Though by no means a requirement to love shooting, Kirsten’s grown up in a family who appreciates guns. Her parents taught her, practically before she could speak, to “treat every gun as if it were loaded”. With safety taught and in mind, guns represent fun, recreation, challenge, and camaraderie. Because of this she has a very comfortable, yet respectful, relationship with guns.
“I see them as tools, because thats what they are. They are tools for fun, enjoyment, and betterment. Like a Chef’s knives or golfers clubs…Guns help you hone your skills, as well as who you are as a person.”
Starting later than the norm for most competition shooters, she began her Olympic-style rifle career in the latter part of her high school years, but made up for time swiftly. She won gold at the International Cup at Bisley, Enlgand and received a collegiate rifle scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From there she made the national development team, competed in the World Championships, World Cups, made the Olympic short-list, won national titles, and the list continues [see competition bio].
But listing accomplishments falls flat. It doesn’t even hint at the stories behind the success. The obstacles. The sabotage of her guns, though tragic, just made her work harder. The necessity of coaching herself for most of her career, and experimenting beyond the accepted shooting culture norms. The underdog grit, yet national and international success. The joyful revelation of the trick shot thread interwoven throughout her tenacious career, revealed through natural (and imposed) struggles. The off the beaten path travel, living in far corners of the globe, as she studied and learned secrets under tested masters of ancient arts. And this only barely scratches the surface. To say that Kirsten isn’t your stereotypical shooting enthusiast, is an understatement.
The obstacles thrown in my way, some natural and some deliberate, I count as blessing. Thanks to them, I finally saw the trick shot in me—and more than that the Sharp Shot element–woven throughout. Those obstacles created the need, and forced me to search and go beyond the ideal and the expected, beyond those limits.”
Those struggles pushed her harder than most even need to. Pushed her to the extreme corners of the known world, as well as her inner world. Developing her knowledge and testing her character. Motivating her to search, discover, and find what few even think of, bother with, or even know exist.
The more important part now, however, is the reason for her actions presently. The gathering of the Sharp Shots, her performance shooting, trick shots, and shooting games, and her emphasis on sharing the positive message of shooting – the fun, challenge, and joy of shooting.
With the current gun rhetoric and tired debate, she knows her story needs to be told, as well as the stories of others. Her positive relationship to shooting needs to be shared. And she knows she is not alone in this experience. While she certainly offers a unique spin, she recognizes that many share the same relationship to shooting that she does.
On its most elemental level, the positive enjoyment of shooting is practiced throughout the world. On its highest level, we all have the opportunity to enhance our lives uniquely through the pursuit and endeavors of the shooting arts. It spans race, politics, gender, or religion…bringing people together.”
Now she is pleased to share the experience with you. So discover with her, and explore the fun, challenge, and joy of shooting!
Interested in credentials? Kirsten’s Competition Bio can be found here
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Have some cherished firearm-related experiences of your own, friends, or family? Kirsten and the Sharp Shots would LOVE to hear them! Send and share pictures, stories, videos — even poems and artwork– through Facebook’s message service at www.facebook.com/Kirstenjoyweiss and Kirsten will share them with the group. And another plus? Whether many pages or short as a Haiku, your story will encourage others. So you’re encouraged to share it!