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- Aug 12, 2007
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- somewhere near Lake Michigan
Though they may share a fierce belief in the Second Amendment with their male counterparts, female gun owners often learn to shoot for different reasons, their interest in and proficiency with firearms not just a hobby or a means for self-defense, but a statement of independence and personal power.
Tina Wilson-Cohen, a former Secret Service agent who founded She Can Shoot, a women’s league with 10 chapters and 3,000 members across the country, said 90 percent of women who joined did so because “they’ve been a victim at one point of their life, of stalking or date rape or domestic violence, or they have just felt so vulnerable, and they want to feel competent and like they can protect themselves.”
Firearms also often carry a different meaning for women than for men, who grow up with Hollywood images of guns that tell them “this is what a real man looks like and that’s how a real man acts, and it’s kind of delusional, really,” Ms. Wilson-Cohen said.
“We don’t see women acting like this,” she said. “It doesn’t have that bad-*** mentality attached to it.”
Yet women who shoot recreationally often find themselves confronting the misconceptions of the non-gun-owning public, said Mary Stange, a professor of women’s studies and religion at Skidmore College and a co-author of “Gun Women: Firearms and Feminism in Contemporary America.”