As part of the Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence campaign, we’re running a 7-part series on how seven prominent women in the firearms industry, hunting world and Second Amendment advocacy groups handle gun safety in their own homes.
In part 3, we hear how Jana Waller, Julie Golob, Stacy Washington, Natalie Foster, Shaneen Allen, Katie Pavlich and Nikki Goeser effectively reach other people with their message.
We all know the firearms industry does a tremendous job providing education, training and gun safety resources for gun owners. What has been the most effective way of reaching people with it for you?
WALLER: For me personally the most effective way of educating people on guns, gun safety and the pros of being a gun owner is to spend time with them sharing personal stories. I often share my tale of how I got introduced to guns and hunting. Every year I go into hunter safety classes across the country and talk to the kids about not only my career but what I have learned about life through hunting and shooting. I also speak to many conservation groups and companies on the importance of protecting our hunting heritage. There are many parallels between life’s important lessons and hunting. Respect for both your weapon and the animal. Patience. Self-confidence. Self-sufficiency. Hard work through training pays off. So many of life’s lessons can be learned through the shooting sports and hunting and I feel that sharing my personal stories face to face is the best way to relay my passion.
GOLOB: I find that the most effective way to reach people is through personal connection. Whether I meet people at trade shows or post ideas with them on social media, being able to share firearm safety in a way that’s real and honest with those valuable industry resources helps create conversation for the better. I don’t look like the typical gun owner the media portrays and being able to have an open dialog as someone relatable, it has not only been extremely effective, but so personally rewarding.
WASHINGTON: It’s sharing our personal experience with guns. Talking to other women and sharing the fun of gun ownership is so key to helping people, even those that would never own a gun themselves understand the importance of the 2nd Amendment for our family.
FOSTER: We’ve seen more and more women jump in to the firearm community in recent years. Women also happen to be the primary audience on social media. If you care as much as we do about firearm safety, you know the gun social media space is the perfect resource for evangelizing safety. I love to see women remind one another or discuss safety rules on Facebook. We must rely on each other to keep a watchful and correcting eye if the need arises. One note I find important: if you want to remind someone of the safety rules, I have observed that when it comes to women, a gentle tone is the most effective. I’ve seen men yell the safety rules in drill sergeant fashion at women in classes and the ladies are often upset or traumatized by it. The most important lesson I’ve learned about teaching safety rules is that you have to be sensitive to the student and teach them in a way that is effective for them individually. It can be tricky to do in a class setting, but I think it is important to try. Otherwise you run the risk of turning someone away from guns altogether.
ALLEN: Given the way we communicate in today’s society, I feel that social media has been the single best training tool that I use to reach large groups of people in an effort to educate them.
PAVLICH: I get a lot of questions from new shooters about gun safety but in particular, from new mothers about how to balance having children while having firearms in the house. I always refer them to the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Program and NSSF’s Project Child Safe as resources to make them more comfortable, storage with accessibility and to get their kids educated about what to do if they were to ever find a firearm.
GOESER: The most effective way of reaching people is through the social network online and word of mouth. It’s amazing how many people (especially women) want to learn how to best protect themselves and have received valuable information on how to get started from organizations such as the NRA.
Come back for part four tomorrow when we hear how these leading ladies feel about bringing gun safety education to the youth of America!