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!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wheat and Chaff

    
There are so many blogs these days, it isn’t possible to keep up with them!  Some are insightful, thoughtful, and offer great advice, others offer advice bordering on dangerous, and some, well, they are just self-promoting.  I had the “honor” of commenting on a post recently and then having someone else and the moderator refer to me in turn as “catty” and “anti-capitalist”.  Uh, ok.  It gets better, I responded, but my follow up clarification has yet to make it past the moderator/censor. 

 

For the record, this particular post referred exclusively to one commercial outlet for women’s holsters.  Never mind that the proprietress of this outlet didn’t create these holsters, she merely stocks them on her site, along with her “pearls of wisdom”.   The “reviews” of the products were not especially well done, often showing incorrect usage, but that didn’t stop the love fest with the site that sells them (one of many I might add).  I commented on the persons skills at marketing and referenced several other sources for information and products.  Gosh, you would think I made a negative comment about an icon, which this women is not, based on the reaction.  Further more, some women commented with legitimate questions about carry methods based on their body type of lifestyle.  The “moderator” provided brief answers, the legitimacy of which leads me to believe that a, the moderator is a man, and b, doesn’t teach women.

 

So what is a girl to do?  Look at who is promoting the sport, empowerment of women, offering sane advice and thoughtful responses…those are the women you should be following.  The sight that promotes the author first, well, look a little deeper, is it Me, Me, Me or You, You, You?  Some good starts are in the blog list to the right.  Keep your BS meter finally tuned and remember, if it doesn’t sound right to you, it probably isn’t right for you.

 

Safe Shooting!

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Social Experiments and Firearms

There seems to be a trend, or I’m just more aware, of people using firearms to push their social agendas under the guise of social experiments. 
Look at the, thankfully canceled, armed march on Washington DC planned by internet activist Adam Kokesh for July 4th?  He wanted to walk into Washington DC, on July 4th (notably one of the busiest days of the year in the city) with he and his “followers” carrying loaded rifles “slung over their shoulders”.  IMHO a recipe for disaster, not to mention arrest.
Now, blogger Heidi Yewman, at Ms. Magazine’s blog is documenting her “Month with a Gun”.  She writes that she is in compliance with the laws of her state, and is open carrying a Glock 9mm.  She also admits to not having received any training, indicates no intent to do so, but is prepared to use her gun to defend herself and others.  Frankly, she’d be better off replacing the gun with a hammer, at least, presumably, she knows how to use that without unintentionally hurting an innocent. 
How many more examples of this type of thinking are out there and I haven’t stumbled on them yet? 
IMHO this type of behavior makes a mockery of our right to bear arms, and our responsibility to do so safely, with education and wisdom. 
Safe Shooting!

Friday, June 14, 2013

How Young is Too Young?

I had a question recently from a parent on how to start teaching gun safety to their 4 year old.  This was not the first time I’ve had this kind of question.  My philosophy is that as soon as the child can move under their own power, it is time to start teaching gun safety.  Of course there are varying degrees, but the little ones can learn to Stop, Don’t Touch, Leave the Area, Tell and Adult using the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program, additional materials available at http://eddieeagle.nra.org/ .  As they get older, you can start to teach them safe handling in a supervised way with NERF, Air Soft, even Water Guns (although not pointing it at someone does take some of the fun out of the Super Soaker) but you can set up paper targets and compete with each other and save getting wet for running through the sprinkler.  Some Finger Paints on WaterColor paper can be a lot of fun with water guns, make the paint run and then save the artwork! 
As for taking them to shoot real guns, I usually suggest 6, but parents know their child. A 6 year old might not be ready or they may have been shooting for a year already. 
Some instructors are happy to work with kids and have developed curriculums just for families.  4H and Scouts often have youth programs to help kids learn to shoot safely. 
In the end, it is the parent who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that your child understands, at an age appropriate level, what is safe and what isn’t.  Even if you do not have guns in your home, your child’s friend may. 
Safe Shooting.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Perfect Fit


You may have read my recent post on women only classes.  Having spent more time learning about some of the other instructors I met I’ve come to the conclusion that they are great examples of finding your niche.  I like to offer a safe, fun introduction to shooting, making my new students relax and have a good time, then encouraging them to seek more advanced training.  That works for the student who wants that.

Some of these guys offer a harsher introduction, safe, competent but harsh.  And for some people, that works.  Not for me, but there are those who thrive under pressure.

There are instructors who are more attuned to defensive instruction and some who are more focused on tactical instruction. 

Where am I going?  You need to understand your needs, and ask questions to find the right instructor for you.  Do you want a more gentle introduction or do you want to jump in with both feet?  Are you ready for a heavy duty self defense class or a carbine class or do you need to know which end to hold?

There are all kinds of students, and all kinds of instructors.  We are not one size fits all but you can find your perfect fit by understanding what your needs are and then asking questions to see if that instructor is your perfect fit.

Safe Shooting.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Why Women Only Classes


I’ve been talking with lots of instructors, male and female, getting their take on gender differences in training.  One offered an interesting perspective, he doesn’t do single gender classes, he talks tough, tells the students right up front that he will be tough and maybe a bit abrasive, but that the bad guy isn’t going to be nice to them.

I’ve been thinking about that, and for some students, that’s fine.  For some students, that may be for a women who is scared, or nervous, and new to shooting, I believe a more gentle introduction to the fundamentals can be beneficial.  After that, she can do more advanced training and get some sense of the rough talking, aggressive criminal.  A “dose of reality”.  But that is after the comfort is there, the confidence is beginning to grow and the empowerment from mastering the first level of the skill comes. 

IMHO, I prefer to offer a comfortable introduction to shooting, then when she is ready, the student can take more advanced defensive training.  I believe firmly that we all need to keep training, but I’m still back on the more gentle introduction.  Does everyone need that?  No!  That brings me back to single gender.  I did almost all of my training in mixed gender classes, and it was ok.  Then I did taught a women only class.  What a different dynamic!  We didn’t have an “estrogen” fest, but we did support each other in ways that the men don’t quite understand. 

So, I’m now a fan of women only classes, if that is the right thing for the student, and only she can answer that.  But once you are comfortable with the fundamentals…rock on!

Safe Shooting!