If you didn’t already know, February 2, 2022, is the 36th annual celebration of “Girls & Women in Sports Day.” Since I’d never heard of this special observance before, I looked into it. And I discovered the point of this day is “to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, recognize the influence of sports participation for women and girls, and honor the progress and continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.”

What the Numbers Say

To celebrate in my own way, I hope to head to the shooting range and get in some firearms training. But I also wanted to write a blog post that highlights some of the wealth of information from surveys conducted over the past two years by the women’s shooting organization A Girl & A Gun (AG & AG). Encouraged by the data showing that somewhere between 11-13 million new gun owners have joined our community in 2020 and 2021 alone (with 50 percent of those numbers representing women), AG & AG polled new members (1,176 women in 2020 and 1,706 in 2021) to find out some of their “whys” for getting involved with firearms.

According to their findings, when asked why these women chose to purchase a gun and seek out firearms training, the responses included the following, in order of significance:

Reason 2020 2021
Riots/fear of mobs and civil unrest 16% 13%
Elections/legislation/concern of bans 12% 12%
Just learned about training opportunities 10% 11%
Urged by family member/friend 9% 12%
New firearm in household 9% 9%
Pandemic/uncertainty of access to essentials 9% 8%
Rising unemployment/fear of crime 8% 8%
Fear of targeted violence/discrimination 7% 7%
Ammo shortage/concern of waiting 6% 6%
Lack of law enforcement resources 6% 6%
Quarantine boredom/try something fun 5% 4%
Recent safety/crime experience 3% 4%
Stimulus check provided opportunity 1% 1%

What the Data Means

I would specifically like to draw your attention to the percentage increase for the reason “urged by a family member/friend.” If you didn’t think you had any influence on others, think again! For 2021, the AG & AG survey results demonstrate that this reason continues to be the No. 1 reason why women are getting involved with the Second Amendment community.

So, to further observe “Girls & Women in Sports Day,” I encourage everyone to go out this month and invite a woman to the range. Let’s recognize, celebrate and grow the new women of firearms! And, to use their own description (with just a few of my own changes), let’s acknowledge the accomplishments of female shooters, recognize the influence of firearms training for women and girls, and honor the progress and growing responsibility of women for their own self-defense.