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Cornered Cat's Newsletter Is ...

The Cat's Meow

by Kathy Jackson

  Life is a Daring Adventure  

Hi There!

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." So said Helen Keller, a deaf and blind woman who could have spent her life locked within the silent walls of her own mind. But instead of hiding in comfortable obscurity and safety, Ms. Keller chose to reach out to the world, becoming one of the most loved and heroic figures in American history. She was born in 1880 and died in 1968, and her life is an inspiration to every woman who has ever chosen to overcome adversity, or to reach out boldly into the darkness -- believing in faith that others would do the same. Although I have never been a fan of Ms. Keller's political views, her moral courage inspires me, and I hope will inspire you too. I have no excuse for inaction compared to the ones she overcame during her lifetime.

Motivating Students to Excel

Why don't women take more firearms training classes, especially at the advanced levels? From watching the numbers in states that track demographic data for carry permits, we know that women compose roughly 25% of concealed carry permit holders, a number increasingly on the rise. In beginning classes, women often participate in numbers nearly equal to men. But when we get past the very basic classes, we find that women gradually drop out of the programs. It's as if learning to be simply safe fills the need women bring with them to class. They apparently don't bring with them a burning desire improve their skills or to learn more. But why not? Are they intimidated, fearful? Do they believe they already know everything they might learn in a class? Are classes physically or emotionally uncomfortable places for women to be? Do women face more financial and economic challenges than men do and are thus less able to afford advanced classes?

More to the point, what can we -- as people who are serious about self defense and protecting our families -- do to encourage our loved ones to continue learning even after they become familiar with the simple basics?

[Read the rest of the new article here.]

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I've been working hard to reach out to people on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, if you're already following Cornered Cat in either place, you received a sneak preview of the new article earlier this week. I would love to see more people join us. My Twitter feed is #Cornered_Cat, and you can find the Facebook page at It would be great to see you there.

Dry Fire

Today I am thinking a bit about dry fire. As we all know, shooting is a perishable skill, but regular practice is a great preservative. Unfortunately, a lot of us have trouble getting out to the range as often as we should. Whether it's the financial cost of range fees, targets, and ammunition, or the personal cost of carving out the time to do it, range practice seems to be among the first things that vanishes when we are feeling stretched. (And who isn't feeling stretched these days?)

Fortunately, dry fire costs no money at all and takes very little time. It cannot entirely replace live practice, but it's a great supplement to live practice. I guess before I go any further with this, I should remind you that dry fire practice can be dangerous. To learn more about safe dry fire, see the article on Cornered Cat at Never practice in dry fire without following the steps for safe practice. Choose a safe time and place, set up a safe direction that includes a solid backstop, and remove ammunition from the room. Be absolutely sure the gun is empty before you begin. Practice only a few minutes, and stop practicing as soon as you feel your attention begin to wander. Never reload the firearm immediately; give it some time and get out of the room before you do. When you do reload, do it out loud, saying, "This gun is loaded" so that you hear yourself and are more assured that your mental processes are all on board with the changed status of your firearm.

Here are some things you can practice in dry fire.

  1. Basic trigger control: bring the trigger smoothly to the rear until you hear the "click" sound that means the shot would have fired. Do not allow the front sight to move even a teeny, tiny little bit while you do this.
  2. Drawstroke: practice bringing the gun safely and smoothly out of your holster and onto target. Do not pause at any point on your way up from the holster until your sights are aligned on target. Move in slow motion if you need to, but don't stop or pause. Smoothness is the key to efficiency, and efficiency is the key to speed. Practice doing things smoothly and efficiently. Never practice fumbles. As you speed up, work for smooooooooth efficiency and avoid raw fumbly speed.
  3. New holster: if you have a new holster or are experimenting with a new way to carry the gun, don't leave home with it until you have practiced the draw from the new holster at least a few times every single day for a week. Don't trust your life to a new holster or new carry method until you have worked out the bugs safely in dry fire. If you have a Blue Gun or other non-firing gun shaped object, it's even easier because you can practice retrieving the gun from your new carry method without worrying about safe directions or backstops.
  4. Reloads: Okay, time for a true confession. I'm not big fan of practicing reloads in dry fire, although I understand sometimes it needs to be done. It just feels unsafe to me, because I want to guard my dry fire mindset. I really, really don't like having ammunition-shaped objects in the room while I am dry firing. If you do choose to practice reloads in while dry firing, always use non-firing dummy rounds (such as A-Zoom snap caps) and always, always, always be sure you have a safe direction with an excellent backstop.

Tech stuff

I recently received a very helpful letter from a fan who pointed out that there were some broken links on the site. Thank goodness he took the time to write to me about it -- I might never have caught those errors otherwise. I'm very, very grateful when someone takes time out of their busy life to help me out like that. Those particular links are fixed now, but if you find any other errors on the site, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd drop me a note to tell me about it. You can reach me at pax at Cornered Cat dot com.

Upcoming Classes

If you might be interested in taking a Cornered Cat class, please visit the website at to learn more. If you would like to host a Cornered Cat class in your area, please send me an email (pax at Cornered Cat dot com) so we can discuss details. I look forward to hearing from you!

Stay Safe,


PS We had a little technical issue with new subscriptions earlier this week, but I believe the situation is cleared up now. Since you're reading this, it probably didn't affect you anyway. But if you had to visit the website to catch the newsletter, and would rather receive it in your email box, please go ahead and sign up. I promise we won't ignore you anymore!

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This is what you'll get:

Updates — When a new article is posted or an old article is updated on Cornered Cat, you'll be the first to know.

News — There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the world. My position gives me access to stories that otherwise get buried by the general tide of information. I weed the clutter out and share what's relevant to the concealed carry woman.

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Training and Carry Tips — It's all about learning how to carry comfortably, how to shoot accurately, and how to defend yourself successfully. I've come across a lot of good ideas and I'd like to share them with you.

Recommendations and Reviews — I have been blessed with the opportunity to get my hands on a wide variety of products, and I'm looking forward to telling you about the best of these.

Questions — Sometimes, students ask great questions, with answers that really deserve a wider audience. Think of this as your chance to "listen in" on my classes and seminars!

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February 14, 2014—Cornered Cat Valentine's Day Sale

February 29, 2012—Shooting Practice -- In Your Home?

February 17, 2012—Women Making a Difference

January 14, 2012—Preparing For 2012

December 19, 2011—What Do YOU Carry?

November 3, 2011—Best Gun for a Beginner

October 27, 2011—The Elephant In the Room

October 13, 2011—Blame the Victim

October 5, 2011—Life is a Daring Adventure

September 29, 2011—We're Winning The Battle!

September 15, 2011—6 Must-read books

September 7, 2011—Protecting Yourself IS Protecting Your Family

August 31, 2011—Purse Tactics

August 15, 2011—The Cat's Meow