by Peggy Gray, Colorado Springs Friends of NRA Committee Chair - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I grew up with six brothers and never once thought of handling guns... The boys did that.
Then, one night years later, that changed in an instant with the rattle of my front door. The screen door was open and someone was trying to open the main door. For some reason my son had left his air rifle propped against it. I picked up the air rifle, stood a few feet inside the door, primed the gun once, and said loudly, "It is cocked. It is aimed. Go away." The intruder paused, then went away.
During most of my adult life, I did not want a gun in my home. I saw no reason.
I stood there trembling for some time, and then I came to a realization. Carrying a history of being beaten, being raped, and being left completely defenseless, I had finally come to the point of saying to myself, "No more. I am not going to cower in the corner for hours at night, afraid to walk by a window, afraid to walk out to my car, afraid that someone is going to come through my front door. No more."
This was a turning point for me. During most of my adult life, I did not want a gun in my home. I saw no reason. But after that night I knew that I needed to learn to use a gun to protect myself and my family.
A concerned friend of mine, Don, made even clearer the need to be able to defend myself. He asked me, "How long would it have taken the police to get to your front or back porch? How long would you be able to fight off an intruder or attacker? What good would that air gun have done?”
Don helped me purchase a 9mm handgun and taught me how to safely load, shoot, clean and care for the tool. He made sure I knew it was a tool and realized that once I used that tool to defend myself I would never be the same person. He also helped me organize groups with other women and taught us all defensive moves and skills.
But after that night I knew that I needed to learn to use a gun to protect myself and my family.
When I took the first group of ladies out to Don’s property to shoot, I had told them, “We need to know how to use these guns. We need to be able to protect ourselves." I still start each of my groups the same way.
Soon after I started these training sessions, I learned about Friends of NRA and joined the local committee. I was the only woman on the committee at that time, and I had no idea what a Henry or a Weatherby was. I asked a lot of questions because at the time I really was not well versed on the Second Amendment, but it did not take me long to realize just how close we were to losing the ability to own firearms like the one that now offered me comfort and protection.
For the last three years I have chaired the Colorado Springs Friends of NRA committee, and for the last two I have traveled to many other events in the state to support those committees in their efforts to continue raising the funds needed to keep the shooting sports and our rights alive.
Now, while I pray that I never have to use a firearm to defend myself, my faith, or my family, I also pray that if I do need to use it, it does its job.
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Republished from Traditions Quarter 1: 2017