By Kyle Jillson | December 13 2013 14:00

Chicks with Guns artbook and pistol package prove popular at Friends of NRA events

Mike Davis, Southern California and Southern Nevada Field Representative, shares a cool story about a popular Friends of NRA auction package thought up on the west coast.

Friends of NRA Chicks With Guns Scott and Ramona Lee, co-chairs of the North County Friends of NRA fundraiser held in Vista, Cal., each May, are always looking for creative ways to spice up and add interest to their ever-growing fundraising event. Last year they outdid themselves with an idea that eventually spread like wildfire across the entire southern California area.

Ramona had come across a very interesting and beautifully photographed hardback book entitled “Chicks With Guns,” by Lindsay McCrum. In this book, McCrum creates a cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and, in a sense, unexpected. The book examines issues of self-image and gender through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, but guns are presented here not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And the book defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women.

Like the 15-20 million women gun owners in this country, the women we meet in “Chicks with Guns” (their portraits are accompanied by their own words), reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. The women here are sportswomen, hunters and competition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. In these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power and pride. They are real women with real guns that play a part in their lives. By focusing her camera respectfully on this particular aspect of the American scene—gun-wielding women and girls—McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.

Ramona purchased a copy of this book and sent it to the author with a request for her to autograph it for the local Friends of NRA live auction, and McCrum complied. Since the book alone could not be expected to bring a high dollar amount on auction, Scott’s idea was to have the auctioneer describe the book to the audience, and, right before beginning the actual auction, he would exclaim, “Wait a minute. One thing a Chicks With Gun book needs is a gun!” at which time he would pull a pink 9mm semiautomatic out of his waistband to sell along with the book as a package.

Our auctioneer, Sam Neely, who is also an actor, pulled it off perfectly, and the audience responded with multiple bids. When the bidding ended, the winner purchased this package for $625. The auction was on fire that evening, and the Chicks With Guns package helped catapult the North County Friends of NRA event to High Caliber Club status for the first time.

Now for the rest of the story… After seeing the audience respond so enthusiastically to this idea, we decided to bundle this book/gun package with Second Amendment sterling silver and CZ jewelry from Stoecker Jewelers in Mountain Home, Idaho, and offer it at all of our live auctions across the entire Southern California and Southern Nevada area. We use either the FMK 9C1 9mm or the ISSC Legacy MK22, both semiautomatics available in pink. We started offering this package at the first event following Scott and Ramona’s and since then have grossed over $43,000 for Friends of NRA, with individual sales averaging between $600 and $1200 each. We typically sell two sets at each auction.

We salute Scott and Ramona and thank them for their creativity and enthusiastic approach in finding new ways to help build the Friends of NRA program, and we look forward to what they will come up with next!

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