About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, currently on hiatus.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!



my books

my books
Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Responsible Carry

I'm a vocal advocate for Concealed Carry, but I believe more in Responsible Carry.  What is responsible carry?  It means you regularly go to the range and practice your skills, not just plinking, but drawing and firing, assessing the threat, firing again if needed.  It means you understand that the annual range trip is not enough.  Shooting is a perishable skill that needs to be kept up.  Responsible Carry means you train, beyond whatever the minimum was to get a permit, you take defensive training, you work on supportive skills as the gun is not always the first choice.  You choose not to go areas where you have a high risk of needing your gun.  You've made the decision, deep down inside, that you are prepared to use your firearm to defend yourself or your family.  You understand that there is great risk in interfering in a situation that you stumble on and don't have all the facts.  Finally it is understanding when not to carry, such as when you are not able to practice due to injury or physical instability.  It is accepting that you are dangerous if you can't be confident in your skills.  The only way to be confident is to practice.  When you are injured you more vulnerable, and that may make you think you need your gun, but if you are not physically able to practice, you are not in a good position to use your gun defensively, you put yourself and bystanders at higher risk.

Be smart, be responsible, be safe.

Monday, March 25, 2019

#2A

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.".

There have been multiple interpretations, but I tend to focus on “…shall not be infringed.”  In the last few years there has been a lot of calls for “gun control” in various forms, ranging from complete disarming to banning specific types of firearms.  These calls get louder after an atrocity like a school shooting, church shooting, etc.  Why am I so resistant to the call for my gun rights?  For one, history shows that disarming the citizens is often a first step down a very dangerous path.  Also, the adage “if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns” rings true.  Just look at the rate of firearm violence in Chicago, a bastion of gun control.

Some are saying we need to follow the model of New Zeeland by having gun turn ins.  We have our Constitution, and affirmation by the Supreme Court, that grants us the inalienable right to “bear arms”.

Other voices are calling to chip away at our rights, by banning specific firearms.  With the swipe of a Governor’s pen, many in New Jersey became felons for possessing magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, including off duty Law Enforcement Officers. To the uneducated, calling for magazine bans for semi-automatic firearms sounds reasonable.  However, the stock magazine for more of these guns holds more than 10 rounds.  There is a call for banning Military Style features, but they aren’t defined.  This is a move against the AR, which many call an Assault Rifle.  Actually, there is no such thing as an Assault Rifle, it is an Armalite Rifle.  It is not used by the military, it just looks scary to someone who doesn’t understand firearms.  It is also the most popular rifle for hunting and sport.

I have two specific issues with those calling for firearms restrictions or bans.  First, they are often protected by armed security guards.  Second, they don’t know what they are talking about.  The don’t understand.  They are ignorant of how guns work, or what is currently legal.  Most have never fired a gun.  Or if they did, it was with a big show of how “scary” it was.  Remember the “journalist” who was nearly knocked over shooting an AR 15?  This was contrasted with videos of young girls happily shooting Ars with their families.

Firearms allow us defense options, fun time at the range, family outings, sport and competition.  The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens who use their guns for lawfully allowed purposes.  We need to continue to resist the call, and support our #2A rights!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Going Un-Armed in a Scary World

Due to a series of incidents over the last couple years, I’ve learned a lot about vulnerability,
being realistic, and fear. I have carried through a variety of injuries, but these last few had me
too unsteady on my feet to practice with consistency, and my philosophy has always been if my
skills aren’t sharp, I don’t carry. In the course of 15 months I have both hips replaced. Then as
I was just about ready to start back to the range, I fell and fractured my femur. Surgery, metal
plate, screws. And months of crutches. All of this adds up to significant changes in my personal
defensive strategy.
I miss going to the range, but I’m just not steady enough on my feet, or crutches, to be
comfortable shooting. Actually, I could probably shoot, it is dragging the range bag with all its
assorted heavy objects that is really slowing me down. But I’m close.
For now, I’ve tried to ramp up my situational awareness even more than my normal, which was
pretty high. Because I have trouble walking or standing for any length of time, I’m at home
more, so my exposure is less. I still know how to swing a crutch and use is to extend my punch,
but with the plate in my leg I’m more fearful of falling. That, and I don’t bounce like I did when I
was younger.
I will be returning to the range soon. My plan is an hour on my own, stressing fundamentals,
starting at 8-10 feet and just concentrating on grip, shot placement and not falling over. The
next time I will likely enlist support from another instructor to help me spot anything I need to
correct, they can always see it faster than I can, just like I can spot something they’re doing
almost immediately that they aren’t even aware of. Good instructors are great allies!
Then, since crutches are in my future for a few more months…appendix carry will be my new
best buddy. I’ve always been a strong side hip, but the sound made when the crutch hits the
gun is pretty obvious.
This is new territory for me. I’ve carried through lesser injuries, and worked with people with
severe limitations. But I believe, if I’m not practicing, I’m not carrying. It isn’t worth the risk to
innocents. I need to know exactly where those rounds are going.
Be Safe, have wonderful holidays, and for those of you getting something special this year,
happy shooting! My gift to me was a new AR (but that will be a while unless I shoot sitting down.

Safe Shooting!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Negligent Discharge

Negligent:  failing to take proper care in doing something.  We in shooting talk about Negligent Discharge (ND) when a gun is fired without intent.  Accidental Discharge (AD) used to be another common term that has fallen out of favor as safety has been built in to modern firearms making the AD nearly obsolete.



This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot as a friend recently shared an experience of teaching a non-firearms related class where a student ignored the safety precautions and slightly injured herself.  This was a situation that could have been much more serious outside of a controlled environment and my friend felt very bad for not preventing it.  I had to ask, can we really stop someone from doing something dumb or can we only provide the tools and knowledge to do it right?



NDs come in many forms.  Have you ever sliced toward yourself, instead of away, and yep…here comes the blood.  Did you know better?  Sure, but it always worked before.  I once dropped a freshly cleaned rifle on my foot while putting it away.  It slipped.  Did I know that I should always wear shoes while handling weighty or pointy objects?  Yes.  Did I that day?  No.  I ended up with a 2+ inch gash on the top of my foot and a toe with three shattered, not just broken, bones, lost the flexor tendon in the process.  Luckily I have a toe that is essentially one long fused piece, slightly longer than it used to be, that doesn’t bend.  Given the damage it could have been a lot worse.  And, I got a great safety story out of it.



Many years ago I took flying lessons.  If you have never been up in a small plane, it is completely different that the commercial planes and is SO MUCH FUN!  My instructor, Bernie, was a sweet older man who just loved to fly.  He had been at it for more than 40 years, and his career included time as a Navy Test Pilot, and more than 20 years teaching.  The club I belonged to held monthly safety meetings.  One night our speaker was Bernie.  He explained there were two types of pilots. Those that have pulled the mixture and those that would.  If you don’t know, pulling the mixture on a small single engine plan kills the engine.  He had reached for the throttle, to slow the engine, while up with a student and instead pulled the mixture.  (Luckily I was not the student.)  The second part of his lecture involved explaining the challenge and failure to air-start a Cessna 152 below 2000 feet and the difficult but successful dead stick landing.  No injury, no damage. 



Sometimes it is carelessness, sometimes it is distraction.  But it is avoidable.  We know the safety rules.  We know what we should do.  We know bad things happen.  Was it the instructors fault?  No!  Was it my fault breaking my toe?  Yes!  Was it Bernie’s fault for puling the wrong knob?  Yes!  What is the common denominator?  Negligence.



Don’t fool yourself into skipping a safety rule “just this once”.  It only take one round missed when cleaning a gun to shoot yourself or someone else.  There are so many things that can go wrong.  Be smart, not a cautionary tale.  If you’ve done some of these things and are not scarred, you are lucky.  Be smart and don’t try it again.  You never know when the next time may be the last time.  You won’t always have an instructor close to jump in and rescue you. 

Only you can prevent a ND.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Why Blame the NRA?

Another school shooting, a tragedy for students, parents, teachers, and first responders.  I'm a baby-boomer, when I grew up, my biggest concern was getting chased home by the school bully, not getting shot at my desk.

There is an alarming trend, people are grieving and scared.  So, they blame the NRA, call it a terrorist organization.  Never mind the thousands of people who are trained annually, from safety for children to advanced skills for Law Enforcement and everything in between.  Never mind that historically NO NRA members have been identified as the assailant in a mass shooting, although there are examples of NRA members stopping them, as in the church shooting in Texas.

The NRA was formed in 1871.  In 1966 an Engineering Student entered a tower at the University of Texas and terrorized people for 96 minutes, killing 17 and wounding 31.  For most of us, the earliest memory is Columbine High School, April 20, 1999.  They murdered 13 and injured 21.  News sources report 18 school shootings in 2018, but two of those were what we think of as school shootings, the others being 1 on 1 situations.  But two is two to many.

What does this have to do with the NRA?  Well, nothing, really.  In spite of the rantings of some traumatized teens, the NRA is not the problem.  Evidence from the school shootings from Columbine forward shine a bright light on violent video games, bullying, social outcasts, the breakdown of family norms and personal responsibility and a general lack of understanding or appreciation for the value of life.

Also note, the Gun Free Zone law went into effect in 1990.  School shooting have risen dramatically since that time.  This is a classic fish in a barrel.  There is a reason why concealed carry states have less instance of person on person crime.  Thugs don't want to risk being shot.  Hanging a Gun Free Zone sign is like ringing a dinner bell.  Some schools are arming well training volunteers and hanging up a sign warning intruders that staff may be carrying concealed weapons.  To date, we have not heard of a school shooting there.

This is not a gun culture issue, this is much more personal.  Our country was founded on a "gun culture".  We shot for defense, liberty and food!  In current day add competition and fun.

If it was the NRAs fault, this would not be a relatively new phenomenon.  Could it be the manufacturers?  The advances in the technology?  The civilian use of "military" weapons?  Well, design hadn't changed that much, pull the trigger, go bang.  As a Veteran, I can attest that the weapon I fired on active duty is not the same as the weapon in my gun safe.

I would be the first to line up to surrender my firearms if I believed it would prevent another tragedy.  It won't and I'm not handing in anything.

There are no easy answers, but there are a lot of accusations.

Blame me if you must, but know that in all the years I've been a NRA member I have not shot anyone.