Words before Weapons

What has surprised me most about being a shooter is that some men still have not gotten used to the fact that I’ve got different parts. And it’s not even the old men…its the middle-aged men. A few Nationals ago, I was shooting my individual target for my black powder revolver and ran into a bully. During Individuals, you have 20 minutes to take your time and shoot 10 rounds in the scoring target and as many rounds as you damn well please in your sighter.

Competing with both hands is a no-no. Practicing is a-okay.

As I walked up to the line with my teammates I spotted him. The Bully. Wonderful. He’s a line judge/safety. How did I know he was The Bully? Perhaps it was the glare I got as he looked me over. Maybe it was my gut telling me I was gonna be having problems with this one. We proceed to set up.

I take my time loading. I push everyone and everything out of my mind. It’s just me and my pistol. I let my first round go into my sighter and notice the shadow in front of me change. I know its one of the line judges/safeties behind me walking the line, so I don’t pay any attention to him. I take my sweet-ass time to aim and fire my remaining rounds into the scoring target.

There I am, standing between two of my team members, with a freshly fired-newly emptied cylinder. I pulled the pin/loading lever/whatever you want call it and rolled the cylinder into my hand. As soon as the bottom of the cylinder met the shooting bench the Bully was at my side trying to rip my pistol out of my hands. That’s right. He put himself directly into my personal space and attempted to relieve me of my pistol while shouting “NO RELOADING” in my hearing protection stuffed ear. I stayed calm and took a step away from the shooting bench (still holding on fiercely to my pistol) and asked him how, exactly, does he expect me to put 10 rounds in my target. At this point my team members put their pistols down and looked over to see if I needed assistance. He then turned to them and told them to “get control of your girl”. They ignored him and told me to keep reloading. I laughed. You should have heard the way he said girl. Like it was the most dirtiest, filthiest word in the entire English language and that I insulted him personally by being up on the line. We must have garnered enough attention because no sooner do I see one of the higher-ups walking our way, does he let go of my pistol and tell the man the trouble I was causing.  They walked over to the side of the range to speak privately while both of them pointed at me. Ignoring them, I continued to reload my cylinder. As I was about to cap my revolver, the Bully came over to me and apologized. He was new to being a safety & line judge on this event and even though he doesn’t approve of women shooting along side men, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I told him that I accept his apology and continued to shoot.

When I tell non-shooters this story, they always seem to be surprised that we all didn’t just start shooting at each other.  Just because I am armed does not mean that every disagreement I may have is going to wind up with me threatening someone or with them threatening me with a firearm. I ask them if they threaten people on a daily basis with physical harm because they have access to a baseball bat. That usually shuts them up.

From now on, instead of my usual eye roll before my lecture about how self-defense starts with words not weapons, I’m going to direct them to this post by Women of Caliber. She encountered a bully at the movie theater, but the lessons taught in this post can be applied everywhere and to everyone. Even during a competition.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. ReplyMichael

    What a douchebag. I don't understand why some men have a problem with women shooting. I didn't know even this happened. They must feel emasculated watching a women handle a firearm. I think it's awesome women shoot competitively. I'm a huge fan of Julie Golob. BTW it's not like you want to vote or have a job. Geesh. :)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>