I am that Mom. I’m the mom in the grocery store (or in church) with a gun on her prepared to defend my family or myself at any given moment. I am the Mom that has sons who aren’t afraid to tell their friends that she shoots guns. I am the Mom that gets the cross looks from other parents when they find out that I am in fact a shooter and firearms instructor. The most common reaction I receive is “really?” or, “why would you carry everywhere you go?” Generally, I chuckle and answer accordingly. My decision to be the woman who carries at all times and practices with her carry firearm on a regular basis isn’t one that all parents understand, but I am confident with my decision and my training (although we could always use more training).

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Just a short six months after deciding to accept a job that required me to run a retail store-front alone the majority of the time, I knew I needed to be armed.  The moment I walked into the Sheriff’s office to apply for my first conceal carry permit was an unnerving one. I felt as though every set of eyes in the office were drilling holes through me, hindsight being what it is I know this wasn’t the case. I very slowly and diligently filled out the necessary paperwork checking countless times for errors. Within minutes I left that office a newly registered concealed weapons permit holder. Inside an hour I was at my local gun shop to make a purchase to compliment my new title. The shop was full of helpful salesmen who were more than willing to tell me exactly what I needed.  It was the moment that I started handling carry firearms while trying to see what exactly I could conceal that I was hit with a wave of emotions. Am I really prepared to wear this gun everywhere? How do I conceal this giant monstrosity on my 5’3″ curvy frame? Will I forget what I am doing when I am in peril, and more importantly can I take another’s life? I told the salesman at the gun shop I would be back later when I had some time to think. I left that shop in a panic.