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

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Profiles in Excellence: Julie Golob


Julie has a long list of accomplishments; Veteran, Mom, Wife, Author, Hunter, Pro Shooter, TV personality, Captain of the Smith & Wesson shooting team, and IPSC World Champion Ladies Classic Division (and probably the nicest shooter on the circuit).  




I have been honored to meet Julie on several occasions and follow her on FaceBook, Twitter, www.juliegolob.com, and YouTube, JulieG.TV.  If this woman has the ability to frown, I’ve never seen it.  She is upbeat, generous of spirit and inspiring.  I learn so much watching her, but never feel like I’m being taught.  She is approachable, funny and most importantly genuine. 




Julie is truly an inspiration for girls and women everywhere.  We’ll probably never rise to her level, but she never makes you feel that way.  This is someone I would love to just sit down for coffee with, not that she has time between her competition schedule, writing, blogging, appearances and spending time with two adorable little ones, teaching them early about gun safety.  It isn’t possible to watch Julie’s vlog and not smile.  She has been nominated for the 2018 NRA Board of Directors.  I support her! 

#JulieGforNRA

to Tell or Not to Tell

There comes a time for every shooter to decide do I tell someone that I like to shoot or that I carry a concealed firearm.  This is a very personal choice, and can have profound consequences.  Just look to media over the past year.  Some very outspoken gun rights advocates have received death threats against themselves and their families.  Some have been forced to move after their addresses were published on social media.

Oh, that’s not me, I’m not a public figure.  Well, that may be, but it doesn’t protect you from bullying behavior from intolerant people.  In my experience, most people are ok or neutral, but I’m not walking around telling everyone or being obnoxiously obvious, either.  People in my office generally know I shoot, have instructor credentials and have written a few books.  I get teased good naturedly at times, people will come for advice.  But not everyone is positive.  There is a woman who is a rabid anti-gun nut.  She states that NO ONE should have a gun, period.  She will make statements like this when I’m nearby.  She will sometimes pose what seems to be a reasonable question, then turn it around into a rant against shooting.  No argument is acceptable; she is against self-defense, hunting and recreational shooting.  This is baiting and bullying, I have to ignore her when she starts in.  Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve experienced this type of reaction, and likely won’t be the last.  I had a woman complain that my owning a gun made her feel unsafe.  This was in an office, she had never seen it, they were prohibited on the property.  She had eavesdropped on a private conversation with another co-worker about a trip to the range.  She made a complaint to the company and I nearly lost my job.  Most people are fine, but for the irrational or strongly opinionated, some will stop at nothing to make you regret them find out. 
 
This reaction gets even more extreme when children are around.  Many people support teaching children gun safety, and families enjoying the shooting sports together.  Others see it as child abuse or reckless endangerment.  Just look at some states that are requiring foster parents to remove guns from their homes or not be allowed to provide a loving home to kids who need it.
There are still youth shooting teams, sometimes in schools, sometimes Scouts or other organizations.  But there are parents who would not allow their child to be friendly with another who shoots because they think it is dangerous.  In truth, well trained shooters are safer than the child who stumbles upon a gun with no idea how to use it safely.  But that is logic, and this is an issue often responded to with emotion, not logic. 

Some extremes illustrated here but it happens.  My policy is to not bring it up unless asked. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's Been Amazing


Little did I know, when I started training hard, teaching and writing over 10 years ago that I would one day be hanging up my Out of Business sign.  For many reasons, actually.  I’ve endured some major personal issues that really slowed me down and took all my attention, then I got hit with serious health issues that limited my ability to get around.  That ended with my not having any money coming in, but too much going out.  Not a good business model.  So…I’m shutting down.  The last straw for me was the cost of the website, which is now down.

 
I may take the time to write more, and as soon as I’m physically able I would like to take some additional training.  Right now, I don’t have the endurance to make it through a class and the type of training I want can get physical, I can’t risk additional injury.

 
Looking back, I think of the amazing people I’ve met, and incredible people I’ve worked with, and just the sheer joy of watching the smile spread across the face of a scared new shooter who just realized how amazing this can be.  I’ve had some incredible opportunities, traveling to Shot Show, getting encouragement from so many very special people that I admire and respect.  I can’t think of a single time that I wasn’t happy teaching. 

The World is a Scary Place


So much happening.  Riots, attempts to rewrite history, natural disasters…Who is safe?  No one.  At any moment you could become the target of an attack.  One reporter was attacked on the edge of a rally because of his polo shirt, and you know, Nazis wear polo shirts.  WTF?  The truth is, there are bad people out there who want to hurt you.  All you can do is be aware, walk away when you see a crowd.  By-standers are now targets at these protests.  Anyone is fair game.  Don’t let yourself get caught up and drawn in. 

 
That said, it isn’t all bad.  There are heartwarming images coming out of Texas of people who do not have to risk their lives stepping in to rescue strangers and animals from the flood.  Rescuer and victim come in all shapes, sizes and races.  No one is asking gender preference.  They are simply being decent Americans, helping those who need help.  Bless them all.

 
What does all this mean?  Be responsible, look out for yourself, but look out for your neighbor.  You never know when you might be the one who needs to be rescued.  Don’t get caught up in the hype about protests and statues.  We are still Americans.  As long as we remember and respect our history we can work together.  This is the greatest country on earth.  We may not be friends, but we are Americans and that means a lot.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Mourning the Loss of NRA First Steps Program



First, this is not a bash the NRA piece.  I’m proud to be an Endowment level member, and before that was a life member for nearly 20 years.


The NRA First Steps was a great introduction to safety and the basics of shooting.  Hands on time with an instructor followed 3-4 hours of classroom instruction.  It was easy, not intimidating and covered a lot of material at a high level.  Students were encouraged to seek more advance training.  This was a “dip your toes in” kind of class.  When the NRA decided to abandon this popular option in favor of a blended learning Basic Pistol which, if taught as written, requires a student to complete an on –line portion, then find an instructor and complete class room and range sections.  The “as written” has the class and range alternating to accomplish skills that add on to one another.  If you don’t have your own range, it is kind of tough to do.


I have multiple instructor credentials, but rarely taught the more advanced classes.  My preference was the new shooter.  Mostly women, but not all.  Some nervous or scared.  My preferred venue was in their home.  Yes, I went to them.  My classes were limited to 4 people.  They all knew each other, were comfortable asking questions.  We made it like a Tupperware party, except with guns.  I gave away pens, keychains, gift certificates for an hour of range instruction, etc.  When the inevitable discussion of safe direction came up, we were in a home, we could talk real world.  For gun handling, I had a Kevlar vest I could hang over a chair if I needed to create a safe direction.  I gave significant discounts to military and law enforcement spouses, trained women in danger for free…the goal wasn’t to make money, although I did try hard to break even on materials and insurance.  My costs were lower since I didn’t have to rent a classroom, just cover range time and ammunition for those borrowing my firearms.


I loved it!  My students loved it.  Many used that class to get a Concealed Carry Permit, and then went on to get private coaching and or take more advanced classes.


That is no longer an option, and I, like many of my fellow instructors, have given up the teaching business.  It is sad, and I hate it.  But I’m not ready to take on the Basic Pistol model, which would mean classrooms, more instructors, new materials…or to teach the more advanced courses, for the same reason.  That isn’t where my passion lay. 


One sad aspect of this decision is that, in Virginia at least, students can take a 1.5 hour on-line course, and use that to get a permit.  No live instructor, no questions, and no practical application at a range.  I find that terrifying.  I’ve had students who didn’t get their certificate the first time out because they weren’t safe, and we spent more time together, at no cost to the student, to ensure they were at lease minimally competent. 

 
I am slowly dismantling my business, and it hurts.  I have lots of equipment; projector, holsters, blue guns, SIRTS, etc., that I need to do something with.  I also have quite a few First Steps packets left that when the NRA made the switch they offered a turn in of Basic Pistol packets but I never saw the same for the First Steps packets, so I still have a dozen or so. 


I will still write, still take friends to the range, but my formal instruction is done.  I don’t agree with the decision the NRA Training Department made, but they didn’t ask my opinion.  I’m sure they have a “good” reason, but I don’t know what it is, and I know a lot of instructors were impacted. But more than that, a lot of students are impacted.  People who would come to a 4 hour class to “try it out”, an entry level starting point.  Not all of these people will commit to a couple days, or the extra expense.  I think we are doing them a disservice.


Be safe!  No matter what your skill level, never stop practicing and never stop training.