I’ll be honest, reading about fashion and personal style is fun. However, I feel like it is also important (if not more important) for me to share my personal journey with gun ownership and personal safety with you. As always, it is my goal to share my honest thoughts and experiences to help other women out there who may be wondering the same things I was when I first started becoming educated on guns and self-reliance.
So, how did I come to own my first firearm? Let’s dive in.
Growing Up With Guns
While I was growing up, I remember there always being guns in the house. My Dad owned a handgun, a shotgun, and even had a small business selling firearms and ammunition. It was just something that was normal for my family. Honestly, I didn’t really think anything of it. I saw his skeet shooting, I saw the bruises on his shoulders after the kick of a shotgun, and I saw him leaving his guns around the house.
Looking back, I now know that isn’t proper safety, but at the time I never really thought anything of it. To be transparent, I kind of thought guns and shooting were just “boy stuff,” and why would I have any interest in learning how to use them, let alone owning one?
While I personally feel like guns are more of a “hot topic” today than they were when I was younger, I have some distinct memories on my opinions of guns. I just assumed they were something every family owned. They weren’t wrong or right, they just were. I didn’t know that they were a topic people would take sides on or that people would fear the guns themselves.
I actually remember flipping through a magazine and seeing an ad that stuck out to me. The ad read, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” I hung it up on my wall because, after all, we were just a family where guns were the “norm.”
Moving Out And Moving On
Once I moved out of my parent’s house after high school, my exposure to guns kind of ended. I still didn’t think they were a big deal necessarily, but nobody I knew talked about them or had them (or at least that I knew of). I wasn’t around them regularly anymore. I would see guns in the news, being used by criminals, reminding me of that quote above. However, I didn’t find myself having conversations about or being exposed to guns in my normal, everyday life.
The Start Of My Journey
My personal journey with guns didn’t start until 2013. I got married to my husband and one day, out of the blue, he started expressing interest in a gun. It kind of took me by surprise, but I realized him going to a shooting range was what had sparked his interest. Of course, I supported him, but deep down, I kind of wanted to know more about this for myself. After all, I’d always been around them. Was it time for me to educate myself? Was it time for me to test the waters on gun ownership and safety? I knew that if guns were going to be a part of the household that we were building together, I would need to get on the same page. I would need to be able to know how to use it safely, should the situation ever come up.
Let’s Just Say It Didn’t Start With a “Bang”…
The first time I shot a gun was with my husband and it was NOT good for my self-confidence. We went to a shooting range together, and I was shaking from nerves. My hands were clammy and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. It was intimidating. I found myself feeling not only overwhelmed, but also discouraged. I knew I had to overcome my initial fears so that my personal journey with firearms and self-protection could begin.
My Next Steps
After my somewhat of a “fail” of a first experience with guns, I knew it was time for a change. I was torn between wanting to be supportive of my husband while also being simultaneously terrified. I had the realization that even if I never ended up owning a gun, I should at least know how to use one, especially if it was going to be in my house. I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to be responsible for my own safety. My husband and I were on the same page and I was excited (and a little nervous) to get my journey started.
So, I hired an instructor. I went to a shooting range to get myself comfortable. I started spending a lot of time with my new best friend Google. I was trying to find a place where women who were starting out like me could turn to for more information. Again, I felt discouraged. I found lots of information, sure, but it wasn’t information I found myself able to relate to. If someone else hadn’t made a place like this, maybe I was the one for the job.
The Start Of a Lifestyle
Just like any lifestyle shift, like fitness or eating healthy, good things take dedication. Because I couldn’t identify with the bright pink guns, the huntresses, or the scantily clad gun bunnies, I took matters into my own hands. I began cultivating a lifestyle that involved self-protection that could revolve around my current lifestyle. I decided to create this space for myself, and now to share with you. I wanted to create a place that reminded women that their personal style and self-reliance could co-exist.
This Brings Me To Today…
I’m now a proud owner of multiple firearms. While I’ll never claim to be perfect, and I’ll always promise to be honest, my story with guns is one I hope many can relate to. I’m dedicated to my safety, the importance of personal protection, and my ability to not have to give up my own personal style just to own a gun. However, I’m also dedicated to sharing all of this with others.
My journey, while not always smooth, has given me the confidence to build this community and help women near and far who find themselves on the same path. I’m always looking for new opportunities to educate myself and continue to discover how to best protect myself. Style Me Tactical has given me the platform to do so, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s all part of the process, and each journey is unique, which is what I love most about sharing bits and pieces of my story with kickass women everywhere.
I’m so glad you found me, and I can’t wait to continue to share my journey with you each step of the way.