Women do not be fooled, gain the education before purchasing a firearm

31 03 2012

Shiny guns, pink handles, pink accessories and the combination it all. This is marketing at its finest. Marketing to who? Women. Men are usually the ones that are gun enthusiasts and for many, many years men were the ones using those guns for competition, pleasure firing, war or hunting. Currently, women are making it known that they are a force to be reckoned with on the competition front. Women are taking trophies and placing first in many categories and could hold their own against most men.

Since sports stores, gun shops and firing ranges were successful in customizing their shops and marketing to get the men into their stores and buying their items, their focus changed to women. What better way to make more money, sell more items and provide an avenue for husbands to purchase more firearms (if the wife gets a firearm, the husband could vie for a new one himself). This is not a bad idea as long as there are people behind those counters that can actually “do the right thing” for the customer and not go through the motions to make a sale.

With manufacturers making pink pistols and pink rifles, in hopes to draw more females into their financial web, these manufacturers are making money because women are purchasing these firearms. Maybe they think they are pretty, maybe they think the pink means it won’t make a loud noise because of its feminine look or maybe they truly like the firearm AND the color pink. The fear would be that because some females are purchasing these firearms, they may not necessarily seek the education needed to safely and sufficiently operate the firearms.

Some businesses will have their salesmen that try to sell to everyone and anyone, regardless what the item is or if that person needs it. Other businesses will actually put the customer ahead of a commission if the item is not right for the customer. The dangerous thought is of the business that will convince a woman that a firearm is perfect for her just because of the color.

Conversation that was witnessed:

#1 is the woman at a sports store
#2 is the salesman behind the counter
#3 is the woman’s husband

ST: Where I interject to try and better educate those, male and females, about dealing with this situation

#1: I am looking to purchase a firearm for myself
#2: Well, that is what I do, what caliber are you looking for?
#1: I dont know
#2: Well, I have this 357 revolver that most women can fire, it is small and silver and holds 6 bullets

ST: A salesman that cares would have asked: What do you want it for? Personal Safety, Conceal carry, to practice on the range? Home Protection? Have you ever fired a pistol before?

#1: I want to be able to protect myself
#2: Salesman Puts down the 357 and picks up the 44 magnum) If you want to make a bad person go away, this will do the job (looks at the husband) you know what I mean, right sir?

#3: I have no idea about firearms at all.

#2: Oh? Well, the perfect home protection weapon is the shotgun (Puts revolver away and takes a shotgun off of the wall and cycles the slide) You hear that? That sound will scare away any intruder from your home because they know that sound.

#1: I dont know.

Thankfully they walked away. The salesman tried to convince someone that they needed to have a shotgun because the sound of the slide being racked will scare away a threat, just by the sound alone. If that women and her husband purchased that shotgun and went home, what would they do with that shotgun? Would they purchase a cabinet to house the shotgun? Would they seek the education needed to safely handle the shotgun? Would they practice moving throughout their home to see how easy or difficult it would be to move throughout with a shotgun? Would they truly believe that the sound alone would be enough to scare away an intruder? Possibly.

When looking for a firearm, first decide what you want that firearm for: pleasure (ownership, practicing on the range, to hang above a fireplace), sport (hunting, competition) or protection (personal, family, home or travel). Once you decide what you want the firearm for, then seek the education about the firearms by doing some research:
-The internet does have great information (providing the information is not opinion and can quote sources, plus wikipedia is not a 100% reliable source)
-Bookstores have numerous books on the subjects of firearms and since most sell beverages, one could go to a bookstore, buy a coffee and sit down with a book and read up on the subject.
-Gun shops and ranges have knowledgeable people that work there and by approaching them with a starting phrase such as “I am not buying today, just looking for information to make a better decision or choice”. That may shift the person behind the counter from salesman to educator.
-Library: the library is still a location that provides a copious amount of information on subjects and is free to all that want to sit and read.

Read up on caliber, size, cost, use and recommendations for the firearm. If you happen to have someone that you know that is well versed in the subject of firearms, it would be wise to ask him/her to accompany you to the gun shops as added insurance. Having a knowledgeable friend that is willing to do most of the talking to a salesperson is invaluable to a first-time gun owner.

Once you have an idea of the caliber and price range you like, it would be time to shop around. Go to a gun store or sports store and ask to see the firearms that you like or are interested in. Pick the firearm up and grip it. Evaluate the weight, size, look, feel and price. If it is too big, too pricy, too heavy, etc. then put it down and move on. If it does not fit your criteria there then it won’t get any better once you get it home. Once you are done lifting and evaluating at that store, leave. Leave the store and do not make a purchase. This will help you in the long run.

You can think about the firearms that you held and go over the pros and cons of each. If you liked one, why did you like it? Once you narrow down your search to a couple of firearms, go to a firing range and rent one that you liked. Purchase a box of ammunition and fire the pistol that you liked. This will give you a better understanding of that firearm: recoil, weight when loaded and accuracy of shots fired. If you do not already have the knowledge regarding the fundamentals of marksmanship, please attend a firearm safety course first.

If you did not like the firearm for one reason or another, rent another one. Continue renting firearms until you feel you know which one you would like to purchase. If you are considering carrying the firearm for personal protection, you should research the laws in your State to ensure you do not break any laws, especially dealing with firearms. Some locations will teach conceal carry courses and those are usually great courses for information regarding the “do’s and don’ts” of firearms and carrying in that State. Ignorance is not a defense (But officer, I didn’t know”).

If you need to seek out the education, do research on the businesses that offer safety courses to ensure the instructors are legitimate and the cost of the course is reasonable. There are many great instructors that exist in every State and they are more than willing and able to teach someone the fundamentals with firearms and the safety that must accompany firearms as well. Please do not purchase a firearm because it is pretty because “pretty” can make you a victim quickly.

There are many students that I have taught that offered up “I bought a pistol and put it in my purse and have carried it there for many years”. Having a pistol does not make you bullet-proof, nor does it guarantee safety. One on hand if you carry a firearm in your purse and you do not have a conceal permit or license you would be breaking the law. On the other hand if you carry a firearm in your purse, the items, dust, dirt and lint inside that purse could cause the firearm to malfunction when you need that firearm to function.

There is nothing wrong with a pink pistol or rifle because the pistol and rifle will still fire a bullet out of it, as long as the person that buys said pistol seeks out the education to properly fire that pistol while remaining safe. It does not take much effort to seek out the education and that education could save your life, the lives of your family and/or the lives of those around you.

Be safe, remain aware and ask questions: just because you have seen someone else use a firearm on television, movies or at the range does not mean you know how to fire a firearm safely and accurately. Gain the education today to avoid a dangerous situation tomorrow.

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1 04 2012
Armslist contest « 2zpoint Blog

[…] Women do not be fooled, gain the education before purchasing a firearm (smarttactics.wordpress.com) […]

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