Women who shoot? Your time is now.

Let’s take a minute and talk about a perception that may be more common than we’d like to think. It’s mostly fueled by anti-gun groups and people who just don’t understand firearms. But to be honest, there are some gun owners out there who aren’t exactly helping either. In their world, men can own guns for hunting, or competition, or sport shooting. They can own them because they are cool, because they like tinkering with them, because they just like shooting, but somehow women are a little different apparently.

This perception dictates that the only reason we would ever get into guns is for self-defense. But the reality is that every female shooter joins the gun community for her own reasons. Some get into shooting to connect with male family members, that’s true, but there’s this notion out there of a weak little wife buying a pink revolver or whichever gun her husband picks out for her because she wouldn’t know what she wants, clenching her pearls the whole time not wanting to be anywhere near the gun, but she grins and bears it because essentially she has no choice.

What a laughably inaccurate picture of female gun ownership in this country. We’ve grown by an incredible 77 percent since 2005 and we’re not slowing down. Gun store owners across the board are reporting increase sales to women and female-driven shooting groups, blogs, videos and publications have popped up all over the U.S. We didn’t all get into it for self-defense.