Sally knocks it out of the park once again with this piece voicing the fears we face when starting something new, unfamiliar and intimidating. But more importantly, she gives us a glimpse at the greatness that can come from taking a risk.


Earlier this week, I decided it was time. Time to take my curiosity and desire of shooting into my own hands. I’ve loved shooting

The lovely and talented Miss Hope.

ever since riflery class in summer camp back when I was 10. But unless it was camp, or a guy friend of mine who owned guns and
could take me out, I didn’t have a clue where to go. Or what to do. And I was scared. And felt stupid. And years passed in between shooting, so every time felt like the first time.

“Can you just go to a shooting range with no knowledge of guns?” I asked myself . “How will I know what to do?” “What if I feel like a total idiot?” “I wish I could find some guy to take me out and show me what to do.”

This has always been the situation. I’ve always wanted to rely on guys or someone else to show me how to do something that I want to know, but I’m scared about. And this time, that’s where I decided to change the story. I decided it was time to take on the
responsibility myself. I want to learn dammit…and I’m GONNA, whether you’re with me or not.

So I clicked around and did some research and found Girls With Guns (, who had a beginner’s handgun course FOR ladies, taught BY ladies. SCORE!

Amazing instructors at


Well, it scared me still. “What if I sucked?” “What if I was intimidated at the range?” And all those messages replayed in my mind like a record. I woke up in a panic the day after I bought the ticket for the course, and daydreamed about how I was going to call in
sick. And this continued up until the morning, when I went to the range.

But I did it…and this is what happened after:

It was 2 pm, on a sunny but not too hot Sunday afternoon. I pull out of the range parking lot, on to a windy road, and then finally to the main road that led to the 210 freeway. Country music on. Windows down. And I could not have felt more…ALIVE.

For the past four hours, I had been at a beginner’s handgun course. Taught for women, by women. The instructors were two police officers. Nice, charming, funny, and totally badass. The rest of the girls that were there ranged from a trio of sisters who all owned their owned guns and had gone shooting with their husbands many times before, to the Australian woman who had never seen or touched a gun and was kind of scared them.

Sally getting her shoot on with Girls With Guns Shooting Industries.

By the way…this woman was the best shot of the entire day.

We shot 9mm, a .357 revolver, and a 12 gauge shotgun. We learned safety, and proper handling, and proper shooting. And I learned more that one day than I had ever learned in all my other times shooting – combined. And I felt grateful for this class, and proud of myself for going.

Leaving the range that day, all I could do was picture my future revolver sitting in my car. Shiny. Nice. In it’s case. Feeling badass. Feeling feminine. Completely competent. Unafraid.

And as I was driving along, wind in my hair, smile on my face, I realized I learned four things from this experience:
1) Guys aren’t the only ones who can teach you how to do things that guys normally do.
2) Don’t rely solely on others for your happiness. Must take matters into your own hands.
3) What you want, wants you, and there is always a way to find what you need.
4) Shooting guns, and being safe about it, is totally awesome.

What are your beginner shooting stories? What was it like the first time you went to the range alone? What life lessons have you learned from shooting? Leave a comment below and share your stories.

From one Gun Girl to another…I salute you.

Sally Hope, The Unconventional Traditionalist, is a Blogger/Love and Life Coach who loves hot-pink lipstick, guns, crosswords and cowboys. A former Rockstar (, she has taken her show from the stage to the road by traveling around the US in an RV while coaching her clients and inspiring people to live their own Rockstar Lifestyles. Her latest obsessions include traveling, country swing dancing, motorcycles, LOVE, chips and salsa, and adventuring. Whatever it is you are wanting in your life, she will help you get there faster. You can find her at her website ( or her Facebook page ( Twitter ( or getting ridiculous on her YouTube channel (