Quote Of The Day

Or in this case quotes.

I took a much need break from studying and popped over to Weer’d Beard’s abode. He has a post up about yet another child being suspend from school for having a “weapon”. This poor kid actually was only in possession of air, but it was enough to make the folks at the school react.

In the comments section was this reply…

Rob Crawford says: “The criminalization of thought is one of the most abusive forms of tyranny. To punish a kid for his imagination is to admit you want to create mindless, spiritless drones.”

and then this…

Rob Crawford says: “I think the lesson is “don’t think, don’t imagine, don’t try to be anything but what we tell you to be”.

Do exactly what we tell you, no questions asked. Doesn’t matter why, just to do or pay the price. These people want to create mindless followers. Mindless, unarmed followers.

Questions On The Giveaway

First, to everyone who has taken the time to share their story with me and to all who are interested in taking the next step(or first step) in your firearms training THANK YOU!

As a side note, I keep getting contacted by generous folks who want to donate so the gift list is growing. You can check back to see what has been added.

I will personally respond to your email. If you send me your story and have not heard back from me then ping me again. If you don’t hear from me it means you are not entered. Give me a few days as the number of folks entering is high and it takes time to read each story and then respond plus I have this life thing that can distract me from time to time.

I am getting a lot of good questions accompanying these stories. Love to see that people are taking their training seriously!

The number one question I get is “which gun should I buy”. My advice would be if you do not already have a gun maybe wait until after your training. I know FPF Training has guns that one can borrow/rent while taking a course. Being able to practice with a gun in a realistic training is very valuable. Often times people bring their gun to a class and find out that while it works perfectly well at an indoor range, under no stress, shooting a non moving target, it doesn’t hold up so well in a “real” life gun fight. That is some mighty helpful info to know. It is one(there are other good reason) reason why most firearms instructors I know recommend you bring the gun you carry/use or plan to carry/use, but if you are brand new then training is also a good place to get started off on the right foot. No point buying a gun then finding out it doesn’t work and having to make due or purchase another one. Although, can anyone really have too many guns?

However, if you have some shooting experience and are ready to buy here is a very timely article on the subject.

I am also getting a lot of questions about what to look for when choosing a quality program/instructor and what do I consider quality.

First I would look for someone with years of experience. This person does not have to be former military or police. They do not need to be high speed low drag special ops secret squirrel types, but they should have more than a year or two of teaching under their belt. If you are looking for someone to teach the basics of firearms knowledge, safety and getting a good hit on target then a new instructor is perfect for that. We are not talking about that here. We are talking about taking a course where you will learn to use your gun in the face of a mortal threat. You want experience for that.

Look for someone who has lots of training under their belt. I would take a shooting course from someone who has an NRA cert or two, but I would not take a self defense course from someone who only have one or two certifications. Again experience counts plus personally I am not taking a course from someone who doesn’t care enough about his/her own skills to continue training themselves.

Do some research. Use Google. Remember just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they are a good instructor, but if you pop on a few blogs or forums it won’t take long before you see the same names coming up. Goolge a few names and see what kinds of certifications those instructors have. Read their bios and what their philosophy is. Some of the bigger names have some very impressive bios. Your instructor doesn’t need to match up to theirs, but looking at someone who is successful can give you an idea of what to look for.

Ask around and see who the folks in your area train with. Ask the people at the gun range you go to or call up a local shooting club and ask them. I would not go on word of mouth alone, but it is a good place to start.

Do not be afraid to travel. Training courses can be pricey(but I am paying for one) and when you add in the cost of ammo, hotel, gas or flight prices it seems downright prohibitive, but the training is a life skill. It is something that will stick with you for a good long time. Setting a solid foundation of safety, firearms knowledge and training is crucial. I really would not skimp.

Don’t limit yourself. Many women want a female instructor and I understand why, but gender is not a good way to choose. I know several top notch female instructors and I recommend them all the time, but to be honest there are not that many out there. If your top qualification is gender and that gender is female then you are really narrowing your field. Most of my training has come from men. Former Marines, snipers, MMA fighters, crotchety old dudes, young full of self esteem gun slingers and you know what…all super nice, patient, kind, supportive guys. I have not noticed a difference in quality, skill or kindness between the female and male instructors out there. A good instructor is a combination of many things. I would not rob myself of an excellent learning opportunity simply because I could not find someone in my same gender. That goes for guys too. I think it would be wise not to limit your instructors to just men.

Once you gather a few names of people in your area or around the country, call up those that look promising and ask some questions.

Questions like…

What kind of training/certifications do you and or your staff have? I belong to the NRA, I am a certified NRA instructor and I think the NRA offers some quality programs, however, I don’t really care if my instructor is NRA certified or not. What I care about is does he/she have a diverse background in firearms training.

How long have you been teaching? What is your background?

Ask about safety. How many totally students have they taught over the years? Any accidents? An accident at a range would not stop me from taking a course from someone, but I want to know the circumstances around that situation, so I can make an informed decision.

Who will be teaching your course. If you attend a large training facility the person who is the head of it or the face on the web page might not be who you are getting on game day. Ask.

Ask how what the class size is and how many instructors will be present. I don’t want to take a class with 50 students and one instructor. Not safe(not enough eyes) and the chances of me getting much one on one guidance is not very good.

Ask how much time will be spent in the classroom and how much on the range actually shooting. Classroom time is very important and while many people roll their eyes and just want to get to the shooting, don’t rush things. The newer you are the more classroom time might be needed. Safety is the number one top priority. The bad guy isn’t the only one with a gun. You are now armed and knowing that you will not shoot yourself or anyone else(unintentionally) is extremely important. But, sitting in a class for 6 hours and getting 30-60 minutes on the range is not good either. The NRA has some excellent first steps classes that do just that. Those are great places to start, but once you get passed the basics and are looking for self defense training, time on the range is important. Not much substitution for doing.

Ask if they know me because if they don’t then they suck. Ok, not really. Just seeing if you are paying attention.

If you are the recipient of the gifts being offered in the Giveaway and none of the above seems like something you can do then ask me. This is a small community and chances are I know of someone in your area or have people I can ask.

Keep the stories and questions coming! Once again…GOOD LUCK!!





Don’t Just Say It. Believe It. Act On It.

“I don’t care what anyone thinks of me”. I wish that were true. Everyone says it and yet…

I have talked about this before. Actually, I probably have talked more about this than any other subject(except maybe training), but I keep seeing and hearing from people who are doing it, so I am going to once again gently remind you not to give your power away!

Last night in EMT class we had a guest instructor. He was teaching us about ICS(Incident Command Structure) If you don’t know that is basically the structure that is used in emergency situations. It doesn’t have to be for Mass Casualty Incidents(MCI), but that was the topic of our lecture. The definition of MCI is any incident that requires more resources than you have, but for us last night it was a massive incident. A mutli car pile up on the freeway that had every possible issue that could come up, come up.

After a lecture of about 1.5 hours some of us were given toy cars. Mine was a fire truck with E-2(Engine -2) written on it. Others had E-3, E-10 or M-1(medic) etc. The way we were toned out(or called to the scene) I was first to arrive. The deal is the first to arrive takes command.

Now, I have had one other class on ICS and it was over a week ago. It was 3 hours and in between that class and last nights I had 2- 4 hour Hazmat classes and a test, plus studying for a trauma test tomorrow, the course exam this Saturday and my final national practical exam the following Thursday. While I have ran a few calls, I am a student and have not been in charge of anything, so what do you think my level of skill and or knowledge was to handle this massive incident?

That’s right…very, very little.

I arrived on scene and started doing what I remembered from the lectures. I could have stood around saying I don’t know or worried that I would mess up or whatever, but instead I just jumped in and did something. Now that could have been a disaster. I could have possibly screwed it all up and looked like a complete incompetent fool in front of my class and instructors, but you know what that didn’t…

Well, yeah, actually that is what happened.

I didn’t know what I was doing. After I was relieved of command(this is what happens after the head person gets on scene. The first commander hands it over) the new IC assigned me to be the EMS Branch Director to which I kept referring to as the EMS Supervisor(no such position). In addition I wasn’t entirely sure what my responsibilities as the branch director were, so I just started assigning people jobs. Good news is that I was fairly right on about that, but I had so many people to manage that I couldn’t really get them to do much(they, like me, weren’t sure what to do even after they had a job). I was lucky because my assistant was an actual IC and had years on the fire service, so a lot of what I did right was due to his help, but at the end when the instructor said who was suppose to do this…the answer was me or when he said who kept using this incorrect term…the answer was me or when he said how come you were on scene x amount of time and no one was transported, that was my failure. After he asked about 10 questions and my hand kept going up to take responsibility and then explain, he said. “Well, good thing now is that I know your voice well.” I am not entirely convinced that was in fact a good thing.

Big deal!

I am in class to learn. I messed up way more things than I did right, but I can tell you for sure 100% by being thrown into that situation and being forced to think I now know a ton. Enough to go be an EMS Branch Director on the next MCI…no, but about 85% more then when I first showed up at class…yes.

Having done it and failed I learned. At the beginning of class so much of what the instructor was saying was abstract to me. I had no real context to relate to, but after the table top exercise I had lots of context, so when everyone else had left and the 2 firemen stayed behind to show me what I could have done better, I absolutely understood what they were saying.

If I had let my fear of judgment or failure impact me I would have robbed myself of an excellent learning opportunity which is exactly why I took this class in the first place. I want to learn. I want to have actual skills and I want to be a solid resource for the folks in my community.

Pretty much from the beginning of this class I have heard from people again and again, “Oh, you’ll do fine on the state test.” “It’s easy” “So and so passed, so if he/she can you can.” “You are so smart and study so much it will be a piece of cake.”

It shouldn’t matter, but those statements have added pressure to me. For one, I have not found this to be easy. Our books is so thick and has so much information in it and nothing is textbook anyway. Every time I learn this is how it’s done they throw something else at me, under pressure and then expect me to come up with “the best” answer and that answer is never found in a book anywhere.

Let me say I am doing fine in the class. I am getting A’s on all but one test(120 questions about every 10 days) and have passed(usually by 100%) every practical station, but often I feel like I am just flying by the seat of my pants. I do study every single day and I do think I have a firm grasp on much of it, but still for me it has required that I do study and practice and ask questions..ie not easy.

I have moments of panic where I picture myself taking my test, failing and the whole class is like, “Oh my, did you hear AGirl failed?” “Wow she seemed to get it in class, she must be a real moron.” Not many of those moments, but occasionally. Usually after I do something well and several people compliment me. You would think that would build my confidence, but I am a special kind of wack-a, so it does the opposite.

The reality is that doesn’t matter. I am there to learn and grow and no matter if I look like a fool or fail or people make fun of me, I can’t let any of that get into my head and keep me from doing what I want. Keep me from reaching the goals I have set for myself.

Now, I know everyone is going to read this and say duh. Of course. Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and blah, blah blah, but I hear almost daily about people who haven’t signed up for firearms training(training they want) because they are afraid everyone else in the class is more skilled or people who continue to take classes at their level and do not move on to more advanced courses for the same reason. People tell me again and again they are afraid to take a hand to hand or edge class because they don’t want to be “that guy” who messes everything up and fumbles around trying to figure out what to do next. I get emails every week that start something like, I wish I was more like you, but I am just too scared to take that step. My response always starts something like, “I am afraid to…” Although as I have said before not nearly as much as I used to be because I have learned the more fears I face the less scary the next one is. I recently got an email for a lady who said she really wanted to enter the giveaway, but was afraid she would win. She is serious and I can’t get her to enter. That is not a judgment that is proof that this gentle reminder needs to be put out there.

If you or I let fear, judgment, ridicule or even failure keep us from doing what we want to do to improve ourselves we are freely giving our power away and totally robbing ourselves. We say again and again I won’t let the bad guy win. He can’t have my purse, my car, my body, my life, my child, but then again and again everyday in a million different ways each day we hand over our power. Letting a thousand insecurities keep us from our goals.

My challenge to you, once again, is to think about something you want to do, but haven’t because it scares you or makes you uncomfortable and do at least one positive thing towards overcoming whatever is holding you back.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” -William Shakespeare


The Giveaway

The Gift 

-$200 toward firearms training donated by AGirl

-100 rounds of ammo in .380, 9mm, 40 cal or 45 ACP(if available) donated Old NFO 

-The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide To Concealed Carry donated by Kathy Jackson

Taking Your First Shot(available April 1, 2013) donated by Lynne Finch

-$25 Gift Certificate To MidwayUSA donated by Keads

-$30 Gift Certificate & Gun Goddess T-shirt donated by The Gun Goddess

-One hour of private instruction at the NRA range donated by George Lyon(If in the Fairfax Virginia area or find yourself there)

-One training class donated by Kathy Jackson (This class is one taught by Kathy. The winner will have to find a course in her area or travel and will have to pay all other expenses. This is a true gift)

– One set of eyes and ears, The Gift Of Fear by Gavin De Becker, a holster from Michael’s Custom Holsters(up tp$150), an array of spices and sauces from Gut-N-Tag, donated by AGirl and a blog reader who prefers to stay anonymous

-Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement  Instructor’s belt & $50 towards ammo donated by anonymous blog reader

Ronin Tactical Concepts is offering an upgrade in training. If the winner chooses to spend their $200 worth of training money at Ronin, they will double it. The person will actually get $400 worth of training, They do offer women’s only courses if that appeals to you.


-This is for women only, ages 21 or older
-Must be used for a firearm training course to include range time
-Course must be held in The United States of America by a reputable instructor/course(determined by me)
-Entries must be received by Sunday March 3, 2013 (Winner will be announced  on Monday March 11th, 2013)
-Must be signed up for an approved course by September 1st, 2013 or forfeit prize.
-Write a brief(or not so brief) explanation of why you would like to attend a firearms training class and what the training would mean to you.

-Send the brief (or not so brief)explanation along with your full name to [email protected] You MUST include your full name and email address.  Entries missing information will not be entered. All personal information will be kept private and confidential.


**If you have entered a previous Giveaway, you may enter again. If you have won one, you may not:)

***This Giveawayay is for a beginner level firearms course/training.


Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

This is so wrong. Justice has never been equal, but to openly disregard the law for one and go after another is insane.

I am trying my darnedest to fight with everything I have to stop the total destruction of our country, but man it seems futile.

Tonight we eat at home instead of ordering pizza as we will be donating our pizza money to this man’s defense fund.

Well Done



One of my favorite things about the gun community is that they are doers. Most of the people I know don’t simply blog or twitter or update their Facebook statuses, but they also contact their congressmen and women, attend peaceful rallies, lend a hand to someone learning, work with organizations to make changes…They speak up, but they also stand up.

Nothing annoys me more than people who just complain and whine, but never contribute or do anything positve to make a difference. Well, people who say they will do something and then never do, they might annoy me slightly more.

I find more and more that people on the opposite side of freedom do nothing more than talk. They go on and on with hateful words, but offer no solutions that have an ounce of making a difference.

Talk is easy. It is so easy to sit back and do nothing and I actually think that is why this country has lost so much. People are not willing to stand behind what they believe or stand up to their word. It’s easy to say I will fight, I will help, I will make a difference, but when it comes down to showing up, it’s so much easy to just grab a beer and do nothing.

Thank you all for being the kind of people who make the sacrifice, who inspire and encourage me!!

(I saw this poster somewhere, saved it and can’t remember where I first saw it. Sorry)