Archive for Sunday, February 7, 2010

Passion for firearms inspires woman leading rifle group

February 7, 2010


— Patricia Stoneking’s life path seems to have taken a natural flow.

The Bonner Springs resident naturally got involved with firearms through her family of hunting enthusiasts; she naturally found a role as activist for firearms that led her to lobby the Kansas government to change laws; and she naturally made a career out of educating people about proper firearm use.

Each milestone has led her to where she is today — the first woman to be elected president of the Kansas State Rifle Association and the first president to hold the position for three consecutive years.

Stoneking, a Shawnee native, first held a gun at age 8. It was a BB gun that her father gave her.

“My dad thought it was a cool thing to do,” she said. “I had a brother three years younger, so I don’t think he could wait for him to be old enough.”

She said the most important lesson she gained growing up around guns was the proper procedure for handling such a powerful device.

And as she matured, Stoneking said she noticed a shift in how the public perceived firearms and increasing government regulations.

“In the ’60s growing up, it was not like it is now,” Stoneking said. “I don’t know how we got where we are now, people thinking we shouldn’t have them. I grew up with it. It was a natural thing to do.”

She later became a firearms instructor. In 2003, Stoneking started Target Master Shooting Academy. She spends seven days a week teaching at the Bullet Hole in Shawnee. From beginners to advanced students who compete in shooting sports, Stoneking says, education plays a vital role in protecting the Second Amendment.

“We have people who come in excited and others who are nervous or apprehensive,” she said. “Teaching is very gratifying to have students leave class excited, no longer concerned or fearful about handling guns.”

In 2005, Stoneking joined the Kansas State Rifle Association.

“I decided it was time to get in the fight and see what I could do,” she said. In 2008 Stoneking, was asked to run for president of the association. She said it was an honor to be asked and she took on the role with enthusiasm. She was re-elected in 2009, and even though presidents had typically only served two years, she was asked to serve a third term as president in 2010.

During her time as president, Stoneking has tripled the membership of the Kansas association to a current tally of about 3,400 members.

Stoneking was honored in 2008 by the National Rifle Association for her role with the association and the strides she had made to that point. She was given the Marion P. Hammer Woman of Distinction Award, which recognizes three women each year for their contributions in support of the Second Amendment at the national level.

“I was raised in an environment, old-school, where everyone felt the Constitution was critically important, not only for our history but our present,” she said. “We have to protect the Second Amendment in order to protect all the others.”

Stoneking said she will continue to fight for gun rights as long as people continue to put regulations on something that is “a right, not a privilege.” She said she believes there should be no regulations when it comes to owning guns.

“You can’t take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to stop crime,” she said. “Bad guys are not walking into gun shops.”

Stoneking said she believed education needs to play a huge part in teaching people how to respect firearms.

“Somewhere along the way, someone put an evil face on guns,” said Stoneking, adding that she would continue to fight until the right to bear arms without restriction is recognized.


JimMacklin 8 years, 3 months ago

I first met Patricia several years ago and was immediately impressed with her knowledge and skill. She is a person you feel comfortable with, sort of like Aunt Bea on the old Andy Griffith show. But Patricia is tough too. She can look a State legislator in te eye and speak with authority. Anyone who lives anywhere near Bonner Springs who wants excellent firearms training, you can't do better than to contact Patricia. If you are a woman, Patricia is an expert in the special needs of women who want to be armed to protect themselves and their children.

Joe Hyde 8 years, 3 months ago

It's really cool, that Ms. Stoneking grew up in a family where her Dad introduced her to air rifles and firearms at a very early age, as well as teaching her the safe and responsible ways of handling firearms. It was the same with me; got my first BB gun at 7, and a .22 rifle and .410 shotgun, too, same year.

The key component in the training you get from experienced hunters is that the business of handling the gun and shooting it isn't just about you: At all times, whether you are firing the weapon or just holding it or carrying it, you are responsible for protecting not just yourself but all the people and property around you from getting accidentally shot.

This taking of personal responsibility for the safety of others is something I'm sure Ms. Stoneking is excellent at conveying to her students along with teaching the skills, discipline and relaxation needed to become a good shot.

So I'm not knocking her, but I do think the NRA (if she is speaking for them) is irresponsible to keep expounding generalized ideas such as, "bad guys don't walk into gun shops" and "there should be no regulations when it comes to owning guns". Such talk is stupid and dangerous.

Every day in America there are bad guys (with evil intent) who walk into gun shops. And let's suppose there were no regulations when it comes to owning guns. Wouldn't we then have a nation where, for instance, imprisoned murderers were allowed to own and possess loaded firearms inside their jail cells? This is what "totally deregulated gun ownership" would lead to, and to believe otherwise is lunacy.

The NRA leadership's "anything goes" attitude indicates they lack respect for the safety mechanism, and they don't pay attention to where the muzzle is pointing. Nobody like that hunts with me.

Jim Phillips 8 years, 3 months ago


You obviously have no idea what the NRA is or does.

JimMacklin 8 years, 3 months ago

You can find a link to all the Kansas approved concealed carry instructor on the Kansas Attorney General's web site

There is lots of other good info on that site.

The Kansas State Rifle Association site is

Flap Doodle 8 years, 3 months ago

mariposa, perhaps you should relocate to Chicago where the unarmed citizens live in perfect safety (not).

BlackVelvet 8 years, 3 months ago

I need to visit the AG's website. I need to apply for a concealed carry permit.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 3 months ago

Mariposa, one quick look at your posting history and it is clear that you are quite horrifying in your own right.

denak 8 years, 3 months ago

“I was raised in an environment, old-school, where everyone felt the Constitution was critically important, not only for our history but our present,” she said. “We have to protect the Second Amendment in order to protect all the others.”

Except until the 1999 Emerson decision, the Supreme Court did not recognize the individual's right to bear arms. It has historically been a collective right, not an individual right. So, if one were raised "old school" and thought that history was important in understanding the Constitution, Patricia would have been raised believing in the collective interpretation that has held sway for the last 200 plus years prior to Emerson.

Charlie Bannister 8 years, 3 months ago

I rarely post here but love reading all the responses. America has awakened. Wish it had done so before 2008. People are starting to realize what the left has in store for them. Fortunately, as long as those of us who revere the 2nd Amendment stay focused and united, we will always prevail. It is only by letting ourselves lapse into apathy or take the attitude of "letting someone else do it" that we are in danger of losing our rights. Thank you for waking up America. Long live the 2nd Amendment!!

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