HOLLAND, Mich. — Gina Wesseldyke lines up her gun range target and fires.
“Not all of us are sitting on our sewing machines or crocheting,” she says, a spokeswoman for a new age of femininity.
“Some of us like to shoot guns.”
And now a new outlet for those who share Wesseldyke’s passion is coming to Holland.
Wesseldyke has been a member of The Well-Armed Woman – a national women’s gun club – for about a year.
“We want to educate, help them by equipping them with the right gun that feels good for them, and empowering them,” Wesseldyke says.
“There’s not always a man there to protect us. Women are reaching out in more and more aspects of fields, working second shift, third shift. Working jobs where they have to come home alone.
“It’s a safety aspect.”
Just recently, the club’s president asked Wesseldyke to start a new chapter in West Michigan.
Needing a range for this club to meet and shoot at, she asked Dan VanDussen at the Chick-Owa Sportsman’s Club in Holland to assist.
The club welcomed them with open arms.
“This is a great opportunity for the club to get involved with a womens’ program that’s specifically designed for women,” VanDussen says, “and we’re all for women getting involved in shooting sports.”
The National Sporting Goods Association says the number of women participating in target shooting is up more than 50% in the last decade.
Almost 1 in 4 now owns their own gun.
Wesseldyke has done a little promoting on Facebook – and found a lot of interest.
“I’ve had 65 responses to this point,” she says. “I’m expecting a very large turnout.”
“It’s women helping women. It’s a sisterhood bonding.”
Oh, and fellas: it sounds like the ladies could teach you a thing or two.
“Women are probably better shooters than men, as far as accuracy goes,” VanDussen says.
The Well Armed Woman of West Michigan’s first meeting is April 8th at 6:00 p.m. at Chick-Owa. Annual membership is $25. For more information on the group, go to www.thewellarmedwoman.com.