The Second Amendment: Through the Eyes of an 11 Year Old Girl


Bella's Essay for her Sixth Grade Gov't Class
Bella’s Essay for her Sixth Grade Gov’t Class

What Freedom Do I Enjoy Most

            The freedom to bear arms/weapons is important because you may need a gun to hunt to provide food for your family.  You may need a gun for self-defense if you live in an unsafe area.  I think one of the most important reasons was during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese could have taken over the United States but they didn’t because they said, “Behind every American door there is a gun.”

            When I hunt or go to the shooting range I enjoy it.  I get to do two things I love:  shooting, and spending time with my dad. 

            I know about many crimes that have occurred using guns, but I believe that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  If there weren’t any guns in the world there might not be any shootings but, we would not have any self-defense and there would be many more robberies.  Some people need guns to perform their jobs, for example, policemen and women when they are in a dangerous situation.  Hopefully they won’t have to use a gun but they might need it for self-defense.  Some people hunt for a living and need guns to hunt.  As a hunter, that is why I think the right to bear arms is important and can save lives, possibly even your own.

            In the end, what it comes down to is that the person using the weapon must be responsible and knowledgeable about it, and respectful of others and their rights.

                                                Bella Nace

This is my niece, and I couldn’t be prouder of her!  I love you Bella! 

Serious Huntress!
Serious Huntress!

Smith & Wesson’s Tony Miele Hunts in Africa

Tony Miele of Smith & Wesson, August 2012

    Tony recently had a trip to Africa and shared this great picture!  He’s been telling me I need to use this gun, the S&W 460XVR on my elk hunt coming up next month.  I’m working my way up to that one….maybe.   Still a little intimidated by the caliber, but then I haven’t actually ever shot this either.  Smith does put our HIVIZ sight on the front, along with the hunting scope for this particular application.   I don’t know Tony….I’m sure you could talk me into it.   

Congratulations Tony!  I bet it was a fantastic experience!

This will be a good topic for discussion at our next “L.D.” meetings. 

Mystery Food and Mystery Masks!

Was this creature on my plate?

As I had mentioned the food was fantastic!….most of it.  Each night our hosts took us upstairs from the restaurant to private dining rooms.  Here we were seated around a huge round table with beautiful linens, covered chairs, and a large “lazy susan” in the center of the table.  Fine wines were poured.  They toiled over the menu for what seemed like a long time and then ordered countless, and I mean COUNTLESS dishes for us to try.  I didn’t know what most of it was, but one dish I had the previous couple of evenings, looked something like chopped cooked apples in brown sugar.  Tasted different, but very good.  I finally inquired as to what this tasty little dish was.  The person waiting on us was called over and a lot of conversing went on that I didn’t understand and then she disappeared.  No answer….I figured something was lost in the translation and I wasn’t going to worry about it.  About 15 minutes later she reappeared with a menu with some english in it and pointed to “Jelly Fish”!   Now the only experience I had with jelly fish growing up was not good…and certainly you don’t eat those things, do you?!  Wow, wish I hadn’t asked.  That kind of set the tone for my evening.    At this time, they are still bringing out more and more dishes.  After that last little bit of enlightening information, I’m asking more questions about the food now.  A huge bowl comes zipping by me on the lazy susan, wait…was that frog legs?  I’ve had frog legs before, so I tried some.  These were still on the bone, so not so easy to manuever with the chopsticks.  After I downed a couple, I asked what this dish is.  Again the conference and finally one says, “it’s a little animal that hops through the forest, kind of like a frog….”   Kind of????   Ok, if they can’t identify it, I’m thinking OMG I just ate a toad!    I lived.

How’s this look for dinner?

What are the mystery masks you wonder?  We had beautiful rooms over there.  In Nantong, I get to my room and it is a large suite with two bathrooms, full living room, separate bedroom, and the list goes on.  So I’m nosing around, checking out all the amenities, two granite tiled bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate showers, two very large flat panel TVs, huge -huge bed, tons of closet space …and oh gee, next to the safe in the closet is this:

Should I be alarmed?!!!!

   I can honestly say, not able to read Chinese, I was ALARMED to find this in the closet!  Call me crazy but now I’m having flashbacks to my childhood when we still had air raid drills in school!   I mean, really, do we have these in hotels over here?!  If they do I haven’t noticed them before.   What are they preparing for?!   As it turns out these are in case of fire in the hotel and this is your “Fire Escape Hood”.  Well, I guess I’m ok with that. 

   This is why I enjoy traveling and experiencing all the different cultures!

..and my words of wisdom to women traveling alone:  Their convention gatherings at the hotel are the same there as here…some very loud, drinking men in the adjoining room to mine – sleep with the iron on your nightstand, you can easily clock one or two of them if they happen to bust through!  :) 

In a land where gun ownership and hunting is forbidden…..women shooting is really “out there”!

Such a serene and beautiful place…. 

   A recent business trip took me to Shanghai and Nantong for a brief tour.  The visit was all too short, as this was my first visit to China….and such a culture I had not previously experienced.   Gun ownership and hunting is strictly forbidden-everywhere.   Our hosts were intrigued with the shooting pictures on my cell phone.  I showed them one and they took over the phone and just browsed my entire photo collection on the cell phone!  Shooting was one thing, but women shooting was even more amazing to them!

  The journey started out from Denver with about 2.5 hr. flight to San Fransisco, from de-planing there, it was a mad dash through endless terminals to reach the gate for Air China flight already boarding!  Let the games begin!  …And no disrespect, but the Asian’s culture has a different view of waiting in lines than what the American’s do.   Luckily I’m bigger than most of the Asian women…and some of the men.  I’m not that big by our standards…but I am suddenly feeling a bit “Amazonish”.  Well it wasn’t too bad getting on, they check and recheck your US passport for the current VISA.  Getting off the plane was different.  Wow, some of them kind of stepped right over you to get out.  They weren’t being intentionally rude, just the way things are done over there…  I wasn’t in much of a hurry yet, so I went with the flow.  At the end of the trip returning to the US was a different story.  I was more than tired and had transformed into a linebacker-no one is getting past me!  Bring it on!

360 degrees of 23 million+ people!

  About 12-13 hours later we arrived in Shanghai.  Getting our luggage and through Customs was a breeze.  Very nice airport, thank goodness they also had some signs in English. Yea!  A driver was there to meet us on the other side of Customs.  I decided I could maneuver the airport if I ever returned solo.  Beyond that, I wouldn’t go further without a prearranged driver or interpreter to meet me.  Our host and his driver met us there to take us to our first night in Shanghai, a city of approximately 23 million.  You put several New York Cities back to back and maybe you are close! 

     The hotel was beautiful.  We’ve been up straight now for about 30 hours and our host insisted on taking us to dinner.  No rest for the weary!  Drop the bags in the room and meet back in the lobby.  From the open lounge area there were four floors we could see with various restaurants, piano bars, etc.  We headed up to the third floor.   We allowed the host to order for us-I’m game…I guess.  Wine for me (don’t drink the water there-and forget ice in your drinks!).   I inquired as if they produce any wine in China…as we had a French wine that evening.  Apparently they do, but our hosts said it is “no good”.   I’m staying with their recommendations!  I had a crash course on the correct usage of chopsticks.   They brought out many dishes – all delicious!  They were very curious about our culture also.  But the one of the first things he asked is why are so many Americans so fat!  Ha!  I’m betting if we forced to use chopsticks, we’d be thinner!

Downtown shopping/tourist area.

      The next morning was a leisure day of touring.  Our host took us to the downtown tourist area of Shanghai.  Electric scooters everywhere, lines on the road are merely suggestions, and they are constantly honking horns….constantly!  But there seems to be no road rage and we didn’t see any accidents.  Minus the “horn honking” I think we Americans could take a lesson on going with the flow, so to speak, while driving.      After parking we headed towards the Yuyuan Gardens.  To reach this you had to cross over a long zigzag foot bridge.  The waters below were full of koi and turtles.  The reason the bridge was zigzagged is to keep the evil spirits from following and crossing over.  Spirits can only walk in a straight line.  So once you cross over the bridge, you are considered safe and will enjoy a long life!  

Inside the Yuyaun Gardens

 Such history there was.  I am anxious to return sometime and visit more areas!  I only wish I could upload all of my pictures here, but it would go on forever.  The next two days we traveled to Nantong and visited the factory of our hosts.  Here we met with the partners in the business and they too were very interested in learning about our shooting experiences, etc.  We haven’t actually done any business in China as of yet, but were approached at SHOT Show by these gentleman and invited to visit their factory for a tour in hopes of future business ventures.  This company mainly builds scopes, which we do not carry, but that was one thing they wanted to impress upon us was their assembly and quality control abilities.  While walking their lines and seeing the entire process to the end I asked them how they tested for “shock proof” ability on the scopes….since they can’t test them on actual guns over there.  They had a simulator set up for firing which we checked out.  Interesting.  Personally I prefer to test mine on real guns….a priveledge we have here! …and not to be taken for granted!   Long story short, they were very gracious hosts.  Their government and culture was very interesting to learn more of.  They asked many personal questions about family, living spaces etc. but were very curious to see all the shooting sports we do.  I shared my hunting pictures with them and they were in awe.  

Girls and guns….hello China!

The one picture on my phone that made the biggest impression was the Babes With Bullets Camp, , photos!  This just seemed to amaze them!

…Words of wisdom: Don’t ask what the food is until after you’ve eaten it or you may never try it….and for the ladies: Keep an open mind when visiting some of their restrooms…and for gosh sakes, pack your own TP! 🙂

This Isn’t Your Ma’s Dinner Party!

Ok, this might not be the image you conjure in your mind when the word “camp” is mentioned….

Babes With Bullets Camp, Steamboat Springs, CO June 2012

What happened to dinner?!

  Steamboat Springs was host to another Babes With Bullets Camp,, last month.  Smith & Wesson,, is the primary sponsor of the camps as you can see by the camp loaner guns, which are M&P 9mms, provided by S&W, equipped with our HIVIZ sights. 


  The camp had 30 women in attendance, anywhere from 20 years old to their mid- 60s.  We had beginners who had never touched a gun just wanting to get started, to a few competitors wanting to hone their skills, and some with personal life experiences that brought them to camp wanting to learn more about safe gun handling.   As always, the “dream-team” of instructors were there!   IPSC style shooting was the focus, first day is simple gun handling, safety, holster use, etc. before the ladies are moved on to “Bill Drills”, transitioning between targets, and movement and timing on regular IPSC stages.

“Back to the line for you!”

  And no, this wasn’t a camper trying to sneak off the line.  Camp Director, Deb Ferns was getting a little encouragement /pat on the back for a job well done from Instructor Judy Wooley.  

Our “Princess” bullseye shooter for the day!

  Deb makes sure the ladies have fun during their instruction and of course there is a “Princess” Bullseye shooter title to be had for the lady with the tightest shot group.

With a view like this, who cares what the accommodations look like!

  Of course our accommodations were over the top here also, but with views like this who would have cared? 

  The camps are a great avenue for women wanting to get some intensive training from the elite shooters like Kay Miculek and Lisa Munson, and a host of other top shooting instructors on their team, with some quality equipment and accessories to learn on.

“Ma would be impressed!”

Shooting Intro for Youth: Keeping it Fun!

Target practice at the range

  Recently I finished a trade show in Harrisburg, PA and had some time to visit with nearby family.  This included a beautiful morning spent at the range with three generations of the family.  The youngest was my soon to be 11 year old niece, Bella.

  Bella has been going to the range with her dad off and on for the past four years.  She started out with a Cricket .22 single shot.  Last year I won another Ruger 10/22 at a match and changed out the stock with a Boyd laminate with the some snazzy purple coloring for her.  Bella was now upgraded to the ten shot magazine!  This girl is now putting 1 inch groups at 100 yards from the bench!  Her dad offered to take her for an evening at the sprint car races if she put the first shot in the bullseye….darned if she didn’t just edge it too!   Races it is! Next to safety, the point is to keep it fun for them!

Look at that concentration!

    After convincing me of her prowess with the 10/22, we brought out her little 32 revolver.  We went over safe loading and muzzle management from bench to shooting line.  You could tell this was not her first time at the range, but it still gave opportunities for giving little lessons on range terminology such as not “sweeping” any part of your body, muzzle down range, “going hot” etc.  I was impressed with her concentration.

A little itimidating…but willing to give it a try!

  We brought out the 20 GA Remington 870,, youth model for her next.    This is still a bit intimidating for her.  We made sure she had the light loads for the least recoil possible and set her up with dad to assist.  With some Shoot ‘n See targets she shot twice and peppered it!  Now the big grin was on.  Along with this I’ve been sending her the occasional DoAll,,  self-healing fun targets to shoot at.   She loves it and I will continue to encourage her whenever I have the opportunity. 

Sharing family time and enjoying a sport together is time cherished.

Aunt Chris and “Junior Chris” in training!

Steel Challenge Match

This May, I was finally able to take a breather from work travel and get on to shooting a few matches.  However out of practice I am, I still had a great time shooting.   Besides if I was afraid of how well I’d do, I’d never shoot and what fun is that?!  Pueblo West held a Steel Challenge match Memorial Day weekend. 

I entered to shoot two different guns.  Friday I shot .22 Open Rimfire Rifle class and Saturday I shot Limited class with my M&P 9mm with the HIVIZ sights.  Neither day did I threaten to knock anyone out of the top scoring spots!  The Steel Challenge, a speed steel shooting competition is governed by USPSA/SCSA,  The match consists of eight stages.  Each stage consists of five steel plates in different arrays, one of those being your stop plate.  Seven of the eight stages you shoot 5 strings and throw out your worst time.  The other four times are added for total time on that stage.  

Open Rimfire Rifle Class

With some good trigger control and practice I can get some pretty decent times.  Yes, I have my moments!  But…the key here is practice, practice, and more practice to be consistently good!  I’m working on that practice and consistency part….

I’ve been shooting this match off and on for the past five years and this year I was finally able to talk my shooting friend’s wife into joining us.  Deb’s husband fixed her up with an STI Steel Master, trigger job and finely tuned by our local STI guru.   She was a little aprehensive about competing, but we were all there to help, give advice and above all else, make sure she was safe.  Prior to competing we did have her out off and on the past 6 months or more for local shoots, so she wasn’t completely with out experience.  The format and rules she was unfamiliar with. 

Shooting like a pro!

 Deb did very well and is now more comfortable coming to the matches.  She has also signed up for the next Babes with Bullets camp in Steamboat Springs the end of June!  She’s hooked!  Like I said, don’t let your fear of failure or just the unfamiliar keep you from participating in the sport.  And for those that do already, get that woman who may be a little leery about the idea and encourage her!!!

Be safe, shoot straight, and have FUN!!!

The Corporate Side of the Outdoor World