Girls and Guns

by Amber Waldroup

When it comes to guns, I admit, I let my husband handle them. He knows the ins and outs of each gun, how to take them apart, clean them, and put them back together, and what to shoot with what gun. He lets me handle the food and other supplies.

I know how many bags of sugar we have, where the toothpaste is stashed, and what I need to restock the pantry with when I go to the grocery store. That works for us. But that’s not the best idea.

Oh, I can shoot the guns. I’m a better shot with the 9mm than the hubby is. But I’m not entirely comfortable with the shotgun—it kicks more than I like—and the rifle is intimidating. I can get them out of their cases, load them, shoot them, and clear them, but they make me nervous. I know, I know.

That’s a very bad trait for a woman of the house to have. I’m not afraid of the gun, because I know that I control them, and that their power lies in my hands. I just haven’t spent as much time with them as I have, with, say my mixer. Or my oven. Or my pressure canner. You get the picture.

And that needs to change. Like right now.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate why all women need to know how to handle, load, shoot, and unload a gun. Well, I may tell you a story or two, because that’s just the kind of girl I am.

My Momma is one of those southern women who can do it all. Cook, split firewood, garden, gather eggs, and scour the internet for the real story—the one the media doesn’t tell you—she can, and will, and does, do it all.

She works a full time job, and has an impressive garden, an impressive stockpile, an impressive library (which she constantly reminds me to read), and an impressive plan to protect her family no matter what happens. She also has a husband, who though he might not admit to it, and though it might take him a day or two, will do whatever she asks him to do. So it’s not like she has to split firewood. She just does.

Momma is rather attached to her chickens. No, they’re not pets. They’re food. The eggs, the roosters, and the old fat hens have fed our family and friends for several years now. Some days, she gives away eggs by the dozen, and other times, like this hot, dry, hot summer, she holds onto those eggs like gold.

One day, Momma went to the chicken coop to feed the fat birds some scraps from the garden. She decided to gather the eggs while she was there. What did she find in a nest? A snake. I asked her later what kind of snake it was, and she said “I don’t know! It was in the nest and it’s dead now!”

Momma got her gun (yes, her gun that she bought to kill the crows that have been eating her garden, which she is also rather attached to) and marched back to the chicken coop. Unfortunately, the pellet gun didn’t have much of an impact on the 6-foot-plus snake.

Of course, this made Momma mad. So, like any good southern woman would do, she marched back to the house, called my step-dad, and asked him which gun to use. He told her, she got it, and out she went. One shot later, the egg eater was gone. As a side note, let me add that normally, Momma wouldn’t kill a black snake, but it was eating her eggs, so it had to go.

Yes, it was a non-venomous snake, but what if it hadn’t been? What if she’d taken my little kids to gather eggs—a favorite pastime of theirs—and had met up with a rattlesnake? A copperhead? A cottonmouth? Or one of the coyotes that’s been lurking in that area? Or a wild dog? What would she have done then?

Same thing she did this time, and the same thing any man would have done. Shot it. Only problem—no man was home. My step-dad was gone. My brother was at work. My husband was at work. So, Momma did what she had to do. She got the gun and killed it. And she wasn’t afraid. She was more mad that the snake had the audacity not to die the first time she shot it.

What if it was you? What if you were in your backyard, and you came up on a threat? Maybe a venomous snake or a rabid animal? Maybe a criminal looking for his next victim? What would you do? I’ll tell you what I’d do—just what my Momma did. Shoot it.

Girls, if you are afraid, nervous, or uncomfortable around guns, here are some tips from another girl to help you get more confident around them. You never know, you just might have to defend yourself or your children one day.

Ask questions about guns. Talk to your husband, dad, brother, whoever, and just learn more about them. When would you use a shotgun? When would you use a rifle? What kind of range does this have? What kind of spread does the shell for this gun have?

Here’s one last story. A few years ago, someone tried to break into our house. Our neighborhood was suffering from a rash of break-ins and attempted break-ins. I was home, alone, with our two kids. The low down smarmy criminal bumped our back door. The kids and I hid, paralyzed with fear, until the police arrived.

That night, hubby and I had a tactical meeting, where we discussed my potential action plans should someone ever get into the house. I had several options, depending on where I was and where the kids were. After he laid out all my choices, I decided I wanted to use the shotgun (we didn’t have our handgun yet) filled with buck shot. Better odds that way. Much as I hated the thought, I was ready if it ever happened again.

Fast forward to earlier this spring. Same thing happened—low-life bumped the back door. One kid was at school, the other down for a nap. I called 911, and fought with the safe to get my friend Mr. Smith (yes, I named the gun, but don’t tell my hubby I told you!).

Opening the safe was harder than loading the gun, because I hadn’t practiced it time and time again. Once I got the gun out and loaded, I stood in one of my pre-determined positions, gun drawn and pointed at the spot my target would appear.

Thankfully, the scum bag didn’t get inside, thanks to the reinforcements hubby and my step-dad made to our back door after the last time. When the officer arrived, I answered the door, gun in hand. He asked me what I was going to do with the gun.

I told him that since he was here, I was unloading it and putting the gun back in the safe where it belonged. He laughed. I don’t think he expected me to know how to unload it. He underestimated this southern girl.

Girls, don’t be a liability to your husbands. Learn to handle the guns and handle them with such confidence that you can always take care of your family no matter what. Your man may not always be there to kill the snake or defend your home from bad guys. He may be at work.

He may be out hunting. He may be gone. You may have to hunt to feed your family. Your life, and the very lives of your children, may depend on your skill, knowledge, and ability to handle a gun. Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn how.

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13 thoughts on “Girls and Guns”

  1. Excellent post on why the wimmen (*duck*) should get familiar with the usual-man gadget of prepping. We might not be there.

    An ex-gf of mine, solid gun hater, changed her tune about guns when she was between a snake and her two kids. She had no problem holding my shotgun that day, in fact I don’t know if Normandy was patroled as frequently.

  2. My wife made a declaration 13 years ago when we started to purchase firearms (we were both from non-gun families prior to that, so had no idea what to do… but that’s another story). Her declration was simple, plain, and worked… any firearms that came into the house had to be taught to her, and she had to know how to use it well enough for action.

    Today, she shoots skeet better than I do, has claimed both of our Benelli shotguns, has an M1 Garand, and loves to help teach kids how to shoot. I’ve been blessed with a wife like this, and have admonished my son to make sure that he doesn’t date any gun hating girls… they better be fully on board if they want his mom’s approval!

  3. Ma’am,

    Just want to thank you for such an enlightened opinion on female preparedness. First it gives me a great post to have the women of my house read and second it helps to provide us dumb backwoods males better insight into what makes women tick!! God protect you and your loved ones in the times ahead……hopefully none of your preparedness is needed, but better safe than sorry!!

  4. Great post. The women in my family all know how to use their firearms and it gives me great peace of mind that they can and will use them. hope that any women reading this post take this advice and use it.

  5. this is why i suggest a “quick access” safe for the “go to” handgun. leave the big safe for the lesser used items.

    should that door frame splinter or a window glass break is not the time to be spinning the dial trying to open the big safe. (plus should you fail in your defense attempt you now have left open the big safe with most likely your valuables and other firearms putting any first responders or other family in a more dangerous situation)

  6. Wife always went with me to the range and (with me loading her mags) would fire off a box of .380’s or maybe a few more .22’s. She would mutter some stuff about “boys and their toys” as I worked my way through whatever variety of .45, .308, and 30-06 I brought out to the range. Then, when we got back home, she whined about her nails until I shooed her out of the room and cleaned her pistol along with the 5 or 6 pistols and rifles I had out.

    2 years ago, we were graced with our first grandchild – a girl. Last year she and my wife were intentionally rammed by an ex-con who had already jacked over 3 other women that day. An off duty police officer was 2 cars back and hit the perp with his taser just as he yanked open my wife’s truck door.

    Range practice has become a weekly religious experience for our house. My wife prefers torso and head targets so she can better judge her shot placement. She says it has been her personal experience that bad guys don’t wear concentric circles on their chests. She is more likely to leave the house without her iPhone (horrors) than her pistol. We also had a holster mounted between the seat and console so she doesn’t have to keep track of her purse.

    Can’t say I miss the “boys and their toys” comment, but I still manage to get stuck with the cleaning and mag loading chores.

  7. Amber,

    The way you think is a blessing! I would like to see more women display the same sort of moxie which you obviously possess: the pioneering self-reliant spirit of can-do that women of a bygone era had to (mostly out of necessity) demonstrate. Very nice post!

  8. Great post! I’d make my girlfriend read it; but, she’s already on your side. (Our first date was at the range! And she wanted to shoot the largest caliber available. She likes the pistol grip shotgun more than me and hates the .22’s! Think I got a keeper!) Just remember….
    1) Treat every gun as if it were loaded!
    2) Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
    3) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
    4)Be sure of your target, and what is/could be in front of and behind it!
    5)If you ever have to shoot(God forbid), shoot to kill and don’t stop till there is no longer a threat!
    6)Reload, Pray…

  9. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I’m glad you enjoyed this post–it was fun to write, and I hope at least one woman feels less intimidated by guns and has the courage to learn more about this important prepper’s tool.

    Just a quick comment about the safe issue–for our handgun, we have a small safe, just bigger than the gun. It is in a location that is easily accessible for us grown ups. The other guns, etc, are in other places that aren’t as easy to get to in a situation such as the one I described. It is definitely a good idea to keep other guns and valuables in separate places, just in case someone gets past you. The safe actually has a key pad. The problem that I experienced was that the key pad is small, and with my adrenaline flowing, I kept hitting the wrong numbers, and I was going too fast for it to actually unlock before I tried to open it . . . which automatically resets it. Good for keeping the gun safe, not so good when you need it. It never occurred to me to practice opening the safe . . . until that day.

    Granite, glad I could offer at least a little insight to the female mind! But, I’m sure you’ve discovered that we’re way more complicated than that, and just when you think you’ve got us all figured out, we toss you a curve ball. Just ask my hubby 🙂 Seriously, though, I do think that women stay away from guns because they feel intimidated, or don’t want to infringe on their man’s “territory”. It’s good to skills in all areas of life–hubby cooked supper last night because I was on the phone with Momma. So when you look at it like that, women should know how to handle a gun, change a tire, and do “man things” and men should know how to cook, take care of kids, and do “woman things”. Just leads to a happy, well balanced life, I think!

    Have a great day, y’all!


  10. A similiar experience happened to me a few months ago. A criminal broke one of the windows in my living room late at night while I was asleep and my husband was at work. Fortunately, the sound of my dogs barking woke me up and the first thing I did was reach for my handgun conveniently kept in the safe next to my bed. My dogs were my first form of protection and scared the intruder off, but I made sure that I was prepared just in case the criminal managed to get past my dogs.


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