Getting a new holster is like Christmas…

…to get anything good, you have to be good for one whole year. At least you do when you order your holster from Don Hume. In other words, the holster I ordered last August finally arrived. The unboxing ceremony is below.

 

I accidentally… a spotting scope

But I don’t know a thing about it. It came with a padded, lockable case and keys as well as a tripod. The scope itself and the tripod are both marked Winchester. The scope says Winchester WLK-532 on it. There are numbers around the eyepiece to mark magnification and they range from 15-45. Can anyone tell me more about it?

 

Aurora “is No More Dangerous Than Your Town”

Today, I have read many official statements released in response to the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado last night. Many of the statements included the word “shocked.”

I was not shocked to hear that a mass shooting occurred. The truth is that mass shootings have been in my realm of consciousness at least since high school. Since middle school, I have been careful about where I go, what I wear and who I talk to, a strategy designed to prevent kidnapping, assault or robbery. My husband and I are prepared in case of a home invasion situation.

It does not shock me that there is violence in this world or that it is of this magnitude, I have been taught that stuff like this happens ever since I was a child. As an adult, I have tried to be prepared for it.

Besides the word “shocked,” I’ve also heard a lot of “thank God that this sort of thing doesn’t happen where I live.” But immoral people performing immoral deeds are everywhere. Period. I have family in Aurora; they’ve been having a hard time dealing with the negative backlash that one man’s actions have had on their community. This is a quote from one of my relatives:

My town is no more dangerous than your town. My town has the same social problems as yours and although we may be a more culturally diverse town than most, we are not beneath you. Bad things happen everywhere and at this time more than ever Aurora does not need your negative criticism.

Situational Awareness in Crowded Places

I don’t know about anyone else, but I read good books and watch entertaining movies to lose myself in a storyline. To shed my worries and cares, to let my feet leave the planet of my reality and head off to explore the alternate realities presented on paper and in film is liberating.

I don’t read to pass time, I read to use time to experience vivid and exhilarating memories, emotions and actions of others. I don’t go to the movies to be an inactive participant in the film; I throw myself heart and soul into the action and hardly notice it isn’t real until the lights suddenly flicker on and I have to blink myself back to earth.

In short, I read and go to the theater to escape from the world, not to keep an eye on it.

For this reason, maintaining my situational awareness while reading or watching a movie isn’t something I can do. That is why I don’t lay in the park under a tree and read on my lunch break. It would be relaxing and enjoyable; it would rejuvenate me after the stress of a morning’s work. But it would also leave me easy pray to those who lurk and stalk, seeking to do harm.

To me, suspending my situational awareness to do things like read under a tree or walk with headphones in carries potential for  too many negative and severe consequences to be worth it.

Going to a theater  hasn’t (yet) reached that level of risk in my mind. Maybe that’s because my first two activities which result in a decreased level of situational awareness are solitary activities. There is no safety in numbers in being alone in the park or on a walk. But it turns out being in numbers doesn’t always result in safety.

In fact, all mass shootings occur in highly populated areas. This is a painfully obvious statement; it’s hard to have a mass shooting without masses. But it’s something I haven’t given too much thought to before. Most of my situational awareness habits come from a desire not to be sexually assaulted. Some of my situational awareness habits are a response to a threat from an solitary, known person. I need to develop a whole new set of situational awareness habits to increase my chances of surviving a bad situation going down in a public place, especially in public places which are designed to snuff out my situational awareness.

  • Shopping malls: Malls don’t just happen. They are carefully designed, crafted to give shoppers an “experience” which helps mall-goers to forget the outside world and spend more time and money inside. A mall’s purpose is to transform me to another reality in which I am happy and rich. With artificial light, trees, sounds and scents and limited access to the outside world in the form of minimal windows and no cell phone reception, it would be easy to drop my guard here. Someone paid a lot of money to get me to do that.
  • Movie theaters: As explained above, going to the movies is an escape from reality. Big movie producing companies spend a lot of money to hire good actors, makeup artists, wardrobe creators, music composers and stunt and special effects staff. I’m sure that the exact lighting, sound, seating positions, room temperature, etc. of the theater itself has been studied and optimized to help me forget my real surroundings and delve into those on the screen.
  • Concerts: Music has many positive qualities. It entertains, lifts moods, heals emotional hurts. It has the ability to dramatically change the lives of its listeners. With our hearts, minds and ears involved in its sounds and with it presented in the visually-camouflaging, visually-distracting background of a crowded venue… it would be easy to lose situational awareness or miss situational awareness triggers when listening to music at a concert.

I Googled “situational awareness in crowds” and “situational awareness in crowded places” and didn’t come up with much. Does anyone out there have any tips and tricks to staying alert in those busy places which lull us into a sense of false security? Are there body language signs or foot traffic patterns which are important to look for? Help me out!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Registration is OPEN!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous is just a few, measly months away! This year the Rendezvous will be held September 5th-8th and it will be in the usual spot, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino located in beautiful Reno, Nevada. The registration fee is $30 per person and it includes the cost of the Silver Legacy Hospitality Room, an NSSF “All You Can Eat” pizza feed and “other stuff.” The registration form allows you to send in a bit extra to be donated to Project Valour-IT; a most worthy cause. Discounted hotel rooms for the out-of-town attendees are available at the Silver Legacy for those who reserve their rooms using the discount code found over at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous blog.

Fill out and return the registration form NOW to secure your spot and help make the planning process easier and less stressful for our fearless leader Mr. Completely. There are two registration forms available. The official one, posted over at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous blog is available for download. I’ve also created a prettier version of the registration form for those of us who’d like to type in our information instead of write it. Yay laziness! That form is available for download as well. When Google Reader cooperates, the sexy registration form will also be embedded below.

I hope to see you all there at the Rendezvous! It’s good, cheap, swag-bearing, clean(ish) fun!

 

I Have Too Many Gun-Related Shirts

I’m cleaning house and giving away the following t-shirts. All are used in good condition. All have been around a dog. They’re FREE to a good home, email me your mailing info at gg.girlsloveguns@gmail.com and I’ll send them to you. If you wanna chip in for shipping, that’s awesome. If not, no worries. :)
  1. Grey “I support the right to arm bears” shirt, good condition- XL
  2. Red “Top Shot” shirt, good condition- XL
  3. Black “Hi Point Firearms” shirt, good condition- XL
  4. White “GunUP” shirt, good condition- 2XL
  5. White “GunUp” shirt, good condition- XL
  6. Tan NRA Outdoors polo shirt with light right shoulder padding- 2XL

Target Practice and Fire Safety

After Randy’s Tannerite escapade, I emailed University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Living With Fire program coordinator Ed Smith asking about the wildfire danger caused by target shooters shooting out in the boonies. Here’s our conversation:

From: Gun Girl
To: Ed Smith
Subject: Wildfire and Gunfire

Hi Ed~

Can gunfire cause wildfires? If so, are there any tips to avoid causing them? ie ammo type, etc. What fire prevention items should shooters carry with them?

Thanks~
GG

From: Ed Smith
To: Gun Girl
Subject: RE: Wildfire and Gunfire

Gun Girl… great question. Below is Carson City Fire Marshall Tom Tarulli’s response to your question…

“Hi Ed, I know these are simple but they work. #1 Restrict shooting on Red flag days. #2 Limit the use of metal tip bullets, #3 Keep a small extinguisher with you or bucket of water. #4 Shooting into a sandy hill is better than the side of any mountain or rocky out cropping. if you think you may have started a fire call when it is small, so we can get to it before it is out of control. It was an accident!”

For my two cents, don’t shoot in areas with dried grass and weeds. They are easily ignited by a spark, whereas living, actively growing plants much more difficult to being ignited by sparks.

Ed Smith
Natural Resource Specialist
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
P.O. Box 338, Minden, NV 89423
P: 775-782-9960 F: 775-782-9968

“Campus Safety Alert”

Below is a “Campus Safety Alert” issued by Adam Garcia, the Director of Police Services at UNR. The incidents described below are just two examples of why I feel uncomfortable visiting the UNR campus as an unarmed female.

University Police Services and the Reno Police Department have received two separate reports of suspicious incidents. On March 8, 2012 at approximately 7:00 P.M. a victim reported that she was followed from Virginia Street and 10th Street to Angel Street by a male in a black unknown model truck with a small white rectangle shape on the cab of the truck. The male subject drove alongside her, then  parked at the cemetery in the area and continued watching her. The subject was described as being male, unknown race approximately 40-50 years of age.

In the second incident, a UNR student reported that on Monday March 12, 2012 at 3:30 P.M. a male driver drove alongside her and attempted to coax her into his vehicle. The female ran to her vehicle while the subject followed her. This subject is described as a black male with scruffy facial hair, approximately 40-50 years of age, driving an older white Isuzu Rodeo with two blue stripes on the side and no license plates.

If you have any information regarding these incidents, contact Investigator Jaime McGuire at 682-7284 or Regional Dispatch at 334-COPS(2677).

University Police Services also wants to take this time to remind you of the following safety tips:

  • Make personal safety your number one priority. Awareness, Avoidance and Risk Reduction is the best way to not be a victim.
  • Travel in groups of two or more and always travel in well-lit, heavily traveled areas.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Carry a whistle or noise maker. This can serve as a reminder to exercise caution, and can alert someone in the area that you need help.
  • Be alert! Look around you; be aware of who is on the street and in the area. Make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise.
  • If listening to music, keep the volume low so you can hear what is going on around you.
  • If you know you are going to be working late, plan ahead as to how you will get to your vehicle or home safely.
  • Use Campus Escort or  University Police Cadets to get you to your vehicle safely. Campus Escort operates 7 days a week during academic semesters from 7:00 P.M. – 1:00 A.M. They can be contacted at 742-6808.  Police Services Cadets operate Monday through Thursday from 6:00 P.M. – 12:00 A.M. during academic semesters. Student cadets can be contacted at 745-5921 or 745-7505. When these services are not operating, contact the duty officer at 745-6195 and request an escort.

This message is being sent in compliance with the timely warning provision of Title II of Public Law 101-542 34, CFR 668.46 (e), the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act.

Adam Garcia
 
Director
Police Services
 
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St. MS/250
Reno, NV  89557
(775) 784-4013 Main
(775) 784-4689 Direct
(775) 327-2220 Fax
www.unr.edu/police

 

“COMMUNITY FIRST”

She Don’t Like Guns

Awhile back, the Women’s Shooting Academy was asking for guestbloggers on their Facebook fan page. They threw out an idea for a post: how to get more women to like guns. I’ve been Googling around on the topic, because it is one that hits close to home. I didn’t like them and now I do. Something worked to change my mind, but is it a universal something? A strategy that can be used on others? I don’t know… Hence, the Google research.

I haven’t found much. Women gun ownership is on the rise. Guys in forums complain a lot about their anti-gun girlfriends or spouses. Cornered Cat describes what NOT to do when trying to convert a female gun owner. So far, I haven’t found a “how-to convert girls” text in my searches. While clicking around, I found a fun song though. It’s called “She don’t like guns” and its by Steve Lee. It may be of some comfort to those guys complaining on forums.

Firearms and Wildfires

After Randy’s Tannerite-involving, don’t burn down the city escapades, I’ve been trying to find research-based information on the effects of discharging a firearm in a wildfire prone area. I’ve found several news stories out of California and Utah which blame target shooters for wildfires. I’ve read forum postings which state that shooting can cause fires, that it can’t, that only certain types or colors of ammo can start fires and that any fires are caused by the shooters and not the shooting. I want proof, not old wives’ tails or speculation, so I went where I always go when I want accurate information on a topic… to Cooperative Extension.

Using the website extension.org/search, I was able to sift through research-based, peer-reviewed information from Cooperative Extensions across the U.S. I discovered one mention of firearms and fires in a publication put out by Colorado State University’s Extension service. The fact sheet is called Cheatgrass and Wildfire and it states: “During hunting season or target practice, be aware of fires that may ignite due to stray bullets hitting solid objects and thus creating sparks.”

I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened to Randy. The near-disaster did occur in a very rocky area and rocks are solid objects. The shooter did get hit by flying debris… a rock fragment perhaps? In any case, I agree with Randy’s conclusion that it’s a good idea for shooters plinking on public land to bring fire extinguishers with them. I’d also add to his conclusion that shooters should bring with them:

  • a cell phone, CB radio, etc. to be used to contact emergency personnel if reinforcements are needed.
  • water. Keep old milk jugs filled with water close to shooters. Having several jugs available will allow all parties present to participate in the firefight. The water can also be used to thoroughly wet down the area to prevent any possible unseen sparks from smoldering and starting a fire later on.
  • a full- or camp-sized shovel or trowel. Randy’s fire crew stomped, watered, rocked and soiled their fires. Something to quickly scoop up soil and throw it on the fire to smother it would have helped the fires to be put out sooner.