Published in the Rains County Leader on March 10, 2022:
In the early fall of last year, I wrote a column titled “To Shoot or Not to Shoot.” A friend had invited me to a meeting of an organization that “creates opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together.” Circumstances intervened, and we didn’t get to go, but I wrote about it anyway. I reviewed my previous gun experience, which was almost none, and I told about my Aunt Fay’s decision not to use the pistol her son gave her for protection. I concluded the article with this decisive statement:
After our plans to go to The Well-Armed Woman [DBA Armed Women of America or AWA] meeting fell apart, my friend suggested we try again next month. “I think you’d like it,” she said. I’m sure I’d enjoy the trip to Mineola and back, and it would be fun to experience a real indoor shooting range. But like Aunt Fay, I don’t ever want to shoot anyone. So for now, I think I’ll probably remained unarmed and depend on God – and David – to be my protectors.
My outlook on the subject has changed a bit since then. Shortly after her initial invitation, my friend had some health issues that prevented her attending the next two meetings. By December, though, she was recovered enough to attend the group’s Christmas party as long as someone else drove. I was glad to help since the event was just dinner at a restaurant with no firearms involved – and she was buying! I’m not sure what I expected, but the women I met were not pistol-packing mamas but were simply people who had chosen to learn to handle firearms safely and to have some fun with friends in the process. Since then, I’ve attended two regular meetings, and as of last week, I am a dues-paying member of AWA. Following are some of the things I’ve learned so far.
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 14, 2021:
A friend recently invited me to attend a meeting of The Well-Armed Woman with her. She is a licensed gun owner and thought I might enjoy the group that describes itself as “a non-profit organization that…creates opportunities for women to be introduced to issues important to women shooters, learn safe gun handling skills and train together.” As it turned out, a trip to visit the doctor and do some shopping went long, so we didn’t get to go. But the invitation sent me on a trip down memory lane, thinking of what part guns have played in my life. It was a short trip.
I do not now and have never owned a gun except for a starter pistol I bought to make noise after I was confronted in the laundry room of my apartment by a guy in a ski mask. Thankfully, he ran off when I began to scream like a banshee, and I never had occasion to brandish the pistol. My dad had an old shotgun and a rifle which I never saw him use, and I think my brother and I shared a cap pistol. I don’t think it worked very well because I seem to remember using a rock or a hammer to fire the caps.
Guns were not a big social issue during my formative years. The best I can tell from my limited research, carrying a handgun was illegal in Texas from 1871 to 1995 when Governor George W. Bush signed the first concealed carry bill in the state. When I was in the sixth grade, a new student from New York was disappointed when he didn’t get to ride a horse and carry a six-gun on his hip. There were a number of high school boys who accessorized their first pick-ups with a gun rack and a rifle in the back window, though, and I never heard of any gun accidents or mass shootings. These kids were probably well-trained by their parents and kept those guns in case they encountered a snake or a coyote while they were feeding the livestock or baling the hay.
The story of a lonely, innocent girl who gets tangled up in the sex trafficking trade in a small Texas town. It’s about her relationship with Eric, a slick suburban pimp; Jesse, a Christian tattoo artist and motorcycle rider; and Mrs. G, a compassionate but tough attorney and foster parent.