Guess What??

I am going to another training.  I am very excited about this one because not only do I get to spend all day  training, but I also get to finally meet a new friend face to face!

Several months ago Lynne from National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day sent me a lovely email and the two of us started emailing back and forth.  We found that we have a lot in common, some good qualities like wanting to help women and some not so good life experiences. Lynne is one of those amazing women that you just want to spend time with. One day she told me she had read that I was giving up money that I had saved for my own training and that I was offering that money to a new shooter.  Remember that little Give-A-Way I did?  Hi Mrs. Groundhog.  Well, she didn’t want me to have to give up a training so she asked me if I would be interested in taking a course at the place where she instructs.  I told her I would absolutely love to, but that I would pay my own way.  She insisted that I not. We went back and forth on this, but eventually, I let her out nice me and I not so graciously accepted.  As it turns out, when she told Evan Carson, President and Founder of Innovative Defensive Solutions, LLC,  about me, he offered to let me take the course on him. 

What is the course you ask…I am attending the NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course. 

So, this Saturday, I will be heading to Northern Virginia and adding to my resume another quality class taught by the one of the best.  I will, of course, tell you all about it.

As an aside, I want to say that my life is getting a little tiny bit hectic. I am playing catch up from my trip to Memphis and I am no where near close to being caught up. It is vitally important to me that none of my “life” comes before my kiddos.  Clearly, I believe training is paramount to my being able to stay alive, therefore, I can be a mommy for a good long time and is an important part of me being able to keep those little ones safe, but if I am not doing the right things…hugging, snuggling, reading, homework, making special meals and all that, being alive is not worth much.  Please understand that I might be neglecting you all, for the next few weeks, but I will do my best not to. 

I have another post on hold announcing an exciting venture(probably will post that later today) I am involved in. I also have 2 stories from 2 incredible women I have been wanting to share with you.  I have about 5 blogs I want to mention and I have just given up doing a quote of the day, even though there are 6 or 7 a day I could post.  Not sure when all of that will get taken care, but those are just a few things on my blog plate.

I am off to that life thing I have been talking about.  Have a marvelous day!!!!

The Cornered Cat

For a 2 day trip I have a surprisingly high number of things to tell you.  There are far to many for a single post and with trying to catch up with the rest of my life and working on other non Cornered Cat posts, I have decided to write one overview post and then incorporate other aspects of the trip with later posts.

I was surprised at how not nervous I was.  I kept waiting for the butterflies to develop and for me to break out in a cold sweat, but it never happened.  I hate to fly, hate it.  Well, I love to fly, but I am not fond of the plummeting to earth in a fiery blaze aspect of flying.  I was flying alone to a place I had never been, other than driving through on my way somewhere else. I was meeting people I had never met and I was going to be training in front of them.  I thought I would be nervous about how I would shoot, if I would embarrass myself or if I would be my typical self and just melt into the background.

I arrived at the airport and checked my in at the counter.  I let them know I had an unloaded firearm I needed to declare and the man behind the counter got a blank stare.  He was very, very nice, but he was not sure what to do, so I think he just started making things up.  I had my gun partially broken down and in a locked box and in a separate locked box, I had one box of personal protection ammo.  He insisted that I could not have ammo and my gun in the same suitcase.  I assured him I could.  He went on some diatribe about how if they were in the same suitcase someone could steal them and start shooting up the place.  This was second man that I came in contact with who seemed terrified about my gun.  Two more times he brought up how one of the workers in the back could gain access to my suitcase and have a full fledged rampage.  I don’t know his fellow workers, so I did not argue the point, but I did calmly repeat that I could in fact travel the way I was traveling.  Finally, he decided to call TSA and they told him that it was fine.  I could.  Great. In hindsight, I should have printed out a copy of both the TSA rules as well as the guidelines for that specific airline.

I proceeded on to security and had my first naked body scan.  I am not overly modest. Meaning if I am in a locker room with a bunch of other women I have no issue showering or changing even if I don’t know them, but for some reason this scan made me feel a little violated.  A while back, maybe 2 years ago, I had a friend bring up these scans and how she thought they were awful and I thought who cares?  Friday, I kind of cared.  Now, it was not a big deal.  I did cry or get all embarrassed, but as I stood there with my hands over my head, I thought, this does not feel right.

My plan was not to tell anyone where I was going or what I was doing, not sure why, but I thought it best not to.  That plan went out the window from the second I sat down on the first flight and did not end the entire trip.  I sat down next to a very nice couple from Virginia who are on a grand adventure moving to the midwest.  The usual chit chat…Hi, Nice to meet you.  Traveling on business or pleasure?  What are you doing in Memphis?  That kind of thing.  The husband has a carry licenses and likes to shoot and she is thinking about it.  They have friends that shoot etc.  As I waited for my next flight a man sat down next to me and we exchanged similar pleasantries.  He owns several guns.  A Sig, a Glock a Kahr etc. and he knew a lot about them.  We discussed carry laws in different states and what not, but he has only shot about 20 rounds in his life.  He is more of a collector he said. I just smiled.  I have 6 or 7 other conversations like these all weekend long.  One with my driver that I will tell you about later.

Made it to Memphis got picked up and headed to my hotel and then a very nice lady, Ericka, who reads my blog picked me up and we went for dinner.  I have a lot to say about this woman, but it will have to wait, but I LOVE her.  Kindness and generosity ooze from her every pore.

Lots happened that night, but lets skip to the next morning at the training.  I walked into the room with Ericka and the only available seats were in the front, so up to the front we went.   I held true to form and didn’t say much of anything.  I just sat there and listened to all the Kathy had to say.  She gave the basic run down on safety and why we were all there.  Gave us an overview of the day and then we headed to the range.  She gave a demo on the draw from a holster and what she wanted us to do and then we partnered up and proceeded to run some drills.  I don’t want to brag here, but seriously, I was shooting like a champ.  Both Ericka and I had shot several rounds into the same target from varying distances and our target had a nice tight little group.  I would like to say here that I planned to take a lot of pictures, but I tend to get very serious at training and I just didn’t do it.  I took some, but not many.  I did not feel nervous, but for the first time in months, I did revert back to my habit of taking several minutes between shots.  Kathy walked up, whispered in my ear to trust myself and take the shot.  I did and my accuracy improved.

Kathy is the perfect mix between caring, calm, supportive, gentle while being confident, strong, in control and tough.  She is soft and funny.  She is smart as heck and she is deeply passionate about women and their defense.  I don’t actually want to share to much about the stories she shared because they are her stories to tell(most you know how I feel about each person telling their own story) and if you are fortunate enough to take a class from her, I don’t want to rob you of any of the experience, but I will say, I see a lot of similarities between me and her.  I hate to speak for her, but I think she sees them too.  She has mentioned a few things I have written that she could relate to or felt as well.  She is a very connectable person, so everyone might have felt the same way. 

I will say I was a tiny bit annoyed by the time we went to lunch because during both the classroom portion and the range time several woman were chit chatting laughing and making comments as Kathy spoke.  Now, let me be clear, they were not doing anything wrong.  Not being disruptive or bothersome to anyone but me.  I realized I was annoyed and did some self analysis.  I can be very type A and very serious when it comes to learning, especially something like this.  My husband says I was born 30.  Even though I think I have a sense of humor and am crazy hysterical(if I do say so myself), I do lean to the serious side.  I have come a long way and can recognize the signs when I see them.  I decided at lunch that I was going to relax and that it was ok to have fun.

When we got back into the classroom for the holster discussion, I forced myself to lighten up.  I generally would never contribute to a lecture or offer my input on a subject I am not an expert in and I most certainly would not contradict a person in authority, so I was surprised when I did just that.  Kathy was sharing her knowledge and experience with holsters and she came upon a holster she does not like, at all.  She was very clear and I sat there listening, but it happens to be a style of holster I use daily and like and I thought just stay quiet it doesn’t matter.  People have different opinions, it’s fine, but then I thought, stop being such a puss, just say something.  And I did .  I raised my hand and expressed my opinion.  We had a nice little exchange and while I do not think either of us changed the other’s mind, it was fine.  I have been practicing this idea of sharing my thoughts even when it differs from others.  Mostly on other gun sites and while I have no desire to become confrontational and I still believe often times it is better to just move on, I think one should not keep quiet out of fear.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of anything. I am not a fan of fear.

There is a ton more to tell, but again lets skip to day two.  First thing in the morning Kathy announced that we were going to switch partners and I was none to pleased.  Not so much because I didn’t want to shoot with the other ladies, but the grown adult in me does not like being treated like a 5 year old.  I am a walking contradiction.  In many ways, I do exactly what I am told and at the same time, I really do not like being told what to do.  Not my class, so, of course, I didn’t argue.  I am not in anyway willing to concede that Kathy was right:)  BUT, I was thrilled with the partner I got.  I am betting that no matter who I would have been paired with, I would be typing the same thing, but this woman, my partner, is something special.

I was first up to shoot and she was very keenly aware of every move I made.  After each shot(in the beginning), she offered helpful tips, ideas, suggestions and was very encouraging as well.  When it was her turn I offered a suggestion or two and she was receptive and incorporated them and we both benefited from our time together.

Day two was a lot more shooting and while I had done most of the drills, one thing I had never down was shoot from cover(can stop a bullet).  It was really concealment(can’t stop a bullet), but we set the scene and the scene was that were behind a concrete structure of some kind.  It felt odd and I did have my first little flicker of butterflies as I held my hand against the “wall” and tilled my gun about 5 degrees. The whistle blew and I shot 6 consecutive shoots down range, dead center mass in a smaller than fist size group.  Nice!!

My partner is an excellent shot. Her groups are ALWAYS, nice and tiny and frankly it is annoying, so I was shocked when it was her turn, the whistle blew, she took one shot and the hole was at the bottom of the target.  She holstered her gun, called me over and said, I closed my eyes.  We both laughed and discussed how awkward the positioning was.  I think also it was uncomfortable since we were standing out the booth and could see the person next us.  I see the person next to me at the outdoor range, but there is something about being told repeatedly not to take your gun outside of the booth and then taking your gun outside of the booth that is creepy.  It felt that weird. 

Round two, she aimed, the whistle blew and 6 shots bam, bam, bam…perfectly placed.  She holstered, I walked up to her and whispered. You are a very good shot when you keep your eyes open. Again, we laughed.

Again lunch and again range time and then classroom discussion.  I had to leave early in order to catch my flight, but the portion I got to hear was very useful.  Day two’s presentation was on legal issues and mindset.  I heard most of it before, but Kathy offers some unique insight.  It was the first time I shared any hint about what had happened to me. 

Kathy was talking about the 3 elements that must be present in order to have a good legal case.  Basically, was the person showing that he was intending to cause you grave harm, did the person have the ability to inflict such harm and would any reasonable person agree that this person was in fact going act.

Since my attack, I have always believed that if I was ever in that situation again, I would shoot the guy before he could grab me, but as Kathy was explaining all the different scenarios that would be acceptable, I panicked,  She gave examples of a guy with a gun or a knife or disparaging size.  She gave examples of a guy making threats and yelling and as she did, I got sicker and sicker to my stomach.

My bad guy didn’t do any of that.  To my knowledge he did not have a weapon and he did not say anything threatening.  He kept saying over and over, I don’t want to scare you.  I am not going to hurt you.  Although, those words terrified me, how could I prove to a court of law that when he used those words, his intent was to harm me.  I knew in ever fiber of my being that he was going to hurt me.  I knew the minute I saw him and yet, I had no proof. I thought, my God, I couldn’t have stopped him.

I raised my hand and tried to speak, but I could not.  The words would not come out. I sat there trembling for a few minutes with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.  Ericka reached out and wrapped her arm around me and I heard a voice behind me say, your ok.,  I finally was able to compose myself and asked her, My bad guy wasn’t any of those things.  There was no legal proof that he was going to hurt me until he did.  When could I have shot him?

I was not crying because I was traumatized by the memory or by telling the story or even by the what this guy did.  I was rendered speechless as I thought holy crap, I have been working off the premise that in the same situation, I could end things before he got his hands on me, before he knocked me to the ground, before… Now, I wasn’t so sure and that scared me.

Kathy knelt down, grabbed my hands and said I could have shot him before he grabbed me.  She acted out what the right thing to do is…yell STOP and GET BACK(which I know) and then if he kept coming, that was the threat and I had enough cause to shoot.

I did tell him to stop, although not with enough force and he did, but then he would tell me he didn’t want to scare me and he would take a few more steps towards me. 

Later that night on the plane, I played that conversation over in my mind and I remembered that John has told me the same thing.  If I told the guy to stop, he should have stopped and if he didn’t his plan for me is not a good one and that was enough to use deadly force.  I can not explain why my mind went blank and why I had forgot that.  I think it was my mind preparing me for the next part of my healing.

I sat there with my eyes closed I replayed the entire attack in my mind over and over.  Piece by piece.  I could see every single detail in slow motion.  My mind had never let me accept that there was plenty of things I could have done to avoid the attack all together.

When I saw that man walking across the parking lot, I knew instantly he was a bad guy.  I have seen lots of men in a parking lot before and I have even been alone with them in elevators and have not been afraid.  When he first started towards me I remember, now, that there were other cars.  As I thought about that day, I could see clearly that they were pulling out of their spots.  3 of them.  When I first saw the bad guy, I was not more than 6 or 7 seven feet from the entrance to the store.  I kept walking to my car.  Farther and farther a way from safety.  I had eye contact with him the whole time and consciously, I thought, “I am in trouble”  I was making a plan for my daughter’s safety.  I had accepted that something bad was going to happen. I have never admitted it was something I could have prevented.  The minute I saw him, the minute I felt uneasy, I should have turned around and gone into the store.  I should have gone back into the store. Done, finished, end of story. 

I didn’t and if you have been reading this blog long then you know why and all the reason and all the gory details, that I won’t go over again, but my work, my plan has always been dealing with the attack at the point where I tell him to stop and he doesn’t stop.  I had not accepted responsibility for the fact that I could have stopped the attack before I ever would have needed to draw my gun.

Listen to me clearly…THIS WAS NOT MY FAULT.  I should be able to blindly walk to my car without a care in the world without fearing for my life.  NO ONE has the right to harm me ever, for any reason, regardless of my situational awareness. 

I am not blaming myself or feeling guilty, but since there are mean vicious assholes in the world, it is in my best interest to see my attack, every detail for the reality that it was, so I can do better in the future to keep myself and my children safe.

Bit by bit my mind lets me see more and more and brings people and events into my life so when I am ready I can handle the next part,  not only so I can a heal more fully, but so I can be more prepared and more capable.

It was a good weekend.

P.S. someone emailed me and asked me why I lowered myself to cussing.  I am not going to address the crass way in which someone chose to address me, but I will explain.  I am getting tired of saying “bad guy”.  It implies that he was just not nice.  It comes across like he attempted to steal my parking spot instead of my money, my body, my spirit.  I have shared much of that day, but not every detail.  Not every word he uttered once he grabbed me, not the images my daughter saw, not every mark he left on me. This was not a nice guy.  He was more than a bad guy.  He was mean and cold and he hurt me, deeply.  He is a monster and I feel that vicious asshole is quite appropriate..

Get Ready

i am sitting in the airport waiting to board my plane home and I am totally exhausted. I have so much to tell you all…so much. I might be like a kid with a new toy at Christmas, unable to talk about anything else.

For now, let me say I had a life time of experiences this weekend and not all of them were on the range.

To be expected Kathy was calm, confident, smart, funny, a wealth of information and a darn good shot. Not that I am qualified to evaluate, but anytime someone shoots countless rounds while talking and teaching and seems to place each round in the same small hole…well, that is a good shot.

My letter about the gun community just keeps getting reaffirmed and reaffirmed. The women I met were incredible. Not the polite kind one is obligated to say after such events, but the kind that makes me wish I lived closer to these women. All were a blessing and were sweet as could be, but a few in particular made a permanent mark on my heart.

Ok, plane is getting ready to board. I missed you all. Can’t wait to catch up on all your blogs tomorrow!!

A New Adventure

Friday morning I am heading to Tennessee for a 2 day shooting course at Range Master taught by Kathy Jackson.

I am really excited about heading out on this trip.  I will be experiencing a whole bunch of firsts. It is the first time I will be flying with a firearm.  I have been reading and checking the rules on how to do this and Tom at Range Master did give me the sound advice of NOT walking up to the counter and saying “I have a gun.”  Seems obvious, but I am little nervous, so I am glad he thought to mention it.

It is also the first time I will be training with anyone other than John.  It will be my first time training without my handy dandy back up man aka my husband.  It is the first time I have ever traveled by myself.  I know, crazy, but true.  I have flown by myself to meet friends, but I have never flown by myself to a new destination and done the whole deal on my own.

Surprisingly, except for the flying part, I am calm, not nervous at all and really looking forward to learning, improving and meeting some new people.  It’s gonna be fun, fun, fun!

My husband has a friend who is a retired Marine and former sniper.  He is lending me some of his gear, which is crazy cool.  I am hoping some of his mad dog skills are captured in the fibers and will be released to me once I strap on his holster. I think proficiency has something to do with practice and technique, but a girl can dream.

I have been working on some exciting things for the past couple of months that I will be sharing with you when I get back.  Can’t wait!

I am thinking I will not be blogging much for the next 3 or 4 days, but will probably have time to pop an update or two on my FB, if you are interested.   I hope you do pop on over and leave me a comment or two.  I have grown very fond of reading your blogs and seeing what is going on in your lives and hearing what you have to say about mine.  I will miss that.

Otherwise, I will chat with you when I get back.  Have a fabulous time!  Stay Safe!!

It’s Valentines Day!!

My day has been crazy busy doing the mom thing.  I love to celebrate holidays.  Actually, I love any reason to do something special for the people I love.  Not that I need one.  I have been known to throw pancake parties in the middle of the night with full on crystal goblets filled with orange juice and french toast served on my best China for no other reason than we couldn’t sleep, but still I love the formality of a day that I get to spoil those that matter to me.  Point being, I have been busy trying to make this a special day for my kiddos to include time at their school and so I have not had much time to do anything else, BUT, I did make time to go to Starbucks.

I like for my 13 year to learn the lessons of life by example, so I kept her home this morning and she ran up to our local Starbucks to grab a cup of joe with me.

This, like most pictures of me is dorky, but hey, I didn’t have time for a photo shoot.  Being subtle is very important to me, so I opened carried, wore my 2nd Amendment shirt and a necklace made from a bullet.

Once at the counter the manager came over and asked “what us fine ladies were up to”.  I responded that we were here to support our local Starbucks.  She said, “I am good with that”  “Appreciate your business” and smiled.  Excellent!

As my daughter and I waited for our order I noticed an older gentleman checking out my backside.  I was flattered for a second, but then realized it was my Glock that caught his eye.  Here was our discussion…

Him-That is a pistol on your hip.

Me- Yes, it is.

Him- Scary.

Me- It’s not scary.  I know how to use it, your safe.

Him- I bet.

He looked very uncomfortable and honestly like he was afraid.  A few minutes later he started to talk to me again.

Him- Can I ask you a question?

Me- Sure.

Him- I heard that these places are gonna allow beer and wine pretty soon, would you be allowed to bring that gun in here if they do?

Me- Yes, in Virginia I would be allowed to carry my gun into a place that serves alcohol, but that might not be the case in other states, depends on their laws.  Of course, it would be irresponsible for someone to be drunk and have a gun and I am not aware of any gun owners that would behave in such an irresponsible way.

He smiles, looks at my gun again, smiles at me, looks at my daughter, grabs his coffee and says thanks.

My son and his his wife went to a different Starbucks and that manager was not aware that anyone was boycotting or buycotting them. 

I went to 2 other locations and one also was not aware of any boycott/buycott and the other one was only aware of the buycott.  That manager had no clue that it was spurred by the anti gun people trying to strong arm them.  I am gonna call that a win for my town.

Go to Weer’d World to check out more on this subject.

A Friend Helping A Friend, Helping A Friend

In case the title wasn’t clear, I need a little help from all of you.  Everyone’s feisty and loveable Erin over at Lurking Rhythmically asked me if I knew of anyone who might be selling a 9mm Glock, either a 17, 19, or a 26.  She, like most of us is budget conscious and could use a deal. 

I didn’t know of anyone off the top of my head, so I thought I would post here and see if we could help her out.  If not a specific person, maybe there is a reputable forum or firearms trading site that she could be pointed to.

I know she would be extremely grateful for any and all assistance!!  Thanks!!!!!

I Wil Call Her…

Ok, real quick. I loved all the names and I can not tell you how much I appreciated everyone giving me their thoughts and input. Really, it meant a lot to me.

I wanted a name that had meaning both historically to the gun and to me personally. Several suggestions fit one or the other, but only one fit both. I had two readers suggest the name I picked. One left a comment on the blog and one sent me an email. I will send them both a box of chocolate.

The name I chose is Anastasiya. I will use the traditional Russian spelling and it means “resurrection” It is defined as “the literal coming back to life”.

I don’t think I need to say anymore.

Chris in TX email me your address to [email protected]

Still Smiling

As I said in yesterday’s post, I went to a gun show on Saturday.   John, my man and I met up and began our pilgrimage.  We only made it about 3 tables in when I decided I would be making an impulse buy.  I have discovered that I love old guns.  I love their history, I love their feel and I love their look: the beat up, I have been used, I have a story to tell sheen. No surprise then that the Mosin Nagant would catch my eye.  Once John started to tell me about them, I was hooked.  John has a system where he likes to go up and down the aisles and take mental notes of the things that interest him and then return to the booth that had the best price.  My man and I have no system whatsoever.  We wonder aimlessly, eating beef jerky and hoping we don’t get screwed.  John’s plan seemed better, so we went along with it.  The problem being, I really could not focus.  I just kept thinking about that Mosin.  We had made good progress and learned a ton of useful info plus had purchased a flashlight, some beef jerky and ran into friends I had not seen in a while.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself, but getting quite antsy.  About half way through I exclaimed, “I want that gun”.  My man said “Go for it” and John said, then “then lets do it.”  We all high tailed it back to the booth which turned out to be perfect timing.  There were 3 in the box and within 2 seconds of us picking one up, the others had vanished.  I think it was a God thing.  Now, I really wanted to buy this gun for myself, but I had left my drivers license and Conceal Carry permit in my range bag back home(I was not carrying or driving, so no laws were broken), so that fine man of mine offered to fill out the paperwork and jump through the hoops to bring that beauty home.

The Mosin Nagant is a rather larger gun and I got a good deal of attention carrying it through the expo center.  Many a folks stopped us to chit about it or ask questions.  As we were leaving one guy said,

“That is a might large gun, for a little thing like you.” 

I said, “No, worries, I can handle it.”

His friend said, “I am not coming onto your property”.

“You can come”. “Just knock first.” I told him

“I’ll knock twice”, he whispered. 

I walked on by with a big ol” smile and a bit of a spring in my step.

I spent much of that evening caressing her and squealing like, well, a girl.  I tried to get my husband to let me sleep with it, but he said, nope.  He had done enough of that in the Corps.  Truth be told, I think I could have convinced him, but, it’s probably not a good habit to get into.

Since I am spoiled and blessed beyond belief, I did not have to wait long to shoot her.  Yesterday that man of mine and our son met John and a few of his friends at the range.  I have to mention here that this has been a very mild winter in Virginia.  No snow to speak of and pretty much the temps have been hanging out around 55-60 degrees.  However, on Sunday, we woke up to windy, bitterly cold temps of around 29   degrees.  At this point I would like to state all the training in real world conditions crap that Duke and Stephen were espousing last week…HIGHLY overrated. Don’t do it.  Stick to paper targets at indoor ranges with heaters and RSO’s that serve you steaming hot cups of coffee in between magazine changes.

I wore long john type pants under my famous black jeans, 2 pairs of socks, boots, a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie and my large winter coat, plus a scarf and gloves and I was still a Popsicle.  Mostly just my hands.  The gloves were not helpful, plus to shoot I took them off.  Cold is not my friend, but it did eventual warm up to temperatures that were bearable.

 You all know how I feel about gunnie’s.  Smart, kind, generous, funny…  Well the people John brought to the range on Sunday were no exception.  I did ask if I could share pictures, but I forgot to ask if I could share names, so we will just call them Mr. & Mrs. Awesome.  There was one other gentleman there, but he did not stay long, so unfortunately, I didn’t get to know him.  Mr. Awesome had a 1911 and an AR 15 chambered in. 6.8 or 6.5 (I think, I can’t remember.  It was a new caliber for me and so much to learn) Mrs. Awesome had a 9mm S&W M&P and an AR 15 chambered in the more common .223.  Because they are awesome they let me shoot their guns. I think I was still getting ready to take the shot in these pictures, but…

My husband and son thought Mrs. Awesome’s AR was the best set up they had ever shot.  I am still getting to know guns and don’t have a feel for all the little intricacies, so I liked them both the same.  Mr. Awesome’s was heavier, but it felt more comfortable in my hand.  I believe hers was shorter(I don’t know if it was a carbine, but it was smaller in length than her husband’s) and I am tall drink of water, so that might have been why.

And, of course, we all shot the Mosin Nagant.  I was a little nervous to shoot her.  Not butterflies in my stomach nervous, just a little curious as to how it would feel.  A young kid at the gun show told me he had shot about 15 rounds out of his and woke up to a black and blue shoulder and John said the Nagant kicks about 1/3 more than the Garand, so I wondered if I would be in pain. 

I did not think the kick was a big deal at all.  This is going to come as a huge shock to everyone.  You may want to sit down for this revelation, but I discovered while I love the look of this gun, shooting it was, well, FLIPPIN AMAZING!!!  I LOVED IT!!  Oh, my, oh my, oh my, it was pure bliss.  I shot about 20 rounds yesterday and enjoyed every single one.  I did wake up this morning with some slight soreness in my left shoulder,  It feels like when I up my weights on the fly machine at the gym.  I am not black and blue which kinds of bums me out.  I was hoping to show you all how tough I am.

Although my shoulder is fine, I did take several good hunks of flesh out of my thumb working the bolt action.  I am left handed, so my left hand sits on the butt stock(not sure what it is called) , so when I pull the bold back it very nicely slides right over my thumb, taking a piece of me with it.  I am gonna have to practice and find a new way to work the action.

Mr. & Mrs. Awesome.  This is my favorite picture.

A few last notes…if you don’t understand the title of my last two posts, go here.  Also, I was informed that rifles are girls and they must be named.  I was not aware of this, but who am I to buck the system.  I am going to steal my friend Lynne’s idea and ask for help from all of you.  Please give me your suggestion for what her name should be and if I decide to use the name you suggested, I will send you this as a little thank you.

Operation Smile Lines

Yesterday I went to the gun show with John and my hubby.  We were on a mission for magazines for my 9mm M&P and other items I might need for an upcoming training.  Also, I had never been to a big gun show, so it was time I put a check in that box.  If you have been with me for any amount of time, then you know two things happen every time I attend a gun show.  I buy a ton of beef jerky and I have a habit of accidentally stealing things.  I have turned myself  well before the po po shows up and I always pay for said items in full.  Still, I have been trying to break this habit of mine.  I may well have succeeded, too.  Yesterday was the second gun show in a row that I did not steal a single thing.  Impressive I know.  That is the good news, but it gets better…I bought some stuff.

My Favorite Jerky
A New Shirt
A New Flashlight
Some Ammo For

1943 Mosin Nagant

*I did get to the range today and I did shoot this baby.  Met some amazing people.  I will tell you all about both tomorrow.

More on Training

I have been so excited to see so many posts on training.  You might have suspected that I am a big fan of it.

Yesterday I read a post by Duke over at Down Range Report.  There is so much good information contained in that one post,  I had to read it a couple of times to fully digest it.  In the comments Stephen from Standing Outside Looking In made reference to how vital training in a real world type environment is.  I agree, of course, but I mentioned that even without intense training people can sometimes beat the bad guy.  I did very little right and I am proof that sometime luck is on your side.

Their point is that, yes, one can beat the odds from time to time and for whatever reason make it out of a hairy situation, but the more training one has the more likely they will be in control of the situation and can rely on skill over luck. That could not be more true.

I only mentioned the fact that there are times when people who have no skill or relatively little experience with a gun, have been able to thwart an attack, because I wanted those just starting out on this journey to know mindset is an important part of training. Mindset has become an obsession of mine.  No matter where anyone is on this journey, I want them to know, without a doubt, they can survive.  Gun fight, knife fight, fist fight, zombie invasion, no matter what the odds, you will survive.  Incidentally, Nancy R has a brilliant post on being on this journey. 

For the record, I know Duke and Stephen both are aware of the importance of mindset.  In fact, I learned everything I know from people like them. 

This morning I read an post by JD that lays out all of these points pretty well.  Train, train, train and train some more because you never know what might happen, but regardless, you still might need a little luck.