The gun totin’ gals of the Oklahoma City chapter of the A Girl & A Gun shooting club feel right at home on the gun range.
Every other Tuesday night at the H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City, the ladies get together for a social evening of fun, friendship and firing a few bullets.
The A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League was formed in Texas three years ago, and chapters are spreading across the country. The Oklahoma City chapter is the only one in the state and has more than 50 members.
Members of the Oklahoma City chapter come from all ages and all skill levels. Women join for different reasons. Some were already experienced shooters and even instructors. Others are new to the sport.
Some want to learn to use a gun primarily for self-defense reasons. Others just enjoy shooting recreationally. Some members of the club even compete in shooting contests, and others are hunters.
All of them, though, agree that being in a women’s only shooting club and learning from other female shooters is more comfortable for them than having the men around.
“Sometimes for a man to teach a woman to shoot, it’s a little intimidating,” said Stacy Card, 35, of Moore, who has been shooting for 21/2 years and is the chapter facilitator. “We just learn better from other women, I think.”
Card asked her father to take her to the gun range for the first time because she just wanted to give it try.
“I fell in love with it,” she said. “Before long, I was inviting a bunch of women from my church to come with me.”
Don and Vondilee McCurdy of Oklahoma City have been married 59 years. At age 77, Vondilee is the oldest member of the Oklahoma City chapter. Don heard about the women-only shooting club and persuaded his wife to join.
They have been shooting together about 10 years, and Vondilee owns a 9mm pistol. Don paid a police officer to teach her how to safely handle a gun and learn to shoot.
“Best $25 I ever spent,” Don said. “She liked to stay home and crochet, but I finally got her out (shooting) so we could do something together. It’s a sport we can enjoy together. Now, I have got her another gun ordered.”
Vondilee wasn’t gung ho about guns at first. She didn’t expect to like shooting a gun when she first pulled the trigger on one.
“I thought I would try it. I would give it a chance,” Vondilee said. “I didn’t know if I would last or not. But after I got started, I just kind of enjoyed it.”
Don said since his wife is now shooting, it’s made Christmas shopping much easier for the both of them.
“Everybody wants guns,” he said.
It was Lori Kelly’s first night shooting with the A Girl & A Gun chapter on Tuesday. She came because she wants to be more confident handling a gun.
“I’ve tried several different ones. Right now, I am shooting a .38 revolver,” she said. “I am not a novice, but I am not real experienced, either. I am somewhere in the middle.”
Kelly said she shoots with her husband but learned new shooting tips from the ladies-only group in her first visit.
“They have some secrets for ladies that a lot of guys probably don’t know,” she said. “I already learned a couple of things tonight. It’s a lot different shooting with women than with men. You don’t feel as intimidated, I think.”
Chrystal Rubin, 57, of Oklahoma City, wanted a gun for self-defense and discovered shooting was a lot of fun. She now owns a shotgun, a .38 revolver and a .9mm.
“It’s very exhilarating,” she said. “It’s a great stress reliever, and I love it. It’s something I never thought I would do, and it’s something my family never thought I would do.”
Kerry McNutt, 61, of Oklahoma City, started bird hunting with her husband a few years ago. She read in the newspaper about A Girl & A Gun and joined the Oklahoma City chapter a month after it was formed.
“I had not shot pistols, mainly just shotguns,” she said. “I had my concealed carry permit, but I wasn’t carrying. I thought, if I have this, I need to be comfortable with doing this.”
Now, she is comfortable with a pistol, owns three guns and is looking to buy others. Going to the gun range is a stress reliever for her and something she does without her husband.
“He’s just stayed away from it and let me do it,” she said. “All he sees is the targets when I am taking them home.”
And now she has a better idea how much money he has been spending on his hobby all these years.
“My husband said that was his worst fear, that I would find out how much this stuff really costs after all this time,” McNutt said. “Now, I am in here more than he is looking for ammo.”
For more information
To learn more about the A Girl & A Gun Shooting League, visit www.agirlandagun.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.