Women and Guns

by Sandy Keathley
An interesting thing is happening; the traditional concept of shooting guns as a “man’s activity” (as in hunting) is being blown apart.  The biggest demographic for first-time gun buyers, and for people signing up for both pistol instruction and concealed carry licensing, is now women. True, women have been involved in target shooting for years, both rifle and pistol, but many of these women came from families that embraced shooting sports already, so they did not have the built-in bias against guns that seems to be ever more pervasive in our society (at least the society the media portrays).

Now, more and more new women gun owners are those who have never touched a gun, and never knew anyone who shot guns.  They are stepping into a world completely foreign to them. 

Why?  They are feeling the responsibility to take on the role of protector for themselves and their households, and leaving behind the feeling of helplessness that many people
have today. A young woman recently was asking my advice about buying a gun.  She is a single mother, and lives in an apartment with her young daughter. Twice in the last two months, a stranger has tried to get her to open her door late at night, either because “her car lights were on“, or some similar ploy.

The odds of a woman living alone, or in a female household, having a crises situation (like a burglary or home invasion) are very small, yet they happen to someone. People have fire insurance, but few people actually have a fire. A gun is just another type of insurance. As they say, a gun is like parachute: if you ever need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.

I have a pistol class today, all female.  In three weeks I have a CHL class, and so far, four out of seven are women. I think it is great!  The more this continues, the potential crimes are stopped.  BTW, in the majority of cases where a crime is stopped by an armed citizen, no shots are fired.  Hmmm.

Author: Sandy Keathley

NRA-Certified Firearms Instructor