Sarah E. Kucharski
Horseback riding near Smokemont.
I agreed to go to a concealed weapons class not because I wanted a gun but because Laura wanted to go and she had a gift certificate. We were the only two women in the class, and as it came time to head to the range I turned to Laura to ask the obvious.
“Is it just me, or do you get the distinct feeling that they all think we’re going to be really terrible at this?”
“Oh yeah. They totally think we’re going to be terrible at this,” she said.
“You realize that it is therefore extremely important that we are not terrible at this,” I said.
The upshot of concealed carry shooting is that it’s not a marksmanship competition. The whole idea is that any weapon discharge will be in close proximity to the target. The laws are written such that one must see the target and determine that it is an immediate threat with intent to cause bodily harm before firing. There are a slew of other laws that are the dividing line between self-protection and assault with a deadly weapon. For the shooting range though, our primary concerns were safely and effectively handling our weapons and keeping the tiny bullet holes within the outline of the marauder stapled to a post before us.
We made a good showing, hit more than we missed, and at least outshot one of the old guys, which—along with our written test—earned us a certificate of course completion. Given that the gun that I want costs more than a month’s mortgage, I don’t see myself owning one any time soon.
Knowing how to shoot a gun is one of the things that any good mountain woman should have in her list of skills, and I don’t mean to just hit the broadside of a barn. It’s a basic, along with being able to drive a stick-shift, change a flat tire, make biscuits from scratch, and identify poison ivy. A mountain woman is a woman who can, and will, fend for herself when needed.
This issue of Smoky Mountain Living is dedicated to the mountain woman in the family and in the field. One of my favorite features comes from our readers who shared some of their family photos and stories of mountain women who were raised in the Appalachians and those who came to make the Appalachians their home. Take a look and take some time to appreciate the mountain women in your life.