Elizabeth Hellmann, the National Program Coordinator for NRA Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics, is more than a talented shooter and renowned firearms instructor. She’s also a passionate writer.
Beth was kind enough to share a her article on Women and the NRA with NRAblog. An excerpt is printed in the current issue of Traditions magazine. NRAblog is pleased to present the entire article as a series of posts:
Why Women Learn About Guns
It’s Our Right
The demand for women’s programs has never been greater, but women don’t always find it easy to walk into clubs and ranges. Some women are intimidated by guns, and some are intimidated by strangers. An unfamiliar place full of strangers with guns is an even more difficult situation. It takes a strong woman to confront her fears and rise to the challenge of overcoming them. Fortunately, many women find the idea repugnant that they “can’t” or “shouldn’t” try to shoot, and they become determined to find a place to exercise their rights – if only because it is a right they don’t want to lose.
Some women want to learn about firearms because they may never have seen one or touched one. They want to learn whether firearms are portrayed accurately on film, and they want to learn why millions of men and women enjoy shooting them. Well-read women have heard arguments against gun ownership, but they know that millions of law-abiding citizens own guns that are never misused. They may have become skeptical of the steady diet of yellow journalism that is being fed to them, and want to learn what guns are really like without prejudice. After all, if millions of women are shooting enthusiasts (as the National Sporting Goods Association reports) then guns must have some allure. The kind of woman who wants to find out the facts for herself is the kind of woman who turns to the NRA first for information. She’s a woman full of the spirit of adventure and the willingness to verify her own beliefs, and she’s a woman who is open-minded.
Scholarships and Recognition
Women may also have heard that their children can benefit from learning safe gun handling, or they may have heard about an athletic shooting team at their children’s school. Many colleges and universities offer scholarships in shooting sports to outstanding high school students. (As a high school rifle team coach, I’ve known many students who have attended college thanks to winning an athletic shooting scholarship.) Also, the NRA itself offers a variety of scholarships to youth, adding up to a substantial amount of educational support for college-bound students.
Check back soon for more on this topic from Beth. Or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more about Instructional Shooting Clinics and how your club can host one.