Making A Difference

By Genie Jennings,
Contributing Editor

From the very beginning I wanted to title this report Fashionista! After all, Amanda Suffecool has written the book on under fashion, Your Guide to Producing a Concealed Carry Fashion Show, as well as the companion DVD 2017 Concealed Carry Fashion Show. Both are available on Amazon.com and autographed copies can be ordered on her website eyeonthetargetradio.com.
Although they are making her much more widely-known, she did not set out to produce fashion shows. She was simply there when someone was needed to get it done. The Northeast Ohio Chapter of A Girl and A Gun decided to highlight ways to carry concealed at their annual meeting. As the planners discussed the idea, Amanda, who is both a full-time manufacturing engineer and an inveterate volunteer, became the project manager.
She handled the event in the same way she would handle any job in her professional life. Her book is meticulous in detail of what needs to be done. There are many moving parts.
Once she had created the blueprint, other shows followed. The shows got the attention of Viceland TV which was doing a series on Female Empowerment through Fashion. “What could be more empowering than carrying a gun?” was Amanda’s reaction to their inquiry. In June, 2017 she was featured in the documentary, State of Undress; Packing Heat in Heels.
Susan LaPierre saw the documentary and proposed that the NRA consider having a similar fashion show as part of their convention. Upon contacting Amanda, they immediately realized the wheel had already been invented, and all they needed was Mrs. Suffecool at the helm. Of course she was willing to take on the whole project.
For the 2017 GRPC several of us, both male and female, were invited to be models. This is the hallmark of her plan. Ordinary people in ordinary clothes, concealing guns. The various pieces of clothing and attaching methods engendered a lot of interest as we walked, not down a runway, but through the crowd.

Stuffecool hosts a twice weekly radio program on guns with her brother.

It gave those in attendance a chance to see just how they were worn; to ask how they fit and how comfortable they felt.
Still, no matter how much fun the shows may be, despite the notoriety she has attained through her expertise in creating entertaining and enlightening productions, this was not the path on which she began. Nor is this fame her main objective.
Amanda Suffecool exists quite naturally and comfortably in a man’s world. She was one of only four women in the School of Engineering at Kent State. She likes guns, she rides a motorcycle. While more and more women are participating in these activities, they are still in a minority. A very small minority.
Amanda knows how to get along, being neither subservient nor overly demanding. She has a way of receiving respect without overtly requesting it, but, rather, by deserving it.
“I choose not to take offense,” she explains her personal philosophy. She is used to being a lone woman in a field of men. She related a time when she was scheduled to make a presentation requesting 2.2 million dollars for the project on which she was working. As she waited in the antechamber, dressed in her business suit and high heels, one of the company executives rushed in. As he passed her he said, “Honey, I need a coffee.” Without hesitation, she got him a cup of coffee. He was drinking the beverage a few minutes later when she was ushered in and introduced as the project manager. She got the funding.
It is her non-combative manner that opens doors. She does not feel insulted by things that might bother others who are less confident.

Amanda Stuffecool is a gun owner willing to talk to just about anyon

She is a completely capable person, and no one will change that self-assessment. There is no mission too daunting to keep her from volunteering or accepting a request to take it on. Yet, she does not seek attention and glory. What is important to her is the outcome. It is “not ‘look at me’; more, ‘look what we’ve done’.”
It is her scientific, engineering mind that knows that everything can be understood. Everything can be mastered with time and effort and knowledge. Attaining the necessary knowledge is key to being successful in life.
Amanda Suffecool’s mission is to be an interpreter and teacher.
Her interest in guns developed because her father owned a gun shop. She and her brother, Rob Campbell, are both NRA certified instructors. Rob is a gunsmith, Amanda is involved with many groups and educational ventures. Two nights a week they co-host Eye on the Target Radio, a program about anything you can imagine about guns. Alternating with one night a guest and the other listener call-in, they discuss technical problems, Second Amendment issues, laws and constrictions, activism, how to have fun with guns. The programs are calm, low-key conversations.
Amanda thinks it is important that she is a female voice, eager to share, willing to answer anything. There is never a sense of a question being out of place or too basic to ask. She is fluent in “guy speak,” “girl speak,” and “tech speak,” and has the ability to translate between all three. In her soft, reasonable voice she can explain any concern, continuing until both she and the caller agree that they are satisfied with the answers. Her goal is to let women know that they are capable of understanding and safely using firearms; that they are capable of taking care of themselves.
She considers educating people, particularly women, about guns, our constitutionally guaranteed rights, and self-protection her hobby. One might call it a calling.
In the 2016 January/February edition of Women & Guns, Joe Tartaro described her as the kind of gunowner who makes things happen. She is, indeed, a woman who seems able to do anything. Joyously. And, she spreads her enthusiasm.
The most important advice she would like to convey, Amanda’s “biggest thing” is: “Be curious. Ask questions, and keep on asking until you understand to your own satisfaction.”