A lot of discussion (some of it teetering on the hysterical) has been focused on our Second Amendment and where gun legislation is heading. It’s not hard to hear the persuasive voices of men on both sides of the subject of gun legislation. As for me, a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia vs. Heller upholding the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right to bear arms confirms such fanaticism has no place in the discussion.
In the wake of all this firearm fervor, one might be surprised to know that gun owners aren't limited to a man's world. As women continue to reach out for information regarding their safety, they are connecting to manufactures that are listening.
Industry is responding with practical information, and women-friendly products are becoming available. Now, I'm not referring to pink pistols and zebra print "concealed carry" handbags. If "girly" is for you, by all means go for it. What I'm talking about is deciding how one protects one's self in a growing unsafe world.
American women aren't interested in the aggressive or tactical illusion presented on the wide-screen in High Definition. That distinction seems to emanate well enough from the predominately male-driven industry. In my opinion, women are taking a more sophisticated, no-nonsense approach to the world of shooting and self-protection.
It used to be, women rarely took part in outdoor sports such as skeet or target shooting disciplines. Men often took on a condescending attitude when, if at all, conversing on the subject with a women (I've been there).
It is true; most women are fearful and intimidated by guns. If they (or anyone for that matter) were not, then they certainly don't need to have one in the first place. However, through education, demystifying a weapon is the first step in deciding whether or not to own a firearm.
I'd venture to say women in the south are particularly comfortable around weapons. Their fathers probably hunted on a regular basis and it isn't unusual to see a shotgun propped up somewhere in the home. I have a photo of my father cradling me (at the ripe old age of one) in his right arm while holding a shotgun in his left. A mounted deer head hangs directly behind us.
My point is a gun owner who happens to be a woman is no longer an anomaly. If a woman is contemplating ownership of a firearm all she has to do is look to the experts in the field - and not necessarily her neighbor or best friend (unless he or she is an expert in the field). Before you pick up a pistol, rifle or anything that accepts a projectile check out female friendly websites. These sites are full of impartial information that you can access without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. They provide everything from the parts of a firearm to the laws associated with them.
A great site is TheWellArmedWoman.com. This site includes everything from posing the all-important question, "Do you need a gun?" to understanding the Laws. The site also provides resources such as federal regulations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
As Americans grapple with the President's 23-step executive order aimed at reducing gun violence, we must believe our basic right to bear arms will continue unabated. Until the Second Amendment is challenged (again), the door remains wide open for men as well as women to exercise their right without anyone infringing upon it.