On February 29, 2012, the gang leader of The Texas 7 was executed, for killing a Dallas police officer eleven years ago after pulling off Texas' biggest prison break. If you're from Texas, you probably remember this story. Maybe even if you're from Colorado.
My family and I were living in Colorado Springs when this all took place. I vaguely remember hearing reports of the prison break on the news, as well as reports of the slain Dallas police officer. And that the gang was on the run.
Here's a snippet from the Dallas Morning News:
That last line is important in my story. What isn't mentioned is that the remaining two that were found at a hotel had made it down to Colorado Springs, and that before surrendering, they were in a standoff with CSPD for several hours. The hotel that the standoff happened at was right around the corner from where I worked......the gang fled toward Colorado and into a snowstorm. Nearly a month after Hawkins’ murder, police were tipped off that the men were at an RV Park in Woodland Park near Colorado Springs, posing as missionaries.Rivas and two others were caught in a car nearby. Two were surrounded at the RV park, but Larry Harper committed suicide rather than be captured. The remaining two were found at a hotel and surrendered.
Our office building went into a self-imposed lock-down in case these animals slipped the police, and watched it play out on the news. Thank God it ended with no one else getting hurt, and I was able to leave work (a couple hours later than usual) and go home to my family.
That very same week, my father had "the talk" with me. He wanted me to learn to defend myself, learn to shoot, and get a conceal carry license. The day we had that talk was the first time I ever held hand gun of any kind - his 9mm Glock.
I remember being terrified of that gun. I quickly handed it back to him, but resumed the chat about hand guns, and assured him that yes, I would pursue it.
Somehow, eleven years have passed, and I'm just getting around to this. (See? There's that procrastination thing I mentioned earlier.) Oh, Dad's been at it all these years, asking "when are you gonna?" and "have ya done it yet?" And the answer was always "Not yet, dad. But soon."
In the last few months, a fire was sparked when my husband started talking about the very same thing. I thought for a minute that the two must somehow be conspiring to drag me into the gun totin' world together. But hubby said it a little differently. He said "There's two things on my bucket list that I want you to do. Go back to school to get your degree, and learn to shoot a handgun. I won't be around forever, and you need to be able to provide for yourself."
How does one say no to that? I couldn't put it on the back burner any longer.
The first time hubs took me to the range, after getting over the initial nervousness and fear of "Holy cow, this thing could kill someone!" - I was hooked.
Now we have weekly range dates, and I'm looking forward to taking some different classes, joining up with a women's shooting group, and maybe even trying out some competitive shooting.
So it took a looooooong time...(and a long story).....but that's how I got here. :)