Guns Open Doors Of Opportunity
Gun World|September 2017
Guns Open Doors Of Opportunity

A Shooting Competition In Russia Emphasizes The Importance Of Freethinking And How It Opens The Door For Women Shooters.

Becky Yackley

Women the world over face many of the same challenges and want the same things: to be respected and to live free and safe.

Living free often means thinking free, and for women, that’s not always easy. I think Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy summed it up well with these words:

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking … ”

I just spent a couple weeks seeing the results of freethinking as I traveled to Russia to compete in the first-ever IPSC Rifle World Shoot. Some of the stories from women I met on this trip resonate with me because of the similarities to stories I see from women the world over. These are women who think freely and ignore what is commonly accepted and participate in a sport that is uncommon as a whole—but even more so for females.

These are women who are involved in a sport that is historically considered a man’s sport: shooting guns. But these women embody qualities that, above all else, make them strong. They use tools that are generally not considered “feminine” but have turned them into tools to open doors for themselves. Some of those doors are bigger than others; some are more important than others. But the overarching theme is that women who compete with firearms tend to embody qualities that we would like any adult to have, but especially women; qualities such as self-sufficiency, strength, tenacity and responsibility.


Just as with any tool, learning to use a gun is important. And who our teachers are impacts the way we use that tool. If we paint a picture but are only taught to paint with three colors, our picture is limited. If we have a palette with more options, we can paint something richer and deeper.


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September 2017