By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published July 31, 2019

When NRA Women asked me to appear on an episode of the online television show “Love at First Shot,” I agreed to do it because I thought it was a chance to give back to the shooting sports. In particular, it offered me an opportunity to mentor women regarding learning how to handle firearms.

I am not a natural on television, nor do I feel comfortable serving as a teacher. My personality is much more suited to be a student. However, I have gained so much from this sport, and from mentors who helped me, that I knew I must embrace the chance to inspire the next generation of shooters.

In the end, I gained an unexpected benefit: The show’s contestants inspired me.

I met 50-year-old Yvonne Anderson-Thomas, who operates a soul food truck. She engages in concealed carry and was looking to become a more skilled shooter. She inspired me on multiple levels. For one, I was pleased to see an African-American woman interested in shooting. The shooting sports would benefit from more diverse participation. I spent my shooting career as the only Chinese-American participant at the annual Bianchi Cup.

Also, I was inspired to see a middle-aged woman, such as Yvonne, looking to enhance her shooting skills. I did not become serious about shooting until I was 47, but I refused to let my age deter me. Yvonne was happy to hear that I did not get involved in shooting until later in life.

She is another example that you are never too old to learn new talents.

The other women were Alexandra Pollack and Colleen Morehead. Alexandra rides horses and wanted to learn to shoot so she could compete in marksmanship competitions on horseback. Colleen wanted to pursue shooting sports as a way to take control of her lifestyle.

Collectively, they were 3 impressive women.

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