Granny Clampett was a strong woman

Maybe you have to be raised with a shotgun in your hand to feel comfortable using it….

On the Beverly Hillbillies, Granny was always ready with her shotgun:

No, I haven’t gone ’round the bend. I fully understand that Irene Ryan was not Granny Clampett, that she was handling a prop gun and that, even if it had been a real gun, it would have been loaded with pellets or, as Jed said, salt.

Having said that, I also know that a lot of American women for centuries have been firing similar weapons. Living on frontiers, it would be insane for a woman who might find herself alone not to be comfortable with a shotgun.

The gun I fired today is a Mossberg 500, with a specialty pistol-grip stock that was both padded and had a spring in it, and loaded with slugs — and it still jostled me so badly I promptly got a migraine. Yes, that’s very wussy of me, but I’m not a spring chicken, I’m a small woman, and I get migraines. I am no Annie Oakley, that’s for sure.

Having said that, what’s important is that I now know how to load and shoot a shotgun should the need ever arise, something I most sincerely hope never happens. And I’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for those generations of American women who stood in the doors of their cabins, children behind them, keeping the bad guys at bay with a weapon that truly does kick like a mule.