Shooting, hunting, going to competitions and all together safely handling firearms is something very normal in my household. However, as I continue to advocate for the shooting sports, I have discovered that there are many misunderstandings and stereotypes about shooters. Here are the top 5 I hate most:
1. Shooters are violent
Seriously, did some delusional psychologist somewhere test some rats or monkeys to come up with this hypothesis? Give me a break! If you’ve ever had a chance to enjoy some time with competitors or recreational shooters, you know exactly the opposite is usually true – we are very “chill” people who are mostly family oriented, love the outdoors and are very mindful of the safe use of firearms. Part of it is because we’ve released our stress & frustrations on the range already; and part of it is because we do not take the responsibility of carrying a weapon lightly.
2. Shooters are ultra conservative
Just because I love my guns doesn’t mean I will necessarily vote Republican. Believe it or not, there are other issues that matter to us. And even if I vote republican (for lack of a better alternative), there is a whole spectrum of levels of “conservative” or “liberal”. As the chart from Pew Research below suggests, despite the trend towards increased polarization over the last few years, there are still a TON of people who fall somewhere in the middle grey area, myself included.
3. Shooters want to walk around with AR-15s on the street
Somewhere along the way of the Open Carry debate, a small but jointly misguided segment of folks decided it was a good idea to strap AR-15s or AK-47s on their backs and stroll around the neighborhood. Propagating open carry is a lame excuse for simply wanting attention. These people are silly if they think this will evoke a positive change and the shooting community at large does not support or condone such behavior! Equating gun rights advocates like myself to these people is just as ludicrous and I will have none of it. Bitch out done.
4. Shooters are a bunch of redneck hillbillies
Some may very well be. But then again some liberals may be communists, while certain conservatives may be fascists. Some politicians may actually tell the truth… Please don’t equate the whole to a small segment, people! Because many of us – who have post-graduate degrees, prosperous careers, own homes without wheels and enjoy the company of our families without in-breeding – tend to get rather pissed off when called something we clearly are not (nothing against hillbillies here – they are a victim of stereotypes too plus I love all of God’s creatures).
5. Shooting is only for men
I double dog dare someone to come say this to my face! :D
The very fact you’re reading this blog (and probably shaking your head in agreement or at least laughing) proves gender roles are not as clearly defined and straightforward as they were, let’s say, 50 years ago (Reminder: this is a shooting blog ran by women). While I am not huge on feminism (isn’t that another form of polarization?), I firmly believe both men & women can and should enjoy whatever hobby or occupation their heart desires. Period.
6. Shooters get aroused by guns
No, wait, this one is actually true. Sorry, we can’t help it! :)
These are just some of the shooter stereotypes that really push my buttons. What stereotypes drive you nuts?
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Your friendly neighborhood gun lady,