Women, Their Reasons for Gun Ownership, and What That Means for Your Business

Nearly 9 million firearm background checks were filed in the United States from January 2012 through the end of June 2012, according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). A topic discussed in many articles is the increase of women pursuing gun ownership. In fact, 43% of women report personally owning a gun in 2011, as compared to only 13% in 2005 (Saad; Carroll). With more women owning guns and more women interested in firearms in general, it is important that a gun store intentionally market to women, ensuring that they feel welcome and safe in what is traditionally a male dominated industry (Bestul; McCombie). Women have different views on and reasons for owning firearms. The following article will outline two of these views and potential marketing techniques for those ideals.

One very common reason for owning a gun is self-defense. Women who desire a gun for this reason may have varying levels of experience with firearms. For instance, it may be that she intends to buy the gun, place it unloaded in a closet and forget about it. She does not intend or expect to have to use it, but it provides a sense of peace by having it. At the same time, she is apprehensive and unprepared to ever use the weapon. It could be, on the other hand, that the woman who is looking to purchase is fairly familiar with guns, having grown up around them. She is fairly comfortable shooting the gun. On occasion she may practice shooting, but this is usually more to make sure the gun still works than to improve her skill (Blair). This woman is looking for a gun that functions easily and has low maintenance requirements. A woman with this view is likely already looking for a firearm; she just needs a reason to come to your business. Through your advertising, you must display knowledge, and the ability to instill self-confidence in these customers through proper firearms training, whether through willingness to give advice, offering her discounts on training and practice time if your store is equipped to do so, or to encourage her to pursue courses through a local facility. To help make these women comfortable in your store, the addition of a female employee to assist them with their decisions would be a wise business choice. Other options include: carrying feminine firearms and accessories (i.e. guns with color options, conceal carry accessories designed for women, firearms that are fitted to the female anatomy, in regards to both strength and build issues, etc.), displaying gender-neutral decorations in the store, and avoiding political propaganda and divisive conversations, as much as possible.

Another type of female consumer, who is generally rarer, is the avid shooter. She has likely been around guns all of her life, shoots with regularity, and has no qualms about firearms (Blair). This woman likely spends a lot of time in gun stores, and feels fairly comfortable regardless of decor or the gender of employees, although a female employee and neutral decor is still beneficial. However, care should be taken not to assume that she is inexperienced with firearms. Employees should be sure to treat her with respect and courteousness at all times, even before he or she is sure of how much experience that this customer has. This customer is not as likely to pursue pink firearms, but will generally lean towards the firearm that is better suited for the female anatomy (i.e. length of pull, grip and hammer placement suited for smaller hands, a balance between lightness and amount of recoil, adjustable fore grip distance, adjustable comb for cheek weld, telescopic butt stock, etc.). Be sure to keep a decent amount of stock that suits the female build. Also, stay knowledgeable and up to date on what firearms and accessories are helpful for women, and avoid anything that is just a gimmick. Ultimately, the prudent gun store business owner will be sure to treat all customers equally and with respect, regardless of any perceived attributes. In so doing, all persons will feel welcome in your store, increasing the potential customer base for your business.

Sources

Bestul, S. (2011). Selling Handguns to Women. SHOT Business, 19(2), 24.

Blair, M., & Hyatt, E. M. (1995). The Marketing of Guns to Women: Factors Influencing Gun-Related Attitudes and Gun Ownership by Women. Journal Of Public Policy & Marketing, 14(1), 117-127.

Carroll, Joseph. (2005). Gun Ownership and Use in America. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/Gun-Ownership-Use-America.aspx.

McCombie, B. (2011). The Untapped Opportunity. SHOT Business, 19(5), 42-47.

Saad, Lydia. (2011). Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/Self-Reported-Gun-Ownership-Highest-1993.aspx.

A Solution to Gun Violence

A true solution to gun violence does NOT lie with regulating law-abiding citizens. It should be obvious – even to pea-brained politicians – that the causes of gun violence are criminals.

While it’s easy for the government to punish the innocent through legislation and feel as though they’re addressing the problem, increased legislation targeting law-abiding citizens will have absolutely no impact on crimes committed by criminals with guns.

“Why not?”, you may ask. It’s simple: criminals break the law so it’s impossible to enact a specific law that will stop criminals from perpetrating crimes. Laws that merely make it more difficult for someone to protect themselves or their families only work to benefit the criminal.

If I were a criminal, I know I’d target people who weren’t likely to, or couldn’t, fight back. It’s much safer for the criminal that way, and they don’t want to get hurt while committing crimes any more than the victim wants to get hurt during a crime. Doesn’t this make sense? So tell me: how does it make any sense to hand criminals MORE victims through legislation? It obviously doesn’t make sense, but it’s easier to feel as though you’re addressing the problem if you’re doing something – even if it’s the wrong thing.

There are two root causes of gun violence that need to be addressed, and are mainly ignored since addressing them is difficult. Those two issues are: 1. ILLEGAL guns, and 2. Criminals.

While screaming about “gun control,” it’s proponents seem to ignore a very real and true fact: that guns don’t, and have never, killed ANYONE. It’s the PERSON who does the killing. It’s the PERSON who made that choice and committed the act. The PERSON chose to put that gun in their hand and pull the trigger. The gun is simply an instrument.

And I can hear gun control proponents saying, “But guns make it easier to kill!” I freely admit that guns can make it more convenient to kill a larger number of victims. But truthfully, a criminal who wants to commit such an act will find a tool. Someone running around the mall with a samurai sword can kill just as many people before police arrive as can someone with a gun. Someone could drive a car through the mall and kill a bunch of people too. Or simply blow them up. There are many ways to accomplish such a thing, and it’s the person, not the instrument, who is responsible. We, as a society, need to remember that.

And let’s not forget that we accept other things into our lives that kill far more people than even illegal guns – legally prescribed medication, for example. On average, legally prescribed medicines kill over 100,000 people per year – second only to heart disease. But no one mentions that, and those deaths are accepted because medicines help millions of others. Well, not surprisingly, legally armed citizens, and the police, use guns to thwart or stop many thousands of crimes every year – crimes that could easily have ended in the victim’s death. Yet the media fails to mention that, too.

So what do we do about gun violence?

As previously mentioned, we need to focus on stopping illegal guns, and criminals who commit violent acts. Even though these are much harder than punishing the innocent, they’re the only things that will have a positive effect and help to reduce gun violence.

Stopping illegal guns is difficult, since there are varied sources for illegal guns. I suspect the main source of illegal guns used in most street crimes is theft from homes and businesses. If that’s true, then it may be wise to focus legislation on gun security, rather than gun control.

But even more important is to focus on criminals – the criminals who steal the guns, then use them to victimize the populace. The solution to this problem is more simple than it may seem on the surface. However, our legal system would need to be adapted to these solutions, and it may also be necessary to address housing a temporarily increased number of prisoners. However, by using these solutions, I firmly believe the number of criminals will ultimately decrease.

Here are the solutions I believe will help to drastically reduce violent crimes:

1) The punishment needs to EXCEED the crime. Prison could be a deterrent to crime if the price of getting caught – for even minor offenses – is much greater than the potential gain. I believe that any criminal convicted of any sort of assault should have a minimum 25 year sentence without parole. That may seem extreme, but that’s the only way to use incarceration as a deterrent.

2) No suspended sentences. If they do the crime, they do the time.

3) Have a nationalized death penalty for extreme cases.

4) Allow citizens to protect themselves and their families without fear of legal reprisal from criminals or their families. Someone who legally and correctly defends their life should NOT have to be subjected to any legal proceeding brought by the criminal or their family. If local law enforcement investigation finds the action justified, then the matter is dropped and everyone can happily accept that a criminal got what was due.

5) Consider implementing standards for gun storage in the home or business, to reduce the chances of criminals breaking in and acquiring guns.

6) Make a thorough background check necessary to purchase a gun. There’s no harm in having a permit system to purchase guns. This maintains the right to purchase, and may help weed out some people who have no business owning a firearm. It’s OK if this initial background check and getting the permit to purchase takes a little time. Chances are good that someone who wants a firearm in a hurry wants it for an illicit purpose.

7) Make tactical firearms training mandatory for anyone who wishes to carry a weapon. Make home defense training mandatory for anyone who wishes to have a firearm at home for defense. A system similar to getting a drivers license is reasonable. Get a permit to learn, take the training, then take a test to prove you can safely use the training. That may seem like an “infringement” of Second Amendment rights, but I believe it’s a necessary infringement since other people’s lives can be deeply affected by defensive actions a legally armed person may take. In addition, it’s foolish to have the gun without the training. It’s unsafe for everyone under those circumstances, and I find it reasonable to have some sort of minimum training standard that ensures proficiency and protects the safety of others.

Focusing on the things I’ve mentioned in this article can make a real difference in gun violence. More legislation to limit the actions of people who already follow the law is wasted time, energy, and money. Let’s spend our tax dollars wisely, and impress upon our sometimes misguided representatives the need to work on the real problems, rather than continuing to add more laws that only punish the innocent and have no affect on the guilty.

Tippmann A5 Paintball Gun Review

It’s common for most scenario woodsball players to start with a cheap priced basic model paintball gun and then upgrade to a more expensive, advanced marker later. The problem with this is breaking your bank by purchasing two guns when you’re really only going to use the most recent one you bought. Upgrading to a new tactical marker also means starting over breaking it in and possibly finding out you’re now stuck with something that isn’t as good as the marker you’ve replaced that now lives in your closet. This is why so many woodsball enthusiasts choose the Tippmann A5 paintball gun. Whether you play the front position or a sniper, most players who buy an A5 marker for sale as their first paintball gun continue to stay with it for as long as they enjoy the game. With a cool tactical look and cheap price, this scenario weapon is a first choice for beginners. After playing with it for a while and seeing how sturdy, easy to maintain and upgradable it is, many can’t bear to part with it as their skills progress in the game.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced player, the Tippmann A5 offers the best combination of realism, performance and sturdiness you will find offered for a price that seems too low. With a durable, aluminum body, this paintball gun is virtually indestructible and has a nice weighted feel to it, offering not only an authentic feel but a good stable base for steadier aiming. The Tippmann A5 marker features a new technology called the Cyclone Feed System which can fire up to 15 balls/second without batteries. This feature also reduces paintball breakage inside the gun, making cleaning much easier and improving reliability of your shots. As a sniper, the Tippmann A5 paintball gun has plenty of power and accuracy without any aftermarket upgrades; as a front player, the A5’s compact body and lightning speed will give you the edge to make bold moves. The Tippmann A5 also features an in-line bolt system allowing this cheap priced tactical marker to be field stripped in less than 60 seconds without tools. This means it’s super easy to clean for maintenance or upgrading with new parts.

Another reason why so many woodsball players keep their Tippmann A5 markers for their entire scenario careers is because this gun is so versatile. Despite the nearly countless aftermarket upgrades available for sale, the A5 is already one of the best tactical paintball guns right out of the box. This marker comes with built in front and rear sling mounts for ease of carrying on your shoulder and adds to the realistic look. Another cool looking built in Tippmann A5 feature is the sturdy vertical grip that also adds terrific stability for much more accurate shooting. The 8.5″ high performance ported barrel offers plenty of accuracy and distance for most players however many sniper barrels exist should you want an even farther shot. The Tippmann A5 has a low profile hopper that helps keep the gun’s compact profile and works well for adding optics and lasers to deck it out even more. With so many cheap priced accessories available for this scenario paintball gun, the A5 makes the best base marker for developing your own tactical creation for super fun, realistic woodsball combat.

If there are any cons to the Tippmann A5, it would be the gun’s weight. Compared to some of the lighter tactical markers, this base model gun is somewhat heavy. For scenario games that are of average length (30 minutes to 1½ hours), the weight of the Tippmann A5 is not even noticeable. However extended games that last for numerous hours or cover a significant area to travel, the A5 can get a bit weighty. While this marker makes a terrific base for a custom assault rifle or realistic military replica, its weight should be taken into account if you’re going to use it in the big scenario games like DDay. For a front man who likes to stay on the go with lots of fast movement, the A5 paintball gun may not be the best tool. Without any additional parts, this gun is nicely compact however for a nicely sized SMG. There are just as many that also think the weight of this Tippmann marker lends to a more realistic tactical gun.

With such a simple, sturdy design, you won’t find another scenario woodball marker for sale at such a cheap price that offers such reliable, consistent performance. Despite the fact that you will rarely have to service the Tippmann A5 paintball gun, it comes with a solid 2-year warranty from one of the most dependable companies in the business. Tippmann has been in business for more than 25 years and are known for not only great reliable products but also terrific customer service should you need it. Easy to upkeep and super fun to upgrade, this is a paintball gun you will love to shoot for a long time; the Tippmann A5 is a great buy.