A “small but enthusiastic shooting culture” in New York City is described by the New York Times in a feature on the Women’s Shooting Sports League, which gathers monthly “for a night of rifle fire and female bonding.” Says founder Amy Heath, 33: “When people think of gun owners, they think of butt-scratching bubbas with no teeth. Women in the heartland shoot well, so why not women in New York?” The league began last year with only five members, has expanded this year to 15 to 20 regulars. “There’s this fear, this incessant fear, that guns are bad,” Health said. “Women think they’ll shoot themselves in the foot, or shoot someone else. I want to work against that fear.” Her grandfather, Jeff Cooper, is a National Rifle Association board member.
“It’s tough to be a shooter down here,” said Peter Crowell, a 60-year-old management consultant and a volunteer instructor for the league. “New York is, of course, primarily a liberal Democratic kind of place, and over years I’ve had to hide my interest.”
“I consider myself the opposite of people in rooms like this,” said Julia Cohen, a lawyer who recently joined the league. “I’m a Democrat. I’m a liberal. And I believe that guns are dangerous in the wrong hands.” Cohen discovered that the task of getting licensed was much more difficult than she had thought. She was surprised that the authorities wished to know if she had seen a psychiatrist or taken narcotics.