by Amanda McCarthy - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Second Amendment, shooting sports and outdoor lifestyle is treasured by millions of Americans from all walks of life. Freedom Journal provides athletes, entertainers, public figures and more with a platform to connect with others, outside of their immediate fan base, and share their passion, respect, and appreciation for this lifestyle. These are their stories, in their own words, for you to hear. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the National Rifle Association of America.
Bright lights reflecting in my eyes. The sound of my guitar filling the bar. People in the audience give me their undivided attention as I sing the last line of my favorite Merle Haggard song. As I step off the stage, I move towards a seat at the bar, take a sip of my drink and listen to the next songwriter.
Lost in the song, I almost didn't notice the man sitting closely behind me. I turned around to see his face, no more than four inches from mine. “Hello,” he said, “I liked your songs. Very Nice.” I had nothing more to say than a quick “thank you” in return and turned around, hoping he would go away. Unfortunately, he kept speaking to me. He made me feel uncomfortable, and acted upset that I wasn’t responding to his liking. I didn’t owe him anything. This was ridiculous in my mind. ‘Leave me alone’ I thought to myself.
(Photo courtesy/Amanda McCarthy Twitter)
"So,” he continued, “where are you from?” I quickly stood up, grabbed my guitar case and muttered, “Somewhere up north. It was nice to meet you. I have to go.”
"This couldn’t be happening. Am I really being followed?"
As I headed to the parking lot I spotted him exiting the bar out of the corner of my eye. Oh no. This couldn’t be happening. Am I really being followed?
I got in my Jeep and locked the doors behind me. I didn’t waste any time turning the key and exiting the parking lot. I could see his headlights and knew I had to move faster. I made a sharp turn onto the highway and drove until I couldn't see him anymore. I was scared and thoughts immediately began to flood my mind. What if he showed up at my apartment? What if he knew where I’d be again? I had nothing to protect me but my two fists and a small taser.
When I reached my apartment, I sat on the couch and reflected on the night. That man thought I owed him respect. He thought I owed him my attention. He must’ve thought I would be okay with his actions. It made me think, ‘I need to show these people that I’m not messing around.’
"That man thought I owed him respect. He thought I owed him my attention."
This experience rattled me yet inspired me to express my feelings through song. It needed to be bold and not imply "I’m a young girl standing in front of you singing because I want you to stare at me and follow me home if you want to. That’s okay."
No, I needed a song that proclaimed "I’m here because I worked hard on these songs and want to be here. It’s not okay for you to cross the line with me. I will protect my personal space."
That was it. I grabbed my guitar and began writing. ‘Got A Gun’ was my way of empowering myself. The song really came together quickly and I sang it for a crowd the following night.
I’ve been hunting and shooting guns since I was a young girl and felt this was a natural fit. Besides, I was fed up with the “politically correct” view of guns. I knew damn well this song would be controversial, and I was absolutely okay with that. I believe in standing up for my right and beliefs and even through songs.
(Photo courtesy/Amanda McCarthy Twitter)
I have the knowledge that, even with this song, not everyone is going to respect my space. I still need to pay attention to my surroundings at all times. There are monsters in this world - you can fear them or make them fear you. As a woman, it's just as important to be mindful of your surroundings. We are often considered vulnerable, and instead of protesting the fact that people see us that way, let's be strong and prove that we are not as fragile as others may think.