Melinda L. Gierisch, GUI/DB Developer
with Network Security Technologies,
Inc. of Herndon, Virginia, is the
designated recipient of the CCRKBA
Gun Rights Defender of the Month
Award for June.
In nominating Ms. Gierisch for the
Award, John Michael Snyder,
CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said
that, “during this time of repeated
public attacks on the individual Second
Amendment civil right of lawabiding
American citizens to keep and
bear arms, it is absolutely necessary for
the success of our defense of the Second
Amendment that people from
various sectors of our cultural and professional
life assume the volunteer
leadership burden of defense of our
“Melinda is one of the many fine individuals
who have assumed this responsibility.
A professional expert in
developing and maintaining computer
security, she also is the Virginia State
Coordinator of the Second Amendment
Sisters. She organized an Armed
Informed Mothers Rally on Mother’s
Day at the Capital Square Grounds in
Richmond, Virginia, the State Capital.
She was able to bring together a number
of pro-gun politicians as well as
several women who used firearms to
drive off their attackers. She certainly
is most deserving of this Award.”
Melinda states her belief that the
Second Amendment is the “civil right
that protects all of the other nine articles
in the Bill of Rights.”
She is an NRA-certified instructor
for Home Firearm Safety, Basic Pistol,
and Personal Protection who acquired
her concealed carry permit “after the
laws changed to shall-issue in Virginia
in 1995.”
Melinda informs POINT BLANK
that she was born in Annapolis, Maryland,
“grew up in Anne Arundel
County, Maryland and graduated
from the University of Maryland in
College Park with a degree in Electrical
Engineering in 1991. Afterward I
went to work as a systems analyst.
“My parents taught me nothing
about firearms when I was growing
up. I became interested in shooting
mainly due to the debate and controversy
surrounding the Brady Law in
1993. As an engineer I was trained to
use logic and facts to form my opinions.
When I started studying gun
control issues I quickly realized that
people who want stricter controls and
more laws had only emotional rhetoric,
not facts, to back up their arguments.
I decided to take a basic pistol
course offered at Blue Ridge Arsenal in
Chantilly, Virginia to learn how to
shoot. Once I’d tried it, I quickly became
Melinda says that the “Second
Amendment Sisters, Inc. and the Second
Amendment Sisters Foundation
are women’s advocacy groups dedicated
to promoting the human right to
self-defense, as recognized by the Second
“Second Amendment Sisters hope to
raise awareness for the importance of
the Second Amendment and the role it
plays in protecting our right to selfdefense.
“The Second Amendment Sisters
was founded just over a year ago by
five ladies chatting on an Internet web
site who decided that the ‘Mommies’
did not in any way, shape or form
speak for them. Their energy and ambition
has created a true grass-roots
movement among women throughout
the United States who oppose any attempts
to infringe on their right to
Melinda has seen some of her written
material published on the Second
Amendment Sisters web site. In response
late last year to a woman who
was requesting advice on concealed
carry, Melinda wrote that, “small, nonyielding
grips are very hard on anyone’s
hands when shooting, which
takes all of the fun out of practicing…
“If you are serious about practicing,
a small 9mm semi-auto will probably
be easier to conceal on your person.
Revolvers tend to be fat due to the cylinder,
especially if they hold six or
more .357 cartridges. Also, even some
small 9mm’s can hold 10+one rounds.
“As for a carry method, I use either a
purse (when I have to dress up and a
fanny pack or holster isn’t an option),
or a holster. I used an IWB (inside the
waistband) for several years, but am
moving to a forward-cant hip holster,
as it’s more comfortable for me to
“Without seeing you in person and
knowing what you look like, it’s hard
for me to advise you on a comfortable
holster. I can tell you that in general,
women don’t find straight hip holsters
comfortable as we have short waists,
and our hips curve. This causes the
pistol’s hammer to dig into our ribs
and can make the pistol difficult to
draw. The holster I have on order
now is custom-made for women. It
cants the pistol with the muzzle
slightly forward to keep it close to the
body for concealment, but prevents it
from digging into my waist during the
“No one pistol is appropriate for
everyone, and no single carry method
is right for everyone all the time.
“No matter what type of holster you
get, it should do two things: hold your
pistol securely, and completely cover
the trigger guard. If the pistol isn’t secure
in the holster, it may fall out at an
inopportune time. Also, if the holster
doesn’t completely cover the trigger
guard, you take the chance that something
will touch the trigger when you
don’t want it to.”
Melinda’s e-mail address is She also
may be reached toll free by calling 1-