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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hostile Holidays

Do you feel like it's Christmastime yet? I don't. Rather than the quiet peace and joy that usually finds its way into our hearts when we are looking forward to the holidays, there's a tangible malevolence in the air. I listen to Mark Levine on the way home from work, and though I understand it's a show, the anger there seems deeper and more real than anything Rush ever doled out at the height of his powers. People on my side of the political fence are fearful and frustrated and angry. And folks on the other side don't seem particularly happy either - I wonder if it's because they realize that there is no way the "One" can live up to his own hype. Maybe they are figuring out that they hired a law professor with no actual experience practicing law to represent the United States.

People often attribute the surge in gun sales this year to the fear that Obama has designs to take away their gun rights. I see it differently. I think people are grasping the reality that in the end, you are responsible for your safety and protecting what is most precious and valuable in your life. While we hope we won't be faced with that eventuality, it's not necessarily a bad thing for America to relearn the lessons that led to its birth.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Today, I was trolling around on gun control sites and landed at some site sponsored by the Brady campaign. I like to hang out in enemy territory because understanding is the first step to refuting an argument. (As my psychologist husband often says, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" - not my favorite saying, especially when he is trying to counsel me in the middle of an argument; to which I generally reply "Shoot first, ask questions later," but I digress.)

Anyways, one of their arguments was that eliminating guns from society would usher in a new age of peace and safety because even though only criminals would then have guns, there would be fewer criminals with guns overall. I thought - well, that presumes that any number of armed criminals against unarmed innocent victims is preferable to criminals having guns and citizens having the means to defend themselves. I can live with the latter, but not the former. And it's arrogant to presume that anyone should be prohibited from protecting themselves just to make others feel better.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Starting with the Fundamentals

10 Simple Rules of Life as a Gun Fighter

1. Bring a gun, preferably two.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.
3. Only hits count.
4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
5. Keep shooting until the threat no longer exists.
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gun fight, bring a long gun and a friend.
7. In ten years, no one will remember the details of caliber, stance or tactics. They will remember only who lived.
8. If you are not shooting, you should be reloading or running.
9. Accuracy is relative; most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

Author Unknown - excerpt from Tactical Pistol Shooting, Erik Lawrence (2005)

Hello and welcome - This blog's dedicated to discussing thoughts and issues related to shooting and learning how to shoot well and reliably under stressful circumstances. With the number of new gun owners in the US since the 2008 election, it strikes me that novices may need some encouragement to get out the range and become experienced so that gun does not become a liability when you really need it. I fell in love the first time I shot a 1911 .45 ACP pistol, got my first gun on Mother's Day 2009, and have shot at least 4,000 rounds through all kinds of firearms since that day, I trust my enthusiasm will be contagious. Enjoy!