for the women

Saturday will once again be joining the Ladies that Shoot.

If you want to learn how to shoot, what to get to get together with women who like to shoot, check out The Well Armed Woman web page and look to see if they have a chapter near you.   Have been shopping with TWAW for several years, and a couple of years ago, Carrie set up this chapter arrangement and it has become HUGE!  Live in a small city myself so have to travel about an hour either north or south to get to a chapter (and the chapter north meets on weekday evenings – way past my bedtime!).

Meetings are usually held at a shooting range, with reasonable priced range time afterwards.  Chapter leaders are NRA instructors, all women.  Depending on the chapter they have “roadtrips”, contests, etc.

A great opportunity to learn about guns, and how to use them properly.

women shooting

This is a blatant plug for the Well Armed Woman shooting chapters.  Carrie started this business several years ago to bring information, gear and empowerment to women shooters and it has EXPLODED.  One of the first of the women focused shooting businesses out there,  she has started shooting chapters, which have caught on in pretty much every state.  These are local groups organized and run by local women – all NRA shooting instructors.  Women teaching women.

There are none in my immediate town, at least an hour’s drive to get to the nearest whether I go north or south.  The one to my north meets on weekdays, so went south yesterday.  about 30 members, 13 showed up, 5 hit the range afterwards.  Yes, they are all set up for range time after.  Yes, you pay for the range time, but usually discounted for members of the chapter.  Good time for instruction and to learn discipline (which I sorely lack after too many years shooting on informal outdoor ranges without professional instruction).

Admit, it was a little disconcerting to feel my ejected cartridges bouncing off my head!  They were hitting the side walls and bouncing back on me.  The first one was a surprise, then it became common place as they were not hitting my face.   Shredded my target!!  Good times!!

So while some women lunch, and some meet to knit and quilt, I’ll be heading to the range with the girls!

Strongly suggest checking them out!  ALSO, many ranges are recognizing women are taking to shooting big time and are starting to cater to them with special classes and similar groups.  Also a wider range of shooting products; particularly carry purses.  While I have a great Roma purse, I’m a woman and like to be able to switch styles now and again so looked at the HUGE selection the store had.  Since my guns are all BIG (full size – no compacts) that limits the purses I can use.  Found a beauty but when I looked at the price ($387!) figured I would rather buy another gun!!  Was looking at a nice Ruger .380 semi auto.  A little bigger than most I’ve seen and very tempting for under $400!!  A nice back up gun option.

now the election is over

Please don’t get too comfortable with a Republican in office as to attacks on the constitution, especially the second amendment

We have seen a weakening of our rights on many levels over the years, with some of the most grievous being under Bush after 9/11/01.  So please, don’t get fooled by the ruckus raised about guns while the other rights are being hacked away.

AND

Watch for action at the local levels. Even with the GOP sitting in 33 out of 50 state legislatures, there will still be moves, like Bloomberg’s Universal Background Check bill which is slowly making its way across the country.  Have heard that Nevada passed that this most recent election (11/8/17).  It is presented in a way that seems innocent – we want to keep guns out of the hands of the undesirables, so even private sales should have background checks.  And who can argue with that thought?

BUT

what it really says is “no transfer” of guns without background checks, which means I can’t let my uncle George take my .357 down to the range for some target shooting when he visits from NY!  I can’t give my lever action 22 Henry to my 25 year old nephew to help introduce him to the sport.   I can’t even sell it to him without a background check.  You can’t give your son or daughter their first gun for duck hunting, plinking, or target shooting.

And there will be other ways they will try to get regulations through. Rules about where or when you can be armed even with your CCW.  Gun Free Zones will be your church, your mall, your movie theatre, the concert you wanted to attend with your favorite golden oldies band.  And while those might seem to be places where you can agree to being gun free, if they don’t provide secure storage for your weapon while you are there you will either have to lock it in your car or leave it at home.

Watch for attempts to weaken stand your ground laws like changing them to Run Hide Fight.  Your last option is to defend yourself, not your first?

So be aware and be careful out there.

further comments

on belly bands.

As an overweight woman who carries a full size gun, usually a 4″ barrel .357 revolver, am a fan of the belly band.  Of course, I usually push it so it is more of a hip band than around the belly.  They are really nice as they easily sit under those elastic waist skirts and pants, even yoga pants and leggings!  they can also be positioned to hold the gun in what ever position is best for the user accommodating all our various rolls and excesses.

BUT

do not like the Velcro adjustable bands.  There’s a long list of reasons why and though I suggest getting a cheap one to practice with and trial, you will soon figure out why I don’t like them for regular wear.

That is what led to the CanCan concealment holster with its hook and eye closure.

Have now found the Hidden Heat Wrap from Miss Concealed Carry on ETSY.  It is deeper than the CanCan so the end of the gun isn’t sitting out into your leg.  The pocket of the holster has an inner band to give a secure grip to the barrel, the elastic is an open material so it has more breathe-ability, PLUS it has a zipper PLUS the hook and eye, so once its fitted, you don’t have to play with those hooks and eyes anymore.

Yes, pushing it down onto my hip, the bottom sits low but it doesn’t cut into my thighs when I sit like some of the others and not having the gun barrel jamming into my leg or the bare metal rubbing on my skin is a whole level up in comfort!nov-holster

reading and stuff

am one of those people the modern meme is about. You know the one : my parents watch the debates so they know how much food to put away in the basement”.   Yeah, that’s me.  SO there is lots of stuff going on as winter approaches, the farmer’s market is filled with fresh squash (far more than what I can grow), and other good things.    I’m working with the dehydrator, going to learn how to ferment veggies and have the dummies guide to Ham Radio at the ready for winter reading.  Also knitting long sleeve sweaters and discovering the comfort of FINALLY being able to carry on body regularly instead of killing my shoulders with always purse carrying.

So on to this blog’s book review: Lights Out by Ted Koppel.

If you know someone whom you would like to hit over the head with a 2×4 to wake them up to how close to the abyss we are, this is the book for them to read.  Hey, its Ted Koppel. We all know Ted Koppel, award winning journalist, night time visitor to most homes in America, respected reporter.  Well, it seems Ted has become a prepper!  Guess it was lurking for him anyway – it seems he got to spend his early childhood in London during the Blitz – and then, like a lot of people, he read One Second After by Wm Forstchen.  I’ve not read that one, and many of you haven’t either, but for some reason a lot of people who normally wouldn’t read such books have. Its life for a man in a small east coast town after a country wide EMP attack.  And it seems to have put the burr under the saddle for a lot of folks, including Ted Koppel.

Lights Out isn’t about an EMP, though he does explore that possibility, this is about how insecure our electrical grid system is, particularly to cyber attack.

Now what makes this book different than all others is, ONE its by Ted Koppel and TWO Ted gets to interview all kinds of AUTHORITIES on the subject: NSA, DHS, DOD, FEMA, and other government agency types, past and present.  He interviews the CEO’s of the electrical companies and gets the real scoop on how the current electrical distribution system runs.  He’s interviewing people who are working real world Cyber Security. There is much discussion on how the authorities would handle such a situation, where and how they could evacuate folks, how they would get them supplies, and how long it would take to put it all back together.  Oh yeah, the answers are, when someone was willing to give them, was NOT.

He gets into the Mormen’s whole system of storing and distribution of supplies and the WHY of what they do.  He talks to a guy who worries about the security of Cody Wyoming and what makes them different than folks in NYC.  He talks to Ray Kelly, Rudy Giulliani and what worked in NYC after 9/11.  he talks about real cyber attacks that have taken place and how they were able to be pulled off.  He talks about the world wide political picture that shapes our current thought processes.  he talks about how long it would take to implement ANY system that would make what we have more secure.

This is not fiction, nor is it some hysterical ‘wing nut’. This is Ted Koppel, of the neat hair style, the calm speech, the informed journalist and investigative reporter.

So if you have some folks who need a bit of a wake up call so they are not pounding on your door one day expecting to share in what you have put away, give them this book as their holiday gift.

BTW, after reading this book, cyber attack on our grid has moved much further down my list of possible things that could happen, while a north Korean launched EMP has moved UP, especially as a west coaster!  I now see failure of our grid as a possibility from any number of different scenerios, none having to do with cyber attack, but all having to do with human fraility, the age and complexity of the system, and the lack of awareness most people bring to their jobs.   I see the possibility of local failures and having the system shut those areas of the country out of the loop to protect the big grid and it still taking months to years to repair that local damage and getting it back up and running.

Cyber attacks I see happening more to our economic system.  Think economic unrest would do more damage to the system as a whole than bringing down the grid.  It would create the kind of unrest among the people that can bring down a government and leave a leadership gap because there could still be communications and large scale planning.  taking down the grid would lead to unrest, but without communications, groups could not plan anything to act in concert.

at least that’s how I felt after reading this book and looking at all the “evidence” Ted presents.  Your take might vary, and at $17 for the hardcover (a little less for the Kindle) doubt that you would put this on your necessary reading list.  But, again, if you have someone who needs a wake up call as to how delicate our balance really is, it could be money well spent.

On another note, this book came to my awareness when I got an e-mail from some politician in Oregon who was basically their DHS guy and it freaked him out enough (along with One Second After) to send out a blanket e-mail with details about what minimum supplies they should have for at least 3 months cause if any of this should happen, there wouldn’t be any help coming from them!

did it

Something I said I would never do, joined the NRA.

While I believe in what they do, they have been so controversial, have said some really off the wall things that were more inflammatory than not, and there is always that feeling that members will be targeted when the political tide turns.   Then there is there absolute PUSH for the GOP, with whom I have a great many disagreements on policy, that I began to feel that NRA meant National Republican Association!

But, as we come closer to this election, I think the NRA may be more important that we can imagine, especially if Hilary wins.

and since I’m already holder of a CCW permit,  I’m on what ever list I’m going to be on.

PLUS

I get a cool leather jacket as a life time member!  Not a big deal, I’m over 65 now and they make a deal for us oldsters.

still at it

Have finally accepted that I’ll never be able to go through my life with one all purpose holster, because, unlike men, will never go through life wearing just variations of pants and shirts.

So have moved to narrowing my choices to one draw position for all different carry choices.

CanCan concealment holster: this is a belly band but sitting further down on the hips. Much better for woman’s carry.  Cross draw position has worked best for coping with the various bodily parts that are in the way, like belly and boobs.  Only complaint is, if I bend way over, despite what their product description says, my full size gun falls out. This holster works with elastic waist, yoga pants, skirts, etc. The can comes in different widths (I’ve got the full size 6″, but they have narrower). with its fancy stitching, depending on what you are carrying, you might get away with wearing this OVER your clothing like a fancy belt and adding a jacket, sweater, or vest.

OWB holster: for when wearing jeans, or jean like pants.  Sturdy belt, cross draw position.  This works even with high waisted mom jeans. Just requires a long cover up of some sort (why I took up knitting)

Carry purse: Since I carry on my left side, even when on body carrying, this helps obscure any printing from the butt of the gun.  BUT when I have to use the purse to carry because of wearing a dress, this puts the gun in pretty much the same position of cross draw.

So that’s what I’ve come to FINALLY.  hate to think of how much I’ve spent on holsters and miscellaneous as I tried different guns and different methods of carry to get here.