We live in a tiny town in Texas. Of course, since it’s Texas there is at least one gun store in town. (We actually have three, in a town with a population of about four thousand.) Sounds like it would be awesome, right? Yeah, not if you’re my wife. I’m going to relate to you what she has told me about her experiences at most gun stores.
To be fair, my wife and I have had good experiences at a few gun stores. The range that we frequent has been nothing but generous to us, and we count their employees and some of their regulars as friends of ours. There is a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store near us that has been nothing but pleasant to shop at for whatever we need. (With the exception of one old codger who used to work there who stood firmly by his opinion of the AR platform as opposed to the AK. Each has their advantages and drawbacks. He thought the AR should go in the trash.) This post isn’t about those places. This post is about the places that are staffed by morons, rude and inconsiderate jackasses, and chauvinistic douche rockets.
In a previous post I mentioned that Larry Vickers had suggested to my wife that she try out a VP-9. He was smart enough not to say “Go buy one.” If she had bought one, and it didn’t work, where would that leave us? (We’d be the proud owners of another quality pistol so it wouldn’t be a total loss, but still…) Well, getting to the big city is a hassle for us, and there were gun stores close by, so my wife went to look at a VP-9 so that she could get an idea of what the pistol was like. Window shopping would be the way I would describe it. She goes to a new-ish gun store in our little hamlet and is promptly ignored. She gets someone’s attention (Only guy in the place, and she’s the only customer). She asks if he has a VP-9 and if she could see it if he does. He asks her if she’s ever shot a full size before.
I’m going to stop here for a minute, to discuss what this asshole just did. If my wife had said “no,” then what would he have done? Recommended a some anemic pistol? A Kel-tec? a .22LR revolver? By simply asking the question, (and the tone that he used,) it was very condescending. A better way to ask that same question would be “What have you shot before?” To which my wife could answer with the 100’s pistols she’s ever shot, what she liked and disliked about each, and you would have a really good idea of her skills, what she was looking for and why.
My wife tells him that she has, and that her current pistol is an FN FNS-9. He then suggests that what she needs is a 1911.
What the fuck? We’ve gone from one side of the universe clear across to the other. From “Have you ever shot a full size pistol” to “you need this absolute enthusiasts pistol that shoots wrist breaking ammo.” Not two seconds earlier this guy was patronizing my wife, and now he is trying to talk her into buying a pistol that she clearly does not need, or want. She asked about a VP-9 you fucktarded octopus humper. Show her a VP-9. And maybe some stuff similar to a VP-9, like a Sig P320, Glock 19, and maybe an M&P. No, she does not need a damn 1911. She’ll get one, someday, but not the Norinco/Llama/Rock Island knock off you were trying to sell her. She’ll get a nice one, like a Wilson Combat or a Nighthawk Custom. (What can I say? The woman has taste!)
Women are the fastest growing segment in the shooting industry, and if they haven’t already, their numbers will soon overtake men. Gun stores would do well to recognize this fact and start treating women shooters as more than just a novelty. Don’t be patronizing and think that just because she’s a woman that the only gun she wants to look at is the Sig P-238 in Rainbow Titanium finish. Women are just as capable as men at shooting just about any pistol there is, including full size pistols and in most cases they are better shots. Don’t assume what kind of gun a woman wants. Be an ambassador of the shooting sports, and better yet, be a professional salesperson. Ask questions, that aren’t condescending. Your women customers will be much more comfortable, and will likely return to your store to buy more if you treat them right from the start.
And just because she’s a woman, it does not mean she wants a pink gun. Fair warning; if you try and sell my wife a pink anything she will staple the webbing between your fingers to the counter with a tack hammer.