Monday, December 9, 2013
By Kris Hey, Orlando Sentinel
Women take up shooting for many reasons. For me, it was about getting control of my life and letting go of my fears.
Guns always equaled one thing: death. It started from an early age, when I picked up on my parents' dislike of guns. As I grew older, I couldn't be in the room with a gun, look at a gun or even hold an unloaded oneI knew it was an irrational fear: No one in my life had ever been hurt by a gun.
But the fear festered. After my son was born nearly 11 years ago, news reports of children getting hurt or killed using their parents' unsecured guns made my fear almost paralyzing. My job as an online news producer for more than 15 years, often seeing and working on these stories, only made things worse.
It was frustrating for my husband, who grew up with guns and knows how to use them safely. I knew I had to change — for myself and for my family.
So I picked up a gun.
About 500 trigger pulls in, I realized I loved target shooting. It relieved my stress; helped me focus on what I could control; boosted my self-confidence; made me feel strong, powerful and alive. It helped me work on overcoming other fears, too.
It wasn't long before I was going to the range alone and with my husband on date nights. I decided it would be cheaper and I could practice more if I bought my own gun.
I also joined the Orlando chapter of The Well Armed Woman, a national organization that helps women learn about guns and hone their skills in the classroom and on the range.
According to White, a lot of women shoot because they want to empower themselves, have an equal chance to defend themselves and increase their ability by stepping out of their comfort zone.
"Women are very much into embracing that type of activity these days," White said. "Probably anywhere between 45 and 55 percent of the people that come through wanting to learn and to take classes and your first-timers getting that first firearm are women, and they nail it. They do everything just right."
Posted by Zee at 12:15 PM