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Today, more and more women are stepping into the firearms scene — specifically, many college-aged women. Today I was able to sit down with an incredible young woman that has been encouraging my peers to learn about and experience firearms through her efforts as a host of firearms training events.
Megan Miller is a native of Geneseo, Illinois, and she currently attends the University of Missouri (Mizzou). There, she is heavily involved in many organizations.
Ms. Miller was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her experience carrying, being pro-Second Amendment and hosting CCW classes on top of being a busy college student.
The Armory Life (TAL): Megan, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To start out, tell us a little about yourself.
Megan Miller (MM): I’m going to be a junior at Mizzou. I live in Columbia right now and I am a Missouri resident. At Mizzou, I am majoring in animal sciences and minoring in business and entrepreneurship. I also host shooting events for women.
TAL: How did you get interested in firearms? Have they always been a big part of your life?
MM: I have an interest in hunting but that wasn’t something I grew up doing, it was just something I started doing with my friends when I was about 16. As far as carrying, my parents had always had firearms, but they didn’t use them a lot. I knew my dad carried, but I didn’t know much about it.
My interest really started when I attended my first Turning Point Conference last summer. It was the Young Women’s Leadership Conference, and I attended a small group meeting on women and their right to concealed carry. The girls giving the presentation were my age. All I thought was wait… girls my age could carry. I had never really thought about it.
That was where it really started, I thought to myself after this conference that I was going to go and start carrying — and I did.
TAL: When was the first time you went shooting? What was it like?
MM: I lived in Lake of the Ozarks last summer and my parents were in town. I wanted to go to the range, but I didn’t want to go alone so they came with me. One of the employees gave me one-on-one instruction and training.
I really had no experience with a handgun and, like I had said, I had only been hunting with friends, so I didn’t really know how to use a pistol. This was a little over a year ago, and he helped me really get the hang of it. He had me try out a couple of different firearms.
TAL: When did you first decide you wanted to carry? What were the struggles you faced when beginning? What is your experience carrying now?
MM: I started carrying last summer, so I have only been carrying about a year. I carry a turquoise blue Springfield Armory 911 .380. I took an eight-hour class with a few other people. We went over all of the basics with concealed carry, where you can carry, different kinds of holsters, etc. Then we, of course, did the shooting test. I went to the sheriff’s department, and they took my fingerprints, and I got my license about two weeks later. So, it was really a super quick process and a super easy process.
I think that a lot of people just don’t know where to start when they want to carry. I was glad that I took the initiative and did all of the research that I needed to do. Now, I carry everywhere. If I go for a walk, I’m carrying. If I’m shopping, I’m carrying.
TAL: As a college student, tell us about the challenges you face being a Pro-Second Amendment woman?
MM: First of all, as a college student I don’t like that we can’t concealed carry on campus; there are very few campuses that allow that. We have a group here on campus that advocates for that and I support that group. If I wanted to go for a walk for some exercise, I like to have my gun on me because Columbia isn’t exactly the safest city, I have to go off campus to walk just so I can have my gun on me to feel that protection. Other than that, I think other people are surprised that I’m such a young woman and I know as much as I do about the Second Amendment and carrying. I post a lot of informational stuff on my Instagram stories, or I try to inform people about it.
TAL: You have been reaching out your hand to help other women learn their way around the world of carrying and firearms. What were the biggest hardships you faced that you are helping other women through?
MM: I think a lot of people don’t like to do things alone, nobody wants to go to the range alone. They might be afraid that their close friends may have different views on firearms, and they don’t want to ask their friends. I have done a lot of polls on Instagram, and I found that many people want to carry, but they don’t exactly know where to start. I’m trying to encourage them by saying, “Hey, I’m going to the range on this day. You should come with me and try out a couple of guns to see how you feel.”
Recently, I hosted a class in the spring with an organization called the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women. They are out of a suburb of Washington, D.C. They flew a representative out here, we had months of planning and we hosted 14 girls on the range.
Most of these girls had never shot a gun before and, if they had, it was very minimal. After the class, I asked who would be interested in carrying and pretty much all of them raised their hand. So, I think it’s just an issue of people not knowing where to start, so I want to be the change as far as that goes.
In the fall, I think I’m going to host another class and see if we can get donations to see if we can make it as cheap as possible for the participants so I can get as many girls to attend as possible.
TAL: As you continue your studies at Mizzou, would you like to continue hosting these classes?
MM: Yeah! I have kind of thought about it. It’s a lot though, because I don’t really have a lot of time on my plate for other organizations. I have considered maybe creating an organization on campus that is just for women and college-aged girls that would allow us to do weekly or bi-weekly trips to the range. Just something like that will help mobilize these girls to get out to the range and help make them feel comfortable with this kind of thing.
TAL: More and more women are becoming firearm owners. What is something you would like to share to those new to firearms or those thinking about purchasing one?
MM: Don’t be afraid. I think many people think guns are intimidating. They’re not; practice makes perfect when it comes to firearms. I know our range here has $5 Ladies Fridays, so you can go to the range for $5 and you just have to pay for ammo and gun rentals. Like I said, according to my polls, people just don’t know where to start. So just do your research and get out to the range to gain that experience.
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