I penned this #tbt article when I began working with the NRA so many moons ago. In it you’ll learn a bit about my history and gain a little insight into this Texifornian’s mindset.
And I want to hear from you! Let me know how you got into this wide, wonderful world of guns in the comments below.
Originally published in the Washington Times in 2013.
Natalie Foster isn’t exactly your typical shooter and gun-rights activist. A Texas native who now hails from Hollywood, she didn’t grow up shooting like many from the Lone Star State. But since taking up the sport, she’s made up for lost time.
Natalie’s Girl’s Guide to Guns website is dedicated to women who “dig fashion and firepower.” Whether you’re a champion shooter or have never picked up a gun in your life, the site has something for every woman.
Hollywood piqued my interest in shooting. The roles Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale and other actresses played make shooting look empowering, fun and even glamorous. I wondered what it would be like to shoot a handgun like Jennifer Garner, or a shotgun like Milla Jovovich. Like many women of my generation, I have been influenced by these strong female roles and wondered if I could handle a firearm as well as they do on screen.
Guns were a part of our home growing up, but shooting was an activity that only the men and boys participated in, so I paid little attention. I was taught the basic safety rules, of course. To me, though, guns were just decorations on a wall.
After moving to Los Angeles and working in the film industry, I decided it was time I learned to shoot. And in an effort to build a stronger bond with my father, I asked him to teach me.
The first time I went shooting, I was hooked. I’ll confess that I felt empowered and a little bit glamorous, even covered in dirt from being out on the range all day. I felt strong, capable and confident. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and share it with every woman I could, which I did digitally after starting my blog. I knew there were other women who had also been influenced by this strong female messaging and had jumped at the chance to learn to shoot. Through Girl’s Guide to Guns, I wanted to create a place where we could talk about our experiences.
Little did I know the impact those old wall decorations would have on my life. For me, becoming a shooter was the first step to taking charge of my personal safety. I took firearms classes and learned self-defense tactics to be able to take care of myself in a hostile situation. The firearms community embraced me, as they have countless other women, and equipped me with skills and knowledge not only to deal with, but also avoid, threats that might come my way.
It was also through my work in the film industry that my appreciation and desire to defend the Second Amendment was deepened. This time it was not movie stars, but some of the most impoverished people in the world that changed my life.
I worked on documentaries and a feature film dealing with the subject of injustice against women and children, specifically in developing countries. I traveled to areas of the world where women’s rights are limited and oppression runs rampant. I saw firsthand what living in an unarmed society means.
My experiences there ignited my passion for our Second Amendment. It is the right to bear arms that allows us to defend ourselves—especially the most vulnerable in society. It is one of the many ways our country demonstrates that we value life.
In my travels, I have learned the important role our country plays in freedom and peace for the entire world. America is not perfect, but I firmly believe we are still the last, best hope of mankind. And it is our Second Amendment freedom that defends all of our other freedoms.
As the leader of the free world, we must continue to stand for these values. It was the foresight of our Founding Fathers and the genius of the Second Amendment that allows us to do just that.