Inspiration comes in many forms, sometimes when you least expect it. In this women gun blogger feature, Britney talks to Gabby — lover of animals, food, and all things Southern, about what sparked her to create the blog “ArmedCandy.”
Brit: Tell me a little about ArmedCandy and where the name came from.
Gabby: It would be impossible to create a term that explained all of women’s impressive qualities and wonderful contradictions, but I believe that “ArmedCandy” begins to scratch the surface. When I was considering names for my blog, I began with common phrases that might allow for a play on words. I’d heard the term “arm candy,” which I understood to mean, a hot woman who is hung on a guy’s arm and shown off at parties. I knew that the term shrunk a woman’s worth down to that of an attractive accessory, but I also felt an undercurrent of power buried in the arm candy role. A thought came to mind, “If you take a gun girl to a party, is she your ‘armed candy?’” and the name was born. To me, it’s taking a term that might belittle women and turning it into a source of pride.
When I started shooting, I met tons of pros and advanced shooters, but no other beginners like myself. I went in search of other women’s stories, but it seemed as though I was the only one who had not grown up around guns. I started blogging in order to develop a community where excited beginners could share and learn from one another.
Brit: As a beginner yourself, share with us some helpful advice that you have received.
Gabby: I’ve found that shooters love to talk about shooting. A lot. So anytime I post on Facebook or the blog I get great responses and advice. When I shared a status of, “Off to my first gun show…” the best advice came from more than a few fans, who all said, “Don’t buy anything!” That was very helpful.
Surprisingly, some of the best bits of wisdom have not directly pertained to putting lead down range. Smart gun handling and preparation has been a large portion of the advice I have gratefully received lately. Discussions about “situational awareness” and “dry firing” have taken my shooting from a fun hobby, to a serious skill.
Brit: Have you decided on a carry gun yet? If so what is it (if you don’t mind telling us)?
Gabby: Concealed carry has had more of a learning curve than I expected. I did decide on a weapon that I’m very happy with, but it’s not one of those tiny guns. It’s a Glock 26 sub-compact with some modifications, but it’s on the wider side. I’m still testing holsters, positions and clothing options. I’m learning that, no matter what, when one begins to carry a gun, most of their decisions have to include a tactical component. I’m realizing that I can’t just wear whatever I want, but I’m committed to finding tactical AND stylish options.
Brit: After the Girls Gun Getaway, I heard a buzz about some changes to your blog. What’s on the horizon for AC?
Gabby: I will soon be making some modifications to my blog, including the addition of the tag line, “She’s more than one sweet shot.” ArmedCandy signifies how women are in a constant struggle to be multiple things at once: I may be a gun enthusiast, but I am also a designer and a daughter. I began writing the blog to represent those of us who are “everyday women,” sometimes shooting or carrying concealed, but also, shopping, working, or cooking dinner for our families. While I am becoming more knowledgeable about guns, I intend to keep the perspective I had when I first began blogging.
I just finished designing a bunch of T-shirts that are now up for sale on the “AC Merch” page of the blog. There is even a shirt for the guys that say, “Real Men Like ArmedCandy.” In addition, “The ArmedCandy Shop” will launch next month, offering stylish and useful gear for women shooters.
ArmedCandy is about to welcome a number of contributors to the blog team including a grandmother, a gun smith, and another newbie/enthusiast. We hope to be able to offer even more content and perspectives about our learning experiences and share it with readers more often.
As always, I am designing and testing shooting gear and blogging about my discoveries.
Brit: How were you introduced to shooting? What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Gabby: Last summer, a guy took me to the range on a date, and I had so much fun that I kept going back. Not only did shooting make me feel great, but the people I met at the range were so nice that I just loved visiting.
I am trained as a designer, so am just as likely to be at the shooting range as I am to be at the furniture store. Then again, I might be at Home Depot planning a piece of furniture that I will attempt to construct myself. I have always been a crafter, using any materials I have on hand to construct whatever I can dream up. I like beading, scrap booking, sewing, painting, metal smithing, computer art, photography, as well as doing many projects that span all or none of those categories. At some point in my life, and in some career incarnation, I hope to combine two of my passions and design restaurant interiors.
A few years ago, I challenged myself to learn one new complex culinary feat every year. Since then I’ve been working on homemade ice cream and hand-made pasta and pizza dough from scratch. With these endeavors came a need to grow my own ingredients, so now I am gardening. I am no longer killing everything I put in the ground, but I am much better at growing herbs than flowers.
I’ve been an animal lover all my life and currently have a dog and cat, which I spoil rotten. Really, they run the house and they just let me live with them. If I ever find a free minute I like to take my dog on hikes around Georgia, but he’s kind of a wimp and prefers to relax in air conditioning rather than get dirty.