As I was deciding on a topic for my next article, I noticed a fellow shooter on social media pose a question. What would you like to see more of in the shooting community? That got me thinking. There are too many to list, so a multi-part series is what you’re going to get. Women, both in the industry and on the range, are the vast minority when it comes to the world of guns. I am not talking about “gun bunnies.” Those are a dime-a-dozen. I mean genuinely hardworking, mature, responsible ladies as capable, self-sufficient, and skilled shooters. The kind of woman you would be proud to have your daughter emulate and look up to.
For the unfamiliar, a “gun bunny” is a woman that meets a particular physical physique and appearance that is generally accepted as attractive or sexy. Marketing folks stick a gun in their hands, they pose, the gun company sells more firearms. Why are gun bunnies so prolific? Aside from the premise of sex sells, we have to remember that the gun community is male-dominated and if nothing else, our libidos do a good job driving our decision-making process.
Personally, I don’t begrudge someone for using their looks to get them ahead in life. But, I do take issue when they pitch a fit when their looks are all they bring to a table. Holding a gun regardless of your appearance makes you about as much of an expert on guns and shooting as holding a wrench makes you a mechanic. With that being said, there are some absolutely beautiful women who are great shooters that I am sure could best me on the range.
This is not the same thing, which is where the main problem lies. Gun bunnies are often looked down upon and shunned as whores. The legitimate female shooters who have the skill and something to contribute often get lumped into that same pool and its both unfair to them and does great harm to the expansion of the gun community. The fear of being labeled a gun bunny is a significant deterrent for many.
The gun community needs women. Aside from being independent citizens who deserve to exercise their rights just as much as anyone else, they arguably benefit the most from the self-defense aspect of carrying a gun. Guns are certainly an equalizer in a usually unfair fight. Women also tend to be more vocal in their community and in local government. Want to make sure that politician gets an earful for their anti-gun legislation? Want to organize a rally in support of the Second Amendment? Women have typically been more successful at community organizing. Women do a great job reaching out to other women as well. It is the best way to grow the community hands-down exponentially.
Women are also more likely to receive training from another woman. It’s hard to cater to that demographic when there aren’t many female trainers. So where are all the women I am referring to? They are waiting. Quietly, patiently waiting for a time they can step up to the plate and get a swing at being vocal, active leaders in the gun community without being thought a slut or just out for attention. If you genuinely want to grow the community then let’s face the facts boys, we gotta get the girls in the game too and quit expecting them just to be cheerleaders.