Cassie Larsen submitted this article.
When people find out that I enjoy shooting and/or carry a firearm. I get the weirdest looks, like all of a sudden my face turned bright purple. Then I get bombarded with a range of questions, (i.e. What kind of firearms do I shoot? What kind of firearm do I carry concealed? Why do I like shooting? What kind of clothing do I wear with my carry firearm? Does your husband makes you shoot firearms? ect). I enjoy their looks the most when they find out I occasionally write for a gun blog.
Most people are honestly surprised that I shoot firearms and have my concealed carry permit. Most women’s comments are of confusion because; I do crafts, sew, love shoes, am a stay at home mom, volunteer at my kids school, paint my nails, and wear stylish clothes. They have this stereotypical image in their minds of what a woman shooter must looks like. I guess I don’t fit their mold of what a woman shooter/firearm enthusiast is.
Most men on the other hand think it’s cool. I usually get responses from men like, that’s awesome, I wish my wife/girlfriend would go shooting. When I go into a gun store however, the men behind the counter want to sell me something I don’t want, or an impractical holster. When I want to see a 9mm or .40 cal, I get told that I should be looking at a 380 or .22lr because the 9mm will kick too much. I find this frustrating as the first handgun I spent significant time learning to shoot, was my husband’s issued 40 cal. Glock 22. I never had a problem shooting that firearm, I never thought the recoil was too much for me to handle. I have found over the years that I like coming back to that full sized Glock.
It’s sad that some think that only men shoot or carry firearms and the only reason I should be holding a gun, is if I’m posing half naked with it. There are many very talented women shooters, there are women’s shooting blogs and women’s gun magazines. There are even items marketed and sold for women shooters. But, even with all of that there are still many women who are afraid to shoot a firearm. I have friends who don’t even think about going to the range with their significant other or know how to handle the firearms in their own homes.
I used to be one of those women who wouldn’t go shooting with her significant other, I didn’t think it was going to be fun. I definitely felt there was no need for me to have my own carry permit. My husband always carried when we were out “why did I need to” was my thinking. I was in a way forced to become proficient with some firearms, due to my husband work and insisting on it for my protection. He especially wanted me to understand how to use the firearms in the home while he was away. As time went on and as my husband was a firearms instructor in law enforcement, I was able to shoot some very nice and well equipped firearms. Shooting started to become enjoyable. I now think of going to the range as a date.
I was definitely afraid of my husband’s issued Patrol Rifle/AR-15. I thought it was going to be complicated, un-enjoyable and not fun to fire. I was defiantly hesitant about the recoil. I now love to shoot the AR-15. I find it to be a very user friendly, fun rifle to shoot. I even own my own. I enjoy shooting the AR-15 because with an optic it’s really fast to acquire the target, fire and actually hit the target where you aimed. I notice I don’t think as much when I shoot the AR-15. When I shoot my handguns I think about a million things; (Is my grip right? Do I have the sights in proper alignment? Squeeze the trigger, don’t jerk it.) Even after a full day at a range class I still have a mental checklist as I come up to fire. I find with the AR-15 I don’t have that mental checklist, which makes it more enjoyable for me to fire.
To me, there is no typical face of a woman shooter, because it can be any woman you pass on the street. If you are a woman who enjoys firearms and you get that weird look, I say educate those giving you that look. The more women know about firearms, proper gun equipment, training and shooting, the better and safer we will all be. Now, if you are a woman who doesn’t go shooting or is apprehensive about firearms, try it. You’ll never know if you’ll like it, until you try it. Shooting might become a favorite pastime for you as it has for me. Don’t be intimidated by the look of a firearm, that firearm might turn out to be your favorite and most enjoyable to shoot.