A woman shooter at the gun range isn’t such an anomaly anymore. When at the range, rarely am I the only woman shooting—thank goodness!
Women gun owner numbers are rising exponentially—especially over the last few years. This is great news. The more we show we are competent and confident shooters, making knowledgeable gun buying decisions, the less mysterious the female gun owner becomes.
Unfortunately, the mentality that women shouldn’t or can’t shoot still exists—especially in the media. Our own community even perpetuates it. On Wednesdays, it is my responsibility to find a picture for Cheaper Than Dirt’s! Women’s Wednesday Facebook page post. My goal is to find a fully dressed female, being safe while enjoying her gun or shooting. It is sadly a difficult task.
One of these pictures was of Anette Wachter, 30galcal, demonstrating how we women can conceal carry and still dress cute. The picture’s caption, “This is Anette Wachter – 30calgal and yes she is packing. Can you guess where?” To give our Facebook followers credit, many responded positively and answered the question without being snarky. However, we also got these charming responses:
- “She’s packing more than just a gun.”
- “She looks like she is more interested in fashion. Those clothes are too tight to carry in an easily accessible place.”
- “Is she free next Friday? I’m sure we can both have fun looking for it then.”
- “Gosh. She is very attractive. Should she ever need any assistance, I will be glad to help her.”
Every Women’s Wednesday goes like this. People feel the need to either comment on how the woman in the picture looks or how improperly she is handling her firearm. It can be disheartening and disparaging. What a way to encourage women to take up shooting, right?
On days my skin isn’t so tough, I look to women industry leaders whose strength, confidence and tenacity I admire. It takes guts to stand up and speak for a community—especially when you are the minority. Fortunately, there are plenty of outspoken women in our industry who inspire, empower and offer a positive influence to the rest.
Here are six quotes from some of the many women shooters who inspire me daily.
1. Julie Golob, Competitive Shooter
“A positive attitude, a smile, and an understanding that you did the best you could do at that given moment are going to help you enjoy the journey all the more. Take the time to reflect and make any adjustments necessary, but move on. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t pass your unhappiness on to others. Negativity breeds more negativity. A positive attitude helps you build the mental base to become successful.”
Julie is Team Smith & Wesson’s captain. She holds over 120 championship titles in seven different action shooting sports disciplines. She was the first woman to earn a U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Nationals Triple Crown, as well the first person ever to win a national title in all six USPSA divisions. Besides a world-renowned highly accomplished competitive shooter, Julie is a veteran, author, wife and mother.
2. Kay Miculek, Competitive Shooter
“A woman that shoots is in control, determined, disciplined, confident, and not to be underestimated!”
Kay is one of the most accomplished competitive shooters in the world. Earning 15 USPSA national multi-gun titles, 10 USPSA national handgun titles, and 7 world speed shooting championships, Kay also holds eight women’s world records. She is the head instructor of the Babes with Bullets camps for women. Kay is the mother of three children; one of which is an accomplished competitive shooter in her own right, Lena.
3. Kathy Jackson, Cornered Cat
“It has always bothered me, this perception that shooting and self-defense are masculine activities… We can be as feminine as we want to be, as long as we’re competent and capable. People will take competence and visible capability seriously, whether it’s wrapped in a pink and frilly cover or not.”
Kathy Jackson, aka Cornered Cat is a firearms instructor and writer who authors and maintains the website, Cornered Cat. Kathy has logged over 500 hours training under some of the greatest self-defense firearms instructors in the world, including Massad Ayoob. Formally the editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, Kathy now authors her own books. She offers practical and compassionate advice for women and men shooters both.
4. Natalie Foster, A Girls Guide to Guns:
“Women in the gun community are people of integrity. We’re contributors to society. Yet, the media frames us as potentially crazy because we own guns. It makes absolutely no sense. We can do something about this culture of victimization. And we have to. Learning about firearms has transformed my life. Shooting gives me a new confidence and a respect for myself… When you refuse to highlight women who’ve found empowerment and independence through the Second Amendment, you only perpetuate our society’s cycle of victimization and we are not victims.”
Creator, CEO and co-founder of the website, Girls Guide to Guns, Natalie Foster is also an NRA spokesperson. Natalie got interested in firearms so she could hang out with the men in her family. Her goal with a Girls Guide to Guns was to create a feminine, empowering, safe and fun space for women to learn about firearms. She also sells a line of jewelry and appeared on Discovery Channel’s Sons of Guns.
5. Julianna Crowder, A Girl & A Gun
“There is not a lot of women out there. (Competing) We have fabulous women role models, we see them on Top Shot all the time. But the every day woman says, ‘Oh, I’m not her. I don’t know how to do that.’ Well, guess what! We are everyday women!”
Julianna Crowder is a down-home Texas girl, just like me, who describes herself “as the girl next door.” Julianna is the co-founder of the successful and ever-expanding women’s shooting league, A Girl & A Gun. She is an International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) competitor, instructor and safety speaker. Julianna says she felt it in her heart to start a business teaching and encouraging women to get into the shooting sports. Her A Girl & A Gun leagues are a safe, fun and educational way to learn gun basics and grow in the shooting sports.
6. Kim Rhode, Olympic Gold Medalist
“Go out there and enjoy it, don’t be afraid to try something new and give it a whirl. Don’t think of yourself as any different from a guy. Strength doesn’t matter. Go out with the attitude that you can beat the guys. Have fun with it. Take all the advice you can get. Wear the pink vest, do the hair, and the cute bags. You can either be the girlie girl or the tomboy. It doesn’t matter. Enjoy it for what it is.”
Kim Rhode is the most successful female Olympic shooter of all time. She won her first world championship in Double Trap at age 13 and has not stopped since. Kim was the first U.S. Olympian to win five medals in five consecutive Olympic Games, including three golds. Kim is the youngest gold medalist in Olympic shooting history and the only woman to have won two gold medals in Double Trap. In 2012, she met the world record in skeet shooting, hitting 99 out of 100 clays. Besides training, Kim is a wife, mother, active in charities and likes to build and restore classic cars.
If you need reenergizing or a confidence boost, read these blog posts about being a female gun lover:
- The Best Facebook Pages for Women Shooters
- Discouraged? Stop Comparing Yourself!
- It’s Okay to be Nervous
- Do Not Underestimate the Woman Who Shoots
- NRA Women Presents Lisa Looper
- Don’t Worry. You Don’t Have to be a Gun Nut to Shoot Guns.
- NRA Women New Energy Profile: Molly Smith
- NRA Women: Maggie Reese
Ladies, who do you look to for inspiration? Tell us in the comment section about your favorite female shooter and what is it about her that inspires you.
Suzanne joined the content team with over eight years experience at Cheaperthandirt.com. Starting out as a product description writer, Suzanne has extensive knowledge of the Cheaper Than Dirt! product base and is a good resource for suggestions on which products you need. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Though she prefers plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, Suzanne also loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!