Her Right to Bear Arms: The Rise of Women's Gun CultureSubmitted by jrd3820 on Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:12
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.