When you decide you want more…

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Perspectives, Stories, Training Notes

Are you a hobby shooter wanting more? When you go to a range, what are you practicing for…skill, defensive, or just out hangin’ around just to have fun! I was one that found myself going to indoor ranges to become a better aim, hit that center target and have fun while building my skills and then something clicked that I wanted more.

I started paying more attention, getting more serious about what I really wanted in my knowledge. Thinking long and hard about this hobby of mine and what I really wanted out of it. Do I just want to go to the gun range and shoot a hole in the center target or do I want to get serious about what I’m doing and go further, push myself, learn more, crave more, desire more?

At this point in my shooting skills, the want to move forward in learning the correct way of shooting hit me hard. Paying more attention to my stance, grip, trigger pull, front sights and target put me in the running for more knowledge and understanding the fundamentals. I noticed that I was craving more, something fun although structured in learning.

Being around the indoor range and always hearing about competition, it got me thinking…what really is competition? Now, I wanted to know more. I got myself into a women’s league and one of the facilitators does competition shooting along with a few women in the group and that piqued my curiosity.

Consequently, one night I went to the gun range when they were hosting an IDPA match and whoa, was I hooked! This is what I’ve been looking for. The structure, the thought process, and development of shooting skills. I watched eagerly to learn and wanted to know more. The next week, they were having an ASPSA match and I got myself the necessities to shoot that match. Belt, magazine holders, gun holster, and ammunition. I was set.

Not knowing what to expect, I signed up for my first match. Nervous and not understanding the commands, I asked questions, a lot! Listening to the squad leader and RO tell you what the match will be about and how it will be played, you then come up with your strategy to move forward in this match.

My first turn came up, all eyes were on me, the new comer to the game. My nerves were racked as I’m trying to understand and digest what to do, how to do it and make it count. My first trigger pull, my firearm stove pipe’s, I wanted to cringe, although I got through it and by the time I did, I was extremely proud of myself for shooting my first stage in the four stage match.

I get through the second stage with better timing and better accuracy and by this time I was floating on cloud 9! I was so proud of myself and I felt good. I was getting it down and the 3rd match came and it was my turn. I instantly got disqualified as I unholstered planning my strategy without thinking, when I knew better. That was a definite learning experience.

After I was DQ’d I stuck around, help paste the targets, clean up and tear down to still be apart of my team and show excellent sportsmanship. This is the kind of person that you want to be and your team mates need. That night when I left there, I couldn’t be more proud of myself and still am!


Now, I’ve got the bug. I’ve got to get the training although don’t know where to go. Because I’m still new in town, I really don’t know anyone so I join online women gun groups in South Carolina and I make an online friend who is more than willing to help me get to my next journey in life.

Craving more and more, I had to set myself back due to eye surgery. In the mean time, I was looking for someone I could talk to about learning the correct way of handling my gun, techniques and understanding the commands for competition.

I make some phone calls, sent some emails and I found a person who I thought was perfect for what I wanted. The more I conversed in email, the more I realized I didn’t want to learn more defensive, I wanted to learn competition. Back to the drawing board. I see a message through an online group and I decided to call this place and the person on the other end of the phone understood what I was looking for and teach competition and we set up a date for myself and my husband who has caught the bug  to learn our new passion that we are now sharing together.

We went, we learned a wealth amount of education and we had fun. This is when truly I realized this is what I want to do. One step at a time learning as I want to do it right. Eager to move forward and excited, I’m hoping to find a mentor that will take me under their wing in my area to move onward with my new-found love, competition shooting! Earning the respect of my fellow shooters and making new friends who enjoy the same passion is where I want to be in life while enjoying….competition shooting!

 Smile…It Confuses People,
 Leah D. Lichtenberg  
guest author for Live Love Load
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You’ve Got 20 Seconds Right?

Posted on Posted in Perspectives, Training Notes

You are scared, you know it’s your turn next and you’ve watched Jill and Bob accomplish the feat before you. They were fine, Bob even made a mistake, you can do this. Your hands are sweaty, you feel nervous, and you wonder if you can convince David behind you to take your place, to go next.

It’s now your turn. You take your place, you begin to speak and it’s happening. Next thing you know it’s over. You survived and apparently you did well. You feel accomplished and ready to learn the next part. Oh, the next part is something else you’ve never done before. Whew, David and Kelly are in front of you this time you can see what they do and get ready for your time. You still feel nervous but not like before, you know everything will be fine in the end. You know you can do this, you step up and accomplish the next step.

The next task is presented, you volunteer to go first. At this point, you are still nervous but you know everything will work out, even if you make a mistake. You get comfortable and the fear that you first had is gone by the end of the event. You have new knowledge not only about the subject you were learning but also about your ability to learn.

This article is about how to break out of your comfort zone. It’s a fabulous read and will help anyone teetering on a decision point. I often push myself past uncertainty by telling myself that it will take only 20 seconds of courage to get the phone call done, the question I’m afraid to hear to no about, and the task I’ve never done before. I also tell myself that I am learning and it’s okay to make a mistake. As long as you learn from the mistake, it’s all good. The failure is in not trying at all. So I urge you to give it 20 seconds!




I’m Terrified Of Guns, But I Felt Like A BADASS Shooting An AR-15

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Newsfeed


It can be a bit intimidating trying something new, especially something it’s been taught to be afraid of. Are there rules to follow? Sure, but for yours and others protection. I’m sharing her story because we were all there. It’s short and sweet and she’s hooked!


She’s Packin’!

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

Very soon social media with be abuzz with She’s Packin’ photos, to bring awareness to women who carry personal protection devices. This campaign is close to all of our hearts because concealed carry is just that, concealed. We want to share with other women that they can protect themselves, see what we carry, you can too!

Carrying women will be sharing a photo amongst their friends, groups, and family. The group of women involved in spreading the message and bringing awareness that women are just as serious about personal protection as men, and want for women to feel empowered. Even if another woman decides to start carrying pepper spray or a self-defense tool on their keychain, it’s one tool more than she had before.

If you see a She’s Packin’ photo, please feel free to submit your own photo in the comments below or jump into the conversation! We are more than happy to talk about the products pictured and answer any questions you have. If you would like to get involved, email me jessica@liveloveload.com, or private message Live Love Load via social media and I will get your She’s Packin’ photo ready to share!

The photo with this post is from Henn Holsters and Tactical, owner Hannah shared her own photo for this project. Please visit her Etsy shop for more options that may fit your conceal carry needs. Henn Holsters is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please feel free to Like & Share her posts.

#ShesPackin #LadiesRoar #LadiesShootToo

Stay safe. Stay Aware.


Offering Guns as Anti-Violence Groups’ Raffle Prizes Sends the Wrong Message

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Newsfeed


That is not particularly what got my attention. It was one of the prizes listed (a handgun) and the community group that would receive the raffle proceeds (Youth Violence Prevention Council Shasta County).

Once I investigated the group and its programs on their website (yvpc.org), I was even more incensed that they would agree to a fundraising raffle with a deadly weapon as a prize while conducting important programs for the young people of our county already living thru violent situations.

What message were they sending to them?

A phone message to the executive director yielded a call back from board member, Sheriff Bosenko. I expressed my concerns of the hypocritical nature of a handgun raffle prize, when this was an anti-violence organization. I pointed out that handguns have one purpose: to kill people. He countered that they are used for sport (target shooting) and self-protection.

I realized that our disagreement would not be solved, but that wasn’t the main concern—having a raffle prize, that is violent by design, earn money for an anti-violence promoting council was, to me … well … a mockery.

Shortly into the phone call, the Sheriff pointed out to me that other community groups had had similar “very successful” raffles – One Safe Place and Girls, Inc. for example. I was gobsmacked by this information and politely ended the conversation. My thought processes had ceased to be coherent but I soon realized that I had to get to the bottom of this news.

Calls and messages to the directors of the two groups brought me even more concern: Yes, the shelter for those fleeing domestic abuse had indeed had a handgun package (gun, training, conceal weapon permit) as a raffle prize last February at their fundraising crab feed.  Yes, Girls, Inc. had benefited from a similar raffle at the local sporting goods store a few years back.

Deciding to do an informal poll of local community groups, I found that AAUW and Shasta County Child Abuse Prevention Council have not had raffles with gun prizes. I was told that Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and Anderson Rotary have had gun raffles in the past.

Several groups have not answered my inquiry (NVCSS, GNRM, YMCA, SC Chemical People and Turtle Bay) but now that the conversation is started, maybe I can add their information to my data bank. The current director of Girls, Inc. said that they have turned down a facial rejuvenation raffle package in the past because of “the message that it sent to their girls.”

I propose every community organization develop written policies that clearly define what raffle items are acceptable or appropriate for their group to offer.  There needs to be a hearty debate about what is a difficult subject: fundraising at any cost. A hunting group certainly could decide that a weapon of some sort is appropriate. An anti-drug abuse council may decide the offer of a donated keg of beer as a fundraiser is not acceptable. A health-improvement council may decide that a spa day is OK for a raffle but a case of cigarettes or Vape shop gift certificate is not.  Having written guidelines seems a necessary step for every group.

Meanwhile, I plan to petition several groups directly to reconsider their previous raffle decisions and go “gun-free.” The message they send to the community, those who donate to them directly and those they serve is important. They need to realize that making money by releasing more weapons into our gun-rich region is not a proper way to fund raise.  Providing a handgun that could then be stolen, used in a felony or accidentally “mis-used” in the winner’s household causing injury or death should not be an option. Helping to facilitate such change would put my mind at ease.

Anita Brady is a lifetime Shasta County resident, and a retired high school biology teacher. She is married, and has two adult daughters who live far away. She is a third-generation union member and describes herself as an unapologetic liberal who remembers the “old days” when Shasta County had a Democratic stronghold. 

While world-travel is among her favorite pastimes, Brady is currently working on finding outlets for her progressive views including protecting women’s reproductive freedoms, promoting equal pay for women, maintaining separation of church and state, and nondiscrimination of American taxpayers based on sex, marital status, race, citizenship documentation or sexual preference.

Source: Offering Guns as Anti-Violence Groups’ Raffle Prizes Sends the Wrong Message


The message we are sending is that you have an AMERICAN right to bear arms and defend yourself. If you don’t like America, there are 195 other countries to live in- find one that doesn’t allow personal freedom and the right to bear arms. I get it, you have the right to voice your opinion, no problem…I enjoy that right too.

You are missing the point of these raffles: TO RAISE MONEY for the cause. Guns are not illegal, they are enjoyed for sport and crucial for self-defense against criminals. Criminals would be those wishing to do you personal harm for their own benefit against your will. Yes, I would gladly support Girls Inc. without a gun raffle but I would also prefer to win a gun too. Win-win, I say.

It is hard to raise money for non-profits, kudos to them for using what works. Shame on you for criticizing from your armchair and not doing the grunt work. Volunteering is a labor of love.


Back renewed campus-carry efforts – Sun Sentinel — SlowFacts

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Newsfeed

My friend Shayna Lopz-Rivas had this article posted in the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinal. Well done, Shayna. “For those of you who don’t know me, I am the on-campus rape survivor from FSU who supports the campus carry bill. Unfortunately, both Senators Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Andy Gardiner took part in killing the bill […]

via Back renewed campus-carry efforts – Sun Sentinel — SlowFacts


Tragedy illuminates need for more gun education

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Newsfeed

A 17-year-old Northwestern High School student died in Saturday night shooting that family members said resulted from three youths playing with a loaded gun.

The shooting was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at a home on 852 Horseman Drive in Rock Hill, according to Rock Hill police. The victim was found dead in the front yard of the home, police said.

Family members identified the deceased teenager as Ja’Terreon Thorne, a junior at Northwestern, who had earlier in his high school career briefly played on the Trojan football team.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast could not be reached early Sunday to confirm the identity. Investigators are calling it a homicide, but family members believe the shooting was accidental.

Thorne’s father, Terrence Thorne, 41, who lived at the home, said his son and two of his friends were playing in a “mancave” area that had been built in the backyard of the home.

“Kids were playing with a gun and it went off and hit my son,” Thorne said. He said his son was shot in the chest, and that a neighbor called an ambulance.

Thorne and the boy’s mother, Tamika Douglas, 40, said they did not know where the gun came from or what kind of gun was used. Douglas said there were no guns at the home.

My Thoughts: This tragic ending for Ja’Terreon is call out to our communities to have more gun education. Of course the teens knew it was wrong to be playing with the gun in the first place but more gun safety education will emblazon more youth to speak up against such behavior in their peers. Or is that too idealistic?
I don’t think so, my own 15 year old daughter has no problem telling her friends that what they are doing is not right if that is the case. Those will morals and standards will stand up and speak up- let’s teach them right.

Her Journey Into Firearm Ownership

Posted on Posted in Newsfeed

The Change: A Woman’s Personal Journey With Concealed Carry

» I HAVEN’T EVEN REACHED MY 40s YET, but I have already gone through “the change.” I started experiencing various symptoms many years ago. At first, I would just feel “off.” I wasn’t sure if it was nausea, faintness, nerves or all of the above. I just felt uncomfortable, maybe even more self-conscious … or self-aware. I was not 100 percent myself. Frequently, I would get hot and sweaty, and sometimes the unpleasant warmth would dissipate only to be replaced by a hollow chill afterwards. I’m not really sure how to best describe it, especially since it’s so different for everyone, but for a while, I just did not feel “right.”