Interview: “Allie Cat” Barrett, A Top Junior Shooter

As stated in a previous blog post, I have become very impressed with the young people I’ve met through the world of shooting sports lately, the ones I call the “High Caliber Generation.”  These young shooters seem to be extremely mature, focused, dedicated, and disciplined – and I know they have a lot of fun, as well.

Recently, I read more about Allie “Allie Cat” Barrett, a 15 year-old, Stockton, Missouri, high school sophomore, who is on her way to becoming one of the top female shooters in the country. Allie placed 3rd in the Ladies 2011 World Champion Ruger Rimfire Competition and came in 4th overall in the Junior Competition. And besides her many other accomplishments (and there are many), she is an NRA Certified Apprentice Pistol Instructor and helps her parents (Tim and Heather, along with her brother, Andy) at their family-owned shooting range, Midwest Tactical Firearms Academy.

During the 2011 season, Allie was sponsored by Sportsman Paradise Gun Shop, MTFA Range, and recently, Volquartsen Customs in .22 rimfire competitions. She is also sponsored by Hodgdon Powders, Dan Burwell Gunsmithing, Strader Solutions, Rudy Project Shooting Eyewear, and Zero Bullet Company.

I asked Allie some questions recently, and thought I would share her answers with you from her own pen. I think you will see why she qualifies as a member of “Generation HC.”

Q. What three life lessons have you learned from shooting?

A. Three life lessons would be to try your hardest, even when it might not work out; just because you’re smaller than the rest, it doesn’t mean you can’t win; and live life to your expectations.

Q. How has shooting played a part in how you relate to your peers?

A. Shooting does get in the way of a social life, but its way worth it in the end. My friends support me in everything I do.

Q. What is your favorite type of shooting competition?

A. My favorite type of competition is USPSA [United States Practical Shooting Association] and Ruger Rimfire.

Q. What are your favorite firearms?

A. My favorite firearms are my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Pro that I shoot for USPSA, Steel Challenge, IDPA [International Defensive Pistol Association], and other centerfire matches. I love my Volquartsen firearms. They are pretty sweet! Volquartsen has been an amazing sponsor, and they have given me awesome support.

Q. How has school affected your shooting career, if at all?

A. Shooting does get in the way of some school activities sometimes, but I always seem to work everything out. School does come first, but I always catch myself day dreaming about shooting matches when I’m in class. 🙂 On some weekends I feel the need to get out and practice, but sometimes I can’t, because I have a mountain of homework, or my mom and dad need help on our family’s gun range teaching CCW or junior shooting lessons.

Q. What is it like to compete (and win) against people older than yourself?

A. I think it’s fun shooting against adult shooters. It challenges me to shoot the best I can and makes me want to win even more. I get more satisfaction winning High Lady Overall than High Junior.

Q. What would you like to tell new shooters – young people that are just getting interested in shooting?

A. I tell new shooters that come out to work with me, to just try their best and just have fun. I emphasize that safety comes first, that they need to learn the fundamentals of shooting first. Speed comes later, with experience.

Q. How do you see yourself involved in shooting 20 years from now?

A. The world is full of opportunities, and if you have the drive and the right attitude you can accomplish anything. In 20 years, I will be 35; I see myself following in my Dad’s footsteps and going into Law Enforcement, be on a SWAT Team, and still competing in USPSA competitions. Firearms will always be a part of my life. I am very thankful for the 2nd Amendment. It seems that kids my age don’t even realize what freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and how some people want to try and take away those freedoms. I plan on living my life to the fullest and taking it just like shooting a match – one stage at a time.

* Photos courtesy of Allie Barrett

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Starbuck’s “Buy-cott”

On February 14th of this year, Second Amendment supporters are being asked to back the Starbuck’s company carry policy by using a $2 bill (symbolizing the 2nd Amendment) to purchase items in their stores.

The Starbuck’s corporation has persisted in maintaining their policy of allowing open or concealed carry of firearms into their stores (depending on individual state laws), against great criticism and current boycotting by anti-gun proponents.

And Starbuck’s is not the first company to realize that their chances of being robbed are likely to be greatly reduced if there is a possibility of legally-armed customers populating their business at any given time; but the company may not be sticking to their pro-gun policy just in an effort to be well protected – maybe they actually believe in the 2nd Amendment.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, the 2nd Amendment reads:  “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

With “infringe” meaning to encroach, trespass, break, or weaken, it is clear that many in this country today seek to place obstacles to (and thereby infringe upon) the Constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms, or to eliminate that right completely.

Kudos to a company that will stand in the face of persecution and potential loss of business revenue in order to support the Constitutional rights of Americans.  I believe this is a company that we must stand behind, patronize, and thank for their support of our rights, especially when many today are not supporting those rights.  Who knows, maybe it will encourage other companies to do the same.

So mark February 14th on your calendar, not only as Valentine’s Day, but as $2 for 2A Day at Starbucks, and be sure to take your firearm with you – just because you can 🙂

(Even if you don’t pay with $2 bills, support them on that day with whatever means possible, in order to send a message to those who are attempting to damage the business with a boycott.)