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flyinryan 12-04-2012 6:38 AM

I need a little help for my mom
A recent break in at my parents house has sparked my mothers intrest in becoming proficient with protecting herself. She came home last Thursday night at about 11pm (she just left the hospital were my father was recovering from a stroke) and her house was completely ransacked. Everything out of the closets and dressers thrown on the floor, mattress flipped the whole nine yards. Needles to say she has come to an understanding that my father may not Always be there to protect her, that it took the sherrifs 9 minutes to get there and about 11 for me to arrive.
Her birthday is this month and in perfect time for Xmas I would like to buy her something too shoot that she could become comfortable and proficient with ( everything I own or my father owns would be a bit much for her) I say this because she's 55 is not very strong and has had multiple surguries on her left wrist and hand. (it's very week, and I don't believe she would comfortably be able to operate a slide) my instinct tells me .22 but I feel as though that might be slightly anemic, any ideas?

pennys dad 12-04-2012 7:35 AM


Sorry to read about your families challenges, I hope all your challenges get better.

I am going to recommend a few things not all "type of pistol" related.

Sign her up to take a Women On Target so she can get some great hands on training in a safe, comfortable environment.
Secure the house, outside night lights, better door and window locks. Remember you have had a break in, so they now know how to get in.
Make sure your mother handles many different pistols and fires them. What we think is best (as men) isnt always the best for others. Take her to a range with rentals or if you are near a C3 monthly shoot take her to one and make sure you announce that you are coming and why, Calgunners will bring out to armory for her to try.
Once she has chosen her firearm make sure she goes to the shop and buys it and buys the cleaning kit and cleans it and takes a class or two.
Just some thoughts.

movie zombie 12-04-2012 7:37 AM

many threads on this here in the Ladies Forum. not to be totally rude but "search" is your friend....actually, i think you could find some of those threads on the first page of this forum.

the mantra is this: you cannot buy a gun for your mother, especially given the issues you've described re her limitations. she must be involved in the process. first take her to gun shops to handle guns to see what fits her hand. then take her to a range and rent guns to see what actually fits her hand when firing. they are two different things. then make sure she gets her certificate to legally own a pistol. then give her the $ to buy her own gun. take her to a range to practice.

i'm glad she realizes she needs to be able to protect herself. i'm sorry it took an actual break in to make that happen.

a .22 is better than nothing. a santa clara county sheriff told me that more people are killed with a .22 than any other caliber. of course, more people own a .22 and people do practice with a .22 more than any other caliber. so it makes sense. however, placement is everything and your mother will still need to practice.

i think you are wise to understand that the guns you and your father own may not be appropriate for her. and you are wise to check into this forum to get info. search around in here and you'll also see feedback from men that have taken our advise and their report back in after the fact. in short, they are glad they did.

also, if any of your friends have women in their lives that shoot, perhaps they'd be up for a range date to let your mother try out their weapon[s] of choice.

again, you can't just buy your mom a gun....she must be involved in the process, especially given her physical issues that will effect how she shoots.

another thought: she may be happier with a revolver. easy to operate, easy to clean. make sure it is all metal....none of the lightweight materials. metal will absorb more recoil and be easier to handle. a snubbie may not be ideal for her. something with a 3 inch barrel.

please keep us posted re your progress. you could give her a gift certificate to a gun shop!

G-forceJunkie 12-04-2012 7:40 AM

.22 revolver and some classes.

Librarian 12-04-2012 1:16 PM

Harden the target should come first.

But there's a necessary precondition to your mom getting a gun for self defense: has she decided she could actually use it against another human being?

If she says 'yes', then you should take her at her word.

Rather than a handgun, she and you might consider a side-by-side coach gun in 20 gauge - one example -

BonnieB 12-04-2012 1:43 PM

Pennys Dad said it really well. Movie Zombie too.

The first thing you can do to help your mom is to teach her to RUN!. Nothing she owns is worth her life, and the first thing she should be doing if someone breaks in is escape. If your dad is home and not mobile, this may not work for her.

The second thing she should be doing is reaching for her shotgun. I believe it is the best home defense item available and needs little training except for safe handling. It's 'point and shoot', like a camera. I have a twelve gauge that holds five shells and if .00 buck doesn't stop 'em, I'll reach for a handgun.

Last, do not buy her a gun for Christmas.
  • Get her to search her soul about whether she could actually kill a human being to protect herself or her husband. (Not scare them, not wing them. Kill them.) If she can't, she shouldn't have a gun.
  • Get her to go to a class (alone).
  • Get her to go handle guns at the gun shop on a slow day (alone),
  • Get her to go to a range and rent a couple guns (alone),
  • And then get her to tell you which gun shop she wants a gift certificate for.
All this happens while you watch football or something. If she can't do this process on her own, she shouldn't have a gun. Really.

Your best role in this is cheerleader and coach. But do NOT teach her to shoot yourself, a class is hands-down the best method.

And once she's picked a gun, but not bought it yet, tell her about ammunition and how well it goes through drywall.

onequickshift 12-04-2012 2:15 PM

So sorry to hear about your father, and about the break in at their home. How is the homes exterior lit? Some suggestions would be to install nice new and sensitive motion lights, nice bright big lights from Home Depot should do well to illuminate the home. Some spaced apart LED solar lights in planting beds, or in the grassy areas in the front are good, as well the back yard. Planting large rose bushes at all the windows is good too, its what we've done. Where was the POE? As was said, make the home as unappealing and difficult to force entry. Did it appear as though this was random? Or did they know your mother was leaving for the hospital? Alarm?

A fire arm is a great idea, but not the only. And as again, was stated, is she willing to take a life? Some say yes half heartedly, but when it comes down to pointing, and actually doing the deed, shooting another person can seriously hinder a persons decision to defend themselves. Its ok, its never a light action, when you have to extinguish someone elses life, not everyone CAN do it in that moment. Escape>FIGHT. If one cant withdraw to a safer place and or escape, then fight. But even then, when cornered some people, just can't bring themselves to pull the trigger, even with lots of target practice. I think a 22 is fine for just going to the range for the first few times, and just getting the feel and hang of things, but after that, I believe a 9mm handgun is her best fall back bet, but a shotgun again as was stated is a better home defense weapon, 00 should put down anything really coming through ones door. But they kick fairly hard, you may want to try low recoil federal work uses standard and lr shells, so its not a big difference, ones just less power/slower. You mentioned shes not very strong? I suggest just smaller sets of weights from say, target? The nicely neon colored kind? 5 pounds on light to warm up, and 10 pounds to do work. She needs to strengthen up a bit, so she can handle herself, and handle her fire arms better IF she goes that route. Will also do her some good :) I promise. Maybe be her walking buddy on some days, and lift weights with her other days? Nice long powering walks starting low, then working up length, then eventually quicker paces, will help with her endurance. A fire arm isn't a stop gap, a great equalizer in terms of a tool, but a tool none the less, after she does a little bit of work on herself, just for health reasons and help make her a little bit stronger, and after some play range time to get her eased into shooting a little, I suggest she take competent instruction at the range.

After my brother in law passed away, his mother got fairly ill, her husband then passed away after battling cancer. She was alone. After her home was burglarized and they took the husbands bike, his tools, his jackets, and military items from when he served, and took everything else of value, she thought a fire arm was a great idea too. She is a 5 foot 2 in standing lady, light hearted, very very kind, but fairly frail. Personally I couldn't train her due to my actual full time job, so I turned her to a friend of mine who was able to in just casual passing help her gain back some muscle in about 5 months, just a tad bit. At 58 she had trouble doing a flight of stairs, and in 5 months only took stairs instead of elevators. She put only a very marginal amount of work. And it paid off. Of course she had to eat a bit more chicken, and beef to gain and maintain that muscle lol. But she did it. She originally had tried to shoot a 357, and it kicked so hard at the time she put it down and said NUH UH! and left the range lol. 5 months later, she fired it again, and she could swear it wasn't the same gun. Yet it was. She originally was going to go for a small light weight smithy, but after shooting a few guns she decided she wanted neither light, nor small and tiny. So she went with a Glock 19. After much training at the range she decided to take a few other classes, think along the lines of tactical. Just with a few family friends. Times passed and she now has 2 17's a 19, an 870 long nose woodie she loves to shoot clays lol. Shes saving for a 870 tac with the ghost rings. Her play rifle she just got during black friday time, is a Daniel Defense M4v4? I think? Shes really gotten into things, she wants to take classes with James Yeager, Clint Smith, and a few other folks.

Its never to late to get something going. Who knows, your mom may really love things. But as was mentioned, does she have it in her to take another life to protect her own, and others? You have to have a long minded sit down, and just talk. Easy like and into that convo, because if it comes down to it, when or if the time comes, she'll have to deal with it in that moment, I found it helps if you talk to them nice and long about everything, dealing with L.E. and etc events after is bareable, but what weighs heavy on someone, is when you put another person down, it sounds like an animal. But...its life changing. I look at my loved ones differently, and everyone else I know. Their lives are so precious to me, as is my own. I know what I mean to other people, so being able to protect myself to keep myself in their lives is important to.

God bless you and your family in this trying time. As Bon said best role for you is a cheerleader and coach, maybe also help point her in the right directions :P

movie zombie 12-04-2012 6:18 PM

Bonnie, i'm not sure onequickshift was running on and on as much as relating an incident and what worked for another person that she personally knows.

i'm wondering if the OP's mother would benefit from some physical theraphy if she's not already receiving it for her hand/wrist issues.

onequickshift 12-07-2012 5:01 PM

It was in relation to OP, because shotguns and such were mentioned, if someone does not have much strength the simple solution is a slight bit of physical conditioning. That aside, and ability to handle a fire arm properly, the OP's mother may not in the end have it in her, to take another persons life to defend her own, quite a few people I've come across have commented so, luckily their experiences were when the intruders saw a fire arm, at least for the 3 women I talked to, they turned tail. That may not be the case for everyone. So besides just having a "gun" there is the mental preparedness, as well the physical aspect of being able to handle a 590a1 or 870 with normal loads, not all folks out the door can, its a donkey kick for some. Good physical condition allows folks to do things adequately as well, properly. Dick Proenneke when building his Alaskan wilderness home was in very good shape when he retired and headed out there to build. Its what separates 280+ pound guys with 5xl rigs airsofting and LE in their proper weight range training with EAG or etc. Was merely saying since OP stated his mother was weak, she could benefit from a little work and notice diff in a few weeks time. He stated his father in the hospital, its a logical suggestion she'd better herself slightly, it does nothing but positives for her. Nothing I mentioned has any negative purpose. I don't see anything wrong with what I have suggested, I mention fitness here, because it goes hand in hand with ones health, ability to do daily task normally, and helps in a dynamic stress situation.

It spans my own experiences in Health and Fitness, The Medical Field as a Nurse for a few years at UCI MED and Mission Hospital, as well now, in Law Enforcement. Anything done that betters a person through advice is never wrong, and suggestions there of anywhere, is always a great place. If his mom is sickly, or just naturally small in stature and weaker in comparison to others around her, such activities could greatly benefit her. That is all. Again, if its ghastly wrong and becoming strong in attempt to handle fire arms better for her own health, as well protection? I apologize, I ran my post across a few others on Lightfighter, a few friends I served with on ProSol, no one seems to find fault with it, all great advice. If its somehow offensive though, apologies, just want others stronger and fit, capable for themselves, or in OP's case, to take care of herself now with the absence of ability for her husband to do so. And it was in relation to someone else I knew, everyone whos solidly committed to losing weight. Or if not that, just gaining a little strength, and dexterity. Have not had any negative after effects. James Y. TacResponse was a bit chub, after a while of working it, lost the weight, and is better for it.

All I've ever suggested was good for others. Nothing malicious or wrong with it. With a better even if very slightly stronger person? Comes better ability with a fire arm, and more confidence in themselves.

If thats really wrong, then I apologize.

Steph 12-07-2012 5:32 PM


Originally Posted by BonnieB (Post 9851748)
Quickshift, while I appreciate your good intentions, the Women's Forum is not the place for you to run on and on about strength training, weight lifting, physical fitness or personal training advice. I have warned you before.

If you feel the absolute need to preach on these topics, please PM the OP instead.

I'm sorry, just to be clear because I may have missed something, but do we now have a new appointed leader/moderator of the Ladies Forum?

movie zombie 12-07-2012 5:50 PM

i didn't get the memo either......

BonnieB 12-07-2012 8:09 PM

Neither did I. Who's running this dang thing anyway? :p

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