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Monday, April 9, 2012

AMBASSADOR




You, my friend are an Ambassador. You may not realize it and you may not even wish to be, but you are. The dictionary lists the following definition of an ambassador:   

“A person who acts as a representative or promoter 
of a specified activity.” 

You have joined a very distinguished group of individuals who influence our society and our world. So, now that you know who you are, how well are you doing at your job? 
People are watching you and people are listening to you. They are making decisions and forming opinions based on what you do and say. 

To add even more pressure, do you realize that how well you do your job as Ambassador directly effects millions of gun owners and their ability to protect themselves and enjoy their firearms? This is a lot of pressure, and all you wanted to do was defend yourself and/or enjoy shooting targets or hunt, right?

The day you purchased your first firearm you took on a great responsibility. You knew owning a firearm was a serious decision and that there are laws you must abide by, but did you realize that how you handle and use your firearm, how you speak of it, and your attitude about firearms puts you in such an important position?

Society, the government, your family and your neighbors, who perhaps are not experienced or knowledgeable in firearms, will form their opinions and make voting decisions also based on what they learn from you. Those who currently want to remove our right to own firearms are foaming at the mouth for anything and anyone that can be used to accomplish that goal. We see gun owners who act inappropriately, carelessly and even violently used in this way almost nightly on the news.

So, how are you doing? Are you safe? Do people see you shooting with eye and ear protection and following firearm safety rules? Do they ever see you pointing your gun at anything other than a safe target? Do you tell “off color” jokes or make less-than-tolerant comments involving your gun? Do you store your gun properly? Do you know the laws in your State and know where you cannot legally use your gun? Do you leave your favorite shooting area in the desert or woods clean? Do you realize that anytime we breach any of the above we could, in a moment, become a tool used to further efforts to place all of our rights in jeopardy. 

As I become entrenched in social media with The Well Armed Woman and monitor many, many pages, I regularly see and read such poor representations of what responsible gun ownership is really about. I wonder to myself: “If this is what those outside the gun culture see, it’s no wonder they fight so hard to take this right away. What a bunch of angry lunatics”.  I see it at the range, sometimes, too. 

You know, I’m really not a fuddy duddy. I love shooting my guns and nothing means more to me than being able to defend myself, if necessary, and to help women do the same.  I love a cool photo or a funny pro-gun sign or saying,  but I also cherish my right to own and carry my firearm, and am frustrated by those that are reckless and careless and risk becoming ambassadors for those who desire to take my right away or to limit it.

Of course, there are many, many responsible owners and fine reflections of responsible gun ownership, and most of us are pretty good Ambassadors, doing our best to be good examples of safe, responsible gun ownership and handling. I think we can do better though. I know I can do a better job and take my “appointment” as Ambassador more seriously. I need to have the courage to remind my brothers and sisters in arms of their great responsibility and need to be good representatives as well. I need to be more careful and mindful when I don’t even think anyone is watching. 

Safe, respectful, responsible and a gun owner with integrity... That is the Ambassador I want to be.

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” 
― John Wooden

As the effort to limit our rights grows, our united work to represent our passion responsibly becomes that much more important.  What do you think we can do individually and collectively to be the best Ambassadors possible?

12 comments:

  1. Training and education on guns; their use, gun control laws, concealed carry laws, safety, maintenance, etc. To take a woman out to a range and place a loaded pistol or rifle in her hand, show her the target (down range), and tell her to "shoot", isn't doing anything to make her competent or confident in using a weapon. Many local law enforcement and sporting clubs offer "women's" handgun safety courses. That's good, but not nearly enough. The advanced classes are often times too expensive and too far away for most women to attend and participate. I know there is a huge liability issue to offering gun classes, but we have to do more to educate ourselves. I believe that knowledge makes us more confident and responsible. I spent 26 years in the Army where I was introduced to an M16A1 rifle in basic training. We didn't even fire it until we learned every individual piece of that weapon, could break it down (including the bolt), clean it, and reassemble it. Then we went to the range to learn to sight-in and fire the weapon. We were made comfortable first and then taught to shoot. It makes such a difference and we need to get women to this point. How? I don't have all the answers, but surely there are ways. Maybe someone reading this has some ideas on how. I'm interested in hearing your feedback. Great site and I look forward to seeing more!

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  2. Thank you for your service to our country! Comprehensive training for EVERY shooter is key if we are going to represent responsible gun ownership. Along with a continued commitment to training and keeping current on local and federal gun laws. With the Women on Target program from the NRA and shooting ranges really beginning to offer classes for women - it is getting easier to find quality training.
    I am thinking that we have been somewhat de-sensitized to the seriousness of firearms through the media, video games and the "extra" coverage we see in the news. This perhaps has caused us all to take them and their handling with a casualness that is not only dangerous, but also jeopardizing all of our rights.

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  3. I agree. TV, movies, news programs, comedians, etc. really undermine women's seriousness for protecting themselves and their homes/families. I guess one must look down the wrong end of a gun to appreciate the fear when one is being threatened. I've been there with an X spouse, and believe me, I don't want to be in that position again. It's great to see such a movement among women in taking responsibility by learning to defend themselves. We have a new gun shop here, owned and operated by a woman - that makes two in our county. Some of us are trying to work with them for more classes for women locally. It's a rural area, so the closer to home, the better for most of these girls, and so many are older widows and single mom's. Your site is awesome! I'll be a regular from now on! Thank you!
    DW from Kittanning, PA "A Castle Doctrine State"

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    1. So sorry you had to have that experience. Heart pounding stuff! It's thrilling to hear about the women owned businesses you are seeing in your area. It's coming... I can feel it and see it with the incredible growth in The Well Armed Woman alone. The reality is, women spend a lot of money - and that helps to make things happen!! With persistence, patience and purses, we will influence the industry and "normalize" women and guns. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. This seems like a good place to comment on the Glossary that you (Carrie) created and linked on the homepage. It took me some time to read over it, and i have to say it was time very well spent. I can't imagine any gun term that has not been addressed there, and i want to commend you for doing a wonderful job on this tedious task. It refreshed my memory and taught me a few terms i was not familiar with. Every serious shooter should give it a look and try to memorize and use the correct terms. It goes a long way when you can converse intelligently with other shooters. Thanks Carrie for a wonderful resource for ongoing training and education! I seriously don't know where you get all your energy, girl, but i am so glad you are there representing us!! With highest regards!

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    1. Thank you JoyceK, It all is a labor of love.. I desperately want to demystify guns for women and break down the barriers that hold them back. I felt the "gun language" was one of them..

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  5. My first pistol is named "Pink Pussy" It's a Sig Mosquito painted pink. I'm sure it's self explanatory. I do have others with fitting names as I feel their personalities; with the likes of Billy William (Yes a middle name too),Slugger,Mama (and you never want to sass "Mama") and another yet to be named and yet to be fired.I do name many things like Cars, plants and even my pillows are Bert & Burt. Not silly at all - apparently it's in us all. It is my philosophy that we put life into "things" that bring life to us. Such a the Velveteen Rabbit became real bunny.

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  6. I had to smile reading Rat's reply and the mention of the Velveteen Rabbit... the .38 snub nose I carry at all times is named Rabbit as she offers me that same sense of security that my old bunny did as a child. For me caring for her and being a responsible owner is a privilege and a gift, one that thanks to Rabbit being close to me at all times I am still here to do. I have been around guns all my life and have great respect for them and I enjoy both the sense of security I get from them as well as the enjoyment I get from the practice time spent and the time spent at local events, I have also greatly enjoyed becoming part of this ever growing community of women speaking up and speaking out I am ever grateful to The Well Armed Woman for the friends I have made and the continuing education I am getting.

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  7. Carrie you do an awesome job!! You give other women the courage to step forward and take a stand. Thank you.

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  8. Carrie,

    Thank you for you awesome site and blog and what you are trying to accomplish. I am working on the same objective in Northwest Florida. Most classes here are very expensive and not geared towards women. I to would like to Educate, Empower, and Equip women in our area to be able to protect themselves. My 11 year old granddaughter began shooting with her dad this past year. He is teaching her the appropriate things like safety and responsibility. She loves shooting. I hope to be able to continue her education and help her continue to enjoy shooting as I enjoy shooting and being able to protect my family.

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  9. when dealing with the public you have a wealth of diversity of peoples environments and upbringings. the old statement of "its not what you say, its how you say it" is wrong. its not what you say or how you say it, its how others perceive it, and that you can never control. As a OC veteran and rally participant. there is and always will be no matter how i am dressed , slacks and polo shirt, or jeans and t-shirt, inevitably someone labels us in comments as "hillbilly's" so as an experiment...lets rent black suits, rent a all back SUV and wear dark sunglasses. THEN will people think its appropriate for us to have guns?? dont you see the dangerous implication of that "mindset/brainwashing"? i believe that no matter how you are dressed. if you are acting so in a law abiding manner and polite...your still going to be a "GUN NUT" because that is what "they" want us to be portrayed as. welcome to the alienation of the law abiding PATRIOT!!

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  10. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout
    of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way
    of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

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