Actually, I need to be told three times.
- Setting: This morning at the gym. I was doing my daily cardio, listening to a podcast of Gun Talk. Tom Gresham was talking to his guest about attracting new shooters to the sport, especially women.
- Setting: Lunch time at our favorite Mexican restaurant. John tells me that it's a shame more women are not involved in shooting sports. He urged me blog about the subject and be a help to guys that want to get their wives/girlfriends to the range.
- Setting: This evening surfing the gun blogosphere. I see Cowboy Action Shooter Jose at Amigos Cantina said something similar. "If only more wives were interested in shooting..."
Got it loud and clear.
Just for the record, I am the most unlikely chick to enjoy shooting (ask my friends). There is not a tom-boy bone in my body. I do not enjoy the outdoors, and pretty much despise any activity that is to be done outside. I did not grow up around guns. I do not have even one family member that shoots. Guns came into my life via my wedding vows... Do you, Tracy, promise to uphold and never speak ill of the Second Amendment? I do.
For years, I looked at John's passion for shooting the same way he looked at my shoe collection. So how did this gun thing happen? Three factors came together one day - curiosity, empowerment, and pestering. Let's explore each of them:
- Curiosity - I grew up watching the Mandrell Sisters. I loved to watch Irlene shoot clay pigeons. I had no idea what she was doing at the time, but I thought it was so cool when she yelled "PULL," and then blew the disc to smithereens. Never thought much of it after the show was canceled, but her confidence made an impression on me. After I confessed my Irlene secret to John, he often reminded me "if you come to the range with me you can yell 'pull,' just like Irlene." See also: pestering.
- Empowerment - We were in Vegas a few years ago with friends and the group wanted to go to The Gun Store. I succumbed to the peer pressure and shot three different machine guns. At the time I did not enjoy the guns themselves, but the feeling of being in complete control resonated with me. Since I have a strong desire to protect myself, The Gun Store experience empowered me to explore concealed carry and self-defense classes. Dirtbags are everywhere... look up your zip code in the National Sex Offender Registry, it's frightening!
- Pestering - John finally wore me down. He begged to me "come meet the guys" at one of their IDPA practices at the indoor range (no bugs, climate controlled). I agreed to hang out and socialize. That did it! I saw that I could satisfy my curiosity, have that great feeling of control and empowerment, learn how to protect myself, and (bonus) get him to stop pestering me.
So you asked me what time it was and I built you a clock, sorry.
Bottom line, if I can plug into this sport and enjoy it, anyone can! Every girl that's been invited to join their guy at the range has different reasons for not going. Stay tuned and we will talk about the do's and don't's to get your girl to the range (that is, if you want her to join you). It is possible that she will grow to enjoy shooting almost as much as she does shopping.