Kimberly Eakin, 45, of Roanoke County, is photographed with a Beretta 9mm. “I’ve been shooting since I was 12," Eakin said. "I actually joined the military because I wanted to shoot for a living. “Pistol shooting is a mental sport. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, black or white or purple, skinny, tall, fat, short; it just doesn’t matter. It’s just concentration and making yourself into almost a machine that delivers the shot down range in the center of the target time after time after time.” Eakin broke eight national records, four of which still stand.
David "Roman Nose" Smith, 77, of Newport, is photographed with a Ruger .45 Long Colt. “I participate in Cowboy Fast Draw,” Smith said. The people are great and it’s just a fun way to spend your time, rather than watching television and using marijuana. With a gun you’re able to protect yourself, family, and live the American heritage. I spent 30 years in the military; I gave 30 years of my life so that the people in this country could live and do the things they wanted to do.”
Julia Colson, 33, of Willis, is photographed with a P-90 Ruger .45 caliber in her daughter Delilah's room. “When I was 21, I had a very large guy try to enter my apartment, and as a single woman that was scary," Colson said. "A cop friend of mine adopted me a dog and took me to get a gun for self-protection. And now as a mother, I have children to protect too.”
David Lawrence, 46, of Roanoke, is photographed with a Collath & Sohne Drilling 20 Gauge Double Barrel 22 Longrifle. “I’ve just always collected guns,” Lawrence said. “I remember just going out in the fields walking with my dad, and just shooting at stuff, you know shooting at sticks, and little targets, cans. I can’t imagine not having guns.”
R.A. Hodges, 40, is photographed with a Roanoke City Police Department-issued Glock handgun. “We’re on duty 24/7, and if I would happen to be at a mall, or in recent events, a theatre or something like that, you know, I believe I’m kind of responsible to take charge and do something,” Hodges said.
Raymond Douglas Camper III, 37, of Roanoke, is photographed with a Spiller and Burr model of an 1851 Colt Navy Arms. “We do Civil War reenactment, me and my reenactment unit,” Camper said. “I don’t normally live-fire the weaponry.”
Luke Love, 10, of Salem, is photographed with a Colt Vaquero .45. “I play football, basketball, baseball, soccer and this - fast draw,” Love said. Love has participated in the Cowboy Fast Draw for three years and won the Virginia State Championship.
Onzlee Ware, 60, of Roanoke, is photographed with a .38 revolver. Ware is a former member of the General Assembly. “My mother was a single parent and she had four kids,” Ware said. We always just had a handgun in the house for safety. And I think as I grew up I basically had hand guns for safety reasons.”
Carter Santrock, 16, of Rocky Mount, is photographed with an Anschutz 9003. “I’m a member of the FCHS AFJROTC,” Santrock said. “We travel around to different competitions and we shoot up against other schools and see who’s better.”
Sgt. K. Morris, 40, is photographed with a Glock 21 SF. Morris is the training sergeant for the Western Virginia Regional Jail. “I carry a weapon for work because as a corrections officer I have the obligation to protect the lives of officers and other persons from serious bodily harm or death,” Morris said. “We sometimes transport the mentally ill or dangerous inmates as well as supervise them at doctors’ appointments, psychological evaluations and in the hospitals.”
Kim Swaneveld, 31, of Salem, is photographed with a Marlin 22 Longrifle. “I mostly do target shooting,” Swaneveld said. “When I lived in Alaska, I helped coach junior rifle. I worked with special needs kids. That was kind of the beginning of shooting for me, and it was more about understanding your body and sight-pictured trigger control and how to kind of teach kids to be successful.”
Kathy Chandler, 54, of Salem is photographed with a Glock model 23. “Guns, in my opinion, are like shoes for women -- different ones are used for different purposes,” Chandler said. “I use my guns for competition and self-protection. I’m the area facilitator for A Girl and A Gun Club. It’s education, empowerment, encouragement.”
Chad Mullins, 22, of Salem, is photographed with a 270 hunting rifle. “I’ve been hunting about 10 years,” Mullins said. “I use my rifles to hunt deer, bear, turkey and also varmints.”
Justin Lookadoo, 25, of Roanoke, is photographed with a Smith & Wesson SD9. Lookadoo is an armed security guard at Fisher International Enterprises. “ I own a gun first of all for my job, secondly is for my own personal protection,” Lookadoo said.
John Wilburn, 36, of Christiansburg, is photographed with a Glock model 19 9 mm pistol. Wilburn is a real estate broker. “I carry everywhere I go,” Wilburn said. “I own the guns because I enjoy collecting ‘em. It’s my right to own and collect them. I believe that right shall not be infringed.”
Aaron Cochran, 36, of Salem, is photographed with a Smith & Wesson .38 Special. Cochran has managed Trader Jerry’s in Salem for 13 years. “I actually require all my employees to carry,” Cochran said. “I just feel safer with everybody having their own way to protect themselves.”