Is That A Gun In Your Hand – Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Is That A Gun In Your Hand – Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?


Check your thermometers and change your vacation plans because,

That is a picture of a GUN in my hand.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch now, relax, I’ll explain.

This morning my expert in all things gun related, paid me an early visit; while I still had both courage and coffee running through my veins.

My husband you say? No way!

His lifetime allotment of patience wouldn’t be enough to allow him to tackle teaching me about weapons. Although he is an aficionado and quite a good shot, ( I framed a target from the range that one of his buddies brought me. There’s isn’t a mark on it – except for a giant hole in the middle, where he emptied his pistol) we both agreed that Ernie is up to the task at hand.

Ernie is the guard at the jewelry store I used to work at, and since he is allowed by law, to carry a concealed weapon at work, he has to stay very current and adept with his gun skills. I have always been silently grateful for that, since my life was in his hands; and I’m ashamed (only slightly) to admit to having plied him with cake, brownies and cookies to stay in his good graces – so he would save me first.

He takes everyone (my husband, his friends, my friends – everyone’s friends) to the range for practice when he goes, and is a very skilled, thoughtful and patient teacher.

I’ve never gone. I’ve always declined because I’m scared beyond all reason.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an irrational fear of guns. 
I can’t look at them, let alone touch one.
(Check out the old dog’s face, she can’t believe what she’s seeing).

If I even catch a glimpse of Ernie’s gun it makes me cry, so he never removes his jacket; even when the air conditioning broke and it was an oven in the store.
Yes, he’s THAT nice, and yes, I’m THAT mean.
I’m telling you – it’s irrational.

When I was in line at a fast food restaurant and a couple of cops were next to me and wearing their weapons, I froze, then I started to shake and cry, and I had to run out.
I wasn’t nine, I was forty nine. That’s crazy, I know.

Since I’m in my fifties I’m all about confronting my fears.
They are imaginary after all; just the stories I keep telling myself. A gun is plastic and metal, and is only dangerous in the wrong hands, and it cannot kill me if it isn’t loaded. Still, I must be shown ten times, that there is no bullet in the chamber before I will even LOOK at it.

Let me set the record straight, I’m no fan of the second amendment.
I can’t fathom why, in the twenty first century, we need the right to bear arms. That all made perfect sense to our founding fathers because it was the 18th century, and the only thing I know for SURE about guns is that their only intended purpose is to kill.

That always makes me say: I HATE GUNS, when the more accurate statement would be: I’M SCARED OF GUNS, I HATE GUN VIOLENCE.

That being said, I find myself surrounded by men and women who take guns and that amendment very seriously. They are well trained, and practiced and I gotta tell ya, if the zombies come, I want them on my team.

Another thing I know for sure: Knowledge is Power.
At this stage of my life there aren’t a lot of things I know NOTHING about, yet, I am completely clueless where guns are concerned, which has started to make me feel…..disempowered. That does not sit well with me at this age. I want to conquer my fears. I want to know how to load and hold and fire a gun.

There. I said it.
(It still makes me shake.)

Can bungee jumping and sky diving be far behind?
Yes, yes they can. Maybe sixties for those.

So… It’s time. I’m going to pull up my big girl Annie Oakley pants and I’ve made the commitment to go with the whole gang to the range on Monday.
That’s why Ernie started the aversion therapy today.
Part two will be Thurday. I suppose what comes next will be me holding it for more than thirty seconds.

I may forget to be home Thursday.

After getting all testosteroned up at the range, they have a tradition where they all go to Hooters for lunch – because the chicken wings are so good. I swear, that’s their story.
I think the sight of boobies helps them back to balance.
I’m a good sport, so I’ll be tagging along.
I’m looking forward, no, I’m actually counting on the boobies bringing me back to balance.

I’ll let you know how this goes….

What fears are you conquering? Have you waited as long I have?
Who’s afraid of guns out there? Who hates them?
Yell at me, talk some sense into me.

Love you,

  • jacqui says:

    I didn’t care too much about guns until I had my kids. Then we bought one and I learned to shoot. How stupid would I feel to not be able to take care of them?

    I still feel that way and they’re all grown up.

    • jbertolus says:

      Thanks so much Jacqui. I’m all over the place on the topic, but I KNOW I’m done being afraid.
      Did you feel empowered? That’s how all my female friends who can shoot, say that feel. Empowered.

  • David Holmes says:

    I fired many guns in the Army, even a bazooka. Live grenades too. M60 machine gun. I earned an expert in grenade and sharpshooter with my M16. To this day I am not afraid of guns but will never own one. Fear of death is balanced out by fear of killing. (And love for boobies gets me thru the day and night and are constantly on my mind, it’s a male curse). If some asshole wants to shoot me, so be it, I just don’t want a gun. I’d rather return to spirit than kill even a person who was threatening to shoot me. So it’s definitely not fear based that I feel this way. I had guns as a kid too. Just haven’t felt the need to get one as an adult. But yeah, zombies might make me change my mind, unless they had boobies.

    • jbertolus says:

      David! I love you! I knew you’d comment 🙂 and it’s SO rich with insight I don’t know where to begin. I like that you have the knowledge and the skill yet choose not to own a gun. I’m with you. I really want to overcome this phobia, it’s all about THAT for me.
      Boobies, and zombies with boobies, it’s a guy thing, but I get it.
      Looooooooove you!

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