Me? A Gun Life Girl? The conversation begins…

Not a Stereotype

More than my guns

 …a purveyor of jewelry? Running a website? Doing “SOCIAL”? Not me at all – especially putting myself “out there.”  

Two events converged compelling me to start Girls with a Gun.

Christmas 2021. My girlfriend Jill and I had become avid gun class takers and I wanted to get her a gun gift. Something subtle…everything I found seemed a bit “in your face” – I knew she couldn’t wear any of it every day.

Fast forward to February 2022. Out with a long list of errands…

  • Michaels for yarn (knitting project),
  • Marshalls for a new outfit to wear on an upcoming, IN PERSON business trip (I had grown out of anything appropriate),
  • Grocery store (comfort food to fight depression for being so fat)
  • Favorite gun shop – to pick up ammo (I’m hoarding “just in case”)
  • Pet Store (pick up food for dogs – who love me even when I’m fat)

Stop. Look at the list. How would you describe me? How could I describe me? Crafter? Gun Lover? Home Maker? Career Woman? Crazy dog lady?

Uh – no. None fit. Can I be all those things? Yep. Whew. Worried me.

My middle-class bubble - popped

I was surrounded by guns growing up. The men in my family hunt.  They shoot for fun. They collect guns. They are “manly men.” Though my sister Heidi and didn’t hunt – we lived the lifestyle by default. My Dad missed every one of Heidi’s birthdays (including the original BIRTH DAY) – because it conflicted with elk hunting season in Colorado where I grew up.  Guns were staged all over our house – in closets, drawers, cars…

The women? We did not hunt – or learn to shoot guns. We did like the idea of guns though – and goodness forbid -were never against guns. Guns were an integral part of life – left behind when we went to college – and picked up later during visits to Grandpa Larry in CO or WY – with my own kids – who both learned to shoot early.

I had (have) a very full life.  Great career, kids that are raised and launched (really!), wonderful husband…on and on.   Living in that great middle-class bubble. Invincible? Maybe not – but not vulnerable either. I live in a small town in Indiana – safe.

2020 I didn’t feel safe anymore. I was – afraid? Unsettled? Confident, independent, secure me – scared. Just like that my childhood came back – and my greatest wish was to secure a handgun. With lockdowns and riots - there was not a gun to be bought, bartered, or ‘stolen’ anywhere. I am persistent and resourceful and finally tracked one down and cajoled the man into selling it to me.

But yikes! Now what?

I was over 50 years old, set in my ways, and now I had a new, life altering, and urgent calling. My gun and I weathered my “burst bubble” life together, but it was tough going at first.

Am I too old for this?

Gun ownership is unlike my other hobby’s.

Clue #1 - No safety? This is serious. My 9mm – is a weapon. Its purpose? Oh…uhm…well…I couldn’t even say it at the time.

Looking at that gun sitting on my table (not yet touching it) – I did ask – “Am I too old for this?”

I told myself I would take one class and then decide if my gun and I had a future together. One class and I was hooked.

Since “day one” I have taken every Indiana gun class available within 250 miles. My last - “Advanced Gunfighting” – was challenging in the extreme - and makes me realize how much I still need to learn.

I have answered the “why” I own a gun question – and feel confident that when push comes to shove – I can and will deliver on that answer. I’m definitely not scared anymore.  

Women Like Me  

Accurate numbers are hard to come by – but most sources state that half of new gun purchases between 2019 and 2021 were made by women (3.5 million of the 7.5 million total). Compare that to 10-20% female ownership in decades past. *   

What’s changed? That should be obvious to everyone on the planet.

Personal (and family) protection is high on the list of reasons for the rise. Rightfully so.

My first class in August 2020 was “Intro to Firearms for Women Only”. The instructor asked – “Why are you here?”

  • The woman behind me looked to be in her late sixties. She told us that while pushing her grocery cart to her car – four men accosted her and tried to drag her to the open door of a van. Luckily for her, her daughter, coming out of the store saw the attack and started screaming. The men jumped in their van and drove off. She was in our “safe” small town, it was 5:00 in the evening and there were lots of people around.


  • My 26-year-old daughter’s roommate Stacy was approached by a young woman about her age in Target. The woman complimented Stacy, asked about where she had purchased her shoes – and then said she was new to town and asked if Stacy would meet for coffee.

The same thing happened to my daughter – she was approached while shopping - twice – within a few weeks.

Thank God they said “no.”  

Later, we discovered it was a tactic being used to lure young women into the clutches of human traffic agents.

The media doesn’t talk about the need for protection. All the articles I have read about the spike in women gun ownership (including among Black and Hispanic women) end by saying that owning guns for “increased safety” is a fallacy. Interestingly they have LOTS of stats about that – but actual gun purchase data for women is sparse.

For me it is not a fallacy. I am safer. My family is safer. My property is safer. And at 50 – I’ve finally grown out of the childish belief that because I live where I live and do what I do – I will be safe.  

Empowered – Not defined

I’ve met people who find out I own a gun who label me a zealot – or paranoid – or a right-wing extremist. I am none of those things. I am smart and educated and I am informed about gun issues.

I no longer live in a bubble.

Gun ownership fits me. It fits my life. It empowers me to confidently face the reality of our crazy world.

The women I meet with gun interest don’t fit into a type – especially the stereotype. Where did that come from anyway?  

What is your story? What is your “I am”?

Me? “I am a mom. I am a career woman. I am a traveler. I am a patriot…now, I am a gun owner”

And proud of it.

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