It all started when Bearing Arms Editor Jenn Jacques wrote an article that showed her disappointment with the way a company known as "Bullets and Bombshells" portrayed women who support the Second Amendment. Jacques, as she says in her article, is all about female empowerment. The problem, for her, comes when women choose to sport themselves more like booth babes than women who are competent and educated in the use of firearms.
"I know sex sells, but there’s a time and a place for everything," Jacques wrote. "I was beyond embarrassed and mortified at the idea that this would do anything but deter women, and men, from the industry. I wondered if perhaps I had been naive in the belief that ‘booth babes’ were outdated in our industry."
TheBlaze's Tomi Lahren is actually a member of the Bullets and Bombshell team and took exception to Jacques' article, responding in a "Final Thoughts" segment. In it, she lambasted the Bearing Arms editor, saying that her apparent need to tell women how to act because the "sexiness of other women threatens" Jacques is "sad."
Afterward, TheBlaze's Dana Loesch thought it would be good to give Jacques the chance to respond to Lahren's words about her and set the record straight.
"You say that women have had a hard time earning credibility in the shooting sports," Loesch said. "Tell me a little bit about this, and where do you think it comes from?"
"For a long time it was a men's club essentially," Jacques said. "So marketing tactics like the one I discussed in my article were pretty normal, but my question in my article was: 'Is this effective or still welcome in an industry where people like myself, and Julie Golob, and other wonderful shooters — highly respected — does it have a place here? Is it something we've kind of outgrown?' And, again, this was not an attack piece. I would never bemoan anyone who is working to enhance veterans' rights."
Jacques explained that women she spoke to at events such as Shot Show in Las Vegas were disappointed by the display of "booth babes" and how they portrayed one of the fastest-growing demographics — female gun enthusiasts.
"You and I spoke this past year at Shot Show," she reminded Loesch. "Every woman that we spoke with was looking at booth babes and just kind of going "really?"
"We worked so hard to get here," Jacques said.
Jacques has also released a statement to TheBlaze with regard to Lahren's reaction:
I wanted to cover this on Bearing Arms because it’s an issue that is discussed between industry insiders at every trade show and gun show I’ve ever attended, so I wanted to bring the discussion out of the expo halls and into the open. As a professional, I was careful not to personally attack any of the women, not only because that's not who I am, but also because I don't know them or have any opinion of them personally.
I never said nor would I ever imply that any organization should not be allowed to market their products however they like, my question was whether or not this type of advertising is effective or even welcome in the firearms industry and shooting sports given how hard women have worked to dispel the notion that we’re just using guns as props or fetishizing firearms in order to appeal to men.
The response to my article from the firearms industry, shooting sports and professional hunting community has been overwhelmingly supportive, and while I’m proud to have effectively brought this issue to light, I apologize for any negativity Tomi’s personal attack may have brought my fellow female shooters, professional affiliations and family.