On Her Own

AMA: Volume 1 – Why guns, and other lessons learned

PC: Sarah Hauptman

Wow, you guys had lots of really great questions! Thank you for being such engaged and thoughtful followers. Without you, OHO would be less. I’m going to answer a few of them today, but some others deserve some more attention and you’ll see them addressed in upcoming posts. Let’s start with these, which I think will tell you a bit more about where I come from and why OHO is the way it is:

“How did you first get into shooting sports? Was your entry into shooting as a sport or for defensive firearms use? ”

I came into adulthood with the idea that every girl should learn how to shoot a gun, much in the same realm of knowledge as knowing how to change a flat tire or perform basic emergency plumbing repairs. It just seemed like a good idea in case I ever ran across one. I started out casually, renting guns and shooting a box or two of ammo every few weeks at a local indoor range with my now ex-husband. After I bought my first gun, I realized that I wanted to know how to use it to defend my house, then myself. It led to training, more guns, and eventually competition and back around to in-depth defensive firearms training. So I guess you can say I started shooting for life skills knowledge, then fun. And though competition and defensive gun use are serious for me in different ways, I’ve always tried to maintain the fun part of learning with them too because at the end of the day, it is empowering and enjoyable to be able to perform a difficult physical and mental skill to a high level.

“Were you always pro-gun, or did that come later in life?”

Growing up, guns were present in the periphery of my life but not something I really thought about or focused on politically. I vaguely had an idea that guns were dangerous outside of hunting use and that laws existed to prevent bad people from doing bad things with them. Actually shooting guns came into my life at almost exactly the same time as I became licensed to practice law (my day job career, for those of you who aren’t aware). As I started owning guns, transporting them to and from the range, and getting interested in carrying them or buying certain types of them, I realized how hard it was for me to understand and comply with the relevant laws from a technical perspective, even with my legal training. Learning the basics of self-defense law only complicated matters. The more I dug in to my new hobby, the more I was troubled by what the laws actually said and their actual effects, and what I’d been told they were intended to do, especially as I got to know more people who were involved in the same passion as I was learning to love. My stance has only become stronger as I’ve become more adamantly pro-personal autonomy, and more interested in finding and teaching the best ways for an individual to be able to protect themselves and determine their own destinies. Guns might not be the right tool for everyone, but they are the best tool for some.

“What’s the lesson you’ve learned in the past six months that you wish you could’ve come into this knowing?”

I’ve started playing with X guard and deep half guard in BJJ over the last six months or so and it’s opened up some really interesting new options for my game. I’m not very good at them yet, but can see the potential for the positions I often end up in when I roll. As part of that, I’ve also finally started to really see the connections and transitions between different techniques, and be able to start drawing my own maps and figuring out my own directions between point A and point B. Maybe I wasn’t meant to know this until I got here in my journey, but it sure would have been useful to know all this earlier. It’s taken me four, long years to arrive at this place, and as I type this out, I realize that there’s another, more serious lesson in here that I wish had been and still is more present in my consciousness: it takes time. Learning, growing, healing, integrating your life experiences into a new and complete whole? It takes time. The detours are part of the process, and the destinations are only temporary. Even if the conclusions seem obvious today, there is a reason they weren’t before, when you weren’t ready for them. It’s difficult to accept, but maybe it can be easier knowing that there is hope of that satisfaction coming when all of the threads meet and come together.

There is more, much more, in the wonderful questions you’ve all asked. Please, keep asking as you think of them. In the meantime and over the coming weeks, I have some planned content coming, but also responses to everything else that was asked over the weekend.

Hi, I'm Annette.

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