Posted in Writing

Girls with Guns: I Broke a Nail, but the Magazine’s Loaded

My husband and I are really terrible about birthday and Christmas and anniversary gifts.  It’s not that we forget the holidays–it’s that we never manage to wait to give a gift on the actual holiday for which it was intended.  Sometimes I manage to hit his birthday, but that’s only because he’ll get what was supposed to be his Christmas gift on his December 1 birthday.  By that point he’s already gotten his birthday gift in October or November.  Last year I got my birthday present (my trusty little iPad!) in early July. My birthday (as my mother reminds me annually) is appropriately positioned on LABOR Day.

girls with guns
holding my weapon, TFOOTG (which I now know means “trigger finger out of trigger guard”)

So we’ve kind of given up on pretending to match gifts with the “gift-giving holidays,” and we just give them when they arrive.  That’s what my mother always called a Happiness Present–one that’s not attached to a specific “occasion.”

My latest Happiness Present from my Hubby is a concealed weapons class, so I’ll soon have a concealed weapons permit for the Desert Eagle pistol with which I’ve been getting comfortable today.

I’ve actually been interested in shooting for a while–an Idaho girl should know how to shoot, right? I finagled some rifle lessons out of a college boyfriend once, but for some reason he wasn’t really keen on the idea of arming me, so I never got past pot-shots at pop cans.  My first husband had been shooting with his grandpa since he was a kid, but hadn’t ever progressed to hitting what he shot at, so he wasn’t top choice as a teacher.

The Ex used to get a deer tag every season, but we never once had a deer in the freezer.  Even he acknowledged as much, referring to his hunting-outings as “going out to walk his gun.” Actually my favorite shooting story about him was when he was a teenager duck-hunting with his grandfather.  Grandpa–a son of Idaho homesteaders, and an ace shot himself–finally got so frustrated with his grandson’s misses that he grabbed the gun, shot three birds out of the sky in quick succession, and handed it back with the droll comment, “Well, it ain’t the GUN.”

hellcat honey sign, girls with guns wallpaper
guaranteed–there’s going to be a pin-up photo taken with this gun… I feel sexy just holding the thing.

My husband Keoni, on the other hand, is a Range Master and renowned in the Oregon Prison system (where he worked for a decade) for his skilled shooting stunts and competition wins, and he answers to the respectful title of “Zen Master Grasshopper.” So finally (since we’ve both been off probation for a couple years and can handle weapons again) I get to learn to shoot! Keoni’s best friend Nutty has loaned us the pistol, and the two of them (like an excited pair of little boys with a new project) corrected my grip and my stance as I held it for the first time this morning.

Nutty and Keoni are determined that I’ll be handling this pistol like a pro before I set foot in the class.  No girly grips here–though I confess I did break a nail loading rounds into the magazine.  My assignment today is to pick it up frequently to get accustomed to it and comfortable chambering a round, dropping out the magazine and replacing it, and pulling the trigger smoothly with the proper grip.

Truth be told, I felt a little foolish the first few times, as if I were aping movie-movements, but it’s already feeling more natural.  And truth be told, I feel sexy just holding the thing. I’ll guarantee right now that there’s going to be a pin-up-style photo taken with this in hand…  But that’s not the real appeal.  I remember junior high P.E. archery, one of the only sports I was any good at.  Something about hitting the center of that target, over and over… Something intensely satisfying in that.

Flashbang bra holster, girls guns
Flashbang bra holster

And of course a girl with a gun has a chance to accessorize. (The boys can’t even accuse me of being “girly”–men accessorize their weapons too, though they don’t use that word to describe it…)  I’m particularly amused by the “FlashBang” brand of bra holster, which (according to user reviews) is not as uncomfortable as it looks, though it “tends to get sweaty.” Yeah, think I’ll pass.

It remains to be seen if I’ll be any good with a gun. But I do know I have two of the best instructors a girl with a gun could ask for, and I don’t intend to piss away the opportunity.


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

21 thoughts on “Girls with Guns: I Broke a Nail, but the Magazine’s Loaded

  1. I remember when I had to get rid of all my guns for “Legal” reasons. I had been a small arms repairman in the military and fancied myself a bit if a tough guy with a shoulder holster.

    It’s probably a good thing I was disarmed while my veins still ran thick with stupidity. I don’t think they let you blog from San Quentin.


  2. HA! I was reading along enjoying the post and wondering if I will ever try this when BAM you gave us that little treat about the ex. TOO funny! I shall chuckle a few times today about that. ;)


  3. Ooo. This is my secret desire–to learn how to shoot. Not sure I’d want to own a gun, but learning how to handle one well would be a great skill to learn for future storytelling.


  4. Love your story and good luck with the lessons. Every girl should know how to shoot (in my view!). I have an airgun (so no big deal) and can kill the occasional rat (the 4 legged variety – rather than my Ex!!)


  5. My partner Sara always wants her gifts early–always–as soon as I get it—she can’t wait–like a kid. However, she’s never asked for shooting lessons. But good for you, Kana! Good luck.


    1. We laugh at ourselves for being kid-like on this… In our case it’s the GIVER who’s always too impatient to wait for the big “reveal”… ;)


  6. I’m just going to keep dusting off that last image…and of Christian telling you the story.


  7. All the best shooting stories have pee in them. While yours is by far the funniest, I have my own shooting and pee story, though there was no real shooting in mine. My dad used to go deer hunting every year, and, like your ex, never came home with a deer. His friend offered up the story as to why. My father would cover himself in deer pee to mask his scent while deer hunting. Unfortunately, he’d fall asleep against a tree, snoring, which negated the deer pee. I don’t think I’d like to be covered in pee just to take a damn nap.


  8. I just love the punch line. I almost peed MYself laughing! Too funny. Personally, I’m afraid of guns but like to see a female handle one with confidence and put the fear of God in a bad boy should the need arise.


  9. ROFL loved the stories on your EX’s gun skills ; ) I’m not an expert myself, but thanks to my brother and cousins (all boys), I’ve learned at least how to shoot one and be comfortable doing it. This last year the boys went out to the gun range and took me and my two girls. My oldest didn’t care much for it, but my youngest LOVED it and was actually quite good, for a girl hahaha ; D


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