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Sunday, February 15, 2009

MisAdventures of a Pistol Packen Mama

Don't worry, I haven't been involved in any bank robberies, drive by shootings or criminal activity. Its not about that. Its about, well let me explain..............

From the time my husband and I started dating, he strongly encouraged me to carry a gun for my own protection. I was not at all into that idea. Guns scared me, period. Ever since I was a little girl, I heard "never touch a gun". Though secretly I thought it would be fun to look like a spy, just looking at them seemed (and sometimes still seems) creepy. After years of marriage, I began to resent having to carry one. I'd be going off on a walk and he'd want me to carry one along. It was awkward, inconvenient and yes, creepy. What would the neighbors think if they knew I had one??? What if I accidentally shot myself, or worse yet, somebody else??? Every gunshot wound I've ever seen in the ER since age 17 haunted me.
It may have been the time I went off for a walk stuffing my gun into my sweat pants. The neighbor stopped me and started talking to me about mountain lions. Just as I was beginning to carry on a meaningful conversation, the gun slipped out of my sweatpants, fell down my leg and landed on the ground (to both of our horrors). I joked "I guess I don't have to worry about lions carrying one of these". There is no doubt the neighbor probably thought I was a weirdo!!
Another time, I was working a travel job as an Emergency Room Nurse. I walked from a motel in town to the hospital. The motel was a bit run down without the best locks. I slept with my gun under my pillow. I was horrified one day to discover that after I checked out, I had left the gun UNDER MY PILLOW! The owner had gotten to know me by then and found my forgetfulness quite amusing.
I tried jogging with my gun for a while (because my husband insisted). It would bounce around anywhere I put it. I got so tired of metal rubbing on my skin that I wanted to scream!! Yet another time I was picking huckleberries with it and it fell out of my holster. The entire family had to go up to my huck spot and work in a grid like fashion to locate it.
You would think that in all my stupidity I would just give up trying to carry one. It's a creepy feeling, I couldn't keep track of it very well, and I was just never going to demonstrate the finesse of a spy chic!!
All of my family are very pro gun. My kids all learned gun safety from an early age. They target practice regularly and hunt successfully. Every time one takes "Hunters Safety" there is a tradition among themselves that they must score 100%, and so far, they have. My daughter also has spent a significant amount of time encouraging me to carry one. It really wasn't until I started working in that busy ER that I learned to appreciate having one.
I saw drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, even a murderer. I heard more threats there than I had anywhere else. I also learned more about jail politics. When a person is about to be arrested, he can claim something is wrong with him IE: suicidal thoughts, bum knee, whatever. The cops must bring him in the emergency room. If a hospitalization is involved or expenses that the county does not want to pay for, they let the person off and drop the charges. I've seen this happen many times. I've also seen people in jail released because the jail didn't want the bill. All of these criminals come through the ER to be "cleared" for jail. One time while I was working there, I was even followed out of a restaurant by a man (who was a former patient) insisting that I wasn't married and that he was interested. Enough of all that..... my point is, my husband was right after all these years, carrying a gun was a good idea indeed.
I also have a responsibility to my children to protect them. If I'm going to be outdoors all the time with them hiking, exploring, and having fun, I owe it to them to have a form of protection along with me. We've seen a lot of wild animals. Most of the time they have not been aggressive, but there are times when they can be.
Over the last few years, I've participated more often in target practice with my family. Though I still think guns are kind of creepy, I am a lot more comfortable shooting one, having practiced. I also got this belly holster for Christmas from my mom this year. It's a "Desantis Bellyband Holster". I love it!! It doesn't bounce around, won't fall out of my pants and it doesn't require a pair of jeans with a belt to wear it. After all these years, I finally feel comfortable wearing a gun having this new get up. Its kind of ironic, a few months ago I was hiking several miles from home with the baby in her all terrain stroller. A truck slowed and the window rolled down. It was one of my neighbors. "I hope you are wearing a gun young lady" he drawled. "I am" I smiled. He nodded and after a short conversation drove away. He felt reassured. So did I.


Heather said...

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. . .thinking about getting my concealed carry license.

outdoor.mom said...

good for you :-)

Rubies Girls said...

Wow, I love the holster thing. I see you got a new blog border. Really pretty. By the way, your lifestyle is really inspiring and sounds so adventurous.

Rubies Girls said...

By the way, this is actually GraceGirl, but we girls have this blog too.

Jujita said...

I love the holster! What a smart idea! And it looks so comfortable.