I was having dinner with my family last night and of course Charles and I were talking shop about recent shooting events and it came around again to my brother who also owns handguns and competes occasionally. Charles asked my sister-in-law if she had gone out shooting with Peter recently or ever. “No” she said. “Guns scare me.” In fact, I hear this so often from many women who’s spouses have guns around. As you would expect, comments like that send my hackles straight up. I mentioned that if your spouse has guns in the house wouldn’t you like to be more familiar with them in case you should ever need them? OK, let’s take a step back here.
I know all of you reading this who love shooting also deal with this. This is old news. This has been and always will be a battle. Just look at the fight to keep and bear arms. I do understand people’s fear of guns. I really do! If one has never been around them and all you hear are horrible things in the news and the movies you would understandably hold a grudge against them. I never grew up around guns. I was a city girl. I had to be introduced in to this world of shooting through my husband. In fact even though I got in to competition with rifles I was still very apprehensive around handguns for several years. But that is because I had never really spent time with them. Like the rifle, I needed to use it a lot and become familiar with it. We kept a handgun in MY nightstand for years before I really went out to shoot it. But Charles made me unload and load it and make safe every night. I learned to respect it and understand it can’t go off by itself. Then I started shooting pistols and entering competitions and I can’t get enough of them. I do not expect people to take up shooting like myself but I do expect them to make an effort to be familiar with them if they are going to have them in their house or around them!
I do have many girlfriends who beg me to take them shooting. Some of these gals do not own any guns but really want to shoot. Some have guns but had not really gone out to use them and were so excited to do so. (Photo at right is of myself and some of my brave girlfriends at the range) I would send them home with homework to make ready and make safe drills. Make them second nature like driving your car. Safety first in driving also right? It is funny, I will be somewhere where the topic of guns come up and people get all huffy and disgusted and then they hear me say I am a national competitor, blah, blah, blah. The reaction on their faces is priceless. They immediately soften up to the topic seeing that this woman in front them who seems normal (be nice gang) is actually an experienced gun person. I am on the US Team? Cool! They hear that guns are used for sporting and not for the violence they are stuffed with.
To my sister-in-law and friends who are “afraid of guns”, it is my personal goal to reach you one at a time! Maybe having another woman teach them about firearms and shooting would be better than their spouse. I am on a one woman crusade to reach you all.
“Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can……”