Why We Fear Guns

If guns are good for us, then why are they so controversial?  Why are we afraid of them?

Well, the answer is short and sweet—manipulation.

Even in the movies we love, guns are typically portrayed in a negative light.  They are used by “bad guys” to commit unspeakable horror, and they are used by “law enforcement officers” to fight the bad guys, they are used in times of intense war, or they are used by decent people who mistakenly take the law into their own hands.

USA-GUNS/COURTAdditionally, the media in general has cast an ugly skewed shadow on the consequences of having a gun in the home, the stereotype of those who carry guns, and the supposed harm that such items cause to an otherwise civil society.  In fact, even the word “assault weapon” was created by the anti-gun individuals and the media as an accomplice to impose a derogatory and frightening mental picture associated with any firearm resembling a rifle (The phrase “assault weapon” is clearly one of many mischaracterizations of a firearm. The word “assault” denotes an act of aggressive proactive behavior. If that were really the case, perhaps we should call all fishing rods an “assault rod”).

the-patriotIn other words, the first reason why we’ve come to fear guns so badly is because the only education we receive typically is at the hands the media or the movie industry.  Now that I think about it, with the exception of the movie The Patriot, I don’t recall seeing any movie that promoted the right to keep and bear arms and the necessity of such to ensure a free country in an appropriate light.  In a movie we see and hear the big blast of a firearm, see the ensuing (and predictably obligatory) blood splatters, and that’s the picture we have training our mind about guns.  We never get to see and thus to better feel the relief one would have in truly being able to defend themselves from a violent crime on the big screen.  And rarely, if ever, do we hear in the media of all of the crimes that are prevented by the use of a firearm in the hands of a responsible and competent citizen.  Nope.  The only way you can find out about that is to join some kind of 2nd Amendment activist group or purchase books which look like they were produced with a small budget. 

fbi-sealDo you have any idea of how hard I had to search just to find the FBI statistic which states that the mere presence of a firearm in the hands of our citizens prevents over 5,500 crimes PER DAY?  Nope.  You’ll never see a mainstream newspaper put that in their headlines. 

In other words, all of our firearm education is through the stunning special effects and loud professional voices of manipulation by those who would have us believe that the use of a firearm for self-defense is a barbaric tactic.

gangsNot to say that your parents were wrong in the choices they made in raising you, but they have a great deal of responsibility in your feelings towards gun as well.  In their defense, they were fed the same “state of reality” growing up through the movies, media, etc.  I’m curious how far back in history I’d have to go to find a time when we actually taught about all of the components of the Constitution in elementary or middle school.  Regardless, your parents didn’t have such education.  AND they weren’t raised in a time where thousands of gangs roam our nation committed to wreaking terror and death throughout, periodic invasions from foreign terrorists, a stark imbalance between law enforcement protection and the citizens, record numbers of overcrowding in our jails, rampant substance abuse, the highest level of violent crime in the history of our nation and a laissez faire attitude and naïveté that opens us to even more crimes.  I could point out many more societal changes which may dictate that we have more reasons to take personal responsibility for our own effective self-defense today rather than yesterday, but I don’t really want this to appear too doom and gloom.  I guess I could have summed this part up by simply saying that your folks were raised in a different time of violence and crime and thus the likelihood that you were raised unaware and uneducated in matters of firearm defense is very likely.  They were subjected to the same glitzy, high-budget media and movie education that everyone else is. 

Now I don’t know about you, but when I find that I’m being manipulated, I tend to resist—fiercely.  In fact, when I’m listening to a professional speaker on a stage who is so predictably trying to get the audience to bob their heads in agreement or to contrive a laugh from the audience, I personally rebel and refuse to submit.  So, when I see that I’m being manipulated by one side of the topic, I make it a point to get the whole story…full education.  As a result, I’ve come to believe strongly in the necessity of learning how to use a firearm in self-defense AND ensure that such a right as a citizen of this nation is never threatened. 

The myths are that guns are symbols of violence, whereas I now see them as a symbol of enduring peace in a violent world around me.

The myth is that guns are used by insecure, mentally deranged people.  I find that my ability to competently use a firearm eliminates fear in my life and thus I’m able to replace that fear with confidence and unmask other positive attributes which I possess.

medical-malpractice-gunThe myth is that guns kill lots of people every year.  The fact is they do, but typically in the hands of criminals.  The biggest killer of our American citizens is medical errors, followed by heart disease, and then cancer.  Seriously, statistically, doctors who cause death by dereliction are 9,000 times more dangerous than guns held by legal gun owners! And yet no one has ever run a news story that paints doctors and hospital staff in the same barbaric light as gun owners.

Additional consideration is the number of violent crimes that are committed by illegal immigrants in our country.  Illegal immigrants kill over 8,000 legal American citizens in our country every year, and are also responsible for sexually assaulting over 2,000 of our children every year and yet we can’t seem to lobby against them. 

Lastly, there’s the myth is that a gun in the house will result in a fatal accident among children or others. The fact is if you don’t know how to use and be safe with a firearm, your chances of an accident happening are sky-high – not just in your home, but in the home of your neighbors whom your children visit.  If you don’t know about firearms and their workings, how do you know you’ll act appropriately if you walk in on a child who has one in their hands?  Education is the key.  Curiosity and ignorance is a deadly combination and is what causes accidents.  Not guns.  Attempting to say as much is like saying that pencils cause spelling errors. 

I’m completely accepting of the fact that someone chooses not to have a firearm so long as that person makes the decision with full knowledge of the facts rather than the myths.  So please, get informed and then make your decision.  If you do choose to get educated on the USE of a firearm, Women of Caliber will be here for you with the most expert training available for women—by women. 

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

If a violent criminal has broken in to your home…who’s his first target?

There are a handful of common reasons why women do not proactively learn how to defend themselves either physically or with a firearm.  But I have found that most of these reasons can be resolved with education.  In today’s article I wanted to give my fellow women some useful food for thought.

Suppose you have a competent husband.  He works out. He’s fit. He’s conscious of his surroundings, and perhaps he even is familiar with the proper use of a handgun for self-defense purposes.  Let’s even add to the mix that you also have a few children as well who have been taught how to safely live in an environment aware of self-defense.  Thus you may have a sense that all is well.

home-break-inNow, let’s suppose that the unthinkable occurs and a violent criminal has broken into your home.  And we’ll even assume that you “got lucky” and your husband is home when the invasion occurs.  Who do you think a strategic criminal would target first in order to get his demands met?  Your husband, because he’s the strongest threat?  No. That would be an incorrect assumption.  The criminal would go after you, the wife and mother, first because you are perceived as being the weakest yet the greatest asset. Think about it. What would your husband do in exchange for your life? What would your children do if “Mommy” was being threatened with unspeakable violence?  In this instance, your lack of skill and knowledge is actually a dangerous liability to the rest of your family. 

This situation could be significantly different if you merely appeared to be the weakest and yet were able to fully protect and defend yourself and your family. 

Let’s play this out in a single mom situation.  The criminal may go after you as you are perceived to be the only viable threat.  Or the criminal could go after your children in order to manipulate your actions. Either way, your unquestionable will to protect your children is simply not enough to save them. You must back up that will with knowledge and skill.  Otherwise you will still be a liability to your children or anyone else you love and care for. 

So how do you defend yourself?  While there are many defensive alternatives that can be considered, consider this.  A firearm operated safely and with expertise is the ultimate equalizer between a woman and her would-be attacker.  If an attacker is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or rage the proverbial karate chop is not likely to save your life and to end the altercation.  You need real stopping powers against such mind and body numbing substances in order to truly bring the altercation to stop and ensure you and your family’s safety. 

police-rescueIn today’s society where criminal activity seems to know no bounds, it’s naïve of us women to think that someone else will save us. The police can’t stop every attack from ever happening.  Our husbands or significant others won’t always be there to protect us.  We will not be able to ward off an intruder solely by our motherly lioness instincts.  These instincts may provide us with adrenaline and determination, but unless they are backed up with applicable and practical skill such instincts may only bring us more harm. 

Here’s the good news.  No, you do not need to train countless hours to have this kind of expertise.  And no, you do not need to shrink from your femininity in order to be capable of protecting yourself.  There is a proprietary technique available that will ensure that you hit only what you’re aiming at, and to do so expeditiously before the encounter escalates to an impossible situation.

For more information, go to www.WomenofCaliber.com

Here’s to your safety 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.  

Greensburg Gun Confiscations

Here is a true article I’d like you to read.  In doing so I hope that you will take more seriously the right to own and use a firearm when necessary.  Yes, it’s controversial to many. But it’s even more frightening to me to think of my life without such a right.  If we keep our heads in the sand then this will continue to occur and we will have no protective rights left. 

“Greensburg Report

I could not find the original Greensburg thread so I started another one. I have talked to many residents who relayed to me first hand their experiences. All that I originally reported has now been verified by the actual individuals who were involved and is no longer second hand information.

The following article will appear in the next issue of the CHIPS which is the KSRA member newsletter. I am also turning over all of my findings and contact info to the NRA and to several legislators.

                                             GREENSBURG GUN CONFISCATIONS

By Patricia A. Stoneking
greensburg-tornadoI would like to start this report by noting that I have personally spoke with several sources who were directly involved in the incidents that I am about to report that took place in Greensburg, KS in the aftermath of the horrible CAT 5 tornado that ravaged and destroyed that town. I will not be divulging their names in this article as they have requested I not do so.

The first thing I would like for everyone to acknowledge is that the residents of Greensburg were forced to evacuate and that, in and of itself, was an illegal action as martial law had not been declared. There were many people who wanted to stay and they were threatened with arrest and forcible removal if they did not leave as ordered. The tornado happened at 9:46pm on Friday evening, May 4, 2007 and they were forced to leave within a couple hours of it, being given no time to collect themselves or assess the damages or even try to pick up anything such as guns and valuables. Ed Klummp, Police Chiefs Association, testified at the House committee hearing with a position opposing The Emergency Powers Act and said the evacuations were so they could search for bodies and shut off gas and power and that the evacuation was for the safety of the residents. I have been told by a reliable source that the electricity was shut off prior to the tornado striking and the gas was shut off within a few hours after. It would seem that the evacuation was not necessary in light of that information. Perhaps the position should have been that those who want to leave be provided a way to do so and those who wish to stay be allowed to stay.

This town was locked down tight for several days and no one was allowed in or out. The only people in that town during this time were Sheriffs Officers, Kansas Highway Patrol Officers, ATF, FEMA, National Guard, Police Officers from surrounding areas and some volunteers from Ft. Riley, generally speaking, government officials. Authorities claim no one else was there or could have gotten in or out. Interestingly enough, I have been told repeatedly by all sources that the media was allowed to roam freely without escorts through Greensburg. Shall we ask why residents were not allowed to stay on their own property but media was allowed unfettered access?

Many guns and other valuables such as jewelry have gone permanently missing and have never been recovered. There were some houses that were not destroyed and were intact and habitable. Those folks did not want to leave but were forced to do so. When they returned they found their houses had been broken in to and all of their guns missing. One gentleman reports that when he went to claim his guns, taken from his secure home, they were returned to him in damaged condition. They were not damaged by the tornado. They were locked up in his home and illegally confiscated. So how do we suppose that damage occurred?

pile-of-gunsGuns and ammunition that were collected were taken to a trailer and an ATF agent manned the trailer. When people first came to collect their guns they were asked for proof of ownership such as receipts and serial number lists and they had to fill out a 4473 and get a NICS approval before they could claim their guns. No one had paperwork, receipts, or lists of serial numbers because it had all blown away. Later into the process they quit demanding these items and asked only for a list with make, model and description of the firearm. In one case, in the collection trailer, a gun case was claimed by one man who had a very nice trap shotgun in it and when he opened the undamaged and closed case, he found not his nice BT99 but another damaged gun that did not belong to him. That $1500.00 BT99 has never turned up. One comment made by all sources is that many “nice” guns were never recovered. Every source has reported that little to no care was taken with any of the firearms retrieved and taken into protective custody and they were not catalogued in any fashion. One resident said “they were just thrown in there in piles”.

One family, whose house was not damaged, reported that officers were going to remove them at gun point when they refused to leave their property and a gun fight was only averted when a KBI agent stepped in front of the other officers and pleaded with them to consider what they were doing. Those residents had taken up their shotguns and were not going to leave. We can only say thank heavens for that KBI officer who had the sense to realize what pressing these people at gun point would mean.

As I talked to these residents of Greensburg the accounts of their personal experiences kept flowing and they all had certain things in common. Their rights were violated, guns were confiscated illegally and they were forced to leave their homes illegally. When government agents came to their property they did not ask them if they were okay or needed help. They were there to forcibly remove them and confiscate their property. Many of them expressed fear of reprisal should they go public. Do they have the names of the officials who they believe acted illegally and inappropriately? In many cases, the answer is yes. Did all officials act illegally and inappropriately? NO. Many were very helpful and had great concern for the well being of the residents and were there to assist them with the best of intentions.

femaThe people in Greensburg are a close, tight knit community, everyone-knows-everyone kind of place. They were very resentful of government coming in and telling them what they had to do. They would have preferred to stay and help each other locate valuables and guns and not leave their property. Several residents have reported that FEMA did more harm than good and would not even cooperate with local law enforcement. Residents of the town who were firefighters and trained in rescue operations wanted to stay and help their neighbors and friends and were told they could not.

The many stories that have been shared with me are too lengthy to include in this report. I just pose these questions. If there was even one act of misconduct or illegal activity by any governmental official are we to stand by idly and allow it without complaint? Should those who broke the law be allowed to continue to “serve” as law enforcement officials without question? Should the residents of Greensburg have to fear reprisal if they report and file complaints about what happened to them? Should Kansas and its legislative body do nothing to see to it that this never happens again?

I am turning over all of the information I have obtained to the NRA complete with names and numbers of those residents which I have spoke with. I am also going to turn the information over to some members of the Kansas House and Senate. I would urge KSRA members to contact their legislators and demand that a full investigation be conducted in to the events that took place in Greensburg. HB 2811, The Emergency Powers Act is a bill designed to prevent this exact kind of thing from happening and provide a remedy if it does (see that article). At the time of this publication that bill is in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee. Rise up Kansas! Let your voice be heard! Don’t let your town be next!”

Today’s Woman and Firearms

Are you part of the startling 49% INCREASE of gun sales that occurred in November 2008? (over the previous year of the same month) Chances are, if you’re female, you actually represent the majority of those purchases. That’s right. The majority.

If I were to state that this is an important time in history, many of you may think that I’m referring to the political shift in power. However, I’m actually referring to the undeniable shift in interest of the expert use of firearms.  Over the last 12 months, women have been coming out of the woodwork in record droves and declaring their independence by taking part in firearm safety and use. Women are starting to feel like they can no longer stay in the dark when it comes to firearm safety and usage. After all, the best safety measure anyone can have when it comes to firearms is knowledge.

blown-awayIn Caitlin Kelly’s 2004 book, Blown Away: American Women and Guns, she points out that today’s women realize that they simply aren’t as well protected as they need to be. Their levels of knowledge and self-defense protection simply aren’t keeping up with the rate of violent crimes against women. Thus they are searching for more effective means of providing that necessary protection.  Women today understand that the power of a competent marksman is a great equalizer against violent crime, and they are refusing to become the next victim statistic.

Lest we forget, shooting is also fun.  It’s not unusual to see women joining in dirt bike racing, camping and hiking, fishing, hunting, and other activities that have been predominantly occupied by men.  A feminine touch on a rifle or handgun is just one more expression of women’s exploration for new, fun, and exciting.  And it gives women a great outlet for their inherent hand-eye coordination talents.  Skeet and target shooting make for a great stress reliever worthy of today’s challenges.

And lastly, it’s no secret that women are nurturers by nature.  With the growing number of single mothers in our nation, women are beginning to take sole responsibility for soundly protecting their families as well.  It’s simply not enough in today’s society to remind the children not to talk to strangers.  This has led a dramatic increase in the number of single moms clamoring for firearm training classes.  Unfortunately, these classes are lacking in one critical component. 

With as many women who are seeking training, the number of females who are sufficiently trained and willing to offer such training has a long ways to go to merit the equal amounts of support that women gun owners are now in search of.  More of these capable women need to come out of their proverbial closets and show a sister how to make strides in competently ensuring safety and use without regrets of her firearm.

Experienced females need to help our society shed the warped image of women and firearms as well.  We need to demand more fashionable and female minded options for firearm carrying and sports. We need to counter the notion that a firearm somehow strips a woman of her femininity and show that it does not negate her instinct to nurture and care.  A firearm does not make a woman a brash warrior.  In fact, a firearm in the properly trained hands brings an abundance of confidence and peace. (And yes, I do mean “peace” in more than one way.)

Given all of the images that are flashed on television and in magazines which attempt to make us feel like we’re not doing enough, not skinny enough, or just plain not enough, it seems to me that we could use a lot more women gun owners in this nation.  So if you’ve got the talent for competent firearm usage, share it.  If you have an interest burgeoning for more knowledge in this regard, act on it.  There’s plenty of “sistas” willing to join you.

Bring on the Confidence and the Peace.



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

What Not To Wear… when learning how to shoot a firearm

What Not To Wear

Who Not to Take

What Not To Say…when learning how to shoot a firearm.

“But I don’t want my husband to teach me how to shoot a gun.”

Yup. I’ve heard that line a LOT in my years of firearm self-defense training.  And it usually also comes with a “men aren’t patient enough.”  While I wholeheartedly disagree with the overall patience complaint from women toward men, I do wholeheartedly agree that learning how to shoot from your husband, father, son, boyfriend, or even a male instructor is not the wisest choice a woman could make. 

Sorry ladies. This is not going to be a male bashing blog.  In fact, I learned the majority of what I know about self-defense exclusively from men – especially, my expert marksman husband and a couple of patient Marine friends of mine. But I have learned what women really need in order to be properly instructed in the competent handling of a firearm and how they need to learn it from my female students. This bit of information will outline some of the points of difference between a woman and a man in learning how to competently use a firearm.

Because firearms are stereotypically such a “manly” thing, men need to stop trying to introduce them to the women as a means of making the female tougher.  Women don’t want to strip themselves of their kind and gentle virtues. That’s part of what makes them women.  One of the primary reasons a woman has any desire to learn how to use a firearm is a result of her fierce instinct to take care of her children and loved ones.  That’s what an instructor needs to address.  As such, women are more apt to learn how to handle themselves with a firearm in order to ensure that they are able to maintain peace and order in their lives. 

Men need to understand that women are physiologically more sensitive to the deep bass sound than men are. This is why you are more likely to have a car banging the bass sound with the windows rolled down accompanied by a male driver rather than a female. When instructed by males, they are seemingly oblivious to this affect.  And if they are unaware of it, it registers to a female as something freakish, wrong, or inept.  As women we’re used to running an entire household, annual budgets, creative menu planning, power social networking, puke, pooh, blood, emotional breakdown intervention, mental manipulation, calendaring, multi-tasking, etc.  We women definitely have the fortitude to be good at whatever we set our minds to.  Regardless, the new sound of a round exploding in the middle of our hands is not something we’re initially oriented to handle.  We women are simply more sensitive to it, and boy does it rock our world—but not in the way it does for the head banger rock hard males.  The initial, uncommon sounds of a firearm going off, even a small caliber .22, often rattles a woman to the core literally.  It is something that women have to get used to. And trying to do so when they are in the midst of the company of a man that they care about, would like to make proud, and consider themselves a partner to is NOT the ideal scenario. Holding a firearm for the first time is tough enough.  Men, I don’t recommend having the special female in your life try to do it around you.  It’s just plain stressful. The woman is usually trying to push through an instinct that has been fostered all of their lives that a firearm is a big, bad, scary thing.  They don’t need the added pressure of not making you happy, pushing your patience, or doing something that’s not technically correct as well.    

9mm-gun-casingWhile men are occasionally whacked on the head, arms, or elsewhere with a loose casing, they typically think that’s pretty cool—a sign of competence and “really shooting.”  I doubt they would think this way however, if the hot casing were to make it down a man’s pants and lodge itself in the family jewels.  Unfortunately women rarely get the advice to refrain from wearing low cut, scoop necked or open necked tops when a man takes them shooting so as not to get an unpleasant and uninvited hot visitor in their bra. Only another woman would think to caution them against inappropriate clothing.  Oh, and the make-up and jewelry.  You may want to refrain from wearing them when you go shooting as well.  The gun powder that you get on your face and hands is definitely not something the jewelers or department store manufacturers considered when they make their beauty and warranty claims.

Women don’t need to restrict themselves to a particular caliber either. While there is a great deal of viable evidence that a particular caliber has more stopping power than another, the stopping power is useless if you can’t handle the firearm.  Just work up to a caliber and grip that feels comfortable to you.  Gun ranges usually have guns to rent and test out so that you don’t make an expensive purchasing error.  Use such conveniences for all it’s worth until you’re completely comfortable with a particular grip, caliber, slide, trigger pull, and action. If you are only comfortable with a .22 caliber, it’s sure better than nothing.  A lot better.  Most would be criminals wouldn’t know one caliber from another anyway.  All they see is that you have a gun, or that you’re using a gun.  Period.

Women do not need to sacrifice or hide their femininity and fashion sense in order to appreciate the protection and peace of mind that learning how to use a firearm can give them. No, women do not need to get rid of their long nails for shooting. (Just scrub them really well afterwards to get the gun powder and gases removed.)   Nor do they need to begin wearing fatigues, carry ugly purses, wear hideous concealed carry vests, don macho belts, or look like they gained 50 pounds on their hips just so that they can carry a firearm with them for protection.  Learning the ropes on these kinds of issues merely comes with getting your information from another woman usually…as opposed to Bubba who wears one gun in his oversized belt buckle, one in his military boot, one in his fanny pack, and one under his hat. 

By the way, it’s a firearm—not a weapon.  A 5 inch stiletto heel, hairspray, or a credit card is a weapon. Let’s not get them confused. 

Here’s to learning…


Women of Caliber exclusively trains women, by women, the skills of physical and firearm self-defense, including the UT Concealed Firearm Permit.  For more information go to www.womenofcaliber.com


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