New to this whole thing


September 2, 2004, 07:29 PM
Hello all,
My name is Violet. I am an almost- 20 year old woman completely new to gun ownership issues. I am a college student and a seamstress.

The whole gun issue is still fairly foreign to me. I never understood why people were so 'crazy' about gun 'control.' I really feel differently after reading this site. Americans must have the freedom to product ourselves.

I'm also now living inside a city, right next to a jail and in a not-so-great part of town. There’s been break ins, robberies, and more rapes and other violence then I’d like to think about. I do not own a car. I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m always very careful- I don’t drink, only hang out with good people, etc, but that doesn’t change my environment. I can't even go visit my girlfriends at night and walk home; it's too dangerous for a woman to be out. What about an emergency? What if I had to race to the pharmacy or something? I really do not like the idea of being at the mercy of strangers.

I really think being able to use a gun and carrying one would be beneficial.

However, like I said, I have literally 0 knowledge of guns or gun ownership. Any ideas? Do I go to an instructor or something? How do I do this? Something to carry in my purse would be ideal.

Thanks all...
:D Violet

If you enjoyed reading about "New to this whole thing" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 2, 2004, 07:37 PM
Welcome! :p

Oleg's and or have good intros to guns for women.

The NRA website at has some goodies too

September 2, 2004, 07:52 PM
Hi Violet !!

I do think the first step is to find some instruction. You can check with some of the local shops that sell firearms to find out where to make contact with a certified instructor.

Most area's have instructors that can send you on the right path toward safe handing and use of a firearm. They can also help you make the right decisions regarding what to purchase. (keep in mind that you should be comfortable with what you buy) Check also on the internet for firearm instructors in your area - many have web sites.

My 75 year old aunt just completed a course for concealed carry recently. In this case she asked for my help and I helped quide her through the process of purchasing a handgun. learning how to handle it safely and to shoot it. She just wanted to feel safer and is very pleased that she not only has a handgun, but can use it . She also took the time to take the concealed carry course in our state and obtained a permit to carry.

Although she doesn't carry on a regular basis, she does while cross country skying , and while traveling the firearm sits in the purse along side her.

My point is to say - where there is a will there is a way ! And always rest assured that someone on the THR is willing to help you with your questions during the process.

Edit: PS - I do believe you must be 21 to purchase a handgun , etc. So now is a good time to start the process and prepare.

September 2, 2004, 07:57 PM
Hi there, youve come to the right place, there are so many people hear that can point you in the right direction.

September 2, 2004, 08:08 PM
You'll find that a good percentage of gun enthusiasts will be willing and able to help you learn. (don't mistake those who may own guns for those who are 'into' guns - big difference)

If you are near Atlanta or Nashville then I and people I know can help you. If not, find the bigger gun stores in your area and ask them about training courses. Some offer education specifically for women and/or beginners.


September 2, 2004, 08:17 PM
as everyone else has said so far, this is the best place to start.

seeing how you are still 19, in college, and we dont know what state you live in, you probably wont see many advocating you break laws by carrying if it is illegal to do so.

that doesnt mean that we feel anyone should be 'unprotected' simply because of draconian laws. but there is usually plenty of alternatives or in some cases, workarounds.

so, please, indulge us a bit, and tell us what state you live in, and tell us how a fresh college student managed to develop conservative ideals instead of liberal ones?
edit - if we know what paths are the best at producing a generation that takes personal responsibility, maybe we can help more to join our path.



edit - this may sound like a cheap line, but for us to make a halfway decent recommendation as to what gun *might* fit you best, we will also need to know something about your physique. short? tall? athletic? average?
also am curious as to more details of the thought processes that lead you to being interested in firearms for protection. you mentioned crime, bad neighborhoods, and a feeling of vulnerability. is this because you personally know those who have been victimized?
as of right now, what steps are you willing to take to defend your life, or someone elses?

September 2, 2004, 08:23 PM
"Any ideas?"

I've taught many friends how to shoot and given advise on the procedures of buying and carrying pistols. I know there are many others on this board who do the same. If you were to post your location I don't doubt that somebody would be willing to let you meet up with them at the local range for some instruction and shooting.

I don't blame you if you don't want to share that info online but specific advise really can't be given unless your locality is known. Gun laws are different from state to state and even city to city in some cases. You should be able to find out the correct procedures for your area with a call or visit to your local police station (it's right next door?). Don't worry about them disapproving of you owning a gun. You are attempting to comply with the law, it's not their business to disapprove of that.

September 2, 2004, 08:30 PM
Hi, Luthien!

Did you know that Beren ( is a member here, too? ;)

Welcome to THR! :cool:

(The best way to start is to find an NRA course or meet somebody willing to take you shooting. Ofttimes there will be gatherings of many members here in various regions. I know that they happen fairly often in SoCal, PA, and Middle Tennessee, and probably other regions I'm not aware of. It's oftentimes less, er, paranoia-inducing to meet new people in groups in a public place, and pretty much every time I've met a group of people from this site, it has been a very positive experience...)

September 2, 2004, 08:41 PM

"Self defense" really consists of a wide variety of skills, some of which involve firearms. Other skills include awareness (MOST important), operational security, basic martial arts, first aid, "combat" driving, and so on.

IMHO, you will find that the reality of self defense is VERY different from what you see in the movies. It's serious business and you will find yourself acting more mature and in a more calm fashion when carrying a gun. Gun safety will suddenly become very important to you. You will not have the urge to shoot people at random; that's Hollywood fantasy.

You don't need propaganda; you need a good instructor. Training isn't cheap though; be prepared to save your money for awhile. Less going out, more savings! That said, there are sources of information that are cheap or free.

The NRA has a personal protection class and your local police department should have some classes for women. Self defense is more than knowing how to shoot; it's about awareness and preparation. Fortunately, the police classes should be cheap and the NRA ones are low priced too. These would form a good foundation for you to further develop your skills as you become more financially viable (I'm assuming you're a poor college student).

A three hour class is too short to develop any sort of proficiency. If you are really serious about getting a gun to protect yourself, then you need top quality training. Therefore, I recommend that you take a basic class at a facility like Gunsite. Take a look at and click "Training" on the left, then "Pistol". Look at their 150 class and then call them. I think you will be able to get a loaner gun from them (which you can buy if you like it). Also look at or to find some basic classes.

Just remember, pistol shooting is difficult and the skill degrades over time. This means you have to practice regularly. Also remember that defensive practice is different from target practice.

Here are some links: (I train with Steve and he's good. Call him and ask!) ---> Ladies classes!

September 2, 2004, 08:44 PM
I think the best way to learn about this subject, has to be doing it....

Find somebody local that is willing to teach you, and take it all in. I'm sure anyone here would be more than willing to help. It doesn't take much to get these guys to the range. :D

September 2, 2004, 09:02 PM
if you are reticent in providing personal information at this time, take more time to get acquainted with the various forums and those of us who post (there are those who don't). In your participation you will soon find folks who you can rely on for answers - some will be in your area. These folks can help you integrate locally and the board in total will provide you more information - and opinion - then "the law allows"... just a great place for rounding out your learning experience(s).

Welcome, our new friend.


September 2, 2004, 09:15 PM
Luthien, Depending where you are located will depend on the carry laws in that area. In Indiana an 18 year old can get a personal protection permit to carry, but can't buy a handgun untill 21. If the state you live in has similar laws you can get a relative to buy a gun and then "borrow" said gun untill you are 21 and can "buy" it from them.

Our local gun clubs are sponsoring a Women on Target seminar next weekend for $20. They run the ladies through an instruction period followed by shooting of handguns and rifles at one gun club followed by lunch at the local shotgun club with shooting of shotguns at skeet and trap targets. It has been a real succes with many repeat shooters and referrals.

Check local shooting ranges and gun clubs as well as gun stores for info on similar events.

Best of luck to you. :)


September 2, 2004, 09:42 PM
Well, welcome aboard!

First, congrats. I was about 21 before I realized that I should start getting moderately proficient with firearms. It wasn't a hard decision, since I had shot a few times in my younger years, and enjoyed it immensly. Shooting is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. It's also something that -could- help safe your live. I know young women that are really nervous around guns, but they've had some fun on the range with me. They're still nervous, but they want to go back: it's just plain fun to shoot at paper targets.

The above about local gunshops and training classes is a good suggestion. Rest assured you're pretty likely to find somebody in your area that would be MORE than willing to take you out and get you aquainted with shooting and whatever they have in their collection with some informal instruction.

Yes, guns are just a final tool to self protection. There's a whole mindset that gets developed. You're already well on your way there, and some reading of the 'Strategies and Tactics' forum wouldn't hurt either. Nobody's got a perfect answer, but the more you know, the better off you are.

Regarding laws, there's nothing at the Federal level that says you can't own a handgun from ages 18-20. You just have to be 21 to buy one from a public dealer. State laws may require you to be 21, but I don't think there's many that do. That makes it MUCH harder to get the right gun, and you'll have to get it used, but it can be done.

Fire away any questions you want to. Somebody'll come up with an answer.

Standing Wolf
September 2, 2004, 10:40 PM's too dangerous for a woman to be out.

No law-abiding American citizen should ever have to live in fear. It's the criminals who should slink about in terror.

September 2, 2004, 10:54 PM
Amen Standing Wolf.
Yes, get an instructor absolutely. However, make sure he/she is a certified instructor.

September 2, 2004, 10:58 PM
No law-abiding American citizen should ever have to live in fear.

Amen, brother.

Welcome, Luthien! is another good place to start. She's got a book, whose technical advice is somewhat dated, but otherwise a great place to start. IIRC, it's armed and female.

If you're anywhere in the PHL region, geeketteWithA9mm & I would be happy to getcha started.

September 2, 2004, 11:23 PM
Woah! Look at all these replies! Thank you all so MUCH!

First of all, I can't own a gun until I'm 21?! What?! So, an 18 year old can be accused of crime as an adult, but not allowed to shield herself from it? Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful you all told me that

So let’s see. Get an instructor, find local resources, and practice plenty. I'm going to do some googling right now about the steps and such. Can i have my mom buy the gun, or someone who has a permit?

boofus- I am digging the site. Libertybells is very nice.

Amish Bill- Point noted! :) Thanks.

spacemanspiff- “so, please, indulge us a bit, and tell us what state you live in, and tell us how a fresh college student managed to develop conservative ideals instead of liberal ones?
edit - if we know what paths are the best at producing a generation that takes personal responsibility, maybe we can help more to join our path.”

LOL at the college student/conservative thing. It’s funny, but all my friends are very conservative…so much so they we were upset the Bush girls disrespected their parents. I think a lot of people my age saw what people did when they did not take personal responsibility… the selfish ‘80’s’ were not good for kids. We saw what AIDS did, the many screw ups and disgraces of Clinton, and how apathy and greed can destroy. Everyone does not feel this way, but that’s how I saw the whole thing, and that’s why I feel there are a growing number of Conservatives across campuses. (If I've offened anyone, I am veyr sorry!)

I live in Pittsburgh, PA. Safe enough city in itself, but all of them have their rough places. I'm 5'9 but rather skinny (120 lbs). I recovered from cancer about a year ago and I still have not regained all the weight I lost. I'm very girly (the last person you'd think would be posting on a gun forum!) a figure skater, ballet dancer, what have you.

As for what got me interested, my roommate’s sister was victimized. She is very much like me- no pre marital sex, no drugs, no drinking, etc. I never thought that could happen to someone who didn't put herself in that sort of situation. My other friend’s mother was attacked while coming home from shopping. Very innocent stuff, you know? And you hear about it, mentioned casually. I’m from a semi- rural area, and I have never, ever heard of stuff like that happening within feet of me before. And I’ll be 20 on Monday. That’s scary.

What steps am I willing to take, to save my life or someone else’s? As of now, I really don’t think I would be very competent in saving anyone’s life from any sort of peril danger…aside from calling 911, doing CPR, etc. That’s awful.

Tamara- LOL. I was going to choose ‘Galadriel’ but is the name of my website. :P

Standing Wolf- no kidding! It makes me so mad!

Thank you all SO MUCH again!!!!

September 2, 2004, 11:33 PM
Welcome to the board.


joe sixpack
September 2, 2004, 11:43 PM
Welcome to THR Luthien! This is an excellent place to learn about guns
and other things as well as meet new friends.
Have fun.

cheers, ab

September 2, 2004, 11:45 PM
Qoute : "First of all, I can't own a gun until I'm 21?! What?! So, an 18 year old can be accused of crime as an adult, but not allowed to shield herself from it? Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful you all told me that "

I faced the draft at age 18 during one of the hotest times of the Vietnam war. I always sort of felt the same way as your reaction to knowing that by federal law you can't buy a "handgun" from a licensed dealer until 21.

I was old enough to be put in harms way by a government that wouldn't allow me to drink a beer because I was too young . Welcome to the obscene thought processes behind some of our laws.

ps: not that drinking a beer was terribly important to me - just the thought of not having full privilages but yet having full responsibility !

Good luck with your training - a thought occured to me also that if there is a local gun club or range , you may want to go there and dicuss training also.

September 2, 2004, 11:53 PM
For a quick overview of the gun laws in your community and across the US, check out

Train yourself well. Developing the proper mindset is key to winning a hostile encounter.


September 3, 2004, 12:06 AM
Check your Private Messages

Shanghai McCoy
September 3, 2004, 12:15 AM
Welcome to the Highroad Violet.Glad to have you here.

4v50 Gary
September 3, 2004, 01:07 AM
Welcome Violet. Concur that you should find a NRA certified instructor and either they or anyone else can refer you to one in your area.

Sorry, but anyone I know in your area are into muzzle loaders so that's a bit old and slow.

September 3, 2004, 01:48 AM

Depending on local laws, a person under 21 usually can't own a handgun. That does depend on local laws, but most places are 21 and over. Some states you can own, but not purchase from a dealer, so you have to have parents give it to you, or buy from a non-dealer. PA requires you to be 21 before you can carry a concealed weapon (CCW).

While obviously not a good choice for concealed carry, a long arm would be an excellent choice for home protection, quite honestly, many consider them a better choice than pistols. And since you can't carry yet, due to age, I would honestly advise going for a carbine or shotgun. Might as well be able to protect yourself at home, even if you aren't legally able to CCW.

Rifles, Carbines, and Shotguns are easier to aim, easier to fire quickly and accuratly, and generally more powerfull than pistols. There are ofcourse variables. Noone would advise a large magnum rifle for home protection, but there are very good viable options available.

Budget concerns will factor into the decision quite a bit.

You can purchase a good shotgun setup for home protection for under $300. 12ga or 20ga would work well. If you can find a local skeet or trap club, you should have no problem getting other shooters to let you try their shotguns to see what fits you best. With luck you will find someone there that can advise you on getting the shotgun fitted to you properly.

Other good options abound: A shorty AR-15 clone would be an excellent HD (home defense) firearm. Bushmaster, rock river arms, Colt, and others make excellent versions. KelTec has the SU16 which would also work well in a pinch. The Ruger mini-14 would even be a good choice.

Also, carbines like the Beretta Storm in 9mm, or even a lever action in .357 or .44 would work very well.

While this doesn't help you when it comes to leaving your home, any of these choices will help you get comfortable with shooting, while at the same time providing excellent home protection.

There are other options that you can use when you are out and about, and while they are not as effective as CCW a firearm, they can still work. Pepper spray, a folding knife, even a small flashlight can be used as a defensive weapon.

The most important thing is to not act like a victim, and be concious of what is going on around you. I am currently having this problem with my sister in law (there is a thread in the tactics section). She acts like a victim, and doesn't pay attention, so at some point, she will be a victim.

You came to the right place, there are plenty of people who will be willing to help you with your decisions. I would also advise finding a local trainer, so that you learn the proper techniques as well as the rules of safety.

Good Luck.


Baba Louie
September 3, 2004, 08:42 AM
Welcome to THR. You're the same age as my daughter and no, she cannot yet purchase a handgun, nor handgun ammunition, from a licensed FFL until she turns 21... so says the law. She can, and has received a gift from me and/or has the opportunity to "borrow" anything in my meager collection, including ammo for practice.
As a seamstress, you do have access to scissors, yes?
Purse carry is oftentimes questionable. My daughter had her purse stolen by a young man who put a gun to her face. Keys, I.D., cell phone, some money, etc. all gone in less than 30 seconds.
Situational awareness, mindset tuned into the "Refuse to be a Victim" mode (RTBAV is a class offered by the NRA, BTW), good sneakers... followed by something sharp (if thats all that is allowed) or something that makes a criminal type rethink his priorities via lead poisoning... all good.
I follow the mindset my father passed onto me as a youngster (and I believe agreed upon by most everyone here) "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it" followed by "Having it in your hand when you do need it, just might mean you don't have to pull the trigger to stop some idiot from ruining his/your day/life."
Spend some time reading up in the "Strategies and Tactics" forum. Good stuff.
Ask questions.
You're already on the right path methinks.

Andrew Rothman
September 3, 2004, 10:28 AM
The men and women of The High Road are good people! I wish I had known them before I went shopping.

A helluva nice guy named Chris (P95Carry) lives in your neck of the woods. Betcha he'd be willing to help.

September 3, 2004, 11:11 AM
I used to live not too far from where you do. It's been so long that I can't recall any good places for you to go. :-(

September 3, 2004, 11:35 AM
This is what I love to see. What a great community gun owners (generally) are! This High Road place gives me the warm fuzzies.

September 3, 2004, 01:06 PM
well i briefly looked throught he pennsylvania laws, and it has its ups and downs.

on the up side, it is a 'shall-issue' state, meaning that when you are 21, and you apply for the concealed weapon permit, if you qualify, the state MUST issue you the permit. some other states are 'may-issue', and its up to a chief law enforcement officer or some other higherup to decide if you are worthy of having a deadly weapon on your person.

the cost of the permit is $19, plus whatever training/fingerprints, etc cost.

the penalty for carrying without a permit is a third degree felony.

the only time a person could have a firearm with them without a permit is if they are a gunsmith, headed to or from the range, to or from a repair shop, or if you are enlisted, member of law enforcement, etc.
in any case, without the permit, the firearm must always be unloaded, basically rendering it useless.

there appears to be no 'loopholes' in your states laws. in my state (alaska), i was lawful to have a handgun with me, if it was unloaded, and in a carrying case designed for a firearm. better than nothing, at the very least i could throw the cased handgun at a bad guy. but then i got the permit and could do whatever i wanted with it.

more good news: you can carry a knife of any size so long as it is not a switchblade. everyone should have a knife of some sort with them at all times anyways. but there are many options as to what kind of knife you will trust your life with.

no mention of pepper spray/mace, so i assume thats good. it should be one of many options.

no mention that mere possession of a firearm while under the age of 21 is unlawful. needs further checking, but you might be able to get away with having a parent buy a handgun for you, as a 'gift'. someone else would have to buy your handgun ammo though, as federal law stipulates that purchasers of handgun ammo be 21 or older.

amongst the folds of gunowners, we are many different things. we are tall, short, round, pencil-thin, and everything in between. some of the biggest carry the smallest weapons. some of the smallest carry the biggest weapons.

now, i didnt see an answer to one of my questions:

what lengths are you willing to go to, in order to preserve your life?

September 3, 2004, 05:24 PM
Let me also bid you welcome!

Tinuviel was dancing there

To music of a pipe unseen,

And light of stars was in her hair,

And in her raiment glimmering.

I'm such a nerd. :D

Anyway, NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim would be a great place to start gathering info. It covers a lot more than just self-defense with firearms. NRA's RTBAV page (

Once you do get a permit, I would recommend against purse carry, if for no other reason than possibly having your purse snatched. You can't have eyes everywhere all at one time. My wife carries in a holster on her hip; it makes her feel better having it right there, and she doesn't have to worry about where her purse is all the time.

Good luck!

September 3, 2004, 05:44 PM
Luthien, welcome to THR from the other side of your state! :D

SpacemanSpiff: the only time a person could have a firearm with them without a permit is if they are a gunsmith, headed to or from the range, to or from a repair shop, or if you are enlisted, member of law enforcement, etc.
in any case, without the permit, the firearm must always be unloaded, basically rendering it useless.

Granted you're not old enough to get a permit... but, I'm not sure where Spiff got the law cited above, but it's not entirely accurate. He missed one key word: concealed. You don't need a permit to own firearms, and you don't need a permit to carry openly anywhere except Philly. You can read the entire PA Uniform Firearms Act at § 6106 is pertinent to this discussion.

I suggest you read them all!

Again, Welcome!


another okie
September 3, 2004, 06:06 PM
A can of pepper spray from Fox Laboratories can be helpful and so can a small but very powerful flashlight such as the Surefire Executive E2. Anytime you go out after dark you should have a flashlight, and the E2 is bright enough to blind someone temporarily. Both Fox and Surefire have good websites. Check your local laws on pepper spray, which is illegal in some cities. Both pepper spray and a flashlight are there to make it possible to run away. Training is a good idea for pepper spray, but not absolutely required. Some self-defense courses include instruction in pepper spray. The different types are worth studying - foam v. spray, etc.

Awareness is the best defense. Look for people who seem out of place, or who seem to not be going anywhere. A group of men with no women around is a bad sign. Someone who approaches you with a complicated story, or someone who stands inappropriately closely are both danger signs. An empty street is dangerous. If your gut tells you something is dangerous, listen to it.

September 3, 2004, 06:24 PM
i probably misread some of the statutes at, so i could be wrong.

September 3, 2004, 06:32 PM
Violet... Iffin we knew whereabouts (general area, such as "northern Michigan" or "Detroit, Michigan" We could likely find someone on the boards willing to meet you in a public place (or even a group) and introduce you to more firearms, help you learn to shoot well, whatever else you may wish...

you'll PROBABLY even run into some of us who would gladly even provide the ammo... (I've been known to foot the ammo bill for quite a few new shooters in the past...)

September 3, 2004, 06:36 PM
Hi Violet:

Welcome to The High Road.

When I was 18 years old, some low-life murderer called the Nightstalker was running around our neighborhood while I was home from college for summer (Eek - I'm dating myself...oh well). My Dad had to travel overseas a lot and it was only my Mom, sister and me at the house. One day my Dad took me aside and handed me a 12 gauge shotgun. He said that, of the three of us in the house, I was probably the only one who could actually pull the trigger.

Hmmm...I had to think about that for a bit. I came to the conclusion that, Yes, I could if I had to.


Since that time, I have learned to shoot pistols (with lots of instruction - pistol shooting IS a difficult skill to master). And, although my .45 will probably be my firearm of choice in the event of a break-in, I still have that shotgun.

I do, however, live in Los Angeles, so my chance of ever getting a concealed carry license is.....Hmmmph...Yeah right!!!! So, I avail myself of many of the tactics that have already been set forth here - pepper spray, knife, high powered SureFire flashlight. Most of all it is the attitude that I carry with me out on the street. Situational awareness is critical. Walk upright, stay alert, let everyone on the street know that YOU know exactly what is going on. Curt, but polite when approached. Smile, but look at them directly in the eyes when they talk to you. Keep an arms-length distance. All that stuff. Once you start actively practicing it, you'd be surprised at how many people wander around in a state of complete unawareness, blissfully ingnorant. Those are the victims.

So, until you are 21 and can get a carry pistol, long gun for home and all the rest for the street.

Yay! Another strong, right thinking woman for the community.

Take care -


September 3, 2004, 06:41 PM

As others have said, some things about self defense are easy, others are complicated and you never stop learning. I've been shooting for 20 years (I'm 26), seriously shooting for 10 years, and studying warfare, counterterrorism and self defense since I was in grade school. Yes, really.

I know a heck of a lot more than the average person does about most of these subjects and I am quite aware that there's still tons I don't know mostly due to lack of proper training and range time. Even Navy Seals admit theres' things they can learn.

I don't know your size and weight (this does matter) but for most women a 20ga shotgun of either double barrel or pump action type works well for defense if you can't carry a pistol. It packs enough of a punch to put a bad guy down while being controllable. They generally run $200 used and maybe $300 new (sometimes $200 new if they're on sale) for pump actions.

It's all about mindset. I know a 15 year old girl who was raped by a "friend" who was 6' and 200+lbs (she's 5'4 and 125) yet she ripped out a fixed blade knife and wounded him badly enough that he was nearly crippled. He ended up being cornered by cops and committing suicide. Good riddance. She couldn't stop the rape (it was already half over by the time she woke up, she was mildly drugged by pain meds from a dislocated shoulder) but she sure as hell made certain he never did it again.

I know another young lady who was undefended, there was a possible attempted breakin at her place in the boonies. i was there with my .38 revolver, turned out to be a false alarm. After that, she got a knife, flashlight, pepper spray, and before I moved away, I donated a single shot 12ga shotgun and trained her in it's use. She lives on 40 acres in the middle of &(&@ing nowhere with maybe five cops within thirty miles, and she may only have one good shot, but she won't go down without a fight. She's got a 2 year old to protect.

The NRA runs good basic shooting classes and self defence classes, look into those. Talk to some of the other ladies on here and if they're close enough have them take you shooting.

September 3, 2004, 06:47 PM
Oh, wow. Tons of replies here. You all are wonderful, honestly, I am very honored. Let's see....

The ‘Refuse to be a Victim’ sounds really, really interesting. I really like what I’m reading here.

IGB, Baba, spaceman, & others- Thank you all for all the information!!!! I’m going to print it out and take it when I meet my parents this weekend, along with some other stuff in this thread. I really appreciate it.

Spaceman- What lengths would I go to save a life? Well, any length, of course. But I have no idea WHAT that would be because I don’t know anything about self-defense. I wouldn’t stand around passively, but as for what exactly I’d do, I don’t know.

Pebcac- LOL. I love that poem. Luthien/Beren was Tolkien’s tribute to his wife. ‘Luthien’ is a hugely pretentious username, no?

You all are so NICE. Thank you for helping a stupid newbie like msyelf. :)

God bless!

September 3, 2004, 06:55 PM
You all are so NICE. Thank you for helping a stupid newbie like msyelf.

Remember Luthien, we were all newbies at one time or another. AND the only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked.

September 3, 2004, 07:19 PM
i have yet to see a newb get laughed at or ridiculed for being on a search for knowledge and experience.

luthien, your interest in matters of self defense will lead you to ask yourself many questions. one of which, that we all have asked ourselves, is Am I willing to end someones life to sustain my own?

it isnt a trick question, nor is there any 'correct' answer. there is a mentality though, a certain way of thinking, that helps aid ones decision.

in short, and you will eventually understand it through and through, is that the intent of the responsible citizen who carries some form of weapon for defense, is never to *kill*, but rather, to *Live*.

this mindset is not just to alleviate whatever your conscience tells you is right/wrong, but is also needed should you have to use deadly force. more on that later.

physical training is also helpful, as strength and quick reflexes will defintely help when in a high stress situation.

September 3, 2004, 07:36 PM
Welcome! :)

People 'come' to firearms for all sorts of reasons, that nagging sense of potential danger often sparked by assaults on aquaintances is certainly one that is cited often.

You can start getting trained/familiarized without actually owning a gun, and I'd recommend diving right in. The NRA's 'Basic Pistol' and 'Refuse to be a Victim' (both of which have been mentioned) are available to you. The NRA is the oldest and largest firearms training organization in the world, and they put alot of time into making those classes the best they can be. Highly recommend those two. After that I'd move to the NRA's Personal Protection class, which is the next pistol class in line after the Basic Pistol. It would be good to have your own gun by then.

After that, I'd seek out some more advanced training of the type that was mentioned above also: Gunsite, Rangemaster, Thunder Ranch, et al. When you're ready for one of those (week-long, three-day, etc.) ask about it again and get some more detail. When you're ready for that step, I'd also move into handgun competition: getting out to local IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) or USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) matches would be just the ticket. They are as much legal fun as you can have outside of Nevada, and nothing you can do will get you more familiar with your handgun that competing in 'combat'-style pistol matches. Very 'girl friendly' also, so don't sweat it. ;)

In the meantime, you need pepper spray. Outside of the snubnose .38, it's a girl's best friend. Fox Labs is what you want. Get several, they're cheap. Also get some of the 'sudecon wipes' they have - which neutralize the spray (in case you get any on you) and one of their 'inert trainers' so you can see how it works.

A good SureFire or StreamLight flashlight is another great recommendation. Nothing settles the nerves like some serious white light when you need it.

Take people here up on their offers to meet with you and get you introduced to the world of firearms. Anyone that joins a discussion board about guns is 'way into it', and will make a fine tutor. And we're all really nice...really. :)

A weapon, be it pepper spray, knife, gun, what have you, can be a calming talisman to have, but don't forget that you and your personal decisions are the front line. If your neighboorhood scares you, job one is to get out of there. You don't want to be in any kind of situation where a weapon feels like a necessity rather than a choice. Bad juju.

The first step to being safe is making the decision that you are going to take charge of your own safety. You're on your way. Life is a much more vibrant and interesting place when you've made that decision. Plenty of people think that making conscious consideration for your own defense is akin to living paranoid. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you'll find out.

- Gabe

PS: Am I willing to end someones life to sustain my own?An often overlooked first-step question that anyone looking to get into defensive weaponcraft needs to answer right out of the gate. If you have a deadly weapon, you just might kill someone someday. That's part of the burden. It's a decision everyone has to wrestle with. We can help with that too...

September 4, 2004, 02:42 AM


You're welcome to come down to Knoxville during break and stay and we'll work up some empty hand, knife, stick, and firearms training for you. There is a knot of THR folks here, 4 of us within 1/2 mile, and between us we could show you how to shoot starting with .22s and working your way up to AR/AKs and shotguns. My wife has started with my MA teacher and the scissors you probably carry with you all the time can do amazing things. He's willing to spend time with anyone that is serious about learning how to fight to survive and would do it for free.

Considering that you've survived possibly the hardest battle anyone can be expected to fight you've obviously got courage and determination. You'll do fine here.


September 4, 2004, 11:03 PM
Call your local PD and ask about a self-defense class for women. I suspect that it will be for women only. It will probably cost you only time.

Also, call the PD about areas you're thinking about moving to and ask what they think. Odds are they'll be brutally honest. You may have to ask for their crime prevention or property crimes bunch.

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