Sunday, April 29, 2012

Books: Chicks with Guns

Most images of women with firearms are, well, ridiculous: either femme fatales in skimpy dresses and pistols tucked in garter belts, or bikini-clad babes shooting assault rifles from the hip. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for bikini-clad babes, especially when they're supporting a good cause, but the images we see in gun rags and in the media are pretty gross mischaracterizations of the shooting community.

"Chicks with Guns" is a photography book by Lindsay McCrum that aims for a much more accurate picture of the female America gun-owner:

The idea certainly isn't new, but the execution is incredible. Like "Armed America," each plate is a portrait of a woman and her gun, but this time, the shooting locations are as varied as the people being featured. McCrum's background in landscape photography makes for some heartbreaking vistas:

The portraits are accompanied by comments from the subjects. Nearly all the women in "Chicks with Guns" are experienced shooters; you'll see everyone from biathletes to birdhunters to beat cops, with nary a bimbo in sight. I found that the most striking pictures came from the cowboy action shooters, since they're already in fancy Old West costumes with custom holsters and sixguns. I hope Merrilyn got a copy of this photo, because she looks absolutely awesome in it:

The photos and stories do get a little redundant - see one well-heeled lady pheasanthunter, and you've seen them all - and, like in any photography collection, there are hits and misses. Even without the faux "edginess" that comes from photographing firearms, though, "Chicks with Guns" is a nice coffee table book, and would make a neat gift for the shooter in your life.


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