Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Does Your Gun Handling Say About You?

I'll admit it, I've made snap decisions about people based on their gun handling.  However, I think those snap decisions are safe ones.  For example: if you're out at the range and you're sweeping everyone nearby with the muzzle of your gun, I'm going to assume that you don't understand the responsibility of safe gun handling.  I'm going to immediately assume that A) you're a self-centered, lazy asshole, B) your a freaking idiot who couldn't be bothered to learn good gun handling (which is an awful lot like option A), or C) no one ever taught you any gun manners.

Sadly, my assumptions always come in that order: A, B, and then C.  Those assumptions are generally based on experience.  At one point in time, I would take the time to explain the range rules and tell the person how dangerous their actions were.  With *one* exception (which lead to assumption C), the offenders were of the A or B category.  I've found that pointing out the error of their ways, no matter how nicely I tried, was just wasted breath.  Now, I just pack up and leave.  It's not worth potentially getting shot because of a negligent discharge, nor is it worth getting into a verbal altercation.

There is basic gun etiquette that I expect all shooters to follow and I'll judge you on it.  Just being honest folks.

The first thing: if you want to show me your gun, please point it in a safe direction and "make it safe", which means drop the magazine and clear the chamber, all the while keeping your finger OFF the trigger.  Show me that the gun is clear before handing it over and hand it over without pointing the muzzle at me.

Understand that I am going to physically clear the gun myself.  Don't be offended by it.  It's just good gun handling etiquette.  I promise that I won't point the gun at you while I'm clearing it either, and I'll be sure to keep my finger off the trigger.

Few things make me more nervous than someone wanting to show me their gun and just handing it over, or worse, leaving in its case and handing it over.  I don't care if you tell me it's loaded or unloaded.  I want the gun cleared before I get it, and I want to see you clear it.

When handling your gun, keep it pointed in a safe direction.  Namely,  away from me!  I feel much better when someone turns away, keeping their body between me and their gun, to drop the magazine and clear the chamber.  Don't worry, I'll peek over your shoulder (or under your arm) while you lock the slide back so that I can see the empty chamber for myself.  And then I'll repeat the process on my own once I've got the gun in my hands.

When out at the range, PAY ATTENTION!  You're not the only one out there.  Never break the 180 degree rule.  The muzzle of your gun should never break the firing line in either direction.  In fact, the muzzle of your gun should be pointed down range AT ALL TIMES unless it's in your holster.  Even when setting the gun down on the bench, keep the muzzle pointed down range.  When loading and unloading your gun, keep the muzzle of the gun pointed down range.  When clearing a jam, keep the muzzle of the gun pointed down range.  When talking to your shooting buddy standing next to you, keep the muzzle of the gun pointed down range.  See the pattern here?

Finger off the trigger, buddy.  That trigger's not a convenient place to rest your tired booger hook.  If your finger is so tired that you need to rest it, put the gun down (with the muzzle pointing down range).  The only time it should be on the trigger is when you're fixing to press it.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen people at the range with their gun dangling from their hands by their sides and their fingers on the trigger while they talk to their shooting buddies.

I've seen some life-long shooters who have gotten complacent with their gun handling, because they've done the same thing a hundred times before without a bad outcome, so why would this time be any different?  Just because they've gotten lucky that nothing bad has happened in the past is no guarantee that it won't happen in the future.  Gun complacency is the reason why people get shot with "unloaded" guns.  Those people have mishandled their guns so frequently that they've forgotten how dangerous they can be until they get a painful reminder.  Kinda like this guy...

Now, on the other hand, someone who follows the basic gun etiquette and handles their gun as though they've got a brain in their head is someone I'll associate with.  See, to me, good gun etiquette means that you give a damn about yourself and those around you; you don't needlessly or recklessly put yourself or others in danger.  And I appreciate that.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Writers' Police Academy 2011

By: GunDiva

This time last year, I was in a tizzy because I'd read about Lee Lofland's Writers' Police Academy and thought it sounded fun, so I gathered up my courage and paid my money.  I felt a lot of guilt for spending that kind of money on something I'd never been to, in a state I'd never been to, not knowing if I would enjoy it or not.

Turns out, I loved every second of it.  From check-in to debrief, we were moving the whole time.  I have pages and pages of notes from the sessions I attended; sessions on profiling, autopsies, what makes killers tick, how bad guys get guns, FATS training, arson investigation.  We even had a (mock) school shooting so that we could see how the police, fire, and EMS would respond in that situation.You name it, WPA has it.  The only problem was that I didn't have enough time to do all of the sessions I wanted to.  I missed jail searches, handcuffing, taking down bad guys.

Heck, I even ran into Sophie Littlefield, whose book, A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, I reviewed and became a die-hard Stella Hardesty fan.  Terry Odell, a romance author who had just re-located to Colorado, was there with her husband.  I'd guest posted for Terry and have followed her blog for a couple of years.

Since I had such a great time last year, when registration opened up this year, I jumped right in and don't feel the least bit guilty about it.  I'll again be doing the FATS training, as Jerry Cooper, the head FATS guru, has promised me that I'll get to shoot the M4 rifle that Jeffery Deaver got to shoot instead of the Glock I shot last year.  There will definitely be pics (or video) of that.  I do believe, though, that I'm going to spend some time learning to shoot a carbine before September so I don't make a fool of myself. 

I should stress that this is NOT a writing conference; there won't be any agents to pitch ideas to or writing seminars.  It's a gathering of writers who want to participate in a Police/EMS/Fire Academy to gain experiences that will make their writing come to life.  This event really is a Must Attend event for any writer who wants to write accurately and not make glaring errors in their manuscript.

If you're interested in attending, click the WPA badge in our sidebar.  And tell 'em GunDiva sent you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Come Play With Us!

By:  GunDiva

I fumbled my non-techie fingers around and made us a Facebook page.  Currently, we have more administrators than people who like our page.  It's very sad.

I know there's a way to put a link somewhere on the blog, but that's waaaaaaaayyyyyyy beyond my technical capabilities. (But I'm open to instruction if there's anyone out there who has linked FB to their blog and can explain it in small, easy-to-understand words.) find us on Facebook, just type The GunDivas into the search bar and it should take you right to our page, where we've already got videos and pictures up.  It's a great place for people to post their own GunDiva pictures/videos and start networking with others of us.

So what are you waiting for?  Come play with us!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Virtual Gunpowder Therapy

By: GunDiva

I haven't been to the range in the last few weeks and miss it terribly, so I was going through some of my old shooting videos and thought I'd share a couple of them with you.  I'll apologize in advance for the poor quality - these videos were taken on my digital camera back in 2006 - they've improved a whole lot since then.

This one is a head-to-head competition between my brother, Junior, and I.  There were two targets we had to neutralize.  I took one target with a single shot to the head, the other with two to the chest.  You'll see my draw was slower than Junior's, but I killed both targets with only three rounds - he ran through several more.

This other video is just of one of our stages.  I shot it slow, but clean. 

No, I was not wearing proper range attire, what with my tank top.  Funny story about that tank top... one of our stages that day was to carry a phone from our starting shooting position to the next one.  Lots of the guys were fumbling around, trying to find a pocket that wasn't stuffed with magazines to put the phone in so that they wouldn't have to shoot one-handed.  Me?  I dropped into my cleavage.

Okay, I'm almost done with my little video trip down memory lane.  Just one last video.  This one was from our Zombie shooting match in 2009.  I hadn't shot my Para in a couple of years before this match (I'd sold it and then re-purchased it from the guy I sold it to), so I'm slow, but mostly clean.

Don't those videos make you want to hit the range?

Well, what are you waiting for?

Go load up and get some gunpowder therapy!

Shoot safe and straight!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stop The Presses!

Mr. Anonymous can apparently spam commenters.  So unless you want him "commenting" on your blog, PLEASE don't comment on our previous post.  It will show up in your inbox as coming from me or Mrs Mom.  And, well, you very clearly know how Mrs Mom feels about him!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pictures Wanted!

By: GunDiva

One of the things I want to do with The GunDivas is to make a collage of all of us women shooters.  If you have a favorite picture of yourself and your favorite gun, please send it to me in jpg format at  If you can't narrow it down to just one favorite picture, send me several.  If you want to be identified in your picture, let me know.  On the flip side of that, if you want to remain nameless, also let me know.

I'm working on a FB page for us as well, so as soon as I get it fleshed out, I'll let you know.  That might also be an easy way to share photos.

Now, remember, we changed our name so we wouldn't be confused with the T&A site, so please make sure you're properly attired in your photos :)

2/18/11  Please, do not comment on this blog post; that's how Mr. I-Hate-American-Women is spreading his spam.  We can discuss him in today's post without (I think) giving him the ability to spam our commenters' blogs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

There's A Change In The Air

By: GunDiva

Some of you may have read my True Story Tuesday post last week about Mistaken Identity.

In an effort to break away from the lovely T&A site that is, we're going to be changing our name.  But we'll still be the same ole Mrs Mom and GunDiva that you know and love.

Over the next few weeks, our blog will start to look a little different, beginning with our new name, The GunDivas.  I know it sounds kind of ego-centric, but there are a whole lot of GunDivas out there - Mrs Mom and I are just two of them.

Sometimes, change is good and I have a feeling that this will be a very good change.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Say What?

Fear No Evil - Springfield Armory

Live By The Rules.  Your Own. - Gerber knives

Shoot Like An Expert - ParaOrdinance GI Expert Series

Reliable - Refined - Respected - Remington

Unparalleled, Unprecedented and Unleashed - Camillus Cutlery

Ultimate Shooting Machine - Smith&Wesson M&P

Those taglines make you feel like you can take on the world and come out on top.  Just walking through SHOT Show, seeing all of those taglines, is like a shot of adrenaline.



Exactly what the manufacturers and their marketing people want.

The Softer Side of Shooting  - Shooting for Women Alliance


Excuse me while I regain my balance and catch my breath.


I am a woman shooter. 

I am strong

I am empowered

I am NOT the softer side of shooting.  There is *nothing* soft about shooting.

While, logically, I understand the marketing behind the SFWA's tagline - they want to encourage women to join the shooting sports - I angers me on a visceral level.

Shooters - especially women shooters - should be empowered, not coddled.  Nothing makes me angrier than men who look at women shooters as "cute little thangs" who are just "playing" at shooting. 

I'm deadly serious about my shooting, and any woman who takes it up for sport or defense needs to be as well.

In addition to being angered by the tagline, I feel betrayed by my own gender.  Because it wasn't a male who came up with that tagline.  Nope.  It was a woman.

I agree that women shooters need to stand together; I agree that there needs to be a safe place for women who are shooters or women who are interested in shooting, which is why Mrs Mom and I came up with this blog.  However, women should not buy into the implication that we are "soft".

If we don't take ourselves seriously as shooters, how can we expect anyone else to?

We are women shooters.

We are strong.

We are empowered.

We are NOT soft.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sad Day. Happy Day.

Sad Day.

Someone didn't claim their SHOT Show swag.

Happy Day.

Someone else won the swag. 

And the NEW winner is...

Please email me ( with your snail mail address; your swag is all packed and ready to go in the mail.For the rest of the winners - your presents will go out in the mail tomorrow.  I have to tell you, I'm very jealous of whoever won the RSR bag.  If I'd looked at it closely before, it may not have made the give-away pile.  For Pete's sake, it's got a water bottle holder.  Why, oh, why didn't I look at it more closely when I picked it up?  I might have been tempted to pick up more than one of them.

I hope you all enjoy your goodies and find use for them.