I find it exciting and exhilarating to bring new people — especially children — to the shooting range. These young people are our future. They are future gun owners. They are future voters. They are the continuation of our voices when we are gone. That’s why it is imperative that we share responsible gun ownership and gun safety with as many young people as possible. That way, we can have more folks like Beth Walker, a 16-year-old competitive shooter, who is looking forward to a bright future … and to the continuation of her support of the 2nd Amendment and her dedication to ensure that this right is not infringed.
I first met Beth when she and her mom attended our trip to Washington D.C. for the D.C. Project, a grassroots organization hoping to have one woman from every state at our nation’s capital to share our thoughts and stories with representatives and display the diverse and ever-changing face of gun ownership. I was so impressed by Beth’s willingness and ability (and ease) to speak with those in charge of her state. And I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about her goals and plans.
I recently reached out to Beth, and we had a great Q&A that I wanted to share with you. I hope you find it as interesting and inspiring as I did!
NAME: Beth Walker
HOME STATE: Indiana
SPONSORS: Lancer Systems, Girls with Guns, Gunfighter Targets, Modern Spartan Systems, Generation III Gun, Indy Ear Pro, Cry Havoc Gear, Urban ERT Tactical
What drew you to competitive shooting?
I was drawn to competitive shooting when I saw Katie Francis shooting 3-Gun on YouTube about four years ago. My dad is a law enforcement officer, so I have been taught gun safety from an early age, and my interest in firearms started long before my start in competitive shooting. The fact that there were not a lot of females in the sport also drew me to start competing. I love that everyone is thrown together into one group, and we are expected to compete against everyone, not just other females.
Do you feel that ladies and/or young people are well-represented in the shooting sports?
I feel like the female and junior portion of the shooting sports is continually growing and that we are becoming very well-established in the shooting sports. There is certainly always room for growth, but we are making very steady progress!
Who are some of your 2A heroes?
Julie Golob is my top 2A hero! I think that the work she has done for the 2A community is amazing. Kimberly Corban is another. She has taken a horrible event in her life and turned it into a strong platform to help people. These two women are mothers. They are strong examples of being a good parent, and both are working to protect crucial constitutional rights! As far as women in the 3-Gun community, Becky Yackley is one of my biggest role models and “heroes.” She is extremely hardworking. She balances family, work and shooting like no one I have ever seen before. I also look up to Jerry Miculek a lot when it comes to males in the industry. He is a definite pioneer of the shooting sports, and I have had the pleasure of meeting him and his family at matches as well as the NRAAM, and I shot with [his daughter] Lena Miculek at a match in June. They are a great family!
What does the 2nd Amendment mean to you?
The 2nd Amendment to me is one of the key principles upon which our nation was founded. We are a nation truly built on God, guns and freedom. My life, and the life of my family, would not be the same without the freedoms the 2nd Amendment has helped secure. Throughout history, the right to keep and bear arms has shown that our government leaders have entrusted us with the means to defend ourselves. Our Founding Fathers, great leaders such as George Washington, John Adams and James Madison, endured oppression from tyrannical leaders when they chose to help lead the revolution. The 2nd Amendment was put into place by these men to keep us away from that very situation. It allows the common citizen the ability to defend their freedoms from anyone who seeks to take them away. This is undoubtedly one of the most important rights that we have been given. I take great pride and am humbled to be a representative of the right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment has saved lives, instilled greater confidence in people’s strengths and become an equalizer to many. It is a joy to see these impacts as a result of something that is so central to the founding and future survival of the United States.
Do you plan to have firearms for self-protection? (Why/why not?)
I definitely plan to conceal carry when I come of age. I believe, especially as a woman, carrying a firearm is an equalizer. It allows me to defend my life, my family’s lives and those around me, if the need would arise. Over the past years, we have seen clear evidence of the need for armed citizens. There have been several recent instances in which an armed individual has stopped a lethal threat and in the process saved lives.
How do you think we can encourage more young people to get involved with safe and responsible firearms ownership and usage?
I think the main form of encouragement is to be vocal about my own experiences and to train anyone being introduced to firearms safely and allow them to experiment and have fun. The presentation of the importance of the right can also help to encourage young people. Our conservation, competitive and self-defense rights are very uniquely American. I have never met someone who did not love firearms when introduced to them properly. I use my social media to try to convey the fun and positivity that involvement in the firearms industry has brought into my life.
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