It happened again last week. I was meeting with a contractor or gun owner at my range and at the end of the conversation, he looked and me and said, “If I’d met you anywhere else, I would have no idea you shot guns.
You don’t look like you’ve ever even touched a firearm before.”
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by now. Non-shooters often think gun owners are just about everything I’m not: white, male, middle-aged or older, perhaps from the South, probably not highly educated, likely to have been a life-long shooter.
Why Gun Owners Don’t Look Like a Gun Person
Before I “came out” as a gun owner and avid shooter, there were people who had known me for years and didn’t know about that side of my life. I’m more open about it now, but I don’t always get into details. I’d like to do a little more stereotype-busting here.
It’s obvious from my pictures that I’m a young Asian woman. I did grow up in America, though, and while my stomping grounds as a child were of the small-town sort, they were up North and I never even held a real gun until I was in my mid-20s.
I’m half of a mixed-race couple – very urban of us, though we live in suburbia.
Our one and only shared hobby is shooting, which we got into after we got married and is now not only our primary weekend activity (with plenty of work during the week too) but has spilled over into the business that we’re working to launch.
In fact, we’ve celebrated every wedding anniversary with a shooting-related activity.
Before I dove full-time into the firearms industry, I was a commercial attorney and represented a series of companies as in-house counsel after a time working on large acquisitions and loans. My practice was very white-collar and very corporate.
I hold a graduate degree in addition to my law degree and am published in a peer-reviewed journal (warning: boring PDF!).
All of that geeky brainpower is now directed at studying the craft of marksmanship, finding sports psychology and other cross-disciplinary connections to shooting, and otherwise nerding out about how people can shoot guns better.
And when someone meets me today, I don’t look a whole lot different from any other casually dressed young woman.
I’m lucky to no longer have to wear the suits or business office-appropriate wardrobe of my old jobs, but aside from a decided slant towards the free shirts I get at matches, I dress like many active women: jeans or similarly-cut pants and t-shirts.
You probably won’t see me in much skin-tight clothing, but my clothes aren’t baggy and I’m not always wearing an extra vest or other layer even when I’m carrying a gun…which is to say pretty much whenever I’m out and it’s legal to carry.
I'm a gun owner. I'm serious about carrying for self-defense. I'm passionate about competing with a gun. While women are becoming a bigger part of the shooting community, they aren’t the only new demographic to appear in gun stores and on ranges.
I’m part of the new NRA type. Are you? Let us know if you look like a gun carrier in the comments.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 09, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.