A Girl and a Gun Womens Shooting League – Doing good work
The shooting community has an image problem. For every safe, respectful shooting enthusiast there is a militant and divisive voice clamoring for attention. There is no better spokesperson for the sport and culture that we invest so much time and effort in than our mothers, wives, sisters and girlfriends.
After some very polite conversation on Twitter, I was invited to attend a local A Girl & A Gun event. On a cold Colorado Sunday in January I arrived during the safety briefing which laid out exactly what the safety, rules, and expectations were for the event. They also pointed out a table with hot coffee, cocoa, hand warmers and other accoutrements. I don’t normally see that kind of personal touch at some of the male dominated shoots that I’ve attended.
A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League is a womens only organization started by women for women designed for both beginning shooters and advanced shooters. They focus on recreation, education, competition and importantly, self defense. The National Institute of Justice research shows over 1 million women are stalked annually in the United States. (http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/violence-against-women/selected-results.htm). As a father of daughters and a husband I want the ladies in my life to be safe and know how to protect themselves. Some women may be put off by male dominated shooting groups and competitions, this club eliminates that barrier to entry.
It was obvious to any observer that this was something special. A group of women that really respected shooting and most importantly, respected each other. Being no expert on women’s social gatherings, it seemed like any other group of women I’ve seen. Chatting, shooting and just being together. I got an immediate sense of sisterhood that pervaded my entire afternoon.
The National Sporting Goods Association has published that female participation in target shooting is up 46.5% and that female hunting participation had grown almost 37% between 2001 and 2010. A Gallup poll showed in 2011 that 23 percent of women respondents owned a gun.
The Colorado chapter is the real deal. It’s a group of women enthusiastic about shooting and proud of who they are. They are establishing a foothold in a male dominated lifestyle and sport and doing it on their own terms. I came away impressed about every aspect and honestly, I’m a bit jealous and relieved that I’m not allowed in their league. Jealous because it’s a safe, well organized and downright comfortable organization and relieved because competing against some of these ladies would be a serious challenge!
For any women that are curious about shooting in southern Colorado or the US in general, look these ladies up. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks again to Germaine, Kelli, Stephanie, Carol and the rest of the ladies that graciously accepted my presence and answered my questions in 11 degree weather.