This is the first article by Rebecca. Hopefully, it is not the last.


Pondering Your Means of Self-Protection


First of all, I hope that none of you reading this have "It-will-never-happen-to-me syndrome". (That's the scientific name, the slang is "naïve" or "stupid")

That being said, we all must ponder at some point in our lives how we would defend ourselves should we be in danger. This is a serious question to ponder. Not just a water cooler discussion "Oh, I just hate guns, I would never use one" or "Man, if someone did that do me, I'd blow their brains out." This needs to be a serious self-examination of how you intend on protecting you and/or your family from destruction.

As you ponder these things...and I mean deeply consider both sides, permit me to give you some suggested reading:



 Armed and Female: Paxton Quigley. Believe me, I'm not one to give "suggested reading" because I'm not much of a reader at all. This is a great read, though. I wouldn't call it an "easy" read, however, because, honestly, some of the things I read, made me very uncomfortable and very afraid. For instance, she has an in-depth chapter on "Rape and Consequences". Quite eye-opening! It's clear to see why the law would justify the use of deadly force to stop the attack of a rapist.



Also included in her book is an analysis of the effectiveness of other choice weapons for personal defense: Mace/pepper spray, keys, nail files, martial arts, etc. I've considered each of these instead of a gun, but there are convincing reasons why they just are not enough if you're up against someone crazed and intent on hurting you. It's going to take something very intimidating and something with a lot of force to stop such an attack.

Remember, we're talking about protecting your LIFE... This is something of great value. If it were your car or your home, wouldn't you use a lock to protect your earthly valuables? How much more, then, should we consider how we will protect our very lives? So, please before you decide that you "just couldn't" carry, ponder the alternatives, and still make a plan. If you would be unable to use lethal force in an encounter, PLAN and ponder what you would be willing to do.


"SO MANY GUNS SO LITTLE TIME": Choosing a Firearm:

I had lots of help in this area. Namely, my hubby. I am, by no means, an expert in this area, but I will share with you my personal experience in selecting firearm.

First, my loving, sweet, hopelessly romantic husband bought for me a .22 Ruger pistol for our First Valentines Day as husband and wife. The .22 is about the smallest caliber of gun, which makes it really easy to shoot (and really inexpensive, which is what I like!). The Ruger he got me has a 5" long barrel on it too, so it's a very accurate gun with little recoil. (The exact model name is Ruger 22/45). It was a great first gun. I still have it, and I practice with it often because the ammo is so inexpensive (about $8 for 550 rounds.), and I know, that the good habits I have in handling that gun, will carry over when I use something with a little more "punch" to it.

My husband encouraged me to find something that I could eventually carry concealed. (We have concealed carry in our State. Check your state's laws!). I could not carry the .22 because, like I mentioned, it has a fairly long barrel. He got me a small .32 caliber gun used in the Czechoslovakian army. Nice gun. It had a little more punch than my .22 because it was smaller in size and larger in caliber. I would be satisfied using that as a carry gun, but, the more I researched, the more I realized: It's a good idea to get a gun with the most stopping power that you can still handle proficiently. (Keeping in mind that the reason to use lethal force in the first place is to stop a deadly attack as quickly as possible.)

So, I was on the lookout for a larger-caliber gun with good stopping power. Paxton Quigley recommended the Sig P-230. It uses a .380 caliber. In fact, I've read in lots of other places that this is the "perfect" gun for women. So, I bought it, expecting to love it. I didn't. I really wanted to love it, too! The gun hurt my hand when I shot it; it was uncomfortable, and just plain no fun! I didn't practice. I didn't want to practice. I didn't even want to try any other guns because this, I thought, was my last and only hope.

Alas, I did try other guns, at the urging of my patient husband. (Although, this could have been just his excuse to buy another gun. Hmmmmmm&ldots;&ldots;) To name a few: Smith and Wesson .38 Special Revolver, Smith and Wesson 3913 (9mm), Glock 26, Beretta 380, Taurus 380, Kel-Tec 9mm, Sigma 380. All good candidates for personal defense and concealed carry. But, they either didn't fit my hand or they had too much recoil.

Then, it happened: I tried a Glock 19 (9mm). I just love shooting it: It's easy to handle, very low recoil (because of the polymer frame), and it fits my hand just right. So, that's my Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) of choice. In fact, my husband bought one too, and that has become his PDW for concealed carry as well.

So, in summary, the lesson I learned was simple: Try, try and keep on trying until you find a gun you are comfortable shooting. If you're not comfortable with the gun, you won't practice with it, and if you won't practice with it, you've got no business carrying it, or keeping it in your home&ldots;.Unless you're using it for a paperweight.



As it turns out, the day after we picked up our Glocks, we headed to Pennsylvania for a professional firearms training course. This was a two-day course for a total of about 20 hours of training. It was a good combination of classroom instruction as well as range time. I highly recommend such a class. There is a BIG difference between a professional firearms class, such as one of these institutions and your basic "NRA-Joe" class. "NRA-Joe" may get you by as a bare minimum, but, I implore you to get further instruction than one of these classes. They only scratch the surface, while deceiving you into believing that they haven't just scratched the surface.

Since that class, I've been more enthusiastic about shooting and wanting to improve myself. One way I have fun shooting, and still learn about defending myself in a life-and-death situation, is by shooting IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) matches. I normally shoot one (sometimes two) matches a month. Each one is different and there is a variety of shooting scenarios that we are presented with based on real-life situations. These matches increase my shooting confidence and my ability to shoot under pressure. They require not only shooting ability, but the ability to think tactically.

To further my training, I have also taken the Level II tactical handgun class offered by F-R-I, a fine example of a professional training course (see paragraph 1 of this section). This class presented a more serious approach (compared to IDPA) to thinking and behaving in a tactically sound manner. The instruction was exceptional and the firearms drills are some that I still practice today.

I continue to exercise ways that will help me to protect myself in this increasingly dangerous world. I'm in the process of getting my concealed weapon permit so that I won't be a helpless victim if I'm attacked outside of the home. This way, I can protect myself for those times when my husband is not with me. (You know, when I have to go to the grocery store at 9:00pm on a Monday night to buy him Diet Coke!)

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