Meet Molly

During the Gun Blogger Steel Challenge match in Reno over the weekend, I got badly beaten by a thirteen year old girl.  Her name is Molly Smith:


Molly is the one in the middle, with Keewee and Bea, our other two female shooters, on either side. Of course, she’s not just any 13 year old girl.  She happens to be a junior world champion at Steel Challenge and sponsored by Smith & Wesson. So I can’t say I feel bad about losing to her, and really, I was happy to come even within a country mile of what she can shoot.  Here’s a video shamelessly stolen from The Packing Rat of her shooting with us. She is fast:


Molly is also a gun blogger, who blogs about her competition.  I think what Molly does is great, and I appreciate that she and her family are still fighting the good fight in California. I asked her dad how much California’s restrictive gun laws interfere with being able to remain competitive in a sport like Steel Challenge, and his answer was that they interfere a lot. Someone of Molly’s skill and potential deserves better than the State of California is giving her. I want to thank her for coming out to Reno, and reminding me why I continue to dedicate so much time and energy to this issue.

11 thoughts on “Meet Molly”

  1. I am curious to know if she is homeschooled. I can’t imagine her “What I did this summer” report would go over well in most public schools, much less California.

    And, as a father of two very young girls, I can only hope my girls become more like Molly. My problem is I see her picture and just want to pinch her cheeks, she is so cute!

    Granted, if I did so, she’d shoot me 8 times, reload, and shoot my corpse again before it hit the floor.

  2. Molly is NOT homeschooled. Her mother told us that part of the reason she started blogging was so that she could have someone to talk to about shooting; if she even mentions it to one of her friends from school, or wears, say, her tiny little gun earrings, she can be expelled.

    1. There may be restrictions on what she can wear, but she still maintains First Amendment rights when she attends school. When a competitive shooter in Virginia was suspended for wearing a shooting sports shirt, federal courts stepped in and slapped the school down. Talking about a lawful activity is generally protected. (If she’s going to talk about it, she should be extra cautious in how she words things just in case someone is listening.) And based on precedent, wearing a non-threatening shirt that deals with the shooting sports would also be protected. (If not, she would create a circuit split and potentially open the door to a SCOTUS challenge.)

      UPDATE: Actually, come to think about it, she would have HUGE protections from the courts. The Ninth Circuit actually ruled in favor of the “Bong Hits for Jesus” kid and actually said the principal could be held liable for her decision to suspend him because she should have known that his First Amendment rights were protected. The Ninth is extremely friendly to student rights, so I don’t think there’s any real risk at all. Gun earrings might be a problem, but she shouldn’t have any problem talking about it or wearing a t-shirt.

      If it’s parental caution in not wanting to get caught up in those fights, that’s one thing. But there’s nothing I can think of in regards to the law that she should be frightened of, even in California. In fact, the ACLU & CRDF would probably fund the case completely. ACLU was willing to help out on the NH yearbook shotgun case, so they would probably take up any case by Molly if a school administrator did try to come down on her.

      In this case, even if the school tried to appeal to the SCOTUS, the lack of a circuit split would mean the Ninth’s opinion would likely stand. So hell, she should feel quite comfortable talking about her sport. There’s nothing to hide with the courts on your side.

      UPDATE II: Hell, I even just remembered the case of First Amendment protections in New Jersey. A lawsuit threat even convinced a principal in a suburb of NYC to send home pro-gun materials to balance out their anti-gun activism. So, if you don’t mind me asking, what is the situation that has her mother in such fear? Her daughter does have rights. If it’s a lack of desire to fight the issue, that’s reasonable. But I hope she isn’t really telling her that she actually has no right to do it.

  3. God, that has to suck.

    Imagine how hard it is to talk with friends when you can’t even discuss what you did over the weekend or where you went on vacation. At 13, she probably hasn’t mastered sarcasm enough to be able to talk about it without using the ‘danger words’.

  4. Bitter, as a father of young girls myself, I don’t think I’d want to put my 13 year old daughter through that. It’s wonderful she’s into the shooting sports, but being drug through the court system while she sues her school isn’t exactly the type of childhood a parent wants for their kid.

    1. As a public school student who truly enjoyed creating fear in the faces of old men who ran my school, I loved it. I’m just saying that I hope her mom is being honest about the threats with her. If she chooses to avoid confrontation, that’s perfectly fine. If the family is concerned about resources (even though any cases would likely be fully funded by outside groups who are experts in this kind of case law), that’s also a relevant argument. But I also see a side that she is getting closer to an age where she can make more decisions for herself. If she wants to take the risks, this is a reasonable risk to take because case law is on her side. Of all the risks teens girls take (don’t ask if you don’t want to have a heart attack), this is one that really isn’t so bad.

  5. But… but… but… guns are bad news for females! After all, those evil guns help mean men take advantage of women out there!


    Well, apart from looking like she needs an NFA stamp on her forehead, Molly also seems like a young woman who will never be taken advantage of by an abusive anyone. Of course, her current state will effectively deny her the right of self-defense outside of her home, once she is old enough to exercise it, but maybe we can get that changed in the next few years.

    Hell, I am honestly a little envious of her, all things considered…

  6. Molly is best described as 13 going on 30–she is very well-spoken and displays a remarkable amount of poise and maturity for a 13 year old.

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