The Armed American Woman
Not so very long ago in American history guns were primarily handled by men. Men were the ones who defended us against enemies and tyrants, men were the ones who did most of the hunting, and even shooting sports were dominated by men. There were exceptions to this rule, of course. Phoebe Ann Moses, aka Annie Oakley comes to mind. Historically, though, guns have generally been associated with manliness.
That is changing, however. As society changes and news of world events reaches us instantly, as violence begets copycat violence, as successive generations are more and more desensitized and so many of us believe our liberties are being eroded daily, more and more women are taking up the responsibility of protecting their families. This alone gives women the impetus to buy a gun and learn how to use it effectively. And aside from self and family defense, more and more women are joining the shooting sports and entering competitions. Is there really anything more appealing than a woman with a gun that she knows how to use? Not for many.
Recently the NRA had its annual meeting in Houston Texas. A great many of the attendees were women and many of the vendors catered to them. The number of female NRA members has been steadily rising and that was reflected in the seminars and receptions that were available specifically for female attendees. Females across the nation are adding their voices to various gun rights groups, including Gun Owners of America and any number of local carry and sportsman’s organizations. Women are the fastest growing demographic of gun owners in America.
In January a Georgia mom protected herself and her twins from a home invader. While she hid in a closet with her children and her .38 revolver the intruder ransacked the house and eventually found them. She fired at him until the gun was out of ammunition and managed to hit him several times in the face and neck. He paid the ultimate price for his nefarious act and a mother and her children were saved. This is just one example of what can happen when you threaten a mothers children.
As an armed American woman I take every opportunity to go shooting. I have taken various safety and training classes because I believe it is my responsibility to be well trained and capable of handling my firearms effectively and safely. I have many friends who are also gun enthusiasts, defenders of the second amendment, who hold the same beliefs in training and practice. And I have had several opportunities as a NRA Certified Instructor for Pistols to train others. Sometimes the people I teach are enthusiastic and excited to learn. Some of them are nervous. Handling a firearm can be intimidating, especially if you have never been around them and all you hear is fearful and negative commentary from other novices.
I am a founding member of the Illinois Gun Owners PAC. Recently we hosted an event specifically designed to teach women how to shoot. Jan Morgan came to Illinois and trained 56 ladies in firearm safety and handling and spent time on the range with them. It was a wonderful event.
While we were promoting registration we received emails and phone calls from a lot of people who were interested. I got calls from several husbands who said “I want to sign my wife up for your training. I’ve tried to teach her to shoot but it doesn’t go well.” I spoke with women who wanted to learn but were afraid or intimidated. Others were simply excited. But the one thing they all shared was their determination to try.
When the training started the ladies first encountered the classroom setting. There we taught them the rules of safe handling, the different kinds of firearms, and the proper nomenclature to use. The students were able to ask questions and fully understand the training before hitting the range to get some practical experience.
On the range each lady was given her own target and started off firing a .22 cal pistol. If you’re a shooter you know that a .22 doesn’t have much recoil and we thought this was a good start for any woman. But we didn’t stop there. Next they shot a 9 mm. After that a .40 cal. After shooting three progressively bigger calibers these ladies walked off the range with huge grins on their faces and targets that showed center mass groupings that any shooter would be proud of. Not one of them wanted to buy a .22. I encouraged all of them to return to the range and rent a variety of guns to see which one they preferred and were comfortable shooting.
If you are a man who knows a lady you want to learn to shoot, please have her read this article and then have her sign up for a class. Many women learn better from another woman. Women have their own unique issues to deal with and men cannot understand these. Husbands or other male family members are often the worst people to teach a woman to shoot. The familial relationship makes it too easy for the man to make his lady feel stupid or nervous, though I’m sure that isn’t his intention. As stated earlier, women have their own unique issues to deal with and another woman has a better chance of addressing those issues effectively.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Armed American Woman is here to stay. Our numbers are growing and we gladly join the ranks of patriotic Americans who honor and will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Ladies, if you have not yet joined us we invite you to take your first firearms class as soon as possible. Jan Morgan travels the country teaching ladies to shoot. Whether you train with her or someone else, we hope to add you to our ranks soon.
It’s awesome to be armed and female.