By Karen Butler. Recently, my commitment to introducing women to shooting sports was renewed. Believe it or not, there are days when I wonder, “Why did I leave my successful Army career to run Shoot Like A Girl 100% of my time?” I’m sure all entrepreneurs can understand that internal debate. However, every time Shoot Like A Girl is operational we find clients whose lives we positively impact. Each client restores my faith, but one of our latest experiences literally gives me goosebumps when I describe it.
Meet a Shoot Like A Girl Client
I met a woman at the Texas Trophy Hunters Extravaganza in Houston, Texas named Karen (which happens to be my name, too). Her family was browsing our gun counter, that includes guns from our tremendous corporate partners: Ruger, Beretta, Springfield Armory, Glock, Smith & Wesson, Charter Arms, Savage, Colt, and Tikka. She was standing back a bit and I engaged with her, “Do you shoot?” She quickly said, “No, that’s their thing” and pointed to her family. Her husband told me she was scared of guns, and she added that she didn’t know why, but they just scared her. I think I shocked her when I said, “That’s a good thing.” I explained that fear can make her more safe because she understands the responsibility of handlingfirearms. Then I talked with her about the experience of shooting and why I started Shoot Like A Girl in the first place. One of the primary motivators for me was that I wanted every woman to feel the inner pride and grit of “I hit my target” and the confidence that manifests itself into every part of their life. I asked if she wanted to go inside the trailer and shoot. I explained that inside the trailer she could shoot a pistol, rifle and bow under the care of a NRA certified instructor and an archery coach. The firearms are real firearms that have been modified with BlueFire technology that mimics sound, impact and recoil, but there is no projectile, so that eliminates that big fear. We also talked about the importance of understanding the mechanics of a gun and knowing basic firearms safety, that would be taught inside the trailer.
One Happy Man
To her husband’s amazement, she turned to her daughter and said, “Ok, will you shoot with me?” The daughter said yes as fast as she asked, and they both went inside the trailer to experience shooting. Now, here is where the story gets really good. After Karen and her daughter entered the trailer, the husband turns to me, with pure joy on his face and says, “If you can pull this off, it will be a miracle and I will be one happy man!” You see, her family had been trying to get her to join in their passion for a very long time. I assured him, “She will shoot, and she’ll love it, you’ll see.” I stood there in admiration as I watched him beam with pride. Her husband is what I call a true cowboy, boots, starched jeans, a cowboy hat and lines on his face that you know were put on by a life filled with hard work.
I snuck inside the trailer to get a picture of Karen shooting. Sloan, one of our best instructors introduced Karen to the pistol with a focus on safety and fundamentals. Karen ended shooting ten rounds from the pistol with a bullseye! She was overjoyed, and her daughter was too! I told Karen her husband was outside about to make me cry because he was so proud and happy that she was shooting, and she started to tear up, too. These were happy tears, and all of us were overcome with emotions of accomplishment. After Karen finished shooting, she stepped outside to our gun counter where I worked with her as she compared products to determine what guns felt most comfortable and fit her hands best. All the while, I would look back and see her husband just grinning ear to ear.
One Happy Client
I received this message from Karen later in the day, “Karen (that’s me), I have been on cloud nine since this afternoon at the Hunters Extravaganza. I feel like I am well on my way to enjoying a sport that my family had been enjoying for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you for such an incredible experience! Be sure and thank Sloan for me again for teaching me how to handle a gun. Not only have I been so happy this afternoon, my family is so happy too. Your program is amazing!!! Thank you again for doing what you do!!! Can’t wait to send pictures once I purchase my first gun.”
Changing Lives, One Shot at a Time
I am so excited to see what gun(s) she finally decides to buy. My greatest memory of this experience will be Karen’s husband. His smile was by far my favorite part, especially as he held his grandbaby, and the thought of his family for generations to come enjoying shooting sports and the great outdoors together filled me with gratitude, as we were in the right place at the right time. I should never doubt why I left my Army career to lead the efforts at Shoot Like A Girl.