Friday, June 03, 2011

It's hard to hear me roar over all the gunfire...

So, at the LuckyGunner shoot, they had people with "ammo menus" coming up to shooters on the firing line and asking if they needed any ammo or water, which was a very novel idea.

However, the people in question were young women dressed in a fashion that was only a low-cut neckline away from looking as though they should be asking if you wanted your wings mild, medium, or Three Mile Island. As Breda points out, this fails to attract half of the potential market, if it doesn't outright repel it. If you're only selling to men, that's fine; it works for brands from Old Spice to Hooters (or to Bushhamster, with their ridiculous "man card" campaign.) But if you want to broaden your market, it's the kind of thing you might want to think carefully about.

In short, had the "ammo waitresses" been wearing khakis and polo shirts, all we'd be discussing right now is what a neat idea the "menus" were. So, ten out of ten for cleverness, but minus several hundred for not thinking through all the implications.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if they dressed like John Moses Browning? Wool suits, vests and stick on mustaches?

Shootin' Buddy

YeOldFurt said...

Tsk, tsk. It's a wonder the guys were able to remember to pull a trigger with all that bare flesh hanging out!!! What is this generation coming to, forgetting their mu-mus and burkhas?? How scandalous are they going to get??
YeOldFurt

Tam said...

Like Breda points out, it can be hard enough to get women interested in shooting as it is, without hanging an implicit "Boyz Klubhowse" sign on the door.

westofthewest said...

Like they say on the gun forums, this post needs pictures.

Noah D said...

Been thinking about this lately, as it's been a discussion ongoing for a while in my other hobbies - tabletop miniatures wargaming and video games (I'm not just a gun geek!). There's something of a growing sentiment that while T&A sells, it rapidly becomes insulting, and distracting. And when you're introducing someone to the minis wargaming hobby, it's a lot easier to get them hooked if there's not a bunch of 1" tall anime-style teenage girls with lovingly sculpted....attributes...on the table, rather than properly equipped soldiers of whatever time period.

TL;DR: Less Charlie's Angels, more Vasquez.

WV: ancho - Si, por favor.

McVee said...

I saw the picture of Caleb with the "ammo Girls" and I did not think they looked like hooters waitresses. Had the shirts been tied in a knot and they were wearing short shorts... well. The Ladies looked comfortable and I suspect no one probably put much thought to the outfit. I am more surprised that they had "Girls" exclusively assisting the shooters rather than a team of Men and Women. That is sexist IMO.

I would question the practicality of wearing black and sleeveless on the line too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a healthy man with an active libido and the girls in skimpy stuff do nothing for me either way. What matters is whether they are doing their jobs.

I've never understood the mindset of acting like an idiot over some woman and never understood why men thought that would be attractive to them nor the inability to understand why the significant other would not find that amusing. Perhaps someone will one day have a shoot for the ladies with under dressed young studly men serving them. Wonder how many husbands that attended this event would find that wrong.

Anonymous said...

A smart woman once said, and oddly I just quoted it here recently (probably misquoted, I'm too lazy to look up the verbatim):

"Maybe they'll come for the bod and stay for the brains."

Certainly works for her, and apparently these folks believe it does/will work for them. And I'm guessing their current customer base is pretty one-sided (what was the guy/gal ratio at the shoot?).

Regardless, capitalism rocks and it's all about the money. Is it short-sighted as to building market share? Maybe. But the choice is theirs, and for where to buy ammo the choice is the consumers; there's (thank God) lots of choices.

Question is, if they throw another one of these events next month will they get even more attention due to the bunny dustup? Probably...it certainly won't hurt their numbers with the guys. As for the women? Most of the current female company I keep might think it as juvenile as they do all the other cheesecake promotions. But it's not the deciding factor; they sure as hell wouldn't let it keep them away from this event or from buying their products, as long as the product/price is superior.

As with most else, just follow the money. If it is perceived by management to help the bottom (heh) line, they'll keep it up. If it hurts, they'll dress 'em up like Tam wants, like clerks in a Verizon store.

Now about those flag pics you mentioned...;)

AT

RobertM said...

I didn't know about the ammo girls until I got there, so for me at least it was hardly a selling point. As for their attire, I'd have been dressed that way if I could have gotten away with it!

And I think it's fair to point out that the vast majority of bloggers attending were men. I think, and its possible I'm wrong in this, that had the attendance been more balanced that the young, fit, male Lucky Gunner employees would have been happy to run back and forth fetching ammo and water. Hell, I'd have been happy to do it.

Justin Buist said...

Have they tried beating everybody else on price yet? There's a gimmick that might actually work.

Every time they whip up some blog press I check them out and compare to other vendors only to be disappointed. Actually I think I might have ONCE found them cheaper on 7.62x39mm.

Kevin said...

The thing I enjoyed about the "ammo waitresses" as they've been referred to, was watching them shoot many of the weapons. One of the physically smallest of them sat down behind the BAR and ripped off a full magazine, and then got up with a smile that wrapped around her entire head.

I saw several of them shooting, and all of them had that smile afterward. I asked two or three if they were shooters, and none of them were until that day.

Hey, for me that's a net win.

Anonymous said...

The women we shoot with here tend to dress about the same on hot days on the range except they always wear crew neck shirts after on hot brass experiance.

My old boss would hire booth babes for some shows to take leads or just smile at the folks. Yes, she would dress them in polo shirts and 5.11s. Most of the young ladies worked part time to pay for school and were very pleasant and hard workers and eager to learn something new. It gave us technical types time to answer questions or talking to customers instead of doing paper work.

Gerry

Billybobz said...

Why all the concern about what the "ammo waitresses" were wearing?

One of the problems we have with attracting new shooters is the appearance that if you are not wearing the same thing as everyone else you are not one of "us"

Just a guess, and I may be wrong, but I suspect the girls were more comfortable wearing what they were than khakis and polo shirts which is not their normal attire.

Nowayoutbutup said...

Tam,
I think you should contact Angela Degloma, LuckyGunners operations manager. Angela was the primary organiser of last weekends shoot.I have worked with her in the past and she has always been receptive to customer input.
Here is a photo of Angela from Oleh Volk taken during the shoothttp://olegvolk.net/blog/2011/05/30/one-of-the-lucky-gunner-shoot-organizers/.

Joseph said...

How is Old Spice marketing to men? Have you seen a recent commercial? It's a really buff dude in a towel talking to the "ladies". I'm not sure what men you think are finding this form of sex appeal alluring, but you'll probably find some on Talbot St.

Anyway, I don't see the big deal, but if women don't feel welcome somewhere I guess it's wrong.

Perhaps any hires spokespersons should simply be the Greendale Community College Human Being?
http://is.gd/xrPv3o

Lanius said...

Like someone said, if you can see almost everything out in the street, it takes the fun out of the unwrapping.

One of the grammar schools I went to in even had a dresscode. Males could not wear non-full length trousers, the justification being that their legs are hairy and unsightly. Some smartasses then shaved their legs and went to school wearing nylons..at which point much groaning was heard.


@Tam

Skimpy clothing, while revealing and offensive to some, has a lot of positives. I mean, a T-shirt is just something that soaks up sweat, and I far prefer to ride my bike around the city without a shirt, and it's fair to say I wish I lived in a society like Sparta, where it'd be okay to do so totally nude.

Sure, people gawk, but fuck them.

They're the ones lazing around, moving at measly 4-5 kph while I'm averaging about 28 kph. Takes a lot more effort, and sweating in clothing is no real fun.

Anyway. They don't matter and I consider them nothing more than annoying scenery. It's always nicer outside at 2am when the streets are all empty.


Really, hot weather and skimpy clothes/nudity is like milk and cookies. One without the other is like no good at all.

Trent said...

Color me slightly confused.
When I read your article and clicked over to Breda's place to read what she had to say I was expecting daisy dukes and tank tops, the pics linked to... I dunno guys I have seen many a girl with much less on stroll into the choir loft Sunday morning.

And wasn't one of those gun bunnies or whatever ya wanna call them one of the organizers of the event? Oleg seemed to indicate that was the case over on his site. Not having had the luck or proximity to be invited or participate I don't know what all went on but I dunno man, seems like they weren't dressed any more provokingly than the car hops at sonic.

LC Scotty said...

@ Joseph: Old Spice is marketing to men using sex appeal-it's not that we're going to want to f*** him, it's that we're going to want to be him. Because then the ladies will want to f*** us.

Seriously, who doesn't want to be so smooth as to poop out oysters with tickets that turn to diamonds?

Swan Dive!! into the cool waters of friendship and trust...

Mick Havoc said...

"Fabio to the firing line, on the double!"

og said...

I tend not to look at women dressed like that. I can see how it might upset someone, but if I were a woman, it's just an asshole detector; a guy spends an inordinate amount of time ogling or chatting up the scantily clad girl, he might be an asshole.

Now, give me a woman in properly fitting khakis, or jeans and a polo, and I'm there.

WV: Forredin. The noise made when adult males are circumcised.

Anonymous said...

Next time we make the young ladies wear Wookie suits.

Shootin' Buddy

Mike W. said...

I don't know, wouldn't the wookie suits be damn hot in the summertime?

og said...

Does this wookie suit make my ass look big?

Caleb said...

It's not the wookie suit that makes your ass look big, it's the bandolier of cartridges for the bowcaster.

(Caleb earns 10,000 nerd points for knowing the name of Chewie's weapon).

Anonymous said...

Is that a bowcaster in your wookie suit or are you just happy to see me?

If we make the women wear khakis, can we make them wear pith helmets like Professor Elemental?

Bring me my shooting trousers.

Shootin' Buddy

og said...

no, no, those are my time traveling trousers. The shooting trousers are between the dress slacks and the fornicating jodhpurs.

Anonymous said...

If I wear Lucky Gunner I would have a new campaign with girls in burquas and chadoras, "we are sorry, ladies, please buy our ammo."

Shootin' Buddy

DirtCrashr said...

Thank GOD they weren't wearing a crinoline bustle! No matter how steampunk it might have been.
Actually steampunk chicks are hot, so what CAN they wear besides blue mechanics overalls with the nametag "Al" sewn in...

Tam said...

Shootin' Buddy,

If your receptionist is clad in anything other than a tennis skirt and sleeveless top right this very moment, you can just put a sock in it.

Fucking "burkhas"? Reductio ad absurdum, much? You don't see any happy medium between chadors in Khuzestan and shoe models at The Kitty Kat Club?

But that's cool. If you want to keep half the voting population uninterested in the Second Amendment, you just tell Cletus to keep hanging his Snap-On Tool calendars in the gun store showroom.

Anonymous said...

"If your receptionist is clad in anything other than a tennis skirt and sleeveless top right this very moment, you can just put a sock in it."

She is wearing standard office wear, a burqua with the office logo on it which is a blindfolded Wookie holding the scales of justice.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

"You don't see any happy medium between chadors in Khuzestan and shoe models at The Kitty Kat Club?"

Is it the role of Lucky Gunner to decide that, or the role of "You're not the boss of me!" Libertarians to tell their employees how to dress?

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

SB,

"Is it the role of Lucky Gunner to decide that, or the role of "You're not the boss of me!" Libertarians to tell their employees how to dress?"

I don't see anybody telling anyone how to dress.

Is it the role of "pro-freedom conservatives" to tell people they can't have opinions or, if they do, to keep them to themselves? Maybe we could get some Net Neutrality going in here!

Drang said...

DirtCrashr: Steampunk chicks can always go for the nylon corset with molle attachments...

WV: dramples. Well, yeah, they can wear those, too...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of my receptionist, she just gave me a message for you: the "First Baptist Council of Atlanta for Covering Up Them Thar Wimmenfolk" is expressing support for this new Prudish Libertarianism and Sanctimony. They are very proud.

Shootin' Buddy

og said...

Now this is how they oughta dress! Take it ALL off!!!

Borepatch said...

Shootin' Buddy, I don't think that's really fair.

My wife likes going to our range, especially when there are a lot of women there (both shooting and behind the counter). She doesn't like going to ranges where there are cheesecake posters hanging everywhere.

That doesn't mean that she wants to prohibit cheesecake posters. Just that she won't go shoot there.

Neat thing, the free market. Both Breda and Tam gave some decently valuable market research to the shooting vendors for free. If they're snart, they'll hold out a bucket and let it fill up with that free soup.

Anonymous said...

Dunno a circa 1960 cigarette girl get up ( you know, revealing but not "revealing" a nice dress)would have been way fun, and less blatant.

A "gibson girl" complete with hat would be even funny.

I like oggleing attractive scantily clad wimmin as much as the next guy, but the firing line ain't the place.

Anonymous said...

"Shootin' Buddy, I don't think that's really fair."

Fair? Perhaps you are correct, but this is deeeeee-licious. This is the Death of Sanctimonous Libertarianism. What cigarettes could not do to L. Neil Smithites (kill him), the Libertarian Asshold Problem just drove a spike through the "you're not the boss of me" bowcaster wavers.

Besides the First Baptist Council of Clucking Tongues and Crossed Arms of Atlanta, what if it were Mike Huckabee?

My bet is that the reaction would be different. Free to choose, unless it offends me.

Shootin' Buddy

Kristopher said...

I think alan at snarkybytes has got the right of this:

Immature industry.

Computer business conventions used to have booth babes as well. They stopped when they realized they don't drive sales, and annoy half the clients.

Gaming companies are still in the dork ages, but they are catching up.

Firearms industry reps are starting to lose the booth babes, now that they are trying to get serious about selling to women.


Shootin' Buddy: The market will make the decision here. As always.

I will defend your right to film strippers with guns and sell the videos, or buy the same, or whatever lesser variation of this ( hooters + guns, etc. ) floats your boat. I might not buy, but I will support your right to do so.

Anonymous said...

Actually Tam had it just about right in her comments at Breda's as to the "implications" - and this whole debate is fraught with those on both sides - until Breda bitched her out and she joined the circle jer..er, I mean the circle diddle.

Sorry, that was crass, but Breda says there over and over that her point is not to deny that "sex sells"...which only means that she herself missed the point entirely.

AT

Tam said...

Shootin' Buddy,

"This is the Death of Sanctimonous Libertarianism."

The thing that just whistled over your head at Flight Level 350? That would be the point.

I know you're not dumb, and your job requires reading comprehension, so I have to believe you're simply being willfully obtuse here.

First, nobody is "telling" anybody how they "have to" dress.

Second, we are talking about an industry that devotes whole issues of trade rags to "How can we get more female customers?"; a political movement that wonders "How can we get women to vote pro-2A?"; a hobby that has gun boards full of threads moaning "I can't get my wife to go to the gun store with me!" and then somehow comes up with the answer "Pink Guns!"

Well, Cletus, if you'd spend less time on pink-handled revolvers and more time cleaning your showcases, putting on a clean shirt, and taking down those ridiculous posters of bikini-clad chicks grimacing their way through a mag dump with their eyes closed, perhaps you might pick up market share with the other half of the planet.

But hey, that's okay. You just hyuk to each other about burkhas and then come January you can whine again about how SHOT was another total sausage-fest with only 5% female attendance.

This stuff doesn't particularly bother me. I've worked around it all my life, and I'm pleanty used to being the only chick in the room. (And accusing somebody who's posed for nekkid photos of "prudery" is good for a horse laugh.) But you might want to listen to the other people if you want to stop answering those "Why can't I get my girlfriend to come to the indoor range?" posts on INGO.

Anonymous said...

SB,
You don't understand the whole "Having the right to do a thing is not at all the same as being right in doing it" do you?

No one here is suggesting that Lucky Gunner doesn't have or should have the Right to have "Ammo Babes" in nothing but a thong bikini if they want.

But nothing about Libertarianism suggests adherents should change the well-worn phrase that "I may not like what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it" to "I have like what you say, or keep my own mouth shut".

Yu-Ain Gonnano

Joseph said...

I'm suddenly really OK with not so many women at the range/gunshop.

Beaumont said...

Perhaps many folks have missed an important factoid here, namely that the temp was quite high on the range that day. Around Knoxvegas, on such days, shorty wimmen's clothes are more common than not. While I understand Breda's and Tam's reactions, I don't really think LuckyGunner was trying to turn the shoot into a brass-laced version of Hooters.

Anonymous said...

Libertarian != Libertine

Yu-Ain Gonnano

docjim505 said...

1. What marketting strategy will be effective in getting the most number of women interested in firearms?

2. What marketting strategy will get the most number of women interested in motorcycles, muscle cars, role playing games, majoring in science, math and engineering, playing with GI Joe dolls, action flicks, or any other traditionally male-dominated area of interest?

3. Why is it that attractive models are used to sell clothing to women, but not firearms? For that matter, why are the women on the covers of books aimed at a female audience always attractive?

I get that the "boy's clubhouse" is a turnoff for women; it is for many men, too. However, I don't see that the mere presence of a nice-looking woman is a deal-killer for another woman looking to buy some product for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Gloria Stienman just called. She wants you're number. ;-)

CIII

atlharp said...

Tam, I got you covered.......uh not like that. But I got your letter all ready to go out to Lucky Gunner:

Dear Lucky Gunner,

I showed up to your gun shoot and I saw a bunch of chicks that were handin' out ammo to dudes and stuff. During my entire duration there blowing shit up and going all full auto, I noticed that there were no muscle dudes in banana hammocks servin' up my ammo! I know this is a recession and all but mama needs some beefcake! m'kay? Next year make sure I and the chick with the limp get some yummy man time dammit!

Sincerely,

Tam "draped in the flag and not much else" K.


I hope this helps

ATL

Tam said...

docjim505,

"3. Why is it that attractive models are used to sell clothing to women, but not firearms?"

Nobody said anything about not using attractive women. As was noted elsewhere, a buff black dude is used to sell Old Spice to guys.

Here's the thing, though: Who are you marketing guns to? Men? Women? Or people?

If you're only trying to sell to one half of the populace, then by all means, market to only that half of the populace. But don't use the Swedish Bikini IPSC Team as your pitchmen and then wonder why you're not reaching female customers. ("But... but... we make pink guns!")


Anon 4:22,

"Gloria Stienman just called. She wants you're number. ;-)"

I'm sure you meant "Steinem" and "your". ;-)

And what the hell do I care about her?

People are resolutely missing the point here: This isn't about "sexism" or "political correctness" or "prudery". This is about me listening to men pissing and moaning like little crybabies for twenty years that "Wow, it's so cool that you're into shooting! I wish I could get my wife interested in shooting!" And then when actual real live women offer some suggestions, everybody gets all butthurt about it.

Anonymous said...

Shit, sorry for being late to the party. If anybody is still out there, here's my two bobs worth:

Do the ammobunnies, shooting babes, or whatever, know that they are ammobunnies, shooting babes etc etc? If they were hired to 'sex-up' the shoot, well that would not impress me. What a pointless and somewhat 'typical' thing to do.

But if they were hired to be polite, curteous and quick on their feet, the afformentioned 'ammobunny' label would be a little unfair, would it not? Offensive even?

And while we are on the subject, we should sort out an important matter here: What is the correct term for more than one ammobunny? A pod? A gaggle? A grouping of ammobunnies? A burst of shooting babes?

Tam said...

atlharp,

I appreciate the effort, but I was there to shoot and talk with friends and folks in the industry, not diddle myself while taking in the scenery.

Like I said earlier, I'm not offended. This is par for the course. It doesn't bother me; it's the environment in which I've worked for almost twenty years.

By all means, keep making those pink guns.

Tam said...

Anon 4:51,

"But if they were hired to be polite, curteous and quick on their feet, the afformentioned 'ammobunny' label would be a little unfair, would it not?"

Indeed. And it is unfair to them. They were unfailingly polite and courteous and johnny-on-the-spot.

The point being made here is that it neatly footnotes a blind spot in the firearms industry where guns are painted as a "guy thing" and then everybody wonders why more women don't get into shooting. (An important question in a de facto democracy with a universal franchise.)

Like I said earlier, the industry trade magazines tend to devote, on average, an issue a year on "How can we get more women into shooting?" As Breda suggested, perhaps taking down the virtual "Boys' Clubhouse" sign off the door would be a good start.

atlharp said...

Like I said earlier, I'm not offended. This is par for the course. It doesn't bother me; it's the environment in which I've worked for almost twenty years.

Look I understand, it's similar to the feeling I would get working as a musician. "Why can't we be adults here?" I completely understand, I think most of gunbunny shit is useless and insulting too. In reality I think if someone believes that they put some hot chick on something that it's gonna get me to buy it. It usually has the opposite effect in that I will think the product is lame and is really for targeted for mall ninjas. Overall, I agree with what you are saying. Women will be a serious market share in guns (didn't this happen with motorcycles too over the last 10 years?). The whole pink guns thing is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to misunderstanding women in the marketplace, but it is also a great opportunity for someone to come along and market something to women that doesn't scream "Oy Vey, my nails!" Remember the second someone smells money in all of this they will be on it faster than a monkey on a nanner!

FYI: I was trying to lighten it up a bit, you looked like you could use a laugh. :-)

Lanius said...

BTW, what's the gender ratio among shooters in the US?

1.5 men to for every woman? Or is it more skewed?

I was kind of surprised at the gun course my school has to find almost a third of the people present were women.

Borepatch said...

Boy, howdy. I don't know if there's something in the water, or what, but it seems like 2/3 of the commenters here a just plain missing the point - same as over at Breda's.

My sum up to everyone who's all "yuk yuk, so much for libertarianism" is that this was a marketing event leveraging the gun blog community. Two of the biggest blogs in that community are talking about how this particular issue was a miss.

Fail.

Like I said over at my place (and like Alan said over at his place), this is probably growing pains in an industry that will (hopefully) mature over time. Lucky Gunner wasn't the first to do this, and won't be the last.

But it's a truism that you should make sure you don't piss someone off by accident.

I'm OK with the guys here who seem to be taking the view of heck with the girls, I like the boy's club. Not so much for me, but that's the great thing about the free market - you go to your dive of a range with cheesecake calendars, I'll go to a place where the Missus wants to come along. A thousand points of light, and all that.

But the idea that suddenly a bunch of us are all Cotton Mather when we point out that this was a missed marketing opportunity is just plain weird.

Robin said...

As was noted elsewhere, a buff black dude is used to sell Old Spice to guys.

Well, to be precise, to sell Old Spice to girl friends and wives to buy for guys.

Anonymous said...

"guns are painted as a "guy thing" and then everybody wonders why more women don't get into shooting"

guns ARE a "guy thing", always have been..so were pilum.

This will change when women, as a group, value self defense, combat or aggressive behavior as much as "guys" have, historically.

I doubt if firearms marketing has much of an effect on the underlying self defense mindset of potential women customers. "I want to protect myself, but GODDAMN, I can't tolerate the short shorts on the posters in the gun shop"

Apparently the entire kerfuffle is:
"firearms manufacturers objectify women at their peril if they wish to attract women customers"

true, maybe...they ain't geniuses...they sell the "Judge"

As "Bud Light" has figured out, there's a significant difference between your "market" and your "untapped market". Do you think Hormel drools over the prospect of selling Spam to 2 million potential Muslim customers.

WV: rammen; watch Ramen girl on Netflix

BatChainPuller

Lanius said...

So, you advocate gene engineering and resulting higher testosterone levels for women to change their lack of interest in guns? Maybe it'd also help to make them more physically capable, meaning that they'd be on average of the same size as men.

Wouldn't work. Some aggressive people prefer hand to hand combat to guns.

Like this 6'4" blonde girl I'm interested in.

She has more balls than most men and I'm likely not homicidally insane enough for her. Has a freaking machete holster in her car in addition to carrying a boxer (while being active in MMA too) .. and likely counts brawling with nazis among her hobbies, judging from the number of rather nasty scars on her arms and that she's one of the SHARP skinheads.

Still, one can hope. Persistence may pay off, and living with a girl whose idea of good exercise is to take out boxing gloves and beat the shit out of each other is something I'd give my left testicle for.


This will change when women, as a group, value self defense, combat or aggressive behavior as much as "guys" have, historically.

Around here, an informal poll among newspaper readers revealed women are more in favor of CCW. There were some thousands of responders.

Makes sense, as most women are physically slight and unlikely to be able to use other weapons than guns for really effective SD.

Tam said...

BatChainPuller,

"Do you think Hormel drools over the prospect of selling Spam to 2 million potential Muslim customers."

They might want to think about it before those 2 million Muslims get a chance to vote on making their product illegal. Just sayin'.

Look, I'm not the one printing up all these firearms industry magazines that are all butthurt about "Why won't you cousin-humping rednecks vote for..." er, sorry, I meant "What can we do to encourage more novice women to get interested in shooting?"

Lanius said...

boxer = brass knuckles - Forgot to translate that

Rob K said...

My wife's comment on the picture of Caleb with the 4 "ammo waitresses" was that they looked like church youth camp counselors. I had to concur. From what I see in that pictures, those women are dressed about the same way my wife, my mother, my aunts, or my sister would be. And they're pretty darn conservative.

Anonymous said...

"Look, I'm not the one printing up all these firearms industry magazines that are all butthurt about "Why won't you cousin-humping rednecks vote for..." er, sorry, I meant "What can we do to encourage more novice women to get interested in shooting?"

You are correct... unassailably.

But hypocrisy and stupidity are such a minor sins. Hypocrites get box seats looking down on the first circle of hell. Underlying behavior is much more at issue.

"What can we do to encourage more novice women to get interested in shooting?"

...by promoting the self defense ethic and our 2nd amendment rights..not by removing Snap-On calendars from the auto repair shop.

BTW, I thought the Ammo-Tenders outfits were tasteful and practical. Why were they all women? Dunno...maybe it's the structural wage disparity...for $19/hour, the guys might be humpin' rebar in the 90 degree heat.

BatChainPuller

docjim505 said...

So, how SHOULD the firearms industry market to women? Why did (apparently) more women start riding motorcycles? Did Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, et al come up with a magic formula, or did societal norms change to make it more acceptable for women to do this? Will the same happen with women and guns, i.e. will they become shooters despite pink pistols and "the boy's club"? Will more female customers give the industry actual experience with that market segment that will improve their strategy? "Gee whiz, we sell a lot of guns to women these days, but none of them buy those pink guns. Hmmm... Maybe our marketting strategy has been wrong. Maybe... Naw! Have we completely misunderstood this market segment???"

With regard to the "gunbunnies"*, is it perhaps a good idea to have female salespeople to sell to female customers?

----

(*) A term we used to apply to cannon crewmembers, aka "cannon cockers", who tend to be big, sweaty individuals with REALLY big guns and whose idea of target practice is shooting at a truck ten miles away.

Tam said...

Rob K,

"My wife's comment on the picture of Caleb with the 4 "ammo waitresses"..."

Huh? Caleb wasn't there.

Rob K said...

The caption of the picture at the top of this page http://www.lesjones.com/2011/06/02/luckygunner-shoot-pictures/

is "Caleb and the LuckyGunner Ammo Girls"

og said...

Calebs nametag says "Jake"

Anonymous said...

Breda's most recent reply to a commenter who believes she was unfair in her criticisms:

"But of course, you're more than welcome to not read my blog."

By golly now she's got it...because she is in turn welcome to not attend this company's promotional events or buy/use/recommend their products.

And that - the free market at work - is really the whole of the thing.

But is her reader also welcome to publicly contemplate a baser motive for her bad review? That seething green monster can really be a bitch.

AT

Sport Pilot said...

Tam, I agree to disagree with you on this issue. I do however see the point that you are trying to get across but am not sure this incident is a good example of such a bias. Still, I enjoyed reading the post and comment's, in fact it was a really good read for me.

Les Jones said...

og, you're right. That guy's nametag does say Jake. I got him mixed up with Caleb from LuckyGunner (not Caleb from GunNuts). Corrected.

Dan said...

Honestly from the description I was half picturing some trashy incident with some sluts in halter tops and short skirts going around bending over suggestively and shoving tits too close to faces trying to make the men blush. I can see how that would outright repel female shooters but looking at the pictures that's obviously far from the truth...they seemed to be dressed like I'd expect most women of that age to dress on a hot summer day at the range. I don't get why anybody other than hypersensitive feminists would get offended by that.

I totally get that pink guns and bikini-gun-chick posters in gun shops are basically a negative. But don't bash the "boys club" too bad...weapons and the like are a manly thing, and always will be vastly male-dominated. Yeah, it sucks that most gun shops are terrible to female customers, and they shouldn't be.(and honestly as a man if I took the advice of the same problem gun shop employees, I'd have an equally shitty gun collection full of bubba'd out shotguns and super-low end ARs with NC star optics. And I know many men with this same exact plight, so again it isn't just women.) But the idea that it's all an issue of men needing to leave the man-stuff in their designated man-caves and accomodate women reeks of entitlement.

Going in the that direction is quite a terrible slippery slope...for instance look at the fitness industry. A gym that has "something for everybody" is going to be a pastel colored den of yoga mats, loud pop music and 29.99 personal training/self esteem sessions with a small selection of weights in a corner out of the way somewhere.

Sounds unlikely that gun shops will get this way, but if you went to a gym 60 years ago you'd say the same thing about that subculture...

Oleg Volk said...

My theory is that the only error Lucky Gunner made was to use the term "ammo girls". Since they had both guys and girls ferrying water and ammo, not emphasizing one set over the other would have worked to avoid controversy.

thesouthtexaspistolero said...

But the idea that suddenly a bunch of us are all Cotton Mather when we point out that this was a missed marketing opportunity is just plain weird.

I dunno, BP. I'd think are a lot of simple-minded people with that Manichean view of things; they just don't crap in the floor, pick it up & throw it everywhere at (real or virtual) friends' gatherings as we see here.

Les Jones said...

Oleg, I think that's about right. I winced slightly the first time I heard "ammo girls" at the shoot and then sort of got over it. Delete that term and I think most of the problem goes away.

atlharp said...

I think the real point here is that the 9mm only has stopping power in a sub-machine gun and if you guys can't agree on that then to hell with all you! (Come on Tam you know it was going to come to this sooner or later). Have a nice night! ;-)

farmist said...

I've seen many negative comments on the "ammo-girls" attire, but not one single serious suggestion as to what they SHOULD have worn? From what I saw in the pics, I'd guess the ladies were asked to wear something black and comfortable.

wv:armors

Sabra said...

I've seen many negative comments on the "ammo-girls" attire, but not one single serious suggestion as to what they SHOULD have worn?

Y'know, it's really not the issue at all, but just for shits and giggles I will answer this question. The women should have been wearing the same sort of clothing as the men carrying out the same duties. There's no justification for women to wear sleeveless shirts & shorts to do the job men are doing while wearing polo shirts and pants. (And don't try pretending they were wearing anything other than what they were told to wear.)

If the purpose of these women was merely to fetch and carry, then they would not have been assigned different clothing solely due to their gender. A large portion of the female population--and no small percentage of men, from what I've seen--takes issue with being told to do something simply 'cause of being female. And we're smart enough to see when that's happening. It's a small incident that happens to dovetail neatly into a much larger issue, and is being used as an illustration of such. Meanwhile, there are a lot of men who seem to really take pride in not getting it.

Anonymous said...

And with this one, comments here outnumber those at Breda's and most everyone who cares has had their say.

And what did they say? Well, according to one, I think it was Borepatch, they're about two-thirds in opposition to the original premise that the organizers either intentionally or cluelessly demeaned and alienated females...and contrary to Sabra's statement above, that includes quite a few secure, mature women.

So what's a blogstress to do? Well some, like any old-style media wog, ignore the voice and will of their constituency (and even try to silence it) and tell them by God what their ignernt asses should believe...that's Breda's approach. Others acknowledge that everything is a transitional process and that when it comes to capitalism and profit, the market will ultimately force changes when justified by those forces...but then close ranks to protect the "sisterhood" even when the sister being protected is dead wrong, *as proven by the current market base and majority opinion*. That's Tam of course, and it is just as wrong for a preeminent gun blog as it is for the editor of the New York Times.

How ironic is it that a commentator who ostensibly promotes equality of access and encourages participation by females instead criticizes and demeans a whole group of females who *are actively participating*?

Great job turning a great event into a completely irrelevant firestorm that actually harms the purported cause, ya'll.

AT

Kevin said...

Every get-together of this type I have attended has been predominately middle-aged overweight white male. (That describes me.)

The problem seems to be that the girls were cute. According to Angela from LuckyGunner, they were her college friends, wearing essentially uniform tops provided by LuckyGunner.

One question:

Would it have helped if the young ladies had been, well, unattractive?

Tam said...

"...but then close ranks to protect the "sisterhood" even when the sister being protected is dead wrong"

If you think that's what happened, well, the NYT is looking for writers.

Like I said elsewhere, if I'd known people were going to so resolutely miss my point in favor of saddling up their own hobbyhorses, I'd have kept my piehole shut.

Only my personal policy of standing by what I write and not deleting or editing comments has kept me from deleting or locking this farce.

Anonymous said...

"Only my personal policy of standing by what I write and not deleting or editing comments has kept me from deleting or locking this farce."

Only your personal policy of standing by what you write and not deleting or editing comments has kept me on (and occasionally under) the Porch. Thanks for that; anything else is would be an *actual* farce.

Breda's original complaint was...shall we say "fallacious", and your original comments there gently illustrated why.

Bearing in mind which of you has extensive knowledge and experience in the business and which is more of a...community organizer as it were, you shoulda stuck to yer uh, guns.

IMO.

AT

The Freeholder said...

Tam, as I stated at Roberta's place, it isn't an issue that many people are missing your point. We disagree with you, for reasons we've all stated. You're so convinced that you're right and we're wrong (rather than any other possible explanation, which includes all of us being wrong, as I somewhat obliquely pointed out just a few minutes ago at Roberta's), that I'm afraid you're missing our points.

It might be useful for all of us to walk off from the debate for a few days and then come back with a fresh perspective. While it's a bit esoteric, it also strikes me as relatively important, and we need to work it out amongst ourselves. But right now, nearly everyone is shouting and no one is listening.

perlhaqr said...

And here I thought all of us in the gunblogosphere firmly supported the right to bare arms. *snif*

(I resisted making this pun for daaaaays, but I can resist no longer! :D )

Scout26 said...

I too, winced they the mentioned the "Ammo Girls". Had they said "Ammo Waitresses" or "Ammo Fetchers" I would have been fine.

As one of the 40ish, round, white guys who was actually there, it was more like my daughter and her friends working at their first job as waitress or hostess at a restaurant then a trip to the nudie bar.

Be that as it may, the kerfuffle seems to be about picture 11 in the flickr photostream. What no one seems to notice are pictures 16 and 27. Uniformly the guys (at least the ones I hung around with, sorry Tam.), to a man asked, offered and cajoled the "Ammo Waitresses" into shooting since none had ever shot before. I'm one of the ones that when to the LuckyGunner PTB and asked that the young ladies be allowed to shoot.

Even though we are all knuckle-dragging neanderthals, we managed to project and impart the positive idea that "shooting is fun!" to four very nice young ladies and that hopefully they may seek out the opportunity to shoot again.

We were also able to impart some pro-2A ideas as well, so that even if they chose never to pick-up a gun again, when they are in the voting both maybe they'll remember that "Shooting Was Fun" and vote accordingly.

-Dave Liddy

wv:anvetie - like a negative invite, when you are told to stay away from an event.

DirtCrashr said...

And why is there such an industry-wide emphasis on *cough* BIG BLACK guns??? :-)

w/v: briouted - the brie was outed?