My name is Alaina James. I am competitive shooter and firearms trainer for LiveFire, and most importantly a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I have been competing for 3 years, slowly but surely improving my shooting skills, and earning the respect of my fellow competitors along the way. What started as a fun sport however, has now morphed into something else: a valuable survival skill.
Like many young people, I have witnessed the startling increase in crime in America’s urban areas. The COVID-19 pandemic, massive protests after the killing of George Floyd, and efforts to defund the police led to a dramatic increase in crime in major cities. In places like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, shootings and murders increased by double digits. The end of the pandemic has not really changed things. Every day you hear alarming reports of people getting robbed, pushed into railway tracks, stores being ransacked, and innocent people being killed or maimed for no good reason. I personally witnessed the decline in community safety in Los Angeles, where I lived for ten years. Los Angeles has always been a gritty city with its share of dangerous neighborhoods. Now however, the entire metropolitan area is threatened by crime including drug-related violence, mentally ill homeless people, felons released early from jail, and individuals who know they can steal what they want....and get away with it. That is because they know they will notbe stopped, let alone prosecuted.
As the mother of a 7-year-old daughter, living in a safe community suddenly becomes a lot more important. When you were younger (and childless) you only had to worry about yourself. Now you must protect an innocent child.
Luckily, I have a wonderful man who shares my concern for security. We also consider ourselves patriots. We are mindful that our Founding Fathers gave us the right to protect our persons and our property by enshrining the Second Amendment in our Constitution. It is the Right that guarantees us all our other Rights, including to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I did not grow up in Texas. I am originally from Ohio. I also did not grow up around guns. My interest in firearms only began a few years ago. Regardless, I amnow a fan of the Lone Star State and love all my gun-toting friends and neighbors.
My journey into firearms and competitive shooting has been enlightening, rewarding and plain fun. I get to shoot all over the country and compete in a variety of matches including AK rifle competitions, 3-gun (rifle, shotgun, and pistol) events, Practical Action shooting, and more. I have learned to safely manage and fire a variety of firearms. Along the way I have gained self-confidence and the ability to protect myself and the people I love.
If you know me, you know I cannot just do anything in a subtle way. When I love something, I absolutely loveit. That is why I am here to tell you about the fun, friendship, and valuable skills you can learn in the shooting sports. It would be selfish of me not to share the joy and confidence that I have found in competitive shooting.
Competitive shooters travel all around the country, train tirelessly, and condition themselves to shoot to a certain standard. We travel to different ranges to compete in different matches that reward winners with prizes and more. We have a scoring system for each sport we shoot, a rulebook, equipment standards and safety provisions. Each competition has divisions based on what you are shooting at that match depending on their specifications.
When I got into the sport, I had no idea how serious it was and what it took to be a real competitor. You need all sorts of gear including guns, ammunition, optics, accessories, and other equipment. You also need to be disciplined and train constantly, including lots of dry firing. That being said, the community is wonderful,and everyone is willing to offer you helpful tips and advice.
I compete mainly with an AK rifle chambered in 762x39mm. It is fitted with a Primary Arms 503Gi ACSS reticle. I also have two handguns: an Infinity Firearms 2011 IMM open gun pistol chambered in 38sc with a red dot sight (RDS), and an Infinity firearms 2011 slide ride, also with a red dot sight, chambered in 9mm. Infinity Firearms is a custom gun builder based in Texas.
As a female, I was welcomed into the shooting community not only by the women but also by the men. It is like a giant family where everybody is excited to teach, learn and compete against each other. It has given me a goal and something to work toward. I can monitor and hone my competitive success while also learning skills that are necessary for this dangerous world that we live in.
Now I am being certified to become a firearms instructor and coach. My goal is to help women gain the confidence to achieve their full potential.
Growing up, I found myself in a few precarious situations for which I was unprepared. Shooting has instilled confidence in me and that ability to protect myself. Had I started shooting earlier, I would not have even put myself into those situations. At the very least, I would have known how to handle myself.
I wish that same self-confidence and self-protection ability for every woman, family, and individual in this world.
Perhaps I can do my part in moving the needle in that direction.