Girls and Guns: A Day in the Life Sunday

Annie get your gun. I have mine. Annie Oakley shot a Winchester1873 .44-40 caliber factory-made rifle. I am shooting a Smith and Wesson 9mm.

I bought my LadySmith in 1990-something when the Army was switching from the .45 to the 9 mm. For the military, it meant standardizing NATO ammunition. For a female officer with something to prove, it meant frequent trips to the Rod and Gun Club to meet up with my favorite Vietnam Veterans and practice until I was spot on.

I haven't fired much since separating from the military but when a new indoor range recently opened in town, the husband and I headed out to get a few shots in.

I settled into a groove warming up with a .22. Shot by shot, it all came back - steady breathing, even pressure, and a clean trigger pull. Moving up to the 9mm, my shot groups were close to center and respectable.

I still got it.

This weekend I took a pistol class to refresh my foundational skills and I plan to take a permit to carry class. It was a thoughtful (non-political) decision to ensure that I am confident and able handle myself in a self defense situation. Self defense is important and it's not just for male homeowners anymore.

Men and women who haven't had a lot of exposure to shooting are often surprised to know that there is more to shooting than self defense.

Shooting in a safe, controlled environment is fun; shooting requires a focus that, coupled with precision and required ear-protection, is guaranteed to quiet an active mind. Nothing beats the confidence of learning a new skill and improving upon it.

People learn to shoot and sharpen their skills for many different reasons. When it comes down to it, I am because I can.

Girls and Guns, by Lisa Rosendahl, first appeared on