Team USA Women Were Winning at the World Cup

Three of the top four women’s positions at the recent International Shooting Sports Federation Shotgun World Cup went to members of Team USA, including Bryan, Texas high school Senior, Brandy Drozd.  Brandy was barely edged out of second place, and a silver medal, by Diana Bacosi of Italy.

You can read more about this competition, and about our awesome women shooters, by going to “The Shooting Wire:  Team USA Shines in Skeet to Kick-Off Tucson World Cup.”  I hope to have an interview with Brandy soon for the Generation HC series, so be watching here for that!

2012 Olympic shooting on the horizon

We have some great competitors in the Games this year! It’s going to be fun!

Firearm User Network

From Kevin Neuendorf
USA Shooting

This summer, 22 athletes will represent Team USA in the three Olympic-shooting disciplines of pistol, rifle and shotgun. If 2011 was any indication, the USA Shooting Team is poised for great success having made 40 appearances in 2011 World Cup finals, earning 24 medals overall. The U.S. earned six medals in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games and is on track to equal or better that mark in London.

Two of the names you should be familiar with.

Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) is a four-time Olympic medalist in shotgun. Having already secured a berth on Team USA for London, she’s poised to become the first U.S. athlete to win five medals in five consecutive Olympic Games and cementing her as one of the iconic female Olympians of all time.

Matt Emmons (Browns Mill, N.J.) is a 2004 & 2008 Olympic medalist and is considered…

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Shotguns and Sally Hope

I’ve been meaning to link to a story over at Sally Hope for some time, one in which she relates her love of shooting to real life experiences.  In this particular post, Sally was doing some skeet shooting and not shooting well:  “I wanted to give up.  Stop shooting.  But instead the next station I went to, I asked the shooting coach to give me specific help.  Show me what I’m doing wrong.  Give me tips on how to improve.  And the next time I shot, I hit half my targets.  Three in a row.  Not perfect but definitely better.”

First relating her experiences to shooting, and then to life and those times when we can’t figure out what we’re doing wrong but just know something is off, this first-hand shotgun story will inspire you to ask for advice whenever you find yourself in a similar situation – on or off the gun range.

You can find the story here:  “Shotguns.  And What That Has To Do With Your Life.”  And while you are there, check out her other posts.  I always learn something from this inspiring site and love her attitude about life.

I feel the love

Three people that I’ve never met made me feel loved today.  The first was Lynne Finch at Female and Armed, who took time out of her unbelievably busy schedule just to call and say hello, wonder how I was doing, and chat for a few minutes.

The second was Sally Hope, because on January 20th she wrote this post, “Riding a Unicorn, Bareback.  And Forgetting How Awesome You are,” which I found today and discovered it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time.  (And check out her newest post on shotguns – which is my only direct tie-in to shooting in this post, so you’re welcome 🙂

And the third was Hillbilly over at Gravy and Biscuits, just for welcoming me as a new member to his blog.

Many times, it doesn’t take much to turn someone’s day around:  A direct contact, an indirect message, or just a small gesture – each one is enough to make a difference, but when you get all three in one day, you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.

Thanks, fellow bloggers, for sending out the love – I receive it with open arms and send you back the same!

Debutante Hunters

Check out this short film, Debutante Hunters, that was entered into the Sundance Film Festival:

sundance-2012-debutante-hunters-short-27874990.html

The girls featured are from the low country of South Carolina, where my son and his family live, and it’s a great little short film that represents hunting in a positive light.  It’s not gory, but if you don’t like hunting, don’t watch the film.

Debutante Hunters was the winner of the Yahoo! Audience Award, so check it out!

Ladies, You Are In Good Company!

Everybody is talking about the huge influx of women to the shooting arena these days, to the tune of between 15 and 20 MILLION female gun owners in the U.S. – and that’s not counting the number of women who shoot, but do not have a gun registered in their name.  Maybe they shoot a gun purchased by their husband, or they shoot someone else’s rifle when they hunt, but regardless, that’s a lot of women; so I decided to try to get a better picture of just how many that is.

You can’t begin to come close the number of women gun owners in the U.S. until you add together the numbers of active military personnel in the following countries:  United States, India, Syria, Thailand, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Indonesia, Italy, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Russia, Myanmar, Morocco, Malaysia, Jordan, Israel, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Cambodia.  Active military personnel from those countries COMBINED are approximately 15,095,300, which means the number of female gun owners is greater than the military force of 30 countries.

And compared with national population numbers, female gun owners would equal the number of citizens in either the Netherlands, Chili, or Romania – or more than the populations of Jamaica, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and Ireland COMBINED (15,548,522).  Feeling empowered yet?

How about more than twice the number of motorcycles in the US (7,752,926), more than all the redheads in Scotland and Ireland combined (10,700,000), or about 15-20 times the number of lawyers in America?

The bottom line is that 15 to 20 million of anything is a lot, and for that many women to actually purchase a firearm, there must be a good reason – many good reasons, to be exact.

Of course, many of the active military personnel in the world today are women who own firearms; and if you add the number of female law enforcement officers, you have a large number of women who are armed to protect and defend.  Many other women who own guns are prompted to do so by a desire to defend themselves and others on a personal and individual basis, and with the current numbers of violent crimes committed against women on an annual basis, that’s probably a good idea.

Hunting for food or sport is another reason many women own and use guns.  The number of new female hunters is now outpacing the number of new male hunters, according to the NRA; and according to the National Sporting Goods Association, there were 163,000 new female hunters in 2009.

But women across the nation are also finding out there are shooting sports that have nothing to do with hunting or self-defense.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation tells us that more than 19 million Americans participate in target shooting each year, many of whom are women.  But standing on the line and shooting at a stationary target is not enough for some women; these ladies want a little action in their shooting, hence the rise in attendance at practical shooting events throughout the U.S.

“Imagine combining the athleticism of competitive sports with the choreography of modern dance, then toss in the adrenaline rush of skiing down a double black diamond sky slope,” is how the USPSA Ladies’ Zone website describes the sport of practical shooting.  The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) sponsor many events across the nation where women, and men, navigate various “stages” while shooting at stationary and moving targets.  These events are becoming extremely popular with women, many of whom attend camps such as those sponsored by Babes With Bullets in an effort to master this exciting sport.

If you add the fun of cowboy (cowgirl) shooting (who could resist dressing up in vintage clothing and participating in a shootout at the OK corral?), you have even more opportunities for female handgun shooters to have fun and compete alongside the men – check out SASS for more info.  But cowboy shooters do not only use handguns, and there are just as many women picking up rifles and shotguns these days, as pistols and revolvers.

The Revolutionary War Veterans Association is one group encouraging women to improve their rifle skills through Project Appleseed (Ladyseed) events.  The Appleseed program teaches three-position rifle shooting:  standing, sitting, and prone, as well as how to transition between positions, and throws in the history of the beginning of the American Revolutionary War just for fun.  Participants learn how important the rifleman was to the freedoms we now enjoy in our country, and with events just for women – click here – at only $10/weekend, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of these opportunities.   You might even earn your Rifleman’s patch in the process!

If rifles and handguns are not your cup of tea, how about shotgun shooting?  You don’t have to hunt birds to enjoy shooting a shotgun at your local skeet and trap range.  In fact, skeet shooting was named by a woman, Gertrude Hurlbutt, who suggested the Scandinavian word for “shooting” to replace the term of “clock shooting” in 1926.   And if Kim Rhode could compete against adults and win her first world title with a shotgun at the age of 13, going on to earn an Olympic gold medal at the age of 17, it might be something you could try, as well.  Now only in her early 30’s, Kim continues to compete (she will be a member of Team USA at the London Games), as well as encourage women and young people across the nation to become more involved in the shotgun sports.

So you can see that any woman who has a desire to shoot, also has many avenues and opportunities to do so, and with all of the many female shooting blogs (see Blog Roll to the right for just a few), Facebook pages, and support sites available today, I think we will continue to see women filling the lines at many more events in the future.

Coming soon….

A Girl, a Glock, and the NRA Pistol Qualifications

On working my way through the pistol quals, step by step – and how long it will take me to reach the top, Distinquished Expert.  Part 1 should be posted within a couple of days (I’ve made it to Marksman 1st Class), then Part II, well, who knows :0)  Stay tuned!