A recent article in the New York Times focused on the possible increase in female gun ownership in the United States. This “new” phenomenon of women and guns is of course far from new: as early as the 1870s, trapshooting for women was publicized by gun manufacturers as yet another feminine activity, not far removed from shopping or club work. The ultra-feminine Annie Oakley, who in the 1880s became an international star in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, personally taught fifteen thousand women to shoot. By the turn of the twentieth century, gun manufacturers were promoting hunting as a healthful activity for women.

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Copyright © 2013 University of North Carolina Press. This article first appeared in University of North Carolina Press Blog February 15, 2013.

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