The Cornered Cat

Talking to a woman awhile back, she told me that she doesn’t want to take a class because it costs so much money and she really can’t justify spending money on herself. She’d rather spend her money on her family, because spending that much money and taking that much time away from her family feels very selfish.

Boy howdy, do I understand that one! Like most busy moms, when I took my first class, I felt guilty for taking time away from the kids on the weekend. Add in the financial investment (which was absolutely huge for us with our limited resources), and the “feeling selfish” aspect of things nearly overwhelmed me.

But … I signed up for the next class anyway. And by then, I did not feel guilty anymore. I was determined to learn as much as I possibly could about safely defending myself and my loved ones, and that meant I needed those classes. I could enjoy the classes – which I did! – but I wasn’t taking those classes for fun. I was taking them as an investment in my family’s safety, and that meant it was worth making them a financial and time priority.

What flipped the switch for me was talking to the other shooters at the range. When I started shooting in 1999, I didn’t often bump into other women when I went shooting. But of course there were guys, and many of those guys would come up and talk to me. During that time (and even still today), I would often have guys come up to me to tell me how much they wished their wives would learn to shoot.

I’ll never forget one guy who just about broke my heart when he told me his story. He had some kind of dangerous job, and had several people threaten his life over the past few years. 1 Some of those people had also threatened his family. “My wife still won’t carry a gun or learn to protect herself,” he told me. “That’s fine, she’s an adult, but I’m scared silly for my children! They’re with her most of the time, and she’s not able to protect them. She doesn’t know how.”

That conversation and others like it were what flipped the switch for me. I don’t know if those guys were talking to their wives or not, but the pure raw emotion I saw on some of their faces really drove it home for me. These guys were afraid for their children’s lives. They were afraid of raising kids without a mom. And they were afraid of spending their lives without the woman they loved. I couldn’t do a thing about them, but I could make sure that I was prepared to protect my family from that kind of heartbreak.


  1. That’s more common than you might think. Anyone who works in criminal justice – bonds, law enforcement, legal work, even courthouse clerk – will tell you it’s sometimes a little scary.

One Response to Selfish

  1. JustMa says:

    For me, the moment came when I realized I could spend $XXX on my kids’ sports, clothes, food, etc. and none of it would matter if I couldn’t protect them (or myself!) Only then did I realize that taking a class wasn’t selfish- it was adding one more thing that mom could learn FOR her family. I haven’t signed up for a class yet, but I have one in mind that I have penciled into my calendar. Next step- registration!

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