Beth Walker recently traveled to Washington, D.C., as the Indiana Representative of the DC Project, along with a small handful of women from other states. I caught up with her at A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League National Conference in Colorado where she had presented on Second Amendment advocacy, something she is very passionate about, and is the reason why she is involved with the DC Project.
Sponsored by Ruger
First of all, what’s going on with your involvement in the shooting sports these days?
I will be attending multiple matches over the next seven months, as well as multiple teaching events throughout the summer and fall. I will be teaching things like competition rifle and competition pistol skills as a representative of Ruger. 3 Gun is my main focus for competition shooting and I do that as a sponsored shooter for Ruger and other amazing companies in the industry. I am so blessed to have the support of companies that support the Second Amendment and the shooting sports, and give me the ability to travel and work the way I do.
How did you get involved in Second Amendment advocacy and in the DC Project?
It was kind of accidental. The girl who was representing Indiana in the first year couldn’t get time off work to go to D.C. So, I was asked by a mutual friend of Di’s [Dianna Muller]. I was 15 that first year, and my mom and I went to DC.
What is your role with the DC Project?
I’m the Indiana state director, the social media director and a member of the national advisory board.
The original trip for the whole group had to be cancelled. How was it determined who went to this quickly-planned trip?
It was mostly the national advisory board, along with women who have a story. Women who many people would normally think would be anti-gun because of something that happened to them. But instead of turning them against guns, they have taken that event in their life to further the work to preserve Second Amendment rights.
What did you get to do in DC that you really wanted?
We really wanted to create relationships with pro-gun legislators and offer ourselves as a resource. I think we met with around 40 legislators in total, either at in-person receptions, email or through zoom. We really wanted to let them know that there’s another narrative besides Moms Demand Action. There’s been such negative cultural images of gun owners, we want to change that.
Do you feel that you accomplished that goal?
Yes, it’s already led to our input on legislation like Red Flag laws, universal background checks, and opposition to ATF nominee, David Chipman. It was really valuable to put faces with names. Before, they couldn’t see our actions behind our words, but now they know us and know what we are doing and trying to accomplish.
What didn’t you get to do that you really wanted?
I would have liked to do more social media coverage. I know how much of an impact that makes and I just wish I would have captured more to help spread our message.
What was your biggest “wow” moment of the visit?
It was the last night at the reception. We had 38 RSVPs from legislators on the pro-gun side. I got to stand up and talk to about 18 of them. I was impressed; they really paid attention and listened to me. They were really down-to-earth. They responded well. It shows me there is hope, even if it doesn’t seem like it most days. There really are legislators who see themselves as public servants.
What do you plan to do next?
Oh, gosh. Right now, I’m working full time, traveling and shooting, and teaching. What I would like to be able to do is go to campus events to reach the next generation. I’d like to set up debates with the “anti” side, so that students could hear both sides and it would be an educational experience for them. I am also an ambassador for Turning Point USA and have spoken through them. Right now, being so busy, the campus events may have to come a little later, but I really want to show my generation that they are being bombarded by negative messages that aren’t true. I will do any educational speaking opportunity that I can.
How do you think more young people could get involved?
Social media is the biggest influence for my generation – being able to offer messages that counter the negative. I’ve had kids from my graduating class contact me and asked to be trained. I can see that all they need is education in order to support the Second Amendment. But right now, they are being brainwashed from every angle: the media, Hollywood, schools. Because of all that, they have preconceived notions and simply lack education. The glorification of violence everywhere gives people a bad taste. But if we can counter it and show them that we believe in the Second Amendment because we love our families and because we want to protect our families, I think that will be the biggest driver of support for my generation.
Nancy Keaton is a retired college administrator, president of her local gun club, competitive shooter and freelance writer whose work has appeared in A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, "American Shooting Journal," "American Concealed," "Northwest Meetings + Events," and other publications. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics and interviewing ordinary people doing amazing things. To see a compilation of her writing, check out https://nancykeaton.contently.com. View all posts by Nancy Keaton
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