Category Archives: Firearms & Shooting Sports

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over….

…and expecting different results.

Responses to the New York Daily News’ article on the “terrifying” experience of shooting an AR15 prompted its author to write a follow up piece to be sure everyone knows just how mean the world is to him.   You didn’t think I was going to let that one go, did you?  Hang on boys and girls……

Oh poor dear. Your feelings were hurt. You exercised your First Amendment rights to support your opinions and were astounded, flabbergasted, offended and outright shocked that anyone might respond with anything other than glowing praise.

We have First Amendment rights, too.

In your fervor to once again promote yourself as a champion of peace loving peoples among a world run amok with gun loving zealots, you managed to completely gloss over the points where those of us who responded took a red pen to erroneous facts. Instead, you chose, quite intentionally I believe, to focus on how you were maligned and mistreated and called a whiny little girl with a skinned knee, or words to that affect. Let me be perfectly clear, I do not disagree with those assessments however your characterization that this is a gender war upon your poor soul is ludicrous. Or did you miss the fact that many of us in the law abiding world of responsible gun owners are women?

Its ok if you did, I certainly couldn’t expect you to have noticed such details when your first article was so peppered with glaring omissions and outright fabrications.

As I type this over my morning coffee with my cat on my lap and my dog at my feet, I imagine you in your mother’s basement, desperately calling for more Hot Pockets while you read the scathing reviews of your so called journalism. “Mom, here’s another one, they said MEAN THINGS about me!”.

Suck it up, buttercup. Because here’s the thing: you don’t have a right not to be offended. Shocking, I know but it’s true.

You have a right to your own opinion but you do not have the right to your own facts, and using a Platform such as the New York Daily News to promote them, knowing they are false, undermines the credibility of the press entirely. You’re certainly not alone in these endeavors, Katie Couric recently participated in a heavily edited video piece that should properly be labeled propaganda, then doubled down defending its Conclusions First, Questions Later position. I could name a slew of other celebrities and media personalities who have done the same but it would take too much time and effort; their journalistic sins are legion. You saw an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and finally sit with the cool kids at lunch. Yay, you!

Except that you, like Couric, chose to double down and respond to the backlash your highly excitable work product generated. And you’ve chosen to portray yourself as a victim of the big-scary-gun owning public. You carefully cherry picked a few comments, while refusing to publish the responses in toto, to present yourself in a positive light, while vilifying the big-scary-meanies who used words to hurt you.
You are upset because after you willfully offended people who exercise their Second Amendment Rights they used their First Amendment rights in a way that offended you. The horror! The humanity! How dare they!

Nevermind that you made light of a serious psychiatric condition to describe your alleged terror at firing a simple small caliber rifle. Nevermind that you completely fabricated a narrative where you allegedly switched this particular firearm to full automatic fire, and were traumatized for life, when it was absolutely impossible to do so. Nevermind that you preyed on the fears of the public by allowing, no, purposefully attempting to make them believe that all such firearms are a push of a button away from being machine guns. You lied. You got called out on it. Instead of confessing that you took creative license a little too far, you tried to engage in a war of words about how badly you’ve been treated. You lied. You were called a liar. You stomped your feet and threw a temper tantrum in the New York Daily News. The lady doth protest too much.

And yes, I wholly support that it is your right to do so. As misguided, ridiculous, idiotic, puerile, callow and petty as it was. For the simple fact that it is your right. The First Amendment is not the ONLY Amendment, though. And your right to the First, and every other liberty you claim as an American, holds in this nation only as long as men and women with the Second have the means to defend it. From your comfortable little place in the universe, where every kid gets a trophy and you should be treated like the special little snowflake you are, you have no concept of what oppression or tyranny really are. So you create it as it relates to your reality.

Don’t be surprised when the rest of us give you a reality check.

Dannielle Romeo, southwest Virginia
wife. mother. domestic violence survivor. member NRA

ps I’m including a photo of me, taken at my property where we have a shooting range. The firearm I am holding is nearly identical to the one you claimed to have operated in Philadelphia. Please note that I am in what a friend has dubbed the “supported and chill” firing position due to a lower leg cast for a broken ankle. It is important to train for every scenario, and be able to accurately strike a target despite an infirmity. If being sent videos of pink swathed little girls at the range upset you so much, this ought to really make your day.

cast foot shooting

 

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Did he just go ‘there’? He DID!

On June 15, 2016 an article appeared in the New York Daily News, sorted under, all all things, Crime News.  You can find the original article here.  Since I have a low tolerance threshold for fools,  my response to the author and a separate letter to his editor follows.

(to author- and posted through “join the conversation” link)

I’m wondering if the author acquired PTSD from making Jiffy Pop.
Sugar if you’re gonna try to write a big bad scary gun article ( and establish your man card bona fides by adding that you have some sort of experience with pistols) you might want to learn the proper terminology and equipment. You might also want to leave out the part where you soil yourself.
Let’s start with which AR platform you were ….insert sigh of exasperation here….able to shoot. The most popular is chambered in .223. This recoil and sound of a round being fired is roughly equivalent to the average .22 long rifle . Something we actual shooters call a “plinking” gun. They aren’t loud, another good feature and if you were wearing your safety equipment like ear protection it’s audible but not Godzilla epic proportions as you made it out to be. Pumpkin, I drop pans in my kitchen that make more noise.
A standard magazine, not clip (every time you call it a clip god kills a kitten. Please, think of the kittens!) holds 30 rounds. Not 40. I actually work part time in a gun shop and can’t for the life of me recall seeing a single AR there with a forty round mag…there’s a reason for that so that’s your homework assignment today, k?
fully auto, huh? See this is where I know you are completely full of organic fertilizer. Esp when you claimed one could be obtained in seven minutes. Automatic weapons are not available on the general market. You need a dealer (yes even if you want to buy from an individual collector) who is certified as an NFA dealer. You have to pay for additional permits called a tax stamp. The application goes directly to BATFE.You typically also need finger print cards and a sign off by the sheriff of your county. The application process takes upwards of a year. Once you have the ok then you can pay for the gun (automatics will run you upwards of ten to thirty grand. Or more) and complete your state forms and Federal form for your NICS background check. Yes, you still have to go through these.
while it is remotely possible a gun shop had a fully automatic firearm for you to try its not probable. They would not have allowed you to potentially damage a customer’s order (or mess with their very expensive property) . They likely would not have allowed you to shoot one of their own as inexperienced as you are and for the purposes of such an article. And the probably didn’t even have one.
So darling i’m calling bullshit on your propaganda piece. I’ve spent a lot of time on the range, much of it teaching new shooters to responsibly handle the big-scary-gun. Know what they thought after shooting it? That much of what they read, pieces like yours, were written by imbeciles. In crayon.
I’d suggest you go review something more your speed like chewing gum but I’m afraid that if you tried to blow a bubble and it popped, you would be terrified and need a safe space for your trauma to subside.
The ‪#‎nydailynews‬ should be ashamed to have you on staff. . If they’d like to send a real reporter over here, I’d be happy to take him or her to the range and to a few gun shops and show them the steps it takes to make such a purchase. They won’t be able to complete a purchase here though if they like something…fed law requires that an out of state buyer must have the guns shipped to a federally licensed dealer to complete the necessary paperwork and id verification process in person. Yes- a background check.
I’ll close simply with what I though the moment I read your absolutely astounding piece of trash journalism….Bless your heart!

(to editor)

Honestly do you bother to vet any pieces submitted by your writers anymore? Did Mr. Kuntzman come out of his safe space long enough to go through editing? Or is he still in therapy (that you’ll end up paying for) over his “terrifying” experience?

The firearm shown in the photos and video is an AR style rifle chambered in .223; this is only slightly louder than the average .22 long rifle that many enthusiasts use for “plinking” (cheap target practice, low caliber). They are so scary that we often have to stop practice to clear my flock of domestic ducks from down range. Curious little things. But safety first!

With even simple foam ear protection a shot is audible but nowhere near the epic proportions of noise so eloquently described in horrific detail by your author. There’s also next to no recoil. I’ve had worse recoil from a bra strap (in the interests of full disclosure, they are pretty good sized bras).

Your author goes on to embellish the smell of sulfur and her (oops, his) terror at taking “a few shots” with the firearms, going on to explain his need for counseling services for a raging case of immediate onset PTSD. The fact that he makes sport of such a serious condition affecting American veterans and people who have actually survived life or death situations is appalling. However he continues to discuss “full automatic fire. At this point I have to demand your publication issue an immediate retraction and correction for piss-poor journalism. Your author did not fire an automatic weapon and claiming to have turned this rifle to automatic fire when it was absolutely impossible on this firearm is an outright fabrication of the highest order, meant only for shock value. Fully automatic firearms are highly regulated. The AR he was able to get his hands on fires only one round for each time the trigger is pulled. There is no way in the world he was able to make that firearm shoot multiple rounds at a time, and making this false claim with the statement that “this is how you kill 49 people in 60 seconds”, a clear reference to the Orlando massacre by an Islamic extremist, is nothing short of reprehensible.

If you’d like to foot the bill for a real reporter to visit a real life owner and take a real life hands on walk through of shooting several different calibers of the AR platform, please let me know. After all, you sent him to Philly the first time (why is that?). We’ll also be happy to show your reporters, and give them the opportunity, to fire other types of rifles, because I guarantee you that my muzzle loader black powder gun ( a primitive style rifle where each round must be individually loaded) makes a hell of a lot more noise than any of my AR style firearms.

Your publication is not the Maury Povich show. I thought you needed reminding since this individual’s so called journalism reads as if it should end with “You are NOT the father!”. You might also want to post a sign in the break room warning other employees not to make microwave popcorn when Mr. Kuntzman is nearby; it could trigger his PTSD. Hopefully your company medical policy covered the surgical removal of his cranium from his rectal orifice. If not, I’m sure we can start a GoFundMe.

Dannielle Romeo, southwest Virginia.
Wife. Mother. Member VACDL. Member NRA. Secretary, local Chapter FONRA. Domestic violence survivor. Firearms enthusiast and proud responsible owner.

Liar-Liar-Pants-on-Fire

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, RANGE DAY!

I love range days!  What’s that you ask? You must be new here….
Range day is when we pack up the guns and let freedom ring in a safe and sane environment. It’s where we get to try out something new, something cool, something unusual, or just hone our skills in marksmanship for personal defense and sustenance hunting.

Did I mention I LOVE RANGE DAYS????

I’m lucky to have enough property with a more than sufficient backstop to shoot anything from a bb gun to a cannon (and yes- I have friends with a cannon!).  There isn’t much that a little pew-pew therapy can’t fix and sometimes getting out and plinking with just a little .22LR is incredibly therapeutic.

Group days are best. It’s like an FFL dealer sprinkled fairy dust all over the benches, magically conjuring every item capable of hurling a brass encased projectile downrange at upwards of 3500 fps.  You collect an assortment of your best 2A supporting friends and they all bring a few guns and a couple boxes of ammunition.  This gives you an opportunity to try-before-you-buy, and to gain proficiency with weapons you don’t already own. In a defensive situation, its possible you may not have the gun of your choice at hand; its helpful to have a basic working knowledge and level of comfort with as many as you can.

I grew up in a hunting household, populated primarily by shotguns and rifles.  That’s my comfort zone, and there isn’t much more that I enjoy than picking up the biggest baddest long tall Sally in my ownership and turning skeet clays (which make a highly visible target at several hundred yards placed on the backstop) into a fine orange mist.  Dad always stressed perfection; there was no purpose in shooting poorly and wounding an animal. If you were going to hunt and put food on the table, do it as expertly as possible.

Having the chance to learn the individual characteristics of a slew of new pistols and revolvers in a single afternoon is a delight.  But when someone breaks out an item that immediately causes a syndrome I call Range Whiplash, everything changes.

Public outdoor ranges are a series of small tables, often with a fixed or swivel seat built in called “benches”.   They are each several feet apart to give shooters space to comfortably move and eject spent cartridges without hitting the guy next to you (usually).  Even at public ranges, most shooters are quite friendly and open with one another, forging new networks of People With Guns to maintain contact with. You get popular fast when you bring something unusual.  When you haul out the larger calibers that make a very satisfying BOOM or flip the happy switch and light up a Little Betty Bad@$$ on full automatic fire, every head on the line immediately turns in your direction.

Such was the case one fine afternoon shooting with a known group of friends. I was told one of the crew had, after a nearly year long process, finally obtained his HK51, a weapon in a restricted class of firearms that- contrary to anti gun ownership spokefolks’ claims- is not something you can jog down to the Quickie Mart to purchase with a large slurpee. There’s a fairly long and expensive process to go through to get one.  He was like a kid on Christmas.

It’s chambered in .308. , for those of you unfamiliar with ammunition, that’s each round about the size of the average index finger.  It’s also belt fed, meaning the ammo is connected like paperdolls, one to another, and routed through a ‘bullet box’ attached to the gun.

He takes it out, sets it up, opens with a test shot. Boom!   Repeats a few times. Boom! Boom! Boom!  He flips the selector to three round burst.  BoomBoomBoom!  Repeats a few times. He has now acquired the interest of the closest shooters to us. He smiles, dials it to full auto and pulls the trigger.

BoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoom!

And just like a herd of prairie dogs, SWOOSH went the line of heads in our general direction, and seconds later we’d amassed a crowd that simply wanted to be in the presence of the awesome sound of Freedom.

He handed it off to a few of our group.  Then, with a grin, asked if I’d like to try it out.   I swear I heard the angels singing.

Despite watching him first run through the actions of this weapon himself and observing two other shooters having their turn, I still asked for, and received, a walk through on the specifics of firing and tips on how to hold it correctly; you need to lean into the butt stock (these are typically fired from stationary stands) to keep the force of the fire from pushing the barrel up.  It takes some effort.

………..did I mention I FREAKING LOVE RANGE DAYS????……………..

It was amazing.

 

I’ve had some pretty fun days on my own acreage too. Friends who have never fired a gun before often come here for a little first timer assistance in a non judgmental place. They can get the basics down and get to first base with someone they trust.  The Romeo range has some very simple rules same as all ranges; ear and eye protection will be used, guns will be pointed down range at all times, no one past the firing line when the range is ‘hot’, and enjoy your time here. I laughed for an hour after one guest carefully set up some items his ex wife had forgotten to take when she decided she could do better (she was wrong, he’s a peach!). She’d been packing and hiding things away, shipping them off on a piece by piece basis to deceive him, and these two boxes were overlooked. He got to try an AR style rifle that day, and proudly proclaimed after clearing his targets, “Dishes are DONE man!”  Much less expensive than months of counseling.  Once in a while we are even joined by the local LEOs.  There isn’t a lot that beats seeing a smile spread on the face of a friend who’s never done this before finding their way past the mystery of Big Scary Guns and learning the ropes.


What does? Watching my daughter listen with rapt attention as Richard explains how to shoulder a rifle, how to line up her sights, and talking her through pulling the trigger to take the shot.  She beat him that day, too. Kid is a natural.

Looking for someone to shoot with? Let me know…always nice to make new range friends.  Just show me yours and I’ll show you mine! 😉

 

 

 

 

Can we talk?

You’re the guy or girl who says there’s no reason for anyone but a cop to have a gun.  You want to ban firearms, or at least make them so difficult for anyone to lawfully obtain as to be impossible, because you say “something has to be done”. You’re upset because certain establishments allow firearms to be carried on the premises in accordance with existing laws. You claim this is somehow inherently unsafe, even though the persons doing so are acting in a law abiding manner and have harmed no one. The mere presence of a weapon somehow makes the situation “dangerous”.  You can’t stand me, and you don’t even know me.

I’m the shopper with the full cart of groceries who smiled and offered to let you jump the line with three items so you could get home to your family faster. I’m the PTA member you called to pick your kids up at school when you got stuck in traffic. I’m the neighbor who brought a couple extra dozen cupcakes to the bake sale at your church. I’m the spectator you high-fived at the soccer game when your youngest scored his first goal.  I’m the lady who held a door open for you when your hands were full of packages. I’m the fellow mother who complimented your infant’s beautiful eyes. I sat down next to you on the bus. I shared an elevator with you this morning. I shopped at your yard sale. I wave when I see you on the same jogging path.  I bought candy bars from your kids when they went door to door for a school fund raiser even though my hips sure didn’t need the calories.

I’m not alone. Across America, every day, there are hundreds of thousands of people just like me. Your neighbors. You see us every day and never blinked an eye.  And every single time you saw me- saw us- I was carrying a firearm.  You walk right past us every day and don’t even know it.

I don’t carry a firearm to feel tough or be mean. I’m not “compensating for something” and find the suggestion distasteful.  I personally hope that I never, ever have to use it on another human being. But the truth is that I value my life and the life of my family, and the lives of my friends (people like YOU) more than the life of the person who seeks to take mine away from me. Please don’t try to tell me that the chances of being in a dangerous situation are so slim as to be nonexistent; I have been in a life-or-death situation and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I personally know that when the police leave you with nothing more than a piece of paper it isn’t going to stop the guy determined to kill you from coming back.   I personally know that when he is in the house, breaking in the door you are hiding behind while the dispatcher assures you that help is coming that the Good Guys With A Gun are too far away. In my own case, if it hadn’t been for the heroic actions of a very brave dog, they would have been there just in time to string up crime tape and write me up as another domestic violence homicide. I was lucky.  Sadly, so many others are not. I am a survivor, and they are statistics.

mom and bri beach
a mother’s first duty is to love and protect her child

I practice for accuracy and comfort of movement. I researched models of weapons and spent time with several to learn what I would feel best having by my side every day. I don’t leave home without it. I got educated and informed and responsible for my own safety, because I know from experience that I cannot rely on someone else to save me.

You have the right to disarm yourself if it makes you feel better but I cannot and will not allow you to do the same to me. Knee jerk reactions to senseless tragedies executed by people with no regard for the value of human life, whether by their mental status or other factors, do nothing to protect me. Or you. There is no background check for evil, and you can’t save your flock from hungry wolves by firing the sheepdogs and posting “no biting!” signs.

Celebrities and politicians vehemently calling for ever more restrictive regulations have the resources to hire professional bodyguards,-often armed- for their personal safety.  They haven’t dismissed them before making their tear filled pleas. They didn’t swap their guns for slingshots and whistles.  Why should I or my family or others in my station in life be considered expendable for their cause? Why should we not have the same protection available, especially when we are wiling to learn and provide it for ourselves?

Individuals need to remain in charge of their own safety, to receive appropriate training in the use and handling of firearms and to confidently assert their birthright to self defense in the best means possible. We need to teach our children that these rights are ours, and that they comes with responsibilities. We need to instill in them empathy, compassion, and courtesy to others so that we can confront and defeat the underlying causes of the wrongs that plague our society.

range targets
If you’d like some range time, let me know, I’ll be happy to help you, or to put you in touch with a qualified instructor who can.