She calls herself “Top Gun Tori”
Sharp shooter Tori Nonaka already spent fourteen years on the range—and she is only seventeen. As a toddler crawling up on a bucket at the range, Tori’s father, a gulf war vet, would hold the gun while she shot. Since 2011 Tori has competed on the international level and has become a representative for team GLOCK, the famous Austrian hand gun manufacturer.
“My goal is to be the dominant force within the women’s category and really become a strong physical shooter and an ambassador of the sport,” Tori told Human events. Already, she is on her way to both.
Most recently, Tori walked away with the junior title at the Pro-Am Competition. The junior shooting champion from Virginia also competed last year on the international level at the World Shoot XVI. Top shooters from around the globe gathered for the triennial competition in Greece last year, Tori being one of 44 from the United States.
“I’ve taken training by a long-list of top shooters in the industry, which I’m very fortunate for,” Tori said, “I’ve had thousands of rounds down range and a lot of training and it’s definitely paid off so far.”
Tori’s younger siblings Brenna and Shawn are also shooting in competitions. While Tori’s mom was hesitant of the sport, her father Aaron Nonaka told Human Events he believes strongly in the right to bear arms, in addition to using shooting in recreation and sporting. Tori stood out from her siblings as a natural shooter, according to Aaron.
“It really became apparent that she was special when we attended a defensive handgun course at the US Shooting Academy,” Aaron recalled, at twelve years old she “out shot several of the other students who were active duty military and law enforcement officers.”
As she became serious about gunmanship, Aaron gave her a 1911 pistol. Today a signature purple GLOCK is her weapon of choice.
In order to be a well-rounded shooter Tori competes in all disciplines of pistol shooting. These include competitions in the International Defensive Pistol Association and United Stated Practical Shooting Association. In 2010 Tori won the won the twenty-two optic ladies title at USPSA, as well as the World Steel Challenge junior title.
No woman has ever cleaned the Bianchi Cup, a National Rifle Association action shooting competition, making it a goal of the competitive young professional. Aspirations in the sport transcend competitions though, to developing sharp shooting a life-long career.
There has been a recent growth in the female competitors, Tori said, attributing it, in part, to television shows, such as “Top Shot.” Many of Tori’s future plans are geared towards engaging juniors in the shooting industry—this includes an interest in training juniors and finding innovative ways to market to them, perhaps by intertwining with it her budding modeling hobby.
“In the future I would like to tie the two together in a very positive light, ‘cause that will reach out to other untouched people,” Tori said, “modeling and guns and even TV, all those different industries, mainstream industries, those are really great places to market shooting and to show them what our sport is about.”
A recent high school graduate, this fall she will begin studying business and marketing through Northern Virginia Community College online, allowing her mobility to travel for matches.
“I have so many ideas, and I’m so excited that I’ll have so much time to do them all,” Tori said. It starts by influencing those around you, she said, sharing gun knowledge with friends and siblings, for instance.
Tori’s youngest brother, now three years old, will soon be taking his first trip to the range to try out a 22 long rifle
“Kids who shoot competitively learn firearms safety and must demonstrate a high level of respect and responsibility on the range,” Aaron said, “They gain self-confidence and an appreciation of their second amendment rights.”