By Shari Spivack
New Jersey --(Ammoland.com)- I am female and I am a gun owner. I am also a firearms instructor, an OC spray instructor and a range safety officer. I am also a mother and a social worker. In the past year I started working at a gun counter.
I am currently the only female working in the hunting department at my store and I really enjoy my job. The regular customers know me by now and the new ones who come in are overwhelmingly welcoming.
I get many positive comments from customers especially those with a female in their household who has experience with guns. Even so, ignoring the few that aren’t worthy of repeating, there are still some very interesting comments that come my way.
I often get asked if I own guns and why I like guns. I don’t mind answering people who ask nicely. I also get asked if I used to be a police officer. I’ve been assured by several customers that I’m far “tougher” than their wives and that I must be Italian. Well, while I wouldn’t necessarily mind being any of the aforementioned things; in fact, I was never a police officer, at a petite five feet tall I doubt I’m much tougher than anyone’s wife and I’m not Italian.
I see all kinds of people buying guns, men and women, teachers and firefighters, the young and the elderly. I see a number of women buying guns for themselves. I see couples who come in together to pick out guns for sport and home defense. What I don’t see frequently enough are men who are encouraging their wives to learn to shoot. I too often hear men say that either A. their wives don’t like guns or B. they don’t want their wives anywhere near guns or C. combination of A and B.
As with any situation we are presented with in life, education opens the door to making good choices. For example, responsible gun owners know that education is the key to children’s safety. We teach our children, with good reason, not to touch guns when they are not under the supervision of an adult. We provide them with the information they need to make the right choice in a potentially dangerous situation. Hiding the fact that we own guns does not give our children the tools they need to make the right decisions when they are faced with a situation where a gun is present.
Why would a man not want his wife, girlfriend, daughter to have the same opportunity? When presented with a situation of danger why should she be denied the education necessary to make the right choice? The right choice could mean to know how to avoid the situation entirely. The right choice could mean knowing how to fight her way out. The right choice could be to be prepared shoot to protect her life – or the life of someone in her care, her child, her father, her husband.
A gentleman came in to buy a safe the other day and he said he would have to think about whether or not to give his wife the key. He was not joking. I asked him how he could consider NOT giving her the key. Does he travel? Is she ever home alone? What if he was engaged with an intruder and then there turned out to be more than one. Would he not want her to have the choice to protect herself? It baffles me that someone would believe a woman was not capable of handling herself in these situations. Women are strong. In fact we may not be as physically strong as men, but we are made of a much stronger constitution than we get credit for. And we have a natural instinct when it comes to protecting our children.
I am not advocating forcing anyone to learn to shoot if they are strongly opposed to it. And if someone tells me they would not be able to shoot in a life or death situation then that person should not have a gun in their home that is strictly for protection. However, there are still benefits to learning how to handle a firearm. One never knows when a gun will end up in her hand. If I was lost in the woods and I knew how to rub two sticks together to make a fire I might be able to save my life and maybe the life of another person who was with me. If I ended up with a gun in my hand in an extreme situation I would want to know what to do with it. I could possibly save my life or the life of someone else.
Most of us will thankfully never encounter these types of extreme situations in our lifetime. But I would certainly prefer to have the skills and then decide whether or not to use them.
Some people own guns to exercise their right to do so. Many people own guns for sport or hobby. Some will purchase guns for home defense. I have encountered all of these people at work. And all of these reasons are valid.
Whether you are young or old, a man or a woman, you should have the education to decide if shooting a gun is something you are comfortable with or enjoy doing and the right to own one if you so choose.
Visit Shari Spivack at www.zeroinstyle.com