Saturday, March 6, 2010

be not afraid

"I'm afraid I'll shoot myself in the foot."

"I'm afraid I'm too emotional."

"I'm afraid of the recoil."

"I'm afraid I'll go crazy and shoot someone."

"I'm afraid of loud noises."

"I'm afraid it will get taken away from me."

"I'm afraid of the hot brass."

"I'm afraid it will go off by accident."

"I'm afraid of having that much power."

"I'm afraid something bad will happen."

Despite hearing all of these reasons from other women, I have yet to meet anyone who was more afraid of guns than I was. I was deeply, irrationally afraid. My first trip to the range left me shaken, in tears, and somewhat ashamed.

Some time after that, though, my own stubbornness made me try again. I refused to let this...thing, this small metal object, get the best of me. I practiced at the range as often I could but probably more importantly, I thought a lot during that time. I questioned everything I believed about guns. I read gun blogs. I listened to new ideas. I saw myself in a whole new way. And as if by magic, the less ignorant I became about guns, the more my fear dissolved.

When I could honestly declare my hoplophobia well and truly conquered, there was this wild elation - I found myself feeling stronger and more free. "I can do this!" I thought. "Yay me!"

So now when I see another woman taking those first same tentative steps (and especially at the same range, with the same gunchick instructor*)
I'm thrilled and excited for her...

I know they can do it, since I did.


clady said...

I have to admit I still have my phobia of guns and most of those reasons listed apply to me (except the "go crazy" one).

I took a Citizen's Police Academy class and set aside my aversion to guns for the sake of gaining a better understanding of LE. I was terrified to pieces, convinced something bad was going to happen.

I loved it. Can't wait to do it again. But, I'm still afraid. The only way I will go near a gun again is if very qualified officers are there to talk me through it and to quickly take the gun away. I want someone there with me who understands how terrified I am and will also, if necessary, chew me out good if I do something stupid.

I know I have a long way to go but being on LE sites and blogs has helped tremendously. Thank you for your post.

Breda said...

It takes a while to be able to feel like you can go to the range by yourself, to trust yourself that much. But you're well on your way. Good luck, clady!

Did it MY way said...

Keep spreading the word!

See Ya

Farm.Dad said...

How fast they grow , It seems like only last year that Breda was on my range Shooting a thousand yards with an m24 rifle .. Oh wait .. LOL

Great Post Breda . Many of us never had that " fog of fear " and some who did have now shot long enough to have forgotten it . Its good to be reminded of the obstacles some overcome to be gunowners and then shooters .

Lydia said...

My plan is to move back to Colorado and lose my gunny virginity at that super cool gun shooty thing you went to last year. And perhaps become a gun owner that weekend. (This also could be part pipe dream, but it's a fun dream nonetheless).

Earl said...

I respect firearms, and that is good. I am afraid of the anit-gun lobby and the fools in government. A much better fear than of firearms, the fools in government may destroy much to make the omelet the way they like it. It is good to teach safe sane firearms history, handling and shooting straight. I hope all the people of the world will have the chance.

Joanna said...

The more I learn about fear in general, the more I think it's always an excuse not to do something -- and, if you take it far enough, it's invariably an excuse to avoid facing yourself.

Linoge said...

And with that, we have two more examples of just how out-of-touch anti-rights advocates / hoplophobes are with reality.

Regardless of whether Adoryan adopts the shooting hobby, she is now a greater person for taking the time to learn about her fears, deal with them head-on, and overcome them.

That kind of empowerment cannot be bought, given, or traded - it only comes with personal experience, and it continues to sadden, annoy, and anger me that some people would have robbed her (and you) of those experiences. Thanks for pointing this out.

Old NFO said...

You've EARNED that empowerment Breda... YOU, no one else did it for you, and yes please help the other women to conquer their fears!

Eric said...

I always try to say an encouraging word to the ladies shooting at the indoor range where I'm a member. There are enough "range commandos" out there.

Word verification: ganker

Skip said...

Breda, per your blog you have overcome a lot of fears.
Guns [my wife], wierdos in the library, [my grandkids], and myself in bringing ladies to the range. Maybe 20 and only 2 would not return.
I think the two were put off because it was packed and loud.
Still trying on the two.

Jennifer said...

Great post Breda. And so very true. I tried to pretend that I wasn't afraid, but I was. I'm not anymore and am so excited when I see someone else moving beyond that fear. Even been known to help a few myself.

The Right Site said...

I just want to say thank you for this article.

You should be proud of yourself for what you have done for your self and so many other women.

I am a male who open carries; as does my wife Laurra,in Wisconsin and will hand out copies of this article to interested parties if that is alright with you.



Breda said...

perfectly all right with me, Dave :)

Alice said...

Sorry for commenting on an old post, but I wanted to say thank you. I've never used a gun before, and I do want to learn how, but pretty much everything on that list applies to me. My best friend has offered to teach me how to shoot, but I've still been scared. So thanks for (unintentionally) giving me the kick I needed to actually take him up on his offer.

Breda said...

I know you can do it, Alice! You're stronger than you realize.

(& thank you for commenting on this old post.)

If you ever need to talk about it, feel free to email.