Holiday Shopping | And Shooting

competitive marksmanshipAt this time of year, I hear the  interviews and advertisements in proliferation regarding “The Holidays”. People describe the shopping and the gift lists and the huge increases on the pocket book expenditures and time consuming hours spent on all of this with a degree of horror that makes me wonder, “why do we volunteer for this madness?”. Then, of course, I think about shooting. I experienced many such moments of madness in my competitive career. I wondered why I competed, I felt so worn out. I contemplated the intelligence of firing one more round down range like that round was going to bump me up in my shooting classification at my next match. I even got so frustrated at a Regional match, once, I started asking for rides home; I was done. However, as Mississippi hosted this Regional and I lived in Los Angeles, no one felt so hospitable as to drive me home before my scheduled flight. Then, I got to thinking about all that a person does even when they do not feel like it, when their energy wanes, when the checkbook looks nearly empty. We follow a calling. We are prompted to give and to acknowledge those we love. We feel honored to exercise our talents for picking out the perfect trinket. So it is with competing or with anything we are called upon to do. That internal voice telling us the purposefulness of the occasion motivating us to practice, to travel far distances, to compete in matches. We might bomb, we might excel, but we always show up. As we wind up this decade (yes, the Millenium was  ten years ago!) remember the marksman in your life and the simplest of trinkets that will delight him or her. The local drug store carries sponge ear plugs. A cleaning bucket (great for toting targets and staple guns) can be found at the community big box stores. Go to your local sporting goods stores and pick up a set of padded ear muffs or a small lock box for transporting a handgun. Go to the home centers for eye protection for the shooter that does not need prescription lenses. It is really the little things in life that count, after you add up all your X’s!

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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