“For many women, a public range can actually be the first barrier to picking up a gun, simply because they don’t know what to expect.”
That’s how the introduction to the new NRA show, “Love at First Shot,” begins. And if you’re a women who’s ever been intimidated by the thought of going to the gun range, it’s entirely dedicated to you.
“It’s a show for the female shooter, and really for the beginning female shooter, although it’s great for anybody,” Natalie Foster, an NRA commentator, new wife, gun enthusiast and blogger told TheBlaze.
Foster hosts the show, which just launched on the NRA Women website. “There’s no content out there to help navigate the world of firearms, and it can get so overwhelming.”
So the NRA and Foster set out to change that.
“We wanted to give women a starting point, a friendly face, a friendly format to where they can just click on it and say, ‘OK, this is what I should expect going to the range for the first time,’” she said, speaking at the NRA convention in Indianapolis earlier this month, her blond hair hanging loosely over a flowery dress.
The show will follow Foster as she interviews industry experts and new gun users about what it means to take up shooting as a hobby as well as a means for protection. And it will walk them through how to do it.
“The point is to make all women feel welcome,” she explained. With more women than ever joining shooting in the last five years, “the industry is finally catching up to the enthusiasm of the female shooter.”
Viewers can expect everything from talk about shotguns to discussing shooting stances to understanding what to expect on a first hunt. (Foster was jetting off to the Midwest to film a turkey hunt the day after our interview). There’s even an episode guiding you through how to cook your first kill.
And it’s not like Foster — who is proficient in firearms — is standing idly by as a stoic and condescending expert. There are some things she’ll be learning along the way.
“I’ve grown to appreciate all this so much more,” she says of the experience of shooting the show.
Reducing the ‘Fear Factor’
Some may be wondering if a show about new women shooters is geared only toward younger women. “No at all,” Foster said emphatically. “It’s ageless.”
In fact, the first episode features a mother of three taking up shooting to protect herself and her children while her husband travels for work.
But besides teaching beginners the basics, Foster sees the show as fulfilling a larger purpose.
“People are so afraid of firearms,” she said. ”And it’s because they’ve been conditioned to be so fearful, and the reality is they don’t need to be.”
“It’s really about reducing the fear factor — it’s a nasty thing. If you’re afraid of anything, it has power over you. So let’s take that fear factor away.”
The show’s first episode, then, offers new shooters the “do’s and don’ts for your first trip to the range.” It also offers advice about what to wear: Cover up your legs, wear a hat if possible, and stay away from low-cut shirts. Why? Because hot shell casings can find their way into every nook and cranny:
As Foster’s name has started to grace the lips of the gun community, she’s dealt with a variety of backlash. The “most frustrating,” she said, has been charges of being anti-male.
“I got into guns because I love guys, I love my dad, my brothers and my husband. The whole reason I got into shooting was to build a relationship with the guys in my life,” she said, echoing comments she made to TheBlaze last year.
“We all come from different backgrounds with guns. Everyone has a firearms history whether they realize it or not, from watching it on TV or being exposed to it on TV,” she said.
“Make guns your own. This [the gun community] is a place where we can all feel confident.”