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, Recently retired.

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!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Closing in on 25,000!

Wow, you all have been so supportive!  Thank you!!  To show my appreciation if you leave a comment on this post, I will randomly select a winner of a gift certificate to Gun Goddess when I get to 25,000!

Thank you and be safe!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Should I Buy a Gun for my Significant Other for Christmas?

Thinking of a new toy for your significant other?  Do they want one or do you want them to have one?  So often people come to a beginner class with a gun their SO (usually Husband) bought for them.  I’ve seen women come in with a Desert Eagle, a Judge, and a Ruger LCP (or similar .380 “pocket pistols”).  These are women who have never shot before!  I’m sure there are a few men in this category, but I haven’t had one admit it (although I did buy my husband a shotgun for home defense without talking to him first but he loves it).
Common theme?  Buying what you want, or want them to have, not what is best for their partner.  I don’t know very many women who really want a Desert Eagle.  Me, I like my 9mm.  For a new shooter, or to introduce someone to shooting, you don’t want to start them without something that is overpowering or so tiny it is difficult to control.  A .44 Magnum is probably not a great start, either.  A Double Action Revolver, with a 12 pound trigger pull is also not a great way to start.  Those are for after you master the basics, if you really feel the need. 
A gun must fit securely in the hand.  Can you really judge for someone else what is a comfortable and secure fit?  No!  Your SO needs to first, have an interest and be willing to at least consider it, otherwise is a bit like giving your SO golf clubs in your size.  Second, let them participate in the shopping experience, trying a gun in the hand, getting comfortable...  This goes for holsters, too!  Unless they have told you what they want…don’t go there.  There is a reason most of us have “the holster bag”.
I know, it takes the fun out of it, doesn’t it?  Consider, instead, a gift certificate to a training class.  A NRA First Steps class (you don’t need to own a gun to take the class) is a great way to start and they are offered all across the country.  If you are feeling a little bolder, a Combat Focus Shooting class (probably should have the gun, or arrange in advance with the instructor to borrow gear) teaches great defensive techniques and accommodates all skill levels.  Both of these courses, and more, are offered in the Northern Virginia area by Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC., but you can also find them at the embedded links above.
Follow up with a promise to take them shopping for their first gun. You always remember your first, you should have some say in what it is.
Wishing you Safe and Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review of Fundamentals of Combat Focus Shooting Course

Fundamentals of CFS is a one day course, offered in Northern Virginia by Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC.  If you don’t know me I’m female, over 50, and an experienced shooter / instructor.  I was excited to get to take this class.  There were 10 students ranging from a young woman who had never drawn from a holster to very experienced shooters.  I had never taken a defensive firearms class before.  My first reaction was WOW!  My second reaction, at the end of the day, was OW!
This was a great class. The instructors were patient, helpful and extremely knowledgeable (and no, I didn’t know all of them, LOL).  The class started with fundamental skills and quickly built on those, mastering one new aspect at a time and building up to the final drills.  I learned so much that it wasn’t until the very end that I realized how much I had learned. 
The instructors focused on something that was a new concept to me.  We didn’t all have the same “performance goals”, they recognized that we are all starting in different places.  Some were amazing shooters, some were more tentative, not quite as accurate.  We were building skills to help us defend ourselves, not trying to hit a 10 ring.  This was a great approach because if allowed all of us to be successful without being measured against each other.  The instructors were constantly walking up and down the line, sharing advice, offering tips, making minor corrections and offering the occasional encouragement, as well as pointing out errors.  Safety was a constant, every new skill included an explanation of how to perform it incorporate it safely. 
When I first starting looking into the class I was put off by the word “Combat”.  Then I realized, combat is a fight for your life, and if I’ve drawn my gun, I’m fighting for my life.  Also, I thought, this would be a great class for an experienced shooter to take their skills to the next level.  I was half wrong.  This is a great class for ANY shooter to enhance their defensive skills.  I watched a relatively new shooter blossom and grow more confident as the day went on, getting accurate hits on target and moving and drawing smoothly.  I, personally, saw my accuracy improving, my drawing getting faster, my reloads getting smoother….and my threat recognition, which I had never worked on, went from zero to sixty!
This class covers so much it is difficult to describe it all.  But at the end of the day I was tired, sore, and thinking to myself…I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!!!  I think of all I learned in one class, wow, if I take it again, how much more will I get out of it?  There was so much, and it is structured to your individual level, that now that I (I think) have moved up a notch, taking it again will offer new challenges and a chance to get even better.
I also know that I will incorporate some of the skills into my teaching, tips on lateral movement, threat recognition, drawing and firing, scanning and assessing slowly enough to actually see what is behind me but fast enough not to lose track of what is in front of me. 
Ladies, this is an especially great class for women because it will build confidence in a way I didn’t think was possible in one day.  I’ve been shooting, and carrying a long time.  This class taught me things I had never thought about.  I was pushed past my comfort zone, by caring instructors who wanted me, and everyone else to excel to the best of my ability.  I was encouraged by these same instructors.  I felt I held my own with the guys, even the young ones.  I might not have moved quite as fast, but I was drawing, and getting hits on target right next to them. 
Bottom line, if you use a gun for personal defense, either in your home or carry out in the real world, I strongly encourage you to find and take a CFS class.  You will be amazed.  The inexpereinced shooters came away with a new appreciation of their skills.  The experienced shooters, one of whom was Law Enforcement, admitted that the drills were new to him and he learned a lot.  EVERYONE can benefit from this. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Training Logs

A few weeks ago I received a question about training logs, and diligently downloaded an application to my Android Phone, RANGELOG, to track my round counts and practice.  I learned a couple things.  First, logs are not my forte.  I would forget, and then try to enter days later, plus my practice session vary significantly depending on my mood.  If I’m stressed, I like to shoot fast, and a lot.  If I’m in a good head space I tend to be more methodical and focused, drilling marksmanship, drawing, defensive skills, scan and assess…  Some days I just want to punch holes in paper.  I learned that I didn’t care about tracking it because it all balances out.  I do keep my occasional targets, the ones with the fist size hole missing from the middle (I’ve threatened to frame them and hang them on my back door so if you bust through my gate it will give you something to think about).
Second, I found the mechanics of this particular application did not work well for me.  I have multiples of the same make/model gun, one for me and two for students.  Trying to determine my gun meant opening each one and checking the notes section.  All in all, I’m not a training log gal.  If I were more OCD (or as my husband says CDO since the letters need to appear in alphabetical order) maybe.  But I tend to judge my skills by my performance.  I don’t really care that my round count is 5000 on a particular gun, or that I did point shooting last week so I need to do marksmanship this week. 
I don’t know if that answers the question, but that is my experience.  If I really wanted to keep a log, I think I would get a small book, maybe 3x5 size, and keep it in my range bag, record my info there.  Or, being a little geeky, make notes and go home and put them into a spreadsheet or a Database.  Do I need a special app for that?  No. 
Thank you for the question though, gave me something new to try and consider.

Safe Shooting!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Coming Up!

Next Saturday I will be attending, as a student, a Fundamentals of Combat Focus Shooting Course offered by Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC.  I’ve read about, seen videos, even observed one class.  Now…I get to take the course.  I can’t wait!  Based on watching it I have a slight advantage in that I know what to expect, but there is a difference in knowing, and knowing what it can do for my defensive skills, and actually completing the training.  I will definitely be posting a review and maybe a photo or two after the class.
Ladies, do not be put off by the term “Combat”, if you are in a defensive situation where you are drawing your gun, you are fighting for your life.  One on-line dictionary defines Combat this way; “to fight, contend, or struggle to fight or struggle against; oppose, resist, or seek to get rid of armed fighting; battle any struggle or conflict”.  That can happen on the streets, in your home, at the grocery store…not just on a battle field.  This is about confidence in your own ability to defend yourself, and knowing you have the skills to survive the encounter.
Check back early next week for a full review!

Will We Know in the Morning?

This election has brought out the best and the worst in people.  Negative ads have been rampant, at least in Virginia which is considered a swing state.  We all have our own opinions and preferences as to who should be the next President.  I’m not going to address that here.  What I do want you to think about it the polls show this to be very tight, too close to predict.  We’ve been here before.
With emotions running high, remember to exercise your right to vote and then be respectful while the results are tallied.  If we wake in the morning without a clear winner, as I expect to happen but you never know, be patient.  Be respectful.  If your favorite wins, remember that is means someone else’s favorite lost.  This is Democracy in action. 
If your candidate wins, celebrate in a safe and non-destructive manner.  If your candidate doesn’t win, understand the other side is entitled to their celebration and respect that. 
Be civil, be respectful and above all, if you voted, you did what you could.  If your guy wins, yea.  If he didn’t, well, you did your best. 
Stay Safe, be patient and cross your fingers for the candidate of your choice!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gender Bias?

I helped teach a Pepper Spray class today, we had two gentlemen in the class.  They had a little difficulty responding to me as the “bad guy”, were slower to respond to an aggressive act…  It is so important for everyone to remember that women can be the aggressor, or the can be part of a team.  It is hard to balance the conditioned courtesy, a woman approaches, looking innocent, and asks for help, directions or the time, your guard goes down and…she has you. 

I actually feel the for men, it is tough to balance courtesy with a perception of risk or threat.  We react differently when approached by a woman then we do when approached by a man.  This goes for women as well.  I tend to be less defensive, or I used to, when a woman approached me than when a man was coming to close. 

Bottom line, trust your intuition.  The threat can come from anyone, at anytime.  Be aware, alert and stay safe!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Been busy!

Things have been crazier than usual around my household lately, so I humbly apologize for not keeping up with posts.  Between the day job that pays the bills, some craziness in my community with meant more neighborhood watch patrols (and a few calls to the police), teaching every weekend, writing posts for Gun Shows Today, and starting on my 2nd book (yep, glutton for punishment) and trying to get next years National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day moving forward...well, I'm sorry.

Coming up on my calendar is a Combat Focus Shooting Fundamentals course where I get to be...a student!  How fun will that be.  If you haven't heard about CFS yet, look at it.  This training is great, doesn't matter if you are new or experienced, you will come away with skills you can use.

Also, HUGE election on Tuesday.  VOTE!  There is a lot at stake in this election, and it could make a big difference in the direction of our nation, so take a hard look inward and vote your conscience. 

Today's tip for kids and grownups alike...what do you yell when someone is grabbing you and pulling you toward someplace you don't want to go?  STRANGER!  Simple, easy to remember, sends chills down the spine of any parent but works for adults, too.  This simple word can get you more attention than Help.

Be safe and VOTE!