My First Time Using a Gun I hadn't handled or even seen a gun until about a year ago. I know I am definitely not the person anyone thinks of when you envision a gun wielding female. Being a 28 year old who is 5'3" and 120 lbs soaking wet has gotten me mistaken for a high schooler on many occasions. I am constantly underestimated in strength and my firearms abilities but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love proving those people wrong. What got me started with firearms was when my husband bought a gun. Don't get me wrong. We had discussed owning a gun but never came to a final decision. It was a talk for years in the future, in my opinion. But for him, browsing at a gun store one day ended with him having an awkward conversation with me saying basically, "Remember that gun thing we talked about a few days ago...Well, we own one now." Needless to say I wasn't happy. I refused to allow a gun in the house unless I knew how to use it. I just wanted to know the basics; how to know if it's loaded, safety, etc. I never planned on going to the range with him or owning a gun myself one day. Determined to make the whole experience less scary, he opted to do some basic firearms safety and handling training at home. It was a Ruger SR22 which meant nothing to me at the time. He went through how to pick up a gun, how to check if it's loaded, how to hold it, And how dry fire it. After going through the motions multiple times at home with an unloaded gun, I felt relatively confident. Seeing that my fear had weaned, my husband suggested that we go to the range next day. The second he said that my fear came back in full swing and I gave a quick panicked no. "How are you ever going to truly know how to use a gun if you've never fired it?" Well he had me there. I agreed to go to the range planning on firing it only once and just watching him the rest of the time. Fast forward to the next day, we are at the indoor range not far from our house. It was a nice indoor range with 10 lanes across. They placed us in the far right lane so we were close to the range officer. I was extremely nervous about how the recoil would be and if I'd somehow manage to break the gun or something else. I was the only drop of estrogen at the range which made me feel even more judged. I managed to not hyperventilate and get myself in a stance that wasn't completely awful. To my surprise, the recoil wasn't that bad. My aim had been off but better than I had expected. My husband offered to let me go again and to my surprise I said yes. Gradually I went from 1 round to 10. My groupings kept getting smaller and I was actually enjoying myself. By the time we left, I had fired about 50 rounds in total and had an unusual sense of confidence that I had never experienced before. I agreed that I would go with my husband to the range again but it wouldn't be a regular occurrence. It has now been 5 months since that day. I have my concealed carry license, own a handgun (review coming soon) and go to the range regularly. It's been a strange and fun ride. It had helped with my anxiety and I've gained the confidence to start learning self defense. I never would have imagined that I'd be doing what I am today but I'm thankful for the journey.