of each action. There are no accidents or going off unless I put it in gear. Being in control and feeling the gun next to me, I am one with the object. It is like when I ride a bike, I feel as if I am one with the wheels.

Shooting for sport, on a range, is good therapy. It tires me out but in the moment, there is a challenge. I am holding this powerful piece of equipment, I have to be in charge and understand the rules and I want to get my bullets in the same place on target (with the rifle) or hit the clay pigeon in the air (with the shotgun). With the shotgun, you have an obstacle course, of sorts, and each one is from a different direction. It is more challenging here because you have to follow the disc and know when is the precise moment to shoot. I am still learning this. Being a rifle woman first, my handicap is not moving quick enough. I am too analytical.

I recommend that people learn to shoot, only to have experience and knowledge. I also think it is good because of the way the world is going. We may be in a place soon where we need to protect our homes. I don’t want to be unaware. I am preparing myself in many ways. Learning to be self-sustainable. I have renewed myself by not conforming but by being transformed by the conflict in a way that I am prepared rather than surprised.

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