Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#83 - It's a Smith & Wesson birthday, Texas Style!

Our youngest daughter, Stefie, is a birthday girl today, Wednesday, 24th, and she is fully legal at 21 years of age. Regardless, she still looks as if she's twelve. Even though she is technically a woman, she most often resembles a young child. She's a tiny, petite, little thing, about 5'1" and 90 pounds, but she is well-trained with fire-arms.

Stefie and her daddy --- her senior year of high-school.
As she was growing up, she'd occasionally have a boyfriend who would see a photo of her shooting her 9mil and he'd say, "It's a little disturbing to have a girlfriend with such abilities---other girlfriends don't go to the shooting range to practice shooting their semi-automatic."

That's right partner...keep it in mind.

Since she is so small, we are especially concerned with her being fully able to protect herself. She's got some great friends, but she does not want to be dependent on others for her protection; she wants to be able to take care of herself.

Spring Break fun with friends in college.
This picture shows how tiny she really is...and this is a "Augh" mom -moment.
Stefie and Deputy Dave have fun times at the shooting range. Her uncanny ability to shoot the target DEAD-ON is down-right-scary. That girl can shoot ANOTHER bullet through the same hole she just shot out. Precision in a fun-sized package.

Since she sometimes travels and is on the road alone, she'll be taking her concealed gun license course very soon. You must be 21 to take the class, so she'll soon be licensed. Therefore, we wanted her to have a "Forever" birthday present and that meant a "Smith & Wesson" box of protection. This gift does not go out of style; it does not disintegrate very easily; it can truly be a gift to pass down to the next generation; it can end up to be your best-friend when you desperately need a friend of great strength.

With the right attitude, the right training and the right kind of respect...a gun can be a life-saver. People control guns. In our household, guns are considered to be the Great Equalizer. It doesn't matter if you are a petite 90 pound woman facing a 240 pound man, the gun equalizes the circumstances, instantly.

Hopefully, you'll never need to utilize the Great Equalizer, but having the option is pretty darn nice.

We three spent several hours this past Sunday at the sports store. We made our way to the gun section and she took her time handling various guns to see which one she'd like to add to her collection, but she had no idea we were actually going to buy one, on the spot. We'd just finished eating a delicious lunch at Olive Garden and we were enjoying gun shopping. It pays to spend some time with doting parents. We all enjoy spending time together and she gets fringe benefits just because she is around to receive them. That's how life works. If she had not been with us, we would not have purchased a gun...she needed to test them out in her own hands.

Mostly, we wanted her to have a gun that she could shoot directly, if needed, through her purse. A 9 mil or semi-automatic can get jammed after one or two shots from inside of a purse because the rack slides back and the spent casing can fall BACK into the racked space or debris from the purse can fall into the space and cause the gun to jam. Professionals who use guns daily know of this real danger that could prevent a woman from being able to protect herself. Purse shooters can almost be guaranteed to have a jam after the first or second shot, unless they are shooting a revolver. In a bad situation, this could be severely limiting. A revolver won't jam.

Therefore, if you want to carry a gun in your purse, this is a huge consideration...gun jams.

So, the 21 year old gal got a revolver, a beautiful Smith & Wesson. It's lightweight and she got to see the difference in the bullet size. She's never shot a revolver, so she was holding it in the store and practicing her grip; she kept wanting to automatically rack the slide, but she immediately discovered that there was nothing to do with a revolver except load, aim, and shoot.

She was amazed at the simplicity, but a little disturbed at the lack of a safety lever...until she realized that the trigger wasn't as easy to pull as on a 9 mil.

The guys behind the counter were amused with her tiny frame and her obvious lack of fear with guns. They told her that she'd be good with this gun in her purse and that all it'd require is that she shoot from the hip...simple as pie. The only thing is...the trigger is fairly firm, so she had to hold the gun in her right hand and use her first two fingers to pull the trigger. Two fingers work just as well, if not better than one finger. Whatever works for her.

Of course, she gets the standard earful and beyond normal safety lessons from her Deputy Sheriff father. But, she lives in a household where gun usage is a daily requirement. She knows more about guns than most people will know after a life-time of hearing about them. Her dad lives with at least one gun on his hip at all times. This has been her way of life while growing up. Both of my girls understand gun safety on a level most kids do not comprehend.

In our household, we do not take guns lightly. They are not tools of entertainment or "cool" and they certainly aren't to be used unless you intend to use deadly force...there's nothing in between. Unless you are at a shooting range, if that gun comes out, you better be prepared to be lethal. There is not an attitude of "shoot to wound" in our household. That kind of attitude will get yourself killed. If a gun comes out, you must surely be committed to understanding that the shots fired will be lethal.

But, my girls also know the power and protection that a gun can afford. If you know Texas, then you understand that gun ownership is a cultural heritage aspect of the South that cannot be altered. We take our ability to own arms and to defend ourselves very seriously. There are many stories on the news, just about weekly, of home-owners and individuals who are able to defend themselves quite nicely from a would-be attacker, simply because they are "packing."

As the saying in Texas goes, if you need to defend yourself---if you feel that your life is being threatened, then you better use that gun because, "It's better to be tried by a 12-person jury of your peers than to be carried to your grave by the final six."

Stefie was nervous about getting a revolver. So, her and her dad will be heading to the gun range a few times over the next few weeks so that she can become one with the gun. You must become ONE WITH THE GUN in order to act, react and be accountable for your actions.

During her class to become licensed to carry a concealed gun, she'll most likely take her 9 mil for training and qualification for licensing. Then, the Smith & Wesson will be her other buddy.

It's great to have beautiful daughters who are also intelligent and slightly 007 dangerous. It makes a parent feel a TAD more at ease to know that their girl can handle defending themselves, if an ominous, life-threatening situation arises requiring them to take charge of their own safety. We pray that Stefie never crosses paths with a fool who has evil on their mind, but if she does, then she will have the Great Equalizer at her fingertips. And, she will always have ongoing excessive training to instill confidence in her so she is capable of making the right decision for the moment.

And that's how we do 21st birthdays in Texas.


Mike said...

A lot of times just the introduction of a gun will humble any attacker. Let's hope she never has to pull it.
I must've missed it, but what caliber was it. Did you get her the epitome of all 'equalizers'? The .44 mag. Or just a small snub nosed .38 with hollow points?


LindaG said...

Your girls are very lucky. I think it is great they are so at ease with guns.
As a girl from the city in Michigan, I am still mostly clueless, though my hubby does try to teach me.

I have a lot of problems with eyesight. I've had astigmatism all my life and now I wear bifocals, too. It's hard for me to aim at the target, and I'm still not really familiar with my gun.

Hubby got me an FN five-seven because it's a lighter pistol with a low recoil.
I do want to get better with it, but I'm not completely comfortable with guns, still.
And I need to be, because as you know, the woods aren't completely safe and neither is the farm. ;)

The first time we tried Olive Garden, maybe 5 or 6 years ago? We didn't like it. This March, we took our middle son for his birthday and I'm glad we did. We had a wonderful meal. I don't know what changed, but Olive Garden has become the place we go for special meals now. We went in July for our 37th anniversary. :)

Happy Birthday to Stefie and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

She is going to have to get good at shooting from the hip and not aiming with her eye and the sight.
I bet she can do it though.
My then boyfriend, now husband got me a garcia rossi pump rifle for my 17th birthday...I love shooting.
He had a pump shotgun and I loved the action , but wanted a rifle.

Rae said...

Atta girl! I loooove revolvers. Don't have to worry about them. Just point and shoot. Have my eye on a s&w 642 airweight for carry. My .357 won't fit in a purse. Lol.

Becky's Barnyard said...

Stefi is very pretty and good for her that she will be able to defend herself if need be. Hope she had a wonderful birthday. You can see she did.

Texan said...

Its the world we live in. Sadly we women have to be able to equal the odds as you say. Just the way it is.

Alana said...

Love the photo of Lorenzo picking Stef up. She has always been pretty good with guns.