NOISE Why I Won’t Walk Out

I sit here today struggling to get my work done, and the list of to-dos is lengthy. There has been a multitude of tragedies that are hitting close to home in my little town. My motto is generally motivational and I try to be on the upbeat. That’s because I know our time here is short and we have a lot to do.


The word prompt of the day that showed up in my writer’s feed is noise. I found it fitting and inspiring as a way to do my job, which is to write. If you’d like to hear me spew about why then read on.

Today I’m struggling to find the motivation because there is so much noise going on in the media, social media, and now right here in my community.

While everyone is running around making noise there are real-life tragedies occurring. People are screaming for the disarmament of a country as murderers rove our streets. — Criminals.

A Walk Out? What does that do to keep me safe? How does that stop evil?

Why now, if ever, would I want to be unarmed? Why would I want to be a sheep in a wolves pen?

I’ve had friends scoff when I say I carry at home. “Home? That’s your safe place.” Is it?


A close friend lives in a house that an ordinary, everyday citizen would see as safe from burglars and transients. Everyone knows he’s a gun owner. His driveway is lined with intimidating hound dogs. It’s not one I would deem as portraying a welcoming ambiance to a stranger. In fact, it’s been said that criminals avoid homes that have dogs. He has about 15.

Yet in the wee hours of the morning, when the rest of us slept, a stranger walked up the driveway and peered into the kitchen window with a flashlight. There was no knock on the door.

My friend who, like the rest of us, is generally sleeping at 3:00 am was awakened by the sound of his furious dogs. He came out of his room to see a light shining through the kitchen door and found a stranger who, in broken English, said he was having car trouble and asked for help.

The friend got dressed, loaded the man in his car, and headed up the road to see if he could help. Yep. He’s a good Samaritan. The kind that would give you the shirt off his back in a snowstorm.

As the two drove it was gathered that the car may need transmission fluid. From the translation the illegal immigrant gave, my friend deciphered that the vehicle could move but not too far and not uphill.

When they arrived they parked so as to shine the headlights at the broken down ride. As he lifted the hood and peered into the engine compartment, a swift blow struck my friend on the back of his head. The strike was immediately followed by a knife to the throat.

The man ran for my friend’s vehicle, hopping into the driver’s seat. As he began to back away, my bleeding friend lept to the passenger door, trying to get in as the man stabbed at him with a knife. After a short tussle and being drug, the friend was left on the ground in the road. He watched as his car sped away into the darkness.

I must say I have courageous friends. He managed his way to the broken down vehicle, got it into gear and limped his way back down the road to his driveway where he crawled his way up to the front door and his girlfriend found him in a pool of blood.

People make NOISE and then there are criminals attempting to kill law-abiding, good Samaritans in our country.

My friend was life-flighted to the hospital. He spent a few days in intensive care. He went through vocal cord and speech therapy and eventually made it home. Thank God he lived!

What about that man who attempted to murder him then sped off, leaving him for dead? The police set out tack strips, popping the tires of my friend’s car, causing it to careen off an embankment. The criminal wound up being life-flighted with multiple internal injuries and bones broken in his legs, ankles, and chest. After his rehab, he sits in the local jail awaiting prosecution.

Will there be justice? What is justice?


The country goes mad. They want to ban guns. What if my friend had carried his firearm with him that night?


A local shop owner, who is an icon in the community, reports multiple break-ins at his store. With his patience shortened, he sees notification -yet again- that the store alarm is going off. He decides to confront the situation himself. He arrives at the shop to find the burglar still present. The shop owner is shot in the chest and the burglar runs. Life-flight carries the wounded skier, archer, husband, uncle, friend to the hospital where he died.


People keep calling to ban guns, legalize drugs, and make the illegal legal. What does this create? A SAFE ZONE FOR THE ILLEGAL where law-abiding good people die?

People are dying. When will we recognize that drugs are a problem? When will we realize that illegal means “lawbreaker?” When will we put “THOUGH SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” and “YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBORS BELONGINGS” into the forefront of our missions?

When will be put the law-abiding before the criminals? Innocent people are dying. Where is the justice?

A walk out? It’s just NOISE.

THEN this morning I learn that another friend, a high school mentor, an inspiration, passed away in his sleep. Life is short. When it’s our time God will let us know. Until then don’t let the noise fog your views. I’ll be more inspirational in a while.

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Handbags for a Country Girl Who Goes to Town

I’ve had a struggle that past few months and it’s not the typical one of lugging a huge satchel around with my computer, camera, chargers, and gear. I’ve retired that messenger style bag but also had to retire the old heave MacBook Pro (MBP). I have new, smaller, more sleek, easier to travel with, MBP. Don’t you think I now need a new handbag?

The old computer bag was of adequate size to tote my gear however, it alone sported some weight. I may have an indentation in my shoulder from the burden I carry around the world.

I’m looking for something stylish, yet not quite as bulky. Something with character but not too flashy. It’ll have to go to classy events and to hunting camp. It needs to be something with a couple compartments, or I’ll need to also shop for pouches to segregate my cords, cards, pens, and other small items.

Is that too large a criteria for a new handbag?

I assure you it isn’t because there’s more. The strap needs to be hefty enough to support the weight of a laptop, camera, and more, yet thick enough so it doesn’t cut into my shoulder. Of course, it needs to be large enough to hold the new 13″ x 9″ laptop in its sleeve but not too big as to allow me to throw in the kitchen sink.

There are many perks to living in a rural area, but great shopping isn’t one of them. I’ve been sorting through millions of bags via this cyber-store we all have access to now-days. The bad news is I can’t touch and feel and try the bags. The good news is I think I’ve narrowed it down to three.

Can you help me decide?

All three are large enough to fit the technology I pack around, but there are plusses and minuses to each. Right off the bat, I’ll say they’re all a bit pricey but won’t break the bank. They’re leather so that ups my expense but increases the longevity of the bag. The look they have would allow me to retire my purse. I think I’d be able to use one of these as a universal handbag. I think they’re classy, yet casual enough to go to hunting camp. What do you think?

  1. American West Rio Grande, All Leather Tri-Color Tooled Zip-Top Tote- Turquoise

    Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 5.47.03 AM
    This one is the most affordable. It has an ornate appearance, but I don’t think it’s too flashy. I wonder, with the blue-tone accent, will it match every outfit? I’m not too much of a fashionista, but I do like to look good at conventions. Is it too “country goes to town”? $178
  2. All Leather- Dual Entry Concealed Carry Zip Top Half Moon Tote- American West

    Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 5.57.18 AM
    This bag is less ornate than the one listed above. I love tooling, and this presentation highlights it. A plus to this one is that is has concealed carry pockets. Yep. I probably need those, since I travel with a handgun. $204.50
  3. American West Dual Entry Concealed Carry Full Grain Leather Tote + Wallet

    Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 5.53.01 AM
    This has a look similar to the first bag, minus the color. It has the tooling I admire mixed with the smooth leather. Do you think that gives it too casual a look? It too has concealed carry pouches. It’s the most pricey but comes with a matching wallet. $290

Of course, this isn’t the toughest or most important decision I have to make this week, but it’s one that will be with me for quite some time. The last Fossil satchel lasted about five years. Honestly, it’s still kicking but has a few freys around the edges and a look of oilskin instead of canvas. I suppose it has character, which could tell stories from around the world. Boots and handbags — Oh, the stories they could tell.

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Features of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Living in the country means I’m quite a distance from neighbors as well as the police station. While I initially attained my concealed carry permit because of handgun hunting, I often carry at my home. Some people think of their home as their safe place. While I too consider my domicile a place at which I’m most comfortable, it’s a location transients may target due to the distance from neighbors and the like.

Over the years neighboring ranches have been robbed. A friend’s house was shot up, while she hid from the intruder. While I hope to never have a need to use my firearm against another human, I don’t want to be a victim to a life-threatening intruder.

The tricky part is to find the perfect concealed carry holster to wear while I do my day-to-day tasks. Learn more about choosing a holster in this article, published at Beretta.

How to Choose the Right Holster: Pros and Cons of a Holster


The forever-asked question in the concealed carry market is, “Which holster should I purchase?” I’ve been asked the question numerous times, and my answer is never brief. Heck, there’s a lot that goes into choosing a holster to safely hide a firearm on your body. This list of criteria gets even longer when it’s a woman who wants to know which holster is going to be best.

While you want to choose a holster that will fit your Beretta, you additionally need to look for one that will secure it in place and protect the trigger. If you live near a store that sells concealed carry items, it’s best to get your hands on and feel them out. You can also do as so many others before you have, and ask a friend.

The problem I have with asking others about holsters is that we are all different shapes and sizes. We have varying wardrobes and fashion sense. The holster you need is going to depend on more than one quality. As of late, I’ve also been reading a lot of reviews. Don’t trust them unless you know they’re from a credible source. Some are only pointing out the plusses and neglect to tell you the minuses.

Let’s look at a few pros and cons you should consider. CLICK TO CONTINUE READING

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Reasons to Carry Concealed Firearms

Tactics of Concealed Carry

The reasons I carry may be different than the reasons you choose to carry. Therefore the gun I choose also may be different than the one you choose. Let’s check it out.

CLICK HERE to listen to this tip over on Armed Lutheran Radio.

Initially, my primary use for firearms is for hunting purposes. Over the years the collection has grown and so has the motivation for gun ownership. While I enjoy hunting with, plinking with and collecting firearms, I also have many which are suited for self-defense. Most of my friends own firearms and carry for self-defense purposes. While this has become an aspect of my concealed carry motives, it’s not the initial reason I took a concealed carry class.

mia-anstine-wearing-layers-camouflage-hunting-hank-anstine-photoMy concealed carry gun is of adequate size and caliber to use while I’m hunting, so it’s not most people’s idea of an ideal handgun to conceal. Hunting is the initial purpose, but self-defense is a secondary cause for having it.

Usually, when I’m pursuing wild animals through the woods, my pistol is securely strapped to my side. Often times, it ends up under a jacket as I layer up during cold weather temperatures. This is why I took a concealed carry class. Although I’m carrying solely for self-protection, these reasons and techniques for parallel.

Hunting vs. Self-Defense



I’m always aware of the gun’s location on my body and have rehearsed quick-draw techniques for producing my gun from beneath layers of hunting clothes, suites or everyday clothing. While hunting, I’m prepared in the event my target comes into view and is moving by rapidly. I’ve also mentally prepared for an aggressive animal threatening my life. 


The rehearsal with my pistol also includes any possible encounter with an aggressive human. Being a woman alone, or with my daughter, in the woods makes me a somewhat vulnerable target to would-be attackers. Do I foresee being attacked? No. Not really. Not by human nor animal, but I always try to be prepared for all scenarios. I’d rather have my gun and not need to use it than have an unexpected experience and not know what to do.prepare-for-emergencies-mia-motivationsA huge part of carrying is the responsibility that goes along with it. Just as, while I’m hunting, I need to know if the bear or lion is of appropriate age or sex before a shot is fired. I also need to be absolutely certain that my life’s in danger before brandishing my firearm in the event of a human assailant. Whether I’m in the woods or not, I always look to avoid confrontation. Always be aware of your surroundings. Remember to trust your instincts. Get out of the area before things escalate.

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She Wants a Revolver or Semi-Auto

One of my very best friends, who I met in college, messaged me the other day asking for advice in regards to purchasing her first gun for concealed carry.

Some people had told her that she has to have a revolver because she wouldn’t be able to pull back the slide on a semi-automatic handgun. Still, other people said that the semi-automatic is easier to shoot, so she should get that. Since she knows I’m a firearms instructor she wanted to know my opinion regarding the matter.

She is a really tiny person and has small hands so I wanted to delve further into this topic. It’s one I’m asked all the time. As a matter of fact, a lot of firearms instructors are asked this question. We’re not just asked, “What type of handgun should I buy?” but also “What is better the revolver or semi-auto?”

Kimber America’s K6S revolver and Ultra Carry II semi-automatic

This debate has been going on for days, months, no YEARS among the gun-owner family. I’m not here to say which is right or wrong, but how to know which one is for you, or rather HER.


Some of the primary differences in semi-autos and revolvers are of course the operation. Some notable differences are the moving slide versus a rotating cylinder.

There are those who like the semi-auto because they say you can carry more rounds. The number of rounds varies depending on the caliber, make and model. For example, you can purchase a .357 semi-auto, take the Glock G3 for example, that holds 15 rounds, whereas a revolver of similar size, say the Kimber K6s, holds six rounds.

The .357 isn’t as common as it once was, but I’m mentioning it because, thanks to my friend Paul Glasco of Legally Armed America, I’m currently reviewing the K6s. I’ll share more about it, in the future. In the meantime, let’s get back to my friend’s little hands and some key aspects she needs to address in choosing a handgun. These may help you in choosing a carry model as well.

If you’re going to be carrying the gun, there’s the issue of where you intend to carry it. This is an issue for everyone, but it seems to be of added significance for women. It sounds simple to carry it in your handbag, but I suggest you carry it on your body so you’re in command of it at all times.

In comparing semi-autos and revolvers again. Some semi-autos are hammerless, the hammer is concealed within the slide, and some have an exposed hammer. The same goes for the wheel guns, aka the revolver. This is an attribute to look at because the smoother the exterior features are on the gun, the easier it will be to produce under pressure. You won’t have to worry about the hammer snagging on your clothing or getting hung up in your purse.

Rapid reloads are possible with both the revolver and the semi-auto, provided you have speed-load clips for the first and magazines for the latter.

Operating the revolver can be rather simple, however, the trigger pull can be cumbersome on some double-action models. This K6s I mentioned has a match-grade trigger, which allows me to shoot, one handed, and stay on target.

Operating the slide of a semi-auto becomes a breeze after you learn to properly pull it and practice regularly.

There are plenty of handguns that will fit little hands. If you can get to a range and shoot a variety of models that would be ideal because your small hand is going to fit differently than say my small hand is going to fit on a grip. You need to shoot and find one that fits YOU.

While you’re at the range, you should also see about trying various caliber guns. For example, I like a .45 caliber, but my friend Anne likes a 9mm and my friend Becky likes a micro-carry .380. 

Remington RM380

So, you see, there’s a lot to consider, but the main thing is to go shoot some. Find out what YOU like, and once you decide to take the step and purchase a firearm, go take a class and also practice regularly.

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Hunting, Concealed Carry and Preparing for Layers

The past few weeks I have been out in the woods of Colorado, hunting. I’ve been pursuing elk and now black bear. When out in the field pursuing bear, there are times you get into some pretty tight spots. Sometimes you may be crawling through, or sitting near thick brush or shrubs. These are the key areas where bears may be.

You can listen to this tip, and some humor to go with it, on the Armed Lutheran Podcast. CLICK HERE

The view from our hiding spot in the brush.
The view from our hiding spot in the brush.

Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature. ~Mia

I’m sharing this with you because I want to talk about concealed carry. I carry my sidearm on the hunt, but it’s a little different than the type of carry than we often discuss. Or is it?

When I’m hunting, I don’t necessarily carry concealed because I’m out in the woods, and there’s nobody to hide my firearm from, and since I have a rifle, they already know I’m armed. So, open carry it is.

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This time of year it gets pretty chilly out. Therefore, you pack on a lot of layers. Just like every other day, we have to practice drawing our firearm. This time of year that means from beneath the layers. When I’m maneuvering through brush or tight situations in the woods, I make sure that my jacket and other layers aren’t binding or hindering my holster or my ability to get to it.

I’m sharing this is a reminder for you. Like it or not, fall is on its way. That means cooler temperatures, more layers. Which actually can help in concealing your carry gun, but also add to the bulk of clothing you have to burrow through to draw your weapon in a sticky situation.

Always think of where you’re carrying your firearm how you’re going to access it, and just like in these bear tunnels in the oak brush, you might be in a very tight situation. Actually, you probably will be in a very tight situation, if you find the need to draw your firearm. If you’re not, then your better option is probably to find a way out of there.

It’s time get out your layers and holsters. Start dry-firing or head to the range and practice that draw. Cheers to you from the woods! Be safe out there.

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Concealed Carry – Learning to Draw and Shoot | Mia’s Motivations

I recently learned to efficiently draw and shoot from a concealed carry belly-band holster. The instructors at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Ariz. are superb, and gave me some tips in drawing from a Can-Can Concealment holster as well as how to draw and shoot from a handbag.

I, of course, need to practice more and plan to take a full-blown course in the future. In this week’s ‘Mia’s Motivations’ episode I give a recap of my experience, plus a tip on how you can become a better handgun shooter. I’m headed to the range and I hope you’ll spend more practicing too.

Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature.

Another episode is up –

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Youth Defensive Pistol School at Gunsite | Mia’s Motivations

If you’re looking to empower your youngster, teach them to take care of themselves by sending them to Gunsite’s Youth Defensive Pistol school

Women's Outdoor NewsI’ve been working 17 years to raise a Little Gal (LG) to become a knowledgeable, strong and independent woman. She has been learning how to avoid dangerous situations and how to protect herself. Recently, she learned how to protect herself with a handgun while at Gunsite Academy’s defensive handgun course.


Mia and the Little Gal is sponsored by Remington.

As you know, Remington Arms Company sponsors this column, so you can bet we jumped at the opportunity when they invited us to Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Ariz. Gunsite offers a variety of defense courses, and Remington brought an R1 pistol in 9mm for the Little Gal to shoot. CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE

Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature.

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Headed the right direction – Colorado Constitutional Carry

Senate approves Constitutional Carry

DENVER, Colo. – Today the Senate approved Senate Bill 15-032 which allows law abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm without having to jump through government hoops.

“Colorado law already allows law-abiding individuals to open carry in most places across the state,” said Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins). “My bill simply allows them to put on their coat or place it in their purse without making them criminals.”

Already, Colorado law allows individuals to conceal firearms in their vehicles and on their person on their property.

Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley) explained, “As the former Sheriff of Weld County, I support protecting Coloradans from unnecessary prosecution. Senate Bill 32 will ensure that responsible, law-abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves without government interference.”


Follow Mia’s posts at Beretta USA Blog
Read the Adventures of Mia and the Little Gal at the Women’s Outdoor News, Sponsored by Girls with Guns clothing
Find Mia’s shooting safety tips at North American Hunting.
Mia shares tips, gear and stories for women who love the hunt, or want to, at Western Whitetail Magazine.

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