My journey into gun ownership

 

Twelve years ago, I was mugged at gun point at a gas station less than one mile away from my home.

While at the pump holding my baby daughter in her portable car seat, a car pulled in front of mine. A man peered out the passenger side window to ask how to get to the beach. Trustingly, I walked over to the vehicle and saw a woman in the driver’s seat and a baby seat in the back empty. I gave him the directions- he repeated them incorrectly. I gave him the directions again and again he repeated them incorrectly. One more time I gave him the directions and he jumped out of the car and held a gun to my forehead while he pulled violently at my purse on my arm. I could feel the metal against my forehead and only faintly felt the pull of the straps.

Thankfully, my purse had two straps and he didn’t try to take my baby daughter in her car seat carrier on the same arm. I couldn’t give up the purse without letting go of my daughter’s car seat, which was not going to happen.

I screamed as if my life depended on it and felt lightheaded. I was completely out of my mind terrified. The restaurant across the street had people exiting who heard my scream, thankfully. The next thing I knew, the man was back in the car driving away with my sense of security and safety. People started rushing towards me and talking to me in a blur.

I was shaking, embarrassed, and terrified. I couldn’t breathe; all I could think of is what if he had taken my baby girl? I really don’t know much of what happened after that- I do not remember talking to the police or much of anything. I went home and didn’t want to leave. My arm was badly bruised from the attack. I was scared to talk to anyone in public, I rushed to my vehicle and felt a sense of dread anytime I was outside the sanctuary of my home. Two months later, the terrorist attack in New York happened- all sense of security disappeared and drained completely from my life.

I was shaking, embarrassed, and terrified. I couldn’t breathe; all I could think of is what if he had taken my baby girl?

With most of the population, I went to the gun store and bought a gun. There was no research in this process; it was a survival act to keep my sanity. I must do something to protect myself.

Upon looking at the guns in the case, I was terrified of the semi-automatics, even the name seemed more violent- difficult to manage. Give me a gun to simply load bullets, point and shoot with no issues. A revolver was the answer and next thing you know I am the new owner of a Taurus .357 magnum revolver and had no idea what that meant.

There was an outdoor range close to where I lived, my significant other at the time showed me what he knew and I shot that .357 almost every weekend for two years. I was such a regular at the range; most attendees thought I was a police officer and/or range officer. There weren’t any instructional classes being offered or advertised at that time. It was all about me and my .357 magnum. The feel of the recoil, the mechanics of reloading, the sweep of drawing from a holster…shooting therapy.

I did not conceal carry, I was scared to. For the longest time, I felt concealed carry would only bring more trouble to my door.

Written by Jessica Alexander

{Story to continue, under To Carry or Not to Carry}

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