Hello friends! Welcome to my series Coffee Date With. Each month I will be interviewing inspiring, badass, and self-reliant women to share their story, to inspire you, and to keep growing this community of women that are kicking ass and taking names. I've got some great women lined up for 2018 and want to bring you along to hang out with us. So in coffee date form, get those cups ready.
I'm pretty excited to be having "coffee" with Bree Warner. It wasn't until earlier this year that we finally got to meet in person after being friends and talking through social media. Bree is badass and class wrapped up into one amazing and inspiring woman.
I got to know her a little bit when Amy & I had her on an episode of Not Your Average Gun Girls podcast and most recently we got to hang out further when we both attended NRA Carry Guard Training. She's genuine and sweet but don't let that petite frame fool you. I've seen in her action first hand and she is fierce in all aspects of her life.
We've bonded over our love of designer shoes and being self-reliant. She is a true friend and I'm grateful for her friendship and advice. She's helped me with my own shooting journey and this industry is lucky to have her.
How about we get into this. I'm too excited to wait any longer so get your coffee (I'm getting a refill) and join me for this Coffee Date with Bree Warner.
SMT: What was your motivation to start TactiGal?
Bree: Coming into the firearms world later in life I found myself eager to train and quickly learn as much as possible but also found that I was typically one of the very few women in classes. When I would ask around, many women I spoke to were interested in training more but felt somewhat intimidated by learning in a predominantly male environment. Eventually they wanted to get to that place of confidence but were searching for a less aggressive or competitive approach. As nurturers, women in class environments tend to encourage one another for improvement more freely which I find some women really benefit from in the learning process. TactiGal blossomed out of that niche needing filling.
SMT: What type of training do you offer through TactiGal and what can someone expect from taking a course from you?
Bree: I offer everything from Defensive Handgun, to low Light training and Concealed Carry. I also offer one on one private training for those wanting more focused attention and instruction. Some learn well in group settings and others learn better when working solo with an instructor. Ultimately it’s the discretion of the student of which method works best for them. While some classes do have prerequisites and a minimum level of skill base, I would always encourage everyone to seek training and start somewhere. For newer shooters I prefer to work with them one on one as I find that it helps concentrate the lessons on a time line that is customized to the shooter. My goal with group classes to instill not just the skillset but also the confidence for my students to continue to seek training not just with me but others, especially mixed classes amongst men as well. Gunfights know no gender so it is important to be able to effectively perform under pressure alongside men and women. Getting women to that empowered place is my goal.
SMT: Whenever someone from the 2A community finds out that I live in DC I always have to listen about how unfriendly DC is and that I need to move to Virginia. I'm sure you get the same response when someone finds out that you live in New York. Is being a firearm owner in New York as bad as people make it out to be?
Bree: I actually know a lot of gun owners in New York, so I wouldn’t say its as terrible as some may believe. Indeed it’s restrictive to what many can carry and own BUT it’s not impossible. With enough diligence and patience many citizens have the ability to get a permit. Depending on the county in which you live, some carry permits are easier to get than others. That inconsistency within the state is unfortunate and differs from other more pro2A states. My neighbor a county over might only be granted a ‘target and hunting’ permit with the ability of a future upgrade vs. a full carry permit from the start. Sadly it is what it is for the moment, but I would not let it be a deterrent. At minimum a firearm in the home is a better defensive tool than having nothing at all. New York City however, is it’s own unique entity all together when it comes to firearms. Even when I lived in Manhattan, I still legally owned firearms believe it or not, but again it comes down to being diligent and patient with the process.
SMT: New York is one of my favorite cities and I'm jealous that you live so close. What are some of your go-to spots when you're in the city?
Bree: Central Park of course is always on the list! I’m a fan of LA Burdick, which is a chocolatier that happens to serve spiked hot cocoa with your choice of Whiskey, Brandy or Grand Manier. Then there’s Quality Meats for an amazing steak dinner and then La Esquina for spicy after dinner cocktails and tunes.
SMT: Being a part-time deputy sheiriff, shooter, and firearms trainer, I'm sure you've got a nice selection of EDC tools. What are some your every day carry essentials that don't include your firearm?
Bree: My other EDC includes Extra Magazine, Pepper Spray, Knife, Tourniquet and extra set of handcuffs in my vehicle along with a ‘Go Bag’ filled with emergency essentials.
SMT: Besides your Louis Vuitton cerakoted G43, what other Louis Vuitton pieces do you own or might be on your wish list?
Bree: I have the Monogrammed Speedy 40 bag although I have to say I’ve always been infatuated with their vintage steamer trunks from the early 20th Century. Those are amazing collector items.
SMT: Acting has been a big part of your life but so has your interest in shooting and the second amendment. Nowadays, it seems like those two areas don't mix very well. How are you able to navigate around an industry that seems so anti-gun?
Bree: It’s actually been a remarkable and effective combination. Many of my entertainment industry friends have known me for many years, so their perception and opinions of me are fairly rooted. Now that I’ve slowly introduced firearms in my world and into those conversations, they are more open to hear points made. I suppose my size plays a factor also, as I don’t represent what that have preconceived as a ‘gun owner’ so it helps keep the dialog flowing. I do my best to always offer respect but stand firm in my beliefs at the same time. Over the years, more and more of my left sided friends have reached out with gun questions. Regardless if they ultimately become gun owners is for them to decide, but I appreciate how many are more willing to hear me out and perhaps reshape some of their more rigid views of the 2nd amendment issues.
SMT: I know how crazy life can get sometimes but how are you able to manage your time between pursuing an acting career, running TactiGal, continuing your training, being a part-time deputy sheriff, and spending time with your dog and family?
Bree: I’ve always been what I call a ‘high octane individual’. For as long as I can remember I had a tendency to juggle quite a bit. The nature with all those interests outside of family, is they can ebb and flow. Acting, teaching, training present themselves in waves. Balancing the flow became easier once I figured out the seasonal patterns. That and of course my iPhone and calendar reminders are a God sent!
SMT: If we were to get coffee in person (or better yet a cocktail), what would you order?
Bree: If it’s coffee my new favorite thanks to my significant other is an Iced Caramel Macchiato with Almond Milk. If we’re talking cocktails than it a jalapeno Mezcal Margarita.
SMT: I know you rely a lot on your faith in God. Do you have a favorite Bible passage you can share that you go to when you need guidance?
Bree: Of all the passages I love, probably the most poignant yet most simple is Psalm 46:10 “Be Still and know that I am God”. It’s my go-to anytime I’m overwhelmed or filled with that anxiety of ‘gotta do more, gotta be more’. We live in such a high pace, high output society. Sometimes remembering the simplicity of life and knowing that God is in control is the greatest lesson I can ever learn over and over again. It’s hard to let go of the reigns but when we do, it’s amazing what falls into place