Lindsay McCrum / The Vendome Press
Essay by Stephen L. Meagher
In Chicks with Guns, Lindsay McCrum has created a powerful cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and unexpected. Like the twenty million women who own guns in this country, those featured in the book (their portraits are accompanied by their own words) reside in all regions of the country, come from all walks of life, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. They are sportswomen, hunters, and competition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. There are police-women and biathlon competitors, ranchers and jetsetters, young girls and grandmothers. They may not all be classically beautiful, but in these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power, and pride. They are real women with real guns that play an important part in their lives.
Chicks with Guns explores an indelible part of our national identity, but is not thrown off-balance by the natural suspicions and political ideology often associated with firearms. It examines issues of self-image and gender through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, presenting guns not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And it defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women. By focusing her camera respectfully on this very particular aspect of the American scene, gun-wielding women and girls, Lindsay McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.
9 x 11.75 inches