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Her Right to Bear Arms: The Rise of Women's Gun Culture

Her Right to Bear Arms: The Rise of Women's Gun Culture

On the ground in Texas at a women's gun conference, where the bullets fly, the bras have holsters and the motivations are murky

By W.J. Cassidy
July 14, 2014 9:00 AM ET

"I'm gonna kill you!" the pert blonde ponytailed lady screams, in a petite room in the bowels of the convention center. "I said I'm gonna kill you!" "No!" huffs her target, a mom-jean'd-woman in her mid-fifties. "Back off!" Then, responding to ponytail's faux-intimidation, the older woman slaps an open palm into the face of a shooting-range silhouette pinned on the back wall, un-holsters a pistol, and pops six rounds into a theoretical assailant's chest — blam-blam-blam-blam-blam-blam, quick sharp cracks, with a corresponding swirl of odorous gun smoke. The ammo's not live: the gun is firing "simunition" bullets, created specifically for this kind of training exercise. But as the casings zing hard off the gray walls and careen, a few feet in front of me, onto the plastic tarp, I cover my eyes in the crook of my elbow just in case.

It's early spring and I'm in Waco, Texas, for the 2nd annual national conference of A Girl And A Gun, a shooting league birthed out of — and, now, attempting to shepherd forward — the nascent women and firearms movement.

Over the last decade, the percentage of armed women in America has risen quietly: according to Gallup, the numbers went from 13% in 2005 to 23% in 2011. By last year, that rise wasn't so quiet anymore. Women's interest sites declared "The Rise Of The Female Gun Nut." A Girl and a Gun-type shooting clubs, like Babes with Bullets and The Well Armed Woman, bloomed. And a staunchly, proudly masculine industry at least attempted to keep pace. Walk around a gun show these days, and you're more likely than not to find at least one table piled wide with .223-caliber AR-15 assault rifles rendered in hot pink.

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It makes sense now

We've been applying eyeliner since we were kids, right? It's a very precise motion

I was in Denver once just as morning rush hour started and the woman driving in the next lane was putting on make up as she moved in and out of traffic. Now I understand how she was able to do that!

Everything gets explained on the DP eventually doesn't it, that's why I love this place.

jrd3820's picture

Chicks with guns are hot

Chicks making quiche in the kitchen are even hotter.

No, gets hot with the stove on and the oven and whatnot.

Yeah, I have a few friends that can do makeup while driving. I don't wear much makeup so it is not like second nature to me so I wouldn't try. I also don't drive much so I don't even like talking on the phone while driving. Don't get me wrong, I do it every now and then, but I'd rather not.

Quiche Rifle

New invention! It's mine, don't try stealing it, it's copyrighted, patented, trademarked and a bunch of other legal sounding things too!

I already made one

in my microwave 3D printer. I ate the first one, and it was terrible. So I figured the second one would be for target practice. I couldn't actually think of any good targets, so I did what any penniless yet self-respecting inventor would do. I boxed it up and mailed it to myself. The box remains unopened, and the postmark luckily is dark and easy to read, somewhat legally recording the date of my creation. It should probably hold up in court if need be. It got kinda stinky though, so it rests for posterity buried at the far edge of my property. Don't bother, you'll never find it.

Na-uh, did not!

Besides, mine wasn't made of quiche, or shoot quiche or any other such silliness. This was grade A military grade hardware that...wait a minute, you're trying to get me to tell you how it works aren't you?
I almost fell for it too. You're sneaky John Robb.

And another thing, if you buried quiche at the edge of your property the rat creatures would have eaten by now, along with the postmark.

jrd3820's picture

Penniless? Ummm...How's that going to work?

I thought you were rich, and I don't have any money either. One of us better have a little money if this marriage thing is going to work out.

Also just an fyi I don't actually bear arms, I mean I don't care if others bear arms and I encourage all to practice their 2A rights proudly, but I don't, and one of us should if we are married, so do you intend on doing the arm bearing?

How's that going to work?

Who said anything about "going to work"?

We can live at the bakery. There's an apartment on the upper floor. :D

I'm glad you don't bear arms. Winters get mighty long and strange on Madeline. You can bake pies, and I'll stockpile the guns to protect 'em from thieves like me.

jrd3820's picture

I can't wait

I grew up in a bakery. No, really my Dad owns a Bakery and he works 9 million hrs a week as does my Mom so after school and when my Mom was teaching and whatnot us kids got dropped off at the bakery to wait for my Mom to pick us up while my Dad worked and we ran wild and got into trouble and my cousins were often there also and we used to build forts out of the huge bags of flower and that is where I learned to decorate cakes and ummm...well..... bake

This sounds like a brilliant plan you have devised John Robb, I always wanted to marry someone really smart, I'm glad we found each other.

TwelveOhOne's picture

"Huge bags of flower" reminded me of "I brought you flours"

The "punch line" is about one minute into this 2.5 minute clip, from "Stranger Than Fiction" about a guy who hears his writer writing (neat premise, similar to "Being John Malkovich"):

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. - Fully Informed Jury Association - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

jrd3820's picture

lol good scene

Looking at that mistake, I feel kinda silly right now, but oh happens I suppose.

I wish I were that smart.

If I were really smart I'd have realized that everybody and his brother would sooner or later invent his own quiche rifle. I'm kinda a little bit smart though. I mean it took me six months to build a microwave 3D printer to manufacture my quiche rifle, but it never occurred to me to patent my printer oven. Now I'm rereading my comment to has, and I know he'll probably have that figured out by tomorrow dawn and beat me to the patent office. D'oh! So for now you'll have to keep baking, at least until I can steal more of has' think of more ideas.