A couple of months ago I met a very interesting woman, Megan Azzolina, who has a mission closely related to mine. After getting to know Megan, I asked her if she would like to be a guest writer on this website, and she eagerly agreed. Below is the first of what I hope to be many guest posts from Megan, and I am looking forward to getting out and doing some shooting with her. Here’s Megan:
Quick introduction to me before I get on my soapbox:
You can say I’m the girl that was meant to be a born a guy, and my mom reminds me of that at least once a week. I own it.
I’m the girl that goes to happy hour with girlfriends and while they order sangria or margaritas, I’m ordering beer or scotch (tequila shots when appropriate). My favorite type of happy hour is Del Frisco’s with a Cigar Lounge or playing pool at a dive bar. The divier (is that a word?) the better. I love guns; I have seven and I’m always buying more. I love riding my motorcycle and hanging with the boys. I go to concerts and while girls try and look sexy riding the mechanical bull, I make it a competition and try to stay on the longest. I parcour just about anything in sight after a few tequila shots and usually try and rap battle someone on the street. I love waterskiing, wake-surfing, wakeboarding and snowboarding (anything outdoors, I’ll try). I love America and politics and I’m usually the friend that gets in political discussions with everyone’s parents. I even have an American flag tattoo (I’ll discuss tattoo removal later).
I’ve always been the YOLO girl and ever since I was little I wanted to make sure I tried everything and did anything and everything that interested me. And the obscenely spontaneous side of me has definitely enabled that as well. Either way, I’m all about making every single moment count, and I do. You’ll see I’m passionate not only about pushing our limits and trying everything, but I’m also strong on self-defense and politics.
Why I Concealed Carry:
Growing up, I was always around guns as my dad is an avid hunter/shooter. He was the stereotypical Dad that always cleaned his guns when I was getting picked up for dates (he’ll deny this and say it was simply coincidence). My dad taught me gun safety from the very beginning and I grew fond of shooting recreationally. People often ask me why I carry a concealed weapon, and other than the obvious answer, there was a time that I wished I had my gun on me and didn’t and I will never let myself be in that situation again. As a woman in today’s society, I feel significantly more vulnerable doing everyday chores and activities.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Jessica Ridgeway murder that took place in 2013? Well, that killer had failed in attacking two women prior, both joggers. One of those joggers was me. Austin Sigg, the murderer, lived only four doors up from my house. I was always cordial with his family and I think this goes to show that you always have to be on your toes, even when you think you’re safe. Anyway, I was running my typical route around Ketner Lake in Westminster, Colorado when he ran after me and attacked me. I was more than fortunate to escape due to a neighbor coming outside and hollering if everything was okay. The terror I felt in that moment I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Obviously the scary potential of Austin Sigg was something I had escaped, but it was pure luck that I did. Simple things like going on runs, walking in the parking garage at night, and going to events with large crowds etc. is just not guaranteed to be safe anymore. I personally value my life too much to be a sitting duck when, God forbid, a situation arises. THAT my friends is why I carry.
I have the right to protect my life and the lives of the people I know and I will exercise that right forever. I strongly believe everyone, if they value not only their lives but their rights as Americans as well, should also exercise their second amendment rights. Other than the safety aspect of carrying a gun, recreational shooting is a blast! The thrill of pulling a trigger, feeling the recoil of your gun and the challenge of making a good shot is an exhilarating, stress-relieving activity. I encourage anyone and everyone to go to a shooting range if you haven’t and play around a little bit. I will be the first to take you if you need!
That being said, I have to reiterate to you the importance of gun safety first. Taking my concealed carry class was extremely beneficial and everyone needs to know how to safely handle a gun before ever dealing with them. Is it hard? Absolutely not. But it is important to recognize the dangers of mishandling a firearm. The concealed class will teach you not only how to manage a firearm, but the responsibility you incur while carrying as well as appropriate times to use it. I strongly encourage taking a gun safety class before handling guns.
While it seems like a daunting undertaking, it really isn’t. In my next article I will explain how to go about obtaining a concealed carry permit, the time commitment and costs involved, and the benefits you will gain from the class. I will also attempt to explain the feeling of confidence and safety you will have, but that is something you will certainly experience for yourself far beyond my words.