That Time I went out Back To School Shopping and found a Gun Range

Shooting at the Master Gunman on my birthday.
Shooting at the Master Gunman on my birthday.

The Flinch.

I have been dry firing for months. In that time I’ve been to the range around four times. I’ve gotten good instruction. My grip has been changed, I’ve learned how to use the sights and I’ve practiced.

I have owned a gun since 1998. And I’ve learned more since I started this blog than I had in the previous 14 years.

But I had this flinch.

 

 

 

Flinches like California.
Groups like California.

At seven yards, I was shooting groups that were roughly the size of my hand and the shape of California, if Cali sloped down and to the left. Still not bad. If I shot like this in a crisis situation, each bullet would hit center mass. On the other hand, if I was shooting like this when I was slowly and deliberately aiming, the chances of me shooting this well during a crisis situation are pretty slim.

I’ve been training with Samuel Hayes, pretty regularly. He told me in one of our first meetings that he expected for me to be able to reach a decent level of accuracy before we would expand into draw and fire. And my bullshit ass, California shaped groups were wasting my time and his.

You can’t get rid of a flinch without getting in range time. You just can’t. You have to train until your body doesn’t anticipate the noise and recoil. So, all of the dry firing in my hot ass garage wasn’t going to make me much more accurate.

Anyway,  I made a wrong turn out of the Walmart on Rockbridge in Stone Mountain, as I was waiting for them to develop pictures from out trip to the Botanical Gardens as part of a Back to School project for my son when I stumbled upon The Master Gunman.

The shop portion of the Master Gunman was pretty small. There were a handful of Taurus’. (Tauri? Tauruses? What’s the plural of Taurus?)  and a S&W Shield in the case. If memory serves me, there were a couple of AK variants on the wall.

The real news was the shooting range. The whole thing cost about $35 dollars. Twenty of that was from that one box of 9mm bullets. I also bought three targets and rented ear and eye protection. Not bad, considering it about five minute’s drive from my house. Next time I’ll bring my own bullets.

The Master Gunman. If my favorite bar in Philly had a shooting range and a small selection of firearms, and no alcohol
The Master Gunman. If my favorite bar in Philly had a shooting range and a small selection of firearms, and no alcohol

The range… Let’s just call it rustic. How about high mileage. Tried and true? The targets hung from wire. You cranked them out and back again. Anybody who has ever had wind up windows in their car knows what I’m talking about. They’ve been around since the 80’s. Let’s call it retro.

I had shot thirty rounds before I realized that I didn’t have a plan. By then, I had cranked the target as far out as possible. I went out and bought two more targets, and borrowed a pen.

Below is a picture of the second target following a haphazard warmup. The target was at about seven yards. Notice the WTF’s. They were always the first shots in the group. I overthink the first shots.

Miscellaneous”

 

The group in the upper right hand corner was my best. By then I was over the shock of the first shot. I was also down to my last five bullets
The group in the upper right hand corner was my best. By then I was over the shock of the first shot. I was also down to my last five bulletsIf you took them away, the groups were respectable.Miscellaneous:
  • I’ve already said that I need to buy bullets. I also need to bring my own eye and ear protection. I found myself trying to see through a thick band of blurry distortion where the rent-a-glasses curved. As for the ear muffs, they were great. I hate the little squishy things that some ranges offer. Muffs are awesome. I just need my own. I’m sure they are diligent about cleaning theirs, but still. Cooties.
  • I like the place. I like it so much that I will try to make it there every week or two. Still, it isn’t the kind of place I would choose for a double shooting date. Quick Shot is better for that. Their waiting area is nice and big, and, last time I went, they had cookies. Stoddards would do in a pinch. But, if they are trendy clubs, then The Master Gunman is your corner bar. Not fly, but just as necessary.
  • I know Taurus is flamebait on Facebook, second only to Hi Point. But, they had a selection that was priced so nice that I was looking for an excuse to buy one.

 

 

The One Thing You Should Ignore if you Want to be Average

Daddys-Gun.com is a labor of love. My goal is to highlight the strength and resilience of my forefathers while showing a vibrant and pragmatic tradition of arms.

Help me spread the word by liking and sharing each post. I don’ t have an ad budget and a team of marketers, but I do have a community of like minds who believe, just like me, that we are powerful. We were, are and will always be warriors. 

First find an instructor, then practice. It isn't enough just to own a gun
First find an instructor, then practice. It isn’t enough just to own a gun

Most gun owners are average. Average means they buy a gun, go shooting once a year and it spends the rest of its sad life in the bottom of a dresser drawer.

The average shooter thinks that a benevolent god steadies the hand of the good guy. How else do you explain why the good guy always lands a head shot while the bad guys shoot worse in inverse proportion to their numbers?

Maximus Averagus gently guides his desciples’ bullets as they fly from improperly gripped guns. Maximus Averagus also grants them unlimited ammunition, and steadies their hands.

Don’t bow down to Maximus Averagus. He is a fickle God, more beholden to movie scripts than real life. He won’t cloud the bad guys’ vision, and he won’t change your magazine when you run out of cheap, average bullets.

Learn, then practice. In that order.

It took 15 minutes for me to find out how to effectively grip a handgun, acquire the sight picture and then shoot without flinching. Another 15 minutes later, I learned not to look around the side of the gun at the target after each shot.

In real life, bad guys don't always miss, and good guys run out of ammo. Buying a gun is just the first step. Seek instruction and then practice.
In real life, bad guys don’t always miss, and good guys run out of ammo. Buying a gun is just the first step. Seek instruction and then practice.

I practice almost every night, and I still have to remind myself to grip my gun properly. I analyze my trigger pull by dry firing a couple of inches from the wall of my garage. I’m still working on it. I think I’ll be working on it for a long time before it become reflexive.

That’s the goal. I’m not a target shooter. I’m practicing for combat. And if it isn’t reflexive, then it’s just not going to happen under stress.

Learn, then practice. Take a class. Regard it is part of the cost of the gun, just like the holster and bullets. Learn the laws. Or keep praying to Maximus Averagus while your gun collects dust in the bottom of your sock drawer.

The average shooter hopes that he can protect his family. You want to be the guy who knows that he can.

Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group is offering a class this weekend in the fundamentals of pistol craft. He’s teaching everything that I wish I had learned back when I bought my first gun. The skills that, once mastered, will raise you above the average.

This is a closed course, but you should check it out. Go to his site, then call and see if you can sneak in.

 

 

 

 

 

Today, May 11, 2015, is Richard Overton’s 109th birthday.

Overton survived World War II, Jim Crow and countless other hardships, and did so while smoking cigars and drinking whisky in a house full of firearms. Suck-it Dr. Oz.  I want to be like him when I grow up.

Ben Philippi from Guns.com visited him recently to talk to him about his time in WWII and the guns that he keeps to make sure that foul play doesn’t rob him of his 110th birthday. Enjoy.

 

The Heroism of the Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riots: Our Alamo

Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were "detained" and "interned" by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.
Aftermath of the Tulsa Oklahoma race riots. 6000 African residents were “detained” and “interned” by white residents. 35 Square blocks were destroyed. As many as 300 were killed, and the economic center of Africans in America was burned to the ground.

 

Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

This is what we know about Tulsa.

tulsa29
Men being rounded up and moved to the detention center.

It erupted May 31, 1921 with an encounter between a Black man and a White woman in a downtown elevator. He would say that he tripped and innocently caught himself by grabbing her arm. She claimed that he had tried to grab her. While rumors spread that an attempted rape had just taken place, many whispered quietly that they were actually lovers embroiled in an argument. It doesn’t matter anymore.

Threats of lynchings were met with action. Thirty Black men, many of whom were well trained and well armed veterans of WWI, went to protect the young “assailant”, who was now in custody at the local courthouse. Soon, a counter force of 1,000 White men arrived at the courthouse while another contingent went to the National Guard Armory for more firearms. They were repelled by the hastily mobilized Guardsmen. They then descended on the courthouse, their numbers now nearing 2,000.

When a second armed contingent of 75 Black men went to the courthouse as reinforcements, the situation exploded. One of the White men demanded that a Black man surrender his pistol. When he refused, the White man shot him down. That was the first shot of a gunfight that would consume the city.

  • The First Wave: Those shots cascaded through the mob. The White men opened fire, and were met with return fire by the Black men who had gone to protect the courthouse. Several men on both sides lay dead or dying in the street.
  • As the Black contingent began to fight their way back to Greenwood they were pursued by the mob. Bystanders leaving local businesses were panicked as the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • Late that night, National Guard units were deployed to quell the riots. They stationed themselves to protect the White areas adjacent to Greenwood. They also began picking up Black people who hadn’t returned to Greenwood, and detaining them at a local convention hall.
  • Early the next morning groups of armed Whites and Blacks battled along Frisco tracks, the dividing line between the Black and White commercial districts. Whites made wild forays into Greenwood, taking shots when they could and setting fires along the way. They were met with return fire. When a rumor got around that Black reinforcements would be arriving by train, the White mob littered it with gunfire as it pulled into the station.
  • The mob set fires along the commercial corridor of Archer Street. When the firemen came, they were repelled at gunpoint. Within hours, dozens of Black businesses were burning to the ground.
  • Daybreak. The mob made an all out assault on Greenwood. While the residents fought back, they were simply outnumbered. They were herded into the street where they were either rounded up or marched at gunpoint to the detention center. Their houses were looted, and the mob shot them down indiscriminately.
  • It should be noted that there were numerous reports of WWI biplanes flying overhead, leading to the claim that Tulsa marked the first time the government dropped bombs on its own soil. Residents of Greenwood said that they witnessed men dropping firebombs onto their homes and businesses, and taking shots with rifles. Local law enforcement countered that the planes were conducting reconnaissance over the “negro uprising”.
  • Whites were attacked too. Those who employed Blacks found themselves confronted by the White mob, who demanded that they turn their employees over to the detention centers. Those that didn’t were attacked and their property was vandalized.
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo
Child holding wounded sibling in the aftermath of the Tulsa Race Riots, our Alamo

Troops from the Oklahoma National Guard arrived later that morning, and had suppressed the violence by noon. By then the damage had been done. It’s hard to say how many Black people lost their lives. Estimations run from about 30 to 300, but there was no way to account for those whose bodies were consumed by the fires that destroyed Greenwood.

Greenwood was made rich, in part, as an unintended consequence of segregation. The money made there stayed there, circulating 19 times according to some estimations. It was a bastion of Black lawyers, doctors and business men who were able to find freedom that was unavailable in the South.  All of that ended in the span of less than 24 hours.

We talk about the tragedy. What we don’t talk about is the heroism. The 125 brave men who went to the Courthouse to ensure that a young man wasn’t lynched that night. The men who confronted the armed mob at every step, and defended their lives and their homes. Tulsa wasn’t just a tragedy. It was our 300. Our Alamo. And when we talk about it, that is how we have to phrase it. It is the finest example of Black men and women standing up and fighting to defend themselves and their families.

The self-confidence of Tulsa’s Negroes soared, their businesses prospered, their institutions flourished and they simply had no fear of whites… Such an attitude had a great deal to do with eradicating the fear that a Negro boy growing up in Tulsa might have felt, in the years following the riots.

John Hope Franklin, Historian and witness to the Tulsa Race Riots.

 

 

Observations from the First Meeting of the National African American Gun Association

Bass Reeves was an ex slave and renegade lawman pictured here among fellow Marshals on the bottom left. Keep in mind, there are three other Black lawmen pictured.
Bass Reeves was an ex slave who lived among the Seminole and Creek Nations in Oklahoma and became a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas. He is credited with bringing close to 3,000 men to justice. Pictured here among fellow Marshals on the bottom left. Keep in mind, there are three other Black lawmen pictured. The Atlanta Branch of the NAAGA is named after him.

I spoke earlier about the National African American Gun Association. Until recently it was an unknown quantity. A good idea (an organization established with the unique needs of Black gun owners in mind) in search of the right execution.

The first meeting took place about two weeks ago, at Stoddards Gun Range in Midtown Atlanta. It is a testament to the growing popularity of firearms that they were able to build a state of the art gun shop and shooting facility within walking distance of the High Museum of Art and some to the most expensive real estate in the city. Members arrived at around 9:30 am and convened in a meeting room just off of the showroom.

It was a Saturday morning. If you were in Atlanta, you might remember the driving rain that morning. Or, maybe you were sleeping. As I found a parking space behind the facility, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t really sure if anyone else would even show up.

There was about 15 people there. The NAAGA’s founder, Phillip Smith,  Sam Hayes of Caliber Training Group and 12 others. There was no “type”. One brother has locs longer than mine. He sat off to the side with a green ammo can and a soft sided case. The guy in front of me looked like my daughter’s favorite math teacher. There were five women. Two, I would later find, didn’t actually own guns, but were interested and wanted to find the right information.

They went over the fundamentals of firearm safety with a guy from Stoddards. There was an exercise to find your dominant eye, the five rules of safety and handling, and then we parted ways. They went to the range and I went to pick up my daughter from a sleepover.

This is what you need to know.

  • Membership is free. Just go to the site and find the tab that says, “Want to join.”
  • As of the time of the meeting, there were 50 members in Atlanta, and more than 100 nationwide, including Oakland and St. Louis.
  • Each chapter is named after  a famous African American warrior. For example, Atlanta is the Bass Reeves chapter.
  • If you’re in the Atlanta area, the next meeting will be called
  • Their next meeting is May 16, from 9am to 11am. They will be discussing Stand Your Ground in Georgia among other things. You should come and bring a friend. Guests are welcome.

If you’re interested sign up for your free membership and ask for information.

 

 

 

Kelli on #Queensshoottoo. A New Shooter who Took On Her Fear

Kelli contributed her story to #Queensshoottoo. She is a beginning shooter who has decided to  cast her fears aside and see for herself.
Kelli contributed her story to #Queensshoottoo. She is a beginning shooter who has decided to cast her fears aside and see for herself.

This week on #Queensshoottoo we are going to be going to the other side of the threshold. Dasia trains five days a week and is building her own rifle. Akua has been making bullets with her step-dad since she was 14. They aren’t common.

For every Dasia or Akua, there are hundreds of women like Kelli. She grew up in an anti gun family but decided to find out on her own. Now she is taking control of her education and discovery, visiting ranges and renting firearms.

She’s the first to admit that she isn’t an expert, but she’s on the right path.

Anyone that wants to own a firearm should go through training and not just training to shoot the gun but how to deal with situations that rise. If everyone had to take classes before owning a gun I feel like less people would be dead and more people would feel safer.

What are your earliest memories of firearms?

My earliest memory of a firearm had to be in a movie because I honestly did not see a real gun until high school.

Were there guns in your home as you grew up?

My mom has never had a gun and chances are she won’t ever.

What were your parent’s attitudes towards guns?

My mom doesn’t like guns, she doesn’t like violence.

 What was your perspective as a child, and how has it changed?

As a child I was afraid of guns. I’m still somewhat afraid of them because of the power behind them. I use to get so nervous when I would see a gun, my stomach would knot up. Once I used a gun my fear calmed down. I’m still not 100% cool with them because I don’t know about a lot of guns.

Describe your first time shooting a gun.

My first experience shooting a firearm, it was right after my 20th birthday and it was a revolver. I don’t know what model it was. It was my first time having a gun up and personal, I was very scared. I did not know how to hold it or anything. The guy that worked there showed me everything I needed to know. I thought when I shot it it was gonna kick back hard but it really didn’t kick back much. I was very shocked of how much easier it was. It was kind of addicting when I started shooting, thoughts of how I could protect myself where going through my head. It was such an amazing experience. When I ran out of ammo,  I was very sad.

 20150315_105419Do you currently own a gun?

I don’t currently own one because I want to do it the legal way with a license so I can carry it on me if needed but I will in the future.

How often do you go to the range? What is your attitude towards training?

I go to the range every once in a while, it’s not cheap and I love training. Practice makes perfect and a better chance of me defending myself if needed.

 What advice would you give to someone who was interested in owning a gun?

For anyone that’s interested in guns, educate yourself on them and always handle them legally.

 What skills do you think that every gun owner should know?

Anyone that wants to own a firearm should go through training and not just training to shoot the gun but how to deal with situations that rise. If everyone had to take classes before owning a gun I feel like less people would be dead and more people would feel safer. A lot of people don’t like guns but if they get educated maybe they won’t be so scared.

 

The NAAGA: National African American Gun Association

Crazy like a fox.
Crazy like a fox.

I don’t know if my problem is with the NRA or its leadership.

They are the undisputed big dogs when it comes to insuring that we continue to have the right to keep and bear arms, and they are vicious. They are so rabid about our rights to keep and bear arms that they have begun t0 push for rights that I am not entirely sure are necessary.

But the leadership… Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and newly elected President Jim Porter come off as paranoid people and they say crazy things. Witness this post with Think Progress entitled the Nine Most Insane Quotes from the NRA’s New Apocalyptic Op-ed. Reading it gave me the impression that we are about three weeks away from a living like Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.

RickGrimesSeason2
The NRA wants us to go through life at Defcon 9.5, hyper vigilant about the coming and inevitable collapse. Self defense is good. Paranoia isn’t.

Not to mention race. LaPierre painted a picture where there were threats around every corner ready to kidnap, rape or loot. And most of them, be they the looters of South Brooklyn, Mexican drug gangs, Al Queda or the President, were people of color. No mention of white power groups or pumpkin rioters. Go figure.

Notice, I didn’t say that they were crazy. You don’t maintain one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country by being crazy. The NRA pushes self reliance and security. Not easy, when  according to the FBI, crime is at an all time low?

What some people call nutty is probably shrewd, calculated organizing. Some lobbies boast a sensible membership. The NRA cultivates passion. Few people are driven to write letters to their congressmen in fits of sensibility. Passion = power, and the NRA is powerful.

Their formula works perfectly. I just don’t know if I’m comfortable with it.

Sam shot me a link to the National African American Gun Association. Below is their mission statement.

THE GOAL OF THE NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN GUN ASSOCIATION IS TO HAVE EVERY AFRICAN AMERICAN INTRODUCED TO FIREARM USE FOR HOME PROTECTION,  COMPETITIVE SHOOTING, AND OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. WE ARE A CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON SELF PRESERVATION OF OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH ARMED PROTECTION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING.

Makes sense to me.

This weekend I will be going to a meet and greet at a local gun range. I’ll keep you posted.

Maryland 10th Calvary Gun Club. Photo from NPR
The NAAGA is a new shooting organization for African American shooters. Pictured are the Maryland 10th Calvary Gun Club. Photo from NPR

How Not to Suck at Shooting: You Need Schoolin

Michonne on The Walking Dead, tea-cupping a gun. She's going to mow down a dozen zombies. Don't expect the same results.
Michonne on The Walking Dead, tea-cupping a gun. She’s going to mow down a dozen zombies. Don’t expect the same results.

My father owned guns my entire life. In that time I remember him going to the range a handful of times. By range I mean an expanse of red clay and briars behind a friend’s house in South Carolina and the back yard of our family’s home in Virginia.

We called it plinking, and we didn’t accomplish a whole lot. I learned to load and shoot all of the guns. I learned a healthy respect by seeing what they were capable of. I got over my fear, and I learned some important lessons about safety. I guess, loading the magazines for his Mini-14 prepared me to load the Glock 17 that I eventually bought, but I’m pretty sure I would have figured it out.

Most gun owners will never go through the process of becoming an effective gun-fighter. People don’t think that you have to. TV and movies show us that if you are a good guy, God will bless you with infinite bullets and guide them to the skulls of your enemies.

We didn’t do accuracy. We did our best but my father didn’t know about acquiring a sight picture or proper grip. We never discussed draw and fire. To my knowledge he doesn’t own a holster.

My dad wasn’t alone. Most gun owners will never go through the process of becoming an effective gun fighter. People don’t think that you have to. TV and movies show us that if you are a good guy, God will bless you with infinite bullets and guide them to the skulls of your enemies.

On the Walking Dead, Michonne tea-cups her Beretta? and lands head shot after head shot. All of the good guys do, until the directors decide that a miss would advance the plot. Everybody thinks they are the good guy. And a whole lot of gun owners think that righteousness is a guarantee of safety and accuracy.

I thought I was an okay shot. Good enough to put a bad guy on his back. My first visit to the range with Samuel Hayes of Caliber Training Group not only showed me how good I wasn’t, but it also made me better. Not great, but better.

I learned to hold the gun by emulating the guys in the gun magazines. The devil is in the details. It’s easy to make your grip look like their grip, but there is a lot going on beneath the surface. If your learning strategy is trial and error, you will spend years trying to figure out something that a professional could correct in about five minutes. And there are some things that you will never figure out.

In the spirit of figuring it out, in a few weeks I will be going to Urban Gun-Fighting Combatives at Caliber Training Group. The course puts the gun into the context of urban combat. It includes an extensive look at non-lethal options. I am preparing myself to be humbled.

Speaking of grip, below is Bob Vogel. According to his website, he’s a World Champion Shooter. I don’t follow the IDPA, but I’ll take his word for it. The video covers a lot of the ground that Sam discussed with me at our first meeting. I don’t know if I’ll be extending my support index finger around the trigger guard though.  

Akua Agusi, Author, Publisher and Shooter. #Queensshoottoo

Last week I posted a few questions with Dasia, AKA Tacticalcocoabunny. This week I reached out to Akua Agusi. Akua is an activist, children’s book writer and publisher. You can find her on Instagram  @akua_agusi.

This is Akua Agusi, activist, author and publisher. She is also an avid shooter and the latest contributor to #Queensshoottoo
This is Akua Agusi, activist, author and publisher. She is also an avid shooter and the latest contributor to #Queensshoottoo

Her imprint is called Seedsbookpublishing.com.

1. What was your earliest memory of guns?

My earliest memory was about 14 years old. My step father used to have me help him make bullets at home in a walk in closest that he converted into his little work area. I loved the idea of making the bullets ourselves. He would teach me about the guns as we worked. Eventually he allowed me to join him at the gun range.

2. Were there guns in your home as you were growing up?

Not until my mother remarried when I was close to nine.

3. What were your parent’s attitudes towards guns?

My mother was just barely comfortable. My step father of course was a collector and hunter.

4. What was your perspective as a child and how has it changed?

I thought firearms were amazing and powerful. They made me feel safe. I had seen a lot in my life before being in the same house with guns. But because my mother was not familiar she was a bit nervous. This is why its important that in relationships both people are at least familiar and trained to use them. That will usually remove that discomfort.

I later taught a gun class with  male & female friends in my local community. On several occasions. I’ve also spoken to youth whom I was sure was armed about gun safety and  decisions surrounding their use. It was a huge ice breaker that allowed me  to discuss other more community building content.

5. Briefly describe your first time shooting.

My first time shooting was very exciting . I made my own bullets of course and naturally I was very excited to use them. The fist gun I shot was a Colt 380 ML. semi automatic pistol. Later my step father gifted this piece to me when  I got my own apartment. It was special.

6. Do you currently own a gun? Why?

Yes, because I feel safest with a gun in my home. It makes me feel prepared in the event something threatening should surface.

7. How often do you go to the range, and what is your attitude towards training?

Its been hard to develop a routine since I relocated but I suggest at least once a month if your extremely busy. Training is absolutely crucial . You must get to know your  weapon. You must learn how to become comfortable with the sounds and you must know how to move with it and confirm that you have no anxiety about being armed. It’s equally important to mentally train.

8. What advice would you give to someone who has expressed interest in firearms?

I would suggest doing your homework first. Have an idea of how you plan to carry it. What I mean is , are you planning to carry? ( Know the laws). Is this primarily for the home? Keep in mind recoil and manageability . Things like that.

9. What skills do you think each gun owner should know?

Know the parts ( in the light & the dark). How to do a proper upkeep and cleaning. Know gun upkeep based on the finish of the gun. (They should know…) the laws in their area. Shooting stances and drills. Caliber knowledge.

Queens Shoot Too Ep. 1: Dasia aka Tactical Cocoa Bunny

Highlighting the Fierceness of Black Women

A few weeks ago I began reaching out over Instagram in search of Black women shooters. I was looking for sisters who are so passionate about their right to live in peace that they are willing to take up arms to protect themselves. What I found was inspiring. All over the country, Black women are participating in the tradition of arms, from going to the range to  learn the fundamentals to making handloads or shooting everyday.

It’s called #QueensShootToo. Yeah, it’s a thing and it’s growing. Soon I will be connecting with Black men too. If you are a woman or a man and you want to be featured, email me. In the meantime…

This is Dasia. She lives in Vegas and goes by the Instagram handle of @Tacticalcocoabunny. Her story is kind of awesome. Enjoy

Dasia at a range in Las Vegas. This is part of her daily ritual, or as she says it, "drills on drills on drills.
Dasia at a range in Las Vegas. This is part of her daily ritual, or as she says it, “drills on drills on drills.

My parents attitudes towards firearms was negative to the nth degree. A gun took my fathers legs. He will never be able to run and jump and laugh with me.

 

 

 

1. . What is your earliest memory of firearms?

My mother and father had both been shot in a random act of gang violence  while she was pregnant with me. My father was paralyzed from the chest down and my mother was shot in her arm. Firearms affected me very early on.

2. Where there guns in your home when you grew up?

None. My mother despises firearms. We also lived in California.

3. What was your parent’s attitudes towards guns?

Negative to the nth degree. A gun took my fathers legs. He will never be able to run and jump and laugh with me.

4. What was your perspective as a child, and how has it changed?

I shared my parents perspective. I felt that firearms were an unnecessary evil, and the people who carried them were extremists,  all the up until I was 21. When I turned 21, I moved to Las Vegas, about 6 months after I moved here a man I dated for about a month began stalking me. I did everything I could possibly do. I moved, changed my number, got two restraining orders, despite hundreds of pages of texts and letters of the harassment and threats, the police still couldn’t do anything. I lived in fear every day for six months. Once his threats stopped for about a week, I knew he was coming for me. Sure enough, he kicked my door in at 1am September 26th, 2014. I shot twice and hit him in the ear and chest. He survived and is awaiting sentencing. My perspective has changed tremendously, I know that man was going to murder me and probably get away with it too. My firearm saved my life.

PhotoGrid_1427918466782

I did everything I could possibly do. I moved, changed my number, got two restraining orders, despite hundreds of pages of texts and letters of the harassment and threats, the police still couldn’t do anything.

 

5. Briefly describe your first time shooting a gun.

My first time shooting a gun was out in the Nevada desert, no knowledge of ear or eye protection so my ears were left ringing for days.

6. Do you currently own a firearm? Why?

I currently own two and am in the process of building my rifle. It’s my second amendment right as an American. I have the right to defend myself and I will do so every time.

7. How often do you go to the range, and what is your attitude towards training?

Five days a week. After my shooting, I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible about firearms. A flame ignited inside of me and I not only wanted to be a better shooter but also assist in helping others become knowledgeable. So I began working in one of the largest ranges in Nevada and eventually became an NRA certified Range Safety Officer.

8. What advice would you give to someone who had expressed interest in firearms.

I would advise them to be 100% knowledgeable about safely handling and operating their firearms. I can’t stress enough the need for responsible gun ownership.

PhotoGrid_14279212482769. What skills do you think each gun owner should know.

Trigger discipline and safe handling. Respecting the firearm for the weapon that it is and the desire to want to a competent and accurate handler. Everything else is soup of the day.

10. What skills do you think each gun owner should know.

Trigger discipline and safe handling. Respecting the firearm for the weapon that it is and the desire to want to a competent and accurate handler. Everything else is soup of the day.