A Brief History of Pistol Packing Ladies
I’ve always had a healthy appreciation for guns. My older brother, Bo, hunted squirrel and rabbit in the backyard, skinned his catch and gave them to mom to cook for dinner. I understood that guns were serious machines that needed to be handled with care, even something as simple a BB gun or a pellet gun.
In 7th grade, the students in my gym class were offered a gun safety class. There was no way I was going to miss this opportunity. Not only was I excited about learning more about guns, Bo promised to purchase me my first BB gun if I passed the class. How could a girl go wrong with such encouragement?
Many years later, when it was time to decide to go to college, or not, I was approached by a Navy recruiter and asked if I was interested in joining the service. As the initial conversation unfolded, I asked, “Do I get to shoot a gun?” The recruiter said, “No, women don’t shoots guns in the Navy.” Even at a young age, I was incredulous as to why a woman could not defend herself or her country with a firearm. I decided the Navy wasn’t for me and joined the Marine Corps. What a great decision that turned out to be!
As an enlisted Marine, I was an expert shot with the rifle. I loved my time on the rifle range. Once a year was not enough time for me. I would have preferred to hit the range a couple times a year, but alas, that was not my decision.
As an officer, I was entrusted with a pistol. I was good enough with the pistol, but I never could qualify as an expert, which frustrated me to no end. It wasn’t until I retired from the Marine Corps and took an NRA Basic Pistol Course that I realized what I had been missing all those years – the five fundamentals of shooting!
The NRA class made all the difference in the world to my shooting abilities. I learned that I was, in fact, very good with the pistol. I also learned that I had a knack for helping other ladies with their shooting fundamentals.
After some serious consideration, I took an NRA instructor’s course to become a certified NRA instructor. I then realized that the best way to fuel my new passion was to create a ladies shooting club. Pistol Packing Ladies (PPL) was created in November 2011. PPL began with just one member and has grown to nearly 800. The club offers like-minded women an opportunity to empower themselves one round at a time in a safe and fun atmosphere.
PPL has been an amazing adventure. One that I hope you’ll join us on.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter to be a part of the conversation. You can also view the PPL calendar at Meetup.com to join us for an event at The Range.
We hope to see you soon!
Stay safe. Shoot well.