Instagram Live Feeds and Empowering Others with Firearms Education

armed-lutheran-radio-featuring-mia-anstineWith all this news about live feeds and social media, there are issues I have to address. On this week’s episode of Armed Lutheran Radio, host Lloyd Bailey and I both address a firearms incident, which could have been prevented.

This is an incident, which I’m really sad and heartbroken about. It’s one that I have told many stories about. I’ve talked about it in firearms classes. I’ve talked about it to friends who own and who don’t own guns. It’s a topic that I have to address again.

This is an issue that is very very important, and what I’m talking about is an incident where a 13-year-old shot and killed himself on Instagram live.  I talked, and talked, and talked about how we need to teach everybody the rules of firearm safety. This is why. The news reports say that this young man had a firearm, that he apparently got from another friend. His mother had no idea that he had the gun and did not know how he got it.



If you teach your children the rules of firearm safety, they would know to treat every gun as though it’s always loaded.


All guns are always loaded at all times; even if you think they’re not loaded.

Here is the scenario. This kid is on Instagram live. His friends are watching him. He’s got this gun in his hands and talking about it to the viewers. The kids are commenting on the live feed, and one asks why isn’t there a “clip” in the gun. (We all know it’s a magazine this is another reason to take a firearms class, to learn the terminology.) Regardless of what terms were use, we always treat all guns as they are they are always loaded, with or without a magazine inserted.

Listening to his viewers, the young man puts the magazine into the gun, at which time he shoots himself. They label this an “accident,” but this is not an accident. It’s an incident that could have been prevented. If he had known the four rules of firearm safety this tragedy never would have happened.

  • All guns are always loaded.

  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy. I.E., yourself. Never point the muzzle at yourself.

  • Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot. How many of you are already shooters? You know guns are designed to have your finger go on the trigger. After classes and practice, you’ve learned to keep your finger off the trigger. How many new shooters have you seen, when picking up a firearm for the first time, put their finger right on the trigger? Take a class. Learn. Practice.

  • Be sure of the target and what is behind it. In this instance, there wasn’t necessarily a target he simply violated the prior three rules.

Guns are not toys. They are not games.

My plea to all of you is please go out and mentor others. Encourage people to learn about firearms safety. Even if they don’t have a gun in their house, as with this instance, they need to know how to handle a gun. Teach parents to empower their children by educating them that guns are not toys. They are not games. They are not something that should be fooled around with on social media or anytime at all.

This young man shot himself on a live feed, while other friends were watching. His mother was outside and heard a loud bang. She ran into the house and had to kick her son’s bedroom door open. She found her 13-year-old son dead.  Shortly after youngsters were pounding at her door because they had seen the event play out, live on social media.

We all have got to teach other people about these types of situations. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program is a great place to start. It teaches youngsters that if they see a gun not to touch it. They need to go find an adult and let them know. All children should know this.

We have to share it we have to spread the word. Say a prayer for this young man’s family because this was a tragedy no accident.

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Suppressors and Hearing Protection at ALR

Suppressors were all the rage at this year’s SHOT Show. This is primarily due to the changing of leadership in our country. On January 9th the American Suppressor Association (ASA), announced the reintroduction of the Hearing Protection Act (HPA).

Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the ASA stated, “The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,”

You can listen to this article on Episode 56 of Armed Lutheran Radio.

While it’s a lengthy process to get legislation passed, you can currently apply for a license to purchase one. You can find additional information at the ASA site. They share, “Suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934.” Suppressors are included in the NFA’s regulations of the transfer and possession of certain types of firearms and devices.

The ASA indicates, “Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same background check process that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork.”

Contrary to popular belief, silencers are not silent. They are in fact noise reducers. AND, silencers are not solely for use by assassins.

Last fall I attended Remington Outdoors Company’s Writer’s Event. While there I had the opportunity to visit with Eric Woo, of Advanced Armament Corporation. He shared a background of silencers, stating, “The initial patent filed for silencers was filed in 1908, and today there are 1 million silencers privately registered in the U.S.” sdvanced-armament-corp-ti-rant-9m

He also shared five benefits of using a silencer. He used the acronym, S-H-A-R-P to help us understand the importance as well as some of the use of silencers.

S – Safety  If you don’t have ear protection and blow out your ears, that’s not safe. Also, if you have earplugs, you cut off your senses from your surroundings. Not being in tune with your surroundings is not safe. All the other benefits support this one. It’s all about safety.

H – Hearing Protection  There are many people who’ve lost hearing or have severe damage to their ears.

A – Accuracy Improvement  Depending on the rifle and silencer combination, and the ammunition, you can reduce the turbulent effect creating and increase in velocity, called a “free bore boost” which increase trajection of the projectile.

R – Recoil Reduction  Adds weight, extends barrel which reduces recoil. This is beneficial to new shooters, youngsters and others who may be intimidated by recoil.

P – Preservation of Night Vision.  Silencers contain muzzle blast reducing flash. You don’t become night blind. This is a benefit to soldiers and law enforcement officers.

As you can see, silencers have some benefits a lot of people don’t think of. The introduction of the the Hearing Protection Act is beneficial to many and we saw it in the new products at the show.

Remember to always be safe with firearms and don’t forget your eyes and ears.

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When Should Your Children Learn About Firearms

This site is here because I like inspiring others, be it into the outdoors, hunting, shooting, mentoring, cooking or other activities. Today I want to share a tip about encouraging youngsters and when it’s appropriate to teach them about firearms.

Many of us own guns for various reasons. I like to collect them. My aunt has hers for protection. Then, my friend Josie likes to compete with hers. Lanny competes and hunts with them. Regardless of the reason, there are some things to consider before we include our children.

This tip is featured in this week’s episode of Armed Lutheran Radio.
CLICK HERE to listen to episode 42.

I’m not much of a competitor, but my daughter partakes in shotgun sports. This week her team, Los Gatos Negros, took first place in their fall league series at the trap range. Her team is comprised of five members. She’s the youngest and the only girl. It’s inspiring to see the team captain, Jimmy, a man who’s not quite of retirement age yet, put together a team where he can mentor and encourage youngsters to take up shooting.

The other three members of the team include a gentleman near Jimmy’s age, a man who’s probably a youngster, like me, and then another boy who’s near Lea’s age. You see, there’s a whole gamut of generations out there, and they all come together to shoot guns.

That leads me to a conversation last week at our church’s book club meeting. A couple parents asked a very common question. “What age should I teach my children to shoot?”teaching-firearm-safety-to-young-children-mia-anstine-photo

In my experience as a shooting instructor I most often, along with my husband and daughter, teach children safety and then how to shoot. Let me tell you some of my thoughts and experiences on the matter of what age kids should learn to use guns, but first, a few questions.

Click to download – Parent’s Q&A Checklist for Teaching Children About Firearms

At what age did you learn to shoot? I learned to shoot at five-years-old. Is this an appropriate age? You know your children, their capabilities and how mature they are better than anyone else. Do you think they’re old enough to begin handling a firearm?

I learned to shoot at five years old because my dad wanted to make sure my brother and I were safe. My brother was ten, and he and my dad were beginning to hunt together. My dad wanted both of us to know that guns are not toys.

Was I of age to go hunting? According to some state laws, no, but that’s not what the shooting lesson was about. It was about safety. He wanted to make sure his family was safe. He knew I’d see my brother with a gun, and he had to eliminate my lack of knowledge to get a jump on curiosity.

CLICK HERE for the ‘Rules of Firearm Safety.’

How mature is your child?

Is your child attentive?

Does your child follow the rules and show signs of respect?

All of these questions need to be considered when you’re deciding what your child should learn about firearms, but there’s more.

You have guns in the house. Are they locked up? If you need trigger locks or other means of safely storing your firearms, you can look to NSSF’s Project Childsafe for help. Never rely on a hiding spot for your gun. What game did you first learn to play? Yep. Hide and Seek. Do you think your children aren’t going to be good at this game?


Have you ever thought about what your child will do if they’re at a friend’s house and they come across a gun? A great place to start teaching a youngster about guns is with NRA’s Eddie Eagle program. If you’d like a workbook, click here.

You should teach your children safety, way before you give them the hands-on of a firearms experience. Ultimately, the choice is yours. It’s up to you. As I said, you know your children better than anyone else, and you should be able to decide. And, just as with a treat at the store, it is okay to say, “No” if they’re not ready, they’re not ready.

Teaching your children is a bonding experience and one that is empowering to them. Once you’ve made up your mind to get them to the range for live-fire, and always remember to focus on safety.

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50 State Fish & Wildlife Agencies To Help Americans “Hunt S.A.F.E.”

Part of teaching children to bring home dinner is encouraging safety, responsibility, and traditions. As we do this, there are steps we can take to guarantee a rewarding experience. See below, as NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and NSSF team up to help state agencies share the experience. ~Mia

Project ChildSafe, Cabela’s Partner With 50 State Fish & Wildlife Agencies To Help Americans “Hunt S.A.F.E.”

nssf-project-childsafe-own-it-respect-it-secure-itNEWTOWN, Conn. — Project ChildSafe, the nationwide firearm safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund have partnered with fish and wildlife agencies in all 50 states to distribute firearm locks and to encourage Americans to “Hunt S.A.F.E.” this fall by remembering to handle, transport and store firearms responsibly.

“Thanks to a generous grant from the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and the commitment of 50 fish and wildlife agencies, we’ll reach more hunters than ever before with the reminder to Hunt S.A.F.E.,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.

The Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign urges hunters and all firearm owners to Secure your firearms when not in use; be Aware of those around you who are not authorized to have access to guns; Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner; and Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage.

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The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant enabled NSSF to provide more than 50,000 free cable-style gun locks and safety materials that the agencies in all 50 states will distribute as part of their hunter education programs. NSSF also provided agencies with additional firearm safety kits that included a gun lock and will be providing agencies with safety education resources that hunters and shooters can use and share in their homes and communities. These include:

  • A Hunting Checklist for Families

    with an easy to follow guide for ensuring safety while in the field.

  • A Gun Storage For Your Lifestyle infographic outlining a variety of firearm storage options that keep lifestyles and budgets in mind
  • The Ethical Hunter

    brochure discussing the treasured heritage of the hunting tradition as well as the importance of responsible hunting.

  • The Project ChildSafe webpage which features a full library of safety resources as well as information on where and how to obtain a free firearm safety kit and gun lock.
  • The Talking with Kids about Gun Safety video which provides helpful tips for parents as firearms come out of storage and are used in the field during hunting season.

“As the fall hunting season begins and firearms are taken out of storage, cleaned and transported to the range or the field, it’s an excellent time for parents to also have a conversation with their children about firearm safety,” Sanetti said. “But it’s important to keep in mind that firearm safety is always in season – we urge hunters and shooters to always remember that if they own a firearm, they should respect it and secure it when not in use”

“Spend more time with your family and friends, whether it be outside, hunting, at the shooting range or around the table, savoring all life has to offer.” Mia

About Project ChildSafe
NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home to help prevent unauthorized access. More information is available at

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit

Cabela’s Outdoor Fund
The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is a tax-exempt organization dedicated to the promotion of conservation and of hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and other outdoor sporting and recreational activities. The Fund engages primarily in lobbying and advocacy for these activities. The Fund is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the Fund are not deductible as charitable contributions under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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Chamber-View® and Cabela’s® Partner for Firearm Safety

Chamber-View® and Cabela’s® are proud to partner together to promote safe firearm handling and storage with the use of ECIs. As National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) members, both companies have taken the Project ChildSafe® Pledge: “I choose to own a firearm and therefor accept responsibility for using and storing it safely. I commit to securing my firearm when not in use, being aware of who can access it all times and educating others to do the same.”

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Savage Arms Support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe

Savage Arms™ promotes responsible gun ownership by including a Project ChildSafe-approved lock with every new Savage and Stevens firearm. Savage has partnered with CCI Ammunition to debut a public service announcement about responsible gun ownership practices. The PSA video features the Landry family, stars of the hit show “Swamp People®” on HISTORY®.

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Project ChildSafe Hits Major Milestone

Project ChildSafe Hits Major Milestone with 1,000 Supporter Organizations

Firearm industry program distributed nearly
a quarter million safety kits nationwide in 

NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms industry, announces that 1,000 manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, ranges, hunter safety instructors and conservation groups have joined with NSSF to promote Project ChildSafe, the industry’s national program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and provide safety materials to all gun owners.

These 1,000 supporters are in addition to the 15,000 law enforcement agencies that have partnered with NSSF since 1999 to distribute free Project ChildSafe firearm safety kits, which include a cable-style gun luck and safety education literature. Last year alone, NSSF and its partners distributed nearly 240,000 kits throughout the U.S. Since its inception, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 36 million firearm safety kits in all 50 states and the five U.S. Territories.

“This milestone is more than a number-it’s further testimony to the commitment on the part of the firearms industry, individual gun owners and the sporting community to make gun safety and personal responsibility a priority,” said Steve Sanetti, President and CEO of NSSF. “These are all organizations that, collectively, can amplify the messages of Project ChildSafe. We’ve made great progress in helping reduce fatal firearms accidents, which are dropping dramatically and make up only 0.5 percent of all accidental fatalities. Our goal is to further reduce accidents, theft and intentional misuse by preventing unauthorized access to guns.”

In the past year, major national organizations including the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the International Hunter Education Association (USA), The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers and Pheasants/Quail Forever have joined with Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, the Mule Deer Foundation, the Wild Sheep Foundation, the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation and Team USA Shooting, along with hundreds of individual retails and gun ranges, to promote the messages and mission of Project ChildSafe to their members and through their marketing campaigns. This collective outreach has reminded millions of gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms when not in use.

Central to promoting firearm safety is Project ChildSafe’s “Own. It? Respect It. Secure It.” initiative, whose logo is used by supporters as a continual reminder to securely storage guns to keep them out of the wrong hands. A program infographic helps gun owners decide on safe storage options for their lifestyles and budgets.

“Proper storage is the number one way to prevent firearm accidents,” Sanetti said. “The more we can get this message out, the more we will continue to see firearms accidents and misuse decrease. With these tremendous supporters on board, and more joining every day, the more Project ChildSafe will succeed in this mission.”

NSSF first launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe). The program’s distribution of more than 36 million free gun locks is complemented by the more than 70 million free gun locks manufacturers have provided with firearms purchased since 1998. Gun owners who want a free firearm safety kit that includes a gun lock can locate participating law enforcement agencies at

Project ChildSafe was long supported by federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2008, when this funding was eliminated, the firearms industry has solely funded the Project ChildSafe program.

Project ChildSafe is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity supported through contributions from diverse public sources to Project ChildSafe Inc. To learn more about Project ChildSafe or to make a donation, visit

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Standing shooting position provides support from arms only.


Mia Anstine
Where is Your Muzzle Pointed?

I watched a video including a group of hunters loaded up on a boat, headed out to hunt. One of the hunters spoke a reminder indicating, to be safe, you should always point your firearm in the air.

“In the air” is not always the safest direction. How can you determine which way you should point your firearm? Ponder some of the safety rules.


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Read the Adventures of Mia and the Little Gal at the Women’s Outdoor News, Sponsored by Girls with Guns clothing
Follow 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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Tips for Introducing Newbies to Riflescopes at NAHC

4 Tips: Introducing A Newbie To A Riflescope

New hunters often begin their hunting career using a mentor’s rifle. It’s a wonderful thing to have great mentors, but as a mentor there are things of old habit, which we need not take for granted. One such thing is peering at out targets through a riflescope.

When we’re teaching new hunters how to look at a target through the scope, we need to teach them multiple things.

  • Sight Picture – If the scope is set with the proper eye-relief, the shooter should have a full sight picture when…. (CLICK HERE to read more)


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
Follow 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.

Advertisements on this site are random and do not express or represent the opinion of Mia or LG.


3 Tips To Help Kids Enjoy Their First Hunt

Shooting sports are becoming ever more popular for kids. For some of these youngsters, their next step might be entering the world of hunting. Introducing a young shooter to hunting sports can be a thrill for everyone.

Thankfully, most parents want to always keep their children from harm so they teach and reinforce safety rules. Sometimes when you’ve got a youngster tagging along on a hunt, being safe may involve mom or dad becoming the Sherpa.

Before you head out on the hunt,

  1. Attach … (CLICK HERE to read more)

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