As this sport begins to grow and its popularity starts to reach the general public, some shooters are really beginning to stand out as “celebrities” in the 3-Gun/Shooting world. Certain shooters are becoming household names and their Facebook and YouTube accounts are blowing up with new followers daily. As a new shooter you begin to look up to these competitors as role models, especially female shooters. With the female presence growing in the sport, female shooters are getting a ton of attention from firearms companies trying to attract more women to purchase their products. So, naturally, you may have a “fan girl” moment every now and then. You know, one of those moments when you freak out or freeze up because you saw a famous person that you have been idolizing since the beginning of time (or just since you began shooting).
I, luckily, had the chance to go to the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, TN a couple months ago and had the opportunity to meet some of these women. It was hard for me to hide my nerves and actually approach these ladies to say hi. I begin to question myself: Why am I so nervous? Probably because this girl’s talent is overwhelming and her popularity is intimidating. But they are just regular people? No, regular people don’t have over 10,000 followers on their social media pages. Just act cool, maybe they won’t think you’re weird. You are weird.
Or you have over 300,000 likes, no big deal….
Anyway, when it came time to meet these women, guess what? They were totally cool and acted like we had been friends forever. They accepted my weirdness when I wasn’t able to form complete sentences because my brain had left my body at the exact moment I approached them. They were great at avoiding the awkwardness that sometimes occurs when you can’t find anything to say by posing for pictures, asking about how my shooting season was going, and even volunteered advice and helpful tips to improve on.
The thing we tend to forget is that these ladies are just like you and me. They love to shoot and they want to get more women involved in the sport. They are not selfish, and they are not rude or snobby. They are aware of the responsibilities that come with being a public figure for the 3-Gun/Shooting industry and use their popularity, for lack of a better term, in a positive way to promote the sport (and our 2nd amendment rights).
Sometimes, women find other women to be unapproachable, you may even feel intimidated as though you are not worthy to speak to such talent. This stems from the idea that women are generally catty and jealous of each other, but I have not found that to be the case in this sport. My advice, don’t be scared. We all need to embrace each other and support each other. We are all working towards the same goal, which is changing the image of female shooters and having the industry accept us as serious competitors, among other things. I have messaged these women several times on Facebook and I have asked a ton of questions, and every time they have given me an honest and helpful response.
So if you are nervous about sending a pro a message about their shotgun loading technique, or you want to know how they would handle a certain situation, I encourage you to ask them. More than likely, you will get a response, and they will be genuinely interested in helping you. (Take into consideration that you are probably not the only person messaging them, so give them some time to get back to you.) And if you see one of these ladies out at a match, and they are not getting ready to shoot, say hey!! Let them know you follow them on Facebook, and that you liked the video they posted the other week. Tell them their hair looks good, you think their target to target transition is great; speak to them like you would any other friend. You’ll be surprised. I was.
It’s okay to be a fan girl in this 3-Gun world, because if we can’t be fans of ourselves as shooters, it will be impossible to gain fans outside of our sport.
1 Peter 4:10-11
” Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”