Go Where the Wild Things Are With the Help of Outdoor Retailers

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Last week, I made my first trip to Cabela’s in Delaware after assisting University of Delaware’s newly-forming gun club at their Criminals for Gun-Free Zones event . This Cabela’s store is the closest location to the D.C. metro area, so I couldn’t resist making a pit stop there.

While some women go crazy for shoes, I – like so many others – go crazy for outdoor gear and supplies. (Don’t fret–I like fashion as much as the next girl, but there’s much more utility in the latter.)

I’ve been aware of this outdoor retailer for several years and have followed their activities over social media. Prior to Friday, I had only ventured to Bass Pro Shops in Hanover, MD  which is just outside of Baltimore, MD. (Sadly, back in California, the closest Bass Pro Shop was located several hours away from Orange County, while Cabela’s hasn’t open shop in the formerly Golden State yet.) Now that I live in Virginia, I can choose from three nearby Bass Pro Shops locations (Hanover, MD; Hampton, VA; and Ashland, VA) and two future Cabela’s stores in 2015 (Bristol, VA)  and 2016 (Henrico, VA).

As a recreational female angler, Bass Pro is certainly a better fit for me since it caters to fishing more. However, fishing is a gateway activity that has lead me to embrace guns–I expect hunting to follow suit! As a proponent of free markets, I like consumer choice and will shop at Cabela’s too.

“Go fish and hunt far and wide day by day – farther and wider – and rest three by many brooks and hearth-sides without misgiving. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the noon find three by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may here be played.” – Henry David Thoreau

Though colder weather is imminent, get outfitted with the latest clothing and  fishing/hunting accessories, or just explore these outdoor retailers for fun.

Fellow D.C. area transplants who fish and hunt: do you plan to visit Bass Pro or future Caleba’s shops here? Weigh in below!

VIDEO: Gun Girls at CPAC 2014

Tony of Bullets First interviewed me and countless other young women attending CPAC about our support for the Second Amendment.

As I was taking a shuttle to the convention center that was holding CPAC, a young woman struck up a conversation with me when she saw my media credentials. When you have something that says “Bullets First” on it, gun owners tend to take notice. While on the ride to the National Harbor in Maryland she told me the story of how she got involved in firearms and what the right to keep and bear arms meant to her.

Now, while I am used to women gun owners I began to think of all the stereotypes the gun controllers like to spew forth. So I decided to document gun owners at CPAC who did not fit the stereotype. Once I got rolling though the project took on a life of its own. Not only gun carriers but those who will soon be carrying, those who are denied their self protection by school or state, wanted to say their peace…so I let them.

Here’s the video. I start talking at 11:04.

It’s undeniable that girls just wanna have guns. We’re growing in numbers and are here to stay. Deal with it!

 

New Townhall.com Column: Ladies – Less Selfies, More Time Outdoors

While promoting her new Sportsman Channel show “Amazing America” in California last week, Sarah Palin told reporters her show will inspire young women to discover the outdoors.

She said, “I think this world would be better off having more young women holding a fish in a picture and fewer of them holding their camera in front of a bathroom mirror doing a selfie.”

The former Alaska governor is absolutely correct.

In a time where female empowerment is exuded by championing so-called “reproductive rights” and support for cradle-to-grave government, being self-reliant is the contrarian thing to do. Thanks to poor role models like Miley Cyrus, a hypersexualized culture, and radical feminism, young women are craving alternatives to the status quo. Many women are tired of subscribing to groupthink and seeing their femininity undermined in the name of “equality.”

What better way to break the mold than to escape to the outdoors?

Continue reading at Townhall.com.

Update I:

Miss Kansas 2013 tweeted praise for my article. (Pretty cool!)

UPDATE II:

Girls Just Wanna Have Guns reposted my column.

UPDATE III:

NRA News linked to my article.

Interview on NRA News: January 20, 2014

UPDATE IV:

RightWingNews linked my article to their site.

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Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!

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Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

Hope everyone had a great New Year.

What a great year of personal and professional growth 2013 was. I never thought my 22nd year on Earth would be so eventful. From being featured in a headlining news story to being mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s show to getting published in a book, I was blessed with many opportunities as a young conservative activist last year. I’m truly grateful for all that has happened to me. Thank you for the continual support!

While I’m proud to gloat in my accomplishments, they wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support from family and friends. 2013 reminded me to stay true to my roots, be diligent, and remain optimistic. I can’t thank my activist friends and friends from back home enough for making 2013 enjoyable and worthwhile.

A lot happened in 2013. I trained and met lots of right-minded students in the Northeast and started writing for notable publications like Townhall.com. (I’ll resume article writing shortly – stay tuned!) Moreover, I traveled to several states for work and fun including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and most of the Northeast. Through networking and hobnobbing, I was able to meet more conservative activists and strengthen existing friendships. And most importantly, my family and I were back together again after splitting residence between the West and East Coasts. I’m happy we’re together in the same state again!

Where do I begin with New Year’s resolutions? I, like so many of you, want to start 2014 off on a clean slate. I write down the things I want to improve upon but never follow through with them. Maybe it’s lack of effort or maybe it’s sheer laziness that prevents most of us from fulfilling our goals. It’s time for a change.

Why not be bold in 2014?

Here’s what I plan to improve upon this year:

1) Read more books: I toil with this every single year. I love reading books but never find the time to tune out from social media or my busy work schedule to dig into a good book. With the help of Goodreads, which has become my go-to organizer for books, I plan to set a goal for myself and read at least 2-4 books every month. Put down the remote and iPhones – indulge yourselves and read some good books!

2) Less technology, more reality: My friend Ashley Crouch of Verily Magazine wrote about the excessive use of social media and how it’s stifling our interpersonal interactions:

“It’s no secret that we’re spending more and more time plugged into digital outlets. But all is not rosy according to researchers from the University of Gothenberg; out of the 4,100 young adults they studied for a year, those who used computers four or more hours per day reported high levels of stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.”

Like so many of you who are young and career-minded, I’m guilty of wasting time on social media. I’ve realized I could put my free time to better use. I want to relish the remainder of my youth by using social media more effectively and in smaller doses. Over the last three months, I’ve toned down the amount of Facebook posts and tweets by unplugging most evenings and weekends. It’s allowed me to be less distracted overall and more attentive to friends, family, and coworkers. Don’t be that person who spends every social gathering hooked on your phone. It’s really rude and off-putting. (Some people I know are guilty of this. Guys and gals: We want our friends back!) Tune out from social media and tune into reality!

3) Travel more: I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to make frequent trips to the Northeast. I love sight-seeing in NYC and Boston whenever I get downtime from student meetings or trainings. Sometimes I travel to blogger conferences and go on family vacations. I’d love to make a return to Europe; I haven’t been since I was 8! Whether near or far, explore your surroundings. Explore historical sites around you, visit a major city, or find your nearest beach. Get outside and breath some fresh air!

4) Spend more time outdoors: Last year, I spent many weekends at the gun range and our local lake to clear my head. (It’s a curse and a blessing to live in the D.C. area, so I use every chance I get to escape Washington and go to the Virginia countryside.) I’ve become more adept at shooting guns and am working on getting my CCW license soon. Also, I discovered how unique East Coast fishing is with freshwater fishing in Northern Virginia and saltwater fishing in Ponce Inlet, FL. My goal this year is to explore more freshwater fishing spots in Virginia and to go deep sea fishing in Virginia Beach, VA. Also, I hope to go hunting for the first time this year. (We’ll see if that materializes!) If you are craving excitement and time away from technology, I highly suggest you try the aforementioned outdoor sports.

5) Always exercise: Politics can be draining and all-consuming causing us to sit for 8+ hours each day. Thankfully I rediscovered how essential exercise is with gym membership and after running my first 5K in September. (I used to play tennis in high school, so I’ve always been one to value exercise.) A dear friend of mine even convinced me to join her in running longer distances. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Practice greater personal responsibility and get in shape this year!

6) Have fun in the kitchen: Contrary to popular belief, baking and cooking aren’t oppressive. They’re actually quite enjoyable. I plan to find more time to bake desserts and cook up some of my favorite food items. After reading several food blogs last year, I want to experiment with more recipes for food, desserts, and drinks. My family generally frowned upon junk food in the house, so this shouldn’t be difficult to pull off. Ladies, channel your inner domestic goddess this year! And fellas – don’t be afraid to cook up a storm.

7) Donate to private charity: I like to support causes I believe in without coercion from the government. Last year, I made a contribution to a local pregnancy crisis center in Leesburg, VA. (I hope to contribute to more charities this year.) I wholeheartedly frown upon benefits and welfare that foster cradle to grave paternalistic government. Private charity best uplifts people. Find a charity you believe in and give back to your community!

And last but not least, this is a goal we on the Right must fulfill this year:

8) Promote and help elect constitutional conservatives in the 2014 election cycle: Ralph Waldo Emerson once opined:

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

Democrats are very vulnerable this year. The president and his administration boast high unavailability ratings, especially with the failed Obamacare roll out. We must use this to our advantage and provide a contrast to the Left’s failed policies. Alas, this won’t be easy with GOP elites and cronies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce undermining constitutional conservative candidates in primaries. I’ll do my part as a blogger and activist – column writing, tweeting, and grassroots organizing – to help elect sound conservatives to office this year. Please do yours!

What are your New Year’s resolutions? What do you want to improve upon? Craft a list and follow through with your goals.

Happy New Year, everyone!

-Gabriella

Ending January Right With Babies, Guns, and Photo Bombs

January is coming to a close, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on some recent happenings.

This past week was certainly eventful. Unfortunately, President Obama was coronated…er, inaugurated again for a second term. He called for communitarianism (basically, more class warfare policies) and made the same rallying cry for more “hope and change.” He still isn’t taking responsibility for adding over $6 trillion dollars in debt in his first term, and he’s overstepping his constitutional duties with respect to guns, immigration, and recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (which SCOTUS just ruled unconstitutional), to name a few. There are too many absurd policies and things to list, but you should grasp how disastrous this administration’s policies are and will continue to be these next four years. Oy vey!

On a more positive note, conservatives had something to celebrate this week. Although January 22, 2013, marked 40 years since that tragic and unfortunate  Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion, over 500,000 Americans-mostly young people-descended to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Friday  to champion life.

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I went down to the National Mall with my co-workers to recruit students to our Campus Leadership Program. This being my first March for Life event, I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed by the sight of hundreds of thousands of fellow  pro-lifers from all walks of life coming together for this important occasion.

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Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and for being a philanthropist to my alma mater UCSD, had this to say about  life: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” May we continue to change the culture of death into one that champions life. L’chaim!

Yesterday I exercised my Second Amendment rights with my two good friends Celia Bigelow (think “gun girl” who appeared on the Piers Morgan Show recently) and Ron Meyer at Blue Arsenal Range in Chantilly, VA. The place was packed with many people rightfully scared by this administration’s plans to undermine Second Amendment rights. Americans still regard the right-to-bear arms as an unalienable right, and we’re not going to allow them to undermine it.

It’s undeniable that girls want to have guns. This is me shooting a CZ 75 9mm pistol – a semi-automatic handgun. And yes, shooting is fun – try it!

58270_10151381255032668_621120062_nAnd no end to a great week would be complete without crashing an event and seeing all your blogger/Twitter friends there.

Several of my friends and I ventured to Woodley Park in Washington, D.C., to meet up with some friends in town for the National Review Institute and soon enough, a party was underway at the hotel bar. It was great running into people and seeing good friends like Orit Sklar and Courtney Mattison there. (It was also nice finally meeting  Matthew Vadum, John La Rosa, and Brad Marston.)

One of the highlights from last night? #UnsustainableBarTab and schmoozing. Gotta love being a part of the conservative blogger community.

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Mark Steyn came sat down at our table, so we felt inclined to approach him about taking a picture with us. He obliged and offered this epic pose. Pretty awesome, right?

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…And then a group of us photo-bombed Jonah Goldberg.

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A drunk Dutchman who works for a conservative nonprofit (who shall remain nameless) crushed my Lithuanian amber ring, which kind of sucked. Amber is priceless and he just dismissed it as, “Oh, well, I have a forceful handshake.”

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When I asked him about Lithuania in relation to European politics, he scoffed and said, “Is Lithuania a country?” I answered, “It regained its independence in 1991.” Unlike Palestine, which has yet to be discovered, Lithuania is not a mythical place. I must confess, it was fun outsmarting a European scholar. But I digress…

This great night wouldn’t have been possible without the legendary Robert Stacy McCain (American Spectator/The Other McCain). Thank you for always looking out for us young conservatives and showing us a good time. Thanks, Stacy!

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And most of all, this weekend was made possible because good friends like Matt Vespa and Liz Thatcher. (Huntington gang for life!)

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This week, I’ll be meeting with students up in the frigid Northeast. You’re welcome to follow my musings on Twitter @Gabby_Hoffman. Expect more articles and blog posts in the coming days and weeks.

May you have a wonderful rest of January!