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TTAG contributor Destinee – of FateofDestinee fame – offers a cri de coeur on the plight of women at the range. Hear her out and see if you recognize anyone you know.

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    • Haha well, not every guy is like the ones I describe. And, most often, the “know-it-alls,” “showoffs,” and “salesmen” irritate more shooters than just the females…

      Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it :]

      • Well, to be honest about the “protector” ones that you were talking about, the majority of women (well, the attractive ones anyways) still go around claiming to be so weak so that they can con men into doing everything for them. Can you blame at least some men for actually falling for that crap and, because of how so many girls act, actually believing what they’ve been told by girls?

        I can also say that I’ve never encountered any of those people at the range, and I go shooting with my girlfriend a lot.

      • Heard something years ago that might help – “you can’t control other people’s behavior, but you can control your reaction to it.” If ignoring the comments doesn’t work, and politely saying “I’m here to shoot, not engage in conversation” doesn’t work, tell them to shove it. Then ignore them.

  1. It’s fairly easy to size up anyone’s experience level just by how they follow the four rules. If someone’s finger goes right to the trigger when they pick up a gun its an immediate red flag. My biggest problem at any public range is not trying to instruct some of the folks who seem to have never held a gun before, but hoping not to get shot by one of them. This is in respect to both sexes. I paid for instruction from a very skilled competitive shooter who was also woman when I was looking to sharpen my skills for IPSC. Women can be very single minded and competitive, often more so than men, and she helped me quite a bit. She could shoot the wings off a fly at 10 yrds, was extremely knowledgable about EVERY aspect of competitive shooting, and one of the safest gun handlers I’ve trained with. Thanks TD!

    That still doesn’t stop me from occasionally making snide sexist jokes about women and guns. There are just too many easy opportunities. I’m a pig I guess.

    • I completely agree – safety should always be the first priority. The “showoffs” I mention are often in the category of shooters with less than the best respect for safe firearms handling. I can’t help but to feel uncomfortable when someone muzzles me, and in those cases, I voice that sentiment. If I’m having a real problem with other shooters, like the ones you’ve mentioned, I usually end up going to the RSO.

      I think a large part of my sentiment can be summarized in the idea that no one likes being the recipient of condescension, whether on basis of gender, age, or for any reason.

  2. “I don’t think a lot of guys have to deal with that mindset”

    To be clear, I’m a guy and it’s not really that different.

    I suspect it’s a little worse if you are an attractive female, but I’ve been trained (really trained), and been shooting both for enjoyment and light competition for years and I get some variation of every one of those folks, especially the “coach” who insists on giving me “lessons” before they actually see what I’m capable of.

  3. Destinee, 

    I recognize all of your “types” and, to be honest, many of them bother the guys, too. Will it ever end? I think so, with time (more maturity?), more familiarity, and maybe with a better understanding of history, since whether it’s Annie Oakley or the WW2 Soviet women snipers, women have a long and storied relationship with firearms.

    I am a firearms instructor and about 40% of my students have been women. They are usually the best students as they listen better (probably less preconceptions or macho role models) and seem more subtle with the trigger press and making adjustments. What I do (and anyone can) that I think helps the women most is to have them shoot as many guns as possible, working up from lesser calibers to greater ones and from heavier guns to lighter ones. I also always have them shoot a j-frame, to experience the difficulty of shooting the “purse” gun that many “helpful” gun store salespeople often try to convince the women to buy. (J-frames are great, but they are more of an expert’s gun than most any other.)

    I also have two daughters and a wife and I am sorry for the hassle you and other women experience while simply trying to pursue your interest in guns. It’s clear to me that you can take care of yourself—just don’t let the boorish fools get you down. I wish you tight groups!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. Like I said, there are some very respectful shooters out there, and (for me) they make up for the lot who aren’t. :]

      Happy shooting!

  4. She may have experienced some of those types, but this sounds exactly like a ‘just because I’m black’ rant. I’ve got three words to help you out “honey”…Get Over It.

    • Maybe walk a few miles in some other shoes before you make a generalization like that.

      Try going to a gay club just to have some drinks, telling people to stop hitting on you and leave you alone. It is the same for females, they don’t want to be bothered all the time.

      • Then don’t put on makeup and generally look terrible. People won’t hit on them. Men approach attractive women. It’s kind of how we survive as a species.

  5. The solution for Destinee is very simple. Join a private or semi-private shooting club.

    I belong to 2 local clubs. Women who show up are treated like anyone else…if anything, we have seen so many women go on to be top shooters in our clubs, that perhaps the expectations are a little higher! Any club with members that focus on organized competitive shooting is going to be very accessible to women, because nowadays women are competing at the highest levels in most shooting sports.

    I think of public ranges like public bathrooms. I’ll use them if I really have to, but I’m in and out the experience is hit or miss. Destinee should understand it is not just women who have to deal with the plethora of idiots at the range and gun stores, but guys too.

    • That’s an excellent idea. I wish I had the land resources to be able to shoot on my own property… Perhaps that is something for which I should save.

      I’m looking to start competition shooting (IDPA for starters), and hopefully I’ll see more like minded enthusiasts in that arena. Thanks for your input, and for the suggestions.

      • The only things my wife and I heard wfrom other range-goers when she went and shot IDPA the first time was ” I wish I could get my wife out to one of these” at the beginning of the day and “I wish I could shoot as well as her” at the end.

  6. Aside from the first statement about “ladies men”, the rest of her complaints apply to men in nearly the same measure in my observation. I have seen the braggart talk his trash on the latest whiz bang invention he brought to the firing line, I have seen the Glock/Sig/Xd salesmen ply their trade , and ive even seen the Caliber Man but into my sale and state my .22LR pistol was “insufficient” for self defense. I told that jackwagon to his face that its tactical track record is better than .00 ACP.

    What she is observing is not a gender-related problem, but one of morons buying firearms and sinking to their level of competence. We have douchebag bikers, douchbag car modders, and thus there are douchebag gun owners. Way of the world, Destinee , whatever your sex or status is life may be.

    • I think you make a great point, there. My brother has had some of the same kinds of negative experiences with disrespectful range goers because he looks very young, and it isn’t always immediately apparent that he’s in the Army.

      He attracts fewer “gawkers” though :p

      • You probably act in person on the range like you write in the comments section, with all the smiley faces at the end. Hey! Look at me!

        • Welcome to the internet! Where inflection is difficult to convey so the people who are here all the time use little faces to convey their tone and emotion therefore changing the entire mood and context of their text being read.


          Now read that again, but before you do, spend a moment thinking of Morgan Freeman. You now have Morgan Freeman reading to you in your mind.

          THAT IS ALL!

  7. It’s funny, because the next recommended video when this one ends is Miss Destinee shooting a .500 S&W in a skimpy little top. It’s clearly not her gun, she clearly has very little experience with it, and nothing to add to the world of gun knowledge besides, “Wow, that’s a big, powerful gun.” I don’t get the impression that it – any of it – was even her idea in the first place. This is not a self-directed project. Some man – probably a boyfriend – knows what he’s got, and is capitalizing on it.

    So why does anyone bother to watch? Do you think it might have any relationship to the response you get at the range?

    Compare to a female YouTube poster like like Limalife. Clearly doing it herself from the beginning, clearly knows her stuff. And she’s gotten a lot of well-deserved views over the years. But has she ever had a video posted to TTAG? I don’t recall any. Oh well, it’s a big internet. There’s something for everyone. I’ll continue to watch Limalife and Hickok45 for gun wisdom, and videos of Alessandra Ambrosio when I’m in the mood for T&A.

    • I’ve always been an Adriana Lima guy myself, but there’s no denying that AA is the same kind of gorgeous, the kind that makes my chest hurt. Trying to contrast the two is liking asking “What’s better, a million bucks, or a million bucks and an ice cream cone?” There’s no wrong answer.

    • Yeah and she’s just not good looking enough to make it too blatant. She thinks a lot of herself, but it’s mostly ego based and not merited.

    • I’m honored you think so highly of my little productions that you’ve put so much thought into my operations. I don’t think I’m attractive enough to run a channel off of the “T&A” angle, so I am flattered the idea occurred to you. I’ll leave that to the women who are better equipped, and bolder, than I to offer that style of video, however. Most of my productions are in front of various tripods. Sometimes I conscript my family members to hold the camera, but the ideas, production, music, and content are the results of my efforts. I’ll be the first to admit that I am far from professional, as my YouTube endeavors are a hobby and come secondary to my schooling and my “day job.” I have learned, and continue to learn, a lot. I am always looking to try something new, whether it’s a new firearm, or a new video production and am open to advice. I’m a huge fan of Limalife and hickok45, personally. I’ve watched many of their videos, and some of what I have learned in running my own channel for the past year and a half I can credit to the videos they have posted. Thank you for having taken the time to not only watch my video, but also to compose such thoughtful and thorough feedback for me.

      • +1

        I’ve enjoyed most of the videos you’ve done, and been impressed with their creativity and your ability and interest in handling the special effects and composing the music.

        While I may learn more from someone like Hickok45 (who has the benefit of many more years of experience), many of your videos have been informative and even educational. And the style of your productions probably makes them very effective with younger new shooters.

        Yes, you are an attractive young woman. You are mostly matter of fact about that, and when you do perhaps flaunt your womanly charms it comes across as much tongue in cheek as anything. You certainly are no Paige Wyatt. Nor do you take it to the other extreme like Faliaphotography seems to do.

        YouTube is quite the meritocracy and it has apparently opened doors for you – access to SHOT, visibility among mfgs and the gun media – that would otherwise be closed.

        Keep up the YouTubing!

      • I’ve only watched a few of your videos and I think they’re alright, but just my opinion, I prefer a more “Here’s why this gun is different from other guns in it’s class” type of explanation that I get from Hickok45. Now you may do that in some of your videos and I just haven’t seen them (I don’t watch many videos on youtube), but that’s just my opinion of what I’ve seen. I think you’ve got a lot of potential though.

  8. Missy appears to have a king-sized chip on her shoulder.

    Men and women ARE different…it’s a basic law of nature. If you try to fight against it, you’re not going to be happy.

    • Yes, they are different. But this is no reason to immediately treat them like they know nothing about a traditionally male dominate field. I am sure that Desinee’s ability to birth children is as relevant to her ability to shoot as is your ability to sire any.

  9. Oh, and on-topic, Destinee, I get where you’re coming from, but I’m going to have to agree with most of the other posters. It’s possible that you get more or different attention, but it’s only a matter of degree. Every man here who has ever been to a private range has also been subjected to the same attitudes and opinions. Caliber choice, brand choice, technique, political views (my personal pet peeve), etc., we’ve all been involved in conversations about these subjects that we didn’t particularly want to be in. The only thing you can really lay claim to as a girl, that guys don’t deal with is the outright “staring at your ass” type thing. The rest of it, welcome to the club.

  10. I have no idea what Distinee is talking about. What I’ve noticed is that men might greet or recognize a woman just as they would greet a male shooter, if at all. Or a guy might be helpful to a woman noob who needs a helping hand, just as a guy would help out a male noob.

    Mostly, men at the range just mind their own business, except when another shooter has a really cool gun, in which case guys being guys, they’ll want to check it out. I do hear a bit of profanity at the range from the twenty-somethings, but all I can say about that is fukc it.

    If Destinee’s really having problems, she should go elsewhere to shoot. She might find that the same people who are jerks at the range are jerks everywhere else, and that gentlemen shooters abound. But that couldn’t be made into a controversial video, could it. What’s the journalist’s motto again? Ah, yes. “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    • “I do hear a bit of profanity at the range from the twenty-somethings”

      This is one of my pet peeves at the range. I wish the management would mention it in the form you must read and sign before going onto the range. Then the management should enforce that rule. Sometimes the profanity is so excessive that other shooters are put off by it and end their range visit early.

      • And that’s why I laugh at the term “adult language” for swearing – because so many adults cry like six year old girls if they hear it. I rarely swear unless I’m pissed off (so I don’t think it’s ever happened at the range), but if I ever saw that my range put up a stupid rule like that, I’d go somewhere else. If you can’t respect the right to free speech, you won’t be getting my business.

      • Bob, I agree, and this is one of those circumstances where I wouldn’t mind paying a little more in range fees to “price out” the lunk-headed morons who just show up to stroke their pathetic egos in public.

        I want them to stay at the 5$ range where they belong.

  11. “Will Women ever be Equal at the Range?”

    Maybe . . . someday. It is not something I really think about or concern myself with when I go to the range.

    Appreciate the topic, but I simply don’t care.

  12. How sexist. I don’t think she understands that we guys encounter these same types of range attitudes, probably to a lesser degree. The intensity and frequency may be greater for females, but this isn’t an exclusive issue to women.

  13. I have to agree with the other post that suggest going to a different range or join a private gun club or something because she is a woman and it is going to happen. I know it must be a very annoying thing to put up with but if she is just finding out that this kind of behavior is still happening today, then she has bigger problems than someone “oggling her guns”. I do feel ashamed when I’m told me are behaving this way toward women and I was raised better than that but I also don’t believe making a video saying poor pitiful me is going to do much either. Take action, do something. Put up or shut up.
    And on a side note, I don’t think her videos add or bring anything new or informative to the table.

    • Your’re breaking into a sport/passtime/activity that has been dominated by men for centuries and you thought it would be easy? Jackie Robinson got death threats for playing baseball and he just took it in stride. You get some unwanted attention at the shooting range and come complain to complete strangers on the internet?

      Here’s a tip: you want to shut people up, you tell them to leave you alone and back it up with action. Who cares if they think you have an attitude or that you are rude? You want to fit into a man’s world? Act like a man.

      • The one time my girlfriend ever got crap from a guy at a range about “you can’t handle a rifle that big” (M1 Garand) she then put three rounds through the bullseye and just looked at him and smirked. Shut him up.

  14. It seems to me that Jack-assery at the gun range annoys us all. There’s no reason to get defensive if the video does not apply to you.

    I applaud Destinee along with Andrew Tuohy, Falia and the gang at Gun Nuts Media for having the guts to occaisionally present a different perspective on things.

  15. Will women ever be equal at the range? Will women ever be equal anywhere?

    I hope not! I like the differences between men and women, and I think most people would agree. Unfortunately, there are a few down-sides from being a woman (as there are from being a man too), but there are many up-sides to being a woman (or a man) too. Enjoy who and what you are.

  16. I think that once woman become a more common patron of ranges this sort of thing will disappear on it’s own. Exposure leads to acceptance and all that.

  17. Women catching attitude at gun ranges? Ha! That’s nothing compared to the attitude that men catch at Designer Shoe Warehouse.

  18. How does that old saying go? “If you don’t have anything nice to say… be a super defensive anonymous misogynist somewhere on the internet”

  19. I’ve seen first-hand some of the attitudes she is describing. Unfortunately, it has also been my experience that most men are sanctimonious pricks when it comes to their behavior at gun shows and at the range, which is why I don’t go to gun shows or public ranges any more. The same thing happened to golf years back, and that’s why I gave that up completely.

  20. Going to a private range or gun club isn’t going to matter. Just because someone paid more money to join doesn’t change the fact that there are jerks and unsafe handlers of firearms everywhere. It is just the way it is.

    Anyhow, I still don’t care about this issue.

    I do care, however, about someone who would post a video here, and then obsessively check and respond to comments, which tells me something about their mental state. If this issue is really a problem for you, then you should address it in therapy and not a gun website where the majority of viewers are Men.

    Yet another example of a woman who thinks she can change how men think, act and/or behave. Probably not going to happen, but they try anyway.

  21. If I see you at the range I’ll ignore you and try not to make eye contact or look at any part of you. I would hate to be the subject of a rant.

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