P320 Entry: A Girl and Her Guns

gun quilt fabric

By Wendy

I was grocery shopping a couple months ago when I walked past the magazine rack. I stopped to see if there were any new magazines I might find interesting. I tossed a quilting magazine and a gun magazine in my cart and headed to the checkout. The checker commented, “Interesting magazine choices.” I shrugged. “What can I say?” I replied. “I like to sew stuff and I like to shoot stuff.” Yeah. I’m a gun girl . . .

Women make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the gun-owning populace. While women still lag behind men in gun ownership numbers – 23 percent of women as opposed to 46 percent of men, according to a 2011 Gallup poll – we’re catching up. According to Gallup, in 2005 only 13 percent of women reported owning a gun. Indiana reports a 42-percent increase in gun permits for women between 2012 and 2014.

Firearm and accessory manufacturers have taken note. Gun shops carry pink and purple handguns, pink-camo modern sporting rifles, and pink shooting gloves and vests. The Flashbang is but one of many concealed-carry holsters being marketed to female shooters. Handbag makers are increasingly offering concealed-carry purses and totes. I even found a concealed-carry purse sewing pattern.

Speaking of concealed carry, self-defense is one of the biggest reasons we buy guns. The National Shooting Sports Federation, in a 2013 study, found that women are motivated to buy their first firearm primarily for self-defense. But self-defense isn’t the only reason we ladies buy guns. I enjoy target shooting. I find that the concentration required in shooting is an excellent stress reliever, and it’s just plain fun.

The Demanding Moms, of course, would have us believe that women – especially moms – unequivocally support gun control. Gun restrictionist groups are targeting female voters in this year’s midterm elections. Rep. Jan Schakowsky(D-IL) has said, “Gun control is a women’s issue because it is a major factor in domestic violence and deaths of children.” Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, she of “the shoulder thing that goes up,” has said that “Congress must become more afraid of the moms than the NRA.”

But does gun control truly benefit women? As a woman and a mom, I say no. My rights as a woman necessarily include the right to choose the form of personal defense I deem best for myself and my family. If I decide that includes a Remington 870 for home defense and a GLOCK brand GLOCK for carry outside the home, so be it. And I believe my duties as a parent include teaching my son the tools he needs to be able to defend himself and his future family. (And yes, the lad can recite the Four Rules in his sleep.)

Women like Suzanna Gratia Hupp, Nikki Goeser, and Gayle Trotter are advocating tirelessly for our right to choose appropriate self-defense. We need more strong women like these.

We Women of the Gun are, I believe, the strongest antidote to the Demanding Moms. We take away one of the biggest talking points the Demanding Moms have – that “no one needs a gun.” We defuse the oft-repeated epithet that gun owners are all a bunch of OFWGs who are, ahm, deficient in the manhood department. We make it harder for the Demanding Moms to complain that Second Amendment supporters are just trying to harass women. And oh yeah, we show that shootin’ is as much fun for women as quiltin’.

I call on my sisters of the gun to stand up for our rights and our freedoms. I call on my brothers of the gun to support us. Let’s show the Demanding Moms that gun rights are a women’s right.

comments

  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Hear, Hear!

  2. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

    Happiness is a warm gun (quilt).

    1. avatar BR549 says:

      How a bout a new line of quilted holsters?

  3. avatar SleeStac says:

    Amen Wendy! Great read

  4. avatar BDub says:

    MOAR!

  5. avatar Mediocrates says:

    Dayum straight.

  6. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    I think it’s great that you appreciate guns for their sport and that they are a great equalizer. Thanks for stepping up and wanting to take on The Demanding Moms. I think that with a little creativity you can go beyond the closed loop argument we OFWG’s have with them. But that after all is their strategy. They don’t plan to win the argument they plan to out last us with endless media supported releases and legislation that ignore’s previous rulings and laws. If we can change the media based image of the OFWG vs The Soccer Mom into something like The Soccer Mom takes on the Independent Woman that would make it less of a predictable circus and more of a portrayal of just different lifestyle decisions.

  7. avatar Bdk NH says:

    Well done. Gets my vote.

  8. avatar Gunr says:

    Go Girl

  9. avatar Another Robert says:

    Good on ya’, Wendy.

  10. avatar Stan says:

    “Wow, look at me, give me attention, I’m a girl and I like guns. Did I mention I’m a girl?”.

    Weak writing, but all the White Knights will like it.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Chill out, Elliot Rodger, one day girls will like you.

      1. avatar Stan says:

        You’ve just shown that you have no class at all.

        Anyway, you chill out, White Knight.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          No white knight here. I’m indifferent to the article.

          I just know a chump when I see it.

    2. avatar 4thestars says:

      Eh, whatever. I see this attitude a lot in the online worlds of my other hobbies, but rarely do I see it in the world of firearms, reloading and 2nd Amendment support. I’m a woman. I’m part of a hobby/community/whatever that is known more for participation by men than women. *Obviously* no woman could truly be interested in this stuff so *obviously* I must be here to get attention from the menfolk. ::rolls eyes::

      Seriously, isn’t it more fun for us to bicker about Glocks versus 1911s or 9mm versus .45ACP?

      1. avatar Stan says:

        Never said that women couldn’t genuinely be into it. Plenty of women are into guns without making an article about nothing but the fact that they’re women.

        Damn, everyone here loves to react without actually knowing what they’re reacting to.

        The article was attention-seeking and obnoxiously-written.

        1. avatar Mr. Pierogie says:

          Obnoxiously written? I think you’re throwing stones… Anyway, I didn’t get that from Wendy’s writing at all. She’s presenting her experience and reasons for being a woman of the gun, which is not seeking attention or approval from male gun owners, but to show other female gun owners that guns are not “evil”. Women tend to follow trends a lot more than men do. Whether it’s clothing, purses or shoes, women as a group tend to buy / desire the same thing, they look to each other for what’s trendy and appealing, as well as for advice on all sorts of matters. If Wendy’s writing can turn the tide, so to speak, in favor of more women following her understanding, attitude and appreciation for guns, that’s great for gun owners as a whole, male and female. She’s just one voice in support of female gun ownership, and that’s great. Other women need Wendy to see for themselves that guns can be useful and not inherently dangerous if handled correctly. I certainly appreciate that the female gun ownership is on the rise, but it’s the women who aren’t into guns, or a scared by them, who need other women like Wendy to show them what gun ownership is really about. I can tell you from experience that it can be difficult for a guy to convince girls that they should own guns. No matter what I say, I feel that a woman gun owner would be much more persuasive, exactly because other women would find it much easier to relate to her. I think that’s what Wendy is doing and I’d like to see more ladies write here about their experience.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          Worry not, Stan the Man. Some day you will get some action. Just carry plenty of money with you at all times.

        3. avatar Stan says:

          @Ralph,

          Yeah, you guys who post here morning, noon, and night get all the action.

        4. avatar ErikO says:

          Attention-seeking? I should say so! Why else write an article except to call attention to a subject that others might either overlook or ignore?

          Next you’ll say that when folks mention that they are anti-authoritarian liberals who believe in self defense and self determination they are just trying to call attention to themselves as well.

          Oh yeah, you got attention for your comment as well. 😉

    3. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      Hmmm. The old “I will make my weak point by putting those who disagree up to ridicule”.

      Do you write for Bill Maher?.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        He doesn’t write for Maher, but he does do his laundry.

    4. avatar gene says:

      Talk about weak writing. You need to go elswhere stan your are not wanted or needed here!!!!

  11. avatar middleaged mama says:

    Preach it, sister! I am woman, hear me roar! With you 1000%! We must stir gun-owning women to speak out and stand up to be counted.

  12. avatar jamesii says:

    Wow, look at me, give me attention, I’m an idiot and I like guns. Did I mention I’m an idiot? There you go Stan, fixed it for ya.

    1. avatar Stan says:

      Very creative. Time for your meds.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Yes, Stan, it is time for your meds, isn’t it?

  13. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Every one of you makes the world a more dangerous place for thugs.

    Which is a good thing.

    I wish there were many, many more of you. And fewer of the jerks who get a laugh out of “[female X] pwned by my shotgun” videos.

    1. avatar Richard In WA says:

      Let’s be fair. I LOL when [man X] gets pwned by a shotgun too.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Now you do have a point. I want to see the video where Pierced Organ gets pwned by a shotgun. One of the “knocked on his sorry ass” variety. Preferably while standing in a hog feed lot.

  14. avatar VF77 says:

    Wendy – This is just awesome. You have my vote for the win! I love to see more and more women at the range and more and more women conscious of their rights and options to defend themselves and their families – and taking it upon themselves to do so! You are the antidote to the untruths we see from the ‘Demanding Mom’ crowd, and are our future. Thanks!

  15. avatar former water walker says:

    Lots of women like guns. My wife is one. I see multitudes of gals buying & shooting. Especially black women. We need to frame gun rights as a civil rights issue. Because it is. Carry on.

  16. avatar DTAL says:

    My conceal carry class of ten people was half women, and each one was a smart, strong person. Like I always believed, one’s opinions around the 2A are a good indicator of who that person truly is.

    Every delusional MDA piece that believes all women or mothers oppose guns should be met by a counter ad that juxtapositions the fretful, pathetic weaklings in their ads with the strong, confident women on our side. Include children. After all, who doesn’t want to protect their children. “I love my children. Why would I not want a gun to protect them? What sort of mother is afraid to protect her family?”

    1. avatar Richard In WA says:

      Definitely. My wife supported the decision to arm ourselves and she goes shooting “with the guys” about every other time we go. She’s not into the politics or any of the “technical stuff” but she understands the importance of guns as a self-defense tool, especially when I’m not around. So she knows how to load and use any of the guns in the house with confidence.

      It’s possible for a mother to love her children and own a gun/guns. Safe storage is a big part of it, at least for our family. There will be no accidental shootings in my house. I read far too many of the “parent left pistol loaded, 4 year old finds it in bedroom and shoots self” headlines.

  17. avatar 4thestars says:

    Amen, Wendy!

    We WOTG are exactly what those lying, cheating Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors fear most.

  18. avatar Bob in Washington says:

    Right on Wendy! Most moms don’t have the luxury of armed bodyguards, former mayors or celebrity status to protect them. Unfortunately the blamestream media will never hear from you because you don’t fit the mythical helpless woman they have created. LEO will only be there when it’s too late. Congratulations on taking charge of your own safety.
    You have my vote.

  19. avatar tdiinva says:

    Wendy might like pink guns but wife told me that if I ever brought one home I would be the first target.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I’ve noticed both kinds of attitude towards them myself. One of the women who works at the biggest LGS here has been lusting after a pink AR they have (alas she is too broke to afford it); OTOH the better half of the husband-wife team that owns another LGS here has your wife’s attitude; won’t even wear pink hearing protection.

      I figure: “Hey it if will get someone to arm themselves, great!” And it is an advantage of polymer that it can theoretically be done in any color (including more subdued earth tones, which seem to be have found some acceptance amongst us types who have facial hair).

    2. avatar Wendy says:

      Actually I refuse to shoot pink guns. All of my guns are “normal” colors. I do confess to having a pair of pink shooting gloves and a pair of pink ear protectors, but NO PINK GUNS.

  20. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Thank you for the article Wendy and your patriatism.

    Serious question: how do we recruit more women?

    1. avatar DTAL says:

      The antis and leftists are doing a pretty good job for us. Years of their insanity, their shrill weakness, their arrogant presumption to speak for all women, their laughable suggestions of how to avoid rape…any woman with a head on her shoulders would see right through them. Women too stupid to see through them are likely leftists to begin with.

      I don’t know what our side’s been doing, but whatever it is, it’s working.

    2. avatar Wendy says:

      I think we need to continue to make it a civil rights issue for women. We need to point out time and time again that self-defense is a woman’s right. We need to remind people that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

      Plus we can point out the fun aspect – shootin’ stuff is fun!

  21. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    One thing I’d really like to see from gun manufactures is that they quit this idiotic trope that they can make a gun appeal to women merely by putting pink, purple or raspberry color into the plastic cheez-whiz and calling it “done.”

    There should be more attention given to the ergonomics of guns to appeal to women. I want to see shotguns and rifle models with shorter pulls, some cast and toe-out made for women. The average stock fit on a long gun does little to no favors for women, especially women with larger bustlines. Some toe-out on the butt of rifles and shotguns would really make a long gun with recoil more comfortable for women to shoot. Women’s faces tend to be shorter and therefore, the drop at the heel needs to be less for women to achieve the same sightline.

    Handgun grips need to be smaller in circumference, the distance to the trigger be reduced for some women, the recoil spring in the slide might need to be reduced in weight.

    1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      My daughter (LEO) was given a Glock with a pink dragonfly anodized on the back of the slide.
      I thought it was cool as hell and not idiotic trope and plastic cheez-whiz. Are people really this angry about nothing?

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        It’s missing the point. Frills and bling to make guns prettier might be great, but what DG is saying is manufacturers shouldn’t act like they’re done serving the needs of the female market with those cosmetic details.

        What if apparel makers made T-shirts for men and then just dyed them pink for women? They wouldn’t work nearly as well as shirts designed specifically for women. DG is talking about the industry making real adjustments to better fit guns to the average woman.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Dyspeptic,
      Agreeing with you completely, except one small point.

      The strength of the recoil spring is determined by the length of the slide and the recoil force of the cartridge. The recoil spring needs to be strong enough to absorb all the recoil force, but just weak enough to allow the slide to travel the full distance when the gun is fired. Given equal calibers, a smaller gun (shorter barrel and slide) will require a stronger recoil spring.

      The only way to have a weaker recoil spring for use by women who generally have weaker hands and forearms is to reduce the recoil power of the cartridges. In other words, smaller caliber guns. For example, a .38 cal versus 9mm or .45 cal. (I know, .38 cal and 9 mm are essentially the same diameter bullets, but the 9 mm is a much hotter load (more recoil) than the .38 cal.) Many gun sellers recommend the smaller caliber guns to their women customers for exactly this reason.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        They could also increase the mass of the slide.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Oh but then they couldn’t brag about how light and concealable the gun is. /sarc

          I personally would LOVE to find something about the size of that really small Diamondback 9mm… with a frame (and slide, if it can be made strong enough) made of sintered tungsten instead of polymer. The thing would weigh a ton, relatively speaking… but it would be a LOT more controllable.

          By the way, it’s an injustice to call polymer cheese whiz. Everyone knows that it’s pretty modern and tough stuff, it’s at least up to the level of velveeta. 🙂

    3. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I agree with your main point here; some attention should be given to making sure the gun “fits” people of shorter stature/smaller physical size in general and women in particular. You mentioned a bunch of stuff relating to long guns; let me add to that that the grip holding a double stack mag can be a sticking point if not done right (Berettas and Glocks would be examples).

      Of course when someone does make a gun that is small and likely to be usable by someone petite, a lot of he-man type haters come scurrying out of the woodwork to denounce it.

    4. avatar Wendy says:

      The need for a shorter stock (particularly given my architecture) was why I went with the 20-gauge youth model when I bought my Rem 870. (I do also have my dad’s old 12-gauge scattergun.)

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Are you also in Colorado or do I have you confused with someone else?

        1. avatar Wendy says:

          I’m north of you. I’m in WY.

        2. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Someone else then. I was thinking of a woman who participated a lot on a thread having to do with (otherwise) liberal gun owners a few weeks ago (I’ll never find it now). She was Denver area if I recall correctly.

          Anyhow you picked a good place to own a gun. Or several dozen of them.

    5. avatar Geoff PR says:

      That modular Sig could be just the ticket. Shops could stock various grips and whatnot to fit the buyer.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        And now we see why Wendy entered the contest! 🙂

  22. avatar TXgungirl says:

    I’m always excited to hear from another SOTG! We MUST speak up. The Demanding Moms certainly do. I share your enthusiasm and enjoyment of shooting as well as my right to personal defense. I gotta admit I kinda like the pink gun gear!

  23. avatar Larry says:

    My mother when she speced her Winchester model 21 right after WW 2 ordered it in 20 ga bored skeet 1 and skeet 2 straight grip area and splinter fore end as she wanted it mostly for upland game. But she knew what she wanted and went to Winchester to have the stock fitted as she was rather what was called in those days “full figured” so it was not hard in the old days for a woman to order a gun that fitted her shape…. That said when it came to pistols she favored the colt 1911.
    I have a memory of being on a walk in the woods behind our farm when I was about 6 she was wearing the colt in my fathers shoulder holster from the war on the outside of her coat when we spotted a small pack of middle sized ferrel dogs when the turned and ran towards us she drew and dispatched 3 of the 4 with I think 4 or 5 shots. She then reloaded the magazine retured it to the gun and re holstered and we continued our nature walk. When my dad got home from work she told him where to find them and handed him a shovel.
    She was not a large woman about 5’7″ 130 in those days and there were plenty of lighter pistols she could have chosen from colt .25acp colt.32 ACP and colt.38 revolver amoungst them. But she was comfortable with her abilities with the .45 so I am unsure why special ladies pistols are needed unless they are for special cases that have very small and weak hands…. But farm work makes for a good grip no mater who is doing it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This is the level of customer services that used to be available to the American gun buyer.

      And for those who don’t know what a Winchester Model 21 is, it is a pretty nice SxS shotgun. It was the “gun that you couldn’t blow up” and an early test mule was wrung out with over 2,000 proof loads with no change in dimensions or fit-up.

      Today, a 20ga Win21 in nice shape would probably start at $8K and go up from there.

  24. avatar Phil says:

    Question; What do you call a woman with a gun?

    Answer; ma’am.

    Nice write up, spot on. I’m raising two future women of the gun.

  25. avatar Michelle says:

    Umm, I think Wendy’s point was less “look at me, im a girl” and more a counterpoint to MDA saying “all women agree with us”.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      We know. Just ignore Stan. He hasn’t been the same since his unfortunate pickle slicer accident.

  26. avatar juliesa says:

    Very well done, Wendy.

    I loathe the MDAs for insisting that women be pigeonholed into stereotypical helpless roles. I love being a homemaker and mom, but I also love sports, the outdoors, and shooting, and I bought my first handgun because i had been attacked by a man. MDAs want to take away the the modern advantages that help women, like concealed carry. It suits certain political groups to keep their constituents dependent.

  27. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Stan says:

    May 27, 2014 at 18:42

    “‘Wow, look at me, give me attention, I’m a girl and I like guns. Did I mention I’m a girl?’

    Weak writing, but all the White Knights will like it.'”

    In fairness to Stan, that was the angle I expected the article to take, too; an expectation initially confirmed by the close of the first paragraph. Ultimately, I turned out mistaken.

    That first paragraph, instead, served as an anticipatory addressing of the girly girl with a gun novelty; successfully blunting that biff. Far from being weak writing, Stan, that’s standard persuasive essay format. It’s necessary because to the typical OFWG, a girl with a gun is a lot like a dog walking on its hind legs: yeah, you know they can do it, but it’s still odd, amusing, and bemusing in roughly equal measure. Well.

    This lady takes that novelty on, then sets it aside, as she proceeds to write a nice article introducing her audience to the evolving demographics of the firearms owning community. After reading the entire entry, I didn’t interpret it whatsoever as a self-indulgent, rah rah rah, in your face, girl power with a gun, piece. Rather, I found it an unthreatening, enlightening and evenly accented contribution to the firearms discussion.

    I liked the use of statistics to support her point. This isn’t an academic paper, of course, and space is severely limited, but she makes good use of the medium to support her points. I would have preferred to see some acknowledgement of the potential defects in her own data, though. For example, in these politically charged times, in person or even phone surveys seeking information on firearms may meet some reluctance and/or misreporting from gun owners.

    Even that shortcoming she partially offsets with reference to a hard data set of Indiana permits, which is a nice additional support. Although, it would be better to see several states’ data and covering more than just a two year span. The immediate criticism is that it’s a cherry picking of the data. Other states’ data do reflect long term upward trends in licenses issued to women (Texas has gone from the low teens to about 28% of CHL’s issued to women annually from the 1990s through 2013, for example); but it would have been nice to see that in this article.

    Overall, a pleasantly written article with some credible and readily verifiable data, an agreeable tone and an informative effect. Good job, Wen.

    1. avatar Wendy says:

      Thank you for your kind review. I appreciate the constructive criticism regarding the surveys and how I could address that better.

  28. avatar Philthegardner says:

    Well said! And we need to hear more from your sector of society.

  29. avatar Gregolas says:

    Always good to hear from enthusiastic gun people, be they he or be they she. Wendy represents a growing subset of women who are taking responsibility for their own safety and that of their families. Everything possible should be done to encourage them and expand their tribe.

  30. avatar Another POV says:

    The writing wasn’t very strong on this one but the message was. Specifically, that the tide is turning and more women are arming themselves everyday, and that’s a good thing. Good in that as a crime deterrent, nothing beats an armed woman. In many cases, it’s not too hard to spot guys who carry or don’t carry, LEO’s and perps alike make it their business to do so. Not in all situations of course but it is safe to say, most women don’t carry. And therein lies deterrent. As their numbers increase, it becomes more and more difficult for all, especially the criminals to determine who is actually carrying. My heart fills with joy every time I read a story about a woman using her weapon to defend herself.

    So when I see a woman encouraging other women to carry, I am hopeful. Because every vote counts in the current civil war on your rights. We’re never more than an emotional filled, knee jerk reactionary vote away from losing that war. We’ll probably not get much higher than the current percentage of men carrying now, which is around 46% according to this author. But with the women who carry, there is a lot of room to increase, and that’s a good thing.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Forty six percent of men carry? Yowza! Where did that number come from? Or did I misunderstand what you are saying?

      I’d be willing to bet most people with permits don’t actually use them with any consistency. And I doubt that there’s really anyplace with 30 percent of men permitted yet. OC isn’t making up the slack either. (My county has the highest percentage in Colorado and is apparently still less than 1 in 10 adults–but not by much less!)

      In other words, 46% of men are carrying sounds WAY high to me. (I wish it didn’t.)

    2. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      I believe the 46% figure referred to percentage of men who own firearm(s), not to the percentage of men who are licensed to carry concealed, let alone who actually do carry concealed with any regularity.

      For percentage of men carrying, the estimates would be very rough and back-of-the-envelop. I’ll take Texas as representative, which is may not be. In 2013, about 73% of new concealed carry licenses were issued to men. The percentage of women has been steadily rising for year, but there are still a lot of years where men’s percentage was over 80%. So let’s just take 80% as a starting point. As of year end 2013, there were 708,048 active licensees in Texas. Assuming 80% are men, that’s approximately 566,000 men licensed to carry, out of (very roughly) 9 million men in Texas.

      So we’re talking about a TX license carry percentage of about 6%. How many carry regularly? How many carry without a license (illegally on their person, or legally in their vehicle)? How many others from out-of-state in Texas carry legally with their state’s license? I have no idea.

      Just winging it, I’d guestimate that any given time, there might be, maybe, 2-3% of men in Texas carrying a concealed firearm at any given time. There would be major variation by region, or even within large cities.

  31. avatar cmeat says:

    “…the magazine rack.”
    this evoked images of a nice double stack nestled comfily betwixt a nice double stack.

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