What comes to mind when you think of women with guns? Is there a stereotype? In my early days of learning how to shoot I did not know any other women that had guns. My instructor at the time sent me a small blurb in a newspaper about a local chapter of A Girl and a Gun Women’s Shooting League that was having their first meeting. I was very excited at the possibility of meeting other like minded women and having some female friends to shoot with.
I was late to the meeting which was held at a popular, busy, local restaurant. Upon entering the host asked me if he could help me find my party. I responded, “ No thank you! I will just go find them.” I don’t know what I was thinking, how could I possibly find a group of women that i had never met before? Somehow, I thought I would be able to spot the “gun women”. After making the rounds of the entire place, paying close attention to tables of women, I ended up back at the front desk. I could not tell which group of women were the “gun women.” What exactly was I looking for? I have no idea, I just thought I’d be able to tell. Finally, the host approached me again and offered his assistance. This time I said quietly so as not to be overheard, “ It’s a meeting for A Girl and a Gun.” He promptly directed me to a back room full of about 30 women wearing name tags.
I was quite surprised to see such a large group. These women didn’t look like the “gun women” I had envisioned, whatever that was! They looked like regular, average, American women! Diverse in ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Flash forward a couple years ,I was catching up with an old friend at a Starbuck’s. She asked how the gun training business was going. When I told her my classes were always full with a waiting list, she asked in astonishment, “ Reallly? Who are these women? Where do they come from?” I said, “ Look around you, “ and motioned to a table of two middle aged women dressed for business, and a young mom with a toddler, two college aged women working on their computers, a senior citizen reading a book, “ They are women just like you and me.”
Apparently, I once had a vision of what a woman with a gun looked like. I have since learned that there is no real stereotype no matter what people might think. These “gun women” come in all shapes, sizes and ages, with different levels of experience and backgrounds. Gun women are just women.
Do you have a stereotype?