Montgomery County’s A Girl & A Gun women’s shooting league tries to keep politics out of its activities.
But league director Adrienne Nicotera said the bigger picture is certainly on her mind.
“You have bad apples who spoil the bunch,” the Abington pediatric nurse said.
A Girl & A Gun, a nationwide organization with roots in Texas, gives women a controlled environment to shoot in what Nicotera calls a “male-driven sport.”
Prior to her involvement with the group, Nicotera didn’t even want to touch a gun let alone have one in the house like her Army husband wanted. He convinced her to take a basic pistol course. Now, she owns her own guns and is an NRA-certified pistol instructor.
“It’s just very empowering,” Nicotera said. “I could have the worst day ever and go shooting and come out with a smile on my face.”
She’s admitted a few of the women in her suburban Philadelphia league weren’t too pleased with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s recent request that customers no longer bring guns into his stores. But Nicotera said that’s his right.
“I can understand that with everything that’s been going on lately,” she said. “It makes people uncomfortable and that’s all right.”
Nicotera said better background checks should be in place, but she doesn’t want it too difficult to get a gun.
“The harder they make it for an honest person to get a gun,” she explains, “it’s just going to make it even harder for us to defend ourselves. No matter what there are always going to be illegal gun sales, and it just makes it difficult for anybody who is responsible and uses guns in a controlled environment. The bad guys will always find a way to get a gun. I don’t know how they can stop it.”
For the time being, Nicotera is just trying to hone her own controlled-environment shooting skills to maybe even start competing.
“I feel accomplished. I feel like I can do this,” she said. “If you would have told me a year ago that I would be where I am today, I would say no way.”