Every month, Carrie Lightfoot, of The Well Armed Woman, and Barbara Baird, publisher of Women’s Outdoor News, choose a “fan of the month,” from a special giveaway section in show notes for their popular podcast about women and firearms. The winner receives a box of goodies from The Well Armed Woman store, is interviewed on the show by Carrie and also tells us at The WON, in her own words, about why she shoots. Meet Donna.
The WON: Why do you carry/own a gun?
Mostly for self-defense purposes. Several years ago I had my moment of realizing my own vulnerability. I think it’s a moment many of us have at some point or other. Something happens and we realize we are totally unprepared for a serious threat to our physical safety. For me, the something was beginning a new job where I find myself alone on the property at my office fairly regularly. I’m not going to lie: it can get real quiet and real creepy real fast. There is a lot of freedom in my mind now knowing that I have tools to defend myself and the training to use them.
But let’s face it, once the bug bites you, it’s also because they’re fun to shoot. Yippee ki-yay!
The WON: How did you come to shooting?
I’ve been around guns my whole life. My dad was an avid outdoorsman and took my sisters and me deer hunting every fall. So, naturally I started out with long guns – rifles. I didn’t pick up a handgun though until around age 40, when my husband and I decided it was time for us to have self-defense firearms. It was pretty weird at first, but I found that I really love pistol shooting. And training … that’s just plain fun.
What is in your “shooting future?” (Classes, purchases, adventures)
I really want my own shotgun so bad I can taste it. We’ve recently begun to explore clay shooting and I’d love to get into it more and get some serious instruction. I’ve got my sights set on a Franchi Affinity Catalyst and I wish shops would carry some of these long guns built for women in stock so I could get my hands on one.
I would also like to do some competitive shooting – like IDPA – and I hope to explore that in the near future.
The WON: What advice would you give to a woman who might be nervous about shooting?
I would say: It’s okay to be nervous; it’s not a natural thing to ask your mind and body to accept that you’re causing a small explosion in this thing in your hands. If you’ve never shot anything before, I would specifically suggest beginning with a .22 rifle. If you don’t have access to a rifle, then a .22 handgun. This is where most of us started … it’s where I started. It gives you a chance to realize that you can be safe while using the firearm without the bigger boom and recoil of the larger calibers. You realize you can be in control a little at a time as you increase the caliber of bullet you shoot.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications, including NRA, NSSF and Field & Stream. View all posts by Barbara Baird