I’ve met some pretty awesome people in the gun world. I’ve also scared some people with my newfound love, mainly my ex-boo and my mom. “You know you’re supporting the NRA, right?” she said. “You have a hairpin trigger, you shouldn’t be trusted with a gun,” he said.
Maybe it’s the shock factor that makes guns so appealing to me. But it’s mainly that I’m good at shooting. The more I shoot, the more I feel more confident about protecting myself with a gun.
My gender, in the end, really has very little to do with it. That’s not to say I don’t feel sexy holding a gun. But I’m curious about the women I meet shooting; they make up a smaller percentage of the demographic. So I had quick Q&A with my new shooting buddy Carlee, a 20-something from Wichita, Kansas who’s been living in Austin for a year and a half.
Q: What first brought you out to the range?
A: The first time I went shooting it was with an ex. I wanted to go when we were dating as a bonding experience, but he waited until we broke up to actually take me (probably not the brightest idea taking your ex to a shooting range but no one died so I guess it worked out).
The second time I really wanted to go with my new boyfriend Carlos to learn more about his guns and once again have a bonding experience. Nothing really screams trust like letting someone shoot a gun while you’re standing next to them. Plus, I wanted to impress him with my shooting, apparently I’m a good shot.
Q: You said you liked shooting the Ruger LC9, what specifically about it did you like?
A: I have small hands, so I’m worried about my grip on most guns. I really enjoyed how small the gun was, it felt more comfortable in my hands. I also felt like I could handle the gun easier, like unloading the clip — or magazine? I don’t really know — but I have a hard time with the larger handguns because of how heavy they are and how small my hands are.
Q: Do you plan to carry a weapon? Would the Ruger be your choice?
A: I do not plan on owning a gun. I don’t feel comfortable having one, mainly because I don’t feel the need to own one. Yes, I live alone in a city with no family, I’m originally from Kansas, so some would say I would need the protection, but I feel safe at home. Plus, guns are expensive! I would much rather take that money and get a really mean-looking dog.
I haven’t really given it all that much thought. I’ve never been the victim of a violent crime, and if I were it would probably happen so fast I wouldn’t be able to react with a gun. For myself, I don’t see the need. And the responsibility of owning a gun outweighs the benefits.
Q: Do your friends or family carry?
A: Nope! Even though I am from Kansas no one in my family owns guns. Heck, I made it all the way through college without even buying pepper spray!
Q: What springs to mind when you think of gun culture?
A: Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind are the super gun enthusiasts that run around with their open carry and for some reason own assault rifles — which I’ve shot and enjoyed but I’m still unclear on the reasoning behind owning one — and are convinced their guns will be taken away anytime a Democrat gets elected to anything.
But then I remember there are people like Carlos, that have been trained to use guns, and see the value in owning one or two for home security and don’t really talk about it unless someone else brings it up.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I really wanted to learn about Carlos’ guns because I’m in his house so much and I wanted to be comfortable with them. When we got home he showed me how to take them apart and clean them. I definitely am feeling better about having them around the more I know about the way they work.