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sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 05:59 AM
Hi...I just registered for this forum. I don't own a gun and in fact are scared of them. Even just posting in this forum is scary for me. I did join for the purpose of purchasing a particular gun for a surprise to a very special friend of mine who collects guns but is computer illiterate. Since I'm here I thought I would try to overcome my fright and learn more about guns. The world is so mean and I'm a single female. I don't think my little dog would do me much good if someone broke in on me and it's already been attempted once.
Are there any pointers or starting places that would help me overcome my fear and get more acquainted with a handgun and what type of gun should I consider for myself?
By the way...I was married to a Law Enforcement Officer for 10 years about 10 years ago and he did take me to an indoor and an outdoor shooting range, but I was horrified. The sound scared me and I was not confident when holding and shooting a handgun...in fact I jammed his automatic hand gun a couple of times. But I did like the 22 Rifle that he had me fire and was pretty darn good with it. Nevertheless, I'm still scared and must overcome my fright for my safety.
Please help :confused:

nate45
March 9, 2011, 06:33 AM
Hello, welcome to the forum. :)

Yes, firearms are very dangerous when misused and very dangerous to their intended target when properly used. So, while the vast majority of members of this forum are not fearful of firearms(unless perhaps they're pointed at us) we do respect them for the deadly weapons they are.

As fearful as you are of firearms, I'm not sure advising you to own one is a good idea. If one uses one to defend themselves they must be prepared to use deadly force. Simply owning one and displaying it to an aggressor is not enough.

Therefore, if you are serious about getting one for defense, you must not only throughly learn to safely shoot and handle it; you must accept the fact that to use one for defense, means you may have to use deadly force. Nothing less will do.

If you do not feel, that if forced to defend yourself, you will be able to actually shoot another human being. Then by all means do not get one for the purpose of defense.

Below is a link to the web page of one of our moderators and esteemed members. Her thoughts on the subject of armed women may help you in your quest. Good luck!

The Cornered Cat (http://www.corneredcat.com/)

sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 06:58 AM
Thank you for the reply and considerate words. I will NOT think of owning a gun until I get proper training...I'm just wondering if I will have to invest a lot of money on training (which is a must) and still can't get over my fear what do I do to protect myself...another husband is out of the question! :)
At this point I can't say that using deadly force on someone intending on hurting me wouldn't bother me terribly, but if it comes down to my life and safety over a mean/hateful persons evil intentions I would definitely choose me. I just need to get over my fear so that I can be confident with what I'm doing and not hurt myself and I realize there is no margin for mistakes with guns. Thanks for the link....I shall visit it now.

sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 07:22 AM
Thanks again for the link to the Cornered Cat. I've already learned tons from just one page and am taking notes and printing. The Four Rules shall be on my frig soon so that I am sure they are etched in my mind. Is the lady that created this page in the Firing Line Forum as well? If so does what name does she go by?

Sorry if I'm a bother to you. Just want to learn and be safe.

Sandra

gearhounds
March 9, 2011, 08:06 AM
Welcome and no bother whatsoever. It sounds like, while guns make you very uncomfortable, you have an open mind, unlike a LOT of folks that just think they're for killing, and nothing else. Shooting is a great hobby that can boost confidence in one's self, reinforce responsibility, as well as educate. And dang it, be fun in the process! And kudo's for having the where-with-all to recognize that just running out and buying one without more support. Lots of folks have done this, and soured to the prospect, thinking they've made a mistake.

If you do get into guns as a hobby, for self defense, hunting, whatever, be prepared to get sweaty palms when the newest target .22 comes out, or you see a deal on the revolver you've been wanting!

sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 08:26 AM
Thank you for the kind welcome gearhounds. I'm loving the Cornered Cat! I've always known to treat a gun like it is always loaded and not to point the muzzle at anything you don't intend to shoot. The other two rules to keep your finger off the trigger and know what is beyond and around the target I hadn't thought of. Maybe I would have after I'd gotten into training...but I printed out the four rules so that they will be etched in my mind and I believe it has relieved a tiny little bit of my anxiety on pursuing this. I've got so much to learn! Hope I make it.

BfloBill
March 9, 2011, 08:55 AM
Your attitude and demeanor are perfect for the goals you have set yourself. When I went to firearms training the people who were wary of firearms but had an open mind and wanted to learn (but no experience) often ended up shooting better than the self proclaimed "Experts" who had been shooting for years. The newbies also tended to violate the safety rules less often.
Any good instructor loves a blank slate to work with.
Be safe, have fun, your on the right track.

sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 09:06 AM
BfloBill thank you for the kind welcome...I'm learning a lot on this site as well.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 9, 2011, 10:08 AM
One should go read www.corneredcat.com - by our own mod - Pax and the premiere site for women's related issues. She also has several good book on the issue and recommends others.

Then, look for a specifically female oriented firearms course and you will be fine.

GEM

Vanya
March 9, 2011, 11:52 AM
SDW, welcome to TFL from another female member. I'm glad you found this forum -- there are a lot of knowledgeable, helpful folks here, and it's a good place to get your questions answered, or just hang out.

And there are other women here, many of whom have started out where you are now... scared, and dealing with the fear by learning to defend themselves.

You may want to check out this thread: Wo/Men, Handguns and Self-Defense (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=384602), and read the linked essay by the woman who started it. Lots of stories, some interesting stuff about the ways that women's need to defend themselves is different from what men experience, and -- especially -- why it's so important for women to take responsibility for their own safety. And it'll be a bit of an introduction to some of the other women here.

Skans
March 9, 2011, 12:19 PM
Welcome to the forum. Although I am a gun enthusiast, I would never tell someone who doesn't like guns, or is horrified of guns that they need to have one. But, the fact that you seem to want to overcome your fear of guns and discuss this on a forum like this means that, well, maybe you would someday like to have a gun for protection.

You will find lots of friendly folks here willing to help you learn more about guns, shooting and self defense. There are folks here that can help you find beginner's shooting courses in your area if you are interested. That might be a good place to start. If you liked shooting a .22 rifle, then perhaps you would be ok handling a .22 pistol - they still go bang, but have very little recoil. There are plenty of .22 pistols to choose from - revolvers or semi-autos.

I've also found that some first time shooters find an indoor range more intimidating than shooting outdoors. The noise is louder, you can't spread out as much, and folks like to try out their big caliber hand-cannons in there which can be a little intimidating. I personally prefer shooting outdoors.

Buying a gun for someone who collects guns is a tricky thing. Us folks who collect guns tend to get focused on something very particular. Not all guns are the same...in fact, not all guns of the same caliber and made by the same manufacturer are the same...even if they kind of look the same. Its not too different from coin collecting - gotta have that 1893 Carson City Morgan Dollar, AU to complete my collection...

So, if you are going to buy a gun for a friend, make sure you know exactly what he/she wants - that ain't' easy!

I hope you stick around - ask whatever questions you would like, most folks will do their best to try and answer you.

Frank Ettin
March 9, 2011, 12:25 PM
sdw1961,

My wife had a somewhat difficult beginning with a poor instructor. We found another class with a better instructor, and she got off to a much better start. She's now an NRA certified shotgun instructor. She has often talked about how learning to shoot was very empowering.

I help teach monthly NRA Basic Handgun classes with a group of instructors here, including a woman. We welcome women in our classes, and from the feedback we've gotten they've had positive experiences. They've also done very well.

Unfortunately, we're kind of a long way out of your neighborhood. But I'm confident that you'll be able to find some good help locally.

The very best of luck to you.

Dave R
March 9, 2011, 03:03 PM
Is the lady that created this page in the Firing Line Forum as well? If so does what name does she go by?

She goes by PAX. (Latin for peace, if I'm not mistaken.) You can use the search function to find posts by PAX. Or you can send her a private message, through this board. I'm sure she would welcome it.

Two suggestions for you.

You might find another local female friend who shoots, and ask her to take you. You could ask a male friend, too, but you're more likely to run into testosterone issues.

You could also sign up for a concealed carry permit course, or another handgun course in your area. There is no requirement to obtain a carry permit. I just think that course will cover much of what you want to learn. In my area, such course cost $60-$100. You can find them through local NRA reps, local gunstores, or local sporting goods stores.

Feel free to ask us anything. We're not shy about sharing our opinions ;-)

Vanya
March 9, 2011, 06:25 PM
You could also sign up for a concealed carry permit course, or another handgun course in your area.
Big yes to the idea of a handgun course... but as to the concealed carry course -- at least in my state, they expect you to have your own handgun for that. A better idea would be to find a good intro course where the instructor provides several guns for students to try... starting with that .22 pistol. A private lesson or two from a good instructor, a woman for preference, would also be a good starting point.

And that might be a way to get some leads on a friendly woman or two with whom to go to the range; ideally, one where you can rent some guns as a way to find out what fits you and what you're comfortable shooting.

sdw1961
March 9, 2011, 06:31 PM
WOW! What a friendly forum. Thank you all for your hospitality and sharing the information and links. It's really nice meeting another female here! I know exactly what kind of gun my friend wants, he's been looking for one in my area The gun is a long name so I may get the words mixed up but I know the words.:) Thank you all so much!! I'm getting a bit more comfortable here and am learning in the process.

glockcompact
March 9, 2011, 07:03 PM
First of all your attitude is perfect. If your willing to give it a try I think you will do fine.
I think you will find out that a lot of people on hear love this sport and love to get other people interested in this sport. Don't be intimidated about asking questions on here because most people just want to help.

I agree with previous posts if you can hook up with a local pistol instructor and take some sort of beginning to firearms class it will help you a lot. And I agree with the thought that a female instructor might be better for you if you can find one nearby. There are good male instructors too but a few of us get too macho sometimes. ;)

I love to see other women be able to handle a gun. Once you become familiar with weapons you will feel more secure in life without a doubt. The firearm is the equalizer. It doesn't matter how small you are or how big the attacker is you'll feel much better prepared. I love the fact that my wife is able to handle a pistol. It makes me feel much better when she's home alone.

The firearms industry is a big world. It's easy for someone who is new to firearms to get overwhelmed. Theres so much to learn. Just take your time and keep the attitude you have now and I think you'll do just fine.

Know this too. No one wants to shoot someone. It would be horrible. But if you have no way out... If it's you or the attacker... Atleast you'll have a better chance of surviving.

Good luck. :)

Achilles11B
March 9, 2011, 09:38 PM
Welcome to the forum. The more you learn about firearms, the more questions you come across. The more questions you have, the more helpful the members here are. I've learned this firsthand being a member here.

If you can, I recommend a state-run public outdoor shooting range. They are generally cheaper and the range safeties will oftentimes assist new shooters if it's not too crowded.

Bullet94
March 9, 2011, 10:59 PM
sdw1961

I don't have anything to add except Welcome to this forum. :D

Skans
March 10, 2011, 08:57 AM
I know exactly what kind of gun my friend wants, he's been looking for one in my area The gun is a long name so I may get the words mixed up but I know the words.

Well, you know that we are a curious bunch - do you mind trying to describe what kind of gun you intend on getting your friend? Don't worry, we don't disparage anyone's choice in whatever kind of firearm they decide to get....just curious.

Spats McGee
March 10, 2011, 09:44 AM
Welcome to The Firing Line, sdw1961!

As you have already seen, we're actually a very friendly bunch. When I read your opening post, I was all prepared to provide a link to The Cornered Cat, but then I got to post #2 and saw that someone had beaten me to it. In fact, those who posted before me covered just about everything that came to my mind. Welcome aboard, and ask whatever questions you may have. The folks around here are plenty knowledgeable and good about answering questions.

Vince44
March 10, 2011, 09:55 AM
Welcome SDW. I'm also fairly new around here and posted a few times. Been hunting and shooting since I was 10 or 12. Old fart of 55 now. You've got a good attitude and everyone seems to have covered all the bases. You should definitely try shooting again. Shoot what you're comfortable with.

sdw1961
March 10, 2011, 02:38 PM
I know exactly what kind of gun my friend wants, he's been looking for one in my area The gun is a long name so I may get the words mixed up but I know the words.

Well, you know that we are a curious bunch - do you mind trying to describe what kind of gun you intend on getting your friend? Don't worry, we don't disparage anyone's choice in whatever kind of firearm they decide to get....just curious.

Now don't laugh at me if I don't get this exactly right :o A Ruger 44 Magnum Redhawk Alaskan.

rburch
March 10, 2011, 03:01 PM
I also say welcome to the firing line, and hope your stay here is long and happy.

Just a few ideas for ya.

I've found that folks bothered by the noise on a range can benefit a lot by doubling up hearing protection. When you go back to the range to shoot again, put in a pair of ear plugs, and then put a pair of the muffs over them.

Also I completely agree with the idea of getting a 22 as a first gun. Recoil is light, ammo is cheap, they are quieter for the most part. It's a great platform to learn the basics on, and for the most part you can pic up good guns for a few hundred bucks.

I also suggest looking into the NRA Basic Pistol class. Around me they normally run about $80 and they go a long way to teaching you the basics of shooting a pistol.

Again welcome, and let us know if you need any more assistance.

glockcompact
March 10, 2011, 03:02 PM
Now don't laugh at me if I don't get this exactly right A Ruger 44 Magnum Redhawk Alaskan.

Wow. Sweet pistol and you got it right the first time. Ruger Alaskan in .44 is a handfull for a new shooter to say the least. I hope you don't plan on learning how to shoot again with that pistol. Please tell me your not. If your already scared as you said you were you may never shoot again after shooting that one. I hope you start with a .22.

sdw1961
March 10, 2011, 03:05 PM
LOL...no I won't even be around if it's shot. From what he has told me it is a powerful gun.

sdw1961
March 10, 2011, 03:09 PM
I've found that folks bothered by the noise on a range can benefit a lot by doubling up hearing protection. When you go back to the range to shoot again, put in a pair of ear plugs, and then put a pair of the muffs over them.

Also I completely agree with the idea of getting a 22 as a first gun. Recoil is light, ammo is cheap, they are quieter for the most part. It's a great platform to learn the basics on, and for the most part you can pic up good guns for a few hundred bucks.

I also suggest looking into the NRA Basic Pistol class. Around me they normally run about $80 and they go a long way to teaching you the basics of shooting a pistol.

Thank you for the welcome and the helpful information.

powderball
March 10, 2011, 03:29 PM
Hi,

Fear sets in from the unknown. You need to be able to take control of a situation, if at all possible. Get some training. You will lose your fear once you gain knowledge. Guns are tools to be used, just like any other tool. It can save your life!:p

Skans
March 10, 2011, 03:44 PM
Now don't laugh at me if I don't get this exactly right A Ruger 44 Magnum Redhawk Alaskan.

That's a very nice gun!:eek: I really hope your friend appreciates this. Like others have said - not one that you want to take to the range to learn to shoot the 1st time. That gun is a handful - but a really nice handful for sure.

Well, this has turned out to be an interesting thread - keep us posted after you give your friend that Ruger Alaskan.

glockcompact
March 10, 2011, 06:15 PM
Yea, that is a sweet gun. You know, I got to thinkin' maybe we could be friends too :D . After all you can never have too many friends right? ;)

Kinta
March 10, 2011, 06:46 PM
Welcome from one lady to another,
I just joined a little while ago myself. I am not quite are you are (I was not scared) but am still learning a lot. As you have already been pointed to the Cornered Cat I will not go there. I will however till you that I have "The Cornered Cat" book a friend got me for me a few months back. It is FANTASTIC! I love the website but I would really recommend getting the book. I liked that when info was given I could go through and highlight things I really wanted to remember or look up more. It was so good that I reread it after just finishing it. Good luck.

sdw1961
March 10, 2011, 10:36 PM
Thank you Kinta. You are the second Lady I've met here. That's encouraging! I love the Cornered Cat and am enjoying this forum. I've absorbed a lot over the past few days. Thanks for the advice about the book. A book of my own to reference would be handy!!

kotaNsid
March 11, 2011, 06:47 PM
Welcome to another female! I haven't been a member long myself. I grew up around guns and being from the country I thought it was odd that so few people where I live now don't own guns. I am trying to figure people out though. I am taking my CCW class tomorrow. The class is definitely a good idea. Do a lot of research and make sure that owning and carrying a gun is something you want to do. There is a lot of great info. here. Good luck with whatever decision you come to.:)

sdw1961
March 12, 2011, 08:15 AM
Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. My sincere apologies for posting this thread in this particular forum.
In my eagerness to learn about guns I overlooked the forum where I was suppose to introduce myself in theGeneral Discussions Forum (http://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13). :(
Please excuse me and again thank you for all the replies.

Seaman
March 12, 2011, 09:29 AM
Welcome aboard sdw1961 !!!

"A Ruger 44 Magnum Redhawk Alaskan." [sdw1961]

Reminds me of a story my wife told me about her first encounter with handguns. Her best male friend and his wife took her shooting one day. Both she and the best friend's wife (to this day) dislike firearms. The man gave her instructions, then handed her a Smith & Wesson Model 29, 44 Magnum revolver. That was the last time she fired a gun.

She told me the experience was a mix of 'absolute fear and boredom. '

My advice to you: Join a private gunclub, its not that expensive, you will meet a lot of good people, and learn a lot about firearms and just about every topic that is discussed in these forums.

Handguns: Choose a small caliber, like a 22LR Smith & Wesson revovler, they hold their value well should you later decide to sell it.

Best of luck to you...guns are better than husbands, you can always trade them in for a new one, anytime.