Kristen Meisner: First Shots

Freshly-minted TTAG reader Kirsten Meisner writes:

I’m a native resident of Connecticut, an often hippie-minded individual, sheltered from the realities of violence that are pervasive even in an increasingly educated world, turned off by violent video games and boyfriends who play them. Firearms technologies have skyrocketed along with the number of people who can afford to purchase them. The obsession is tempting just like any expensive hobby that involves an element of danger or adrenaline. But this hobby has a practical side as well, one of protection . . .

As a former athlete, I feel empowered when I am physically strong. I don’t feel empowered when I am around a strong person, only when I am strong does my confidence kick in. So what was my experience shooting a gun for the first time?

Like any good sport, there’s an art to it. It’s not just about pulling the trigger and watching your target explode. Although the recklessness involved with exploding shit is fun, the whole practice of setting up your gun, feeling the sleek metal in your hands, holding it with a grip that makes it feel like it is an extension of yourself, concentrating on the target and letting your finger gently pull the trigger. You lose yourself in that moment, and then the recoil brings you back into action.


I could have stayed out there all day shooting. It definitely changed my understanding of the sport. It also further confirmed my understanding of truth existing in that shallow valley where liberalism and conservatism collide. Freedom feels good. That is all.

[Take a newbie shooting, take a video/pic, ask them to write it up and email it to [email protected] We’ll send them a free box of Sinterfire frangible, non-lead 9mm ammo.]


  1. avatar James in AZ says:

    “only when I am strong does my confidence kick in.”

    You need to realise humans got to the top of the food chain by the brain…

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      I think you might be missing her point.

      Strength and fitness and the ability to respond to any situation are empowering and build confidence. So too, does the ability to defend yourself from an armed assailant, hence her point in tying her outlook on strength affecting confidence to her first experience shooting a gun.

      Her complete willingness to describe herself as a Liberal and ‘peacenick’ and then say how much she enjoyed shooting is a pretty significant thing in this world where Liberals typically form negative opinions and attack things they know nothing about.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        She never described herself as liberal.

        1. avatar Mikial says:

          “It also further confirmed my understanding of truth existing in that shallow valley where liberalism and conservatism collide. Freedom feels good. That is all.”

          She clearly described herself in that way and I am glad she got to have the experience of shooting and then writing to tell us about it.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          native resident of Connecticut, an often hippie-minded individual, sheltered from the realities of violence

    2. avatar syms says:

      “…I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind.”

      -Thomas Jefferson

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Welcome to being a “Person of the Gun”.
    May you enjoy this hobby/lifestyle for the rest of your life.

  3. avatar Mikial says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Kristen.

    I’ve taught a lot of men, women and children to shoot and they all expressed how much fun it is and how they enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when they can hit what they are aiming at.

  4. avatar Ing says:

    You’ve perfectly described the way I felt when I took the first shots with the first gun I ever bought for myself. It’s a peaceful, powerful feeling when the tool becomes an extension of your body and does exactly what your mind tells it to. And it’s incredibly fun to blow holes in stuff. 🙂

    Welcome to the armed intelligentsia. Freedom feels good indeed.

  5. avatar SD3 says:

    “….native resident of Connecticut, an often hippie-minded individual, sheltered from the realities of violence…”

    Translation: The ultra-pure, whitest person east of the Mississippi.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Whitest person east of the Mississippi? Dude, have you seen Bernie Sanders?

      1. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

        Priceless………..slow clap begins….

      2. avatar SD3 says:

        Her uncle Bernie? Yeah, ask her who she’s voting for.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          Bernie Sanders said he voted for second amendment issues because “rural people of Vermont [white folks] like guns.”

    2. avatar Mikial says:

      What’s that supposed to mean anyway?

  6. avatar IAmSeaMann says:

    Its good that the numbers of the POTG are growing.

    But UGH. Just UGH!

    But your first paragraph got more than I couple groans and eye rolls out of me, and I am a “hippieminded” individual.
    also, education quality and quantity has decreased considerably with each generation.

    Also what is it people say now a days “check your privledge” is it?

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      The QUANTITY of credentials has gone up as the QUALITY of the education underlying said credentials has gone down. But that’s hardly the writer’s fault.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The irony of your post bemoaning a lack of education, but with so many errors, is just great.

      1. avatar IAmSeaMann says:

        I’ll be sure to take out the Grammer nazi whip next time your article has typos and grammatical errors, as they almost always do.

        Typing on a phone is a pain in the ass. Only one error in my OP anyway, hotshot.

        I will happily tell that to a small town in africa, as their prince asks to borrow money of mine everyday.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          “Only one error in my OP anyway, hotshot. ” I hope that was a joke.

          “Its” should be It’s .
          ” than I couple” should be than a couple
          ” also,” should be Also
          “now a days” should be nowadays
          “privledge” should be privilege

          I only brought it up because you mocked her quality and quantity of education.

    3. avatar Kmeisner says:

      Tell that to a small town in Africa that now has access to the internet.. I’m thinking on a global scale, not in your so-called “privileged” bubble. And by the way, privilege isn’t a bad thing, it’s how you use it that matters. Sorry you were so disgusted by my first paragraph, I was simply being open and honest.

  7. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    Koom bi yippie eye oh….yea!

    Have fun, stay safe and may you never need to pull a trigger for defense but if you do… it and do it with skill and ferocity!
    Bad guys train too!

  8. avatar W says:

    Thanks for having an open mind and giving it a try.
    Hope you find fun and empowerment in your new journey (and always, safety).

    1. avatar Kmeisner says:

      Thanks W! Appreciate it.

  9. avatar col potter says:

    I understand the need for debate and criticism. I think in this case,however, just opening up our minds and accepting what this young woman has to say would be a good thing. She has taken up firearms for sport and self protection and is clearly excited about it. She is also smart. I would hope that her observation that truth lies somewhere at the collision point of ideologies would be embraced and expanded upon by the many smart people who visit this forum.

  10. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Looks like you had a good time and pushed some boundaries. That’s always a good day.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      And she shot one helluva lot better than I did my first time out.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Good for Kirsten!

  12. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Yep -freedom feels good. I hope you remember that when you(gun) vote. Although THIS year it’s hard to tell…

  13. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Empowerment is a great tonic, Kristen. Welcome to the tribe.

  14. She definitely has the “stick your but out” girly, new shooter position down pat.

    1. avatar Kmeisner says:

      I’ll blame Robert for that one..

      1. At least your butt left the frame so it was tastefully video graphed

  15. avatar Mikial says:

    Ignore him Kristen.

  16. avatar Red in CO says:

    Damn, that was her first time shooting? That’s impressive. I’d say she has a knack!

  17. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Welcome to the world of freedom and responsibility!

  18. avatar Kmeisner says:

    Thanks for the support and positive words of encouragement! Seems like a great community!

  19. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Meh. And Feinstein enjoys popping off a few rounds from time to time, too. What matters isn’t that we share a hobby. What would matter is if we shared an ideology regarding this as more than just a hobby.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      With “freedom feels good,” she got close enough for me.

      If she hasn’t already, it probably won’t be long before she sees which flavor of politician it is that wants to stomp all over the particular freedom she’s writing about here. And if she remains a liberal Democrat in spite of it, that could actually be a good thing — we need more true liberals on that side to offset the fascist-minded progressives.

  20. avatar Ovidio Gentiloni says:

    Glad to read about this meeting with the real thing and of the intellectual honesty behind it.
    All those who criticize should try.
    We would solve lots of misunderstandings and rash judgements.

  21. avatar H says:

    Kirsten welcome!!

    Kirsten gets to describe herself.

    Big however here. We PotG dislike being painted by anyone as, for example, a monolithic group of knuckle dragging, violence prone, irresponsible individuals.

    It goes both ways.

  22. All my converts, ive made at the range! Amazing how people come around once they experience the trigger… Good for her, 1 more messenger to loose into the wild with the message

  23. avatar fishydude says:

    But why “drop the magazine onto the ground.” ?? It is obviously on sand. Not in a speed competition. So Why?
    Other than that. Welcome to the real world. Maybe she will stop voting for people that want to make it harder for the law abiding to own guns.

    1. You drop the mag on the ground when practicing so that you will do it instinctively in a gun fight. Eliminates training scars.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Yup. It also helps new shooters get over the idea that a gun is some kind of mystical thing. It’s a tool, see, you can just drop parts of it on the ground.

        1. That’s why I carry an “ugly Glock”.
          I was at the local police range with my wife and we were the only ones there so the RO, who happened to be an instructor, showed us some drills to run. Our county had a program that allowed non LEO use of the range once a month for a year. He had me pocket carry my wife’s Nano and shoot my Glock until slide lock and then transition to the Nano. “New York reload”. I dropped the empty Glock on the ground which was covered with stone chips. He yelled “no don’t do that!” He actually wanted me to holster the Glock before going for the Nano. I still have the scratches on the rear of my slide. So what? Why, if you are in a fight would you waste time switching to the BUG?

  24. avatar Adam Terrell says:

    “I feel empowered when I am physically strong. … Only when I am strong does my confidence kick in. … Setting up your gun, feeling the sleek metal in your hands, holding it with a grip that makes it feel like it is an extension of yourself, concentrating on the target and letting your finger gently pull the trigger. You lose yourself in that moment…”

    The makings of a psychopath?

    1. avatar Kmeisner says:

      It’s all about love Adam.. I didn’t feel afraid of the gun like I thought I would. Honestly I get that rush with most sports. And don’t worry.. my 10 psychiatrists have told me I’m fine. Props to JWT for that one. 🙂

      1. avatar Mikial says:


        I appreciated your post and I’m glad you enjoyed your experience. I also understand what you are saying about strength.

        Please accept my apologies for all the truly stupid and immature things some of the people on this blog are saying to you. And please don’t think all gun owners are as boorish as some of these guys. TTAG seems to attract a lot more rude and snarky comments than most other blogs. I have no idea why. And if you doubt that, just watch and see how I’ll probably get flamed for saying this to you.

        1. avatar Kmeisner says:

          Thanks Mikial, I appreciate that a lot!

        2. Love is in the air….

          Seriously though, this isn’t half as bad as ArfCom or 1/10th as bad as YouTube comments.
          Speaking of YouTube, thanks for all the down votes. I think it’s hilarious.

        3. avatar Mikial says:

          Yeah, I know.

          You know, all these sites have their followers who seem to have nothing better to do than look up things they don’t like and flame them. If I don’t like something, i don’t bother with it. I never could understand the need some people have to spend hours tracking down things they don’t like just so they can leave negative comments about it.

          Makes no sense to me. It must be some sort of compensatory empowerment thing.

      2. avatar Adam Terrell says:

        I can be an idiot sometimes. Don’t hold it against the gun culture.

    2. avatar Mikial says:


      You sound like you feel threatened and intimidated. You should probably seek some professional help.

      1. avatar Adam Terrell says:

        😀 Thankfully I’m not. I always try to take comments assuming the best of intentions from the other end wherever possible and hope the reverse is true as well.

        There’s two ways I could react to your comment: you took my comment like I’m trying to be mean and you have some blunt and probably much-needed advice for me, or you assumed I was being lighthearted and are pretending to overreact at the potentially terrible way my comment could be taken (which I confess it’s all too easy to do).

        My comment was foolish. Point gladly taken.

  25. avatar Dave says:

    Did she dig up the first phone she ever owned to shoot this video, too? 144p, are you kidding me…

    1. Yeah, I think I saw a Sasquatch walking in the background.

    2. avatar Kmeisner says:

      Galaxy S5.. wish it was better quality too. I hate to break it to you homie, but your life’s the worst. You drive a Hyundai, you should probably upgrade to a hearse. Michael in GA – I think that was you in the background!

      1. The sass is strong in this one.

  26. avatar csgo says:

    Wow, attractive site. Thnx ..

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