My friend and fellow blogger, Everday Epistle, recently asked me a series of questions about being a woman gun owner. I was one of many women to give her answers and opinions which were then featured in a post on The Broad Side.
“Women Gun Owners Shoot Straight About Firearms, Violence, Second Amendment” is fantastic. The article features a variety of women who share their views on guns.
Q1. Tell me about your relationship with guns. Why do you own guns? When did you learn to shoot? Who taught you?
A1. I have been around guns my entire life, since I can remember. I was born on the opening day of deer season and hunting is a huge part of our family so guns were a natural thing to grow up around. I had bb guns to shoot at birds & my first real gun was a little browning .22 that I used to try shoot rodents and other varmints with. I took Hunter’s Safety around 11 so when I turned 12 I could go deer hunting. My dad, who taught me how to shoot rifles, is a huge advocate of hunter’s safety and it is a requirement in our family.
My grandpa taught me how to shoot shotguns, his passion is trap shooting. I do not do much bird hunting but enjoy trap shooting.
Growing up owning guns to me was for hunting however as I graduated college and was out on my own I then felt comfort in knowing guns could be used for protection if need be. Being a protective father, my dad made sure his girls had guns & knew how to use them for protection. He also bought us pistols. I got my concealed carry permit about 3 years ago. I travel & drive by myself a lot so it’s nice to have because you never know.
A few months ago I treated myself for my birthday & went to the symphony. I was not able to find anyone to join me so I went alone. On the way home I was pulled over by a police officer, I made sure to tell him that I had a gun in my purse before I reach for my license. The officer looked really amused considering I was all “dolled up” & coming from the symphony. He said “I don’t think you look like you’re gonna shoot me so it’s ok to get your license, but why do you need a gun at the symphony?” I responded with “I am a single girl in downtown Eugene, why wouldn’t I need a gun?’ He laughed, barely looked at my license and let me go on my way.
Recently, I have taken more interest in practicing shooting. Last year I missed an elk. I did not like the feeling of incompetence or not trusting my ability. I carried my Ruger .270 everywhere I went on the farm after that and practiced shooting any chance I got. In January, I killed a cow elk with that gun, she went down in one shot.
My goal is to get more comfortable using my hand gun, which is a .38 special hammerless revolver. It’s cute. As I mentioned before my dad is a big proponent of gun safety & proper use, so for Christmas my parents bought me defensive handgun lessons that I will use later this spring.
It was instilled me since I can remember that a gun is “ALWAYS loaded” and “NEVER point a gun at anyone, no matter if the gun is real or fake” These principles still stick with me today every time I handle a gun.
Q2. What do you think should and should not be done to curb gun violence in our country?
A2. I understand a lot of people are not comfortable using guns or being around them. I honestly think proper basic education would go a long way in people’s perceptions about guns. A lot of sensationalism happens around gun violence. Focus is lost on other violent crimes, what about knives or baseball bats or fists that are used to commit heinous acts. Lately mental health has been the topic. Which makes me wonder if our pendulum has swung so far to the touchy feely emotional side that we forget to look at the reality of society and the world. There are sick people out there that no amount of public funds will make them better. I do not think more laws are the answer. Since when do criminals follow laws?
Q3. Why is the 2nd Amendment important for women?
A3. The second amendment is important for all not just for women. Our founding fathers left a place they considered to have tyrannical rule. They knew that true freedom was found in the people not the government of a country, they also were aware that government could get to big for their britches. If this ever became the case then “we the people” needed a way to protect ourself and, heaven forbid, if need be to take back the country. That is the big picture of it. However, the 2nd amendment applies to the rapist or attacker who seek to take a woman’s freedom about her body away. It’s a woman’s right to protect her body how she chooses.
Q4. Anything else you think is important to the discussion of women and guns?
A4. Guns aren’t scary. Guns will not shoot anyone on their own. Educate yourself, learn how to shoot. I recognize that the chances might be slim of you ever needing to use one for self-defense, but the confidence it gives you is invaluable. If every citizen, at least every woman, knew how to shoot & defend herself I would think we see a decline in “gun violence”. Guns may not be for everyone and that’s ok, but don’t take away someone else’s right to own & carry because “you aren’t sure”. The more we limit our tools to defend ourselves or even provide food for ourselves the more we limit our individual freedoms.
Are you a woman who owns & shoots guns? Aimee would love to hear your answers to these questions! Email your responses to email@example.com