I had the chance to sit down and talk with Dana Loesch following her book signing at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Nashville TN. I watched her sign hundreds of books, each one with a smile and a pose for photos. She had been on her feet for hours and I marveled at the enthusiasm she still had to sit down and talk with me. I had asked our Facebook followers and shooting chapter members for questions they would like me to ask her, but unfortunately all of the bandwidth was used up at the NRAAM in Nashville, there was no signal for me to access them. So we talked about her book, her thoughts on training as a woman to protect themselves and their families and what is happening politically with our Second Amendment rights.
There is nothing I admire more than a woman with convictions and opinions and the courage to boldly share and stand up for them. Dana is just that! With an infectious personality and charisma that just draws you in and calls you to do the same. We focused our conversation on women and the unique opportunity for women to drive their own futures as self-protectors and how to encourage them to become actively involved and stand up for our rights to do so.
In her book Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America Dana takes her readers from her childhood in the Ozark Mountains and her fascination with her grandfathers guns to the complex and emotionally charged present day of the political tug of war over them. She masterfully breaks down the crafted myths and the truths that we all must recognize to intelligently respond to and act on those efforts that threaten this God given right.
We began in the Ozark’s and the time spent with her grandparents. “My mom was a single mother during my formative years. She worked three jobs so I spent a lot of time with them so my grandfather was my father figure. I loved to watch him clean his guns and I wanted to know everything about them and how they worked. When he would come back from a hunt I would peek under the tarp to see what he came home with, I sure learned a lot of anatomy and physiology there”.
She shared a powerful story of one night, already tucked in bed when she heard her aunt arrive sobbing and scared after being assaulted by her estranged husband. She recalls her grandmother calling ‘the law’ and the sound of her grandfather purposely walk down the hall to get his shotgun. She listened to him walk to the porch, sit in the swing and cock the shotgun. “As I listened to him rock rhythmically, creaking back and forth in that swing, I never felt safer in my life”. She shared.
Her love of guns, her deep belief in the Second Amendment and her sense of duty to preserve them is part of the fabric of her life and of who she is. When the pressure against her strong belief in the Second Amendment provoked not only controversy but also threats against her and her family, she didn’t bow to the ‘terrorism’ that was being wielded against her… She trained to protect them.
“I had been in radio and done some TV when I received threats against my children and my mother instincts kicked in. I don’t like feeling that I can’t handle something and I was angry that there were people trying to prey on what they perceived as my fears or defenselessness and I thought, never again! I knew all about rifles and knew my way around them but handguns were different, I didn’t know anything about them. It was much like how I felt watching and learning from my grandfather, I wanted and needed to know everything about them. I found Top Guns Range in St. Louis, a wonderful range that welcomed me as a woman and I trained. I learned situational awareness; tactical training and I took more than two years Krav Maga. It is not enough for me to know a little bit about something, I need to know everything, that’s who I am and that’s how I took on my training. I don’t outsource my security. The Supreme Court ruled in Gonzales vs. Castle rock that police are not obligated to protect you or your family’s lives. We as mothers are terrified anytime our children run out in the street and we tell them about Stranger Danger, why would we not as mothers protect them at any other time and of course teach them about firearms“?
With her commitment to comprehensive training, I asked her how she encourages other women to train to protect themselves and their families?
“Women think it’s not a world for them and I say the hell with that! It absolutely is. I believe if you can drive a car you can handle and shoot a gun. Annie Oakley said she want every woman to be able to handle guns as well as they handle a baby. Learning is never finished, we are always learning”.
Our conversation turned to discuss the importance and the need for women to get involved politically.
“Women have always had the right to bear arms, we have had the right to bear arms before we had the right to vote. I just get mad when I hear people say I can’t carry here, or shouldn’t carry at all or that I need a magazine capacity restriction. Those people make me angry because they put me in danger and my children in danger. If they can hire personal security they can’t tell me how I can protect my children. They are trying to put me and other women at risk. I wanted to get out and get vocal about it and I encourage all women to get mad and get involved too. Women must use their rights; the quickest way to loose them is to not use them. Get out there and shoot. This is not a man’s world; it is every bit a woman’s world. Know your way around your firearm and don’t outsource your security. I care about my children too much to outsource their security, my families’ and mine and to trust it to an entity for which I cannot vouch. And I do question the instincts of someone who thinks it’s all right to just outsource this and not have to worry about it. I feel like I am not doing my job as a parent that way.”
“Mom’s Demand Action has such a low opinion of their sisters. Somehow they tell women they’re too dumb to use a gun, and if they carry, they are going to kill themselves using it. It’s a viscous cycle they have set up and they are trying to make it cool to be defenseless, to be a victim or to be weak. It’s not working, it’s not cool to be defenseless and it is not attractive. Women who can be self-sustaining, strong and self-sufficient are cool!
Of course we talked guns and wrapped up the interview with what kinds she has and what guns she wants.
“My very first handgun gun was a revolver, at first I wasn’t comfortable getting a semi-automatic and I got a Smith & Wesson .38 Airweight. My favorites now are my GLOCK 19 and my Smith & Wesson M&P 9c. I want to get my own 30 30 rifle, I think that’s my next gun. I also want to get a new bird gun because I love shooting skeet. I have AR’s and we have an Argentine Mauser, which has some kick! It’s like a baby mule! What a really fun gun to shoot!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Dana, she is an authentic, passionate and driven woman determined to make a difference. Her book is an excellent read with valuable information and facts that we all need to arm ourselves for the fight we are in over our precious Second Amendment. I highly recommend you get a copy.
Dana Loesch is an American conservative talk radio host, television host at TheBlaze and author of Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America. Loesch has appeared as a political commentator on Fox News, CNN, CBS, ABC and HBO among many others. She is the first woman since 1961 to be featured on the cover of Guns & Ammo Magazine.