About Me

I hold multiple NRA Instructor credentials, as well as SabreRed Pepper Spray. I have my own training company in Northern Virginia, www.FemaleandArmed.com and am focusing primarily on teaching women, especially those who are new to shooting.

I am also the author of 3 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I am a contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

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!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Living An Armed Life

Living an Armed Life will be available on Amazon and in select retailers on or about Sep 16.  This is my fourth book in five years, and yes, I’m taking a break.  For regular followers, you will see RPA, first introduced here last year.  You will also learn more about me and my ability to trip over shadows.  LAAL addresses the changing defensive techniques we need based on our life situation.  Injury, kids or aging.

I had a tremendous amount of help putting this together, and I’m very grateful to everyone who contributed advice, posed for photos or helped me figure it out when it was me on crutches, in a sling, using a cane…remember the tripping on shadows?

The book also introduces Laurie, an instructor in Virginia Beach, who was seriously injured several years ago and is now in a wheelchair.  Her humor, candor and dedication come through in her advice on shooting and defensive techniques while wheelchair bound. 

This book is full of advice I hope you will never have to use, but gosh, when you need it, it is nice not to have to figure it out on your own.  Special thanks to The Gun Diva for her kind Foreword.  She is a special friend and I’m honored that she contributed to my book.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Feel a Rant Coming On…

The Politically Correct crowd is run amuck.  There, I wrote it, in plain letters.  I’m so tired of being told I can’t do something because some group will get offended, or I have to learn to express myself differently because another group might be offended.  My thoughts?  GROW A SKIN!  Yes, there are extremes and vernacular that has, rightfully, crept out of our lexicon.  But it is being replaced with so much nonsense! 

 We are a binary people, genetically.  Male and Female.  There is not a 3rd gender.  Some people believe they are Transgendered.  Fine.  That doesn’t not make them a 3rd gender.  They are either Male or Female, be it by birth or by choice, I’m not making that argument, but I still don’t want to share a public restroom or dressing room with a man.  That is my choice.  I was in Target recently, and wanted to try on a blouse.  I generally avoid that as they have taken a very “progressive” stance, but I was distracted and wandered in to the dressing rooms.  All the stalls were labeled “Family”, which I guess is how they get around the gender question.  Well, be true to yourself, but don’t expect me to use made up pronouns.  If I use the wrong one, tell me, and I will do my best to fix it.

I live just outside of DC.  I was across the street from the Pentagon 15 years ago.  I can say “terror attack” with a straight face.  Does that mean I think Muslims are bad?  No!  I think terrorists are bad!  Not all terrorists are Muslim and not all Muslims are terrorists.  Do I want to see my country flooded with refugees?  No, I live in a high risk area (which happens to have some of the strictest gun laws).  And, with employment and economy issues, I don’t want to shoulder the burden of even more people that can’t find work, struggling to assimilate…I am 100% in favor of providing assistance without relocation.  And, since Syria is so much in the news these days, why should the U.S. accept thousands of refugees from the other side of the world when we are already overrun with refugees from Central and South America?  According to a lot of people, this makes me a bad person, someone without a moral compass…or not PC.
BLM.  To me, that is Blue Lives Matter, but not to everyone.  Personally, I think all lives are important.  Regardless of age, race, profession, religion, gender or birth status.  Frankly, there are examples of “wrongs” on all sides of that one. 

The 2nd Amendment.  Can you guess where I fall on that one?  I support national reciprocity for Concealed Carry Permits.  Each state has their own requirements for Driver’s Licenses, and issues them, but all the other states recognize them.  I don’t have to have one for Virginia, one for Maryland, and oh wait, DC won’t give me a license since I don’t live there.  Nope.  There is national reciprocity.  How many times have you seen the statistics about how many hundreds of thousands of permit holders weren’t involved in a crime or mass shooting? 
I’m not a bigot, I’m not a racist, not even a nationalist.  I’m a conservative gun owner who believes that everyone is important, but also that we need to get our country on track before we try to fix the world.

Thank you.  Rant over.  I now return you to your regular scheduled programming. 



The Impact of NRA Eliminating First Steps Training

I’m sure it was unforeseen, but in eliminating the First Steps program, which was an approximately 4 hour introduction to shooting, covering the fundamentals of safety, stance, handling and some time on the range, many instructors have given up teaching.  The First Steps has been superseded by Basic Pistol, which was available previously, but not as common.  It is offered in a Blended Learning format which requires a student to complete an on line portion, then work with an instructor to review the material and complete the range portion.  For many instructors the new format just wasn’t cost effective to continue teaching.  For me personally, I taught in small groups, one to four students, and I can’t afford to do that for Basic Pistol.  I do not have the statistics on participation rates but I hope it is working out.  

I’ve talked to many instructors who have simply given up their businesses.  It isn’t cheap, we have business licenses, insurance, overhead costs.  If you can’t afford to do that on a large scale, it can be tough to break even.  Some have switched to coaching one on one, but that is very time consuming and you have to do a lot of it to cover the cost of instructor insurance.

 I still encourage every new shooter to take a basic level course, and then more advanced training as the budget allows.  No matter what kind of shooting you are interested in, there is training available.  Nothing beats working with a live instructor who can see what you are doing and offer corrections. 


Whatever happened to National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day?


This was a good idea, had a robust start, but like so many endeavors, it required a lot of work by a lot of dedicated people to get up and going.  Also, like so many things, it took a lot less effort to take it apart.  Without going into the painful details, the organization crumbled. 


However, there are still a few clubs across the country who host annual events, some under a slightly different title, but the concept of safety, encouragement and promotion of the Shooting Sports is still strong.  That being said, there is no reason any range can’t support a family event or set aside a Daughter Day, do some type of promotion that may include extra instructor staff support, use of .22 caliber firearms, or even a reduced cost.  Some clubs have prizes and a cook out and certificates and advance registration. 


No matter how you do it, formal or informal, this is a great family activity and girls as well as boys love to make the first trip to the range in a supported way, and most have so much fun they can’t wait to go again.


So, consider encouraging your local range to promote a family day, or a daughter day, and get everyone out for some fun!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Gun Free Zones

Gun Free Zones. Words that chill my heart, because we all know, in a Gun Free Zone, only
honest law abiding citizens don’t have guns. However, not having a firearm doesn’t make up
defenseless. I once told someone that in trained hands a knitting needle was an “Assault
Weapon”. Think about it, long, strong, pointy…but no, I’m not advocating that you carry knitting
needles everywhere you go. What I am suggesting is that you think about what you do have, or
could easily add, and practice how to use them.

Because if where I work I cannot carry my firearm to and from work. Hanging on the front of my
purse is an assortment of charms, they are fun, and express my personality. They also give me
an inconspicuous place to hang my SABRE Personal Alarm. These little noise makers couldn’t
be easier. Grab, yank and throw. Yep, grabbing then yanking disengages the pin which sets off
a loud noise. Throwing it makes it harder for an attacker to silence since they would have to
find it. To shut it off, simply reinsert the pin. Works on purses, backpacks, lanyards…don’t
have to worry about age and legal issues.

Inside my purse, in designated pockets, I have a quick open folding knife with a window break
on the end and a tactical flashlight. Both handy if you ever need them. On my keychain I have
pepper spray. I also have some basic empty hand skills learned from a variety of personal
trainers (I have a few limitations so I take private training whenever I can to work around them
and avoid slowing down a class or getting injured by a hyper millennial).

Recently, with all the nastiness in the world, I started thinking more about being out and
about…the mall, a theater, etc. Violence is everywhere and living in a concealed carry state we
are more likely to be attacked in a “gun free” zone. What to do. I did some research, watched a
great “The Best Defense” video and decided to look for a ballistic pad to fit in a backpack. Well,
turns out there are a lot of them out there. Some already incorporated into the backpack. I
opted for a level IIIA soft pad that slips into the laptop straps on most of my backpacks (the
tactical looking and the cute ones). It is 16”x12”, and weighs about 2 pounds, which is pretty
light. I found it on Amazon, and after reading all the reviews made my pick. Several people had
bought two, one to shoot up and one to use. Based on those reviews I opted to buy one and
save my pennies. But, from now on if you see me at the mall I will likely have a backpack
nonchalantly thrown over my shoulder (Sorry Michael Kors) instead of a purse. My charms will
be clipped to the pack, and my knife and light will be within easy access, but I will have an area
of cover, within my grasp should something happen. I hope I never need it, but it will be nice
knowing that I have a little extra protection.