In 1920, 24-year old Tennessean Harry Burns cast the single deciding vote on the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Members of our modern American society can’t imagine women not voting, not being soldiers and not being cops. So, why’s it so strange or newsworthy that a woman might own, carry and use a gun?

Beats me. But maybe I’m biased, sheltered or possibly just a backwards hillbilly. You see, I grew up in the Scotch-Irish settled Appalachian Mountains. There, a woman with a gun was not unusual. My mother hunted and taught me and Sis to do the same. She was never afraid to load her shotgun, and my sister frequently carries a pistol and knows how to use it.

Protection & More

The mainstream media likes to make a big deal out of women gun owners—especially if that gun happens to be a pistol they keep for personal protection. For example, a staff writer for the Dayton Daily News reported as recently as February 3, 2012, that, “More than one in five who have applied to carry concealed handguns in [Ohio’s] Butler, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties are women, and owners of local gun stores and shooting ranges say women are increasingly participating in training and target practice.”

Is this really news? Maybe. It’s probably good that it is reported, as it kind of puts bad guys on alert. However, guns—in their broadest sense—are not gender-specific items. They are merely tools used for protection or as a pastime. This puts them in the same category as a cell phone you might use to call 911 or to waste your time on while playing some $2 app. When was the last time you read a news story breaking down cell phone ownership by gender?

My friend Jerry Dove owns the local firearms emporium where I live. He also teaches concealed carry classes full of men and women. In fact, Jerry tells me about half his students are women. I talk with instructors all over the country and the message is the same—more women are becoming gun owners and shooters.

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