Dear Fellow Shooters:
Welcome! I, too, am an American Woman Shooter and my publication proudly celebrates our wonderfully diverse views and life experiences by:
Championing women in the firearms industry
Partnering with sister organizations in the areas of hunting and shooting sports
Fostering relationships between novice and expert shooters
Educating women about firearm selection, safety and self defense
I’m not sure when my discomfort with guns began. I grew up seeing a rifle in my dad’s closet. It was grandfather’s hunting rifle which was kept in the closet behind his clothes. My sisters and I knew not to touch it and frankly were not curious about it at all. My next exposure to guns requires fast forwarding about 20 years. I was a parent living in Northern California. “No gun toys for our kids”, the members of our new mom group solemnly agreed. When someone suggested one of our kids might still play western or robber games with a gun formed by those innocent hands, we are all stunned into silence.
Present day…the unabashed politicization of guns by everyone. Debates all over the news. Horrific shootings in our schools and elsewhere. My dear friend takes me to the range in Pima County for the first time. I love it… my experience was not what I thought it would be. Gun debates, polarization and politics are nowhere to be found here. We are all share a passion, with varying degrees of success, zealously determined to nail our shot just inside the precious center circle on the target. As someone with both a marketing and publishing background, I began to think that the real gun stories are here, inside the range.
What happens here on a Saturday or Sunday morning is simply having fun target shooting. The seed of an idea was planted in my mind and I begin to wonder, “Why isn’t this story being told?”
Months later, I reached out to Carol Ruh, a licensed, certified instructor, co-founder of The Arizona Woman’s Shooting Alliance, and all around amazing person. Her name shows up all over the internet when you type in “guns, women and Arizona.” After our initial meeting, she and her husband Pete (equally wonderful) invited me to stay at their home in New River to attend Carol’s day long shooting program for women.
Once there, my discomfort finally in check, I saw women supporting one another and learning from one another. This day was about more than just shooting, although that certainly would have been enough. It was about camaraderie, and education, and safety and defense. Similar to what I had observed at the range in Pima County, I saw all ages and socioeconomic groups. Judging from the bumper stickers on the cars outside a spectrum political views also were present at the range.
Not surprisingly, each woman had her own story as to why she was there. There was the 60 something woman who lives with her mother and wanted to know she could protect them both if necessary. There was the group of Scottsdale women who, after a day of shooting, were headed to dinner at a posh restaurant and then to a play cards with their husbands. There was the 18 year old newlywed who came with her mother from New River. They were so close they seemed like sisters or best friends who were there…well…because it’s fun dammit.
Here, we will share the untold stories of women, for they are the inspiration behind The American Woman Shooter. This venue will be a safe place for conversations about their love of, fascination with, and/or curiosity about guns.
Let’s get started…enjoy!