Daily Picture Show

Photo 'Shoot': Girls With Guns

If you walk into a gun store these days, you might see something new: pink and purple guns, marketed directly to women. According to an NPR story, the National Shooting Sports Foundation recently showed gun store owners reporting "a 73 percent increase in female customers in 2009 from the year before."

Other similar factoids might suggest that gun ownership is on the rise for women in America. ("The NRA says it's also organizing more hunting excursions for women than ever before," the same article reads.) But something tells me that most of the women in this photo series wouldn't go for the pink guns.

  • Ginny, Long Island, N.Y., Sturm, Ruger & Co. 20-bore over-and-under. "This weekend pastime evolved into a career when Stanley Harris of Harris Publications asked me to start a hunting magazine. Sportsman's Hunting Annual was the first of many titles and the beginning of the Harris Outdoor Group. Fast forward thirty years and we have published over forty gun titles."
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    Ginny, Long Island, N.Y., Sturm, Ruger & Co. 20-bore over-and-under. "This weekend pastime evolved into a career when Stanley Harris of Harris Publications asked me to start a hunting magazine. Sportsman's Hunting Annual was the first of many titles and the beginning of the Harris Outdoor Group. Fast forward thirty years and we have published over forty gun titles."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Anita, St. Paul, Minn., Glock .40-caliber & Remington 11-81 Police Model. "I was pushing middle age the first time I held a gun. I wasn't raised around hunters and the only other cop in my family history was my great-great-grandfather. He was a cop in New York City and I imagine he carried nothing but a nightstick."
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    Anita, St. Paul, Minn., Glock .40-caliber & Remington 11-81 Police Model. "I was pushing middle age the first time I held a gun. I wasn't raised around hunters and the only other cop in my family history was my great-great-grandfather. He was a cop in New York City and I imagine he carried nothing but a nightstick."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Ashton, Atwater, Calif., Colt .45 double-action New Service revolver & Ruger .44 Magnum single-action revolver. "I don't remember when I shot my first gun — I was probably about five or six ... When I got older I got to go on different hunts with my parents, mostly bear and caribou hunts."
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    Ashton, Atwater, Calif., Colt .45 double-action New Service revolver & Ruger .44 Magnum single-action revolver. "I don't remember when I shot my first gun — I was probably about five or six ... When I got older I got to go on different hunts with my parents, mostly bear and caribou hunts."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Caitlin and Carolyn, Minneapolis, Minn. "In the sport of biathlon we use lots of skis but only one rifle. Our rifles become an extension of ourselves as we carry them with us throughout the racecourse. I love how precise the measurements and angles of each individual's rifle are."
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    Caitlin and Carolyn, Minneapolis, Minn. "In the sport of biathlon we use lots of skis but only one rifle. Our rifles become an extension of ourselves as we carry them with us throughout the racecourse. I love how precise the measurements and angles of each individual's rifle are."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Jaiden, Colorado Springs, Colo., Krieghoff K-80 12-gauge over-and-under. "I started to show potential in marksmanship while I was shooting rifle in 4-H. ... Five years later I find myself on the USA National Shotgun Team for Women's Skeet and living at the Olympic Training Center — and the rest is history!"
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    Jaiden, Colorado Springs, Colo., Krieghoff K-80 12-gauge over-and-under. "I started to show potential in marksmanship while I was shooting rifle in 4-H. ... Five years later I find myself on the USA National Shotgun Team for Women's Skeet and living at the Olympic Training Center — and the rest is history!"
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Alexandra and Truett, Houston, Texas, Ithaca 20-gauge side-by-side. "Guns, like everything in my childhood home, were considered treasures and works of art. ... My parents taught me to appreciate the art of the hunt, the serenity of the outdoors, and the magnificence of it all."
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    Alexandra and Truett, Houston, Texas, Ithaca 20-gauge side-by-side. "Guns, like everything in my childhood home, were considered treasures and works of art. ... My parents taught me to appreciate the art of the hunt, the serenity of the outdoors, and the magnificence of it all."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Jillian, Ellerbe, N.C., Winchester SX 3 in Mossy Oak Duck Blind finish. "I was raised on a tobacco farm in Ellerbe, North Carolina, with three adventurous brothers and a dad who was very passionate about hunting. From the time I could walk they would take me out into the field to hunt alongside them."
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    Jillian, Ellerbe, N.C., Winchester SX 3 in Mossy Oak Duck Blind finish. "I was raised on a tobacco farm in Ellerbe, North Carolina, with three adventurous brothers and a dad who was very passionate about hunting. From the time I could walk they would take me out into the field to hunt alongside them."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Lynn, Houston, Texas, Sako .308 bolt-action rifle with scope. "I think my philosophy of hunting has always been about the adventure itself. ... At the North Pole we stayed in an ice house. ... Pulled by dog sleds during the day, at night we slept in sleeping bags on top of several layers of blankets and sealskins on the ice."
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    Lynn, Houston, Texas, Sako .308 bolt-action rifle with scope. "I think my philosophy of hunting has always been about the adventure itself. ... At the North Pole we stayed in an ice house. ... Pulled by dog sleds during the day, at night we slept in sleeping bags on top of several layers of blankets and sealskins on the ice."
    Lindsay McCrum
  • Jamie, Loomis, Calif., .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk double-action revolver. "I got a BB gun when I was six years old and practiced shooting at old cans and such. ... I was a police officer for five years. ... I wore the Marksman pin in my police department. It was something you were proud to wear."
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    Jamie, Loomis, Calif., .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk double-action revolver. "I got a BB gun when I was six years old and practiced shooting at old cans and such. ... I was a police officer for five years. ... I wore the Marksman pin in my police department. It was something you were proud to wear."
    Lindsay McCrum

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Lindsay McCrum has spent more than three years creating portraits of female gun owners in America, and 80 of them are found in her new, cheekily titled book, Chicks with Guns. Though not completely comprehensive, the portraits do show a wide range of women, young and old — police officers, Olympic athletes, teenage ranchers, bounty hunters and housewives.

McCrum lets the photos — and the women — speak for themselves: Each image is paired with a caption in which the women tell their stories in their own words. Without opening the proverbial can of worms that is the gun-ownership debate, these photos are at least provocative. McCrum's book reveals just how varied and deeply ingrained gun enthusiasm can be. All judgments aside, the culture is there, and this is what part of it looks like.

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