I have read stories about how gun store employees will treat female customers differently than they do the men but I had never experienced it at either of the two places I go to buy weapons or go shooting - Open Range in Crestwood KY and Shooter's Supply in Lyndon, KY. I have always been treated with respect and my questions have been answered as thoroughly as I could hope for (without anyone ever talking down to me.)
It had to happen sometime.... Yesterday I went to a small gun store called Oakwood Guns in Middletown KY. As far as I could tell, they only had one man working and there were several more waiting their turns. I was not greeted when I came in but I did notice that the man behind the counter managed to greet every man who came in after me.
I looked at pretty much everything on display and spent some extra time lingering over a couple of items that I was interested in buying. Eventually I got tired of waiting (I wasn't even sure he was aware that I was there) so I left. As I was walking out the door he finally looked at me and asked if I had been looking for something. I replied, "yes", and left. Seriously, did he think I got confused and wandered in there by mistake when I was looking for the nearby cake decorating store?
A Pizza Hut deliveryman shot a man who robbed him at gunpoint.
Restaurant officials have suspended the Pizza Hut driver, James William Spiers, while the case is under investigation. Polk County officials today confirmed that Spiers holds a valid gun permit, which was renewed in November.
...Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut, said:
“We have policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”
In my opinion, it would be safest if pizza restaurants that have delivery service let it be known that any employee with a CCW permit (usually meaning that they have taken a class, passed a test, and passed a background check) may be carrying a weapon.
Update: Here's someone who is worried that the delivery man might be a threat to the customer if he (the driver) is lawfully armed.
If you get this kind of bad feeling from your delivery guy, you might want to change restaurants. I think the chances of you getting shot are slim but if he's that antagonistic you can probably be pretty sure someone has spit on your pizza.
"He was someone that was revered by the faculty and staff and students alike." - Chief Donald Grady speaking about NIU shooter Steven Kazmierczak.
Revere - To regard with awe, deference, and devotion. There have been people that I have know whom I have admired but I can't think of any that I revered.
I'm going to hope that Chief Grady had Latin classes in school and remembers that the root word vereri means to fear or be wary. I hope this is what he meant.
From a news story - Police: Soldier shoots burglar trying to steal guns
Johnson says the soldier grabbed his SKS rifle -- a weapon similar to an AK-47 assault rifle -- and called 911. Johnson said while on the phone with 911, Bollinger saw the suspect approaching his back door and fired at him three times.
The SKS and AK-47 are both military rifles of Soviet design but the SKS is not an assault rifle. An assault rifle can be fired in semi-automatic or automatic mode. An SKS is semi-auto only.
I didn't know this before but I looked it up because the mention of an AK-47 was unnecessary in the article and previous experience with news articles about guns has taught me that the media makes frequent mistakes. (If they are mistakes and not misinformation.)
Dan Simpson has written an op-ed for the Toledo Blade describing how to disarm America.
I know that Kentucky's constitution guarantees the "right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State" but what about Ohio's? Hmm, it says, "The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power."
It sounds as if Ohio prefers (or at least preferred) armed civilians to an armed government. That makes it a bit difficult for this:
Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.
(Link via QandO)
Emma went to OpenRange today and took a gun safety class. Before the class she wasn't sure that she would ever want to shoot a gun but I thought that learning gun safety along with proper handling and reinforcing respect for firearms was a good idea since we have guns in the house.
By the end of the class, she did want to try shooting just to see what it was like. Now we have a new enthusiast. She shot well and is looking forward to going back to the range with me. It may not be the most common mother/daughter activity but it is a nice alternative to shopping.
I had really planned on waiting a bit longer before I went gun shopping again. I also had thought that when I did decide to buy my next gun that it would be a revolver. Wrong on both counts.
I started thinking (this always gets me into trouble) that a gun that was small and as comfortable to hold as my Walther P22 but went BOOM like the S&W MP .40 would be just the right combination. So I started looking online for guns that were recommended for people with small hands. I read some good reviews of the Springfield XD and decided to check it out.
Last Friday, I went to the gun store (Shooter's Supply) and told the salesman what I wanted to see. He asked if it would be a defensive weapon and I said that that was a good possibility. He then tried to talk me into buying a revolver.
His reasons for suggesting a revolver instead of a semi auto were ones I have heard before - mostly having to do with reliability. There are very few times in my life where I have felt that I was treated differently because I'm female but this was one that made me wonder, if a man came in asking to see a specific gun, would they try and sell him something completely different?
If I were just slightly less interested in the XD I would have told him that he's absolutely right and that there was a revolver for sale at OpenRange that I've had my eye on and that he just convinced me to go buy it. Instead I let him show me a couple of revolvers, told him they were nice and asked to see the .40 XD (he had already shown me the 9mm).
Another thing he did that annoyed me was when he checked the guns to make sure there were no rounds in them before handing it to me, he didn't turn it so that I could see also. Maybe this is nitpicky but when I look at the ones OpenRange has, the person showing me the guns lets me (and anyone else who's with me) see that there is no ammunition in it. I like this from both a safety and a courtesy standpoint.
I would have gotten it from OpenRange but when I looked online it said that the one I wanted was allocated and since I hadn't seen one in person, I didn't want to ask them to try and order one if I wasn't sure I wanted to buy it. They had already ordered one gun that I thought I might be interested in but didn't end up buying and I hated to risk doing that again.
Anyway, I did end up getting the XD and today I went to the range to try it out. It's lovely. Such a cute, little gun with such a big boom. It's comfortable to hold and while there's some kick to it, it's not anything that I can't handle. I tried shooting several rounds rapidly and managed to get them in my target's circle area so I'm thinking that with more practice this may become my first choice for a defensive weapon.
There a a couple of bonuses that came with the gun that I really like. One is a magazine loader. My fingers still aren't strong enough to load more than the first couple rounds in a magazine so this is a big help to me. (It also comes with a belt holster and a double magazine holder but I doubt I'll get much use out of either of those.)
The second thing that I considered to be a bonus was a sticker on the case that says, "Not Legal in California". That sticker alone is almost worth the price of the gun.
It's not the gun that's illegal, it's that it comes with a "high capacity" magazine. They define this "as any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds". I've been trying to figure out what makes the last two rounds more dangerous than the first ten but I'm at a loss.
It reminds me that I need to get over there and do some practicing. Between the kids having the flu and my tendency to want to hibernate all winter, I haven't done any shooting in at least a couple of weeks. I need to keep up/improve my skills. It is also, contrary to what I would have thought before, both relaxing and mentally rejuvenating. I think of my time on the range as my "meditation time".
It's also been almost a month since I bought a new gun and I'm starting to get the itch to go shopping again.
I bought one of these today. Gun shopping has introduced me to a whole new vocabulary. I still have to stop the conversation and ask for a definition of terms that are new to me.
I'm getting used to that but the review of the S&W M&P that I linked to has a sentence in it that doesn't make sense in the world that I'm used to: "Any of these loads should work very well for social situations." "Antisocial situations" seems more appropriate to me.
I was tempted to get a .357 revolver today too but exercised great self-control and will wait until later for that.
The news feature that WHAS TV did on women and shooting is now online. I added a link to the article/video in my original post.
I'm going to be on WHAS TV news Wednesday at 11:00. The piece was taped recently at OpenRange in Crestwood and is about the growing trend of women taking an interest in shooting.
When I took the safety class the gun range offers I wasn't so much afraid of guns as I was uncomfortable with them. My lack of experience (and, I imagine, that of many of the women who take the class) made me a better student. I knew that I didn't know anything so it was important for me to pay attention to make sure I learned how to handle a gun properly. It's easier to learn good habits than to unlearn bad ones.
The targeting system at OpenRange in Crestwood lets you either select a distance for a still target or enter a program number for a moving target. With the programs, the target will move up and back and turn to the side or reverse. Recently Tami, the range's instructor, encouraged me to try a couple of the shorter programs. While I had achieved some degree of accuracy with the still target, I'm not doing quite so well with the moving one. Yet.
Fortunately I know what the solution is - more practice.
Open Range Paintball Arena and Gun Range hosted an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on September 19. Attendees included members of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, politicians and their representatives, and other area business people.
No scissors needed here. Instead, the ribbon cutters had their choice of pistols.
City of Crestwood Mayor Dennis Diebel with Open Range owners Barry, and Cynthia Laws (from left to right behing the ribbon target) and others who helped with the ribbon "cutting".
Barry and Cynthia with Kentucky State Senator Ernie Harris (center).
I also took a few pictures of the paintball arena -
I didn't shoot this video, I found it on YouTube. It will give you a better idea of what it's like than my still photos do.
I went to Open Range for practice shooting today. I can tell that I'm improving (practice, practice, practice) and it was certainly a better day than Monday when I managed to catch a casing in my cleavage. Talk about leaving a mark.
OpenRange, a gun range and paintball reball arena has finally opened (I've been waiting for this since January 2005) and I went for my first class yesterday. It was a gun safety class for women and I would highly recommend it for any woman that is interested in learning to shoot. (They also have similar classes for children.) We spent the first couple of hours learning about the parts of guns, how to handle them safely, and how to shoot. Then we went to the firing range to try out our new knowledge. I think I did pretty well for my very first time with a handgun. Here's my target:
If I'm ever threatened by a giant bowling pin, that bowling pin better beware!
I plan on returning and renting a few different types of guns to see what I like the best. Our class used S&W .38 revolvers and I want to compare those with a few others before I decide what I want to buy.