All over the country this June, young girls will head out to go shoot something. They will be attending the First Annual National Take Your Daughters To The Range Day! This event, held on June 9th, will be an opportunity for gun ranges throughout the nation to introduce many young women to a sport that may just become a life-long hobby, or even profession.
Whether it is a pistol, a rifle, or a shotgun, girls six and up will be able to find their firearm of choice and continue a shooting tradition that helped make this country great.
Range owners across the nation can attest to the incredible numbers of women who have become interested in shooting in recent years, to the tune of 15-20 million female gun owners – and that’s not even counting the number of women who shoot a gun belonging to the man in their life. So the numbers are there and rising, causing manufacturers nationwide to take notice and produce thousands of new gun-related products designed just for women.
And whereas men have typically taken their sons out to hunt or to the range with them, many times daughters (and moms) have been left at home – but not anymore! National Take Your Daughters To The Range Day co-founder and firearms instructor, Lynne Finch, believes it’s time to tear down the stereotypes and get those young ladies out to the range where they belong.
“Boys learn to shoot in Scouts or with their Dads,” Lynne said. “Often, the girls are left behind because shooting isn’t ‘girly.’ Well, we can, and do shoot, and well. Learning to shoot gives young women confidence, helps to build self-esteem, and introduces them to a sport they can participate in their whole lives.”
Lynne said she had previously assumed that most women came to shooting through a desire for self-defense, and that she had not been aware of the fun and family aspects of the sport. But after reading world-champion shooter Julie Golob’s book “Shoot,” which describes the world of competitive shooting, and asking questions through her blog, Female and Armed, http://femaleandarmed.blogspot.com/, Lynne came to understand that women shoot for many different reasons and in many different capacities.
“I have grown since I started shooting,” she said. “I’m more confident, it helped my sense of self-esteem to learn a new sport, and I know I can defend myself. More than that…it is fun! More women are coming to shooting, [so] wouldn’t it be wonderful to encourage parents to teach their daughters to shoot? A family bonding experience, a great experience for young girls, maybe even introduce someone who is new to the sport to something they can enjoy the rest of their lives.”
Lynne said she shared her thoughts with now co-founder, Evan Carson, also her handgun instructor, and the idea for a National Day was born.
So if you live near a range, spread the word about National Take Your Daughters To The Range Day, or better yet, volunteer to help them host an event. Promotional materials should be available online soon at little to no charge – and if you don’t have a daughter, adopt one for the day! It could make a huge difference in her life.