Should You Apply for a Concealed Carry Permit?

By Kellene Bishop

I am frequently asked how I feel about letting the government know I have a firearm. Folks seem to be a bit concerned for my well-being when they learn that I’ve applied for a concealed firearm permit. They are concerned that doing so somehow puts me on a list and now the government can know where to go to take my firearm. Well, that’s one way to put it, Ladies, but I see it very, very differently than that. Continue reading

Where Should You Wear Your Gun?

By Kellene Bishop

The other day I was on my way up to Salt Lake City to work a “self-reliance conference.”  My car has the entire back window taken up by a vinyl sign for Women of Caliber, mentioning the firearm and physical self-defense classes I offer. Being in a bit of a hurry, I zipped through a school zone without paying attention to my speedometer. After getting midway through the school zone, I slowed down, but if there was a police car watching for me or other speeders I most likely would have been pulled over for speeding.

Instinctively when I recognize Continue reading

Media Hype or Firearm Facts—You Decide

by Kellene Bishop 

Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

Fact:

100% of ALL firearm “accidents” occur as a result of someone violating one of the four most critical safety rules in the ownership and use of a firearm.  Firearms don’t kill people as the media would have us believe, any more than pencils are responsible for making spelling mistakes.  Your ability to STOP an firearm accident is strengthened by your knowledge of a firearm.  In contrast, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, you may actually encourage a deadly accident if you encounter one in the hands of an unauthorized person.  That said, why don’t we ever hear a news report that says something like “There are over 80,000,000 gun owners in the nation today, and only 5 accidents were caused as the result of error on the part of the gun owner”?

  

Fact: Every person in the U.S. has the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property.  Fit or fat.  Blonde or brunette.  When a drug-crazed criminal has a gun point at you, your political affiliations do not lessen the impact on your body or your mind.  A bullet will sufficiently kill you.  So how you supposed to fight back under such circumstances? 

  

Fact: According to FBI statistics, over 5,500 violent crimes are PREVENTED EVERY DAY by the mere presence of a firearm.  So why are our newspapers and television screens only reporting the horrific scenes of crime and bloodshed at the hands of “crazed gunmen”?  All we ever hear about are the terrible and criminal uses of firearms – school shootings, gunmen clipping off innocent bystanders one by one in a mall or a neighborhood, or gangs who murder and plunder with guns.  Why aren’t we being given a clear picture of the use and importance of firearms in America?  Why aren’t we hearing the real stories from the media – like the 83-year-old woman who shot a would-be rapist in her home.  Or the woman who was raped, then given a rifle by a friend, and when the rapist RETURNED to her home she was able to defend herself and killed the rapist.  Or about the female convenience store employee that was able to save her fellow co-workers from abominable acts at the hand of a robber by grabbing for the gun, and shot him.  Or when a concealed-carry permit holder was able to thwart a massive shootout between police and a liquor store robber because he was willing to draw his gun and shoot the body-armored gunman squarely in the skull.  Violent crime rates have fallen dramatically in right-to-carry states.  

Why do we only hear about the terrible encounters with firearms?  Because blood and sex sells.  And it can’t simply be just anybody’s blood.  No, it needs to be the blood of an innocent person, not a violent criminal.  Yes, the so-called education of the facts of gun use for self-defense in America is being steered by money and mindless sheep, plain and simple.  

The media often fail to portray good examples of self-defense photo c/o abovethelaw.com

Why aren’t we hearing about the real firearm stories from the media?  Follow the same money that goes abundantly to the media and you will see that many members of our government fear the legal possession of guns by its citizens.  Why?  Because the government has committed acts in violation of the U.S. Constitution and thus have reason to fear reprisals from its citizens.  The majority of the media act as mindless minions to our government.  And since the government has trampled mercilessly on the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us through the U.S. Constitution, left to their own designs with no accountability required from the media, it is clear that the media is a willing accomplice in these acts.  Violation after violation have occurred at the hands of each administration that have stripped many of our Constitutional freedoms in a clandestine manner, and yet the media and entertainment industry have failed to produce any headline which even questions such acts.  Do the media even know what’s it like to actually be courageous Americans anymore?  Or do they merely write about it in hopes that it earns them lauds of glory from their peers? 

Fact: Having a firearm and knowing how to use it does not make you a violent person.  In fact, you will find that responsible gun owners are peaceful, law abiding individuals because they are able to function without fear hanging over them.  Yet firearm owners are never portrayed such an image in the national news.  

Instead we hear the irresponsible and oppressive mantra of, “Don’t resist.” “Don’t fight back.”  “Just give them the money, it’s not worth your life.”   What they forget it that while money may not be worth your life, the freedom to be free IS worth your life.  Ironically, what Thomas Paine and his associates did to the king of England to protect free speech (particularly of the media)  is actually being used to give us a false education and thus strip us of other freedoms because of the false and criminalized picture of gun owners that we are confronted with every day. 

According to Thomas Jefferson, history has proven time and time again that the option for citizens to arm themselves is what ensures protection against a “tyrannical government.” 

  

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)   

You see, not only can this type of “preservation of property” give you peace in your ability to defend yourself against violent acts, but it also gives you peace in defending your nation against the loss of freedoms as well.  

 

  

Firearm training gives you peace of mind

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised… to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia…” (In Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, Elliot p.3:379-380) 


• “The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless – by disarming them.” (Elliot, p. 3:379-80)
  

The men and women of America are not only the sole stewards over their own lives and that of their families – they are also the sole guardians of the Constitution.  In the ultimate act of freedom, specifically for the women of our nation, I say that we must take on a more proactive stance in order to fulfill our roles appropriately.  With the increasing numbers of women raising families single-handedly, the extended hours our husbands are forced to work to sustain us, the increasing threat of brazen crimes being committed against women and children in broad daylight, the consistent attacks which are made on our freedom, for all of these reasons, women need to become informed and skilled in the use of a firearm—not just in matters of self-defense use and safety, but also as a Constitutional right.  We cannot relinquish our safety, our lives, or our freedom to the hands of strangers who may or may not be available to defend us when the need arises.  We must take this responsibility for ourselves.  After all, when all of our liberties are gone, there will be nothing left to protect. 

 Copyright 2010 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. 

ASKing for the Ridiculous

By Kellene Bishop

ASK Campaign

ASK Campaign

In yet another ridiculous move by the anti-self-defense camp, a national “ASK” day was established about ten years ago.  Its purpose was to remind parents to be proactive about protecting their children from firearm accidents simply by asking their friends and neighbors about the use of guns in their respective homes.  Its intent was to remind parents to inquire of friends and neighbors that their children are associating with whether or not they have firearms in the home and whether or not they are stored “properly.”

Here’s the huge problem with this campaign.  It’s putting the majority of the safety of your child in the hands of someone else.  Just because you ask if there is a firearm and the answer is “no” doesn’t mean that will remain the case perpetually.  Another adult could enter the home with a firearm.  Another child could bring a firearm to the home as well.  Are you planning on asking your neighbor this series of questions every time your child goes to visit, or even on a monthly basis?  Are you prepared to track down and research every other child that may also come to visit the same home?  How does this line of questioning completely protect your child from a firearm accident?

Photo c/o iacop.org

Photo c/o iacop.org

What if a mother was sending her child over to a policeman’s house?  Would it be acceptable that a law enforcement officer have a gun in the home?  If not, then are you teaching your child that police officers are bad or that they should be avoided?  The same goes for a concealed carry permit holder.  Several of the books I’ve read by Ayoob and Lott Jr. over the last year point out that fewer accidents occur among concealed carry permit holders than do police officers.  (just a little sampling: http://www.ktvu.com/news/5441146/detail.html)  In fact, a police officer’s gun is used against them in significantly more incidences than a private owner’s firearm.  What does your questioning do to protect your child in these circumstances? 

Additionally, you are relying on your questions being answered truthfully.  Don’t you think there might be some hesitation on the part of your neighbor when you ask someone if they have a firearm in their home?  Do they want to publish its existence to the world?  I know I don’t go around telling people what kinds of firearms and how many I own, under any circumstances.  Frankly, if you don’t know someone well enough to know about their stance on firearms and firearm safety, your child shouldn’t be spending time over there anyway, in my opinion.

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Ultimately, the only way to truly protect your children from a firearm accident is to educate them continually—not talk to them a little bit.  Every gun scene you see on television or in a movie is cause for education.  Every time you say “no” to particular video game, it’s an occasion to educate.  Ultimately your child’s education is their prime defense against any firearm accidents.  Properly educating your children on safety around firearms is not a one-time conversation.  It must be a consistent and congruent process of education.  Oh, and by the way.  Questioning your friends and neighbors about their beliefs in gun possession is no more effective in promoting the safety of your children than trying to do crowd control at a “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” at Wal-Mart.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Is a Concealed Carry Permit a Human Hunting License?

By Kellene Bishop

I often am accused of sanctioning violence by those who would not protect themselves. So those of you who still read my articles—even though you KNOW I’m all about self-defense with a firearm—you may be a bit surprised today to hear what I have to say.

Photo c/o popguns.com

Photo c/o popguns.com

When I first saw the headline on this article, “Concealed weapons permit holder stops would-be robbers”, (see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6851011) I thought, “Oh good. A concealed carry permit holder finally gets some praise.” Then I read the article. It had me nearly swearing at my computer screen afterwards. Instead of being happy for this article about a concealed carry permit holder, I was yelling, “You idiot! It’s folks like you who make us look bad.”

So, let’s provide you with a little bit of Concealed Carry Permit Use 101 here. A concealed carry permit is not a Human Hunting Permit. Sorry, but chasing down humans and firing shots at them is NOT an authorized seasonal sport. This scenario portrays a foolish, irresponsible, and downright dangerous one.

For starters, it is very dangerous for this idiot to be shooting in the air and shooting into the ground. Basic physics tells us what goes up must come down. A round shot into the air comes down and you have NO idea where it lands. Causing a hail storm of rounds is not safe and just plain stupid. (Which is why you see it in the movies quite frequently.) Shooting rounds into the ground is ALSO unsafe. They could ricochet, hit you or someone else—or at least something else. Again, another dumb move you see in the movies.

Running with a Gun photo c/o johnnyringo.net

Running with a Gun photo c/o johnnyringo.net

Additionally, shooting at a firing range is NOT the same as shooting on the run, or even a slow walk. Very, very few individuals actually practice shooting this way. (Although I highly recommend such practice.) I’m willing to bet some major donuts that this guy did not practice shooting on the run. I’m quite certain that his shots were more about misses than warnings. And frankly, it’s a good thing. While I’m not an attorney, I would venture to bet that if this concealed carry permit holder had lethally hit one of the criminals, he would have been charged with manslaughter at the very least since he was proactively chasing them.

Let me be perfectly clear. As a person who is defending their life you are entitled to pull your handgun. However, you are NOT permitted to chase someone down with it. Now, having said that, could he have chased down the criminals who attempted to steal his stuff? Absolutely. And then IF they put up a physical resistance and threatened his safety, then, and only then, would he have been justified in unveiling his firearm.

Once again, having a concealed carry permit is not a hunting license.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Permission vs. Skill

By Kellene Bishop

Photo: Galco Gunleather

Photo: Galco Gunleather

When I ask various people if they feel they are capable of stopping a charging drug-crazed assailant, or prevent a break-in attempt into their home by a lawless gang, or to save the life of a person being mugged, the response I hear all too often from both men and women is, “Oh yeah.  I have my concealed carry permit.”  Clearly some confuse Permission with Skill. 

A concealed carry permit does not ensure that you will be able to shoot straight, shoot fast, shoot accurately, and shoot to stop.  It only gives you Permission that you may have a loaded firearm nearby should you need to do so.  In most states, this Permission is not even necessary to protect your home, but the Skill sure is.

A concealed carry permit cannot save a life.  But Skill will never let you down when it really counts.

Permission merely tells you that someone who doesn’t even know you is willing to allow you the mostly unfettered access to the tools you need to protect yourself.  (Arguably a permission that should not even HAVE to be granted to mankind—in my opinion it’s an unalienable human right to defend oneself with effective tools. *heavy sigh*)  But Skill ensures that you know how to use life-saving tools. 

All the Permission in the world won’t save your life or the life of those you love.  
Only SKILL can accomplish this.

Permission does not provide you with sound firearm safety.
Skill ensures that a firearm is a purposed tool, not an accident waiting to happen.

Permission is regulated by government.
Skill is regulated by your access to experts and your willingness to apply a foundation of knowledge in order to protect your family.

Permission without Skill is barely worth the $30-$100 bucks you paid for it, and that you will continue to pay so long as you continue to renew. 
But the right kind of skill will last a lifetime.

Permission does not stop a would-be rapist.  
Only Skill can do that.

Permission does not protect you from an abusive husband, or an out of control ex-boyfriend.  Not even a protective order can do that. 
Only Skill can provide you with the safety and peace you ultimately seek.

So while I wholeheartedly support individuals in obtaining their concealed firearm permit, I implore you not to confuse it with Skill.  Spend the time and the money on acquiring Skill.  Remember, it’s worth a lifetime of confidence and peace.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Apparently Rape is a Spectator Sport in New York

new-york-city-subway1

Horrific news is coming in today from several sources.  A woman who was repeatedly raped in the presence of MTA employees at a train station in Queens, NY was told by a judge today that those who stood and watched her rape take place had no obligation to help the woman, other than inform their command center that police presence was needed at their location.  (Note: they are only obligated to call the command center, not 9-1-1) 

us-constitution1My thoughts on this issue are frankly all over the place.  I will always fight vehemently that our Constitutional freedoms are upheld.  Unfortunately, that means that I must tolerate the immoral way that others use their freedom.  However, we certainly need to be reminded that the U.S. Constitution was created for a moral and God-fearing people.  Clearly, as in the case of those who watched this heinous act take place in Queens, many have become numb to any thoughts of moral conscience.  While these onlookers will not have to answer to this particular judge, they will certainly have to answer to God and explain to Him why they simply allowed this to happen.  

See full story details at http://www.nypost.com/seven/04012009/news/regionalnews/subway_rapist_victims_shock_162317.htm and http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30105703/?GT1=43001  

But let’s move on.  I think it’s only a matter of fairness that I address the other obvious aspect of this crime.  Whenever an “accidental” (a.k.a. stupid disregard for gun safety) or criminal act with a handgun is committed in this nation, we are bombarded by the media and other anti-gunners telling us how awful guns are.  So isn’t it fair that when a person is attacked by a psychotic rapist and completely ignored by the citizens around her that we also hear the drum beat again and again about the need for us to take responsibility for protecting ourselves?  Clearly this judge didn’t feel that anyone was required to protect this woman.  And clearly the police didn’t have sufficient cause to protect her as they showed up at least 10 minutes after the call was made–the attacker was able to rape the woman twice during this time!   

So I ask you.  When are women going to learn that we simply cannot and should not count on anyone else to protect us?  We MUST take responsibility for this matter ourselves.  And we must make a wise decision as to the most effective way to defend ourselves.  With so much training available, much of it even for free, there’s no reason why a woman needs to endure this type of atrocity.  Fighting back is not a privilege.  It’s a RIGHT.  

asp2I know, I may shock some of you with this statement, but I am 100% convinced that the best way for this woman to have defended herself would be with a handgun.  I don’t know how much the guy weighed, how tall he was, but frankly it doesn’t really matter.  When it comes to a clear need for self-defense, I say don’t mess around asking the guy to stop raping you.  Don’t mess around asking for others to defend you.  Defend yourself.  Two double taps to the chest, and it’s done, and it’s justified.  The horrors that this woman is going to have to live with over and over again, feeling not only betrayed by mankind, but by her own instincts, would not be an issue for her any longer if she had simply and matter-of-factly been able to stop this act by defending herself.  Yes, she would have to deal with the fact that she defended herself and as such took a life.  But psychologically that’s a lot easier to deal with than the unspeakable horrors she suffered while others simply watched.   

Her second best defense would have been an Asp, a telescoping metal baton that will indeed crush or break bones that it contacts with a forceful strike.  The third most effective would have been by leveraging her physical strengths—real physical strategies that help in a street fight such as this.  None of this “crouching tiger” baloney.  When he had her in a bear hug, if she had known how, she could have crushed his nose with her head, or she could have flipped him over into the tracks, the very same way that he threatened her, or she could have crushed his wind pipe with her hand, shoe, or cell phone. 

Here’s the rub though.  This woman is in New York, thus she has to show “cause” as to why she should legally possess a firearm.  An Asp would have been illegal in her state as well.  Adding insult to injury, if this had occurred in New York City, even IF she had a handgun WITH a license to carry, she would have been illegally in possession of it, as New York City does not recognize licenses from the State of New York.  How’s that for ridiculous?   

2nd-ammendment2The sanctimonious positions of many who mistakenly believe the 2nd Amendment is only for members of militia are clearly wrong in light of this set of circumstances.  Our Founding Fathers fully understood that others could not be compelled to defend us, except in a time of war, and still have our nation be built on freedom. However, they certainly would not have left us defenseless in the face of evil as this woman was either.  Thus every American in this nation was given the right—not privilege—to defend themselves with a gun.  This woman lost her civil lawsuit against the MTA.  Perhaps she should be suing the State of New York for making it difficult for her to defend herself with the most effective means possible!

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Media Hype or Firearm Facts—You Decide

Fact: 100% of ALL firearm “accidents” occur as a result of someone violating one of the four most critical safety rules in the ownership and use of a firearm.  Firearms don’t kill people as the media would have us believe, any more than pencils are responsible for making spelling mistakes.  Your ability to STOP an firearm accident is strengthened by your knowledge of a firearm.  In contrast, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, you may actually encourage a deadly accident if you encounter one in the hands of an unauthorized person.  That said, why don’t we ever hear a news report that says something like “There are over 80,000,000 gun owners in the nation today, and only 5 accidents were caused as the result of error on the part of the gun owner”?

mccain-obama2Fact: Every person in the U.S. has the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property.  Fit or fat.  Blonde or brunette.  When a drug-crazed criminal has a gun point at you, your political affiliations do not lessen the impact on your body or your mind.  A bullet will sufficiently kill you regardless of whether you voted for McCain or Obama.  So how you supposed to fight back under such circumstances?

Fact: According to FBI statistics, over 5,500 violent crimes are PREVENTED EVERY DAY by the mere presence of a firearm.  So why are our newspapers and television screens only reporting the horrific scenes of crime and bloodshed at the hands of “crazed gunmen”?  All we ever hear about are the terrible and criminal uses of firearms – school shootings, gunmen clipping off innocent bystanders one by one in a mall or a neighborhood, or gangs who murder and plunder with guns.  Why aren’t we woman-defending-herself5being given a clear picture of the use and importance of firearms in America?  Why aren’t we hearing the real stories from the media – like the 83-year-old woman who shot a would-be rapist in her home.  Or the woman who was raped, then given a rifle by a friend, and when the rapist RETURNED to her home she was able to defend herself and killed the rapist.  Or about the female convenience store employee that was able to save her fellow co-workers from abominable acts at the hand of a robber by grabbing for the gun, and shot him.  Or when a concealed-carry permit holder was able to thwart a massive shootout between police and a liquor store robber because he was willing to draw his gun and shoot the body-armored gunman squarely in the skull.  Violent crime rates have fallen dramatically in right-to-carry states. 

thomas-paine1Fact: Having a firearm and knowing how to use it does not make you a violent person.  In fact, you will find that responsible gun owners are peaceful, law abiding individuals because they are able to function without fear hanging over them.  Yet firearm owners are never portrayed such an image in the national news.  Instead we hear the irresponsible and oppressive mantra of, “Don’t resist.”  “Don’t fight back.”  “Just give them the money, it’s not worth your life.”  What they forget is that while money may not be worth your life, the freedom to be free IS worth your life.  Ironically what Thomas Paine and his associates did to the king of England to protect free speech (particularly the media) is actually being used to give us a false education and thus strip us of other freedoms because of the false and criminalized picture of gun owners that we are confronted with every day. 

Why do we only hear about the terrible encounters with firearms?  Because blood and sex sells.  And it can’t simply be just anybody’s blood.  No, it needs to be the blood of an innocent person, not a violent criminal.  Yes, the so-called education of the facts of gun use for self-defense in America is being steered by money and mindless sheep, plain and simple.  

toilet-paper-constitution2According to Thomas Jefferson, history has proven time and time again that the option for citizens to arm themselves is what ensures protection against a “tyrannical government.”

 

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)

 

 

You see, not only can this type of “preservation of property” give you peace in your ability to defend yourself against violent acts, but it also gives you peace in defending your nation against the loss of freedoms as well. 

“Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised… to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia…” (In Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, Elliot p.3:379-380)

  

“The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless – by disarming them.” (Elliot, p. 3:379-80)

 

constitution1The men and women of America are not only the sole stewards over their own lives and that of their families – they are also the sole guardians of the Constitution.  In the ultimate act of freedom, specifically for the women of our nation, I say that we must take on a more proactive stance in order to fulfill our roles appropriately.  With the increasing numbers of women raising families single-handedly, the extended hours our husbands are forced to work to sustain us, the increasing threat of brazen crimes being committed against women and children in broad daylight, the consistent attacks which are made on our freedom, for all of these reasons, women need to become informed and skilled in the use of a firearm—not just in matters of self-defense use and safety, but also as a Constitutional right.  We cannot relinquish our safety, our lives, or our freedom to the hands of strangers who may or may not be available to defend us when the need arises.  We must take this responsibility for ourselves.  After all, when all of our liberties are gone, there will be nothing left to protect.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

My First Time…Shooting

People assume that as a self-defense and firearms instructor that I’m some kind of super bad “you know what” and have always been “fine” with guns, etc. Well, they would be dead wrong.

When I married my husband I was a city slicker from Columbus, OH. I had never been around guns. I was raised that they were super bad, super dangerous, etc.

As my brand new husband (a Utah mountain boy) and I were moving items into our new home just a week after our wedding, I found myself bringing in a couple of heavy black cases. The cases were small and I couldn’t fathom what in the world could be inside them that would be so heavy. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I asked my husband what the heck they had in them. He sheepishly looked at me and said “Oh. I guessed we should have talked about that before we got married.” As it turned out, the cases had handguns in them and my husband was very adept at handling them and shooting them.

This began the long 12 + months of him trying to convince me, the city girl, that it would be perfectly OK for me to “allow” him to get his concealed carry permit. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of him carrying a gun around all the time though. To his great credit my husband was patient in educating me and waiting for me to be ok with him taking a more proactive stance in his 2nd Amendment rights. So finally I relented and “let” him get his concealed carry permit, with the understanding that I wasn’t yet ready for him to actually “carry.” And so his patience continued. Finally, I decided that he was perfectly capable and competent and this was important to him so I put aside my inhibitions and relented as a “birthday present.” But boy howdy did it make him happy!

Then, as a course of natural progression, he patiently attempted to get me to try and shoot a gun. So we finally went to a range. He taught me forEVER about safety, handling, etc. All the while I’m thinking “let’s just get this over with and let me shoot and get out of here, already!” He had me shoot a little Beretta Tomcat .32. (This is a little bigger kick than a .22 but less than a 9 mm.) Terrified, but trying to be brave, I shot it six times and then began crying, shaking inside, and informed my husband we were done with the shooting exercise.

After this I couldn’t watch action/adventure movies (my favorite genre up to this point) for several weeks. When I saw someone on screen shooting a gun, it suddenly felt much more real to me, no longer pretend. I no longer had the desire to cheer for the good guy and yell “Get ‘em!” Instead, I recalled what I felt were the heavy bass reverberations that I experienced shooting the first time and listening to my husband’s shooting. After shooting a firearm I felt just how real, instant, and deadly a gun was. And that kind of power in my hand initially scared the crud out of me and I certainly didn’t want to relive it in a movie.

Several weeks later my husband chose to make use of my competitive spirit and convinc ed me that I should try again and not let this fear get the better of me. So I did. This time he had me shoot a Glock 9 mm. I lasted an entire 20 minutes of shooting this, hitting the target occasionally, and then informed him that I had met my quota for the day. At least this time I didn’t cry.

So what transpired between the crying, the stress, and such and my now being a firearms and self-defense instructor to women?

First: Purpose.  I realized that as our world becomes more volatile, the more likely we will need to defend ourselves in such a manner someday, whether it be protecting our homestead, a family member, virtue, or other scenarios I won’t get into here.  And it’s naive of me to think that my “Rambo” of a husband will be there to save the day when I’m in trouble.  There is a great likelihood that when something does “go south” my husband will be the one out patrolling in the neighborhood, or coming to the aid of others.  I realized that I didn’t want to be a liability for him and wanted to be able to stand on my own when it may be necessary. 

Second: Vision. Then I realized that there were a lot of other women that are in the same shoes as me—their husband may be confident in defending himself physically or with a firearm, but their wives are not. I’m sure it would give a greater peace of mind to those who love their wives to know that their wives can be a protecting asset to the family too. Yet, I also know just how hard it was for me to overcome my stigmas about guns, protection, emergency preparedness, and self-defense. Frankly, in spite of my husband being an excellent and patient teacher with me, there are some things that a man would never think of when instructing a woman, things that I think would have made it easier for me to come around and be more confident in my ability to defend myself without hurting innocent bystanders. I think learning from a man is difficult for a woman…especially when it’s a husband or a boyfriend. There’s already an enormous amount of pressure in this new experience without stressing that you’re disappointing or not measuring up to someone you love as well.

Additionally I realized that there were also a lot of non-married women that aren’t sufficiently protected simply because of a lack of knowledge. When I was Marine-trained to learn physical self-defense (by a couple of men), I realized that there were better ways to communicate and thus properly train a woman in order for her to be effective and proactive, rather than reactive to fear or potential “what if” scenarios. I felt that it would be better to prevent those scenarios from ever happening than trying to educate someone traumatized after the fact.

Assault crimes have continued to rise in our nation.  Criminals are becoming more brazen in their efforts to win the “Oscar” for the biggest, boldest, most gruesome assault.  I realize that simply maintaining the status quo for women and their ability to truly defend themselves really was no longer an option.  And yet they didn’t have a lot of viable answers.

Third: Confidence. It’s one things to have a Concealed Firearm Permit.  It’s another to have the mindset that you will be able to use the firearm if necessary, and that you can do so without harming others.  I was very fortunate in that I was able to get some unique training that enabled me to hit exactly what I was aiming at, without the “fog of war” intruding, and in a quick-draw fashion.  This SKILL made me very competent and confident.  This made a HUGE difference in my acceptance of this new responsibility. I was ready to take it on.  This confidence made a significant impact on my view of circumstances around me.  I no longer seemed to worry as much about things which were out of my control, because I felt in control of the most vital matters, protecting myself and others. 

Fourth: Clarity. Martial arts and boxing training are great for physical activity, confidence, and discipline. But for the majority of ALL students, they are ineffective, and even dangerous (because of the false sense of competence they may invoke) in the heat of a real assault. I’m sorry to offend anyone when I say this, but reality can’t be subject to a popularity contest. The reality is it’s unrealistic to think that someone can get this kind of instruction and effectively defend themselves against a psychotic perpetrator in the heat of the moment. Unless you’re Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan, it’s not likely you’ve instinctively mastered the skills necessary to make these disciplines life-saving. There are too many “moves” to master. There’s too much thinking necessary. Additionally, it appeared that only “beautiful, skinny, and fit women” were capable of using these techniques in an attempt to protect themselves. Considering that I was over 200 pounds, only 5’ 2 ½” and overall out of shape, I didn’t like that idea very much. I didn’t care for the social insinuation that chubby women were ideal marks for perpetrators. That’s when I had an “Aha Moment.” My personal discovery was that the competent use of a firearm far surpasses the effectiveness of a “crouching tiger” or a “right cross” and it is no respecter of what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the last decade! While the knocking someone unconscious may be a more compassionate approach to defending yourself, I had to come to a point where I no longer fostered compassion towards someone who would take me away from my family, cripple me, harm my children, or others that I loved or who were helpless to defend themselves. And whether one is scrawny, hefty, young or ancient, the competent use of a firearm coupled with some street smarts is a great equalizer between good and evil.

After commiserating with so many women over the years who were just like me in their fear and other inhibitions of defending themselves, I SO wanted to share my relatively newfound knowledge with as many women as I could. I wanted them to have the opportunity to learn from a very REAL woman who completely understood and overcame their same fears. To not just learn enough so that they can legally carry a firearm, but to learn enough so that they can skillfully use one when necessary, and can defend themselves when necessary. I also saw value in training women real street smarts with the proper use of other methods of self-defense in the event a firearm isn’t readily available, malfunctions, or could endanger others.

To this end I’ve spent years becoming the most certified female NRA instructor in the Western States as well as a certified Utah CFP Instructor (Concealed Firearm Permit). In addition I’ve endeavored to learn and master as much as my military, DEA, and other helpful experts have to teach me so that I can expertly pass on real life skills to women all over. I’ve also worked closely with my husband to create an exclusive technique that enables a shooter to consistently hit exactly what they are aiming at, with only a couple hours of instruction! So if you’re inclined in the least, begin your journey with me at http://www.womenofcaliber.com/

And that, is the rest of the story.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.