Thursday, September 24, 2015

                                                   Two Wrongs Can’t Take a Right

  Liberal attempts at gaining traction on gun control are sabotaged by their own stance on crime and punishment. Their policies, implemented by liberal judges, of the catch and release of criminals gives us a very dangerous society. What we see happen, during a period of left leaning Administrations is crime on the increase corresponding with a rise in gun ownership. We see repeat offenders on the nightly news with numerous prior convictions being arrested yet again. If those criminals had served their full sentences, they would still be in prison instead of being let loose on our streets with only a fraction of their punishment being served. If Americans don't feel safe in their homes, neighborhoods and cities, you will see folks that might not normally buy a gun, become gun owners. The Left, which is historically soft on crime, focuses on rehabilitation of the criminal instead of realizing that jails and prisons are there for punishment. Rehabilitation is for knee surgery, not for murderers, rapists and violent criminals. They have been at this “rehabilitation” philosophy for 40 years or more…… you feel a violent criminal is rehabilitated after serving in prison today?

  Couple the “soft on crime” approach with what largely appears to be an anti-Police sentiment and we have a dire situation in many large cities and across the country. Police in many large cities have backed off of enforcing the laws on the streets out of fear that they will be targeted by the Politicians running the city should they be involved in a shooting or other deadly force encounters. We’ve seen this in Baltimore and New York City (where the Police turned their backs, literally, on the Mayor) and we’ve seen crime skyrocket in those cities in the past year.

  Another “wrong” that leaves the Left unable to garner support for new gun control laws is in the area of mental illness. Our streets and cities are filled with seriously mentally ill individuals that 40 years ago would have been institutionalized. We have a serious mental illness issue in America today. I see it almost daily with people acting in bizarre, unstable ways. Where the Left is wrong in this is the policies they have pushed, led by the ACLU and others, in focusing on the Rights of the insane versus the Rights of citizens just trying to go about their lives to live their lives and raise their families as they see fit.

  The things above leave the average American feeling vulnerable to the crime they see on the news each night in their hometowns and across the Nation. What is a single Mother to do when working and raising her children in a big city when she fears for her family’s safety? What is a woman with a restraining order against an abusive former boyfriend/spouse to do when she realizes the restraining order is only as good as the paper it is written on? What is an elderly retired couple to do when the home they’ve lived in for 40 years is now in what folks in the suburbs would call the bad part of the city (think Clint Eastwood’s role in Gran Torino)? What about truck drivers that have to make deliveries to high crime/high danger areas? The answer of course is that they turn to the one thing that can give them a fighting chance. The one thing that can make a single person superior in force to multiple attackers. The one thing that can protect them when the Police are minutes away and seconds count. The gun.

  I’d never give advice to anyone seeking to take away our Rights, but you can see from the few things we’ve talked about in this post that the policies of the Left are the very cause for the huge growth in gun ownership. Even their stated efforts for “common sense” gun control is met with a spike in people rushing out to buy guns. The boom in gun ownership among women in the past 10 years is something that doubles (or more) the numbers of guns bought by women in the previous 30 years. They are getting training and forming shooting groups and getting concealed carry licenses in record numbers with no slowdown in sight. Same with the elderly and those that must travel or do business in dangerous areas. They feel unsafe and vulnerable in today’s society. Like we talked about in the previous post; we don’t live in the 1950’s anymore and Mayberry thinking in a Walking Dead world will get you killed.

  If the Left wanted to get serious about gun control, they would be staunchly pro-law enforcement and tough on crime and punishment. They’d be fighting for tougher sentencing for violent criminals and ending parole or early release of violent criminals. If they wanted to get serious, they’d make this the safest country on the face of the planet. The best chance of gun control for them would be to make the single Mom in the inner city feel safe and secure to raise her family. The best chance of gun control for the Left would be to make it to where the elderly retired couple would never see their home of 40 years suddenly be in the “wrong part of town”. The best chance of gun control for the Left would be to make the truck driver making deliveries in Detroit to feel safe to go about his job. To make Americans feel safe and secure in their lives and in their homes would do more to lower the number of folks turning to the one thing that can help them survive. The things they should do, they cannot do though. The Left will remain the “Number 1 Salesperson of guns” because of their policies that drive the average citizen to seek to get that one thing that can actually help them when liberal policies completely fail them.

  President Obama is famous for saying that certain Americans cling to their guns and religion. The "certain types" of Americans that cling to their guns and religion are those that fear for their safety.  They cling to their guns and pray for the safety of themselves and their families.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

                      Mayberry Thinking in a Walking Dead World

  The title of this post bothered me a bit to type it. I’ve spent a lot of time watching Mayberry in my life and looking for Mayberry in my adult life as a place to enjoy peace and quiet and share small town life with my Grandsons. I yearn for a place and a time that doesn’t really exist anymore. We live in a very different world these days with some cities being wilder and more out of control than the “Wild West” ever was. Some cities often appear apocalyptic at times on the news and we need to be aware that we live in dangerous times. As they say, knowledge is power.

  Discussing guns, carrying guns and current events with some friends this morning had me thinking about things as the discussion progressed. When I first started carrying concealed I usually only carried a handgun with only the ammo that was in the gun I was carrying. It was at an IDPA match that I had an “Ah-ha” moment that tied my thinking to current (and seemingly trending) events. There was a stage scenario that read “You are at the beach in your Speedo and are “off body carrying” when a flash mob breaks out with multiple armed aggressors” that really had me thinking (after erasing the Speedo image from my mind) about how and what I carried. Coupling this stage at the match with what I increasingly saw on the news, I changed my mindset and what I used as my EDC {Every Day Carry}.

  Even though I always carried everywhere, there were times when I’d be in a hurry or just running to the store real quick and would just grab a “pocket gun” or, like I mentioned above, I’d only have the ammo that was in the handgun I was carrying. My mindset at that time was that I mitigated risk by being careful where and when I went to places. As we’ve seen in the news, and talked about before here, the bad guys pick the time and place to do bad things. The good guys don’t get to pick the time and place that evil intent is revealed to us; we can only try to be prepared.  I decided after that IDPA match that I needed to adjust my mindset and my EDC. Back then I decided I would find the handgun that I’d carry every time and that I would carry at least two spare magazines for my handgun of choice. I didn’t decide on this to be a “Cowboy” or thinking in any way other than just wanting to get out of a bad situation alive. Come to think of it though; the Cowboys always carried additional ammo on their belt and usually had a rifle in the same caliber as their revolver. It made sense then and it makes sense now to carry additional ammo. I realized after the IDPA match that my mindset was such that I would be vulnerable if faced with multiple armed individual’s intent on causing me or my family harm while we were just going about our daily lives. During the discussion this morning, one friend felt that additional magazines of ammo weren’t needed because once the bad guys were engaged with deadly force, the others left standing would flee. But what if they don’t? What if you needed 8 rounds to neutralize the threat but only had 6? What if you needed 6 rounds, but 3 rounds didn’t hit their target or weren’t disabling shots on the aggressor(s)? The answer is that the good guy would lose. Look at Police shootings when they face even a single armed threat and there is usually a high volume of fire by the good guys before the threat is stopped.

  Flash mobs, home invasions, car jacking’s and robberies are all realities these days. Just this week the local news had a video of an armed robbery at a local donut store, highlighting the fact that anywhere you go to shop or eat dinner (think Luby’s in Killeen, Texas) or to watch a movie (think Aurora, Colorado), we each will be in situations daily where we and our families could be in danger. The answer is not to alter our way of life by becoming shut-ins, but to realize the dangers that are out there and as best as possible be prepared to meet them. I’m not a Police Officer, a “Cowboy” or a do-gooder looking to inject myself in a situation because I’m armed. Quite the opposite in fact.  I’m just a guy trying to get home safely at the end of the day. We must fully understand what a concealed carry license is all about and Heaven forbid, should we become involved in a shooting, we know we will have to answer for our actions. Good guys don’t think like predators and that can lead us to recognize or react to the situation we are in too late. Bad guys do think like predators and they will often not be traveling (acting) alone. Being prepared for that means realizing we don’t live in Mayberry anymore. It is recognizing the realities of the times we live in. It is doing all that we can do in order to go home safely each day. It means getting out of a bad situation as quickly as possible and not finding out that we needed just one more round to do it. Mayberry thinking in a “Walking Dead” world will get Barney and his one bullet killed. Be alert, be as prepared as possible and stay safe my friends.

Monday, June 22, 2015

                                                                          Evil Is A Coward

  Let there be no doubt that evil is real and walks among us. We see it surface from time to time and we get the chance to see the face of evil, as we have in the recent Church shootings in Charleston, SC, but I won’t show coward’s face or mention the name of the evil coward here. We saw the folks pictured above in that Church that were so good and kind that they almost made the evil that was amongst them stop the Hellish act before it started. As we know now, the Hellish act wasn’t stopped. Evil got its way that day, but it did not get its way in the end. More on that later.

  There is much that we can learn from what happened in that Church. Looking back on things from the evil coward’s past shows us that there was a growing indication that something was wrong with this individual and was progressively getting worse. Several folks that had dealings with him leading up to the heinous attack now express regret for not having brought this individual to the attention of the authorities. Could something have been done to intervene and stop the attacks from happening? None of us know for sure if it would have helped or not, but one thing I am sure of is that saying nothing when something concerns us about the instability of an individual will never help anyone. We live in an environment where folks are afraid to speak out until after the fact. See something, say something.

  Something else we can learn, we must learn and must get across to others is that “Gun Free Zones” are not gun free. It’s the sound of saying “gun free zone” that gives some folks a feeling of security; but it is a false security. “Gun free zones” actually scare the Hell out of me. The only guns they are free of are the guns of law abiding folks. In other words, the only people you don’t have to be worried about carrying a gun in your presence are the very people denied the Right to do so. The Churches in South Carolina are “gun free zones”. The good and decent people in that Church were there worshiping God and were denied the God given Right of self-defense.  The good were disarmed, but the evil was not.

  Evil is a coward. We need to understand that and we need take steps to mitigate, where we can, the places where evil feels safe. In every case, evil attacks the good people and does so in the places where the good people cannot defend themselves. You never see evil attacking drug dealers in the inner cities. You never see them attacking gang members that are shooting up dozens of people daily in cities across the country. You never see evil attacking drug runners crossing the border to deliver their poison or attacking outlaw motorcycle gangs where they meet. Evil doesn’t go after evil; it only goes after the good. If you are a good person and go about your life trying to do good every day, you are on evil’s hit list. You are the enemy of evil and evil will seek ways to attack you. Evil is a coward. Know that and be prepared to deal with it if it shows up near you. Like all Bullies, it will wilt in face of someone able to defend themselves and others.

  Evil got its way on the day of the shooting because it was unopposed. There was nothing to stop it that day. There was nobody there capable of stopping it because they were made defenseless by the State of South Carolina. Evil did not get its way in the end though. Something happened when the coward was arraigned before the court that floored me. The family members of the victims were allowed to address the court and the coward. One by one they spoke. One by one they revealed the anguish that had been thrown on their shoulders only hours before. The anguish they felt was clear and undeniable, but so was something else; compassion. One by one they each forgave the evil coward. One by one they said they were praying for his soul. One by one they showed the courage of their convictions and showed strength in the very face of evil itself. Evil lost.

Monday, May 18, 2015

                                                 That First Gun

  Some things we will never forget. For gun lovers, there’s the first gun you ever got the chance to shoot, the first gun you were allowed to use regularly, the first gun you ever owned and the first gun you ever bought for yourself. There’s just something special about guns that embed themselves in our memories. They are tied to significant events in our lives and often are the significant event; like our first gun.

  The first gun I ever fired was my Dad’s Ruger Single Six .22. When my memory takes me there, it is as fresh in my mind as if it happened just yesterday. It was in the late ‘60’s just outside of West Memphis, Arkansas on one of the dirt farm roads there. We stopped near one of the drainage ditches and stood on one of the rickety flat wooden bridges and the grownups did a little shooting. I wasn’t told I was going to be allowed to shoot anything, just that I was going along (which was a rare enough treat in and of itself), but I was secretly hoping as hard as I could that I would get to shoot a real gun. I remember exactly how I felt when my Dad asked me if I wanted to shoot his revolver, exactly how I felt when he handed it to me and exactly how I felt when I fired it. I remember the smell of the gun powder and the sound and feel it had when I cocked the hammer back for the next round. And I was hooked.

  The first gun I ever had regular access to was my Grandfather’s 12 gauge shotgun. I spent a lot of time with him on the farm in Northeast Arkansas and he and my Uncles spent time teaching me about shooting and hunting. I remember telling my Grandfather one day that I wanted to do a little shooting and him telling me I could go get his shotgun and some shells and take it out back to shoot some cans……all by myself! He made sure he gave me another talk about gun safety and out the door I went. He knew I wouldn’t shoot a lot though and would be back in the house before long because that old shotgun kicked like a Mule; but he let me do that by myself. From then on I could ask to use his shotgun to hunt along the ditches there or go shooting and he’d always let me. Sometimes, I’d ask to use his shotgun to just take it to walk the ditches there just because I could. I was going for a walk anyway, so why not take the shotgun? I would always clean it when I brought it back inside, usually while listening to my Grandfather teaching me more about guns and hunting (I wish I had recorded those talks). It was his shotgun and he trusted me with it and that still means the world to me.

  The first gun I ever owned and could call my own was also the first gun I ever bought. It was a brand new Harrington and Richardson single shot 20 gauge. I bought it from the Kmart in Kingsport, Tennessee with yard mowing money. It is light and easy to handle and has some great memories of hunts attached to it. I still have it and still love it and I plan to get it out in the woods on a hunt again soon.

  This weekend I had the chance to add to that “first gun” memory list. It’s a memory that means as much to me as the memories I shared above. It was the first gun I ever bought my oldest Grandson, for his ninth Birthday. It’s also his first gun. I got a little choked up watching him tear open the wrapping paper and pulling it all away from the box. He still wasn’t quite sure what was inside the box when he opened it and saw the wax paper, but I could see the hope in his eyes. His Dad helped him remove it from the box and they removed the wax paper revealing a brand new Henry .22 lever action. He slowly went from disbelief to realizing what he was seeing to the biggest smile ever as it slowly dawned on him that it was his. His first gun. The first gun that I’ve given to him and hopefully a memory he will carry for the rest of his life. His gleaming eyes and his wide smile made me feel that it will be. That look is one I’ll never forget and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. Best money I've ever spent.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

                                                     And The Pastor Sees The Light
   A friend of mine is a Pastor with a Church here locally and he has recently become a gun owner. Not just a gun owner, but he has taken the concealed carry course and has plans for several more purchases in the gun department. He is not only a friend of mine, but also a founding member of our Monty On Guns Facebook page (he was like the ninth person to join and follow the page four years ago). Until here recently, the good Pastor was not a gun owner though. He had come close to buying a handgun a couple of years ago to go to the range and do some target practice with and for home defense, but backed away from it before actually buying one. I asked him then why he decided not to get one and he replied “I just couldn’t do it. The thought of having to shoot someone was more than I could bear.” Speaking of bear……my friend the Pastor is a bear of a man. Powerfully built and physically capable of inflicting damage to the toughest, or those that think themselves tough, if he were inclined to do so. That is not his spirit though. A kinder man, a more good hearted man I have never met. What has changed that motivated his taking of the concealed carry course and making his first gun purchase, with plans for more? We will find out together in this post.
                                                                     Pastor Greg

MOG: As mentioned above, you are a founding member of the MOG Facebook page and you were close to becoming a gun owner before. What has motivated you to not only follow through with a gun purchase, but to also take the concealed carry course?

Pastor Greg: “I feel that it was due to the drastically changing environment today.  It concerns me that we might have our 2nd amendment rights taken by those who wish to control us and take away our freedoms.  For many years I have preached from the pulpit that I would never own a gun of any type, but have since come to realize I needed to change this view.  I have seen how in other countries that when governments wanted to control people the first thing they did was disarm them.   I’m old enough to remember what I call the “Leave It to Beaver” days (where you could go out to play until the street lights came on).  A country where I never felt afraid and where a man’s word was his bond and we don’t have that today.  While I am not afraid to die for the cause of Christ, I am not willing to have my life taken by someone who could care less about me or my savior.  I don’t want to be in a restaurant or a shopping mall and someone comes in saying they are taking lives for their god (lower case g intentional).  To tell you the truth I would hope that every American would take up arms today.  It seems that the criminal element has been emboldened to the point that they are without fear of breaking into people’s homes (as we have seen of late in Waco and Temple).  So this is why I decided to go to the “Concealed Carry Course” because I want to be a responsible gun carrying citizen.  I by no means want to be viewed as having a vigilante attitude, (the save the world or shoot the bad guy attitude). What I wanted to do was to know my legal rights, the consequences, and my responsibility in being given those Rights.  Don’t get me wrong I view every life as precious, a life that was given to each of us by God.  I also know that throughout the Bible and my research of biblical history that even the disciples carried weapons to protect themselves against robbers and other hazards.  By the way, where do you think the sword came from that Peter used to cut off the temple guards ear?  Not that he was being the aggressor but was being assaulted; not to kill but to protect and to save life……. The Pastor who saw the light.”

MOG: Very well said Pastor Greg! Hooah! Other than your concealed carry course; what other training or events do you plan to participate in to further your ability as a firearms owner?

Pastor Greg: “I received my concealed carry training with Asgard National Training Group. They also offer a tactical/defensive pistol 1 & 2 training course.  I am also going to the range monthly and intend to do pistol competitions in the future.” 

MOG: Have you already talked to your congregation (or do you plan to) about personal safety, situational awareness and responsible firearms ownership based on the things that have lead you to the decision to arm yourself and take training?

Pastor Greg: “I am in the process of constructing a series around this subject to explore both sides of this issue and allow them to make their own decisions.  I have asked certain members if they owned a gun or guns and so far every one of them said yes.”

MOG: Some people say there was a “light bulb moment” that sparked them into taking action with them buying a gun and taking training. Others say it was a combination of things that caused them to realize they needed to follow that path. For you, was there a “light bulb moment” or was it a combination of events that brought you to gun ownership and taking training?

 Pastor Greg: “Well the reason I decided to buy a Glock 19, although I have a Glock 17, is because of the concealed value and not just  to have more guns.  I also intend to buy a rifle in the future (most likely an AR-15 and a shotgun) for 3 gun competition I hope to compete in.  I have Pastor Friends who have weapons themselves and spent a great deal of time questioning them as to why they felt it necessary to own them.  Some of the feedback has been that understood they may need to defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones and that they most likely are going to be the first line of defense and needed to make sure that the threat would go no further.  You know a scripture comes to mind that says "how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house."  I don't want that house to be my house! “

MOG: A 3 gun competing Pastor! How Hooah is that?! Everyone in the gun community has had a mentor that helped them get started in what is a lifelong learning process of guns, gun safety and the shooting sports. Who has been your mentor during this period of transition into the gun owning community?

Pastor Greg: “I have for over 3 years listened and discussed with both Bill Nance and Jim Morris (of The 3 Gun Multi Gun Report) as to the reason they own guns and why they thought I should also.  Jim has been a great influence in my decision and he has given me example after example of his views on this subject, but without that “I need to shoot someone” attitude.  He always spoke responsibly about self-protection and the value of human life and his desire to live a good, long one.”

  Like Pastor Greg, many Americans are “seeing the light” and realizing that we live in a dangerous world and are also choosing to arm themselves. We see recidivist criminals with a mile long rap sheet being arrested yet again…….and being turned out on the public, yet again. There are people freely walking our streets today that would have been institutionalized in decades past.   There are drugs on our streets that turn the user into an instant addict and eventually into a mind numbed Zombie that will do anything and everything to get their next fix. The threats out there are real and growing.  We have the right to defend our lives and the responsibility to defend the lives of our loved ones. As Pastor Greg said “To tell you the truth I would hope that every American would take up arms today.”

Hooah Pastor Greg. Hooah.

"Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

Friday, February 27, 2015

                                                                                 Never Quit!
  Yesterday while checking the ammo shelf at a local Walmart, an older man, apparently in his late 70’s or early 80’s, on one of those scooters, went chasing down an employee working in the sporting goods section. With the employee in tow, the old gentleman came back to the ammo and started telling the employee what he wanted. The employee wasn’t as well versed in ammo-ology as this old Patriot was, so the old man slowly rose from his scooter, holding on to steady himself and pointed to the ammo he wanted. “I’ll take 10 boxes of that Fusion 62 grain .223 ammo” he said, followed by “How much is that case of 1,000 rounds of 5.56?” He was quoted the price and simply said “I’ll take that too.”

  What was behind his purchase? What motivated him, at his age and seemingly frail health, to buy that kind of ammo and that much? I’d say he was following events in the world and the events here in America very closely. I’d say that he was motivated by love of country and worried about what was happening to our freedoms here. I’d say he was aware of the BATFE trying to ban the M855 ammo and he was going to have no part in being caught short on anything. I’d say he, like the rest of us, has seen the empty ammo shelves of the past several years and is making sure he is prepared in case it happens again. More than anything, I’d say that he will Never Quit.

  I would have loved to talk with him to get the answers behind his purchase and the apparent haste with which he seemed to be operating, but he didn’t seem like a man wanting to be bothered with questions from a stranger. I’d like to buy him a beer and chat a bit over a dinner and get to know the man he had been throughout his life and the man he still is. He seemed a bit agitated with the lack of knowledge of the employee and the slowness with which the employee was moving and he didn’t seem like the kind of man that took much guff from anyone. Kind of like Clint Eastwood’s character Walt, in the movie Gran Torino. I just simply stayed out of his way and watched him slowly settle back onto his scooter. I thought I caught a little grin as the old man watched the small armed employee struggle with the weight of the ammo, but I can’t be sure.

  There are an awful lot of strange things going on in our world and here at home. The old man seemed aware and was having no part of being defenseless. Our Constitution is being attacked daily by those with an agenda. The First Amendment and the Second Amendment are obstacles to those that wish total control and that is why those two Amendments are the most hated by those who would wish to control us. To them, you should not be able to speak out against their agenda and you certainly shouldn’t be able to defend yourself against them as they go about violating the Constitution and damaging our Nation. Too many Americans have no clue about what is going on in the world. They pay no attention to current events at home, let alone halfway around the world. I’d be willing to bet that 80 percent or more of the people shopping in the Mall of America in Minnesota right this minute have no idea of the threats made against the mall or who made them. They walked right past the “No Guns Allowed” sign and into a “gun free” zone where they were and are defenseless. Odd that those “No Guns Allowed” signs are in English. If signs like that really worked, shouldn’t they at least be in Somali and Arabic also? Shouldn’t the terrorist group that issued the threat be able to read the “No Guns Allowed” sign?

  The old man in Walmart knows what’s going on. He’s aware. He’s paying attention. He knows that we must never quit. We must never quit defending our lives. We must never quit defending our country. We must never quit resisting those that wish to take away our Rights. We must never quit defending the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. We must never quit. As Winston Churchill said, “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”.


Monday, February 16, 2015

                                  MOG Person(s) of the Year

  This year we have a first for our Person of the Year; we have co-winners. The MOG Person of the Year that we selected last year was someone that was representative of those doing things right in the gun store business. Like last year, the co-winners this year are representative of people that are out there at the grass roots level making things happen and growing support for the Second Amendment, the shooting sports and bringing in new folks for a positive, safe and fun first time shooting. The first time someone shoots a gun can either make them or break them. These folks are out there seeing a need and filling that need. They aren’t looking around and wishing someone would do something, they took charge and made it happen. You won’t see these folks on the National shooting shows or getting major coverage in the gun and shooting sports print media, but you can see folks just like them at your local ranges. You’ll see folks like these starting gun groups and bringing new folks to our cause. If you look around your area and don’t see groups being formed and matches being started, then you might find that folks there are waiting on you to get things started. Like our two folks that have been selected as the MOG Person(s) of the Year, all you have to do is follow their example and do like the Nike commercial says and “Just Do It.”
  Our first co-winner is Steve Oliver.  Steve is an Iraq War Veteran, a personal hero of mine and a hero to our Nation.  Going back home to Pennsylvania after his time in the Army to raise his family, Steve saw something that he wanted to do to honor a soldier from his area. He combined his love for the military and soldiers with his love of the outdoors and the shooting sports. Steve has introduced new folks to shooting and has created a competition that grows each year. Steve is also a very humble man, so getting the info out of him meant telling him I was doing a blog post about the match that he started. Here is our conversation:

MOG: Steve, could you tell us about the match that you started and what the match is all about?

Steve: Our event is the General Electric Grove City Veterans and Patriots Group Sporting Clays Fun Shoot. This will be our third annual shoot on June 20th. We are part of the larger GE Veterans Network. The group at our plant wanted to take the next step in growing and take on a fund raising event. Several of us had done a clays shoot for veterans the year before and looked at that as a starting point. The only question was who to donate our proceeds to. We started looking and found an endowment for a local soldier, SPC Ross A. McGinnis, Charlie company 1st Battalion 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One), who was killed in action in Iraq in 2006 and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

MOG: That is outstanding and a great way to honor the heroic actions and the memory of SPC McGinnis. {See below for a link to the Medal of Honor citation for SPC McGinnis}.

MOG: For folks out there that would like to start a fun shoot or a shooting group, what has been the hardest part of getting your match started and what is the one piece of advice you would give them?

Steve: It wasn't necessarily hard getting it set up. There were no issues scheduling the range and setting the date. The hardest part was getting the word out to people and convincing them to come out and have a great day shooting. The first year we only had 25 shooters, but everyone that did show up had a great time. Last year we had almost 90 shooters and much of that was due to word of mouth. We also try to make it a family event. We have shooters of all ages as well as women and men. We even have some non-shooters come to support the event. The best advice I can give is to just ask. Ask people to come, ask businesses to donate, just ask. It's amazing what local businesses have donated to us, as well as some larger businesses, that we in turn are able raffle off. Everything we make goes back to the endowment for SPC McGinnis.
                                                       {Kathleen Coonan Noaeill on right}
  Our second co-winner for Person of the Year is Kathleen Coonan Noaeill. Kathleen saw a serious need in her area to get women involved in the shooting sports, the Second Amendment and to empower them to do things they might not have thought they could do. By Kathleen’s own words, she got a late start in the shooting sports, but once she got started she embraced it enthusiastically. Her love of her new sport convinced her that there were many more women out there that would feel the same…..they just needed a way to be included and a chance to go somewhere that they would be the focus of the day. They needed an event that was for them and actually done by someone just like them. While there are an ever increasing number of ladies gun clubs and matches, there are not nearly enough. For the ladies reading this, look around where you are and see if there are ladies only gun clubs or matches. If there aren’t any….get one going! Below is a brief conversation with Miss Kathleen:

MOG: Kathleen, would you tell us how you got your program started?

Kathleen: My husband and I went to our first club meeting at the ’20 rifle & Pistol, Straight River Archery Club in April of 2012 and at this monthly meeting there was about 28 people. I noticed something not entirely surprising: There were 28 people there, but only one other woman, and she was into archery.  So after mingling around and talking to a couple of people I asked the Club President & Vice President if they'd ever had an event just for women, and of course they said “no”. So I’m thinking… Wow, really, what’s wrong with this picture!  I told them that it wasn't 1970 anymore, and that they could be doing so much more to promote their club with women shooters. They said. “If you want to try something go ahead, let us know’... So with only 4 months until the only date they had open in July, I started the event, the first annual Women’s Open Fun Shoot.

MOG: What has driven you in setting up this event?

Kathleen: There are a growing number of women out there wanting to own a gun, try a gun, buying guns, wondering what it’s all about, interested in getting concealed carry permits and such. Then there are the women who have that gun that was given to them as a self-defense weapon by a husband or boyfriend and it sits locked in the closet or drawer, never to see the light of day. How do you use something you know nothing about?  With any firearm comes the responsibility of knowing what is expected of the person using it. I wanted to arrange an event that was foremost about safety, but friendly, informal, informative and most of all fun! It is also a chance to meet other girls with the same passion.

  Thank you to Steve and Kathleen for all they are doing out there to grow support for the Second Amendment and in bringing new shooters and gun owners in the right way. As I said above, they are representative of people out there at the grass roots level making things happen. That is where we grow our numbers. That is where we introduce new folks to the Second Amendment and the shooting sports that we love so much. They saw a need in their areas and they set about to make things happen. It is up to the rest of us to follow their lead and do the same. Introduce someone new to guns, gun safety and shooting when you can. Bring them in the right way and we will have them on our side forever. For everyone out there doing that; thank you. While Steve and Kathleen are representing you as the MOG Peron(s) of the Year, this is also for everyone out there doing the hard work of making local matches happen, teaching gun safety classes and providing instruction to new shooters everywhere. To quote Kathleen “Everything has a beginning and yes it’s a passion!!”