Just for Women: 23 Truths About Firearms

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  1. You can never have too much ammo. It’s amazing how quickly one or two people can shoot through 100 rounds or more in a single target practice.
  2. If you’re smart, your firearms will be common calibers. It will be easier to find ammo and easier to get replacement parts.
  3. If you’re even smarter, you own firearms that are of popular makes and models. It will be easier to find a gunsmith capable of making repairs and customized requests.
  4. Unless you’re at the range every day, it’s hard to get too much practice. If the range masters know you by name, that’s a good sign that you’re getting enough practice!
  5. It’s a mistake to limit your practice to shooting at a piece of paper under optimal conditions. Take classes that will challenge your shooting skills in high-pressure scenarios. Until the adrenaline is really pumping and your brain feels scrambled, you’ll never know how you’ll respond in a life or death situation. (Note: The first time I was firing a gun under pressure, I got so rattled that I was using my non-dominant eye. I was fortunate that any shots hit my target!)
  6. A shotgun should be at or near the top of your list when it comes to firearms for home defense. Your choices are the 12 gauge, 20 gauge and the 410. Once you’ve made your decision, get to the range and practice, practice, practice. When it comes to stopping power, a shotgun can’t be beat.
  7. Don’t fall into the trap of buying the smallest gun at the store. Believe it or not, a larger gun will be more comfortable and accurate to shoot.
  8. Learn how to clean your own gun. Learn how to completely dismantle it (field strip), clean each part, and put it back together.
  9. Your safety is your responsibility. Not your husband’s, nor the police, nor your kids.
  10. A gun isn’t the end-all when it comes to personal or home security. Think in terms of layers: situational awareness, home security systems, a watchdog, cacti along the back fence. It all adds up to more peace of mind and less dependence on any one strategy.
  11. If a gun isn’t possible or desirable in your circumstances, come up with Plan B. One of my friends keeps a baseball bat near the front seat of her minivan. Another always has the most powerful pepper spray on the market in her purse, and yet another keeps an 18? length of steel rebar wedged between the driver’s seat of her car and the middle console. Whatever your choice, always be aware of the location of your weapon, practice using it, and be comfortable with the thought that one day you may have to use it.
  12. Don’t listen to celebrities and politicians who go on hysterical anti-gun rants. Remember, they can afford armed bodyguards and state-of-the-art home security systems. (Interesting that it’s okay if their bodyguards are armed but they don’t think law-abiding citizens should be able to own and carry guns.) I am my kid’s armed bodyguard.

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