A Mother’s Conversion


Partisan Ranger
April 28, 2003, 09:40 AM
My latest gun article for the cause:

The bleeding man, stumbling and shouting in front of our Alexandria, Va. townhouse, awoke my son and me late one Sunday night last autumn. He and another man had been arguing for about 10 minutes in the shadows of our dark cul-de-sac. After they ripped off each others’ shirts, their argument escalated to blows and finally to a knife fight. Now one of them approached our door. My son screamed, I think he has a gun!

Already on the phone on hold for five minutes on the regular city police line, I hung up and dialed 911. The only gun in the house, Dad’s old .22 bolt action Remington, sat useless in the closet with no shells. If this man wanted to harm us, there was literally nothing I could do, except throw lamps and use harsh language. And hope the law would save us.

As I waited for the police to arrive, my heart pounded under my nightgown as icy fear closed around it, a nauseating, dead feeling of helplessness that comes with being at the complete mercy of unpleasant circumstances. But under that fear was a seething anger at myself for my current plight – a poor victim waiting for rescue.

In retrospect, it’s somewhat surprising I was ever in such a helpless position. I grew up with firearms. When I was a girl some 20 years ago, Dad’s .22 was as familiar as the web of veins on the back of my hand. It was with that gun behind Grandpa’s house, tucked away between two fertile tobacco fields on a lonely kink in the Ohio River, that Dad taught me at age 8 to properly aim and fire at a target – usually an empty Pepsi bottle. The action was so worn I often cocked it 3-4 times to get off a shot. No mind, it seemed like the greatest gun in the world to me. When Dad allowed me to hunt for black birds alone when I turned 12, my chest swelled with pride.

As I grew up in the tranquil Ohio suburbs south of Cleveland, however, my interest in firearms waned. I went to college married, had a son, divorced, bought a house in the city, the anti-gun rhetoric of The Today Show, Oprah, and other national media outlets a persistent drumbeat on my subconscious. In my mind, firearms were just another tool, no different from an axe, rake, or shovel, certainly not worthy of any special, sacred status that the National Rifle Association assigned to them. And I couldn’t understand the fanaticism of ‘the gun lobby’, whose members apparently wanted pistols adorning every hip in America. It’s crazy, I thought, why would anyone be so obsessed about the right to own a firearm? Why do people get so fired up about the 2nd Amendment? What was the big deal?

My answer arrived in the form of that bleeding man at my doorstep. Fortunately, he hadn’t meant us any harm, and the police soon arrived and hauled him away to the hospital. I tucked my son back into bed.

As I washed the pools of blood off my sidewalk with the garden hose and watched water tinged pink trickle into the gutter, I thought back to that moment of paralyzing fear when I held the phone in my icy hand, and my subsequent anger. Although everything had turned out fine, I had been completely powerless in the face of the unknown. The police were nowhere to be seen. For a moment, all the many protections and safety features of our modern society, in which some women place so much blind faith, were stripped away. At a potentially life-threatening moment, I was on my own. How many murder and rape victims have been in that situation, unarmed and waiting for the police to arrive?

For the first time, I thought about the naiveté of the gun control crowd, who steadfastly believe in their poor human ability to legislate evil criminal behavior out of existence by ‘removing’ guns from society. Washington, D.C., just on the other side of the Potomac River, has been a firm believer in this flawed thinking since 1976 when it banned gun ownership within its borders. In that time, murder rates have skyrocketed. In 1976, there were 702,000 citizens living in D.C. and 188 murders. In 1996, there were 543,000 citizens and 397 murders.* The city fathers were effective. Guns have disappeared in D.C. – from the hands of the law-abiding. There are more guns than ever in the hands of criminals, and they have a disarmed public to prey upon at their whim.

I also thought about the gun grabbers’ complete reliance on law enforcement to protect us. As fine a job as police officers do, there aren’t enough of them to prevent many serious crimes. It took the police more than five minutes to respond when I called 911. What could they have possibly done for us if that man had kicked in the door and blown gaping holes in my son and me with a .45, other than bag our cooling bodies for the leisurely drive to the morgue?

As I continued to hose the blood off the concrete, these thoughts were swept away by another - a deep new respect for the 2nd Amendment, one that penetrated down to my marrow. How wise The Founding Fathers were to recognize in The Bill of Rights our God-given right to self-defense. Our other constitutional rights don’t matter a whit if we aren’t around to enjoy them.

The next morning, sunlight shined bright through the bedroom window and when I glanced outside, the blood stains on the pavement were gone. I logged onto the NRA Web site later that day and paid the $35 membership fee to join four million other NRA members in defense of our Constitution.

In the weeks after, I obtained my concealed-carry permit in Virginia and purchased a Glock 19 as a means to defend my family from those who would do us harm.

Today I stand as another strong, proud convert to the side of Freedom. And I am confident that 10 years hence, when my son is 18, America will have one more.

* (SOURCE: disastercenter.com).

also posted at http://www.armedfemalesofamerica.com and my Web site: www.josephpickett.com

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April 28, 2003, 10:24 AM
One thing that I would have done differently in this scenario is to dial 911 right off the bat. By not performing that action blows your whole story right out of the water. Had she dialed 911 right away, instead of "the regular city police line" the police would have been there by the time the guy had arrived at the door.

There is some level of machismo associated with not calling 911. I am not sure when it developed but it did. If you are having a problem that needs police or fire presence, CALL 911. The exception to the rule might be if you know the night watch commander at the local substation and are sure that he/she can get someone to you quicker.

Just some thoughts.


J Miller
April 28, 2003, 10:39 AM
I'm glad the incident turned out OK.
It could have been tragic, but when your in the middle of it, you just don't know.

Today I stand as another strong, proud convert to the side of Freedom. And I am confident that 10 years hence, when my son is 18, America will have one more.

Don't wait 10 years. Buy a new .22 or get the old one fixed and train your son now. Like your dad did you.
Train him to know and understand the Bill of Rights, the Constituton now, and he will be better able to withstand the constant barage of anti-gun, anti-self defence,propaganda that he will see in his schooling, after school TV programs, his friends parants, and on and on and on.
Remember how proud you were when your dad trained you, that's how your son will feel.
Start him now, and in 10 years he will have made a difference.

April 28, 2003, 11:59 AM
"The action was so worn I often cocked it 3-4 times to get off a shot."

I'm confused. Why would it take 3 or 4 times if the action was worn out? What kind of action has this problem?

Good story though. I'm forwarding to my slowly converting wife.

April 28, 2003, 01:47 PM
My grandfather had an ancient pump-action Winchester gallery gun that only had the suggestion of rifling in the bore.

When you worked the action, it would feed the next round, but the hammer would follow the action down three out of five times.

Worn sear notch would be my guess.

We'd thumb the hammer back, and if it stayed, we'd pull the trigger.

Of course, when we released the hammer on those other three times, the rifle would fire. :D


Partisan Ranger
April 28, 2003, 02:46 PM
The gun I referred to in my story was my dad's .22 rifle that was made in the 1950s I guess that he got for his 16th or so B.D. (he would've been 16 in 1956). I don't know the brand, but it was a bolt action rifle, one round in the chamber, no magazine. At the back of the chamber was a knob that you pulled back. It clicked when you pulled it back and cocked it.

I guess the firing pin was so worn it only fired about 50 percent of the time.

I loved that rifle.

PS. This story is true (it happened to me), although I modified the gender of the protagonist for girly-gun publications!


April 28, 2003, 03:28 PM
I'd love to find a site with a large collection of these kind of stories and testimonials.

Whenever I get down about the future of RKBA I like to read these kinds of stories ... they re-energize me, and give me hope (something I've been real short on lately)

Standing Wolf
April 28, 2003, 04:47 PM
Well said! More women—and men, too, for that matter—need to acquaint themselves with the simple facts about freedom, firearms, and self-reliance.

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