Saturday, June 04, 2011

"Ammo Girls?"

I have refrained from commenting in my blog -- I wasn't there, after all -- but there's been talk of the young women Lucky Gunner had running ammunition (and water!) to the firing line, more-or-less comparing them to Hooters waitresses (wait, isn't that place about owls? Never been).

...This is to forget it was a hot-as-Hades weekend and they were young and fit -- when I was younger and fit (fitter? More fit? I'm not very fit, now) and either rode a bicycle or drove an unairconditioned car to and from work, rarely a summer passed without my employer havin' to remind me that maybe short-shorts and a tank top, even with a big open shirt over it, was not considered proper for the workplace.

A promotional event isn't the office. One blogger asked the woman Lucky Gunner had runnin' the thing about it, and here's what she had to say.
Like it or not, given sunscreen, most people will bare skin outdoors when the weather is hot; younger folk can get away with more, especially if they're in good shape. That's just the way it works.

While I have yet to meet a man who doesn't respond well to a smile and most of 'em will make eye contact at chest level if one is sufficiently buxom (tsk!), not every gal dressed for the heat is out to tickle the baser instincts. Heyyy, maybe not even most!

If you've got gunbloggers at a big ol' shooty event and you are handing out live rounds free for nothing, that lily is already gilded to the saturation point. (And if they were out to entice, why didn't they promote cute cartridge-waitresses ahead of time, right next to the free ammo?)

Sometimes things aren't any more than what they appear to be. Unclench, dammit, and try to have some fun.

PS: about this "shooting as a boy's club" thingie: there's at least one dealer, maybe two ,who set up at the Indy 1500 who won't even acknowledge I'm at their booth. (Tough, lads -- your loss!) Most times I first visit a gun store, I have to do a little bitta provin' myself. This does not bother me; I've been a radio ham since I was very, very young and that's still mostly a boy's club. My line of work? You could hold statewide women's-only Starship Tech meetings in a business-sized broom closet! So I deal with boyspace all the blame time. Ya gotta step up -- and here's the kewl thing: 99.99% of them will be Your Pals once you have. Heck, you don't even have to know all that much, as long as you show sincere interest.

Will you, sometimes, have to overlook cigar smoke, bikini calendars an' suchlike? Yes. Yes, you will. And you'll overhear the occasional crude joke, too. But very rarely will it be at your expense. Want their respect? Earn it. Same way they have to earn it from their peers.

All this faffing around about gun-culture not being women-welcoming enough strikes me as mere pandering to the timid. You know what? There's no right to be hand-carried though the world. You wanna mess with radio, you wanna shoot? --Or fix your own car, or ride a motorcycle or do any of those traditionally "boy's club" things? -Then step up and do it. You can even carve out your own space (for a nice, traditional example, see YLRL, the "Young Ladies' Radio League," a serious club for female, licensed and generally active radio amateurs, a goin' concern since 1939). --What you can't do is show up and expect the lads to abandon their long-held habits and practices just so's you can feel all comfy. Guess what, right now we are 20% of their market; that dusty stuffed moose is there 'cos the boys like it, and so's the tool-company calendar.

If a male showed up a quilting bee and demanded a place, he'd darned well better be able to sew -- or be majorly willing to learn. And if he complained about the amount of chatter or choice of topics, I think most of us would consider him a jerk. --Male privilege, a real cultural bent, means menfolk have a slightly easier time at most avocations and professions; their preferences are often considered by default, but there is a limit. And there's a limit the other way, too.

Women shooters I know who are serious about getting more women into the sport do a lot of one-on-one, taking friends to the range, reaching out to interested acquaintances, etc.; Breda is an excellent example of this approach.

You don't build a road all at once, you do it one brick, cobble or hunk of asphalt at a time. Right now, shooting is mostly a boy's club -- but it doesn't have "NO GURLZ ALLOWED" spray-painted on the door. You want more of us wimmins in it? Call yourself up a couple of friends and get them to the range!


Ed Rasimus said...


I'll always do business with pleasant looking people in preference to sweaty Bubba's in faux SWAT gear.

Methinks there was way to much interpretation in those events, but I'm just a semi-senile, fat old man.

og said...

Always been more attracted to brains than boobs. Barring disease,brains usually improve with age, and not sag.

Not that I won't stare at a good fitting pair of jeans, mind you.

Mad Saint Jack said...

I think I'm starting to like this global warming.

(warming up to it.)

(boooooo. hiss).)

aczarnowski said...

Said better than my attempt at Borepatch's. Thanks.

The Freeholder said...

I'm like you in that I wasn't there. But I've been reading, and it seems that a lot of folks want to get their panties in a wad over one or more aspects of the event.

It seems to me that the old saying to the effect that "People don't value highly that which they obtain too cheaply" may well be at work here.

Heck, if I had been getting to shoot someone else's full auto weaponry with free ammo, I'd have been perfectly willing to drag around my own ammo for the privilege. Having someone else do it, ages/sex/physical attractiveness not withstanding, is just icing on the cake.

North said...

I'm not going to pee in the soup I'm served.

Home on the Range said...

Here's my choice. Pretty girl handing out FREE ammo with a smile or large, hairy guy selling me overpriced ammo at a store.

Survey Says!!!

greg said...

I'm going to agree...of course, one of the nice things about the summer is seeing skin...but I'm weird like that.

I was also not there in person, but from the pictures on different blogs that people have shown, I do not think that the young ladies in question were wearing anything that would have made them out of place at a Farmers Market here in Richland on an 85 degree day.

And as a semi-large, overly hairy guy, I'm offended that Brigid wouldn't want my free ammo.

Roberta X said...

Greg: if it's any consolation, for me the operant factor would be the free ammo; I'll accept that from a weekend aerobics instructor or someone pelted, pudgy and smelling vaguely of ham. I will only be dealing with the freebie-ammo person for a little while but I'll have tons of happy time at the firing line with OPA.

Mark Alger said...

I buy the organizer's explanation totally. In fact, seeing the pictures of the bunnies in question, it's my default assumption. I'd even go so far as to ask, "Where did they find so many clean-cut young folks?"


North said...

"someone pelted, pudgy and smelling vaguely of ham."

You can have my free ammo anytime, darlin'.


Anonymous said...

My experience with Lucky Gunner in purchasing ammo has been great. And I've been buying from them since they opened. I've looked at the pics of the girls in question and see nothing wrong with their attire. The men who have said that the said attire offended them and their wives must be Amish or something and the women who have said the same I can only conclude that they are ate up with the green eyed monster of envy.

What has happened here is a company has been slandered and maligned, and with the Internet being what it is this non incident will hurt an otherwise great company because of a few idiots that probably should not have been invited to begin with. If I were with LG, they wouldnt be invited to any future events.

Tam said...

Anon 4:29,

Reading comprehension fail.

Stranger said...

I was not there, but from what I can see the Ammo Girls were dressed in "coed casual," the usual summer dress of young women here in the torrid zone. There were probably 500 similarly dressed girls in this college town's Wal-Marts this morning.

Of course, it is a windless 102 degree afternoon here. It's probably in the high 80's in Cleveland, the high 70's in the Twin Cities, and "see your breath weather" in the Dakotas. And temperatures tend to enforce less revealing styles in the sub arctic zones.

Temperature changes fashions. But for a hot day in Tennessee, the sleeveless top and mid-thigh shorts is par for the mall, so it should be acceptable at the range.


Timmeehh said...

RX, I too have refrained from commenting on this topic, because I didn't want to offend anyone.

Thanks for writing what I was thinking. They can't play the sexist card with YOU!

Cincinnatus said...

I'm getting to that age where friends' daughters will complain to me of their inability to meet decent single men and ask my avuncular advice.

I always tell them that if they want to meet single men, employed, with no other female competition, to go to a local USPSA, IDPA, SASS or silhouette match and wander around asking polite questions.

Sadly, only one has actually taken me up on that advice. And she came home with a half-dozen date invitations from clean cut single guys.

greg said...

Stranger Said:

There were probably 500 similarly dressed girls in this college town's Wal-Marts this morning.

I'm moving to your town...I had to swing by Wal-mart in my town this morning, and there was exactly ZERO like that here.

The website exists for a reason.

Justthisguy said...

Having recently passed the age of sixty, I try to remember always to wear loose, voluminous, all-encompassing clothing when out in public. That way, I neither shock the other people, nor embarass myself.

Spandex is, of course, right out.

The Freeholder said...

Tam, I've seen a similar comment from you elsewhere, so obviously you aren't foolin' around when youu say this. However, I don't see it as a reading comprehension fail, at least on my part. I just think that the bunch of you are wrong.

Look at Breda's blog post and she's complaining about using T&A as a sales method and how this is going to run off half the market.

Your post says that LG failed to consider the implications of the ammo waitress.

Now, I've read what both of you have said on the subject, plus looked around for some of the other folks who were there for their take and looked at a crapload of pictures, including the ones I could find of said young ladies.

I will stipulate that these young ladies are quite pleasing to behold, even if all of them could be my daughter. However, given the reported weather and the fact that they were not, by and large, on the firing line, I can't see one thing wrong with their attire. Hell, my daughter goes to the range with me to shoot dressed a lot like this in this kind of weather. For that matter, so does this fat old man (avert thine eyes!)

While I'm sure LG was aiming for this event to improve their business, this is hardly using T&A to sell. If they'd been running about in bikinis and spike heels, making eyes at the shooters and giggling, then I'd have a different opinion.

I think that Breda, you, Sean Sorrento and the others who are offended need to consider something that Middle of the Right said on his blog:

"hey, all you lucky gunner shooters

Who are women (and/or pussy-whipped/girly men) and who were so terribly offended by the (apparently) cute "ammo waitresses"....

If yer that offended that you have to whine talk about it online, then why did you continue to shoot free ammo and demo firearms instead of leaving? You could have made a point, you could have left in protest. But ya didn't....Why not?"

It's a heck of a question. Any of you have a heck of an answer?

Justthisguy said...

Now that I have clicked the links, I see that it was that Ohio librarian who complained, which figures. I have hated and despised librarians since I learned to read, more than half a century ago. When I was a little kid I thought that the job of librarians (with a few honorable exceptions) was to keep me from reading the books I wanted to read.

I am still of the same opinion.

Justthisguy said...


Breda's having a short leg with no foot on it does not bother me the least little bit, and I would say "You go, girl!" about that.

Her arming herself and exercising with the piece(es) I also whole-heartedly approve of.

It was her post about "weeding" on her blog which made her The Enemy, in my eyes. Librarians should preserve books, not toss them.

Stranger said...

I seriously doubt that Greg would like the climate in Hattiesburg, Ms. But if he does like it hot, there are two colleges here, with roughly 10,000 more or less attractive and eligible coeds. Most of whom spend at least two hours a weekend in the big box stores.

Good hunting grounds for those who do not object to a high percentage of possibilities who have at least one male relative with a bad attitude and an unalterable opinion that white shotguns make a wedding formal.


greg said...

With all respect, you are number of attractive young ladies, that I could do no more than look at, since I am happily married, would make me live the South...I'm a Pacific Northwest guy, through and through.

John B said...

well I fail to understand people I thought I understood perfectly.

People make free ammo available,
Encourage you to try out brand new machine guns. An opportunity usually afforded only to police bigwigs.

They even have nice clean cut young girls run this ammo out to you with free drinks and sunscreen.

As Bobbi said, I'm the guy with the cigars, and the couple of calendars of nude women.

I also am the fiance of a wonderful woman, and am stunned at being so lucky twice in a lifetime.

I have no problem with the ammo girls. I seriously am wondering if the usually sagacious Breda has perhaps lost it.

I hope she just this once woke up on the left... er wrong side of the bed that day!

Roberta X said...

....I do think it is very possible for persons of good will to have reached drastically different conclusions in such matters. And just as soon as each of us is running our own ammunition retailer, we can put them into effect, too.

Let's what Lucky Gunner has to say about their sales volume or revenue, six months down the road.

Comrade Misfit said...

Lot of truth to that, RX. Same with aviation.

The Freeholder said...

As an experiment, last night I asked Daughter (19 and in college) and Mrs. Freeholder to view the said pictures and offer their opinions.

Daughter noted that one young ladies shorts looked like "cheerleader shorts" and that they "are supposed to be short". She saw zero issue with how any of them were dressed.

Mrs. Freeholder gave me the famous eye-roll, which can mean any number of things, but in this case I take it that she disapproved of my even being interested in the subject. I infer from that that she disapproved of the mode of dress. Bear in mind that I'm still learning to interpret the eye-roll, so I could be wrong.

Perhaps we are looking at something here that is, in large part, generational in nature. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen that.

greg said...

Guess we'll drag this out a bit more, by defending two ladies who really need no defending.

Having read some of the posts in question speaking against this occurrence, I'm not sure anyone was actually angered by what was going on, so much as slightly annoyed. From Breda in particular, it's more of a 'they might have missed an opportunity to hit a home run, if the young ladies had been wearing slightly longer khaki walking shorts.'

Sigh...either side your on, this has left me with one goal, that being to ensure my blog gets large enough so that if something like this happens in the Northwest, I get invited.

perlhaqr said...

Man, I dunno what's up with some of these bloggers. I thought we were all about the right to bare arms.

Robert McDonald said...

Well, now I know where all that traffic came from.

Very well said, Roberta.

Roberta X said...

Justthisguy: When you write, "It was her [Breda's] post about "weeding" on her blog which made her The Enemy, in my eyes. Librarians should preserve books, not toss them," have to heartily disagree.

Breda is not The Enemy, she's a gunnie. It's possible to disagree with her (very slightly) over something and still be friends, just as open-carry activists and dedicated CCers are not, in fact "enemies."

If there is a The Enemy, its representatives are Helmke and Peterson, Hemenway and Sugarman: people who, no matter how they try to candy-coat it, seek to suppress the Constitutionally-protected inherent, basic human right to self-defense, who believe your right to keep and bear arms is trumped by the actions of felons and fools. Like the KKK or the anti-Catholic League, they are opposed to human rights; and like them, they are destined to be remembered as wicked, loathsome persons.

N.B., of course a Public Library "weeds" books; the public purse can only cover the expense of a finite amount of space in which to keep them. Normally, books withdrawn from circulation are not burned for heat, but sold -- sold to individuals who want them.

Cincinnatus said...

Indeed, pawing through the stock in a library bookstore is my favorite passtime after pulling a trigger.

Anonymous said...

May I try to summarize my take on this kerfluffle:

1. The arms industry does not market well to women, and using scantily-clad female models or otherwise treating shooting sports as a "boys club" is a good way to alienate a large number of perspective customers

2. The girls at the event in question were not "scantily clad" or models of any description, but were instead nice-looking young women who were pleasant and much appreciated by most of the (white male) attendees, which is good for Lucky Gunner's business

3. It is understandable, however, that LG's use of an all-female staff to be ammo / water "waitresses" can reasonably be construed as sexist, and LG might do well to consider this when planning future events or advertizing

Roberta X - I deal with boyspace all the blame time. Ya gotta step up -- and here's the kewl thing: 99.99% of them will be Your Pals once you have. Heck, you don't even have to know all that much, as long as you show sincere interest.

Thank you for writing this. I think that people are deserving of a basic level of courtesy until the prove that they AREN'T, but I think that real respect is earned. There's a fine line between a frank, "Look, that really bothers me; can you stop doing it?" and a pissy, "YOU HAVE TO BEHAVE THE WAY I WANT OR I'M GONNA TELL TEACHER ON YOU!"; it's not an easy line to see, perhaps, but it is there.

Women may have to (as you write) learn to live with the occasioanl off-color joke; men have to learn to live with the unaccustomed presence of delicate ears. Life is a tradeoff. Mature people of either sex learn to make it.

Anonymous said...

RX--in case not enough people have told you lately, you are awesome!


Roberta X said...

Awww. Thanks!

Kevin said...

Dittos on the Awesome RX! This is EXACTLY right. Thankew!

Stingray said...

"Unclench, dammit, and try to have some fun."

Dear sweet fluffy diety, that right there is the quote of the freakin' month. My apologies for not actually posting it as such, but the llama tracks look a tad fresh, and I'd as soon not have it come stomp through my post-vacation happy.

wv: anest "If I posted that QotM, it would stir up quite anest."

Roberta X said...

I dunno -- I continue to belive this is a matter over which people of good will can reach differing conclusions without any need for "drama."