5 Shooter Stereotypes I Hate

Shooting, hunting, going to competitions and all together safely handling firearms is something very normal in my household. However, as I continue to advocate for the shooting sports, I have discovered that there are many misunderstandings and stereotypes about shooters. Here are the top 5 I hate most:

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Crazy gun lady? I don’t know – you be the judge. Photo credit: Ralph Horne

1.   Shooters are violent

Seriously, did some delusional psychologist somewhere test some rats or monkeys to come up with this hypothesis? Give me a break! If you’ve ever had a chance to enjoy some time with competitors or recreational shooters, you know exactly the opposite is usually true – we are very “chill” people who are mostly family oriented, love the outdoors and are very mindful of the safe use of firearms. Part of it is because we’ve released our stress & frustrations on the range already; and part of it is because we do not take the responsibility of carrying a weapon lightly. 

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Jim Carey, I liked you a heck of a lot better before I discovered you’re rudely anti-gun. Photo credit: breitbart.com

 2.   Shooters are ultra conservative

Just because I love my guns doesn’t mean I will necessarily vote Republican. Believe it or not, there are other issues that matter to us. And even if I vote republican (for lack of a better alternative), there is a whole spectrum of levels of “conservative” or “liberal”. As the chart from Pew Research below suggests, despite the trend towards increased polarization over the last few years, there are still a TON of people who fall somewhere in the middle grey area, myself included. 

political-polarization

Image credit: Pew Research

3.   Shooters want to walk around with AR-15s on the street

Somewhere along the way of the Open Carry debate, a small but jointly retarded segment of folks decided it was a good idea to strap AR-15s or AK-47s on their backs and stroll around the neighborhood. Propagating open carry is a lame excuse for simply wanting attention. These people are idiots and the shooting community at large does not support or condone such behavior! Equating gun rights advocates like myself to these morons is just as ludicrous and I will have none of it. Bitch out done.

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The “activists” walking around Portland with their rifles last year. Photo credit: Fox 12 Oregon

4.   Shooters are a bunch of redneck hillbillies

Some may very well be. But then again some liberals may be communists, while certain conservatives may be fascists. Some politicians may actually tell the truth… Please don’t equate the whole to a small segment, people! Because many of us – who have post-graduate degrees, prosperous careers, own homes without wheels and enjoy the company of our families without in-breeding – tend to get rather pissed off when called something we clearly are not (nothing against hillbillies here – they are a victim of stereotypes too plus I love all of God’s creatures).

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Talking about stereotypes….. Photo credit lipstickalley.com

5.   Shooting is only for men

I double dog dare someone to come say this to my face! :D

The very fact you’re reading this blog (and probably shaking your head in agreement or at least laughing) proves gender roles are not as clearly defined and straightforward as they were, let’s say, 50 years ago (Reminder: this is a shooting blog ran by women). While I am not huge on feminism (isn’t that another form of polarization?), I firmly believe both men & women can and should enjoy whatever hobby or occupation their heart desires. Period.

6.   Shooters get aroused by guns

No, wait, this one is actually true. Sorry, we can’t help it! :)

These are just some of the shooter stereotypes that really push my buttons. What stereotypes drive you nuts?

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XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in Everything Else, Fabulous Females, Fun & Games, Gun Laws, My Life, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

The Shooters Mindset Show

Social media has become integral in the shooting industry in the past couple of years and it is HOT HOT HOT right now!

Prior to about a year ago I never used YouTube for much more than watching cute cat videos. Okay, there was FPS Russia, but everyone loves him! Have Nice Day!

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Never did I expect to be the prettiest co-host on The Shooters Mindset with some guys I didn’t even know prior to Jan ‘13! There is Anthony Cruz, Steve Durant, and most recently Ancel Robinson (Shwell) whom all reside in Florida. Dustin Pluth lives down the road from me here in the Midwest. Anthony approached me after SHOT Show last year and asked if I’d come on board and here we are almost 70 episodes deep!

If you have not heard of the show I’ll give you a brief rundown of the happenings! The show airs live on Wednesday evening at 9pm EST via Google+ and our YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/prchico520

Each week we have an industry guest, such as a competitive shooter, company representative or instructor. We learn about the past, present and future of the company and get a chance to see products up close while fielding live questions from our viewers that are asked via YouTube and Facebook. It’s almost like sending a note to customer service and not having to wait the 72 hours for a response! If the guest is a shooter or instructor we try to sneak tips and tricks out of them that you might not hear unless you are lucky enough to shoot a match with them or be a student in one of their classes.
As hosts we also take a moment to mention what is going on in our shooting careers and show off what we are in love with that week. It has been an amazing way to give support to our individual sponsors and show off the new and best of everything available.

My first show was with Julie Golob and since then we’ve had an amazing group of guests. Jerry Miculek, Taran Butler, Patrick E. Kelley, Adams Arms, Benchmade Knives, Armalite, KRISS USA, Chris Costa, BladeTech, Akai Custom Guns, Voodoo Tactical, Kyle Lamb and many others.
We have even aired a show from a 3 Gun match and plan on utilizing live feeds as we travel to SHOT show this coming January.

We are blessed that our guests and show sponsors have stepped up and offered mementos to us as a part of our weekly giveaway! Prizes have included any gear that you can imagine, training courses, ammunition, and even complete firearms!

If you or your company is interested in being a guest on the show or you have a suggestion for a guest, please send us an email at Theshootersmindset@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheShootersMindset and send us a note.

We are open to show sponsorships as well and have a few options that include a show with your company, video and photo reviews and social media blasts. Contact us for more information and we would love to help spread the word about you and your company!

Connect with the TSM Crew

https://www.facebook.com/TheShootersMindset

Kelli https://www.facebook.com/sampselkelli
Anthony https://www.facebook.com/prchico.anthony
Ancel https://www.facebook.com/SHWELL11
Steve https://www.facebook.com/steve.durant.12
Dustin https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dustin-Pluth

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Everything Else, Gear, SHOT Show | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Armed With Knowledge: Children and Guns

Article contributed by Corinne Mosher:

In 2007 my husband and I brought our baby daughter home from the hospital.  Amongst the tidal wave of emotions I experienced during my first few months of motherhood, there was a dawning reality that this child’s survival depended on the lessons I succeeded in, or failed to teach her.  The overwhelming magnitude of this responsibility, coupled with the unbearable thought of failing to fulfill it, caused enough anguish that I almost wished I had never had a child. The mere thought of losing my daughter was too horrible to imagine.

I know I am not the only parent who feels this way. Our sense of justice screams that children should not have to suffer, so we endeavor to danger-proof the lives of our children as much as is in our power to do so. As soon as they are old enough to comprehend, we choose to educate children about specific dangers.

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Photo credit: The Well Armed Woman

 

One area which was and continues to be of great concern to me is how to protect my child, and other children, from the tragic results of negligent or improper use and storage of firearms. With a police officer as her dad, and a firearms instructor for a mom, I knew that my daughter was going to grow up in a home with guns either being worn or stored at all times.  I also knew that she would not always be at home or under my supervision. Would she be able to recognize danger if I’m not there? How do I ensure that she will never, EVER be endangered by the presence of firearms in her environment?

The truth is that the direction your family takes to address this issue may be as unique as your child. I would like to share with you the approach we have taken in our family to teach our daughter about safety and responsibility.

Fast forward seven years to a recent conversation between me and my daughter during an after-school car ride home.  Being at the age when “Because I’m your mother and I say so…” is no longer a satisfactory explanation to the question “why?”, I found myself over-explaining the reasons my husband and I have certain rules for her conduct at home and at school, most of which are based on safety concerns. After many minutes of debate, in which I felt I was losing to a seven-year-old, I finally ended the discussion with this thought:

“Every rule I have for you is to keep you #1 – ALIVE and #2 – OUT OF JAIL. That’s it.”

#2 – OUT OF JAIL

To accomplish this goal we guide children away from behavior that is dishonest or harmful to themselves and others. Sub lessons in this category may include how to avoid becoming a bully, the importance of being truthful no matter what the cost, showing kindness to others, or becoming an honest and thorough worker. The ultimate goal, of course, is to teach kids how to become productive and happy members of society.

#1 – ALIVE

This task encompasses educating children on all potential physical dangers that might lead to death or serious injury.  While children grow up, we gradually help them become alert to the life-threatening dangers in their environments, while shielding them from some of life’s scarier realities. Through heavily censured cautionary tales we teach kids to avoid strangers because they might “take you”, or “hurt you”.  We teach children to look both ways before crossing the street, wear seat belts in the car and helmets on their bikes, and not to play with fire or power tools. But, are we and should we be teaching children about firearm safety?

Firearms are inherently dangerous power tools, similar in nature to most of the contents of any basement/garage workshop. No reasonable person would think it appropriate to let a child handle a nail gun or power saw without intense supervision, or to leave such a machine readily capable of use in an area where a child might stumble upon it.

Firearms fire due to intent or negligence.  It takes human interference to discharge a firearm, and human error to discharge a firearm that unintentionally causes injury to another person. Most unintentional injuries at home involving a child and a firearm are due to negligent handling or storage on the part of the gun’s owner.

When it comes to injuries involving inherently dangerous power tools, complacency is always the smoking gun.  It is commonly known that the Four Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety are;

#1 Treat All Guns As If They Are Loaded

#2 Never Let the Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy

#3 Keep Your Finger off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On Your Intended Target And You’re Willing To Shoot

#4 Know Your Target, Backstop And Beyond

My daughter was four years old when we taught her the Four Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety and the reasons why we treat guns with respect and not as toys.

We discussed with her the appropriate and inappropriate times to handle firearms and what to do if she were to come across a gun in a circumstance that was not appropriate.  If she were to see a gun and there was no adult present or she didn’t have a good feeling then she was to

“yell ‘GUN! GUN! GUN! then Run, Run, Run”

getting as far away as fast as possible! My husband and I felt that this was simple for a young child to remember and also would cover a variety of circumstances where our daughter might be at risk due to the presence of a firearm in the wrong hands.

When gun owners follow the Four Cardinal Rules of Firearm Safety, regularly and properly maintain their firearms AND store their firearms so that they are NOT ACCESSIBLE to unauthorized users, then it stands to reason that any “gun accident” we hear about or read in the news is not an accident but was due to “negligence”. Someone did something they weren’t supposed to do (broke one of the rules), or didn’t do something they were supposed to do (improper storage).

In my home we chose to teach our daughter firearm safety as soon as she was old enough to become curious about guns.  Shielding children from the KNOWLEDGE of guns only protects them while you are watching. Teaching them how to be safe and responsible with firearms will give them a foundation of correct skills and attitudes that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Special thanks to my friend Corinne for contributing this article!

XOXO
Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,
Diana

Posted in Fabulous Females, Firepower, Gun Laws | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Brownells Lady 3 Gun Pro-Am MAKES HISTORY

The Brownells Lady 3 Gun made history by not only featuring one of the most extravagant prize tables (a whopping $270K worth) but also being the FIRST EVER All Female National Match in the 3 Gun Discipline – a challenging shooting sport, which involves fast courses of fire with a pistol, shotgun and rifle. For the first time ever women were finally able to compete against each other in a fun & really supportive environment (not that we mind beating men). ;)

Held at South River Gun Club in Atlanta GA, this championship was attended by nearly 200 female competitors (in 4 divisions – Open, Tac Ops, Tac Irons & Pro), family, friends, industry leaders and media ranging from (yours truly) bloggers to CNN reporters. The event was wildly successful and I’ve got the pictures to prove it:

Left to right: Sammi Vu, Jessica Hook, Dianna Liedorff Muller, Tory Jordan, Allie Barrett, Taran Butler, Janna Reeves, Lena Miculek, Jessie Duff, Diana Hufstedler, Ashley Rheuark

Left to right: Sammi Vu, Jessica Hook, Dianna Liedorff Muller, Tory Jordan, Allie Barrett, Taran Butler, Janna Reeves, Lena Miculek, Jessie Duff, Diana Hufstedler, Ashley Rheuark

Lisa Marie Judy, the match director, is a visionary who made her (and our) dream a reality – we are all extremely grateful for her leadership in putting this event together. All the staff, volunteers & sponsors made this an event we will never forget – we just brought the spirit! I was delighted to earn my first National title – 1st Place in Open Division, which came completely unexpected, considering my love (*sarcastic, people*) for practice.

Diana Hufstedler Open Division Award

Me Accepting my 1st Place Open Title. Thanks Beretta for sponsoring my division and Lisa Marie Judy for your leadership. Photo credit: Becky Yackley

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Yeah, I know – the guns are bigger than me. So what? Photo credit: ASAP Photography

Actually, the entire Taran Tactical Innovation team just dominated! So proud of my girls. Ashley Rheuark, our youngest addition, won Tac Ops Division & was first among ALL amateurs! I won Open Division, Corinne Mosher was 2nd in Tac Irons, Samantha Vu was 4th in Tac Ops, Allie Barrett 5th and Jessica Hook was 8th. Tory Jordan pulled a respectable 21st. Our success was heavily influenced by our sponsor & coach Taran Butler of Taran Tactical Innovations and his assistant coach world champ Bob Vogel. We had the best time ever! Lena Miculek won Pro & Audra Brown – Tac Irons. All females that showed up were absolutely amazing & walked away with a prize (I snagged an awesome Devil Dog Arms AR-15, among other things!

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Best teammates ever: Samantha Vu, Corinne Mosher, Diana Hufstedler, Taran Butler, Tory Jordan, Robert Vogel, Jessica Hook, Ashley Rheuark, Allie Barrett

The title sponsor, Brownells really stepped it up, along with Benelli, STI, TTI,  5.11 Tactical (who also hosted a Halloween party & costume contest for us) and many more (see link to the full list on the bottom. It is virtually impossible to explain what happened in Atlanta this Halloween – there was clearly magic in the air and LOTS, LOTS of hugs & laughter. There were no cat-fights, conflict or disputes – just encouragement & pure female sportsman camaraderie. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. (Special thanks to ASAP Photography, Becky Yackley Photography, Adrian Tan of Advance Ratio, The American Woman Shooter Magazine, and everyone else who let me use their photos)

Of course, no match is complete without a Gag Reel courtesy of the TTI loons :)

XOXO
Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,
Diana

Sponsor acknowledgements:

Taran Tactical Innovations – Taran, thank you for believing in me even when I don’t! Me and all the TTI girls hope to make you proud.

Safariland – I am convinced I cannot live without my RED gear. I had so many people ask about it, it was crazy!

5.11 Tactical - thank you for keeping me comfortable and making my ass-ets look good!

BCM Bravo Company USA – I had to fight people off my AR and explain over and over haw come it is so light.

Nordic Components – extension tubes rock. Thank you for sending me mine just in time!

Thanks for the official match photos ASAP Photography. Last but not least, big thank you to the title sponsors Brownells, Inc. & Benelli, BERETTA USA who sponsored my division & Devil Dog Arms whose gun I won! Here is a list of all the amazing sponsors who made this event unforgettable: ALL SPONSORS

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Fabulous Females, Top Shooters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet The Women of Brownells Lady 3 Gun Pro-Am

The Brownells Lady 3 Gun Pro-Am Challenge – the first ever all female national 3 Gun championship – is arguably the BIGGEST EVENT of the year. Open to Pros, Amateurs and first-time shooters, this event aims to make shooting sports accessible to everyone – a cause very dear to my heart. Several years ago when I first started shooting there were hardly any females at the range. The few of us felt alone and out of place. Now one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, female shooters are here to stay. And we are ready to rumble. ;)

With only days to go, the anticipation is brutal!

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L3G-Main-LogoA little info about the match:

Where? Atlanta 3-Gun South River Gun Club
5205 Georgia 212, Covington, GA 30016
When? October 29th – November 1st, 2014
Who? 200 FEMALE-ONLY Shooters
Registration? HERE
How Much? Match Fees are $225
Who’s Rules? 3-Gun Nation Regional Series Rules
Divisions? 3 divisions are available: Tac Optics, Tac Irons & Open
Match Hotel? Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1302 Green Street, Conyers, GA 30013

Now meet some of the brave, beautiful, badass ladies currently signed up for this match (click on any picture to expand gallery view). And remember their names – chances are you’ll meet them again! ;)

Special thanks to all the wonderful staff, volunteers and Sponsors. This is shaping up to be one EPIC event, complete with an insane prize table, a ton of media coverage, lots of social opportunities and even complete with a Halloween costume party!

Also, thanks to all the ladies who provided pictures – I can’t wait to hang out with my those of you I call friends and meet the rest of the gang. See you there!

XOXO

Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in 3-Gun Fun, Fabulous Females | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

5.11 Tactical Cirrus Pants & Trinity Polo: Review & Pictures

For years I’ve been too cheap and kept shooting in jeans, cargo pants and inexpensive bottoms from the Juniors department. I always rationalized that pants are not that important and wouldn’t make a difference. I was so wrong! Recently I decided to ask my shooting friends (and my husband) for their recommendations and after some consideration I decided to give 5.11 a try. Here is my honest review:

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Me in my 5.11 Tactical Cirrus Pants & Trinity Polo

5.11 Cirrus Pants Review

Hands down, these pants are the BEST! My husband has multiple pairs and wears them every single day. These pants are great for the shooting range, the office, the woods, the farm… you name it. They are extremely lightweight, soft & comfy, yet uncharacteristically durable. The cut makes them both comfortable & stylish, which is really important to me. As a small (but curvy) woman, I have always struggled finding the right fit so it was such a relief to finally get a pair that is not too deep (hate the high-waisted look) and does not gape at the waist (at least not much). Last but not least, the Cirrus pants have a ton of deep pockets at all the right places, yet they are not obvious & don’t scream “I’m wearing tactical pants”, which suits my classic style very well. All in all – these pants are THE BOMB and totally worth the money ($74.99 seemed steep before I actually tried them). I have spent so much $$ over the years on cheap pants that just don’t work; my advise – buy quality & buy it once.

I will wear these until they fall apart, I will purchase more black ones & probably get them in other colors as well. The pictures simply don’t do them justice! My only complaint is they don’t make ‘em for small girls – the smallest size they offer is 2 and miraculously that’s ok for me in the Cirrus cut but I also got the Stryke pants (sz. 2 also) and they are huge! I’m disappointed because I really wanted at least 2 to alternate… I’ll see if I can get them tailored and will report back but honestly, I like the clean look of Cirrus better anyway.

If I could change a thing – I’d love these babies in a size 0 and a skinny cut – then I wouldn’t take these babies off EVER! Seriously – I would get like 5 pairs and wear them everywhere. I wonder if you can sleep in them? ;)

  • Looks: 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Cut: 9/10

Trinity Polo Review

I will admit – I had no intention to buy a polo. The 5.11 folks were kind enough to send me a sample so I figured I’d try it. Same deal – how much difference can a shirt make, right? Wrong! Turns out being able to move comfortably and getting rid of excess moisture makes all the difference in the world!

The most impressive part about the Trinity Polo is the material – it is tough, durable, lightweight and most importantly – kept me cool & sweat-free (which is a hard job in humid MO and since my style dictates I HAVE to wear black even in 100-degree weather). Their website describes it as a “dependable Polyester jersey knit fabric with a moisture wicking finish”. Call it what you wish but it works!

Another thing I love – the style! The V-neck is perfect and the decorative sweetheart stitching is absolutely gorgeous. Finally someone is paying attention to style in tactical clothing! Also, I like that the shirt is long enough to tuck in & stay that way – most manufacturers think that “small” means “short”.

Talk about sizing: the fit is my only gripe about this polo. The smallest size they offer is S and I am sure I fall in the XS category (I wear a 0 or 00 in street sizes). As a result – the armpit area was big on me (you can see it on the picture) which affected the look and it wasn’t nearly fitted enough in the waist area for me (the curse of the skinny girl). The sleeves are a great length, though, and not too wide (which is a common problem with jerseys, thank God somebody noticed). I would still recommend this shirt and I will continue wearing because of it’s comfort & style. Hopefully they’ll make my size in the future… Also, I’ll be waiting to see if they come up with a similar (but tight fitting) option with the same sweetheart neckline stitching but with long sleeves – that would be so versatile!

  • Looks: 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Cut: 8/10

Hope this helps you in your selection. Here are a few more pictures (sorry, they are not ideal as they are phone selfies I took when I first got to the range)

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A close-up of the Trinity Polo. Even in this pic you can tell the material is really high quality.

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Front view of Cirrus Pants – I love that is has enough belt loops (and they are wide enough) to work with both my competition and everyday belts. Also – I love the deep hidden pockets. By the way, the brown hue is from the sun & the picture – these pants are solid black!

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Side view (sorry about that shadow from my phone). Did I mention I love the pockets!?

XOXO
Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,

Diana

Posted in Fabulous Females, Gear, Tips for Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment