Being Able to Defend Myself

The Community Chronicle, February 2021

Before relocating to Texas, I didn’t own any guns and hadn’t been around guns, very much that is. When I was a teenager living on a kibbutz (farm) in Israel, I underwent firearms training in case we were attacked. I was good at it and returned home able to shoot an Uzi machine gun and a rifle. I was pretty proud of myself, my mother, however, was not. I certainly didn’t understand why. It wasn’t like she hadn’t ever been around guns. In fact, she and my father collected vintage early 19th century pistols that were framed and hung on the walls of our home and they were definitely not replicas. I used to stare at them and wonder who used them, what stories they had to tell. After I married my husband, I’d shot his long guns at target practice, but that was eons ago.

Fast forward to the present. Here I am in Texas. Hubby and I decided that it would be a good thing to get our LTCs. I had been thinking about what kind of gun to buy when hubby gave me a .22 single-action revolver. I’ve got a thing for old guns and replicas of old guns, thanks to my parents, and this one looks like it came straight out of the late 19th century. Everyone told me that I shouldn’t even think of trying to qualify with my single action .22 because I wouldn’t be able to reload or shoot fast enough. I loved that gun (still do) and figured that if I was comfortable with it then that’s the one I should use for qualifying. I knew it was a timed exam; I was confident I could do it. And I did. I passed easily.  Since then, I’ve acquired a couple more pistols and a pump air-gun, if you can call it a firearm at all. It’s pink. Hubby says it’s not a real gun though he did manage to rid our yard of an obnoxious thieving squirrel with it.

I take great pride in being a responsible gun owner and though I openly discuss firearms with Texas friends and family, I don’t talk to friends from where I used to live about my guns. They just don’t get it. A friend’s husband did find out and was appalled. He wanted to know what I was so afraid of in Texas that I needed a gun. The guy completely missed the point. I told him that because I can defend myself, I’m not afraid of anything. I also told him that the best defense is being able to properly and safely operate a firearm, in case the need ever arose. He said if I was threatened that I should just call 911. Yeah, right! While the police force in my town is extremely responsive, if some lunatic breaks into my home, threatens me and I’m about to lose my life, I’m pretty sure that I can defuse the situation faster with one of my pistols than an officer can reach my house.

This conversation with my friend’s husband, by the way, took place before the riots of last year and the defunding of countless police departments. Just prior to Armageddon breaking out across the country, my friend and her husband moved to Baltimore, a city that saw lots of rioting. In 2020 the Baltimore City Council defunded their police by $22 million. So, I’m just wondering who are they gonna call when someone breaks into their home, does them bodily harm, or steals their car? Will they call the police and be put on hold, or be told to leave a message and someone will get back to them in three to five days?

I don’t think it’s wrong to be able to defend myself nor do I need to apologize for it. I have a right to bear arms, to be able to protect myself and my home. The Second Amendment gives me that right. I’ll tell ya, I sure am glad that I live in a state that respects that right. Unfortunately, many of our states do not. Lordy, I sure do love this place.

As most every Texan knows, many people here own guns because they hunt. It’s part of the culture, a way of life. Hunting is as much a passion here as surfing is in California, biking through the Rocky Mountains, hanging out in the New Orleans’ French Quarter, or attending concerts in New York’s Central Park (when they’re not locked down.) I wish I could say that I’m a gun owner because I hunt. Well, I don’t. My husband and other family members do and I gladly eat what they shoot. Me, I like target practice. That’s how I perfect my skills and aim. And it gives me a great sense of confidence.

At one shooting range I go to they have the regular paper targets with bulls’ eyes, and ones that feature a realistic, creepy-looking dude who looks like he’s gonna come at ya any second. Seedy doesn’t even begin to describe the manic look boring out of his eyes. One time I decided to use that one and I was not prepared for my reaction to it. Horrible as the picture was, he was still a human being. At first, I was having trouble with my aim. Then I told myself over and over that the guy was coming at me, he was going to rape me, or kill me or someone in my family. I told myself that he was the devil incarnate. I took a deep breath, refocused, and hit the target, over and over. Yeah, I nailed him. So, I know that I can do it. I just hope that I never have to.