Babes with Bullets versus the Google Goliath by Lenee Landis
The very last word I would think of to describe Deb Ferns is dangerous, yet apparently Google begs to differ. Deb Ferns is many things: an entrepreneur, a competitor, a straight up woman. She has the energy of two 3 year olds as well as moxie, defined in the Urban Dictionary as sass, courage, spunk, determination and attitude. She has an MBA, wrote a book titled Babes with Bullets; Women having fun with guns, has been a ceaseless supporter of professional women shooters such as Olympians Tracy and Lanny Barnes, has created a couple business endeavors, and has a day job. She is devoted to her family, her church, her charities, and her friends.
The nature of the problem is this: in the usual upkeep of a business that has been operating since 2004, when Google was old enough for first grade, Deb’s new webmaster shut down the old website and upgraded the new one. When a business invests a significant amount of time and money, it does not expect to be in a worse position–it expects to get down to business..
Let’s back up: Deb started a company with Kay Miculek and Lisa Munson called Babes with Bullets. This occurred after shooting a firearm for the first time at the age of 45, then meeting these two women who are both several time national and world shooting sports champions. For women who have never shot a firearm, Google her company Babes with Bullets (babeswithbullets.com). Google Deb, and Kay, and Lisa! These women embody strong American women, dedicated to helping other women overcome their fear of learning to shoot through the mentoring of professional women instructors in this traveling firearms academy. They also learn to shoot safely and accurately. Babes with Bullets has grown to over 6,000 alumnae, has been featured on the Outdoor Channel, and hosts ten camps a year teaching pistol, rifle, and shotgun.
In a male dominated industry, you can imagine the struggle for getting sponsors but Smith & Wesson stepped up and has been the prime sponsor since 2004. Other great American companies followed: OTIS Technology, HiViz Shooting Systems, Howard Leight by Honeywell, and the list goes on. Not one to sit with her feet up, Deb then founded the Women’s Outdoor Media Association (theWOMA.org) which is a 501c7, all volunteer organization which focuses on women in hunting, shooting, fishing, and archery. She heads the WOMA’s main event She Never Quit in the fall at Melanie and Marcus Luttrell’s ranch where the proceeds benefit Navy SEAL widows.
So, what could go wrong? Deb explains what happened after launching a new Babes with Bullets website. “Google dropped our website from their search engines and we started over in the internet `rankings’ game. Concerned we weren’t reaching prospective new students, we tried to purchase ad words from Google. In a phone conversation with a Google rep, we were told we were not allowed to buy ad words that contained a reference to guns, bullets, ammo, etc. I did more research and found out that, according to Google, we are considered Dangerous Products or Services. If you want to do the `trust and verify’ method, here is a link for your own research: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6014299?hl=en ”
She continued, “That Google is far left liberal and anti-gun is one thing; that they feel entitled to suppress access to written content they deem `not good for you’ is frightening. Many countries even today tell women what they can or cannot read or write; women’s rights in the Googlesphere, both our US Constitutional 1st and 2nd Amendment, have taken a giant step backwards.”
In fact, you can Google the countries who have taken away freedom of speech and firearms from their citizens, let alone stopped them from talking about it—you probably won’t like how those stories turned out.
Deb invites Google execs to a training camp so they can better understand the fastest growing segment of the firearms industry: women. My bet? They would be pleasantly surprised.