Sunday, December 26, 2010

SHOT Show


In a mere 22 days, I am headed to SHOT Show with my dear friend and fellow GunDiva, Tara Janzen.


The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show) is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports and hunting industries. It is the world's premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, archery, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, camping and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and is produced and managed by Reed Exhibitions. (NSSF, 2010)


Even though I no longer work for the gun shop, the owner is gracious enough to invite me to go every year.  I went once as an employee (oh, boy, are there some stories from that Vegas trip) and had a blast.  Haven't been back since, so when Tara and I were invited this time around, we jumped on the chance.  We'll be going with Boss Man, Army Guy, and the Original Bad Boy.  Might be able to get pics of Boss Man and Army Guy, but probably not the Original Bad Boy.  Being camera shy has kept him alive a long time.
We'll take lots of pictures of the new products coming out and do some reviews of what we see.  I'm also planning on getting my picture taken with R. Lee Ermey, aka "The Gunny".

I met him last time I went at the GLOCK booth, but this time he'll be with SOG Specialty Knives and Tools.  He was super nice and not at all intimidating, but I wouldn't want to piss him off.

Also on the agenda is USMC Sniper legend Chuck Mawhinney at the Daniel Defense booth.  Erik Estrada will also be at one of the booths, but he is not on the agenda.

The countdown begins...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Talk About Attitude

Attitude is an on-going thing here at GWG. 

Having a good dose of attitude at the right time can save your life.

Just ask this woman.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You'll Never Believe This!

I'm watching STEVEN SEAGAL LAWMAN (I know, I know) and they're doing FATS training.  He's doing some of the exact same scenarios that I did at WPA.  Though I have to say, I did them better :)

Now...I have to tell you that Steven Seagal has terrible trigger control.  I don't know who taught him how to shoot, but you use the pad of your index finger, you DO NOT wrap your big monkey finger through the trigger guard and use the second joint of your index finger to push your bang button.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sheepdogs

I try to cycle this through my blogs at least once a year.  It's an article by Lt. Dave Grossman and highly regarded by both the military and law enforcement.  Please take the time to read it.  Even if you don't agree with the message, it will give you a better understanding of why sheepdogs do what they do.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Semi-Official

I took, and passed, my NRA Instructor's classes for Basic Instructor Training, Home Safety and Basic Pistol.  The reason it's semi-official?  It'll be four to six weeks before I actually get my stuff from the NRA and can start teaching.

My friend Tara and I have been talking about getting instructor certified for a while now so that we can teach classes to women.  Not that we couldn't without the credentials, but people really want that piece of paper saying that we know what we're doing.

Besides, the classes were a good excuse to take a couple of days off work and go to the range.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Only In Shooting Sports...

...can you say things like:
  • limp-wrist
  • short-stroke
  • swinger
  • bobber
  • popper
  • half-cock 
  • full-cock
  • negligent discharge
  • accidental discharge
  • mount
  • pump
And not be a total pervert (*cough* Mr. Daddy *coughcough*)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Zombie Killing Day

I love the Defensive Pistol matches, but have been known to skip them now and again.  Okay, okay, so I went almost a full year without attending a monthly match.  But there is one match that I try my darnedest to never miss and it's the Zombie match.  I love killing Zombies.  There's something very satisfying about blasting them in the head (Rule #2 when dealing with Zombies).  You know, "two to the head makes them dead(er)".

So, for you viewing pleasure are a couple of Zombie-killing clips (even if one does have a clear violation of Rule #4).




Maybe for the next video, we need to add a new rule, Rule #33 (did you know there were already 32 other rules?).  Anyway, Rule #33: Don't short-stroke the shotgun.




Here's a shooting buddy of mine protecting the little trick-or-treaters...



And I killed all those Zombies without chipping my nail polish (had to get dressed up for Zombie Killing Day).

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm Not Crazy Afterall

It was subtle.

A hesitation here.

A snag there.

Then nothing for a while.

Again, a hesitation.

"Honey, here, shoot this, it's not right."

Bang!  Bang!  Bang!

"Babe, there's nothing wrong with it."

Okay, maybe I'm crazy.

But...

A hesitation.

A snag.

Then, nothing.  A perfect run through ten rounds.

Suddenly, she quits going into battery.

Slam!  The base of my palm hits the back of her slide and she chambers the round.

Bang!  Bang!

Slam!  Again, the base of my palm hits the back of her slide and she chambers the round.

More frequent.  Bang!  Slam!  Bang!  Slam!  Bang!  Slam!  Slam!  "Damn!"  Slam!  Bang!

Finally.

"Maybe it's your magazines."

"How long's it been since you cleaned your gun?"

"Maybe it's your recoil spring."

"Maybe you're limp-wristing it."

Maybe...maybe...maybe...

So I cleaned my magazines.

And I cleaned my gun.

Still...a hesitation. 

A snag.

She won't chamber a round.  Can't be the magazines - they're spit-shined.

Can't be she's dirty - she's been spit-shined.

Off to the gunsmith we go.  Maybe a new recoil spring.  Who knows?

"Boss, she's not playing nice."

"How's she not playing nice."

"She won't go into battery.  I've cleaned the magazines.  I've cleaned her.  She still won't go into battery.  She's not playing nice."

"Let me see."  A quick function test.  A grimace.  "Who's been in your gun?"

"No one."

"Your trigger's all jacked up.  Where's your sear?"

"What do you mean, where's my sear?"

"Didn't you notice it was missing when you were resetting your trigger?"

"I thought I was imagining it."

"No.  It's not there."

"I'm not imagining it?"

"No.  It's not there."

A wave of relief.  It wasn't my imagination.  She has been acting up.

Off to the operating table bench.  Slowly, piece by piece, Boss Man takes her apart.

Exploratory surgery reveals a lot of little problems.  A hook on the extractor - file it off.  Sear spring out of shape - re-shape it.  Compressed spring here - replace it.  Nasty crud there - scrape it off.  Boss Man's big hands moving smoothly and surely, nip and tuck.  Pretty soon she's reassembled and sparkling clean.

Boss Man, "How's this feel?"

"A little heavy."

"Want me to lighten it up?"

"Yeah, she was set to 2 3/4 pounds before.  This is heavier."

Measured out to be over three pounds.  Still a light trigger, but heavier that she used to be.

A quick adjustment, "try this."

"Love it."

Into the trap...Bang!  Bang!  Bang! *Big grin*  Bang!  Bang!  Bang!

No hesitations.

No snags.

No slapping the rear of the slide.

Bang-bang!  Bang-bang!

I love my gun.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What I Learned From FATS

You know, with a nickname like GunDiva, people kinda expect me to know one end of a gun from the other and, you know, be able to shoot said gun(s).  And I can.  Unless it's FATS training and both Jeffery Deaver and Lee Lofland are in the room watching my group.

I can honestly say, though, that once the scenarios started I forgot they were there.

Everything Mrs Mom's DH (Anonymous) wrote in the comments section of yesterday's pop quiz is true. 

  • The whole losing 50% of your fine motor skills.  Check.  Lost some fine motor skills. 
  • The whole shooting until the threat is stopped.  Check.  Did that - of course, the scenario didn't end until the bad guy was neutralized. 
  • The whole attitude is everything.  Check.  I can grip and present a gun with the best of them.  Couldn't hit anything, but, man, if attitude would have taken down the bad guys, I wouldn't have ever needed to squeeze the trigger.
I've shot Defensive Pistol off and on for a long time; I've been under pressure from the clock and other competitors.  But that didn't do much to prepare me for FATS.  I had a hard time interacting with the screen - screaming alpha commands at it just wasn't working for me.  Lucky for me, one of the girls in my group had that down pat.  In Defensive Pistol, it's just one person killing all the bad guys.  Makes for a bad team player when grouped with others.  So, #1 and #4, I apologize for being a bit scattered.

I did okay with most scenarios, but there was one that raised my frustration level like you wouldn't believe.  The scenario was that we were called to a wholesale warehouse (like Sam's Club or CostCo) where a man with a shotgun was confronting an employee.  My frustration came when we couldn't get the person who called to shut up and get out of the way, then we were moved through the aisles until we came to the end of one.  I found myself peeking around the corner just like I would in a match, but the camera took us into full view of the bad guy.  #1 killed him dead; I followed a shot or two behind.

I was completely disoriented by the camera movement; in matches, we're expected to move around the course, standing still and being moved by the camera view was just plain weird.  By the end of our eight million scenarios, I'd adapted to the camera movement and was doing better.

The other thing that frustrated me about FATS training was the lack of immediate feedback when firing.  I squeezed the trigger and had no idea where my bullet went.  I know that sounds horrible, and it was horrible.  Any time a gun is fired, the shooter should know where the bullet went.  I thought I had my sight picture lined up and I know I wasn't jerking the trigger, but I consistently was a little high on playback. 

Despite my disorientation with the camera movement and my frustration with not knowing where my bullets were going, I loved FATS training.  It was excellent for shoot/no shoot training and made me really analyze what I was doing and why.  There were people that I didn't shoot (and correctly, it turns out) because they didn't feel like a threat, but I couldn't articulate why I chose not to shoot them.  However, I can absolutely understand why people would shoot them; their actions could absolutely be interpreted as aggressive or dangerous.

In the half hour we had with FATS, we must have shot seven or eight scenarios.  I can happily say that I did get better with every scenario and that I had an *amazing* head shot on a bad guy holding a baby in a car seat in one arm and swinging a machete with the other.  I fired one round and killed him dead.  I am also thrilled to say that no one in my group was killed or shot an innocent.

I thought we were going to get to see Jeffery Deaver shoot - apparently, he's quite the competitive shooter - but we moved onto the next round of simulation training, the VirTra simulator.

With the VirTra simulator, we all got to shoot individually and I LOVED IT!  It may be that we got to start off shooting steel poppers.  I love shooting steel poppers.  Doing so gave me a chance to get to know my weapon and gain confidence.  Again, I had trouble giving alpha commands to a screen, but I had a blast shooting the bad guys.

One scenario completely threw me for a loop.  I was called to remove an employee who had been fired, but was refusing to leave the building.  He was standing at his former desk, with a cardboard box of his belongings on the desk and he was flat-out refusing to leave the premises.  The problem was that I was giggling because all I could think of was the movie "Office Space" - I just wanted to give him his red Swingline stapler and usher him out the door.  Instead, he reached in the box and pulled out a Glock.  I knew he was going to eat lead a split second before he did.  I hesitated, not wanting to shoot him and be involved in a "suicide by cop" situation.  In the moment of my hesitation, he shot himself.  "Oh Shit," was all I could say.  That scenario was set up for failure - either I shot him to neutralize the threat or I let him shoot himself - either way he ended up dead.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

F.A.T.S. Training

In less than two weeks, I'm headed to the Writer's Police Academy in North Carolina.  One of the additional things I signed up for was FATS Training (Firearms Training Simulator).  Friday, I received this in my inbox...


Greetings, Recruits GunDiva and OtherRecruit. You have been assigned to a violent crimes task force. The officer in charge of this assignment is Commander JC, a certified Firearms Training Simulator instructor.


You both are commanded to appear at the entrance to the FATS training room (GTCC campus) on Saturday September 25, 2010 at precisely 10:15 a.m. You must present your FATS pass to the officer guarding the perimeter before entering (passes are included in the WPA registration packet). No pass, no entry. You will remain on deck as an observer of the preceding team until your shoot time of 11:00 a.m.

Remember, all suspects inside the FATS training area are considered armed and extremely dangerous, and they are not afraid of law enforcement. You are authorized to use deadly force to save your life and/or the life of others. The decisions are yours to make, but please spare the innocent. Not everyone is a bad guy! You'll have a split second to decide to shoot, or not, so use that time wisely.

--Lee Lofland
Being the GunDiva, I saw the FATS training as an option when I registered and signed up without even knowing what it is.  I saw the words "firearms training" and immediately thought simmunitions training (NLTA - non-lethal training ammunition); it wasn't until I got the email that it dawned on me that the last word was "simulator".

I looked up FATS and it is, indeed, simulation utilizing a giant screen and real guns loaded with computer chips that interact with the software.  At first I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to "really" shoot someone with NLTA, but then I breathed a sigh of relief, because it also meant that even if the bad guy shoots at me, I'm not going to end up with welts and ouchies from the impact of the round.  I think I'm going to have a ball with FATS.

Has anyone ever utilized FATS training, and if so, what did you think about it?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tribute- Never Forget





Some have forgotten.

I never will.

Neither will my family.

To the memory of my brother and sister fire fighters with FDNY.
To the memory of my brother and sister EMTs.
To the memory of my brother and sisters with NYPD.

To the memory of those lost.

Live Free Or Die, Americans.

Mrs Mom
III

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Defensive Pistol 9/5/10

I have had the greatest weekend so far!  Went shooting with Tara on Friday, rode with Monster yesterday, and shot Defensive Pistol today!

I'm a bad, bad, bad GunDiva and didn't clean my gun or magazines after shooting Friday.  I only ran through about twenty rounds, so I didn't think that I really needed to clean the Para.  I also didn't think about cleaning my magazines, because I have to do it so rarely.  Funny thing, if you never let them hit the ground, you don't have to worry about dirt build-up.  Except...when I did the magazine change video, I put them all on the ground.  And then didn't clean them.

I'm not sure which contributed to the problems I had at the range today - the dirty gun or the dirty magazines - but I had issues with my gun not going into battery, so I had to smack the back of the slide more times than I should have to get it to go into battery.

That said, here are the videos - critique away.  I know which errors I made (not cleaning my gun/magazines being the biggest), but I'm interested to hear from some other shooters.

The first stage is "Twinkle twinkle" because of the Texas star at the end.  We started in position one and had to "slice the pie" from cover, hitting all of our targets with at least two rounds, then move to position two.  Since I was shooting from the left, I switched hands and shot left-handed as I sliced the pie.  (I'm comfortable shooting either right or left, but that took lots of practice.)  After clearing all of the bad guys from the right and left, we had to move to position three, the Texas star.  I usually do okay with the star - I don't know anyone who does really well with the star - but chose to take the time penalty instead of wasting time chasing the last arm of the star.


In this stage, we had to start from a semi-surrender position (true surrender position would have us facing away from the first target, pivoting and then drawing), shoot the first target from a retention position - just means one handed - as we moved back to cover, then slice the pie to shoot the other targets.  Then I had to move to the other side of cover (yes, I switched hands again), shoot the "tires" off of the car and put two in the driver's head.  I got a miss because I only put one in his head.  Bummer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Magazine Practice

Yesterday was the day I'd planned on working on my magazine changes and, oh boy, did I need the practice.

Tara was kind enough to film my practice.  I almost didn't post this because it's so ugly.  But, you know, things just don't always go right and you just need to work through them. 

With a match coming up tomorrow, I know that I need all of the magazine changing practice I can get between now and 9:30 am.  I loaded each magazine with just one round (cartridge, if you read Thursday's post), fired the round and changed the magazine over and over again.  One of my magazines did not like only one round, which caused me some fits, but I worked through it as well as I could.  You'll also notice that I initially tried to retain my magazines, which is how I was trained, but then gave up and started dumping them on the ground.  Trust me, it's a conscious effort to allow my magazines to hit the ground - I never just dump my magazines on the ground.  Ever.




What surprised me the most was that I was concentrating so hard on my magazine changes that I wasn't really paying attention to my target.  What a pleasant surprise this was...

I threw one round to the right, but am pretty darn pleased with the rest :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Know Your Weapons

Lee Lofland, author of the Graveyard Shift, has graciously allowed me to link to his post about Cops and Guns.

Though his post is aimed at writer's, he's got good basic information that all gun owners and users should know.  Pop on over to his post and let him know GunDiva sent you :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dry Fire Practice

Wow, are you seeing a theme with my posts?  Practice this, practice that.  I know, it's getting old, but I cannot emphasize how important practice is.

Today's practice is all about dry firing.  There are people who will scream about how bad dry firing is on the gun.  It's true you should not dry fire a rim-fire gun (such as a .22), as hypothetically you can damage the gun if the firing pin hits the frame.  It is permissible and acceptable practice to dry fire center-fire guns.  If you're really worried about damaging your guns with dry fire, there are "snap caps" that you can purchase specially designed to absorb the force of the firing pin.


Why is dry fire practice so important?

It allows you to learn to comfortably and safely handle your gun (remember to treat all guns as though they are loaded - there are no exceptions to that rule), practice loading and unloading, practice magazine changes and identify any issues with trigger control you might have.

Here's a video of Tara dry firing her new revolver.  A great thing to do when dry firing is to have someone watch for flinching (very noticeable without recoil).  What the observer is looking for is smooth movement throughout the trigger pull, with no movement in the muzzle of the gun.



You'll notice that she's got a good grip on her weapon, both thumbs are pointing at the target (shows she's a semi-auto shooter typically - revolver shooters tend to wrap the thumb of their support hand around the back of the gun) and her trigger pull is smooth the whole way through the act of firing.  She's "shooting" slowly and methodically without lifting her trigger finger off the trigger - she maintains contact with the bang button at all times.  Lifting her finger off of the bang button can lead to "slapping" the trigger (very, very bad).

This week at the range, we'll be working on magazine changes as I've got a match coming up on Sunday and I'm rusty on my mag changes.  More practice, practice and practice.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Range Practice

One of the things that Tara and I do out at the range is practice presenting from the holster.  A wise man (well, actually a couple) drilled it into my head that the first step in proper grip begins while the gun is still holstered.  Getting a good hold on the gun while it's still holsters ensures that you won't have to do any last minute juggling while trying to find your sight picture.

You'll notice in the videos that both Tara and I keep our off hands close to our bodies while drawing from the holster.  The reason for that is so that we don't inadvertently cross ourselves with the muzzle.

Also, you'll see in my video that there's what looks like a slight hesitation before I bring my gun up.  What I'm doing at that time is verifying my target before I bring the gun up into my line of sight.  In competition you can hardly notice the hesitation and my draw looks more fluid, but it's pretty pronounced during practice time when I'm trying to be slow and methodical.




Tara's draw is smoother, without the hesitation (well, it's there, it's just much less noticeable than mine).  However, you'll notice right at the very end of the video that the gun doesn't fit her hand very well and she has to readjust her off hand.  This is her son's gun and his hands are slightly bigger than hers.  That being said, she shot the feces out of this gun.  For a gun that doesn't fit her hand, she can really drill holes with it.




Here's our mental checklist for presenting from the holster:
  • Right hand to gun, get a good grip
  • Left hand to body
  • Pull gun straight out of the holster
  • Rotate the muzzle so that it's parallel to the ground
  • Add left hand to right on the grip
  • Safety off with right hand, thumb settles on top of left thumb, both thumbs pointing at the target
  • As gun comes up into the line of sight*, the booger hook slips off the frame of the gun into the trigger guard and we're ready to push the bang button.
*Bring the gun up into the line of sight, you should be looking at your target and your gun should come up into your vision.  Don't drop your head down to look for your gun.  You know where your arms are on your body.  You know your gun is securely in your hands.  Therefore if you raise your arms, with the gun in your hands, you will bring the gun up into your sight picture and won't have to go looking for it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Asked For It

Here's the video y'all were clammoring for.  There have been some comments about how Tara should wear her purse and whether or not a purse carry is appropriate.  The point of the video (and the practice) is get competent with presenting her weapon from the position in which she carries it.  How she carries her gun is her choice (just as it's any of our choice).

What I'm impressed with, besides how smooth she is, is that she's taking the time to ensure that she's competent with it and that she didn't just throw her gun in her purse "just in case" like so many women do.




We were out practicing with multiple weapons that day, so no comments from the peanut galley about why she didn't draw from her hip :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice Part II

Last week, after I had an abysmal day at the range, I put up a post about practice.

Friday, my friend Tara (aka GunDiva II) and I went to the range for some of that desperately needed practice. 

She has a little five-shot revolver that she now carries in her purse and we decided that she needed practice drawing and firing from her purse.  While I'm a big proponent of strapping your gun to your side, so that you always have control over it, there are a lot of women who are much more comfortable carrying in their purse.  That's fine as long as you spend the time learning how to draw and fire from your purse, just like you do learning to draw and fire from a holster.  You can't buy a gun (or take the one your well-meaning significant other gives you), throw it in your purse and expect to be able to find and use it when the feces hits the air circulating device.

The first thing we did was take a look at how she normally carries her purse.  She carries it over her left shoulder, hanging straight down.  She's a right-handed shooter, so in order for her to draw from her purse, she had to perform a cross draw.  Luckily, the zipper on her purse had two pulls, so we arranged them so that one pull was secured to her strap and only the other pull would work to open her purse.

Once we had it arranged the way we thought we wanted it, she practiced holding her front strap with her right hand, while pulling open the zipper with her left.  With her left hand out of the way, and her purse open, she then slipped her right hand into her purse and grasped her gun.  She was careful to never cross herself with the muzzle of the gun while she drew from her purse.

Now this is where attitude comes in.  Without even realizing it, the moment her hand closed over her gun, her whole demeanor changed.  She took a step forward as she presented her gun and continued to move forward as she squeezed off all five rounds.  No matter how big you are; if you're a predator hunting what looks like easy prey and that prey attacks back, you're going to re-think your choice.

Over and over, Tara practiced presenting from her purse and dry-firing at the target until she felt comfortable to go live.  Her first run-through from beginning to end took less than three seconds.  That's three seconds to secure and unzip her purse, get a good grip on the gun, present and squeeze off all five rounds while moving forward.  Were all five rounds in a nice half-inch circle?  Nope.  Were all five rounds in center mass?  You betcha.

Next week when we go to the range, I'll be sure to take my video camera.  Until then, keep on practicing.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Girls, do yourselves a favor.

Don't ever pass up the opportunity to go to the range.  Shooting is a perishable skill and takes constant re-inforcement.  Muscle memory is all well and good, but there is nothing like putting lead down range.

I, myself, have been remiss in partaking in much-needed practice.  When I was shooting regularly a couple of years ago, I finished in the top ten (often top five) in our monthly Defensive Pistol competitions.  At one point, my instructor said that I could draw almost faster than the eye can see.  I was good.  There wasn't a gun that I wouldn't shoot and I was always first to the line to try something new.  The key word in those preceding sentences: was.

I went to out with RockCrawlinChef and his work buddies today for a day of shooting.  It was fabulous - eventually.  I limp-wristed my pistol and had some feed problems; I slapped the trigger and threw my rounds; I second guessed my sight picture; I made mistakes I haven't made in years.  And why?  Not enough range time.  Lack of confidence.  Used to be, I *knew* that I was one of the best at the range.  I know, that even without range time, I can kill whatever I point my gun at.  However, I'd like to do it with only one or two rounds, not one or two magazines.

Last year for a wedding present, one of my shooting buddies gave us a Remington 700 in .223.  It lay dormant under our bed until today.  Last year for my birthday, RCC gave me a 12 gauge Remington 870.  It stood dormant in the closet until today.  The GunDiva of old would never have allowed two perfectly good guns to go neglected for a year. 

I don't know what happened to the old GunDiva, but I'm ready to have her back.  I'll be making a point to get to the range as often as possible - at least once a week between now and September because I'm headed back to Defensive Pistol competition and that's going to take a lot of trigger time (and, sadly, some knuckle push-ups to get my wrist strength back) to not embarrass myself.

So here's today's lesson: Practice, Practice, Practice.

Time to get my booger hook out of my nose and onto my bang button.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Call Me Paranoid If You Want.... But At Least I'm Not Shot

We all like to think that we're *safe* when we are at home. We can kick back, relax, get nekkid, and just veg out on the couch watching Stupid Movie Saturday on the tube. Or we can crash in bed after working a long, tough twenty four hour shift.

Paramedic Pru thought she was safe at home on Thursday night, too. She lived in a "safe" part of town, where there had not been any "crime" to speak of in over twenty years. No break ins, no car theft, no shootings, no stabbings, no drug dealers on the corner.. nothing. In many ways, the neighborhood appeared to be a Haven.

Looks can be deceiving, folks.

Paramedic Pru was resting up, after her long shift. She heard the doorbell ring several times, and got up to answer it. Apparently, who ever was on the other side had no clue Pru was home, as he reflexively shot her- in the face- as he was fleeing. Lucky for Pru, the bullet went in one cheek, broke her jaw and took out all of her top teeth, and exited the other cheek.

Paramedic Pru will heal physically. She's tough as nails. Got balls made of titanium. But that did not stop some jagoff from shooting her.


Home invasion. Be aware folks. Don't get complacent. Don't "assume" that you are "safe" just because you live in a "safe" area. Look before you open the door. If you don't know who it is, back off and make a plan. Don't just open the door anymore. Have your phone in reach, in your hand, in a pocket, somewhere, and have your WITS about you. LISTEN to your gut. A gun in hand would not have saved Pru, unless she was willing to shoot first and ask questions later. (Which by the way-- Castle Doctrine would apply [in our state] had the Bad Guy broken into Pru's home. Then she sure could have smeared him all over Kingdom Come. KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS-- not just for carry-- but for home defense!)

So the next time someone sneers at me, and asks why I feel the need to carry, or if I'm a badass, or any of their other little snide remarks, my answer will be thus:
"Why? You got a problem with a woman who is ready, willing, and ABLE to defend herself using deadly force? Seems kind of odd to me- what are YOU planning?"

SA so you can CYA, y'all.
~MM

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just a little tip...

Boys, if you're gonna go into a gun shop and try to impress the people working there, please, please, please know the name of the gun you're trying to brag on.  Coming into the shop and bragging about how well you shoot your "Smith and Western" will get you plum laughed out of the shop.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weapon Presentation (Test Video)

video


Dear Husband has agreed to be our teacher. This first video is a test, for me to learn how to accomplish this complicated task.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do Your Magazines A Favor...

...clean them.

I spent a good hour today cleaning a gun I'd borrowed from a friend of mine.  With the help of one of the guys at the gun shop, I gave it a deep cleaning, which I'd never done before.

I love BoreSnakes - they are amazing for field cleaning your weapons at the end of the day.  Because I'd used the BoreSnake after I went shooting, the deep cleaning wasn't half as bad as it could have been.  The drawback to using a BoreSnake is that you have to have one for each caliber you shoot, but it works so well, I don't mind owning one per caliber.

In addition to cleaning my friend's gun, I tore apart his magazines and cleaned those, too.  Here's a big, BIG tip for magazines.  Don't over lubricate them and then drop them on the ground, as a lot of IPSC shooters do.  The oil attracts the dirt, which gums up the magazine spring and can cause feed problems.  And it's just plain gross.  One of the mags that I cleaned today had a furry black spring that looked like a coiled up caterpiller (I forgot to take pictures, I was so grossed out).

As long as you don't make a habit of dropping your magazines on the ground (one of my pet peeves, just put the damn thing in a pocket or back in the mag carrier), you shouldn't have to clean you magazines very often, but be sure to do it on a fairly regular basis.  The last thing you want is a preventable mis-feed in an emergency.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ashinator and CJ's Shooting Tutorial

Wardrobe malfunction aside, there are a couple of things she and CJ did right...

Visually inspect the chamber.  Also, notice the eye and ear protection.  Sunglasses are not the best eye protection on the planet, but they are better than nothing.


Firm grip on the gun, snugged up into her shoulder. Though I'd like to see a bit more of the buttstock supported, considering the gun doesn't fit her at all, she should still be able to handle it.  I'd also like to see a bit wider, more stable stance and I'd like to see her lean into the shotgun a little more.


CJ's demostrating good form while waiting for his target to be released.  His gun's in the low ready position, finger (or booger hook, if you prefer) is not on the trigger, rather it's on the over-sized VangComp safety, which tells me he's engaging the safety after each round.  His eyes are forward and he's focused on the horizon where his clay pigeon will be released.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Simple Truth

A crappy day at the range is still better than a bad day anywhere else.

Center Mass folks, and keep clear of the trigger until you are ready to kill it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

GunDiva Juniorette

I started my kids off pretty young with the shooting thing.  My thought at the time was that if I was going to carry 24/7, then they should be educated about guns and gun safety.  They've never been afraid of guns, because I've never given them any reason to be afraid.  They have a healthy respect for them, but no fear.

I started them with a Browning Buckmark .22 plinking cans.  They loved it.  But I didn't realize until Ashinator went shooting with her Uncle Deejo yesterday that I'd overlooked long guns with her and Monster.  I love long guns.  However, I never carried a long gun, always a pistol, so that's what I wanted them to know.

I had to do some serious un-teaching to get Digger to shoot a shotgun.  His father and his father's friends thought it would be a good idea to hand him a 12 guage shotgun and have him shoot it without any instruction as to how to hold the gun.  I knew that I had to address that issue, so Digger's the only one who's shot a shotgun (and the kid can't miss a clay pigeon).

Deejo changed that yesterday for Ashinator and she had a blast.  Not sure you'll be able to tell how much she had from the photo, though.



Oh yeah, she obviously didn't read the post on Proper Range Attire.  Lucky for her, it's a pump action shotgun that ejects out the side and not a semi-automatic pistol :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Proper Attire For Range Time

Along with keeping your "booger hook", as my Dear Husband calls it, off the trigger, we need to think about what we are wearing when we go to the range.

Ladies, please, heed these words and choose your attire wisely!

First:
If you are going to the range with your Man, and you want to dress to impress (which means boobies hanging out, open toe shoes, and shorty shorts,) if you plan on shooting plan on hopping around like a mad woman as that hot brass makes it's way down into the "depths" of your bra.

Second:
Shoes. Sneakers. Work boots. In my case, my Ariats. Keep the toes under cover. No hooker heels, no flip flops, no dainty sandals with your perfectly pedicured distal phalanges poking out for all to admire. (sorry.. just threw up in my mouth a bit. Feet gross me out. Unless attached to a horse that is.)

Third:
Daisy Duke shorty shorts. You might can wear them, but if you are planning on shooting EFFECTIVELY, and not just there playing around to give your Man a "rise", be sensible. Longer shorts, jeans, something you can move in and that fit you correctly-- not so tight you can not breathe.

Hair:
Pull it back. You can't see the target with hanks of hair hanging in your eyes.



There you have it. No evening gowns, no street walker clothes, no boobages or butt cheeks falling out.

You don't need all that "enticement". Shooting is a natural aphrodisiac all unto itself.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

So Why Girls With Guns?

It started with some jerk pulling a gun on me, and two days worth of posting and conversation about the incident on my horse blog.

For those that don't know, I'm a hoof care provider. Generally, I work alongside my husband, but from time to time the Locust Brothers and I venture out in the big Ford to trim on our own. We only do this for select clients, as... frankly, I'm not as young as I used to be and this is a hard job.

The day started with plans to visit a regular client with an awesome mare. I've been on this call alone in the past with no issue and thought nothing of loading up the kids and heading on out to get the job done.

The area we go through to get there though, has been in steady decline. Known to be a spot full of miscreants up to no good, we usually just hot foot it through and all is well. That day however, my alarm bells were singing a bit as I sat at the red light, waiting to make my turn. I saw three white youths- two male, one female- standing in the middle of my planned travel lane, conducting a spot of "business" (read: drug deal.) The light changed, I eased up, looking to pass in the lane for oncoming traffic- and couldn't because there was... surprise surprise... oncoming traffic. Took my foot off the gas, and scoped things out. Shaved head dude all dressed in baggy black took note- made the transaction, and turned towards me. He then lifted his shirt up, and reached for the gun he had tucked into his waist band. (Diva tells me this is known as a "pecker wrecker" carry method. Fits!)

I'm not going to lie- I was scared spitless. And pissed. And unarmed. (Plan B was at work with Dear Husband that particular day.) I had both my boys with me, strapped in their car seats. And that miserable punk was going to pull his gun on ME? I Don't F'ing Think So.

Not seeing another option at the time, I pushed the pedal to the metal and chirped the rubber on the Ford, and aimed directly at the bastard. If he thought he was going to get off a shot, it would be with a full size four wheel drive crammed down his worthless gullet.

I've been back to that client since then, and had no trouble. I've also altered my arrival time, to an early slot where it seems there is less activity in the 'hood. There is no other way to get TO the spot, as unfortunately happens in this line of work.

I did learn a few things from the incident.
1) You have to look close and check options
2) Think fast, act fast
3) Listen-- ALWAYS-- to those warning bells
4) Full size four wheel drive Ford's work well as battering rams
5) Do. Not. Hesitate. Commit, and GO.
6) Don't leave home with out Plan B. (Or C, D, and E for that matter.)
7) Close calls can happen anywhere, anytime. Expect the unexpected.

That story kicked off a conversation between myself and our beloved GunDiva, from which Girls With Guns arrived. That incident also brought home just how rough some of the areas around us are getting to be. There are several spots that I will NOT go into alone- even with Plan B, C,D, and E. Dear Husband goes with, and we both go armed to get where we need to be.

Truth be told, that is not the first time I've had a gun pointed at me. But I sure as shootin' would like it to be the LAST time some jagoff ever even considers it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"You've Got A GUN?!"

This is a statement, exclaimed in varying degrees of "excitement", that I've heard several times in recent months.

It is uttered either in awe, with a request for Dear Husband to teach them too, or in shock and disapproval. Complete disapproval. With the question of, "Why on Earth would you carry a *gun*? You have children! I would never want a gun in MY home/ possession." (Insert dripping, cutting sarcasm to that sentence for the full effect.)


Hey, toting a piece is not for everyone. In fact, if you can not use it, then you do not need to have it. I promise you- I am NOT going to tell you endlessly why you NEED to carry a gun. If you are not comfortable with a firearm, then you do not need someone preaching at you otherwise. (And all I ask in return is that YOU do not preach at ME about how Evil Guns Are. OK? OK!)

My response to the question of why I carry a gun varies. Some days, depending on the mood I'm in and the person who has asked the question, I'll be a smart ass and say, "Because I tried carrying a cop, and he was just too heavy. I've a bad back you know, and adding that extra two hundred pounds just brought me to my knees." I can actually build a whole conversation around that subject, stating several reasons why the police officer did not enjoy being toted around, as much as I did not like the toting. (Not close enough to donuts, I'm bumpy when I limp, the kids are too loud/ rowdy, airsickness.... etc.)

A standard reply for me though is a policeman can not be everywhere at once. My personal safety and the safety of my family and my sons is my RESPONSIBILITY. The average response time for a 911 call here is over 10 minutes. When seconds count, I don't HAVE minutes to wait.

I was asked not too long ago by a local trauma nurse (after her shock at the fact that Yes, I Do Carry A Gun,) if I could actually use it to SHOOT someone.

She was taken aback by my answer.

There was no hesitation on my part- I looked her square in the eye and said strongly: "YES!"

Her eyes got huge and her jaw cracked on it's way to the floor.

She stared at me. Kinda like I had two heads, or if she was deciding I was a psychotic killer or not. I had to explain to her my feelings on responsibility. And that I felt NO Bad Guy had the RIGHT to take away my life, of the lives of my family members. Ever. I explained I would not be shooting merely to kill the Bad Guy- I'd be shooting so that I or my own might LIVE. She then asked if I would shoot to wound.

I asked her if she thought it would be a smart move on my part only to wound the Bad Guy, pissing him off further, and giving him the chance to come back at me and do more harm. Took her a little while to mull that over, and she never did really have an answer for me.

Look- it's like this.
I carry so that I don't have to rely on someone else coming to help, because by the time someone else gets there, I'm liable to be dead.

I carry so that I can defend my sons, and my husband, my dog, cat, and horse. "Stuff" is one thing- stuff can be replaced. Family can't. And no one but NO ONE is going to lay hand on my children and live to tell the tale.

I don't carry because of a Bad Ass Image wish.
I don't carry a gun to "get my way".
I don't carry a gun to show toughness.

I hope and pray that I never, ever have to draw and use my weapon. But I also hope and pray that if I do, my aim is true and lives can be saved.

Why do YOU carry? What questions do YOU hear? Mr. Daddy, guys, chime in here too please. It seems that guys like you and my Dear Husband don't get the "guff" we ladies do about packing, so I'd like to hear your perspective on this as well.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010


Were it not for those who have gone before,
For those who wrote our Constitution,
This blog would be moot.

Our rights as we know them,
Would not exist.

Take time out today and remember our Founding Fathers.
Remember our soldiers who have fought and died for our Country.
For our Lifestyle.
For our RIGHTS and our CONSTITUTION.

For once we forget....
Their lives have been for naught.


My Dear Husband said it best:

Living veterans should be celebrated not just on Veterans day but EVERY DAY. Memorial day was set aside as a somber contemplative day to remember those men and women who gave all so we could live FREE in the greatest country in the world. To remember that freedom is not free and the price those individuals paid in blood made us who we are.

Amen.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Proper Gun Use

Lee Lofland over at Graveyard Shift has an amazing, thought provoking post up right now called "Shoot to wound?  No way!"

I suggest y'all head over to his place and read what he's got to say and remember what I tell my children and my shooting friends:  "Pulling a gun is not a threat - it's a promise that you are willing and able to take another's life."  The bill that has been introduced expecting Police Officers to shoot to wound is absolutely absurd.  You shoot to neutralize the threat and if neutralizing the threat means that the bad guy dies, then that's just a natural consequence of their behavior.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TAGGED!





GunDiva, thank you for posting for Mama Tink's tag!! Like you, I am somewhat breaking the rules on the photo op, since I have yet to get around to putting pictures in actual folders.

And since this IS a gun friendly zone, we needed to have some gun "porn", right?

So...

I dug through and found the eighth picture of Dear Husband's first custom job:

His Springfield Armory 1911 .45ACP.

(Pay homage to the Prophet, John Moses Browning!)

Changes:
Beaver tail
main spring housing
all springs
barrel
sights
trigger job
magazine release
added magazine well
added front strap
changed grips...

I'm thinking there was more, but for the life of me I can't remember all of them. When this project started, it was a plain jane, base model 1911.

Ended up kinda nice looking!


It did find a new home. Dear Husband plans on creating another one, and said he will gladly pimp himself out to customize for other folks.

One last note from Dear Husband:
"Attention All Shooters:

Keeping your booger hook OFF the bang button will keep you from NEGLIGENTLY discharging your firearm into the FLOOR! Placing the firearm on the table and asking for help (not sweeping me with a loaded weapon when you turn to ask for help) will keep YOU from getting shot with an INTENTIONAL discharge from MY weapon!!!!!


Y'all think about that one.....

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Got Tagged!

MamaTink tagged Mrs Mom and me with a photo challenge.  The challenge was to go into our eighth photo folder and choose the eighth photo and tell the story about it.  I bent the rules just a little bit...since this is Girls With Guns, I went into my shooting photos and chose the eighth photo.


I was pretty excited to see this picture actually.  This was taken in December in '06 or '07.  I was out with my brother, Deejo, and several friends for one of our legendary "marathon" shooting days.  We took out our handguns and shotguns.  Take a close look at the *cases* of clays by the truck.  We shot them all.

The shotgun I'm shooting is one I built from the receiver up and is the one I called my 12-guage flashlight.  Tara Janzen built one just like it and it appeared in a couple of her books as the "Skeeter Special".  It is a Remington 870 with an 18 1/2" barrel, extended mag tube, side-saddle, and SureFire forend.  It weighed in (unloaded) at a mere 12.5 pounds.

The black shotgun my brother is shooting (you can't see it well) is one I built for him for his Christmas present.  His shotgun also makes an appearance in one of Tara's books, as Red Dog's shotgun.  Deejo's shotgun is also a Remington 870 with an 18 1/2" barrel, extended mag tube and side-saddle.  He declined the SureFire forend, saying it added too much weight to the gun.  Whatever.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Is GunDiva? The End

Betcha thought I'd never get around to the end of this little who am I?  Let's see, I started it to give you some insight to how I became who I am.  Finally, after eight million posts, I'm getting there and it may be a little anti-climactic.

Even though I went around armed all the time, I hadn't really committed myself to using that little gun.  I thought I could, but I didn't know  I could.

One day, the kids and I were on our way to a soccer game and we pulled into a McDonald's drive-thru for a rare treat (remember, broke single mother - McDonald's for dinner was like steak and lobster).  I had noticed a car had followed us off of the highway and into the drive-thru, but I didn't think a whole lot about it because everyone stops at that McDonald's.

I pulled up to the order box and noticed that the driver of the car behind us got out of the car and my heart stopped.  Crazy B sauntered up to my car as I looked around for an escape.  There was a line of cars in front of me and his car parked behind; there was no escape.  I yelled into the order box for them to call the police.  They answered with a "what?".  I yelled to call the police a second time and then turned toward Crazy B.

His stalking in the past had been a major annoyance, but I'd never been truly frightened until that moment.  In that split second, I flipped from thinking I could kill someone to knowing I could do it.  The problem was that since I was going to play in a soccer game, I left the Noisy Cricket at home.  I couldn't play with it strapped to my hip and I sure the hell wasn't going to leave it unsecured in my soccer bag on the sideline.

He tried talking to me and I calmly and clearly told him to leave me alone, then turned to the order box and very clearly stated that I was being stalked and that they needed to call the police.  I knew that they weren't going to do it if I was screaming hysterically at them, so I issued it as an order.  They still didn't do it.  (Too busy consulting their manager for permission, I suppose.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They didn't want to get involved.)

I became a broken record, refusing to get pulled into a conversation with Crazy B.  I just kept repeating that he needed to leave me alone and go away.  The kids were absolutely silent and, I'm sure, terrified. 

He finally turned and left, backing out of the drive-thru.  I placed my order and drove to the pay window, still shaken up, but managed to not kill the kid working the drive up for not calling the police.  I couldn't get out of there and to my game fast enough.  I made sure that he didn't follow us onto the highway as I sped off to my game.

Crazy B laid low for a few weeks before showing up at my front door (we'd moved and I hadn't forwarded anything, so he should not have known where I lived).  I met him at the door with the Noisy Cricket and told him on no uncertain terms that he would NOT be bothering me or the kids again and that the next time he showed up, I would kill him.  I meant it, and he knew I meant it.

In retrospect, he did me a favor by trapping me in the drive-thru.  He made me, in that moment, commit to defending myself.  Through that terrifying episode, he gave me the confidence I needed to protect myself and the heathi.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Would You Do.....?

The other day ago, a very dear friend of mine related a story to me that was humorous, because I know her, but also fairly alarming to me.

She had gone to WallyWorld (Oh Boy! It's our favorite place for scary encounters!!) to fill a prescription for her young daughter. There was to be a substantial wait, during which time Gramma offered to take Daughter to the truck so she could rest. Upon asking- again- when the script would be ready, my friend decided to go and gather other supplies at another store, and return in an hour to get the medication.

Now, let me describe my friend to you. She is six feet tall, lean, strong as an ox, and known to be incredibly creative, determined, and take NO crap from ANYONE. She walked on out of the store, into the parking lot- with an expression of determination/ stress/ tiredness/ etc on her face.

And some crazy dude (he had to be crazy. Who in their RIGHT MIND would approach a six foot tall woman who looked pissed off?) accosted her- stepped directly in her path of travel, got all too close to her, and asked, "Are you a Democrat or a Republican?"

Remember when I said my friend was creative?
Her reply to Crazy Man was, "I'm a convicted felon." She also slid her hand into her purse, as if putting a hand on her pistol.

Now after I got done busting a gut laughing at her convicted felon line, (she isn't,) I thought about the story some more and found a few things to be quite alarming.

1) If someone is THAT DETERMINED to approach you, He Has A Purpose and May Not Be Operating Alone. A quick check of your surroundings is well in order.

2) She was unarmed. I am quite uncomfortable with a bluff. This time, that and her answer and physical bearing served her well to back the Creepy Determined Man off. But what if she had been a 5' 4" tall, soft looking blonde, who also tried the bluff and it didn't work?

3) Purse Carry. I. Hate. It. If you are going to carry, carry it ON you. Where you can get your gun with speed. (But to be fair, I also detest purses and refuse to carry one.)

(Again- WalMart corporate policy is allow carry, but prefer it concealed.)

I know what *I'd* have done in this instance-- but I'd like to see a bit of discussion from readers on YOUR plan of action.

-Would you stop? Keep going? Go faster?
-Do you look around?
-Have cell phone in hand to speed dial 911?
-Go back to the store and request an escort?
-Tell the encroaching potential threat to f*ck off?
-Report to management that there is a nut in the parking lot accosting shoppers?
-Wait for the "security" car to drive by?

(I SO have issue with the "security" patrols provided here. Don't know about the rest of the Wallyworld shopping populace, but if someone is providing SECURITY, please--- do not be 300#. Do not sit in vehicle, with windows rolled up, BluTooth thing jammed in your ear, radio going, driving about looking as if you were Lost In Space. Do I feel "secure" with you chumbawumbas "protecting" me? HELL NO! Which would be why I choose to protect MYSELF.)

Come on folks- let's hear what YOUR plan would be. Let's get a good educational discussion going.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Winner, Winner!

I know it's been a week since I posted the contest and I haven't posted any winners.  I'm so sorry.  But.  It's finally done.  Using a Random Name Picker from classtools.net, I chose two winners; one for each book.

  • GIFT OF FEAR goes to Linda Medrano
  • PROTECTING THE GIFT goes to Michelle Pixie
Winners, please email me (tel835@hotmail.com) with your physical addresses and I'll get these out in the mail to you ASAP.

As a side note, shortly (like the day after) the random name picker chose Michelle, she received some bad news about her little one, Monkey.  Jump on over to her site, Momma's Pixie Dreams, and send her some bloggy love and prayers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The First Rule Of Firearm Safety?

"The Gun Is ALWAYS Loaded!"

This is a sticking point in our house. Even at work, where Dear Husband KNOWS the guns in the case are unloaded and confirmed "clear", he still racks the slide and physically LOOKS in the chamber to make sure.

Why? Because you never assume something is unloaded.

That leads to Negligent Discharges.

And Negligent Discharges Lead To Injury and Death.

Just dropping the magazine from your pistol does NOT make it safe. Proper protocol for handing over a gun:
- Drop the magazine
-Rack the slide back several times, to ensure a clear chamber
- Lock slide back
-THEN hand it to the other person, with the slide locked back. And ONLY then.

The person on the receiving end:
- Check the chamber
- Unlock and rack the slide
- Examine weapon
- Lock slide BACK when handing firearm back to original person

I heard a story not long ago about two people who are both Firearms Educated. One uses a handgun for a living. One shoots on a regular basis. Both know the Golden Rule that A Gun Is Always Loaded.

A moment of inattention caused a Negligent Discharge to occur.

No one was hurt (thankfully.)

Think about it folks-- once that projectile leaves the barrel, there is no getting it back until it comes to a rest.

Why am I not calling this an accident?
Because plain and simple, it was not. It was negligence on BOTH parties part. The original gun holder for ONLY dropping the magazine and NOT clearing the chamber, and the receiver for NOT taking a moment to clear the chamber.

That is not an accident.

That is stupidity.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shooting Fish In A Barrel

Friday afternoon, I received this email from the school district:

Good afternoon! We had a false alarm this afternoon after school with a report of possible weapons on campus. Several of us immediately ran around the outside of the building and told students to get inside for a lock down. The good news is they all responded and ran inside within seconds. Even better news is that police were given wrong information. The report was for another city. As you know, we’d rather error on the side of caution and were proud of the students for their quick response.
Hope you have a good uneventful weekend!
Signed, Principal
 Can I tell you how wrong this is?  Not the email notification, per se, but the whole lock-down thing.  I am so opposed to locking children in a classroom "to keep them safe".  Tell me, what is so safe about locking thirty children in a classroom, without an escape, if there is someone in the building with a weapon.

I had friends at Columbine, I spent a sleepless night waiting to hear if they were okay.  As the disturbing reports came out about Klebold and Harris mowing down students who were hunkered down in the library, my heart broke.  One of my closest friends little sister usually spent her lunch hour in the library doing homework.  On that fateful day, she allowed herself to be talked into going out to McDonald's with her friends.  She *hated* McDonald's, but got browbeaten into going.  That decision may have saved her life.

In response to Columbine, schools all over the nation started having "lock-down" drills or reverse fire drills.  To keep our children safe.  Safe?  Are you kidding?  Did they learn nothing from Columbine?  What happened to the students trapped in the library?  Think about it.  What happened?

Now think about what happened to the children who ran for their lives.  How many of those children died?

Yet the powers that be who run the schools decided it was safer to lock-down our kids, which means that they are herded into classrooms, the doors locked, lights turned off and they're expected to be quiet.  Excuse me, but who can be quiet when there's some lunatic going room to room mowing down our "safe" children?

I understand the school's position.  I really do.  They have to be able to account for the children.  They are tasked with keeping them safe while on their property.  How can they do that if the students are told to run?  I get it.  I also know that if one of my children is ever hurt because of a lock-down, I'm gonna own myself a school district.

My children, from the moment the Columbine incident hit the news, have been told to run.  I don't care about the school's rules. 

I.
Don't.
Care. 

The principal and I can go head-to-head after the fact, but my children are to run as far as as fast as they can.

While they were in junior high, I introduced them to a teacher who I shot competitively with, Mr. H.  I made my wishes very clear to Mr. H.  That if there was ever an incident on school property, my children were to go to his classroom (if they were close enough) and he would let them out the back door (he had one of the few classrooms with an outside door).  If my kids weren't close to Mr. H.'s class, they were to find the nearest exit and RUN.  They could call me from wherever they ended up to let me know they were okay.

Sometimes, you have to break the rules to stay safe.  I've taught my children that it's okay to do so.  There are safety "rules" that are just plain stupid.  School lock-downs are just plain stupid.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Colorado State University Rescinds Gun Ban

Until recently, CSU banned CCW permit holders from carrying concealed on campus.  Please don't ask if I ever followed the CSU "law" on this one, because you all know the answer to that.  They've recently come to their senses.

The CSU people are not happy about it, but given the option of facing a long, expensive lawsuit levied against them by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) or rescinding the ban, they chose wisely.  The could have bowed out gracefully (which they chose to do) or paid a lot of money to fight it and been forced to do it anyway.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Art Of Awareness

Situational Awareness.
Heebie-jeebies.
A Sixth Sense.
Spidey Senses.

In other words, PAYING ATTENTION to your surroundings.

Many of us have it- that "gut instinct" that tells us when something is not quite right with any given situation. But how many of us listen to it? How many put the phone call on hold, or Stop the D@mn Texting, or bother to pull yourself out of the daze you wander about in to listen- REALLY listen- to your gut?

Not many. Not many at all. No where near enough actually.

We are a distraction driven society, which unfortunately makes us easy targets for Bad Guys. (Because they tend to Pay Attention, looking for an easy mark.)

If we understand the mechanics of how a Bad Guy picks a target, we can formulate an awareness for certain behaviors, and learn to avoid people exhibiting those behaviors. The first thing a Bad Guy does is create a Profile. He is making up his mind what he is looking for, and who he can get it from. (Does he want money? Jewelery? Sex? Just to beat the ever loving sh*t out of someone?)

The next stage: Observe.
If you feel like you are being watched, you probably are. Look around. Make eye contact. Note details. Watch who is off to either side of you, and behind you. Look for alternative routes of travel. If you are in a store, look for other people and work your way into a group.

If you are in a parking lot alone, turn around and high tail it back into the store, or to another person.

MAKE NOISE. Sometimes "crazy" can save your hide.

If Bad Guy reaches the next stage, it is because you did not "feel" the warning prickle of being under observation. His next move is stalking. Just like any predator, he is going to stalk you. Follow you. From a distance at first, and then closer. A test bump, much like that of a shark (thankfully with no accidental nipping,) may be deployed, to see how easy you may be to get close to.

By then, you are not far from the last stage- where Bad Guy will Commit to his chosen act, and turn your otherwise nice day into a really crappy one. We all know the outcome of that event.



What brought about this post today?

Today I had to get supplies for the Locust Brothers. We were in WallyWorld-- a place decidedly NOT on my Favorite Places List-- when *that* feeling hit. *That* voice in my mind said, "Hey- you might need to hurry up and get out of here." I had the Locust Brothers with me. We were almost done, getting our frozen veggies, when *That* feeling and voice hit. I looked around again, and noticed a man, about 150 pounds, maybe in his early 30's, 5' 7" tall, grungy clothes, dirty work boots, standing with his back to me simply staring into the frozen veggie case like it held Nirvana.

Until I saw he was using the reflective surface of the glass to scope people out as they walked by. The hair on the back of my neck stood up (no mean feat there- I have a LOT of hair these days,) and that warning voice went into overdrive telling me to GET OUT. GET OUT NOW.

We did. I grabbed my frozen peas and got the kids out of there as quickly as I could. We were at the check out, and I looked at my list and realized... I had forgotten something Very Important. The warning voice said, "You have half a roll left, you can make do until tomorrow." I looked at my sons, and knew that half a roll of TP was no where near enough. We wheeled around and headed to the back of the store to the paper goods. On our way, we passed the frozen section again-- and that same man was still standing there, staring at the glass. Nothing in his hands, no cart, no movement other than his eyes in the glass when someone passed.

Sure- he could have just been deciding what type of frozen corn to buy. He could have been shopping for a better price on the peas. He could be one of those poor dudes who thinks that the best place to meet women is in the grocery store.

But maybe not.

We grabbed the TP, motored on up to the front of the store again. I carried Plan B in my wasitband, and I did check it's position a couple of times. But the biggest thing I did was to look around, look for alternative exits, look closer at the other people near me, and I listened to my gut. We got the heck out of Dodge. Once in the parking lot, the Locust Brothers loaded up into the truck quickly and buckled up, while I lifted my shirt to uncover Plan B. I loaded our stuff into the truck as quickly as I could, and we hit the road running. Five miles later, my skin finally stopped crawling.

Did something happen?
No.

Could it have?
Shoot, "IT" could happen at any time, anywhere. This is far (FAR) from the first time this WallyWorld has felt less-than-safe to me.

What could I have done differently?
Well, for one, I should have gone to Kroger. Their corporate policy on firearms is to allow open carry (in GA). Kroger is known to be 2A supporters, and in states that allow open carry, they encourage it. For two.... well, I don't know. The man staring into the glass had no visible weapon. He had nothing in his hands, had made no gestures, said nothing at all, and not moved towards me. There was no *logical* reason to suspect that anything was wrong. All I had to go on was intuition, and noting he was watching people in the glass, and not scoping out the frozen delights in front of him. It seemed my best choice at the time was to move on with quickness. (WallyWorld firearms policy: allow carry, but prefer to keep it concealed.)

Lesson Learned:
Look closer. Watch harder. Listen to my gut. Practice remembering small details, so that a description can be given at a later date.

Stay aware out there folks. No, not everyone is "out to get us", but we live in a society where our responsibility to protect ourselves is extremely high. Do a good job, and don't become a statistic please.

Who Is GunDiva? Part III

If you're just joining us, you can get caught up by reading Part I and Part II.

I've been stalling writing this part, so please forgive me if it's kind of choppy and vague (I'll try to write cohesive sentences).  I didn't realize, until I started this series how tough it was going to be to re-visit the past.

Part of the reason that Crazy B wanted to become a certified Protection Specialist was that he'd already wrangled up a client; the wife of a prominent doctor who was being stalked.  Her husband knew of Crazy B's law enforcement background and approached him about his wife's little stalker problem.  Crazy B even managed to talk the client into paying for his certification. 

We did the paperwork to become an S-corp and went into business. 

I complete his course work, he completed his Resident Training and our price went up.  The plan was for us to get the business off the ground and then I would attend ESI. 

During the brief period of time we were in business, he'd purchased a little Beretta Bobcat .25 caliber for me to carry while we were working.  Keep in mind that we didn't have CCWs, we didn't have a Sheriff who supported the CCW law.  Crazy B managed to talk a friend of his, who happened to be Chief of Police in another city, into issuing him a CCW so that he could carry legally.  I could not, which was the reasoning behind buying me the Noisy Cricket. 

Very long story short: Crazy B ran up a lot of bills, slept with our client, pissed off the other protection agency in town and ended up running off to Texas, where he spent some time in jail and I got to deal with the FBI (and the very pissed off other protection agency).


When he ran off to Texas, I kept my gun.  Turns out that was a very smart move.

I chalked it up to a tough lesson learned and wrote him off.


And then he returned.  The man who slept with our client, destroyed our business (not to mention what little relationship we'd had), came back and had the audacity to get upset when he found out I'd moved on.  Like upset enough to start threatening my new boyfriend.  Like upset enough to start slashing my tires.  Like upset enough to start being a royal pain in the butt and make me start carrying 24/7, CCW be damned.

I went everywhere with that Noisy Cricket, it never left my hip.  I had it within arm's reach when I showered.  I kept it in my CD holder above my sun visor in the car.  When I was on campus, it was in a small, easily accessible compartment in my computer bag. 

I. Was. Never. Unarmed. Ever.

Thank God for de Becker.  I found him while I was doing Crazy B's coursework for ESI.  I kept the books.  They were such a great help during all of this.

Monday, May 3, 2010

PSA - Spokeo.com

A friend of mine, who is a coroner's investigator, and who has been in law enforcement for fifteen years or so tipped me off to this website, http://www.spokeo.com/.

Spokeo compiles all public information and makes it available via the internet.  Their slogan: "Not your grandma's phone book."  They're right; it's not your grandma's phone book - this is super scary.  Since they compile information from public sources, they have a scary amount of information out there.  You can search by name, email address, phone number, etc.  If you don't want your name out there on Spokeo, you can have it removed, which I encourage all of you to do.

To remove your information:
  • Search your name on Spokeo
  • If there are multiple people with your name, choose the correct one.  When the file opens, your personal URL will appear in the URL box at the very top of the screen.
  • Click on your URL to highlight it and then copy it (either right-mouse-click copy or Ctrl+C)
  • On the bottom of the screen, look for the word "Privacy" in small grey letters.
  • Click on "Privacy", a new window will open up.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the new window and paste your URL (either right-mouse-click paste or Ctrl+V)
  • Fill in your email address (for them to send the confirmation email)
  • Complete the word verification
  • Don't worry when the screen pops back up with a different word verification - I kept thinking that it hadn't gone through and filled it out about a million times.  It worked the first time and then I had a million confirmation emails to delete :)
  • After you've completed the steps, you can close the privacy window.
  • I then checked my email, completed the confirmation email and performed the search again on Spokeo.  I had, indeed, been removed.
  • Note:  there may be muliple "yous" in the system.  I had two, a friend of mine had three.  Search by name, phone number, email to make sure you've removed all of the "yous" from the system.  Be sure to have your children do this as well.
I have to tell you, sites like this scare the hell out of me, especially after having been stalked.  I refuse to hide forever (heck, I've got three blogs, a FB and a MySpace account), but I will do whatever I can to limit the amount of personal information that is readily available.

Verified via Snopes:  http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/spokeo.asp

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Don't Even Know What To Say

Well, actually I do.  I saw this little gem pop up on MSN today: Man Stabs 28 Children.

Really?  I know that the mental health system is shaky at best in China and that they're blaming this recent rash of attacks on the mentally ill.  But really?  Attacking four year-olds?

The school officials have admitted that security could be improved.  You think?  A man walked into a kindergarten, slashed his way through a security guard and two teachers before carving up the kids.

Now, I know some of you are expecting me to jump on here and spout off that the teachers or security guards should have been armed.  After all, I am GunDiva.  But guess what?  I'm not going to.  I'm not sure that this could have/would have been prevented by an armed employee.  The attacker was subdued by a delivery man with a fire extinguisher.  Remember, that our best defense is our brain.  The delivery man used his brain and a handy weapon to subdue the attacker.

Anything - and I mean anything - can be used as a weapon.  We just need to open our eyes and our minds.  Just because the bad guys have a gun (or a knife) and we don't doesn't mean the battle is over, it just means we need to use our brains and be a little more inventive in our choice of defensive weapons.

I'm not trying to scare anyone by saying that anything can be used as a weapon; that's not my point at all.  We shouldn't be afraid because anything can be used as a weapon, we should be empowered!

And, wow, this post went in a totally different direction than I thought it would, but I'm not changing a thing about it.  I will, however, get to where I thought I was going.  One of the best gifts we can give our children is the gift of knowing that they can defend themselves no matter how small they are.  The confidence that they can do something about "bad guys" is the best gift we can give them.  The thing that broke my heart about this attack (besides the fact that some deranged madman attacked four year-olds) is that, by culture, Chinese children are obedient and subordinate.  Sometimes, it's good for children to be disobedient and insubordinate.

Of course, news like this is bound to make any parent anxious.  Heck, any news at all is bound to make parents anxious.  I am an unabashed fan of Gavin de Becker's work.  When Crazy B was stalking me (yes, I know we haven't gotten to that point yet), I found a lot of comfort in Mr. de Becker's work.  As my children became more independent and wanted to do things "all by themselves", I found comfort in Mr. de Becker's work.  Because of that, I'm going to give away a copy of THE GIFT OF FEAR and a copy of PROTECTING THE GIFT to two of our commenters.  Be sure to comment before midnight (MST) on Sunday, May 2nd to be eligible for the drawing.

Those of you who have read de Becker will think it's rather funny that I'm touting his books because he comes across as very anti-gun.  He's a man who carries a gun for a living and hires people who carry guns for living.  My interpretation (I've never had the opportunity to meet the man face-to-face) is that he's anti-gun in the respect that people buy guns to "protect themselves", but are not fully trained or mentally capable of taking another's life.  In that, I support him.  There is a definite mindset about carrying for protection, but we'll explore that at another time.