fire all of your guns at once and explode into space

watching anyone dominate their craft fuels me. this explains my love of concerts, why i devour beautiful meals, and my compulsion to read classic literature.

watching my father shoot is like reading poetry.

through the years, i got glimpses into this society of gun owners, but it was not until i decided to go through the process of obtaining my license and purchasing a firearm for myself that i gained total admittance into my father’s universe.

i have been dying to bring anthony inside this world i share with the man who loved me first. i need him to understand the connection you can feel when you are side by side in a port.

anthony did shoot clay pigeons once, but an indoor range with super powerful weapons (and a future father in law!) is a whole different animal.

the mister and i visited gun for hire in woodland park nj, the range where my father works, which is totally unlike any i have been to prior. gun for hire is not a boys’ club.

once through the doors, we quickly learned, gun for hire is not a place to be intimidated, but a place to learn. the nj indoor shooting range, focuses on education, reverence for firearms, and self-protection. gun for hire defines the ‘new school’ of gun training.

everything is bright, clean, welcoming, and safe. the staff is friendly, funny, and each member of the team has a clear and deep respect for the process. we had a great couple in the neighboring port offering us shots with their gun. when the girl nailed the bull’s eye we all cheered. it felt like we were in it together!

our time at the range could not have been better. after pops gave anthony a safety lesson, we shot my gun (.357 mag) and then had the opportunity to shoot everything from mild recoiling .22 handguns my father custom built, to tactical rifles and shotguns.

when we fired off enough rounds for the day, we walked over to the range’s rifle camp café to enjoy a delicious, freshly prepared lunch with my dad and the owner of gun for hire, anthony colandro. we were fortunate to meet massad ayoob, author and internationally respected firearms and self-defense instructor who was in house to teach a class at the range.

my dude could not have received a warmer or more positive welcome into the world of firearms. huge thanks to my dad and the entire staff at gun for hire in woodland park, nj for making this trip to the range one we will never forget!

if you want to learn more about this sport, stop into gun for hire. the staff is happy to address any reservations you have. if you are a first time shooter or a woman apprehensive about diving into this stereotypical “man’s world,” this is the place to go.

you are welcome to email me for more information or contact gun for hire directly at: 888.GUN.FOR.HIRE (888.486.3674)

steppenwolf: born to be wild

while i gather words to properly express the joy that overcame my heart when i brought my boy to his first gun range this week, please enjoy this video of me shooting an AR rifle.

and it’s time we stand and say…

i have not stopped grieving for the people of newton, ct.

there is no way to ever express the deep sadness the entire nation has felt.

i have kept silent on the gun control issues this tragedy has drug up. now i feel is the right time for me to speak up.

facebook and twitter have been slammed with anti-gun sentiments, mostly from uneducated losers who i have personally witnessed drinking and driving on a consistent basis.

it seems people forget that making something illegal does not make it go away.
it is forgotten that horrific crimes have been committed with bombs, knives, cars, and even bare hands.

will stricter gun control laws eliminate some elements of danger… maybe.
will it erase the issue of pyscho maniacs harming people… no.

tuesday night the nra broken its silence, and released the following statement:

"the national rifle association of america is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in newtown. out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

if you follow my blog or know me at all, you know i grew up in a household with a gun collector. my father collects, builds and refurbishes guns. he contributes to online blogs for gun owners. he is also one of the most gentle men (and gentleman!) you will ever meet. he taught me gun safety from an early age and made sure i fully understood the power of firearms.

this morning i received an email from my friend mike asking if i would be one of his references on his pistol permit application. i am honored.

i am proud to be a card carrying member of the nra and part of a group of people who value gun safety and believe in protecting our second amendment rights.

if you follow politics you know our second amendment rights are in danger.

if you would like to become a part of the proud group of gun owners, the time to apply for your firearms id card and pistol permit is NOW.

read all about my journey to become a gun owner and member of the nra here!

lee greenwood: god bless the usa

happiness is….

im learning that a gun doesn’t really become your own until it undergoes some fine tuning. most gun owners will tell you, their guns are frankensteins… made up of parts from other guns, things they handmade, and pieces “you cant get anymore.”

when i purchased rita in december, i was in love. i mean come on… she is gorgeous.

then when i went to shoot her for the first time, she was a little tight. the amount of pressure it took for me to squeeze the trigger made me flinch. even the slightest movement can make accuraccy harder. and then about five rounds in, she started locking up. residue from the bullets was getting stuck under the ejector star.

rita needed some surgery.

i left her in the hands of the best gun smith i know… my pops.

the day of the surgery i was a bit nervous. i knew her surgeon was the best around, but i was worried about my girl…

before long i received an update….

rita was a new woman.

then for my birthday, my dad surprised me with new grips which fit my smaller hands much better than the original ones did.

i cannot wait to get back out there and shoot her again.

“happiness is a warm gun” – the beatles.

dream on

i grew up with gun safety drilled into my head. i knew, if i touched one of my father’s guns without him in the room, he would kill me.

when i purchased rita this december i couldnt wait to shoot her. despite how anxious i was to fire a couple (or a million) rounds, those lessons from my childhood came back to me.


i have shot guns many a time before. rifles, pistols, quiet guns, really loud guns, you name it.

but this time was different. this was my gun.

the last thing i wanted was to have a bad experience and become intimidated of my own gun.

geeze.. isnt she pretty!?

so i asked my dad what was the best way to get to know my gun and learn to properly shoot. turns out, his childhood friend dave, is a firearms instructor. perfect.

this sunday my father and i met dave at this range/club dave belongs to. i would be able to really learn the ropes and shoot in peace.

when we started there was not another soul shooting. just me… and it was so nice.

so we got crackin’. dave showed me the proper way to stand, hold my revolver, and reload the gun.

not only was i able to shoot rita for the first time, but i got to sample the plethora of guns my father, dave, and even other men at the club brought with them and so graciously let me shoot.

some of the guns were really really old black powder muskets. some were handmade by my father.

it was wonderful to take my time, get a feel for what i was doing, spend a little time with each gun.

no one was rushing me. there was no clock counting down the minutes i had left in my port.

it was me, dave, and pops… shooting guns, talking about the differences, seeing what felt right and what didnt. i was in heaven.

oh and i got to watch some real pros have at it…

need a closer look at that gun my dad is holding? thought you might… yeah custom built to form to his hand like a glove..

i didnt even know this stuff really existed.

i really want to thank my father, dave, and all of the other men at the club who were so kind to share their day with me. i have been fortunate enough to grow up around beautiful firearms… watching my father sit for hours upon hours with sandpaper, filing down different parts, smoothing out this or that. cleaning gun after gun (usually around my boyfriends… very strategic)… ordering parts.. selling parts… explaining the history behind muskets and the different weapons used in wars.

i am so excited to have finally entered this world for myself.

i LOVED being able to shoot so many different kinds of guns on sunday. i loved hearing tips from men who have been shooting for sixty plus years. i loved that even though i am a woman these men welcomed me inside their doors and passed on advice. i loved every single second.

shot through the heart…

i am a bit worried that “i bought a gun” got too mixed in with the excitement of the last three days. i would like to give this purchase the full attention it deserves.

the last few months i have been doing some research and talking to my dad about what gun would be the perfect fit for me. we narrowed it down to a revolver as they are better suited for shooters with smaller hands and are more reliable in dangerous situations.

because my dad is like besties with the people at ramsey outdoors, he heard first about the brandy new .357 mag revolver ruger was introducing.

ramsey had one ordered and it was put on hold for me.

friday afternoon my dad, sister, and i were able to shoot over (pun always intended) there to check her out.

it was love at first site.

for some reason, when i held the gun, it felt like mine. i didnt feel like i was holding someone else’s gun. it already belonged to me. no one else had held it or looked at it. from ruger, to ramsey and then it was in my hands. the spent cartridge is dated december tenth. that’s how freakin brand new it is.

i decided she needed to come home with me.

i had my firearms card and my handgun permit with me. despite all the steps i went through before i went to the store, there were still forms to be filled out as well as a background check to be done while i waited. once all the paperwork was done, i was walked to the front of the store by ronnie who sold me the gun.

of course i made him pose for a picture with me…

then all i had to do was pay, and i was officially a gun owner. i admit, walking to the register was a strange feeling. i was purchasing my first gun. what a big purchase. what a big responsibilty.

i was thrilled.

christmas morning, in addition to all my other fantastic loot, my dad had some special presents for me…

pink remington ear protection, pink shooting goggles, and a range bag to transport all my gear!

now i just have to get her all cleaned up so i can head to the range and fire off some shots!

long december

i am so genuinely overwhelmed. i am not sure where to begin here…

it is december twenty third. everyone is last minute shopping, baking, traveling, preparing for the holidays.

my girlfriends, parents, and sister, took time away from all the christmas crazy, to surprise me with a dinner to celebrate this past year.

on this day last year i was behaving like a crazy person.

i didnt know it at the time, but it would be the last day i took a sip of alcohol.

i also didnt know that exactly one year later my world would be turned around. i didnt know what i was capable of… didnt know how magical life could be…

one of my favorite quotes…
“you have no idea how promising the world begins to look once you have decided to have it all for yourself. and how much healthier your decisions are once they become entirely selfish.” - anita brookner

today… was wonderful.

i am writing this post on my couch, crying about how happy i am.

the day started with ugly sweater/last minute gift shopping with my dad.

towards the middle of the day… i bought a gun.

yup… a .357 mag. brand new. model not even in the catalogs yet…

i am over the moon in love with her…

with no time to spare, i rushed around to get showered and ready for what i believed to be dinner with a couple girl friends…

when gbabe (danielle) and i arrived at the restaurant, i saw twelve chairs waiting.

there were even cards and presents…

right now i am so happy that i dont know what to do with myself. half hour from christmas eve. in my jammies. uploading pictures i took with the camera i love of the gun i bought today to the blog i am having so much fun writing.

i am in love with today.

dani’s got a gun… permit…

yesterday afternoon i got the call i have been waiting for from the chief of my local police department.

my firearms card and handgun permit were ready to be picked up!

the firearms purchaser id card allows me to buy a rifle immediately and any time i want.

my permit to purchase a handgun expires in ninety days and can be used once. each time i want to purchase a new handgun, i need to apply for a permit.

so now the last step is finding the perfect gun…

ten little fingers…

this week i got a couple steps closer to buying a gun.

as you know, a couple weeks ago i filled out my firearms application. when i dropped it at the riverdale police department there was a section for non family member references. i put down my besties danielle and ronnie (different danielle than rock climbing/hiking danielle. there are a bunch of us.)

last week danielle and ronnie received paperwork in the mail to fill out and at this point they have both sent in their favorable reviews of me. this wednesday was finger print day! i jetted down to the paramus finger print place during my lunch and was in and out in 5 minutes!

wee bit closer to being a gun owner!

when i was fourteen and my parents caught me boozing, instead of grounding me, they made me write a ten page research report on the dangers of alcohol. it was always about learning and understanding why and how. there was no, “because i said so” in my house. when i asked for an explanation, i got one.   

it is no surprise that when i told my father about wanting to own my own gun, in addition to guiding me through the process, he gave me some assigned reading.

i already delved into “in the gravest extreme” by massad ayoob last night. apparently he is like the man when it comes to all things guns and gun law. 

hoping these books… and the other huge stacks i am sure are waiting for me when i finish these… will give me a solid foundation on understanding firearms.

when i was fourteen and my parents caught me boozing, instead of grounding me, they made me write a ten page research report on the dangers of alcohol. it was always about learning and understanding why and how. there was no, “because i said so” in my house. when i asked for an explanation, i got one.

it is no surprise that when i told my father about wanting to own my own gun, in addition to guiding me through the process, he gave me some assigned reading.

i already delved into “in the gravest extreme” by massad ayoob last night. apparently he is like the man when it comes to all things guns and gun law.

hoping these books… and the other huge stacks i am sure are waiting for me when i finish these… will give me a solid foundation on understanding firearms.

the most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered eastern peoples to have arms. history teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.

adolph hitler on gun abolition. april 11, 1942

…applications dropped at police station, mental health release form signed, fingerprints paid for (a whopping sixty bucks!) and appointment made to have prints done on november sixteenth! i am on my way!

bear arms

i believe in the second amendment. i believe being prepared is better than being surprised.

i believe being raised in a household with more guns than people has taught me a deep respect and reverence towards firearms. i was able to witness the power behind these weapons.

being around guns makes some people very afraid and uneasy. it makes me feel safe and protected. i was always able to sleep easy and being in the homes of friends who are gun owners always felt more safe to me.

while it has been nice to feel protected by those around me, it is time for me to take care of myself. owning my own gun has always been in my cards.

last year one of my very good friends, bought his first gun. during a weekend in upstate ny, he was so excited to show us the gun and shoot it for the first time himself. with a couple targets set up, ear protection in place, and goggles firmly on our faces, we took turns shooting rounds. even our friend who had never shot a gun before admited there was something very powerful and liberating about the experience. my mind was set - i needed to own my own gun.

life got in the way and a year went by. now with my list in black and white and all of the things i want to do clearly laid out in front of me, i keep coming back to “own my own gun.” the time is now.

my father sent me the information to apply for a “firearms purchaser id card and a handgun purchase permit.” once this is completed, there are a bunch more steps. apparently you cant just walk into cabelas and buy a gun…

here is a portion of the application…

today i took my first step toward being a gun owner! i am very excited to begin the process and look forward to sharing this journey with my blog friends!