Non-Stereotypical Gun Owner Interview: Annie

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Annie is an attractive, single mother of two girls who is very pleased to announce that she loves being 40. She agreed to do a non-stereotypical gun owner interview because she has a thing for some guy named Farago. She is currently in an intensive social services Ph.D. program at a public University in Oregon that became a gun free zone a couple of years ago. Before that she was able to carry at school and did so without incident until the rules changed. There have been several assaults recently in her part of the campus. She’s a small-statured woman and worries a lot about her safety, but won’t risk her career by carrying illegally. Between the demands of school and raising her kids, she has no time to protest the unfairness of the situation . . .

Annie has only been a gun owner for about three years. Although she traces her interest in guns back to her childhood viewing of Magnum P.I. and has a sister who shoots pistols competitively, she didn’t have sufficient interest to overcome her scary, masculine image of guns. “I was interested but was never brave enough to tell anybody.”

Even living in Texas for several years with the ex-husband who had a magnum revolver did not make her want to learn about guns. Oh, someone tell RF that she lived in Austin for several years and says it’s the best place to live if you have to live in Texas.

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A few years ago she started seeing a man who owned several guns. She felt comfortable with his calm, matter of fact, attitude about gun ownership. It was very important, she feels, that he never pushed her to learn more than she was ready for. She gradually learned the safety rules, became more comfortable and after a while started going to gun shows with him.

Gun shows were great for Annie. “There was no pressure, I could just ask questions, hold them, look at them and feel them without feeling that I had to buy it or do something with it.”

“When I was at one of the gun shows I picked up the M&P and thought, that’s it! I already had my CHL, so I saved up enough money by selling sewing projects to my friends and bought one.”

She now has a Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P Compact as her main handgun and a S&W .380 Bodyguard with a laser for carry when she can’t conceal the 9mm. Normally she prefers small-of-the-back or appendix carry. At first, Annie tried carrying in a bag that was designed for concealed carry, but found that she would sometimes put it down and walk away from it. Not a good thing when you have kids. It was also awkward in school, since she had to keep it with her even when others were putting their bags down.

When she made the decision to become a gun owner, she had to decide how to deal with her children who were in second and fourth grade at the time. She sent away for the Eddie the Eagle and McGruff the Crime Dog DVDs.

“The girls were very interested and picked it up very quickly. I told them they were welcome to ask to see the gun any time. Their fascination lasted about three days and after that is was just ‘whatever.’  I use a small gun safe that is attached to a solid object next to my bed. My guns are either in there or on me. The kids know it’s there, but they never ask about it or talk about it. When it’s just the three of us going out, I’m usually carrying. We are a touchy-feely family so I remind them not to touch the gun. They are totally OK with it, it’s part of their lifestyle and they don’t even think about it.”

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Annie comes from an interesting background. Her parents were very liberal hippies in New England, but she moved to Texas and attended college at Texas A&M. Her politics don’t fit into the usual liberal/conservative labels and she dislikes political discussions. I asked for her feelings about the NRA.

“I don’t know a lot about the NRA, but I know they are extremely powerful. I feel they have an unfortunate choice of people presenting their viewpoint sometimes. There is one guy – I don’t remember his name – that has a way of annoying people and polarizing things, which I think is very unfortunate. I’d have to think twice before joining a range that has NRA membership as a requirement.”

Gun control laws: “I think it’s a very slippery slope and there are much better ways to deal with violence. The mental health issue has got to be so much more of a priority than it is. Criminals and crazy people don’t follow the laws. Helping people is so much more beneficial, but guns are an easy target and nobody wants to deal with crazy people.”

I asked if she has any messages for the readers of TTAG.

To women:  “If you have an interest in exploring firearms in any way, just do it. Make the effort. Find someone you are comfortable talking to about it.”

To men: “If a woman asks you to help her learn about guns, don’t overwhelm her with information. Don’t try to push an agenda. Create an opportunity for learning. Take it at her pace, let her lead at her own speed. Women see guns as threatening and very manly. It takes a while to get used to the idea and it is very easy for it to be overwhelming. “

comments

  1. avatar DJC1012 says:

    XLNT!
    Thanks for posting this Michael. My wife loved it.

  2. avatar Chris says:

    “She is currently in an intensive social services Ph.D. program at a public University in Oregon that became a gun free zone a couple of years ago.”

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it sounds like Annie is a student, right? If so she may want to review what actually happened a few years ago. The state’s preemption was upheld, not struck down! On the other hand if she’s a teacher, there are complications, in that her employment contract can stipulate she not carry.

    1. avatar Bruce says:

      She could be both a grad student and a paid instructor.

  3. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Good on ya lady. I love my M&P9c. That bodyguard on the other hand has a horrendously long trigger pull. Dangerously so in my opinion. But if it works for you than that’s all that matters.

  4. avatar ST says:

    In defense of the NRA,their mission demands that they be abrasive.Any attempt to present a moderate face will be perceieved by the fundamentalist antis as a sign of weakness.The NRA has to be radical to oppose the radicals on the other side.

    What we need is an entirely separate ,moderate gun rights organization which can appeal to the minority and female shooting demographics without the cultural stigma of the NRA.A lot of shooters,especially minorities,simply cannot associate with the NRA without risking serious cultural blowback.I’m a member,but my family doesn’t know.If they did I’d probably be disowned.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      I’m sorry, but moderate views really shouldn’t be seen as acceptable by us. The leftists will never be moderate on the issue, and will take every effort by us to be moderate to advance gun control. They will call it compromise on moderate views, but somehow we are the only ones losing rights during the compromises.

      Our firearms rights should not be up to judgement by the voters. Just like the 1st Amendment, our rights should be held up to a strict standard. If we fight for anything less, then we are losing rights.

      I live in California. I’ve seen how this state went downhill. It was caused by moderate gun owners making compromises, slowly giving away rights without fighting back. Now, our viewpoints aren’t even considered relevant by our so called representatives, and they believe (mostly correctly) that they can steamroll over us without backlash. This state is the end result of moderate gun owners making compromises, and I do not want to see the rest of the US going down the same, ugly path.

      1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I’m an NRA Life Member, and I want WLP to go all Wolverine on a regular basis.

      2. avatar dwb says:

        maybe not moderate on gun rights, but the president referring to the “war of northern aggression” turns off a lot of people. They could be more moderate on other issues without conceding gun rights. I don’t think it would kill the NRA to lament the abuse of the other amendments every once in a while.

        1. avatar juliesa says:

          He was kidding around with his Northern hosts in that speech. It was a joke, and he was probably mocking himself as much as anything. However, perhaps he should be more careful because of the lying media who’ll deliberately misquote people in order to push an agenda.

  5. avatar Aharon says:

    I see her more as a CZ pistol woman than a S&W owner. Before I moved to Portland, people described the community as “liberals with guns” which is more or less true.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      It is possible!

    2. avatar Glenn Goewert says:

      Hell, I’m an armed hippie. Anything is possible.

    3. avatar Aharon says:

      I’m beginning to think that the spread of gun ownership to women and liberals will re-unite the divided American people. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit. Yet, it really would be funny if the innate object the most demonized by the far-left police-nanny state comes around to actually becoming a living symbol.

  6. avatar g says:

    Great interview! The M&P9c compact is a great choice… I seriously considered buying one, but I ended up liking the trigger and slim size of the Shield more. Maybe in the future…

  7. avatar TC says:

    Great article. Hope to see more like this.

  8. avatar SGC says:

    “because she has a thing for some guy named Farago”

    See, just because of that one sentence, I thought the whole thing was fiction…:)

    Excellent article!

  9. avatar In Memphis says:

    But wait… I thought all gun owners were a bunch of old, fat, white guy, rednecks?

    Seriously though, good interview.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      There are young, fat, white nerds, too!

  10. avatar dirk diggler says:

    she’s holding a gun? never noticed.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      That was the first comment I considered posting.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Good for you Annie. Please invite as many additional women as possible to be mentally prepared and have the means to defend themselves.

    This is extremely important for a reason that seems to escape most people. Imagine if 1 out of every 6 responsible adults were armed. It would be next to impossible for a violent criminal to attack anyone anywhere and complete the attack without serious injury. This is the only language that violent criminals universally understand — and to which they respond. Our communities would be much safer places.

    Oh, and excellent trigger finger discipline in those photos.

  12. avatar shawn says:

    Nice cleavage.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      Nice maturity

      1. avatar AJ says:

        Come on now, not a single reader failed to notice the cleavage or its inherent niceness. IMO, those pics were sexier than a lot of the dolled up naked girls on the XD forum. And these pics were included with a well written article.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      I’m going to be honest… the first thing that came to mind after looking at the pictures were “cleavage.” We aren’t showing anything else in the picture (other than a gun that I’ve already seen before and not that much interested in). Lets all be honest… these are cleavage shots.

  13. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

    Nice read Michael. I am guessing you two are engaged? If so, all the best.

  14. avatar Lothaen says:

    I have influenced two women to get weapons by simply stating the facts and being approachable with questions regarding firearms. This population is so important to us to ensure the 2nd carries on.

    2 new women gun owners out of 100+ that I know at my workplace isn’t the best score though.

    Gotta work on that. 🙂

  15. avatar Bruce says:

    Seems like a very intelligent lady. And a well written post.

  16. avatar SD3 says:

    “I don’t know a lot about the NRA, but I know they are extremely powerful.”

    *Extremely* powerful? Like ‘Chuck Norris’ powerful? So powerful that no one can even whisper “gun control” for fear of being arrested?

    Wow, they really are powerful.

  17. avatar JAS says:

    We need more women on this site.

  18. avatar Accur81 says:

    Good for Annie, I wish her the best.

  19. avatar William Burke says:

    Well done, Annie. But the words “social services” are guaranteed to send a chill down my spine.

    She’s clearly an exception, but those people nearly always set my teeth on edge. Nearly every one of them has a god complex.

  20. avatar Anonymous says:

    “She gradually learned the safety rules, became more comfortable and after a while started going to gun shows with him.”

    Antigunners are going to compare this to addicted drug use.

  21. avatar AJ says:

    These are the voices we need to get out to the mainstream. Because right now, the only female voices are the ones who are anti-gun. And let’s be honest – the same words spoken to a woman have far more weight coming from another woman than coming from a man. Sexist? Sure. But men, what do we spend a LOT of time doing, especially when we’re younger? Lying to them.

  22. avatar Mexmet says:

    I think the 3rd NRA rule is: “give us at least 50 bucks a quarter or you guns will acttak you!” Or some such. Before anybody gets in a wad, I am a life member, ‘K?

  23. avatar Will says:

    Hell yeah Annie, go for it! 😀

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