The freedom to bear arms/weapons is important because you may need a gun to hunt to provide food for your family. You may need a gun for self-defense if you live in an unsafe area. I think one of the most important reasons was during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese could have taken over the United States but they didn’t because they said, “Behind every American door there is a gun.”
When I hunt or go to the shooting range I enjoy it. I get to do two things I love: shooting, and spending time with my dad.
I know about many crimes that have occurred using guns, but I believe that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If there weren’t any guns in the world there might not be any shootings but, we would not have any self-defense and there would be many more robberies. Some people need guns to perform their jobs, for example, policemen and women when they are in a dangerous situation. Hopefully they won’t have to use a gun but they might need it for self-defense. Some people hunt for a living and need guns to hunt. As a hunter, that is why I think the right to bear arms is important and can save lives, possibly even your own.
In the end, what it comes down to is that the person using the weapon must be responsible and knowledgeable about it, and respectful of others and their rights.
This is my niece, and I couldn’t be prouder of her! I love you Bella!
Who’s your favorite Aunt? That’s the question I asked my niece, pictured to the right, just as I handed her the new Remington 870 pink camo youth model 20 GA, www.remington.com, I picked out for her. So for now I’m definitely in the lead as this ten-year old girl’s favorite Aunt! However, this article is not about me or her, but what you can do to “Pay it Forward” or maybe we should think of it as “Plan it Forward.” We often take for granted the gifts and liberties we have available to us in this country but did you ever consider that many young Americans (especially girls) may never engage in the shooting sports for lack of a mentor and opportunities? Mentors and opportunities meet up with the new outdoor enthusiast when there is communication (articles, photos, videos, social media = communication) to encourage them and of course that personal invitation never hurts either.
Last year I became involved with the Women’s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA), www.thewoma.com and currently serve on their Board. The WOMA’s goal is to increase awareness of women in traditional outdoor sports, especially shooting, hunting, fishing, and archery. There are categories of membership such as active media and industry professionals. Industry professionals include people like me who make their living in the firearms industry and it also includes National and World Champions, even Olympic competitors. The WOMA went on to develop an Ambassador program as a way to reach out to younger women, for example USA Shooting members. womabrochure
Those of us involved in the industry can share in some way and you don’t have to make a “big splash”…just pay it forward one by one. I may not have changed my niece’s life dramatically and yet I know I’ve had an impact on her through my support and encouragement to expand her horizons into the shooting sports. I encourage you to check out the WOMA website and pass along the article to others who may be interested in learning more about women’s involvement in the outdoor areas of shooting, hunting, fishing or archery. Possibly you know people who would be interested in joining the WOMA and contributing their experiences.
The WOMA does “Cool Gear Reviews” where members and sponsors may submit their product for our writers to review. There is a “Business to Business” tips for women working in the outdoors industries authored by Marsha Petrie Sue, writer, motivational speaker and President of the WOMA. The site also features blogs by our members with links provided to their industry related websites. For instance you can follow or favorite twin Biathelete sisters (and members of WOMA), Lanny and Tracy Barnes on their “Road to Russia” articles in training for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Or follow updates on GSSF, (Glock Shooting Sports Foundation) as it creates shooting history!
The demographics of this industry are evolving….increasing numbers of women are becoming more and more active! You can make an impact and however small, it all counts.
Is paying it forward worth the trouble? Just check out the smile on this little girl’s face below!
In 2010 I met up with some very high energy women at the Women’s Outdoor Media Association (WOMA), www.thewoma.com, and ended up joining the organization as an Industry member. In October of that year WOMA held their annual retreat near Gunnison, Colorado where we went fly-fishing, falconry hunting, skeet shooting, and some grouse hunting. A very exciting and educational experience with a great group of women!
One of the ladies there, Deb Ferns, was talking about coming back to Colorado in December to harvest a buffalo on a ranch and asked if I was interested. The rancher had three bulls he wanted harvested. Now I had done plenty of target shooting up to this point but have never hunted. I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the definition, but an entire buffalo was more meat than my household would ever consume in a year’s time! So even though it sounded exciting I declined. Deb made a few calls and came back informing me another lady from the Babes with Bullets Camps would take the second bull. The third the rancher wanted to keep the meat but I could just come down and take the shot if I wanted. Hmmmm…. perfect, I was game!
December rolls around. I borrowed a 30-06 rifle and sighted it in at 200 yards. We arrive on the ranch and they have “back-up” shooters for each of us women. The told us later they had never had women shooters on the ranch before and were quite concerned imagining all kinds of fiascos about to unfold I’m sure!
The three of us set up on a huge old dead fall on the ranch. The bulls were a bit nervous seeing more people out there than usual and were running back and forth along the tree line about 80 – 100 yards away. We were instructed to take the largest bull first and the other two had to be taken quickly afterwards so they wouldn’t take off. Before hand as we watched them, each of us had chosen which one we would be taking so as not to have two shooting at one and so on.
The bulls are headed back towards us and the guides are telling us to get prepared. The first lady takes aim on the largest bull. Crack, one shot and he drops! Deb fires quickly, one shot and her’s drops! Pressure is on me now! I aim for what I know is the “kill zone” and fire. He did what Deb called a little crow hop, turned and looked at me…all I’m thinking is “Oh S—!” I racked another bullet in and fired in the same spot. Another little crow hop and he takes another step and looks at me again. Oh my gosh, what am I doing here!? What am I doing wrong!?. I find out later they term this a “standing dead” animal. I had a kill shot through the heart and lung…just takes them awhile to realize the fat lady has sung. I quickly rack one more in and have my finger on the trigger when “crack”….Deb takes him in the spine and dropped him. She meant business and did not want to chase this thing the whole way to Albuquerque!
This all seemed like minutes, but all three bulls dropped within seconds. The guides, our backup shooters, were impressed! They had never seen three bulls downed so quickly.
What an experience for my first animal! When I tell people a buffalo was my first hunt…they remark, “You started with something that size!?” I was a target shooter, seemed perfectly reasonable to me to start with a bigger target, easier to hit and build your confidence for the next hunt! I tell them I’m working my way down the chain to squirrels!