The Well Armed Woman

One of the main things I love about keeping up with a gun blog is the arguments I get to hear. Regardless of if I agree or not, I still enjoy hearing other people’s point of view in terms of gun safety, gun control, and policy. The best part is when I do agree with someone, I just hadn’t ever thought of making an argument that way.

I started looking into the possibility of joining a club or organization with other women who share the same interests as I do. One of the first suggestions that popped up in my search was how to find your local chapter and join The Well Armed Woman. Since the monthly meetings are right up the road at the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, I decided I would reach out to them and see what they’re all about.

I got a response the following day. The email was very welcoming and attached was a flyer to give me a little more information about their club. I was also extremely pleased to know that newcomers are encouraged to come and check it out. They even go as far as to offer the first meeting free.

3rd ThursdaysTWAW~NoVa NRA Flyer

The next meeting will actually be held next week. I will hopefully be able to attend and will have something to report back!

Ladies– Have any of your ever gone to or still go to Well Armed Woman meetings? How were/are your experiences?

Interested in learning more too? Find your local chapter!

Law-Abiding Citizens Cause The Most Gun Deaths

A recent article published on Kentucky claims that a majority of deaths by firearm can be blamed on the law-abiding citizens. Author Stephen Senft first tries to explore what went wrong when a 2-year-old child shot his mother.

The Nicholas Kristof column referring to the 2-year-old shooting his mother ends with, “Something is amiss….”

Something is much worse than amiss with the people we elect to Congress and state legislatures, and with many in the general population.

The Centers for Disease Control’s 2013 data show that an average of 323 people were shot every day in this country, 92 fatally. Every month, more are killed by gunshot here than the total U.S. military personnel killed in the 13-plus years of war in Afghanistan.

He then continues to provide unsourced statistics to show just how horrible gun violence is. However, he does not mention intentional suicides or how those play into all of this.

If you ACTUALLY look at the CDC FastStats for Death by Firearm, you will see a total of 33,636 deaths be firearm were reported in 2013. This is that scary number that this author is manipulating to make his point, but he missed a huge step.

If you THEN go to the CDC FastStats for Self-Inflicted Injury/Suicide, you will see that 21,175 out of the 33,636 he listed is actually from someone intentionally killing themselves with a firearm. But he doesn’t mention that until the very end of the article, after readers have already assumed that the number listed above is excluding INTENTIONAL firearm use.

Note– someone intentionally shooting themselves is not ‘misuse’ of a gun. It is ‘misuse’ of proper medical care.

He then goes as far as stating that guns are legally available to ‘just about anybody from preschool children to illegal drug dealers’. This is insane!

First, for a gun to be ‘legally available’ to anyone, they have to be over the age of 21 AND have to forego a criminal background check. Habitual criminals, illegal drug dealers, and gang members would NOT be able to obtain a gun LEGALLY. Children under the age of 21 would NOT be able to obtain a gun legally.

Under present laws and levels of enforcement, guns are legally available to just about anybody from preschool children to illegal drug dealers, gang members, habitual criminals, domestic abusers, severely mentally distressed people who may be a danger to themselves or others, and prison escapees.

The NRA/gun manufacturers/gun dealers complex has played upon irrational fears, deceitful data use, patriotic mythology and adolescent male emotionalism to create a fantasy view of the value of easy access to guns.

He then claims that the NRA/gun manufacturers/gun dealers never talk about how to prevent gun misuse. Excuse me while I laugh out loud. The NRA and other gun ranges have safety rules posted through-out the range. The NRA in particular makes you take a gun safety and range safety exam before they even let you into the firing lane. The NRA along with other organizations also OFFER GUN SAFETY CLASSES TO EVERYONE. So how exactly are they ‘never’ talking about how you can prevent accidents?

View NRA Gun Safety Tips here.

View National Shooting Sports Foundation tips on gun safety here.

View example of business dedicated to Firearms Training here.

View another example of a business dedicated to Firearms Training here and here.

And last one of many, Armed Defense Training tips on gun safety here.

They always talk about gun rights and self-defense but never about how to prevent frequent misuse of guns by ordinary citizens. Here are basic points that need to be recognized for creating a rational public policy:

1. Guns are designed to be used for destructive acts.

2. Everyone who has access to a gun and is old enough to understand the power of a gun is planning to kill someone if the “right” circumstances arise.

3. Most people who have access to guns have never been screened or trained to safely use the destructive power of guns, and especially have not been trained how to decide when to shoot another person.

4. The result of the first three points is that almost all gunshot injuries and deaths are caused by law-abiding citizens misusing guns.

Then he lists 4 points that he thinks should be recognized when creating public policy.

#1. Gun are designed to be used for destructive acts: Guns are designed to be used for a multitude of reasons including self-defense, sports, and hunting. It is the shooter who makes them destructive.

#2. Everyone who has access to a gun is planning to kill: No. This is false. I don’t sit in my room and stare at my gun until a bad experience comes my way and plot all of the ways I am going to kill someone with it. This ideology is absolutely, mind-numbingly, stupid. It is there for my protection. If I NEED to use it, I can also make the choice to injure someone. I am not automatically assuming that I will need to use deadly force on an intruder. Go back and read some of my articles showing how attackers/intruders either fled the scene or were held at gunpoint until proper authority arrived.

#3. Most people who have access to guns have not been properly trained: First, I would like to know where he got his information on this one. Once again, no source. Second, think of the certain course requirements that must be fulfilled before you can apply for your CCW.

#4. Almost all gunshot injuries and deaths are caused by law-abiding citizens misusing guns: FALSE. He says it himself in the end of the article. 60% of gun deaths in the US each year are from suicides. You then have police shootings in that mix, you have some accidental shootings, and you have homicides. How does this equal ‘almost all’ gun injuries and deaths are caused by law-abiding citizens misusing guns?

The most frequent fatality caused by gun use is suicide. Nationally about 60 percent of gunshot deaths are suicides; in Kentucky it’s about 70 percent, according to the CDC and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Also, most murders happen between two persons with a close association. Unlimited access to guns makes it easy for a conflict to become deadly.

When Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul respond to letters urging logical gun access restrictions they just talk about rights and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. They never say one word, nor have ever taken any action, to prevent the kinds of misuse of guns by law-abiding citizens that account for almost all gunshot damage. Likewise, Rep. Andy Barr’s response to contacts is to make vague representations about doing something to reduce gun injuries and deaths, but he has accomplished nothing.

What is more than amiss is that the unlimited-access-to-guns complex has so intimidated our elected officials that they are not following the U.S. Constitution’s goal to “promote the general welfare.”

This guy is an absolute quack. No sources are provided anywhere within his article, he relocates important/pertinent information towards the end of the article in hopes that people won’t read that far, and he provides false information because he believes it promotes his agenda.
Do your research, check your sources, and stay armed.

Bloomberg to teach journalists about firearms

As soon as I read this title “Bloomberg-backed gun group to teach journalists about firearms“, I immediately thought WHAT A HORRIBLE IDEA.

Just in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link and reading the article, I will give a little summary.

Bloomberg wants to hold a 2-day workshop to educate attendees on guns and gun violence. At this workshop, he would also like to teach (HA!) journalists about guns and how to report on said topic.

The workshop, funded by Everytown for Gun Safety, will offer independent expert briefings and specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively,” the website reported.

Ok, so in other words Bloomberg wants to brainwash a bunch of uneducated journalists with his psychobabble b.s. to support his anti-gun agenda, when in fact he has NO knowledge whatsoever about proper gun safety and handling. Yes, it seems like a TERRIFIC idea for someone who knows nothing about guns to teach other uneducated people about guns. Bravo, Michael Bloomberg. I am so glad that you are planning to train journalists on how to report EFFECTIVELY and ETHICALLY.

How is it ethical if you are telling them how and what they should be reporting? Look, I majored in Journalism. I know all about ethics in journalism and this does not even come close. If these journalists REALLY want to know about guns and report ethically, head over to gun safety and education courses with the NRA, get them some range time, and let them come up with THEIR OWN opinions.

I’ve been there. I was terrified of guns. I was worried that some of the crazies in my high school or college would bring one to campus and hurt all of us. I actually specifically remember nightmares about it when I was in 10th grade. Why? Because so many people told me “guns are bad”, “guns kill people!”, “There are so many school shootings every year”. It was when I took it upon myself to learn that I realized how insane those statements really are. Look at journalist Emily Miller (check out Emily Gets Her Gun) who decided to dig deeper and learn more about guns. She was hesitant and afraid to shoot at first, but because she decided to report THE TRUTH, she wanted to see for herself. Throughout the book she fact checks people like Obama and Bloomberg, and not because she was ‘taught’ what to say but instead because she did her research. Come on, people. Does it not seem corrupt in the slightest that a politician wants to ‘teach’ journalists what to say?

If Bloomberg instills the same fear and lies into these journalists as what was drilled into my brain by the media 10 years ago, he will only increase the media support for gun control in America. Which is exactly what he is wanting to do.

Want to get your Concealed Carry Permit? Be careful where you go

Most people who keep up with my blog know that I am looking to get my CCW here when things calm down for me a bit (hopefully very soon). Because of this, I have been doing lots of looking around. I had a great course when I was first learning and I’m looking for a great course to lead me into the next steps of my gun-owning life.

Since I know very little about what it takes in order to get your concealed carry permit, I started doing some digging. First things to come up were nearby courses either at the NRA Headquarters or at small ranges with NRA instructors. These courses have been running anywhere from $100-$200. Not too bad, but then scrolling down the Google page I find ‘Online Concealed Carry Course only $19.99’. This caught my eye. Not just because of the price, but because a huge red flag went up when I read that a gun safety course was offered as an online program… What?

My assumption was that I would need at least an 8 hour day sitting in a lecture hall of some sort and another day of range practice. So how in the world could someone do this online? Truth is, you can’t.

350+ concealed carry permit holders in South Carolina are getting their permits revoked because of the lack of proper training. Well duh!

Pro-tip: Anywhere that offers you a ‘certificate’ either online or in a class and DOESN’T require that you demonstrate proper knowledge and safety can get you into a lot of trouble. If we want people to be on our side when it comes to gun laws, we need instructors who are serious about their position and students who are willing to put forth proper training. Having bogus instructors who would give a concealed carry permit to just about anyone only opens doors for anti-gun advocates.

If you want to get your concealed carry permit, I applaud you, but let’s be smart here and do things the way they are intended. And remember, you get what you pay for.

Michigan Governor Passes Bill To Educate Children on Gun Safety

Yup, you’ve read that right. The anti-gun, liberal state of Michigan actually took a step FORWARD in the guns category and I was shocked!

House Bill 5085, which took immediate effect as Public Act 201 of 2014, corrects an unduly burdensome restraint on youth firearm education by reasonably expanding the class of individuals who are allowed to supervise and instruct Michigan’s youth in the safe use of pistols.

This means that it will now be easier for children to receive proper firearms training and will give them the opportunity to learn how critical gun safety is in a controlled environment. What is the outcome? Less accidents. How many accidents could have been avoided if the person holding the gun knew proper handling and safety? 

So thank you to Boy Scouts of America, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and Governor Rick Snyder for passing this VERY important piece of legislation. Well done.

Read the full story here.

Taking Your First Trip To The Gun Range: What Do You Need To Do?

After I posted on Twitter about heading to the NRA Range and “showing these boys up”, I had several of my fellow tweeters PM me asking what they need to do to go to the range. What better way to answer than doing a post!?

First, just because you’ve purchased a gun DOES NOT mean you should just head on down to the range and go crazy. This is how a lot of people can get hurt. There are a lot of things that play into having a safe and successful trip. In order to make sure there are no accidents, take a safety course. I took NRA’s First Steps Pistol and it was great. It is 4 hours total (3 hours in class and 1 hour at the range). I HIGHLY recommend this because then you’ll have an experienced instructor guiding you the whole time.

With or without an instructor, your first trip to the range can be quite intimidating, especially if you have a competitive edge like me. But also because most people aren’t used to hearing repetitive gun shots going off 5 feet from them. When you’re trying to focus on your target and you hear another shot fired, it’s a bit distracting. Don’t worry though, you’ll get used to it. 

Before I get started, ladies, this tip is for you. Dress normally. You may want to go to the range and impress your significant other with short shorts or a low cut top, well I’m telling you right now that is a bad idea. That cute little v-neck that we all love to wear can turn into a torture device really quick. Having that scorching hot brass casing fly out of your gun and down your shirt doesn’t sound like much fun to me. So, that being said, wear a t-shirt, jeans, and closed-toed shoes.

Now to the main points of this post. What do you need to do to go to a gun range?

1. Bring your gun, ammo, and protective gear (eye and ear). Remember that your gun must be UNLOADED when walking into any range. Most ranges even prefer that the ammo is in a separate casing than the gun (I’ve only been to 1 that didn’t and it struck me as odd). If you don’t have a gun, some ranges have rentals that you can use. This is also a good tool if you’re looking to purchase a gun and would like to shoot before you buy.

2. Walk up to the counter and let them know you would like to sign in. At each range, they will have a list of rules that you must read through and sign off that you will obey. If you go to an NRA range, you will have to take a test with about 30 questions to make sure you understand these rules. If you don’t pass, you don’t get to shoot. These rules are in place for your safety as well as other’s. If you don’t want to follow them, then shooting isn’t for you. It’s YOUR responsibility to learn and abide by the rules. It is not the range officer’s job to remind you and they are very intolerant of people who don’t follow them. If you don’t want to be banned or possibly arrested/fined, then follow the rules. If you have any questions, ask them! Preferably ask them before you line up to shoot. 

Here is a copy of the NRA range rules just in case you wanted an example. Some are more picky and some are less, either way you have to follow the rules of the range that you are at. 

3- Keep your gun UNLOADED and in it’s case until you reach your lane. If you don’t have a gun case, then don’t go. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. The case that came with your gun when you purchased it is just fine, but do not BY ANY MEANS, just walk in with a gun in your hand. And just to re-emphasize, DO NOT BRING A LOADED GUN INTO THE RANGE. Check, then check again, and then check it once more. 

4. Once you passed the test/signed your waiver, BEFORE you walk through the doors, put on your ear and eye protection. If you don’t have any then ask they front desk if you can rent some. Although, I would recommend purchasing your own. The loaners aren’t that great and they’re uncomfortable from being stretched and squished by other shooters. Purchase your own pair. You really should anyways. And please don’t be THAT person who doesn’t want to wear protective gear (most ranges won’t let you through without it anyways). 

5. Now it is time to walk through the doors. Most ranges will have a door specifically for entrance and one for exit. If you try to exit using a door that is specifically labeled for entry, you will most likely get in quite a bit of trouble. So lesson here, just use the right door. This isn’t Wal-Mart people! 😉

REMEMBER THE “COMMANDMENTS”.

6. Now for the fun part! Set your stuff down on an empty bay and begin to unpack. Remember to keep your gun pointed down-range the entire time, EVEN when it is in it’s case. If you don’t know what “down-range” means, it means the far side of the lane in which everyone is shooting. Somewhere around the lanes, you will find a table with cardboard and staple guns for your targets. Don’t worry about leaving your personal belongings on your bay. It’s amazing how trustworthy people are in a room full of gun owners. For hanging your target, always pin/staple it to where your bulls-eye (or wherever you are aiming) is at eye level. This is so that if you shoot “low”, your bullet won’t hit the floor and possibly ricochet. Once you have put up your target, select the distance you would like to start at. I would recommend starting at 5 yards (if you’re a beginner). Don’t worry, you can always push it back further once you’ve acclimated yourself to the range and your gun. 

7. Once you’ve set up, notice the red line in front of your table. Always assume that line is “HOT”. DO NOT step over that line. EVER. If you drop your gun or your phone or $1,000,000, I don’t care. Call the range officer over and he/she will take care of it. If you pass over this line, there is a very high chance that you will get shot. And while we are on the subject of dropping things, NEVER try to catch anything that you’ve dropped. Just LET IT FALL. I have heard horrific stories of people trying to catch their gun and grabbing the trigger by mistake. If you need to pick something up, unload your gun, place it on it’s side pointing down-range, check to make sure your item is not over the firing line (“HOT” line), and THEN you can pick it up. Once again, DO NOT try to catch something as it falls and DO NOT bend down to pick something up with a loaded gun (or unloaded gun) in hand. 

8. Always, always, ALWAYS listen to the Range Officer. If they say you’re doing something wrong, then it doesn’t matter if you disagree. Their job is to keep everyone in that range safe. If they make a mistake or don’t watch someone closely enough, it is possible that someone could die, so swallow your pride and just do what they say. If they yell CEASE FIRE, stop shooting IMMEDIATELY, take your finger off the trigger, and DO NOT SHOOT. Wait for further instructions from the range officer. Some ranges even insist that you drop your mag, pull back your slide, and lay your firearm on the table pointing down-range. Like I said earlier, it all depends on the range and what rules they have in place. 

9. Once you have finished, clean up after yourself. It is extremely rude to leave your targets, trash, and brass casings everywhere and very inconvenient for the next shooter. Most ranges have this listed as a rule and will have brooms for you to use. 

More Women Seeking Florida Concealed Carry Licenses

Due to the recent and upcoming changes in gun laws, more Florida women are seeking to get their concealed carry licenses. According to The Florida Times Union, numbers have nearly doubled in the past decade. 

More and more women are choosing to get their concealed carry permits each year. New data from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shows that 1,240,430 people held valid state Concealed Weapon/Firearms Licenses as of March 31, 2014. Out of that total, 276,386 women now have their concealed carry license in the state. Just 10 years ago, only 48,316 out of 324,236 had their license to carry. That means in 2004, only 14.9% of women had their permits. Now, 22.2% of women in the state have their license to carry and the number is still increasing.

People are in fear that they will one day lose their 2nd amendment right and the government will make it harder for them to purchase or legally carry a gun. Not to mention, the constant bickering that goes on about gun-control ultimately gets people interested. When someone doesn’t have an opinion, in most cases they want to learn. Also look at NRAWomen.TV, a website that features shows such as Armed and Fabulous and Love at First Shot. 

All in all, I believe women are finally getting motivated by self-defense. 

About 79 percent of firearms retailers nationwide reported an increase in female customers in 2012 over 2011, the most recent NSSF data shows. Meanwhile, the number of women participating in target shooting increased 67 percent, while those participating in hunting went up 43 percent from 2003 to 2012, according to the National Sporting Goods Association’s most recent statistics.

-Teresa Stepzinski with Florida Times Union

Basics: Range and Gun in Orange Park, FL has recently dedicated Thursday nights to ladies after seeing that nearly 50% of their shooters were women. Needless to say, it has been a huge success!

PHOTOS OF LADIES NIGHT

More women are taking a stand each day towards executing their right to bear arms. Will you?

New Study Reveals Stricter Carry Laws Increase Crime

Economist Marc Guis from Quinnipiac University has recently published a new study in the journal Applied Economics Letters. 

An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates” looks at data between 1980 and 2009 that suggests that restrictions on carrying concealed had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. According to Guis’ findings, the results of his present study indicate that states with more concealed carry weapons (CCW) laws had gun-related murder rates that we 10% higher. 

Results are presented on Table 1. The CCW dummy variable is significant and positive, but the assault weapons ban is insignificant. Given that the average gun-related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase. There may, however, be other explanations for these results. Laws may be ineffective due to loopholes and exemptions. The most violent states may also have the toughest gun control measures. Further research is warranted in this area.

Image

 

 

Liberal Radio Show Host Wishes to Shoot NRA Board Member

A lot of debate is taking place over the new “guns everywhere” law in Georgia. Although gun owners in the state are pleased with the expansion of Georgia’s concealed carry laws, liberal radio show host Mike Malloy is far from it. He is so angered that he said he would like to invite an NRA Board Member to his home and shoot him using the “Stand Your Ground” Law in defense.

Once the state’s Safe Carry Protection Act receives the governor’s signature, concealed carry will be permitted in schools, bars, churches, and sections of the airport that are outside of the security parameter. Malloy’s reaction was anything but friendly OR logical.

[The] organization founded by Gabrielle Giffords…the former Arizona Congresswoman…who was critically wounded in a mass shooting in 2011, she calls it “the most extreme gun bill in America.” The NRA, which they’re behind this of course, they want guns everywhere….I would like to invite one of the NRA board members, and I’ll be armed, let’s just get this over with, OK? Come on down to Georgia and I’ll be packing heat and you be packing heat or whether you want to or not, I don’t give a damn, it’s up to you. And you come, meet me someplace, and all of sudden, see, we have stand your ground here, and all of a sudden I’m going to feel real $&#^*!@ threatened by you! And I will shoot you! If I feel threatened. The law says I can. Ha ha ha ha ha, Ha ha ha ha ha!

Seems to me that Mr. Malloy lost his ability to debate intelligently so he resorted to threats. That’s pretty typical when you face a person who bases his arguments on emotion instead of facts. Once again, another example of a liberal who has no knowledge of guns or the laws the govern them. 

So tell me Mr. Malloy, why are you more concerned that law-abiding gun owners (who I assume have proper knowledge and training) will abuse the second amendment when you’re the one publicly making threats on a person’s life? But I thought you were AGAINST gun violence!?

No Finger or Pop Tart Will Be Punished In Florida

We are now up to three (that we know of) incidents in which a child was suspended from school for ‘pointing’ or ‘chewing’ their weapons in the wrong direction. After all, the number one rule of firearms is never pointing your weapon at something you don’t want to harm, right?

In January, a 6-year-old student in Silver Spring, MD was suspended for making a shooting gesture with his finger.

In February, a student in Ohio was suspended for 3 days for shooting a classmate with his “finger gun”. He was disciplined for bringing a “look a like” firearm on campus. I’ll save my rant on this one for later, although I’m pretty sure that is not what the term “look a like” was originally intended to be defined as. 

The next, more recent, incident that we have heard on the news is that a 7-year-old boy was suspended this month from a Maryland elementary school for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun

                     

 

                                     

Although the child was not punished by his parents, the school has no regret in their decision for implementing their “zero-tolerance policy”. 

I understand that some people are terrified by guns, which in turn is fueling this negativity around America’s gun culture (which I have mentioned in my previous post), but where is the line here? Were any children afraid for their lives or threatened by these “gun look-a-likes”? Probably not. If anything, I would guess that the odd way of eating this Pop Tart spiked curiosity by surrounding peers. I’d probably stare and wonder what he was doing too. 

Well, thankfully for Florida, there is a line. 

Today, the Florida Senate will be holding a committee hearing on a legislation that has become known as the Pop Tart Bill. The new bill ensures that children in Florida public schools will not be punished for imitating a firearm with their hand, their Pop Tarts, or any other ridiculous body part or pastry for that matter. 

“Children should not be punished because some adult lacks common sense or the capacity for rational judgment,” said Marion Hammer, a former president of the National Rifle Association and the current head of its Florida lobbying operation.

Ms. Hammer said the NRA supports the legislation because it would “give guidance and relief to school administrators who must walk a fine line between following the law and protecting our children” as well as “stop the abusive result of overreactions of some administrators.”

-Emily Miller: Washington Times

The new bill also states that children will not be punished for expressing their rights to free speech by wearing or promoting clothing in support of guns or the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. 

After all, the zero-tolerance policy isn’t about keeping children safe, it’s about controlling them. Take away their creativity, imagination, and their opinions and what are you left with? A bunch of brain-washed liberal children who will be paving the way for our future generation. Thankfully Florida has adopted the right mindset, have you?