A Woman's Journey Into Guns
by Marge Shoemaker
Michigan – -(AmmoLand.com)- A few days ago, I was asked to tell my story about how I became interested in guns. To be honest, it wasn't something I was born into, and it wasn't something I practiced in my youth. It really was something that came upon me in the last few years.
I am the oldest of four children. As a young girl I was quiet and very shy, pretty much afraid of my own shadow. I especially didn't like loud noises like balloons popping, fire crackers going off, you get the picture.
I was an avid animal lover. Every lost pet or stray found their way to my home. With some effort, I usually found their owners. In my junior high years, I became involved with saving the wild mustangs, wolves, you name it! I didn't think too much of people hunting or shooting animals. Then in my high school years, I fell in love. Shortly after graduation, I married my best friend. Did I mention, he had a passion for hunting? Hunting!
Well, through the years, and two sons later (who also love hunting) I learned about harvesting wildlife. I learned to cook, or can, whatever my two boys and my husband brought home. I became quite good at it, but never, ever, did it interest me to shoot a gun. They go bang!
By now I was almost 50 years old. One day my husband was sighting in his new 17 caliber rifle when I walked outside and said I wanted to start shooting. I had only one condition: no guns with a loud bang or kick. He smiled a smile that made my heart skip a beat. Then he said, have a seat. He showed me how to hold the gun tight to my shoulder, how to look down the scope, take the safety off, and just squeeze the trigger. Hey, no loud bang or kick! I actually enjoyed it. I've been practicing for two years now.
Recently, I had a van load of suspicious-looking men come to my house which sits in the country way back off the road. I felt threatened and asked them to leave. One man grew angry and they wouldn't leave my door step. I picked up my shotgun and stood in front of the doorway. They got the picture and quickly left. I realized then, I didn't want to walk up on a situation where I am unarmed. So, I attended my first concealed carry class.
I sat near the front. As I watched the people file in, I noticed that there were quite a few women. Then I met the two CPL instructors. They seemed very knowledgeable, strong, and compassionate. I felt my pulse quickening, and I didn't know why. Was this how cowgirls felt, in the old wild west, when they saw their cowboys riding in to protect them, with guns on their hips and a look in their eyes, that says “you're safe now”? But back to reality. This isn't the wild west, and we can't rely on someone else to save us. So…..I had to get my head out of the clouds, and pay attention. I learned so much history in this class. It fascinated me what our fore fathers had gone through to keep our freedoms intact. Why they wrote the things they wrote, and why they said the things they said. And most of it hung on the right to keep and bear arms.
Then we headed to the gun range but when I listened to what I was being asked to do, I felt more than a bit apprehensive. Here I was an over 50 female with three grandchildren out here shooting pistols with men. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that-I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. I exhaled slowly. I was ready. But an unexpected thing happened: once the shooting started nothing mattered anymore. I felt empowered. I learned I could not only protect myself, but also the ones I love. I learned how to stay alive. I learned how to defend myself in just about every situation. It felt good. It felt right.
At the end of class I qualified with all my shots on the target. It felt good with the pistol in my hand, and I felt proud of myself.
After class I went before the gun board, and I now have my concealed carry license. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there. I thank God each and every day, for bringing these two concealed carry trainers into my life. I know I am a better person, because of them. I pray each and every day, for their safety, as well as their families. I am reminded that, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” My concealed carry instructors have sharpened my mind, my soul, and my spirit. We are never too old to learn new tricks. I encourage you to study the constitution. Know your state and local firearms laws. Take a concealed carry class. Get back to knowing your neighbors, and be aware of who is around you.See you all at the Second Amendment March in Washington DC on April 19, 2010! Marge Shoemaker
Marge works for a local school district in Michigan. She is a mom and grandmother and has been married for 33 years. She is a fan of country music and Jeff Gordon! Marge lives by these words: “If you are a friend of mine, you are considered family. There is no greater love than she who would lay down her life for a friend. And I would. I love my God, and my country.”
The mission of the Second Amendment March is to galvanize the courage and resolve of Americans; to petition our elected officials against establishing anti-gun legislation; and to remind America that the Second Amendment is necessary to maintain our right to self defense.