Last week, Melanie 'Bookish Pinay' visited us in Houston to talk to us about her experiences in the firearm community and to tell us about her story so far. You can find her on Instagram at @bookish_pinay.
First of all, what is your name?
You can call me Melanie
What does your handle mean?
The word “Pinay” is a colloquial term for Filipina and I’ve always had a great love for books; my handle is just me in a nutshell.
What books do you think everyone should read?
I recently finished “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday and I think it’s just what everyone needs in this consumer-driven fast-paced world we live in. I highly recommend this to anyone who is striving to achieve a more balanced, meaningful and purposeful way to live.
What got you into firearms and self-defense training?
There are a number of pivotal moments in my life that made me want to invest more in my personal safety. An attempted burglary back in 2011 was one of them. My dad gave me my first firearm the very next day.
The civil unrest back in the summer of 2020 made me realize that I need to be my own first responder. Even in the best of circumstances, there is no guarantee that someone will be there to “save me”.
What do you want people to know about you?
I am an ordinary gal who loves to read, lift, and shoot guns. I make it a goal to read at least 50 books a year and I competed in my first (hopefully not my last) powerlifting meet back in 2019. I also enjoy shooting, collecting, and building firearms.
Working part-time as a Range Safety Officer has put me in a great position to continue to add to my tool box. I also became a USCCA certified firearm instructor so I try to help with License to Carry classes and women’s classes whenever my schedule allows.
One thing that I want people to know about me is that I’m not a damsel in distress. I am my own first responder. And I want to encourage other women to embrace the idea that they can protect themselves just like anyone else.
What’s your main set up? Why do you like it?
My everyday carry is the Sig Sauer P365. It checks off a lot of boxes for me in terms of reliability, accuracy, capacity, and concealability.
Not too long ago, I finished one of my favorite builds yet - a 7.5” AR build chambered in 300 BLK. Her name is Luna and I absolutely love her because she has proven herself to be accurate and reliable. That particular build also made me want to work on pistol builds as well which has taught me a lot about the inner workings of the firearms I use.
If someone wants to get into firearms where do you think they should start?
This is a great question. The answer to this depends on the intended purpose (is it for concealed carry, home defense, etc.) and their budget. Going to the range to try out a variety based on that would also be a good idea, as opposed to just going with whatever they hear someone say about a firearm.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of shills and influencers online whose end goal is not to help you find the best firearm for you. In the end, the right firearm is whatever they can comfortably and accurately shoot.
If people want to keep up with you, where can they find you?
I'm on instagram at @bookish_pinay