Two nights ago was only the second time I had to shoot someone. Dreams can be good or bad, the bad ones are called nightmares.
I grew up around guns. To say I was afraid of them would be putting it mildly. Maybe because I was a girl I had no interest in them and had no desire to even see or touch one. My father kept his guns handy and knew how to shoot. He was a pistol champion. As a child I always saw dad cleaning his pistols. He also used to mimic shooting the bad guys on the black and white TV set we had in our living room. There wasn’t much room in the four room apartment that held the seven of us, and there wasn’t really any place to go to not be around the guns.
At some point in time, I started dreaming about being shot every night. No one ever made a move to actually shoot me, or even threatened to do so in real life but the dreams became more regular and came more often. I was sure that one of these days after dreaming this night after night that it would come true. It made me want to avoid any and all firearms. It almost made me want to avoid sleep. It certainly could be called a reoccurring nightmare. Until one day they stopped, after I was married, out of my parents house and maybe because of the distance from the actual guns?
Fast Forward … 2004
Ever catch someone trying to break into your home? How about a second attempt? The first time we experienced this and tried to catch the intruder — we didn’t succeed. The second time, we were able to get a license plate number. With the help of several friends and a series of coincidences, which I prefer to think was divine intervention, we found out what was going on. A neighbor rallied the neighborhood to file a lawsuit against us, making up charges and opening a dummy corporation “representing” the homeowners association. The reason was one particular man who wanted us “out of his neighborhood”. Nothing more, and nothing less would satisfy him. He was wealthy and thought he could control everyone and everything. He made up lies about our family and spread them as gospel truth to the other homeowners. He even had another man strong arm the neighbors into signing – mostly by lies and intimidation. They hired private investigators to follow, track, record, film and to break into our home.
Because we were not guilty of any of the dozen charges he made up, we did what we felt was right. We stood our ground. This was the last thing he expected. Surely the power of a seriously wealthy man would intimidate most, but not us. We have no “dirt” to dig up, no skeletons in our closet we haven’t dealt with, no secrets to hide. I believe he found and used things like that against others in our neighborhood but with us there was nothing to find, so he resorted to making them up.
When someone is “out to get you” and makes it pubic knowledge that they are, the options are almost always either fight or flight. Since flight wasn’t going to be our choice, we decided to get our concealed carry gun licenses. We wanted to be prepared should he decide to escalate his efforts. Here in Virginia, you don’t actually have to have a concealed carry license to have or wear a gun on your side. Virginia is an open carry state. As long as the gun can be seen, and not carried into prohibited places (schools, etc) – you can holster your gun and wear it while you go about your day. The requirements for concealed carry (where your gun is hidden from view) in our area of Virginia, is to take an 8 hour class, then pass a written and a shooting test. After that, a judge has to sign off on your request to carry a firearm and your concealed carry license is issued.