Last weekend at our ladies shoot I fired a 12 gauge shotgun at some stationary clays. I had no problem hitting each one or with handling the shotgun at all and I absolutely LOVED it! I was told last weekend that its “hard to miss” with a shotgun but still it was fun and now I want one.
I was feeling pretty disheartened after the election results so to make me feel a little better I went to a certin big box retailer to pick up some ammo and since I was there figured that I’d check out their shotguns. I really don’t know anything about shotguns like which brand I should get so I was happy to see 5 or so men in the sporting goods area decked out in their camo so I decided to ask if any of them had a shotgun.
Most replied “yes” and were happy to engage in a conversation about which brand they had. Nearly everyone had a Remington and one guy said he had a Mossberg. The men got what they needed, told me good luck, and left. It was now my turn at the counter.
I started by asking for my boxes of ammunition the CCI Mini Mags that Walther loves but they were sold out so I picked up some boxes of Winchester for the rifle and this is what transpired next:
Me: “If I was to get a shotgun, what kind would you recommend?”
Clerk said with concern: “Ma'am, I don’t mean to ‘downgrade women’ but you couldn’t handle one. If you do get one you should get a 20 gauge.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. At least he didn’t ask me if I wanted it in pink!
He did tell me if I wanted to buy one that I’d need to provide photo ID and go through a background check but that shouldn’t take long at all especially since I already had my pistol permit.
Just to be clear, he wasn’t NOT going to sell me a gun. This isn't like the story from a few months back, where a store clerk refused to sell a women a shotgun because it was “too much gun for her". I honestly don’t think that he meant any harm; I think that in his mind he was helping me because he believed that, as a woman, I could not handle the recoil.
So far, no matter where I go locally to purchase firearms or ammunition,* it seems that I’m treated differently, simply because I am a woman. The belief seems to be that I couldn’t possibly know about nor have a passion for firearms.
Even though I’ve been downgraded, I haven’t given up. I’m sure my perfect gun store is out there, I just haven’t found it yet!
* Editor's note: Generally speaking, Dana is located in the northeastern part of the US. Specifically, south of Canada, north of NYC and east of the Great Lakes.
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