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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for February 28th, 2012

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The fifteenth annual indoor winter national championships of the International Defensive Pistol Association ( wrapped up last weekend, and I was pleased to see some friends in the winners’ circle, including my teammate Bob Vogel from Team Panteao, the overall winner and also high police officer.

Randi Rogers turned in her usual stellar performance, capturing the women’s championship. Her mid-teen protégé, Tori Nonaka, won the junior championship.  Tori bested both genders in her age group to claim her title, and Randi kicked a lot of male boo-tay on her way up the scoreboard, too.

This pleases me, as a father of daughters.  Randi and Tori both come from shooting families.  Randi rose to prominence in the firearms world when she was about Tori’s age now, shooting three-gun cowboy competition (single action revolvers, and Old West style rifle and shotgun) under the auspices of the Single Action Shooting Society (  There, the young Randi didn’t just beat the other women and the other kids…she beat EVERYBODY, including prime of life males.

It is the almost universal observation of shooting instructors that females more quickly learn to shoot than males.  Some part of it is probably their inherently better fine motor coordination. When a male like football player Roosevelt Grier learns to knit, it’s national news; women are more or less expected by our culture to take to knitting.  Trigger pulling, like knitting, is a fine motor skill.

Most schoolteachers will tell you that girls focus better than boys. Shooting is a discipline that DEMANDS mental focus.  Women are more flexible than men, supposedly by a factor of 30 degrees in the pelvic axis.  In position rifle shooting, where some downright contortion-like postures are demanded in, for example, the sitting stage, the overall national champion is often a female.

Congrats to Randi and Tori, and indeed, to all who competed at the Indoor Winter Nationals hosted by Smith & Wesson at their facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s always a well run match, and a challenging one.



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