Taking Back the Neighborhood (If Necessary)

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We have a gun in the house. My husband did security for many years, both as a guard and as an instructor, and his job required that he have a pistol.

I’ve never had much interest in seeing, touching or using that pistol, so it’s been kept locked up when not being carried on the job or used for target practice. But after my recent encounters with my loony neighbor, I came to realize that if ever I had to use that gun, I would be more likely to shoot myself in the foot, or to shoot Cody, than to shoot an intruder. If there’s a gun in the house, all the responsible adults in the house should know how to handle it.

For that reason only, I recently took the New York State Pistol Permit Course. It was run by a local gun store on a Saturday morning, from 9:00 to noon.

I got to the store about 10 minutes early, and the doors weren’t open yet, so I sat in my vehicle watching the other students arrive. I tried to guess why they were there. A couple of young men were obviously either hunters or going into law enforcement – I was OK with that.

Then a young couple arrived – a rather tough looking blond girl and her unfriendly looking boyfriend. They strolled up to the locked doors and became visibly annoyed, after which they walked to the nearest vehicle and had a short, terse conversation with the driver.   The thought occurred to me that perhaps such impatient people were not the best candidates for pistol ownership.

But then, what do I know? Perhaps a wimpy 63-year-old woman is also not a great candidate. As it turned out the aforementioned couple apparently had simply discovered that their formerly safe neighborhood was gradually changing. Sound familiar?

Next came a pretty, very normal looking young woman who reminded me of my own daughters and a 20-something bleach blond lady. I began to wonder if I was going to be the only senior citizen taking the course.

The doors opened, and everyone filed in. At the end of the line were a couple of middle-aged women who looked as uncomfortable as I felt.   When the classroom door closed, there were 14 students of both sexes, a variety of skin colors, and various ages.

Photos were taken, everyone signed the enrollment sheet, and the class began. The instructor was a very competent and knowledgeable man who had retired from federal service in which he had been the range master for some agency or other. He taught the course with common sense and humor, and extreme patience when certain students (other than me) simply could not get the hang of such concepts as dominant eye, support hand, and muzzle discipline.

Taurus RevolversThe highlights for me were being able to handle a semi-automatic pistol (unloaded, of course) and dry-firing a .38 revolver. No actual range time was included – that will come after the pistol permit application has been submitted and approved. I found that a little disappointing – the whole point of taking the course was to learn how to handle a pistol properly!

However, I know I must have done a really good job of interacting during the class, because at the very end, the instructor looked pointedly at me and asked, “Who ARE you?!”

Am I ready to take on the world? Not yet. But we got good instruction on the basics of firearms safety and on how to fill out the permit application so it won’t be rejected. The instructor indicated that there has been a movement lately to make it easier for women to get concealed carry permits, probably due to the increase in violence against women. Not that I want to be a pistol packing mama, but I guess having the legal ability to carry a gun should it become necessary would not be a bad thing to have.

Plus, my loony neighbor, who thinks he’s a cop, might think twice about trying to break my door down if he learns I not only have a gun but know how to use it. That knowledge alone might prevent a bad situation from becoming lethal. Not having to pull a gun at all is so much better than having to use it under extreme circumstances.

Next steps: get fingerprinted and submit the completed application to the County (which must be done in person), and then get some range time (either with my husband’s pistol or with one I will buy that will fit my smaller hand) – finally, an activity that my husband and I can both enjoy!.

Stay tuned – there will be future posts as I go through the process of legally owning and safely using a firearm. Hopefully, the process will not include shooting myself in the foot.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Images by Cordelia’s Mom, and Brian Bennett, respectively

This entry was posted in Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Taking Back the Neighborhood (If Necessary)

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Interesting views of the process. I like the commentary on the other people, you can’t help but wonder when someone gets annoyed by a locked door if they should really be owning a gun. Still doing it legally is a good sign. I’m looking forward to the follow-up posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Victo Dolore says:

    “Who ARE you?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul says:

    Sigh.

    Like

    • I know, Paul. I didn’t figure you would approve, but we’s all gotta do what we’s gotta do.

      And I really don’t want to shoot Cody instead of an intruder – not that I particularly want to shoot the intruder, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh I know CM. You already have a gun in the house because your husband needs it for work – it is important you know how to use it safely, I agree. And when your neighbor is armed and threatening, you definitely feel safer having a gun and knowing how to use it, I agree. I am all up for women feeling safer – no matter how. The problem is that your husband needed a gun to do his job in the first place and that your neighbor is already armed and threatening. The problem isn’t you – in your position I would likely do precisely what you are doing. That’s why I just wrote “Sigh” – the situation is self-perpetuating – you are in a position where you are better off having a gun and because you have a gun, someone else will get one too – perhaps a friend of yours who wanted one but couldn’t convince her husband and now she can point to you as an example. And it grows on and on. sweeping everyone along with it. Of course, now your threatening neighbor will realize he needs more or bigger guns if he is going to protect himself from you now that you are armed.

        If it gets to be too much, we are always looking for a few hard working immigrants who want free health care. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A long time ago, Garry and I discussed guns, having one. We didn’t get one and have never been sorry. These days, with our decreasing vision, we would be a danger to ourselves and probably no danger to anyone else. And I doubt I could use it against another living thing anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a skill. Just that. Nothing more. Just like knowing how to change a tire, bake a cake, change a light bulb. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a skill.
    Sad truth that it’s a troubled world.
    You simply chose to not be a victim if your back is against the wall and you are out of options. Admirable.
    (Besides, you can safely enjoy something your husband enjoys. I’d really like to try skeet shooting. Used to be pretty good with tin cans on a fence.)

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Ahhh, Phil. Given the circumstances I agree that CM is better off learning how to use a gun. That said – it is a skill and it is more than a skill, it make statement about the need for that skill. It is also a skill to,learn how to kill with your bare hands. It’s a skill to build a nuclear bomb. Quite literally there are a series of steps that require practice and knowledge to accomplish in the correct order. I don’t understand why so many people are upset when nations want to learn a new skill by building nuclear bombs. ????

      Like

      • Hm. I wanted to reply with something snarky. But truth be told, I’m not ready to kill with bare hands nor to learn how to make nuclear bombs. Unless, of course, my neighbors do – then the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” might have a whole new meaning.

        Like

      • I think we may be on different wave lengths. A big jump from a woman learning personal defense to countries bombing. Sometimes those who have never been victim of violent crimes or dealt with a family member who haves someone determined to kill them while the authorities and legal system does nothing – a different perspective. Understandable. I am tolerant of that as people form opinions based on their own experiences.
        To me it’s best that an individual learn life skills like sewing even if you don’t become a tailor, Driving a car even if public transportation is available, ironing in case you decide to buy natural fabrics and don’t wish to support a dry cleaner or depend on others to iron your garments, cooking so you can eat, and just in case you find yourself with your back to the wall and no one willing/able to help stop one determined to do you harm – then all individuals should take/know some martial arts (I recommend Kuk Sool Won) and gun laws, safety, and use for personal defense.
        I try not to get into the world of countries and conflicts as it’s difficult to understand all the influences and implications a citizen of a place faces living under a country’s rule – How can one understand what is really going on there if you aren’t there, born there, and deal with it on a daily basis there?
        Big scale world view of “LIve and let live” – but I refuse to be a powerless victim in my own little world. All about choices and I respect that.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Paul says:

          Absolutely Phil – at no time have I disagreed with CM learning how to handle a fire arm. It would be with the intention of shooting to kill anyone who threatened her life (shooting to wound is a fiction made up by TV writers – you pull the trigger, you aim to kill). It makes me sad that her environment makes that necessary. It isn’t just a skill, no more than building a nuke is just a skill (you can disavow knowledge of this if you choose, but you are a citizen of a country that is one of only a few in the world that does that for real, so own it) – it is an intent. I do not think guns should be privately held unless the holder intends to kill someone – as CM is intending to kill anyone who threatens her life (rightfully so). There is no one here that I think reasonably intends to threaten me, so i don’t need a gun – and I am glad. It is sad that CM does need a gun.

          Like

          • Whoa there, Paul. I don’t want it publicized that Cordelia’s Mom is intending to kill anyone – that could very well come back to haunt me someday. While it’s true that I *could* shoot to kill should the need arise, I’m seriously hoping that situation never, ever occurs. I certainly have no intention of running around shooting the neighbors just because their kids’ balls come over the fence into my yard. And I think Mr. Loony Tunes has gotten the message that he needs to stay off my property and away from my front door. I expect that’s going to be the end of it.

            But I figure it doesn’t hurt to know how to handle a weapon – one more thing I can cross off my bucket list.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Paul says:

              Oh, yes, of course, you are just crossing items off your bucket list and learning a new skill – uh hunh, yep, yep – know exactly what you mean. 😀

              Liked by 1 person

          • Each place is different.
            Many of us grew up with dads just home from the war (and kept their guns from that – almost every home had one) EVERYONE was taught not to touch a gun, always assume it was loaded, never point a gun at anyone – even a toy gun, and guns are for killing – if you take it out that decision has already been made. All the kids new the rules and I can’t remember on incident with a gun. A different generation with much of those lessons lost now. That generation also saw how evil and what harm some humans will do to other humans. Basically, not everyone is nice and many are very dangerous animals. Sad but universally true.
            Yes, the US had nukes ( you do know how we have disarmed/destroyed many while Russia and China are building…Japan, too, I think…among other. Some hope to lead by example. Others by force.
            Realistically no individual can control countries and have any effect on world conflicts. Foolish to think other wise in this era of multinational, international corporations/business interests, Individual people aren’t even a shadow in their awareness. The safety and well being of individual people in any country really isn’t of interest. With so much progress, so much lost. ..Hopefully not the lessons of how dark mankind can be. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat, right?
            But totally off subject.
            Good to have all skills and mindset necessary to thrive, be well, be comfortable, and be safe in whatever environment a person lives in. Nothing sad about that at all. Smart to be prepared….like Boy Scouts those adorable little guys hopeful of the future and ready to be a positive part of society if only everyone would join hands and play nicely along. Kumbaya anyone? Have a marshmallow? Universal joy.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Paul says:

              I’ll have a marshmallow. 😀 There are probably about 500 people that live on my street. I would be surprised if there was one gun owner. And I live in an inner city neighborhood. Other than police officers, I have never seen a pistol in Canada in public.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Don’t think we haven’t considered relocating – Calgary has rodeo and mountains…my French would have to get back up to speed for some (beautiful) areas in the east…
                News this morning? A woman hacked to death by a machete welding angry boyfriend in front of her 2 young daughters who ran for help.
                Woman meeting separated soon to be ex-husband on “neutral” territory at a gas station to move the kids from his car( court ordered visitation) back to her – and he kills her and then himself in front of 2 young boys. Sadly these stories will be replaced by identical ones by night.
                What is wrong with people?
                Something in the water? (So drinking bottled water…from Canadian Rockies. 🙂 ) Smile Paul, we do what we can. Old sayin’, “if you cant touch it when stretchin out your arm, you can’t control it.” Hope your weekend is full of light and bright ideas

                Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for understanding. I actually lost 2 readers today, I assume because of this post. But then I gained a new one. Pretty much par for the course.

      Like

      • Oh, who knows why people drift in and out.
        Odd that people always say they are tolerant, but they can’t stand it when someone thinks differently.
        Maybe insecure
        If people don’t ignore or walk away from someone with a different facial quality – like crooked teeth, a big nose, wide ears, blemishes because they say it’s the whole person that counts, why can’t people accept the entire composite/total of a person’s brain’s thoughts in the same fashion? It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything – “agree to disagree and still be friends” – that used to be what kids were taught. Sensible.
        Beats me.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely love your words. They get to me.
    I’ll be glad if you could check my blog as well. Take care. 🙂

    Like

  7. candygai says:

    I am proud of you. You are doing things legally. Sanely. I am a crazy bleeding heart liberal from Seattle. The sort of lunatic who wears a Panda Hat from an Australian and lives to confuse North Carolinians. I once lived to confuse New Yorkers living in Ridgefield, CT and I never did figure out people in Joplin, MO or Los Angeles. What is important is to do things mindfully and safely. That is what counts CordeliasMom. To do things within the parameters of a safe and free culture, which carefully considered these things. And as I can see you it, you have.
    I am proud of you. So are Raleigh and Triss. The cats, you know. Huzzah. BTW, Your never know when your words Wil help someone. Happy International Cat Day to Puppy Cody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wait, do you honestly expect Cody to celebrate International Cat Day? That may be expecting just a wee bit too much from a pup who’s been mislead by that cat in Seattle. I don’t think Cody is quite done with Mehitabel yet.

      As for me, I truly appreciate your support. I’m still a little uncomfortable with the whole pistol permit thing, but sometimes you just have to buck up and do what’s necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Archon's Den says:

    So you did find something for two unchaperoned males to do. Of course, you and/or hubby would have to chaperone. 🙂
    ‘Rangemaster, a round of wadcutters for the house – and a taser for the little lady by the window.’ 😆

    Like

  9. markbialczak says:

    I’m glad to read that you’re taking the class and proceeding on the steps to making yourself feel safer in your own home. The think-he’s-a-cop neighbor situation needed to be addressed, and the gun knowledge is appropriate. All in all, though, let’s all hope the guns stay in the case forever.

    Like

  10. Pingback: When the Idea Fairy Goes On Sabbatical | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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