Give Me 5: Beth Alcazar

Beth Alcazar is the editor-at-large for the USCCA, an award-winning author, blogger, instructor and educator, among other things.

1. We want to know more about you. Please give us a glimpse into your journey with firearms.

I most often describe myself as “just a mom with a gun,” who, in my spare time, enjoys baking and competitive shooting and hopes that my AR-15 handling is as smooth as my 7-layer chocolate cookie cheesecake. I hold degrees in language arts, education, communication management and instruction. I am a Certified Force Science Analyst with Force Science Institute and a Certified Instructor in numerous disciplines through ALICE Institute, DRAW School, I.C.E. Training, SIG Sauer Academy, NRA and USCCA. I also proudly represent Alabama in the DC Project, Women for Gun Rights and serve on the board of Hold My Guns.

2. What two pieces of advice would you give someone interested in learning how to shoot or purchase their first firearm? 

FIRST: Focus on the fundamentals. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to play the piano, hit a golf ball or shoot a firearm; you must master the basics! This takes a lot of time, effort and energy. But make it your goal to build a strong foundation of safe, proper and efficient shooting skills so you get to the point where you don’t just get it right; you can’t get it wrong.

SECOND: Go at your own pace. (This really goes hand in hand with the first piece of advice!) While youre training, remember that we all must start at the beginning. So dont put irrational expectations on yourself. Learning is a journey, and were all on that path somewhere.

3. What is your favorite piece of firearm-related equipment that you own? Why do you like it?

I really like The Handgunner Range Backpack from GPS. I love organization, and this bag has a pocket, a compartment or a designated spot for just about everything. Ive used one for many years and still get multiple comments and compliments.

4. What was something someone told you (or that you read) that significantly influenced your life?

Based on Chestertons original quote about soldiers in the fight, I have heard people say: I carry a gun, not because I hate whats in front of me but because I love whats behind me.” This mindset has helped me stay grounded and focused, reminding me that I do what I do because of love.

5. What do you wish you knew about getting involved with firearms right from the beginning of your journey? 

I wish I knew that simple is good.” This phrase was shared with me years ago by my mentor, George Harris. I entered the firearms world with an open mind and a desire to learn. Still, I quickly found the industry inundated with widely (and sometimes wildly) varied opinions, equipment, techniques and tactics. Ultimately, however, shooting a gun is pretty simple: verify target, aim gun, press trigger. So, all the other stuff—including the tactical jargon, the social media trends, and the latest gear and gadgets—should be carefully and cautiously reviewed.

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