Chicks With Guns


When I first heard the title “Chicks With Guns,” I thought, “Oh great, another one of those sleazy calendars with half-naked women holding firearms in suggestive poses.” But, when I actually saw the work behind the title, I was enthralled.

“Chicks With Guns” is actually a stunning photo book created by photographer Lindsay McCrum, which displays the cultural portrait of women gun owners in America. The women in this book come from all walks of life. They are mothers, grandmothers, daughters and wives. Some use firearms for sport, others for self-defense. McCrum has photographed each gun-wielding female in her own clothing and environment, which has resulted in images full of contradiction and irony. There are women in evening gowns standing in trophy rooms and glamorous corridors. There are ladies, old and young, in hunting attire in the fields where they shoot their game. There are young mothers and children in their homes where they go about their day-to-day lives. The images are both stirring and beautiful.

Each photo is accompanied by the subject’s story in her own words, which adds depth and personality to the book. What I like so much about “Chicks with Guns” is that the guns are not simply props stuck in the photographs to give them an edge or make a political statement, but they are an extension of the women themselves … a part of their lifestyles and personas.

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with McCrum during the SHOT Show in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. McCrum is not a gun owner herself, but she thought a project that captured the diversity of the 20 million women who own guns in this country would be intriguing and engaging, and right she was. Many of the women I talked to at the SHOT Show were thrilled with the book, and my own personal copy has turned into an ongoing subject of conversation among family members and friends.

Let me hear from all the chicks with guns out there. What’s your favorite gun? Did you receive it as a gift or did you buy it yourself? Who introduced you to hunting and/or guns?