An Unexpected CCW Student

If you live in Connecticut (or know someone who does), then you likely know how time-consuming it can be to get a concealed carry permit in that state. There are some very specific steps, hoops and runarounds — you name it — and you might be waiting a few months for your permit if you live in one of the larger cities. But I am happy to report that the USCCA curriculum is approved and accepted by the state of Connecticut, and I had the opportunity not long ago to teach one of our classes to a small group of eager participants.

One of those participants, I believe, deserves some extra recognition. While I will not share her name, I will share some of her story. She is a very spirited, steadfast woman. She is also the mother of one of the other students who took the class. (It was the daughter who happened to mention the USCCA class to her mother and encouraged her to take it, not knowing if her mom would even support the idea of owning a gun, much less learning how to safely use one and carry one! To her surprise, her mother agreed … and happily showed up, ready for the class.)

I welcomed the mom and daughter pair and mentioned how happy I was that they were taking the course together. (It’s always great for some encouragement … and for some accountability!) Both readily participated in our concealed carry class and shared a lot of great insights, comments and questions. But the real excitement of the day was actually getting to shoot at the range. I think the daughter was more anxious and excited about her mom shooting than she was about herself. And when Mom came up to the line to shoot for the first time, I reminded her of all the safety rules, walked her through all the basic shooting fundamentals and praised and encouraged her, once again, as she pressed off her first shots.

Mom did amazingly well, staying very cool and calm throughout the entire experience … while her daughter took pictures and shed a few tears! The daughter later told me that she never thought she’d witness her mom going through a CCW class … or shooting a firearm!

Luckily, the story doesn’t end there. Shortly after our course, I heard from the mom, who reached out to me to get a few details so she could fill out all her concealed handgun permit paperwork thoroughly and properly. I was so thrilled to know that she was keeping up with everything and following through with her state’s somewhat laborious process. Then I heard from her once again, just a few months ago. She messaged me on social media and proudly shared, “Just wanted you to be the first to know: I got my permit!”

You know something: I was ecstatic! I was proud to have had her in my class and to have helped her work through the permit process. More importantly, I was honored to have been part of her journey to feel safer and more secure.

Who would’ve known that a staunch, independent, plausibly anti-gun administrative assistant from Connecticut would take my USCCA course? The whole experience fits perfectly with a quote from English author Samuel Johnson: “Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”

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