Lately, I have earned a reputation as a “gun nut” and, frankly, there is a grain of truth to the label, but that wasn’t always the case. I grew up as far from the right side of the fence as any girl could get—despite my father’s insistence on playing “the devil’s advocate”. I grew up in small town USA, behind a white picket fence and shielded by the protective bubble of my mother’s democratic values and constant worries. I grew up knowing what guns were and what they did, but never touching, let alone firing, one. Guns were to be feared in our household. The only firearm permitted in our house was my father’s old shotgun and that was only after a year-long bickering match with my mother. Looking back, I still don’t know how my dad won that argument, but he did.
Unlike my father, I took what my mother said about guns as law all the way through high school and nearly into my twenties. I remember the moment my eyes finally opened, the moment I finally realized I was no longer in the protective shield my mother had provided. I was at a house party when my drunken ex-boyfriend decided to get handsy with me after the rest of the crowd went to sleep for the night. Even as a panicked freshman, I knew what he intended, ran out of the house, and called a ride home as my planned ride was no longer sober. I escaped before things got out of hand, but my sense of security was shattered and couldn’t be replaced. Thoughts like, “what if I hadn’t been sober,” “what if he hadn’t been hammered,” and “what if he had done the unthinkable,” raced through my mind as I lay awake that night, unable to sleep. The illusion, ‘I will always be safe, nothing bad could ever happen to me,’ ended and reality set in.
I wouldn’t fully regain my sense of security until my sophomore year. I was picking a friend up from her class out in west campus when she asked if I wanted a shirt that was being sold in her building. As a college student, free shirts were always welcome and she came out with a black “Students for Concealed Carry on Campus” t-shirt. I shrugged it off thinking it looked cool and I guess I would wear it if I ran out of clothes. A few weeks and an ignored laundry basket or two later, I was wearing it, standing in academy, while she looked at guns. A guy approached us and complimented the shirt I was wearing which didn’t surprise me because it had already happened more than once that day. That guy then informed us that he ran the organization selling those shirts and asked if we wanted to get more involved. I said yes and assumed I would attend a few meetings, maybe work an event or two, but I joined primarily to pad my college résumé.
It has been almost a year and a half since I started participating in Students for Concealed Carry and I haven’t looked back. I have managed to go from a girl who wouldn’t touch a gun to one that will be getting her CHL; from the girl who didn’t know what the SCC was to running one of its chapters and being bugged to write a blog for the website. So here I am. I don’t know everything, nor will I pretend to, but, I see things from a different perspective since I once feared guns. This blog is my gun life exposed, and hopefully it has provided a bigger window into our organization.
This post was written by Camille Mohle, Chairwoman of SCC’s Texas A&M chapter.
Originally posted on June 7th, 2012