Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fragility and Strength Combined- Why I Carry

I'm out for an very early morning walk with a woman friend. She does not shoot, though she is starting to show interest. We're walking down a long trail in a small city park, a large sprawling area with miles of trails, a lot of trees and a small river. A jogger passes us every 10 minutes or so, Barkley's intent on sniffing out a cheeseburger someone just had to have left behind on the trail. She's quiet and then the question comes out.

She looked at me and said "you're carrying, aren't you?".

I looked down at a light rain jacket over a T shirt, and couldn't see the form of a holster or anything so I asked, "how can you tell".

She said, "you carry yourself differently, there's a different look in your eyes. I've seen that look when you work but not when you socialize". She chuckled . . . "It's a little scary".

I grinned and said, "yes I am".

She thought about and replied. "It's daylight, we're in a park with other people, why?" It wasn't spoken with incrimination, simply curiosity.

So, I told her.

There is a part of it that is as simple as self protection. My Dad went into the military as a police officer, my Mom was a Law Enforcement Officer as well. From her, I heard firsthand the abuses she saw against other women in the course of her work, women for whom their only crime was to be small and timid against a raging bully. Women who had yet to learn that evil does not go away by submitting, but by fighting back. So she taught me to shoot and the reasons for which she did needed no voice.

Individually, collectively I believe it's a right of mine, as a law abiding citizen, whether I am a LEO or not, male or female, large or small. That being the right to protect my body and my interests for which I've toiled. And I would defend with each breath, against any interference with that liberty on which our country was founded.

The Founding Fathers did not give us that right, they simply affirmed us that right, one over our own bodies and minds that was God given long ago. But with the right comes obligation and responsibility. Our country was not founded on the principle that government would take care of our every need, including protecting us at every instance. To have the law enforcement power to achieve that alludes to an Orwellian world I would not wish to live in.

I carry because I am empowered with not just the right, but the duty to take care of myself. I am sovereign in my protection of myself, charged with that moral duty and supported by the Second Amendment and the steady hand that holds the grip. It is a decision that I alone make, to carry responsibly, to be proficient, to be sure. I can no more imagine giving that up, than the sibilant intake of breath as I squeeze the trigger.

Then there is simply the sheer love I have for that which is history, of the acts of courage that defined men's freedom, of the mechanical workings of objects which support self sufficiency and strength. Planes, trains, steam engines, old tools, and yes, the gun. There's an attraction to old tools and old machines, the human values they represent. Nothing that withstands history gets built without brilliance of design, a laboring effort and the dreams of man.

Some say a gun is a killing instrument. Man is a killing instrument. The gun is only a tool, from which we have the pure mechanical force which can keep one alive or take a life. As a tool it is as weak or as strong as he or she who hold its, as good or as bad as the collective soul that keeps it in working order. The guns I own are defenders of good, soldier's weapons, officer's weapons, my weapons.

As a female, I am by most cultures considered weak, yet my will to survive is born out by a life that most would have shied away from. That strength, that utter potency of the will to live is instilled in some things more than others, and in my old weapons I can feel it. Taking that, holding one in my hand, feeling the power and the recoil shudder through me is empowering. Using my own will and ability to place the precision of liberty onto a small piece of paper, it's history. That of the past, that of my continued future. I shoot, be it for sport, for duty, or simply in practice of that which I hope never to have to encounter. I am ready. Tools in hand.


  1. Posts like this make me want to jump up with raised arms and shout out "AMEN, SISTER!" I can't imagine how that might perplex the kids and pups, though....

    Love this. Love you.

  2. See, I think the culture that considers you weak is just ::sputter:: stupid!

    Mark Alger

  3. When I met my wife, she hated guns. It took a bit of doing, but she now has her concealed permit and carries a glock19... even if it is pink...

  4. Why is it that so many give up their personal responsibilities to others?



    W.V. unitypr - what the Dems our doing.

  5. Great post Brigid! An outstanding discourse on our RIGHTS, and that fragile thing... Not so much... :-)

  6. Maryland has a CCW law - that 99% of applicants who apply are summarily turned down. The more I research and hear personal stories about CCW, the more I am moved to help change our restrictive gun law here in Maryland. Thanks for the post, Brigid.

  7. When I look for snark, I visit Tam, when I look for wisdom, I visit Brigid...

  8. Rats, conceal carry is not legal in my state. By process of elimination you can probably guess what state I call home. Count your blessings.
    I will just have to settle for hands, feet, dog with toothy smile, big sticks, cast iron frying pans, garden implements, etc. for now.

  9. As that South American soccer announcer said...


    Think yer gettin a 'hog link today.

  10. Excellent post. You said it much better than I could. I think when most people really understand that those of us who carry - legally - are just normal everyday people not willing to be a victim, they can be more accepting. I will never forget the day a couple of years ago when a co-worker found out I'm a gun owner, she was shocked that "someone like you" (her words) would be interested in guns. I think I showed her that day that I'm no different than most people. She even said to me, "You know, it is a crazy world out there, the thought of getting a gun for protection has crossed my mind but I don't know anything about them." To her, and to anyone else out there, I say, there are plenty of places to learn properly. For those who have posted comments here from states that don't allow CCW, don't give up. The NRA and gun owners across the country are working to put an end to that!

  11. I'll borrow from Shannon, AMEN SISTER!

    Fragility doesn't come to mind when I think of you...oh I forgot about the toe. :-)

  12. I keep reading your posts, and keep thinking "this is her best".

    This is your best.

  13. Nicely written.

    I have MaineMapleSamantha's Baby Glock tucked away until she is ready.

    Might need to get it Duracoat Pink................

  14. I've walked the trails long enough to remember when one did not need permits to carry.

    Why did that freedom leave us?
    What will be next to go....?

  15. An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. -Jeff Cooper.

    Another one hit out of the park by Brigid.

  16. Very well put as always B.!

    I am preparing now for the largest Concealed Carry Handgun (CCH as it is called in this state) I have taught to date. Thanks to you and others for waking people up that they ALONE are ultimately responsible for their safety.

    I will use your previous post as a handout again and your welcoming repost to my class last month was very generous. Thanks again.

    I must say that there IS a profound change in demeanor while carrying for the civilian. We are held to a higher standard and must carry ourselves more circumspect. Simply because we carry a highly specialized tool.

    As far as the female angle goes, I am not sexist in any way but I would MUCH rather teach them generally speaking than males. They want to KNOW everything about the Firearm and the justified use of deadly force. They ask the most pointed questions. I simply enjoy that as an instructor.

  17. This one deserves roaring applause. It should required reading in high schools. It should be read into the Congressional Record.

    Yup, good post.

  18. Great post, great sentiments.

  19. Brigid,

    What is the black powder pistol in the photo? I have always thought they looked pretty neat. Who offers quality pistol kits or pistols of this kind?

  20. Nicely writ, Sis.
    I take credit for advancing Beloved Bride's interest in firearms in a few ways. (She was in the first CHL class I taught, well before we wed.)

    Since I retired from active peace officering, my daily carry is mostly reduced to a lightweight .38 snub. I'm a little chagrinned to realize that BB usually carries not only more pistol than me, but more ammo, as well.

    Hurrah for empowered women!

  21. Great Post Brigid,
    I have a female friend that was asking me if she should allow her son to bring his shotgun home when he moves back from college. She has been around guns and for whatever reason having one in the house nowadays mad her a bit nervous. I am forwarding your post to her :)

    Thanks for putting into words a very coherent blog post.


  22. Brigid - all I can say is YOU ROCK

    Everyone else pretty much covered it!! ;0)


  23. With that holster or another one? I got one of those, I like the push-button, but think the Galco I have holds closer. A Milt Sparks or Brigade would hold even closer - I think, I don't know, I am experimenting...

  24. @Brigid,

    I had been contemplating a post on the subject but your amazing writing makes mine look like 2nd grade english class. I have been pre-empted and maybe the world saved from my drivel.

    [...]godscaliber Why I Carry (Pre-empted)[...}

  25. Rock on sista! I feel like I am always repeating myself with you because AGAIN "I agree with everything you write and believe in".
    I carry 24/7 and feel lost if I have to go somewhere that won't allow me to carry.

  26. Stopped part way through to ask if when she said "Why?" you replied " "It's daylight, we're in a park with other people"...?

  27. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading it this morning and I will be back to read more. I just subscribed to your blog. Thanks!

  28. Hi I am new here, Found your post very interesting and responsible. Been considering getting myself a weapon lately, just part of prepping, oh I got a longway to go and not much time.

    The world is starting to be a very scary place, we will need to protect our food and families soon. Gold won't be worth much if you don;t have food to feed your family, and there will be many unprepared folk wanting to take yours. Will you be able to use that gun to protect your food and family.
    Food for thought ..


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