When I first began teaching concealed carry classes over 13 years ago, the ratio of men to women students was easily ten to one. Women just didn’t seem interested in guns, self defense or the shooting sports altogether. But now things have changed. Gradually, over the past decade, women of all ages are taking an interest in every aspect of guns whether it’s for the defensive carry benefit or just the fun of shooting a powerful firearm.
Just a few days ago I taught an all-women’s introduction to handguns class, and I have to tell you; this is a whole new world for me. I got there early and began setting up targets, tables, and all the other things I need to teach before the students arrive at the range. Normally, I have a class full of macho men with big guns who don’t talk a whole lot unless they’re bragging. But not today.
The first two women arrived early. They were both college students, and they giggled a lot. That was different. Then a whole van full of women pulled up and piled on out, talking and laughing as they walked toward me. I was terrified. They were all immaculately dressed, color-coordinated from head to toe, and the smell of perfume was heavy on the summer breeze.
One of the big challenges in an all-male class is getting the men to ask questions. (They usually just grunt, nod their head or scratch themselves while I teach.) Once my all-female class started it became obvious that getting the women to participate wasn’t going to be an issue. In fact, as the teaching ensued, it became obvious the class was going to run long.
And these women said things I’ve never heard on the range. Things like:
“Felicia, what blouse should I wear when carrying this gun? What color do you think?”
“Oh, your gun is so cute! I just have to have one!”
“Do they have bras with holsters in them?”
Author’s Note: They do. In fact, I recall at the NRA convention in Houston one of the more popular vendor booths was a company called Flashbang (www.braholster.net). They had female models wearing bra holsters. So I had that experience going for me. (Don’t tell my wife.)
Despite the differences I found teaching the class to be not only enjoyable but also very refreshing. I like the idea of women carrying guns. In general, women have greater need of a firearm, because they are at greater risk. Most honest, law-abiding men will never be raped, but women have no such reassurance. Wolves prey upon the physically weakest in the herd. In most cases, this is a woman, the young, the handicapped, or the elderly. But if you get training, arm yourself, and are prepared, you can give that wolf the surprise of his life – the last surprise of his life.
Another author’s note: Before I get in too much trouble, let me clarify that women are not weak, they just have different strengths than men. Women can talk about their feelings until the cows come home – most men can’t. Women can love and nurture a baby even at 3AM – most men can’t. Women can breastfeed – men can’t. There are a lot of things that women can do, that most men cannot. (Just for a moment think about the fact that women can shoot a ten pound baby from their loins while a man stands idly by watching the hospital television just to keep from passing out on the floor.)