A Girl & A Gun’s Robyn Sandoval: ‘I’m Taking the Word ‘Mom’ Back from Moms Demand Action’

Press release:

Speaking to the 2018 Gun Rights Policy Conference, A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League (AG & AG) Executive Director Robyn Sandoval declared that she is “taking the word ‘Mom’ back” from Moms Demand Action. Sandoval, whose youngest child is battling brain cancer, described the qualities of a mother as a fighter and protector.

In her speech, Sandoval emphasized the need to initiate conversations with others in order to advocate for gun rights. She explained four archetypes of people and how to tailor advocacy messages to them in order to encourage their engagement and understanding. According to Sandoval, “Even the strongest most-fervent antigunner fits into one these categories, and by listening, you can usually craft a no into a yes.” She inspired the audience to educate people to embrace the best tools and practices for their families’ safety.

Following is the script of Sandoval’s speech:

Hi, my name is Robyn Sandoval. My title is Executive Director of A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League. Last year I spoke to this Conference about the great work that A Girl & A Gun is doing to provide quality training and certification programs for women. This year I’d like to talk with you about another title of mine, which is the title of Mom.

This title is far more personal and is also the lens through which I view the world. I have two incredible sons and a daughter, who is my hero. She is smart, funny, and beautiful, and at eight years old, she is the woman I want to be when I grow up. She is confident, wise, and strong, and has taught me what it means to be a fighter.

It’s been three years since she was diagnosed with brain cancer. When doctors tell you that your baby has cancer, you go to war. You arm yourself with knowledge, raise an army of support, surrounding yourself with experts with the best tools and practices.

She has lost her vision completely over the past three years, so we have a new lifestyle with new routines and habits. I had the fighter mindset that I was going to face it head-on and do whatever I could to keep her safe. Many of you relate to that mindset because it’s the same that we have as gun owners. Arming ourselves with tools and knowledge to keep our families safe.

And that’s why I’m taking the word Mom back. Moms Demand Action has taken that word from me, and I want it back. They’ve taken lots of words from us, like “common sense” and “safe space.” Those are our words and I’m reclaiming them.

To me a Mom is having the fighter mindset. I’m not afraid to have hard conversations… topics and situations may be scary, but I don’t bury my head in the sand. I can’t avoid talking with my daughter’s oncologists about her health, and I don’t shy away from talking with school administrators about my children’s safety, either. We need real solutions to hard problems, both actual and perceived, and I’m proud to be one of those leaders who are stepping forward.

Being a mom is not only how I advocate for gun rights, it’s also how I instruct. When I’m on the range, I use my mom voice. This tone ensures that there is a safe firing line and everyone is following the safety rules. Nothing bad will happen on my watch. At the same time, the mom voice is the cheerleader voice, the welcoming voice, the encouraging and supportive voice, understanding someone’s fear and celebrating in their victories. The mom voice is also the one that gets people to the range in the first place.

Having conversations with non-gunners, anti-gunners, and even pro-gunners that do not frequent the range — men and women — is also what I do. I connect with them, hear their stories, and share my experiences. At A Girl & A Gun, we’ve recognized that there are four archetypes of people. Even the strongest, most fervent anti-gunner fits into one these categories, and by listening, you can usually craft a no into a yes.

The Superstar. Superstars want to jump in and have fun! They are searching for badassery. To them, this may be having the most expensive shotgun, tagging the biggest buck, burning down a 3-gun stage in the fastest time, or doing something impressive, like being the only chick in a training class of Special Ops guys. The Superstar may be spontaneous, so don’t overload them with info and plans. Flattery will get you everywhere, so extend an invitation when there’s an opportunity for your Superstar to shine. For the nongunner or antigunner, focus the conversation on fun, competition, opportunity, excitement, and aspects they will think are cool.

The Inquisitor. This person will ask a million questions to have answers for any possible scenario because they need to have a plan. They need to know the whys, hows, and what-ifs. Credentials are important to them, so make sure they know your training background and if you don’t have the title or training behind you, bring in some big guns that do or you won’t get very far with an Inquisitor. Inquisitors love checklists. On our website, AGirlandAGun.org we have checklists for many different scenarios…what to take if you’re going to the range, what to take if you’re going to a match, what to take if you’re taking a newbie to the range, etc. They are very cautious about learning from someone or doing something that could be wrong.

The Know-It-All. This person needs to be the smartest guy in the room. He or she won’t believe that you may understand a skill or issue better than they do; and may find your knowledge threatening. To win over a Know-It-All, you have to go geek. They love research and development, logic, and most of all, self-mastery, so give them opportunities to feel smart. They can be won over with facts, but not right away. They may need a class (or two or three) before they ever pull a trigger.

Social Butterfly. Social Butterflies need collaboration and teamwork, and they need to feel like what they’re doing is making a difference. Social Butterflies love that they are securing a legacy for their children through their 2nd Amendment rights, and they enjoy supporting nonprofits and important programs like FASTER in schools. They love fostering a community of like-minded people that are working to arm, educate, and inspire people.

Over the past eight years, A Girl & A Gun has brought thousands of people into shooting. There is a yes hidden in every no, whether its budget, time, lack of understanding, or another obstacle that can be addressed. Having hard conversations — and changing nos to yeses — first starts with listening. You have to know who you’re talking to. You will waste your time trying to teach MILs and MOA to a Superstar; save that info for the Know-It-All and just get the Superstar pinging steel and feeling empowered. Don’t rush the Inquisitor to the range; give him a plan to make him feel successful.

It’s catering your message to your audience so that you can have the biggest effect. It’s using your mom voice (both as instructor and cheerleader) to help people embrace the best tools and practices for their families’ safety.

It’s taking the word Mom back… and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and Guardian… so that together we can secure our gun rights for future generations.

Thank you.

Video can be found on the Second Amendment Foundation Facebook page beginning at 24:12.

About A Girl & A Gun

Girl & A Gun (AG & AG) is a membership organization whose events have been successful stepping stones for thousands of women into the shooting community and fostered their love of shooting with caring and qualified instructors to coach them. AG & AG breaks barriers for women and girls in the area of self-defense and in pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting sports by welcoming beginners to learn the basics of safe and accurate shooting and providing experienced shooters with advanced-level opportunities. The club has more than 5,500 members in 48 states and hosts recurring Girl’s Nights Out at more than 180 ranges throughout the nation. Learn more at AGirlandAGun.org.

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comments

  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    Finally! Someone with a y instead of an i in their name that isn’t batshit crazy!

  2. avatar Michael says:

    It’s sometimes too easy to forget what is really important in this life. This wonderfully articulate person makes me think and be grateful for what I’ve got. None of us have gotten this far only to get this far. -30-

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      True.

      Some of us got this far only to get this fat.

      Now pardon me, it’s time to head back to the buffet line…

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    First and foremost, I applaud Mrs. Sandoval and her efforts to bring new people into the personal self-defense fold. Second, I applaud her attempt to describe archetypes of people and how to win them over.

    I am concerned with one comment in her essay:

    There is a yes hidden in every no, whether its budget, time, lack of understanding, or another obstacle that can be addressed.

    There are a LOT of people who take on deeply entrenched, emotionally-based positions. I dare say about 40% of our population falls into that category. As far as I can tell, there is no practical amount of dialogue — no matter how insightfully presented — that will ever win them over.

    There is a saying that testifies to that fact: a Liberal is someone who has not yet been mugged.

    That saying reveals two very important aspects to gun-control advocates who oppose firearm ownership on an emotional level:
    (1) Discussing the pros and cons of firearm ownership will not change their position.
    (2) They will only change their position after they EXPERIENCE an event that induces intense FEELINGS.

    And even then, many gun-control advocates will continue to oppose firearm ownership in spite of experiencing the intense fear of an armed robbery or rape. If such an experience does not convert such people, a “sales pitch” most definitely will not work.

    1. avatar Shane says:

      I agree with what you say about the emotional aspect of a lot of people. I do believe that there are people that can be persuaded even though they have deep emotional feelings about guns.
      My personal experience comes from my wife. We had been dating about a year when I told her I thought she should get her permission slip from the state to carry a gun. She told me that when she was a teen two of her best friends died from gunshot wounds, one a suicide, the other an accidental shooting.
      I then asked her how many knives she had on her person. After a few seconds she responded “Five.” I said “What would you do if someone attacked you?” Her response? “I’d cut their effing throat!” I then calmly asked “Why would you wait until they are close enough to grab hold of you to defend yourself?”
      Long story short the light bulb came on in her head and she is now a better shot than me.

      1. avatar Rick3 says:

        From Shane:
        “…I then asked her how many knives she had on her person. After a few seconds she responded “Five.”…”

        Ummm… I would say that she is NOT the standard person that we POTG encounters when we are trying to discuss guns/self-defense.

        But good on her, and you!

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “There is a yes hidden in every no, whether its budget, time, lack of understanding, or another obstacle that can be addressed. ”

      That caught my attention, too. In sales training, every objection is considered an opportunity to persuade. However, when it comes to anti-constitutionalists, I simply nod my head, and mentally mark them with Jeff Cooper’s mantra.

    3. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

      “There are a LOT of people who take on deeply entrenched, emotionally-based positions. I dare say about 40% of our population falls into that category. As far as I can tell, there is no practical amount of dialogue — no matter how insightfully presented — that will ever win them over.”

      Oh well, sucks to be them then.

  4. avatar FedUp says:

    Why don’t we just come up with a new, more descriptive name for Moms Demand Action?
    How about Cougars Demand Sex?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Maybe they do, but not from their husbands or boyfriends.

    2. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

      NOT!

      MDA = “quakers meeting has begun, no more laughing no more fun”

  5. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

    “Initiate conversations with others”. Uh no Thanx. Them anti gun types have already made up their minds . It’s like introducing religion to cannibals, all they learn is missionary style ain’t bad eating (¥)

    1. avatar SkorpionFan says:

      It is very difficult to change someone’s core beliefs unless that person is willing to listen and open to change.
      See the explanation of the backfire effect, on how our brains are biologically wired to react to information that threatens our core beliefs. He explains it with comics.
      “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you”
      By Matthew Inman at The Oatmmeal
      http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

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