Unfiltered Story #215227

, , , | Unfiltered | November 16, 2020

In 2009 I went through police academy training. I was only one of three females in the class. When it came time to practice firearms, I thought it would be fun. My father had taught me how to use and shoot a gun when I was younger. He was a believer in “stopping power” so I only ever learned how to shoot .45 or larger. I had no experience with shotguns. For the academy you had to buy your own gun and select the caliber from 9mm, .40 or .45. Given my past, I bought a Sig Sauer .45. Once on the shooting range, I quickly learned that I was going to suffer from “big gun, little girl” syndrome. The other two women bought 9mm. So my uphill battle began.

First the so called instructors, couldn’t figure out that I was cross-eyed dominant (meaning I shoot right handed but sight with my left). Luckily, I knew law enforcement training instructors I could talk to and they immediately knew what the problem was. I couldn’t stand in a normal position but rather had to “square up” to the target given my sight. Now I’m a little girl with a big gun and a different stance.

The pressure from the crap instructors and my own inner frustration resulted in a mixed bag of scores. It wasn’t my best work but I owned up and kept pushing forward. Even my fellow cadets were arse****s. A rather short male once claimed I pointed my muzzle at him when all I had done was shifted the gun, still pointing down range, to accommodate my smaller hands to eject a magazine. In practice, I was often told to repeat drills far more times than my fellow cadets even if the scores were passing or better.

However, I got vindication when it came to speed shooting. Here there was no time for instructors or my own head to mess with me. Instead it was pure action. I destroyed most of the class hitting nearly every target that popped up.

I was on a roll until shotguns. I had no previous training here but remember that I’m cross-eye dominant. I knew from my friends in law enforcement I would have to shoot left handed. The instructors tried to force me to shoot right handed but I refused upon learning that I couldn’t see the target this way. I knew, if you can’t see dear god don’t shoot! Eventually they “allowed” me to shoot with my left. The next problem was the given my size the standard stock of a shotgun is too long. I could manage it, but for safety I preferred the adjustable stock. I learned on this gun and practiced with it. When it came time for testing I asked if I could use this gun instead of the standard. I was told “ok”.

The final target in this drill is a “bad guy” you are supposed to hit with a slug. (In shotguns, you can have either pellets which produce a bunch of tiny projectiles often called bird/buck shot or one massive slug.) No one but me hit this target.

After this portion of training wraps up I get my performance review. It isn’t great. I see a discipline note where I “refused” to use the standard stock shotgun. Not only was it not true but this looks bad for possible recruitment. I go to speak to the academy lead, a woman. I explain that I preferred the adjustable and was training exclusively on it. So in testing I naturally preferred it. I would have used the standard if no such option existed. She tells me that this was the least of the notes on my firearm performance and if I argue this one it would only get worse for me. Basically I’d have to accept it.

And I did.

I was never happy about it. There was a lot in academy training that showed me how misogynistic law enforcement could be. It soured me quite a bit but the friends I had in law enforcement reminded why I put myself through it.