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Outside My Comfort Zone - Recruit New Singers!

Why Introducing People To The Shooting Sports Matters

By: by Deb Ferns

Outside My Comfort Zone is a series of articles penned by Deb Ferns. Deb is the camp director of Babes with Bullets - women’s action shooting programs held across the country. She is also is the author of "Babes with Bullets…Women having fun with guns”. Deb is a board member of the Women’s Outdoor Media Association. With her husband, Gary, she enjoys a wide variety of shooting sports, though her favorite is multi-gun action events with rifle, shotgun and pistols . Her other hobbies include yoga, fishing and she is just starting to explore hunting.

Several times a year I’m invited to speak at a variety of events; most of them pro-gun, like Friends of the NRA, Cabela’s, Tea Party or Republican regional meetings. Every now and then a more anti-gun group will invite me to share my views as well; seems they aren’t quite sure what to think of a woman who shot a gun for the first time at age 45, has an MBA, a white collar career and was basically a soccer mom for many years. “What happened to her that she’s so crazy about guns now” is the common whisper I hear. I address that concern within the first minute at the podium with a simple statement presented in a cheerful voice, “I spent the first 45 years of my life not being educated about several tools; one of them was firearms. I’m working on my next 45 years to be a bit more productive.” I don’t call people stupid or ignorant and I don’t meet angst with more angst. I’m upfront that my mission in life is not to just preach to the 2nd Amendment choir; it’s to recruit new singers!

In this case I ask the folks to hold back critiquing my song till I at least get the words out of my mouth. My song in this case is being one of the founders of a program called Babes with Bullets ™. The program was started, and continues seven years later, to be about firearms safety and education taught to women by women. I don’t hide my passion or my mission under a rock; I’m upfront that I believe God gives each of us special gifts. Think of it as though we are each given a check as a gift, signed by God and without an amount on it so you can use it at your own discretion. You can either cash that check; use it to help yourself and help others or leave it lying on the dresser. My special gift is energy and an ability to reach out to other women who are uncomfortable with firearms and reassure them they can be taught the skills to handle a gun appropriately.

My intention, and the intention of every instructor at our camps, is to educate and encourage women regardless of their political party. Furthermore we have no interest in frightening a woman into owning or handling a firearm because of a possible “Armageddon” down the road. Instead think about the emerging world of shooting sports and hunting that is reaching out to women to try something outside their comfort zone. It has nothing to do with “Armageddon” and everything to do with American women stepping up!

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