The first time Ball State sophomore and champion shooter Lauren Owen shot a gun, she was nervous, shaky, and only in middle school. And she missed her target. Throughout her childhood, she had been taught about gun safety and how to act around guns from her family. Based on the way they treated guns,she knew it was an important part of her family, and through their example, she learned to place an importance on guns as well..

Her time to shoot finally came in the summer when she was about 13. Her father took her to a shooting range, and she was going to shoot a .12 gauge shotgun. She was nervous—really nervous.

Her entire body was shaking, and she wasn’t sure how she was going to feel about the experience. However, as soon as she pulled the trigger, she felt the thrill of the adrenaline racing through her body, and she was hooked. From then on, she couldn’t stop thinking about shooting. She even begged her father to take her back to the range as much as he could—which turned into every weekend. And by the time Lauren was in high school, she was named the number one shooter in Indiana.

Shooting well gave her a sense of pride, one that she continues to feel.

That pride led her to become a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association while she was in high school. The NRA aims to protect the right to bear arms, further shooting sports, and promote firearm education, according to Jason Brown, a Media Relations Manager for the NRA.

Despite the stereotype that Millennials are pro-gun control, many are active members of the NRA. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the amount of civilian guns owned in the United States has nearly doubled since 1968.

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