MVT Defensive Concealed Handgun Class: A Wife Who Went…and sees more clearly now

For the past three years, my husband has been zealous about all things MVT. I have resisted accepting the time and attention he has placed on guns, training, and strategizing in respect to things that might go wrong. He’s left our family of seven, including three small babes, and ventured from Ohio to West Virginia often enough to have left me eye-rolling with the prospect of another trip. When he asked me to attend the handgun class this July, I was resistant. Flat-out declined at least twice. Yet, I ended up next to him, handgun holstered, in a class of unexpectedly interesting and intelligent people.

It was initially encouraging to see that two additional women were there. One, a daughter, another, a wife whose husband would be in attendance for the next class. People there were from different and busy lives, and I wondered: What is the point of learning how to use a handgun effectively and why it is worth our time and money to attend such a class?

The wife-minus-husband mentioned she intentionally came without her husband. Instructor Scott commented that wives usually learn better from someone other than their husbands. Oh yes, so true. (Sorry, Dimitri.) It is difficult to see with fresh perspective when one’s spouse, who is already more trained, tells one what to think. One gains understanding for why it is important to acquire the skills of using a handgun as one begins to consider the reasons for such concepts as: situational awareness, strategic thinking, and problem solving. The class was excellent because it provided real-life narratives showing how people used (or failed to use) skills to live, protect, and, ultimately, “stop the threat.”

I resisted thinking about killing others with a gun, and that has not changed. People in the class, as well as our instructor Scott, stated the objective is to save and protect from evil. Of course, hurt and killing may be involved, but as one student mentioned, the decision is made for you when one chooses evil and directs it to you or your loved ones. Scott was careful and deliberate in telling me in confidence that he had no intentions of turning me into a “killer.” Actually, just the opposite: we were together to learn tactics to protect life. This was a critical and important paradigm shift for me. Conversations were honest and probing among the group regarding how we perceived using a handgun in real-life against someone who chooses to act evil.

Our instructor Scott was particularly helpful and understanding of me—as I was the greenest among us, never having shot a gun. Scott was encouraging, though he didn’t let me simply stay comfortable. He paced me. One time he commented that correction came one point at a time. His goal seemed to balance the degree of push and accept so that each person felt motivated. Others in the group followed this helpful way, and I actually left feeling capable and not at all defeated. Some friends are calling me “Leambo” (Lea + Rambo), but that’s a bit of a stretch!

“Likeminded people,” a catch phrase that my husband has been using, now has personal meaning to me as a result of this class. Such people as were in this group showed me that becoming situationally aware and capable of using tools of defense, such as a gun, is a goal set by people who have their eyes open to the evil that exists in our world and they care enough to do something about it. We cannot control everything, and this was a sticking point for me before attending MVT. No matter what survival skills I acquire, the “game of life” is called by One greater than I. I even went so far as to mention this at the debriefing session shared at the end of the weekend. Much to my surprise, no one objected to this. One man even shared that someone prayed for their SWAT team members before each raid when he served. The sentiment was shared; no one seemed oblivious to the spiritual dimension of life. This was very welcoming to me and encouraged me to take the skills in alongside my own epistemology that posits God as an Orthodox Christian.

As a mother of five, I believe it is my responsibility to protect my children and myself. Threats are real, and they are everywhere. In the class, we discussed the “spidey” sense that a woman (or man) sometimes gets when someone has their eyes on you and there seems something amiss. Scott encouraged us to listen to our own intuitions, and another in the class added the importance of listening to one’s wife’s. (I liked that!) I think we must listen to each other, learn from each other, and stop limiting ourselves by our ignorance. I am very grateful that I know how to use a handgun now, as I’d never even shot one before this weekend. Surprisingly, it’s not terribly difficult to acquire marksmanship (if I can hit the target, anyone can), and it becomes a positive experience to acquire skills that may actually save lives, including one’s own.

Scott Adds- We never know when we may have to defend ourselves or our loved ones. It can come through the front door as a home invasion, a carjacking, attempted mugging or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Defending yourself is up to you.

The most important weapon you have is the one between your ears. Being situational aware is the key element. The gun that you carry doesn’t magically ward off bad guys like a crucifix for vampires.

You can be assaulted anywhere, for your money, your car, your political beliefs or just because. Evil walks among us on a daily basis. Most people are just too wrapped up in themselves to believe that.