FNS-9 Contest Entry: A Mother’s Armed Self Defense Autobiography

 

By Jessica J.

Allow me to introduce myself. That woman you see breastfeeding her baby at the table in the middle of a crowded restaurant? That’s me. The one walking through the grocery store with that same baby strapped to her? Me again. And the one snobbishly picking through the fruits and vegetables at the local farmer’s market looking for “only the best” to take home and puree into baby food? You guessed it. Me again. I am the quintessential traditional wife and mother. I left a successful and promising career in order to be a stay-at-home-mom, because I genuinely believe that is the best thing for my daughter. Oh, one more thing. The woman who hands over both her license and her concealed carry permit at a road block? That’s me, too . . .

Many others in my position would ask (and some have) how on Earth I can be such an avid supporter of all things natural and yet completely support the right to bear arms. It’s simple. I carry a gun for the same reason that I breastfeed, for the same reason that I make baby food, for the same reason that I left my job to be with my family. I carry a gun because my child’s safety is paramount, and because my own life was given all-new value the day that she was born.

When I was a young girl – not more than ten – my aunt, my uncle and their four children, all younger than me, were held at gunpoint by a man demanding my uncle’s wallet and keys. They escaped physically unscathed, but in recounting the story, both my aunt and my uncle would speak of how completely destitute they’d felt. They spoke of feeling helpless to protect themselves and their children. I knew, even at such a young age, that I’d do whatever it took to avoid ever feeling that way.

My husband was the first to truly introduce me to guns from a tactical viewpoint. Sure, I’d grown up hunting with my dad, but the thought of shooting someone to protect myself was foreign to me. To further complicate things, I was in nursing school at the time, learning how to save lives, not take them. More on that later.

When I started learning to use a gun as a defensive weapon, I presumed I’d use it to wound someone. To stop the fight, but never to do more than that. For years, my husband tried to drill into my head the importance of only pulling a gun if I were truly willing to use it in whatever way necessary to protect myself.

I pacified him with assurances that I was willing to do whatever it took, should the need arise, but I can now admit that I was lying. I wasn’t prepared to take another’s life to save my own. Simply put, I didn’t value my own life above that of another, even one who was seeking to harm me.  Two events that are forever embedded in my memory finally changed my mindset.

In November 2011, days before my 24th birthday, a lifelong dream came true. I was pregnant. My husband and I were approaching our third wedding anniversary and had only recently decided to stop preventing pregnancy, so I was very surprised. However, I’d always known that I wanted to be a mother, so my surprise was immediately overtaken by elation. I immediately felt a connection to my child- a connection unlike any I’d felt before. I knew from the moment the test said “positive” that the baby was a girl, and I knew from exactly that moment that I would do absolutely anything for her.

Fast forward thirty-some-odd weeks to the second event that changed me. I’m at work, holding pressure on a gaping gunshot wound to the chest of a seventeen-year-old boy. Remember that career I left? I was an RN in a level two trauma center’s emergency department. During my three years there, I personally attended to no less than two or three dozen victims of gun or knife violence. Not one had had a personal defense weapon, but I digress.

As I was saying, at about 34 weeks pregnant, I found myself trying with all my might to stop the bleeding of a seventeen-year-old boy while the trauma surgeon searched in vain for the source of the blood. In the hallway I could hear both of the boy’s parents sobbing. Their restaurant had been robbed. Having no weapon to protect themselves or their property, they were being taken for all they were worth when their son jumped in and tried to defend them.

He was shot point-blank with a stolen .45. We worked on this boy for hours, pouring in donated blood in a futile attempt to stabilize him enough for surgery. He never had a chance. When I arrived at my car that night, I reached under the seat to check for my own pistol. It was there, but as I leaned over my burgeoning belly, I realized having a pistol in my car wasn’t enough. I applied for my concealed carry permit the next week.

The day my daughter was born, my life took on new meaning. I went from being “just another person” to being someone’s mother. I became completely responsible for another individual. The focus of my life shifted to ensuring that she grows into a successful adult and to preparing her to meet her full potential. That day the value of my life ceased being measured by the value of an individual and began being measured by the value of a mother in a little girl’s life.

When people ask me how I can be such an overprotective mother, yet raise my child while carrying a gun, I fight the urge to ask them how they can aspire to doing the same without one. Contrary to what we’re taught, mothers are at least as responsible for protecting our children as their fathers are. We carry them in our bodies for months, we endure anguish to bring them into the world, then we agonize over every decision in hopes of doing right by them. Shouldn’t protecting them by any means necessary be added to that list?

comments

  1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    This. If you aren’t a winner, I’ll be shocked. Short but poignant, and thrusts to the heart of the matter. Good for you, and I’ll be sharing this article with my own significant other.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Me too. Sharing with my wife tonight. Since there are now going to be two winners for this contest, I hope they allow voting to award the second firearm. Several other articles have been very good, but this one gets my vote.

      1. avatar MothaLova says:

        It gets mine, too.

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          You would! And yes this may have been my favorite post yet. Great job. Moving and honest.

        2. avatar TR says:

          This gets my vote. And my wife will be reading this, too.

  2. avatar dook says:

    ‘by any means necessary’ – It took the birth of my first son for my wife to find that in her as well. Love the article.

  3. avatar The Original Brad says:

    Good article and so very relevant to counter the vast majority of Moms who go the opposite direction. I know plenty who insist their husbands remove all guns from the house the day the baby was born. I was and still continue to be the beneficiary of those guns as their husbands sometimes fall prey to the emasculation of America and concede defeat to those wives. To be fair, sometimes it’s a mutual decision and the guns were family owned and passed down to reluctant heirs. The baby was just the convenient excuse to finally get rid of the unwanted house guests.

    I don’t know many women who’ve taken your stance that weren’t gun owners prior to getting pregnant. I know fewer who actually kept them and even less that went out and got their CCW. I’ve tried to get my wife to carry for years while she drives my boys around to various activities. She won’t do it. I’ll make her read this entry and see if she changes her mind.

  4. avatar chris says:

    My favorite so far. I’m going to get my wife to read it.

  5. avatar Maynard says:

    Winner!

  6. avatar Rick F. says:

    Excellent. Thanks for this.

  7. avatar Paul b says:

    Kudos. Your story should be headline news.

  8. avatar Gunracer1958 says:

    WOW!

    Your realization and mindset blew me away. “By any means necessary” are words that every mother should take to heart.

  9. avatar JoshinGA says:

    Very powerful. Great write up. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Yeah. I can’t say it any better.

  10. avatar Bach says:

    ^^^^ Yeah… This… ^^^^

    I have never read or heard a clearer explanation of what constitutes a natural right. Can somebody explain to me how anyone of honest intent could even begin to believe that this passionate young mother does not have that right, whether protected by a Constitution or not?

    My hat is off to you, Mrs J. !

  11. avatar Wheelgun says:

    Best yet! Amen, Sister. You are the heart of America. Thank you for sharing this and I agree with you 100%!

    Wheelgun

    1. avatar leo says:

      Got my vote for the win.
      Best entry so far

  12. Right on sister. Thanks for sharing. I couldn’t have said it better. Of course, I can’t give birth.

  13. avatar Dave says:

    You got my vote as well. Well written and presents one of the clearest arguments that I have read on the importance of why we need the right to keep and bear arms. I really want to share this with my left coast liberal friends. I doubt if it will change them, but it has to help them better understand that we aren’t nuts or crazies. We are honest folks with a deep and most passionate commitment to caring for and defending our loved ones.

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you. One of the many surprising aspects of this entire experience has been the utter silence with which my leftist friends responded to the article. And they will usually argue anything! 🙂

  14. avatar BlindKyle says:

    Wow, if TTAG runs anymore contests like this, JF & Co. might be out of a job. Great article.

  15. avatar BDub says:

    Great article!

  16. avatar neiowa says:

    Winner.

    Forget the “I’m a FED novella”

  17. avatar Really Want to Keep it Private says:

    Great writing.

    I’m a cop, and my protective instincts were already strong when my daughter was born, but trust me, the moment I held her in my arms, everything changed.

    There is no such thing as an “overprotective” mother 😉 Sure, you need to give your kids room to grow and become their own people, but if there is something you can do to protect them while giving them that freedom, you do it.

    Oh, and your daughter is a lucky girl to have you as her guardian “angel”.

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you. She is truly the coolest person I know. Her daddy and I are incredibly blessed to have her in our lives.

  18. avatar Martin B says:

    You have my vote. This is clearly and simply worded so that any and all can understand. Just like the 1689 Bill of Rights that most subsequent English speeking Governments have wilfully disregarded.

  19. avatar Just some random guy says:

    Very well done. Moma bears have claws and fangs for a reason.

  20. avatar Accur81 says:

    Absolutely excellent. My wife has stopped shooting because she is breast feeding. I’ll show her this article, and hopefully will convince her to apply for a concealed carry permit.

    For what it’s worth, you’ve got my vote as well.

  21. avatar Nelson says:

    More Natural Right of Self Defense-aware moms needed.

    Bravo, Jessica!

  22. avatar Derrick says:

    Its a shame your already married off. Ill keep looking.

  23. avatar Deb B says:

    Well said!!!! Well said!!!! Well said!!!!! Very proud that there are young women like you who stand for what you believe in, and, knowing that you will be a strong positive influence in your young daughters life. Our future depends on individuals who stand for the rights and freedoms on which this Nation was founded. Thank you for sharing your story. and, may your “voice” be, not only heard, but, shared and believed!!!!!!!

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you. The article has been met with a wonderfully positive response by most of my friends who were previously “on the fence” about such matters. I hope that it will help others to see the importance of gun rights as a means to protect those we love.

  24. avatar MTwayn says:

    Outstanding!

  25. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    WOW, I am utterly blown away. I join the others above who are of the mind that this letter is the one to be declared winner. Congrats to Jessica J. and Acurr81’s missus on motherhood. On another note, it is a shame that letters like this are not seen in the mainstream media papers, as they overwhelmingly defer to the anti-2A crowd.

  26. avatar Ron smith says:

    Great article but I don’t want to see you breast feed. All your other points are well made.

    1. avatar deusvult says:

      My wife does it all the time and i am damn proud she does. Dont like it? Dont look.
      Its the most natural thing between a mother and child.

      Maam, your article was the best thus far. I take my hat off.

      1. avatar Jessi J says:

        Thank you. I was afraid the reference to breastfeeding might strike a few nerves, but I so appreciate your standing up for that right as well. Though I hesitate to call it a right. It’s not a social statement- it’s feeding a hungry baby. Anyway, thank you. And, Ron, thank you as well for your closing statement.

  27. avatar Gus M. says:

    This entry brought a lump to my throat. What an amazing wife, Mom, and patriot. God bless you and your family.

  28. avatar elliemaeclampitt says:

    well written testament for 2nd amendment rights, however the need for public displays of breastfeeding will forever be lost on me,

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you, elliemae. As for the breastfeeding, its just a hungry baby who needs to be fed.

  29. avatar William says:

    Those are shorts, aren’t they? DAMN YOU, Dan Zimmerman!

  30. avatar DentalPrepper says:

    This has my vote.

  31. avatar g says:

    Great article!

  32. avatar Guardian says:

    Very eloquently stiffen. I will also be sharing this great piece of literature with my wife. We need more outstanding mothers like yourself! Keep on keeping on!

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you so much! I hope your wife enjoys it.

  33. avatar Ted says:

    Winner.

    No more can be said.

  34. avatar MothaLova says:

    Women who own guns are inherently more interesting – because they are numerically rarer, individually more unusual, and, frankly, inherently more alluring – than men who own guns.

    Since women hold a decided advantage, perhaps the next round can feature a Men’s Contest and a Women’s Contest, with a prize for each.

    Otherwise, how will we poor fellas compete?

  35. avatar LSUTigersFan says:

    Just…wow

  36. avatar dwb says:

    i feel bad for whomever has to choose from among all these excellent entries.

  37. avatar jwm says:

    Winner. Who can argue with that post? Difi? Slow joe? Buffoons that aren’t worth 1 drop of the blood spilled by that gunshot victim trying to protect his mother and father. Bad guys will always be armed. Time for the pols to let the good guys even the field a little.

  38. avatar Anonymous says:

    Good read. Gun Control Advocates will always argue disarming the populace and argue that unarmed victims should just do what gunmen say … to be safe. Gun Control Advocates are cowardice moronic garbage that cannot even understand the simplest of concepts. It quite literally requires a criminal to assault them to understand. When you are unarmed and held at gun point by a gunman or gunmen, you are at a heavy disadvantage and your life and the lives of your loved ones are in their hands for them to do whatever they would like with them or to them. You are unprepared, unarmed, and likely already know the certainty that lies ahead and the only thing you can really do is watch. And people like Bloomberg and his posse of clowns don’t understand and likely never will. Bloomberg has people tasting his food, starting his car, and opening his mail for him everyday and will never face such horrors that the average american can face.

  39. avatar Mediocrates says:

    Well said. Protecting my family is the only motivation I need.

  40. avatar Ralph says:

    Send a copy to Moms Demand Action, or the Million Shrews March or whatever they call themselves these days. Let them see what a real mother does, and let them be ashamed of themselves.

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      I’m actually working on a follow-up piece on the importance of raising our children around firearms. It’s been brought to my attention that I may subconsciously want to piss off organizations along that line. One can only dream…

  41. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    Outstanding work. Excellent article. I will be including this in my social media feed.

    1. avatar Jessi J says:

      Thank you!

  42. avatar Ron says:

    Great Article!!

  43. avatar Powers says:

    Awesome, and congratulations on winning the FNS-9. Incredible article that I forwarded to many people. Great explanation of a natural right. It does not get any simpler than this article.

  44. avatar Charles says:

    I’m am very proud of my niece. I’m a disabled Air Force Security Police K9 vietnam veteran and a retired Narcotics Police Detective and K9 Trainer. I wish I could write like her. I remembered my brother in law talking about that night they were robbed and how it affected them. To me, guns are 2nd nature having grown up with guns since I was 10 and buying my first shotgun when I was 12. During my career I’ve been shot twice and stabbed twice. There was a time I believe in firmly enforcing the law, probably because the vast majority of those I caught with firearms were those committing felonies or were already convicted felons.

    Now with our country being run by communists and socialists who are determined to undermine our constitutional rights I am more in favor of open carry laws by LAW ABIDING US citizens as the criminal elements certainly don’t let such laws bother them on how they obtain their weapons or how they carry them.

    Thank you Jessi for such an elegant powerful article. Its one I shall cherish for something like this is what I fought and served for to preserve those rights for you and others.

    USAF Security Police K9 100% disabled veteran result of Agent Orange exposure.

    Love you Jessi and you have a great Husband and a very cute little one 😉 I’m am one VERY proud uncle.

  45. avatar sbake says:

    Superb article. A well-deserved win.

  46. avatar flboots says:

    Very good. This needs to be sent to the liberals on the View. It also should be sent posted for all mothers to read.

  47. avatar Tony says:

    Well done! Well written!

  48. avatar Mary Lynn says:

    What an amazing role model you are for your daughter. There should be more women like you out there empowering the girls and young women in this world. I was raised by a pistol packing mama, and am in the process of purchasing my own pistol. (Already keep a shotgun in my bedroom. 🙂 ) Protecting my family is my top priority. What an inspirational read…thank you for sharing!

  49. avatar e says:

    I like the piece. It’s a good read, but honestly, in all seriousness…it should not take becoming a parent to understand the value and importance of ALL human life. The need to protect the innocent was once a part of our DNA. Sadly, I must recognize that is no longer true. Too many folks, including the writer simply didn’t have it in them, until a life changing event. I think that’s B.S. and unfortunately, it will likely be the downfall of all of us.

  50. avatar Jessi J says:

    Thank you all for the overwhelmingly positive response to my article. In all honestly, I never dreamed I’d actually win the contest, though I earnestly hoped to make the cut to be published. I do hope to write for ttag.com again in the future, and I will try not to disappoint. Thank you all again for your support and kindness.

  51. avatar Mary says:

    Well written, logical point of view.
    Not only have I been trained how to use various firearms,
    our daughter was too.
    If anyone were to threaten the life of any child under my protection
    I would have no qualms in shooting them.

  52. avatar Cousin Candy says:

    Dear Jessi:
    I saw pictures on facebook today of your precious little girl’s 1st birthday. I am so eager to see her and both you and Aaron at our family reunion. I finally found where to read your article and am in awe of your story and your ability to tell it! Love ya lots, Cousin Candy from Huntsville, Alabama

  53. avatar Kelly says:

    Wonderfully written! I have often searched for a way to describe my choice to carry a firearm as a mother, you hit the nail on the head! Thank you so much!

  54. avatar Kelly says:

    What an amazing article! Thank you so much for sharing, and congratulations! (I understand you won the contest.) I am planning on getting my carry permit as well, although I am nervous about some things. Your article is very encouraging, and I will bookmark it so I can read it whenever I want to.

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