ARCHIVE - ISSUE TWO - JUNE 2013 - FEATURE PICTORIAL - TRAINING - COVER - ARCHIVE - ISSUE TWO - JUNE 2013
by LaDawna Anderson
I took my CHL class a couple years ago while I lived in the Houston area. After getting my permit, just one thing or another kept me from practicing and purchasing a handgun.
My family was raised on deer meat, as hunting was pretty normal for the men in the family. Women generally did not hunt, so I was pretty limited on my experience with rifles, and no experience with handguns. After I moved back to Pflugerville, I kept driving by Red’s, thinking I should stop sometime and check it out. I went to Red’s website and saw Sure Shots!
It still took me a few weeks
to get the courage to actually show up on Sure Shots Wednesday night. But finally I did. Since I had been to the website for Sure Shots, I recognized Niki right away when I first went in. I was so happy to see her at the first counter as you walk in. Had she been further back, I might not have stayed, feeling really insecure and shy. But I was greeted with the utmost friendliness and made to feel comfortable. Kent took me through the safety instructions and then I was told to go up to the back counter and they would set me up with a gun and ammo.
Since I can be really shy, I did not ask a lot of questions, but managed to get a handgun that felt pretty good in my hand and after putting on my ear protection, went out to the range. Even with ear protection and it not being jam packed as I have come to know it can be, the booming of the bullets was un-nerving. Stepping up to a lane to shoot, I know I was shaking just putting the magazine into the handgun. Part from nerves and part from it being winter and was cold.
I finished off a box of ammo, retrieved my target (yes I kept it). I then went upstairs to the little class at the end of the night and felt pretty good about my decision to become a Sure Shot member. I think I walked a bit straighter and prouder leaving that night. I knew I would be back.
Gia Rocco: Future Olympic Shooter
[continued from cover story]
By the time our first IDPA match came around, I wasn't worried about Gia's performance. Though she forgot some small things like her usual aggressive stance, she moved through the stages with her usual calm demeanor, and didn't let ammo jams or accidentally-dropped mags bother her. She worked right through the problems, always taking her time and being safe. When I felt she was shooting too fast and sacrificing her accuracy, I said to her, "Gia, slow is smooth, and smooth is….?", to which she replied "A baby's bottom?" Uh, no. Once I explained that slow is smooth and smooth is fast, she clicked to the concept, adjusted accordingly, and dialed her groupings in on the very next stage.
From that first match, Gia started developing a legion of fans, and also caught the attention of Scalpel Arms, who offered to sponsor her and customize her Smith and Wesson M&P .22, making it her famous heart-printed "Love Gun". I continued to train with her every Tuesday afternoon, and I know Gia so well now, I can tailor each training session to her mood, and change it up when I think she needs me to. I let her have enough input on each training session so she never feels like it's a chore, and that she has choices, which helps keep the training fun (for both of us!).
Gia is not your typical 9-year-old. This girl can hang. She's mature beyond her years, without being precocious. She always gets the joke. She can take good-natured ribbing, and can be self-deprecating. She also happens to be adorable (fun fact: Gia was named after the late supermodel Gia Carangi). She is constantly drawing, and had a public art show earlier this spring. She is involved in 4H and rides horses and does archery. She loves legos and riding her bike.
Gia hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics. She's got her eye on the prize, but says just getting to compete in the Olympics is a goal in itself. She has already been featured on ABC's Nightline as one to watch, and working so closely with her, I have to agree. Gia's awesome!
Roller Derby Mania!
When the Sure Shots aren't shooting, training hard, building our own rifles or competing in IDPA , we like to "relax" at a Texas Roller Derby match!
Vary On My Carry by Carrin Welch
"I am getting my CHL, but I probably won't really carry."
I said that numerous times before and after deciding to go through the process of obtaining my Concealed Handgun License. At the time, I meant it. Even though I was consistently training it was hard to imagine actually carrying, I just wanted to get my license in the off chance that I might want to carry my gun with me.
In order to acquire a CHL from Texas DPS, there are a few steps. First, you have to be meet some eligibility requirements before you even apply. You must be 21 years old, have a clean criminal history (see more specifics here: http://www.texaschl.us/eligibility.htm), be mentally competent, etc. Then, you take the required course with a certified CHL instructor, fill out your application, get fingerprinted, pay some fees, and submit your application. They do a background check, and in approximately 4-12 weeks (varies depending on many different things), they send you a license.
Once mine arrived I immediately tested the waters a little by carrying my Glock 19 in my purse. It felt weird and I was convinced that someone would know, or maybe I would forget it was there, even that it might show when I was paying at a store. Being hyper-aware of my purse was new to me; I had to start considering where I was going, where I set it down, how I carried it. I had to find a good holster for it while in my purse, and find the right purses that allowed ease of access but with good coverage. Pulling my gun from my purse became part of my regular practice. Before I knew it, I was actually carrying a concealed weapon frequently.
Even after getting a smaller firearm, I found that purse carry wasn't the best option for me, so I looked for others. I researched online, utilized resources to try a lot of holsters (inside the waistband, outside the waistband, ankle, bra, belly band) and finally bought the Flashbang bra holster and an Off The Grid IWB holster. The OTG IWB is a low-profile appendix carry holster I use for my Walther PPK. It fit in most of my jeans, worked well, but was not easily concealable with my typical clothing choices.
The Flashbang won me over, it's easy to use and makes concealing my firearm very easy while still maintaining my usual clothing style. I alternate between the Flashbang, carrying in my purse, and occasionally using the IWB holster. It is safe to say that I carry almost every day. Sure, there are some places I can't carry, and some days I don't know where my errands may lead me. For those days I have other tools in my personal protection arsenal, including pepper spray on my keychain and a flashlight (both can be used as impact devices).
At Sure Shots we get lots of brand new shooters, and over time I see many of them trying to figure out these same things for themselves. It is rewarding to help guide them to find what is right for them. Or even better, to then see those ladies go on to help other Sure Shots do the same thing!
Another One Bites The Dust!