Don’t fear the tool

I wrote the following on a facebook page today:  “I was talking to a woman recently about firearms training, when she said, “Oh, I’m afraid of guns.”  Now, I’ve had women tell me that before, and I haven’t said what I would like to, but this time I said, “You know, I’m more afraid of a bad guy than I am of a gun that is in my control.”

I was hoping she would realize that the only reason to carry a firearm is because there are bad guys out there, that might be planning to harm us.  I have zero control over what someone is out there plotting to do, and when the opportunity might arise for him to do it to me, but I do have control over the level of my preparedness to handle that threat in the best possible manner.  We (women) need to stop seeing the tool as the threat, and realize that learning to use the tool properly will enable us to defend ourselves better against the true threat – the bad guy.”

It does seem that many women fear the tool, rather than understanding that the tool is what you use against the actual threat, but a firearm should not be the only tool in the toolbox.  If we believe that using a firearm is the option of last resort when faced with a threat, then we need to also learn other skills that we might employ first, such as situational awareness, self-defense, even knife fighting skills, all of which might prevent us from having to employ the firearm tool.

I would love for some of the women I come across to stop thinking they will never be in a life or death situation and to plan for the day that they might.  If we are trained and prepared, but are never placed in that situation, that’s awesome; however, if we are untrained and unprepared, but our life is threatened at some point, then we are basically helpless.  I’d much rather prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

“How To Get Women Into The Gun Concept”

The Women’s Outdoor Media Association, WOMA, has a great post today by Julianna Crowder on “How To Get Women Into The Gun Concept.”  Julianna makes many valid points in her post, but one part that I really like is where she says, “It is very important for women to have positive female role models in the firearms industry. I strongly encourage you when seeking out a firearms training course, that you look for one that has a female role model on staff rather than an overall male environment. Especially if you are new and feeling timid. Knowing that there is someone like you teaching from a similar perspective will ease the experience.”

Advising women to seek other female instructors is not anti-men, by any means; it is just an acknowledgement that many women will not go to a male instructor, especially one that teaches skills that may bring up many emotional issues from the woman’s past.

A lot of women are drawn to firearms and self-defense through painful circumstances in their past, and many times, those circumstances involved being victimized by a man.  Those ladies are not going to feel comfortable putting themselves under the instruction of a man during a time when learning how to defend themselves brings up memories of a time when they could not do so.

Also, many women have been made to feel inferior, inadequate, dumb, clumsy, awkward, weak, etc., by men in their lives, either knowingly or unknowingly, so those women are more comfortable admitting their weaknesses to a female instructor, and asking some of the questions that they might initially be embarrassed they don’t know.

There are many reasons why women seek out other women as role models and instructors, and that’s perfectly fine.  I instruct women in the use of firearms and am fortunate enough to have some extremely supportive men surrounding me and encouraging me.  My husband is never intimidated by my ability to teach – and is even proud to tell others on those occasions that I might shoot better than him.

I also have men in the company that I teach for, who are so far above my skill and experience level that it’s crazy – I mean, these men have military experience and have attending so much training that it would take me years to reach that level, if I ever did; BUT they acknowledge that there are many women out there today that need what I have to offer – some skill, some training, some experience, but primarily just the fact that I can relate to them on a much different level than my male counterparts.

The men that I work with are happy to promote what I do, and they are proud of the fact that I, and the other female instructors I work with, are able to help women that the men may never be allowed to.

So while there are not nearly as many female firearms and self-defense instructors as male at this time, I would dare say that if you keep looking and ask around, you will likely find one in your general area.  And after you get the training you need and become more proficient with your skills, consider paying it forward and becoming an instructor.  We need more women out there leading the way, so come join us!  The rewards are incredible as you help other women become more empowered and more confident in their lives.

“Stop The Threat”

Check out the Fast Food video episode over at American Trigger Sports Network and let me know what you think about it.  This is a re-enactment of a crime, with a panel of experts commenting on what might have been done differently.  One of the experts in this episode is Kathy Jackson of Cornered Cat fame.

I thought it was informative and educational and provided food for thought as to what I might do if faced with the same situation.  Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know if you think this type of programming would be helpful to yourself or others, and if you would like more programming of this type and/or what you would do differently if producing videos such as this.

Granny, Get Your Gun!

As I alluded to the other day in a previous post, many “grannies” are coming into the shooting arena these days – and hey, I’m not hating on grannies, cause I are one 🙂  I’ve heard from more ladies lately who are in their 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s, than I have from the spring chickens, and I think there’s a good reason for that.

One lady told me the other day that her kids were into everything when they were growing up:  football, baseball, cheerleading, etc., but that she had not been involved in any activities when she was young – most likely due to lack of funds.  Finally, she said, it is her turn.  This lady lives alone and one of her sons felt she needed to have a gun for self-defense; but, surprise, surprise, she found out she actually loves to shoot and enjoys it as a hobby as well as a protector of all that is hers.

Another lady told a horrifying story of her EX-husband holding a gun to her head for three hours.  Although she didn’t go into a lot of details, she said she realized it was time for her to take control and learn to defend herself, after too many years of letting someone else control her life.

Others have said they just never had the time nor the money for a hobby of their own while their kids were young and involved in their worlds, so now that they don’t have to worry with a babysitter and they’re not having to taxi kiddos to and fro, they are free to explore various options of their own.

Again, whatever the reason and whatever the age of the lady involved, I think the shooting sports are a blast for many reasons (pun intended).  One thing I do recommend for some of us ladies, though, especially those that haven’t been extremely physically fit in many years – or who maybe put their kids’ health and physical well-being above their own for too long – is to begin to eat right and get some exercise.  Being fit can help you feel more empowered, regardless the activity you are doing, and shooting is no different.

I have found that being involved in shooting has helped motivate me to WANT to get back in shape.  Improving your upper-body strength will make it much easier to hold your firearm steady for longer periods of time – and you know you don’t like to stop shooting just because your arms are tired.

When I first started shooting, I said, “Now, if I could just lose weight doing this!”  Well, you might actually be able to do that if you join a practical shooting group that darts and dashes through a course of fire, rather than standing in one place on the line.  I mean, getting exercise and being able to shoot at the same time?  That’s a killer combo! (another pun intended)

So don’t let the fact that you have grandchildren, or are old enough to have them, keep you from taking up a new hobby and trying the shooting sports.  I mean, technically, shooting is a pretty good equalizer in the fact that even if you are in a wheelchair, you can still shoot.  Have back problems and can’t stand?  Sit at the line and shoot benchrest.  One way or the other, if you want to shoot, there is a way for you to do it.

So get your gun, get out there, and shoot something, Granny!  Show those spring chickens how it’s done!

Excellent Advice

Female and Armed today has a great post about how to prepare your family for the possibility of an attack.  If you have a family fire plan, hurricane plan, separation plan, etc. (and you should), then you should have a defense plan, as well.  Read her post by clicking here – and leave a comment to let her know what plan you have come up with to keep your family safe.

Police Advise Women to Defend Themselves With Purse Junk

Would anyone advise a man to defend himself against an ARMED assailant by using keys, pens, pencils…or a RAT TAIL COMB??  Has anyone even used a rat-tail comb since the 60’s?  How about a “teasing brush”?  Seriously?  But wait, there’s more.  As a last resort, women are told to put their fingers down their throat and make themselves vomit.  Yep, that’s what the Illinois State Police website recommends to women who go there looking for information.

What the women do not find is info on how to legally carry in the state, because Illinois still does not allow their residents to do so.  You can read about this silliness by clicking here.

OR – you can read what one police officer has to say about defending yourself – HERE

Be a good little girl and don’t cause a scene.

Here’s a great blog post by someone who has had enough of girls/women being told to be quiet and not cause a scene.  That’s how many women become victims of crime – they wait too long to do anything about things they see, hear, or sense – until it’s too late.
It is not wrong to question.  You have a voice, ladies, use it.
A Girl and Her Gun: Is It Any Wonder: Last night I received an email alert from our local police department warning about a suspicious man following a young girl home from school….