Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shot Show 2010 Ricochet

Shot Show in Las Vegas was, in a word, overwhelming. There were about 50,000 people wandering through the Sands Convention Center and the male/female ratio was, I'd guess about 9.7 to .3. I went on a press pass that Alan Korwin ("the largest publisher of gun law books in the U.S.") kindly provided me, which meant that I got to hang out in the press room with lots of other inquisitive people. I met folks from my favorite vendors (Sig Sauer, Blade Tech, and Galco Leather), spoke at length with the people who oversee the NICS background checking process, met Sandy Froman (former NRA President) and got to hold an RPG (they are quite heavy). I am still sorting through my thoughts about the experience, but can report that if you enjoy being utterly surrounded with guns and gun equipment, gun literature, gun businessmen and basically, gun fanatics, you'd be in heaven. Otherwise, not so much. Most importantly for me, I met several publishers who let me know they'd be happy to review the articles I am working on, and that was encouraging.

One thing I am still turning over in my mind: Being female in this environment can feel a little strange and maintaining solid footing can be tricky. On the one hand, you sense that some men are thrilled to see a woman enjoying the shooting sports, on the other, they don't know what to make of you. Not sure I have any broad pronouncements to make about that at this point, but I am thinking it over and will keep you posted. In the meantime, I will just keep shooting.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

guns...part of healthy living

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. President

Plus, shooting is WAY more fun than soccer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

day at the range

On Saturday, I went to a new to me (old) range, kind of a dump, and not particularly welcoming. One RO instructed that the targets had to be a certain distance out so that "young ladies don't shoot the base of the frame." Even though I am not particularly young, I looked him square in the eye and said, "OK, but I'm not going to shoot the base," to which he mumbled something in reply about how he's seen it happen about 50 times...

I know better than to argue with an RO, but you'd think he might suspect that someone dressed in camoflage with a drop and offset holstered 1911 .45ACP, carrying an enormous gun bag, wearing a hat from a local gun store might have enough shooting experience to shoot the target rather than the base of the frame. Guess not.

Anyways, it made me think how important it is in life to expect and know how to deal with crap. Life is not fair, not to women, not to men, and jerks abide in every field of endeavor. So when you encounter one, look them square in the eye, don't be cowed, let them learn who you are, and leave that target with the shot-out bullseye up when you leave.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Open carry is permitted where I live. Sometimes, after I finish up at the range, I wear my holstered .45 to various places on the way home (the convenience store, the gun store, the grocery store...). Sometimes people give me strange looks. If they do, I simply smile, hoping that in so doing I am normalizing the experience for them.

I am thankful to be able to freely exercise this amazing right. There was a time not so long ago that I would have been afraid to see a man or a woman open carrying. But something happens when you understand guns - how they operate, how to safely handle them, what they can do. Now, if I see a fellow gun owner exercising his or her rights, I smile and let them know I am glad they are around.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gun Show

Over the weekend I attended an enormous gun show. Gun shows fascinate me - a gathering of people, any one of whom I could probably strike up a conversation with and find something in common or learn something from, regardless of our respective backgrounds. I don't immediately realize how uncommon I am as a woman in this respect (although I suspect our numbers are growing). And generally, I find it amusing when people (men and women) think it's strange that I enjoy shooting or know as much as I do about firearms. I want them to understand that enjoying and appreciating firearms has nothing to do with gender. But, based on our interaction, I think they probably come to that conclusion on their own.

So what did I learn at this weekend's show? That the price I paid for my latest acquisition from a dealer was fair, maybe a little high, but worth it to have someone to go to if problems develop. That Obama continually provides gun nuts with fodder for new t-shirt and bumper sticker slogans. That it's highly unlikely that any of the non-FFL licensed sellers there would sell a gun to anyone they thought was a gang member or illegal immigrant, and that if I were a gang member or illegal immigrant, I wouldn't feel particularly comfortable there.

True story: I was wandering around and ended up at a table with an older gentleman who sells suppressors. I asked him lots of questions - what do you have to go through to get one, how do they work, do you have clean them, what kinds are appropriate, why would someone want one? He got kind of quiet for a moment and then said, "You'll have to excuse me; I don't talk with women that often." I about burst out laughing, but suppressed it (no pun intended). But it made think - maybe this blog should be focused on women and guns - to provide a welcoming environment for sharing experiences and discussing issues of interest to women. I will give it some thought, but I will always want this to be a place that bridges the gender gap in the shooting sports, if one is there.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good News

On March 2, 2010, the US Supreme Court will hear oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago, and attached for your reading pleasure is the NRA's amicus brief supporting the position that the 2nd Amendment is incorporated against the states through the 14th Amendment. 251 Members of the House of Representatives, and 58 Senators signed the brief in support. So there's some good news.